Ahh, yеs the dreaded first shot with the hinge. I Remember mine went straight above the target into a concrete wall. I still managed to keep all my teeth, though. Once I share all my knowledge about how to shoot a hinge, you won’t be as scared as I was the first time I shot mine
There are five main topics in this article that we will discuss how to shoot a hinge.
- Understanding the hinge
- Shooting with fingers
- Shooting with rotation/back
- Safety peg
- Click/No click
Understanding the hinge
Before we get into different ways of shooting the hinge, it’s important that we understand how it works. The hinge gets activated from rotation, and the amount of rotation that is needed for it to go off is set by you. I’d say if you’re starting to learn the hinge, then you should set it, so it requires a lot of rotation for it to go off. But how does the release aid actually fire..?
The more pressure you have on your index finger, the safer your release aid is ( won’t be fired ), and the opposite of this is also true. The more pressure that you have on every other finger, the closer the release aid is to being fired.
Before you jump into shooting it on a bow I would definitely practice on a piece of string to just get familiar with the angles where your release aid is safe and where it’s nit safe. Pay attention to how much pressure you need on your index compared to your other fingers to draw up the string safely. Once you have that nailed, it’s time to start shooting with the hinge.
Shooting with Fingers
Personally, this is how I shoot my hinge, and I’ve had quite a bit of success with it. Shooting a hinge with your fingers simply means your transferring the tension on your fingers to rotate the release aid until it goes off. Just as I explained above, the more pressure on your index finger, the safer your release aid is.
Now as I see it, there are two ways to shoot the hinge with your fingers.
You can either let off the pressure on your index finger, making the release rotate and then causing it to fire. Or you can put more pressure on your middle and ring finger again, causing this rotation and making the release fire.
Whichever one you choose to do just know that these changes in pressure are no sudden movements. They are tiny slow, and gradual changes, as most things in archery, are as they are more repeatable when they are slow and precise movements.
Shooting with Rotation
This is how you’re taught to do back tension; it’s the rotation of your shoulder. It can be applied for both trigger and hinge, but obviously, for the purpose of this article, we’ll be talking about doing it with a hinge.
To do this, you’ll draw back and come into the anchor, and instead of transferring the tension in your fingers, all you’ll do is have all of your fingers relaxed, and you’re going to rotate your shoulder. Think of it like you’re trying to get your elbow behind your head. Instinctively this rotational motion will also cause your release to rotate as well, therefore, making it fire.
Personally, I never liked this method as I never felt as if I could get comfortable enough to aim while my shoulder was rotating to execute the shot. But you may be different, so definitely give it a try!
Here’s an interesting one for you, should you shoot with a safety peg? Me, I haven’t shot with one in years. What I found when I was shooting with it is that I was over-relying on it to draw it up.
I’d hook my release on and have my thumb on the safety peg, draw up and come into the anchor and then take my thumb off, but when I took my thumb off, the release aid rotated quite quickly because I had so much pressure on the thumb peg.
So I decided to tackle the issue would remove the thumb peg and shooting with just my fingers, and I then eventually became a lot more consistent with it
However, it needs to be noted that some release aids are designed to be able to be shot without safety pegs, but with some release aids, you will struggle to not have a safety peg on. Now again, it depends on how you want to shoot your release, but from my experience, you should not be relying on it too heavily.
Click/ No Click
Ah, yes, the age-old question when it comes to shooting a hinge. Click or no click. I can see advantages and disadvantages to both, so let’s chat about them.
This is personally how I shoot my hinge, and let me explain how. On my STAN Morex, I’ve got a ten thousands click attached to it ( speed of the click ). My shot process is just slowly transferring the tension in my fingers. When I have the click, it’s an excellent indicator to tell me how close I am until the release aid fires. It means if by the time of the click if I am not ready, then I know to slow my shot process down. Subconsciously I am focusing more on aiming as soon as I hear the click as I know the release is close to firing.
However, you can utilize your click in many other ways. How some people shoot their hinges is they rotate their release with their fingers until they hear their click, and then they will start rotating their shoulder. This ensures that the rotation of their shoulder starts at the same point in the execution every time. But what about no click at all..?
No-click hinge shooters are a different breed of the archer, so hats off to them for sure! It shows the true skill of being able to shoot back tension without any warnings. Talking with one of my buddies who shoots his hinge without a click says he anticipates the shot if he uses the click.
Which makes perfect sense. The click is an indicator that your shot will go off soon, and you may not like that. Especially if your shooting hinge to get over target panic. You’ll want a 100% surprise shot which can only be achieved without a click.
In my opinion, I think shooting with a click is far more repeatable, but it’s always the case in archery. It’s down to the archery to go and experiment and see what’s right for them. But I hope I’ve at least pointed you in the right direction!
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