Your bow release or your release aid should feel like an extension of your hand. You should be able to visualize what it looks like from the outside in your hand, and most importantly, it has to feel comfortable. Knowing how to adjust your bow release is crucial.
To adjust a bow release, we’ll need to check and adjust the following:
- Trigger tension
- Trigger travel
- Peg Neck length
- 3rd Axis peg
So grab your trigger and a set of Allen Keys, and let’s set it up.
Trigger Tension is how much pressure you need to apply to your release aid before it fires. This ties in with how long you want to spend at full draw or how much time you want to spend aiming. For example, if you wanted to spend more time aiming, you would increase the trigger tension to make it ‘heavier.’ Now more expanding/pulling is required to make the shot happen.
There are various different reasons you would want to make your trigger heavier or lighter. But it always boils down to whether you need more time to aim it in the ten or less.
But how do you go about actually adjusting it? It’s slightly different on every release aid. I’ll explain it using a Stan release aid, but I’ll talk \about things to look out for if you don’t have a Stan.
So there’s going to be 2 set screws. The first tension screw, on a Stan, is located on the curve of the first finger. However, if you are unsure, refer to your manufactures website, where there will be diagrams with the labels of all the screws.
If you wanted to increase tension, you would ‘tighten down the set screw. Note that this set screw doesn’t actually tighten; it will just go deeper into the release aid.
If you wanted a ‘lighter’ release, you’d screw the set in the opposite direction. Be careful that you don’t remove the screw fully, as there is a spring behind it that you definitely don’t want to lose.
Some manufacturers offer different tension springs to have your release light or heavy, so check with them if you feel you need more adjustability.
Trigger Travel isn’t as well-known as trigger tension. Trigger travel is how much your peg moves by during expansion until your release aid fires.
In an ideal world, you would have no trigger travel. However, it is still something you can play around with.
You might use trigger travel to get your hand in the correct position. Let’s say I drawback and wrap my thumb around the barrel; I’ll then rotate my hand until the peg stops moving. Then I can be certain that my hand is in the correct position because the trigger travel stops in the same place every single time. From there, you would keep pulling the release aid.
But let’s say you didn’t want any trigger travel. How would you get rid of it? Well, check again online to see which screw is your travel screw, and here’s what to do. Cock your release aid and rotate the travel screw until the release fires. Once you do that, you’ll find you can’t then cock your release.
You’ll need to rotate the travel screw in the opposite way very slowly while trying to cock the release. The moment that you do is the position that there will be no trigger travel in your release. The release aid will feel worlds apart from what it did previously if you have to adjust it quite a bit. Adjusting travel on your release aid is something I don’t see enough people doing, so get out there and try it.
Length of the Peg’s Neck
Overall, most triggers come with attachments (or you can buy them as extras). These are for adjusting the length of your thumb peg. If out of anything I were to list here, I would put this as number one for how to feel the most comfortable on your shot.
For the actual adjustment of this, well, it’s very self-explanatory; let’s take, for example, my Stan Longneck Perfex; you get five different lengths of ‘necks’ to choose from. All you do is screw out the bottom two set screws and then loosen the one set screw in the thumb peg. Choose your new length and put it all back together the same way you took it apart.
If you’re running a smaller neck, your hand will feel much more closed. When you wrap your thumb around the peg, you might even be able to touch your first finger as well, which can be excellent as a reference point for consistency. The only problem you may encounter is that your execution might feel slower because of your thumb’s angle to the peg.
The opposite of that has a longer neck. What you’ll find is that your hands feel more stretched out when you rest your thumb on the peg. You’’ also find that you won’t have a solid resting position when you don’t have a solid resting position when you go to rest your thumb on the peg leverage. Simply again, because of the angle your thumb is to the peg, your release will happen much faster.
It’s about finding your perfect sweet spot, and the only way to find it is if you try, tweak and tune.
3rd Axis Thumb Peg
The last thing about adjusting your bow release is the 3rd Level Axis on your thumb peg. Now not everyone will have this pleasure, but again if you are shooting a Stan, you will be able to adjust this.
There will be a set screw inside your thumb peg, all you simply need to do is loosen it up, and you can rotate your thumb peg any way you want. Once you’ve chosen the position you want to have it in, just tighten the set screw back up. That’s all there is to it. It is an excellent tool to maintain consistency and find comfort in your shot.
It links back to my last point in a way, and you’ll see why in a moment. If you had your thumb peg swayed in, you’d probably find that your hand is more closed or scrunched up. You may find yourself trying to reach to wrap your thumb around the peg. Ideally, you don’t want to have to reach to wrap your thumb so that you can play around with it, so you don’t have that scenario.
If you were to have it swayed out, you might find it a little more difficult to find the same spot to rest your thumb on the peg. But in saying that, again, you’ll have more leverage, meaning you’ll be able to execute your shot for less work. It all depends on how consistent you can be.
Now that you know how to adjust your bow release, it’s time for you to get out there and try it for yourself. Remember, everyone shoots a little bit differently, but if you keep at it, you’ll find the best way that suits you.
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How to use back tension with a trigger release?