What Is A Mechanical Release? - My Archery Corner

What Is A Mechanical Release?

Wrist Trigger

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In my last post I answered the question “What is a compound bow?“.

Today, the question “What is a mechanical Release?” will be covered.

Jump right in:

What Is The Mechanical Release Good For?

When you have followed through my archery training, you know how to release your arrow properly.
In archery we talk about “release” when we let the arrow fly. We mostly don’t say “shoot”, as we don’t do it actively.
All we do is to let the bowstring and arrow go; we don’t pull a trigger like with a crossbow or a gun.

The mechanical release, however, is a different story.
It is a small device, that will release the bowstring when you pull its trigger.
You don’t release with your fingers anymore, when you are using this type of release.

Wrist Trigger

Mechanical Release

Many compound bow archers use a mechanical release, but it is also used by some recurve bow archers.

How Does A Mechanical Release Work?

The mechanical release gets attached to the bowstring where you would usually hook the bowstring in your finger joints or to the “D loop“.
Then you hold it in your hand and draw the bow as usual.
The big difference now is, that you don’t release the string anymore by increasing your back tension and letting the string go around your fingertips, but you actively pull the trigger of your release.

It is much more like pulling the trigger of a gun.

I want to add, that there are many different types of mechanical releases. Some of them even use back tension as a trigger, but many others rely on a mechanical or hydraulic trigger.

What Are The Advantages A Mechanical Release?Questions And Answers

Using it can have a view advantages:

  • increased accuracy and consistency
  • relieve of your fingers
  • no accidentally “slipping” of the bowstring

Increased Accuracy And Consistency:

I always like to say, that you need to find your routine when shooting with a bow. Only when you try and do every shot exactly the same way than the one before, will you be able to become a good archer and eliminate all your mistakes.

Using a mechanical release will improve your release of the arrow immensly, because all you have to do is to pull its trigger to let the arrow fly.
Without a mechanical release you have to do this part manually and this can bring inconsistency into your archery experience.

Relieve Of Your Fingers:

While there are different types of releases, one features a wrist band. They are called wrist triggers and are very popular amongst hunters.

We usually draw the string back with three fingers, which can be a painfull experience, when shooting for a long time.

Using a wrist trigger will spare you the pain, because you pull the string back with your whole arm (and with your back, of course).

No Accidentally “Slipping” Of The Bowstring:

Handling a bow can be a challenge for beginners.
I see quite a few archers struggling with drawing the bow and when the string is not hooked properly, they might release it too early accidentally.
This can have ugly consequences:
They can hurt themselves and, of course, others around them when the bowstring slips from their fingers.

This can’t happen when you are using a mechanical release.
As long as you don’t pull the trigger, it will hold the bowstring safely and won’t let it go.

Types Of Mechanical Releases

Using A Wrist Trigger

Compound Bow Archer Using A Wrist Trigger.


Let’s talk about the most common releases:

I already mentioned the wrist triggers, which have a wrist band that is wrapped around the archers wrist.
Another often used release is the t-handle release. They won’t have the advantage of relieving your fingers, but are prefered by archers who shot without a mechanical release for a long time, as they don’t have to relearn releasing the bow as much as they would have to when using the wrist trigger.

Additionally there are differences how the release is triggered.
There is a positive and negative trigger:

When you use a positive trigger, you will pull the trigger with your thumb when you want to let the arrow fly.

A negative trigger works the other way around:
You hold down the trigger the whole time, when you draw the bow and take aim. When you are ready you take your thumb from the trigger and this will release the bowstring.

Should I Use A Mechanical Release?

The choice is yours.

While I don’t use it for my longbow and recurve bow, I always used it when I shot with a compound bow like the PSE Stinger Compound Bow.

I think it does make sense when you are shooting with a compound bow and recommend to try it when you haven’t already.

If you are more into traditional archery, you will use a longbow or recurve bow anyways, but if you like the futuristic design of a compound bow you can go the whole way and use the mechanical release besides all the other attachments this bow features.

I hope I was able to answer the question “What Is A Mechanical Release?” in a way that you know now perfectly what it is all about.

If you have more questions about it, or want to share your experience with me and other readers, please leave a comment below and I will come back to you quickly.

Have a great day and may your arrows always fly straight!



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(8) comments


This is quite an in depth article. I had no idea there was a such a thing as mechanical releases, although now that I think about it I do remember seeing some people decked out in some crazy gear in the past! Lol.

I can tell you’re very passionate about this and know a lot about it.

What would be really cool is if you had a video demonstration on how to set it all up and then eventually do a little target practice..

Anywho, keep up the great work here, I look forward to reading more..



    Hello Stu,

    you are right. Archery has evolved to so much more than it was only a few years ago.

    You can see a lot of crazy stuff on modern bows and the equipment gets more and more sophisticated.

    I think that this is a good and bad thing at the same time.

    It becomes easier for beginners to get started with archery, but older archers might think that it’s too much technology and too less archery.

    I still love shooting a bare longbow without any equipment attached, but it is nice to change it up a little and shoot with a modern bow, too.

    I have planned to make and add videos to my pages in the future.

    Keep your eyes open for that!




I have definitely had that problem with the inconsistency of my release! Maybe I should try a mechanical release. Is there any particular reason that you would use the mechanical release with the compound bow, but not the other types of bows? If it provides those advantages, why not use it with everything?


    Hi Dallin,

    it’s mostly personal preference.

    Especially longbow archers tend to be more traditional and therefore don’t use much additional equipment.
    Compound bow archers usually use all the equipment they can and often use a mechanical release right from the start.

    If you want to start using a mechanical release, don’t miss out those two mechanical releases!

    Let me know how it goes, when you decide to get one.




Great article and well put together!

I’ve always wondered why archers were those gloves, never knew this was the reason, I always thought it was some type of wrist straightening glove, lol.

Would this be something for someone a little more advanced with archery, or would this be good for a beginner?



    Mechanical releases can be great for everyone who is shooting a recurve bow or compound bow.
    I wouldn`t use it with traditional bows, though.
    Doesn`t fit in my opinion.

    Most compound bow archers, both beginners and advanced, use mechanical releases.
    With recurve bow archers it is about 50:50.

    Let me know when you have any more questions.



I had no idea that you could do this!!
Ive bee reading about archery just over the last hour or so and its just getting crazier and crazier
i had no idea there was so much technology behind it at all
keep up the good work i loved the article thank you


    Hi Alex.

    Yes, it is quite amazing, right?
    Archery is not just holding a stick with a rope anymore.
    It can be so much more.

    Of course there are still many who like the traditional aspect of archery and I do own a simple longbow, too.
    Just check out the different bow types and the differences between aiming with a scope and instinctive archery.
    From there you can decide which looks more interesting for you.
    Let me know when you need any help.


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