Photo: John Hafner
The difference between success and failure on the range and in the field can very well be the relationship between the shooter and their release. This year brought some exciting new options to the table.
T.R.U. Ball Execute
T.R.U. Ball Archery released three new caliper-style releases for 2018. According to T.R.U. Ball, the Execute ($185 to $195) is the first-ever nickel-plated, brass-bodied, double-sear, wrist-strap release. The nickel-plated brass resists corrosion in even the harshest conditions and provides consistency. Independent sensitivity and trigger-travel adjustment settings provide a light, crisp trigger feel. The double-sear design makes for consistent firing without trigger build-up with added bow poundage. You can also choose from a forward trigger or a relaxed trigger, as well as having an option between the Tornado Connection and the new Cinch Connection straps.
T.R.U. Ball Short-N-Sweet’R
T.R.U. Ball also redesigned the popular Short-N-Sweet to introduce the new Short-N-Sweet’R ($95). This new version offers the same open-hook design for quick loading and the same feather-light, non-collapsing trigger as its predecessor, but it features an even lighter and smaller tubular body. It also comes standard with the new Cinch strap, which enables infinite adjustments for varying draw lengths.
Tru-Fire Smoke Series
Tru-Fire expanded on the popular Smoke release with two new Smoke models. Like the original Smoke, the Smoke Extreme ($40) and Smoke Max offer a dual-caliper design with adjustable trigger travel and locking length adjustment for different draw-length archers. The Smoke Extreme features a black leather wrist strap with a bonded felt interior, while the Max offers the premium ultra-padded Max strap.
Tru-Fire Spark Series
Tru-Fire also expanded on the Spark series. The Spark, which is a smaller version of the Smoke, offers the same premium features — dual-caliper design, adjustable trigger travel, locking length adjustment and 360-degree rotation — in a release sized to perfectly fit archers with smaller hands. The Spark Extreme ($40) offers Tru-Fire’s Extreme strap, while the Spark Max ($60) has the Max strap. All four of the new wrist-strap releases from Tru-Fire feature the patented Trap Tab and a convenient foldback design.
No Limit Magnetiks
The folks at No Limit Archery have taken a unique approach at building releases. The Magnetiks Index Trigger Release uses magnets instead of springs for trigger travel. That makes for zero creep, resulting in a super-crisp trigger. The Magnetiks is a hook-design release for fast loading and offers a nicely padded wrist strap for comfort. There are six different tension settings, which are adjusted by arranging the two magnets for each position.
Spot-Hogg Wiseguy with Boa Strap
Spot-Hogg Archery didn’t introduce any new releases for 2018 per se, but the company did add some new strap options, including a camo strap and a Muddy Girl strap, to its release line. The strap we’re most excited about is the new Boa strap on the Wiseguy release. This user-friendly strap allows a bowhunter to slip their hand through the loop, then simply turn the tension-based dial until they get the desired fit.
The Activator ($55) from TruGlo has a stainless-steel single-jaw design. The rolling sear makes for a crisp-breaking trigger. The trigger also has micro-adjustable travel adjustments. The trigger also automatically resets after each shot. It also has a 360-degree rotating head to reduce string torque as well as a BOA wrist strap for perfect fit each time.
Hot Shot Impetus
The Impetus ($80) from Hot Shot Archery has been redesigned for 2018. The result is a super-crisp, zero-creep trigger with tension adjustment. With an open-hook design, the Impetus closes automatically, ensuring easy hookup to a D-loop. The Impetus has Hot Shot’s micro-adjustable post, which is guaranteed not to slip, and comes with an all-leather buckle strap.
Scott Archery Recon
Scott Archery has been a pioneer in release aids for many years, and for 2018, the company again delivered several great new releases to the market. The Recon ($90) uses Scott’s single-caliper roller-sear design with a stainless-steel auto-closing jaw. It also has a new curved trigger design that allows for more finger-placement options and features Scott’s solid swivel connector with five-hole spiral length adjustment and the new cam-lock foldback connecting strap to keep the release out of your way when not in use.
Scott Archery Wildcat 2
Scott has also redesigned the popular Wildcat, creating the Wildcat 2 ($80). Built with a more streamlined ergonomic head for added comfort and a forward-trigger design to maximize draw length, the Wildcat 2 offers a roller sear for a crisp release and adjustable trigger travel.
Cobra Archery Accomplice
The new Accomplice ($80) from Cobra Archery is something of a hybrid between a caliper and a handheld release. The Accomplice features a flexible lanyard with a thumb post and full grip, but it’s fired with a caliper-style head. This system assists with drawing the bow, resulting in 25 percent less felt draw weight. This release is available in a black and a rose gold option.
Goat Tuff Equalizer
Although it has been around for several years, the Equalizer ($200) from Goat Tuff Products is definitely worth noting. This unique release is guaranteed to add arrow speed to those archers with either a short draw or those who have had to reduce draw weight due to age or injury. It works by setting the connection point much farther back in the palm of the hand, delivering a longer draw length and, ultimately, more bow speed. The release itself has a machined-aluminum body and a plunger-style trigger. It also comes with a leather wrist strap with buckle or Velcro adjustments.
Jim Fletcher Flathead
The Flathead from Jim Fletcher features an inset hook that works perfectly with a D-loop. Its forward-trigger design helps archers get back valuable draw length, and the trigger showcases a self-locking, over-center trigger design that provides a smooth and fully adjustable trigger pull. Available in buckle strap and nylon with hook and loop fastener models, the Flathead comes in camo or pink and is backed by Fletcher’s lifetime warranty.
New from Tru-Fire for 2018 is the Synapse ($200) three-finger thumb-activated release. It comes with a weighted brass handle with an aluminum anodized cover and components. The multi-position thumb trigger has adjustable trigger pressure and trigger travel. The Synapse clips solidly onto the loop so it will not fall off if you leave it hanging from your bow. Available in blue, orange, red, green and silver, the Synapse comes with a lanyard.
T.R.U. Ball Bone Collector T-Rex
T.R.U. Ball Archery introduced a new four-finger hunting-inspired thumb-activated release called the Bone Collector T-Rex Release ($160). This release has a multi-positional thumb barrel and teardrop that will adjust from light to heavy, as well as individual sensitivity and travel-adjustment screws with locks. Although the jaw must be manually pinched onto the loop, it is a very quiet design made for hunting. The T-Rex has an included lanyard, so you won’t lose your release in hunting situations.
Hot Shot X-Spot Brass Knuckles Deuce
The X-Spot Brass Knuckles Deuce ($233) or aluminum version ($197) from Hot Shot Manufacturing are two-finger thumb-activated versions of Hot Shot’s already popular X-Spot release. Both have tension and travel adjustment and a thumb barrel with unlimited positioning. Proprietary sear polishing and honing methods make for a smooth and crisp trigger break. The aluminum version is blue in color.
Scott Archery Pursuit
Scott Archery has a few new offerings this year in the handheld release category. The Pursuit ($160) is a hunting-inspired thumb-activated release built with target-inspired multi-sear technology, which ensures an extremely crisp trigger. It comes with three- and four-finger extensions so shooters can find the best fit, and both trigger travel and trigger position are adjustable. The Pursuit also comes with a wrist strap, perfect for hunting situations.
Scott Archery Ascent
The newest back-tension release in the Scott line is the Ascent ($225). This release is available in medium and large in both three- and four-finger options, and it has a heavyweight stainless-steel ergonomic handle with a great feel. Travel and click distance are micro-adjustable.
Carter Enterprises Evolution Too
Carter Enterprises has long been a standard in target archery, and with innovations like the new Evolution Too ($236), it’s easy to see why. The Evolution Too is a resistance-activated release that works with piston technology. Inside the release is a sliding piston that controls tension and adjustment, allowing the shooter to more consistently fine-tune their adjustments. A new safety design allows the shooter to pull harder into the back wall than the release is set for without fear of it firing (when the safety is on). Only after the safety is disengaged and the shooter pulls to the poundage setting will the release fire.
Stanislawski Perfex Resistance Longneck
The Perfex Resistance Longneck ($270) from Stanislawski Archery is a resistance-style release that operates by setting the release to your bow’s holding weight plus some additional weight. Once you hit full draw you unlock the release and pull with back tension through your differential weight to make the release fire. Stan’s Vamp-R sear delivers a consistent weight — within 1/8 pound. from shot to shot. It also has a huge operating range from just above zero to 28 pounds.