Posted pics of the releases I've used and used. I've used more, but never took pics of. Different type of releases work for any type of archery, just some better than others and maybe not.
What it is, I've seen and read of so many noting or opting for the hinge style release and it's benefits. Well, the hinge is not for everyone. Personally, I work on bows of customers and have never settled down on the use of the hinge release. Only once have I used a hinge in competition and did okay, tied for 2nd place. We split 2nd and 3rd place winnings so no shoot off (thankfully). That would be the two finger Stan, the red one. I use a hinge or I should say I practice with a hinge (the blue Stan mostly) to make myself better with my 2 TRU Ball ST360 releases (the blue and the red marble, 3 and 4 finger).
If all of things one should learn to control ones self and any release can do one well. For many years I used a Scott Mongoose (pictured and can be seen quite worn though on it's 3rd strap - should tell how much I used it). I still use it, but for hunting or testing a customers bow. The Scott carried me very well in all kinds of competition, 3D, Indoor, Outdoor, and Field. I now use the ST360s, but even though they perform great I'm still not sure they are better than my Scott.
Here it is;
What I learned was back tension and manners of it. There is a difference within, but give the "like not thinking" and the release goes off. And this with index and thumb releases. Form is form and we all know it so I'll by-pass. Getting on target is a must, but being relaxed is paramount. Muscles tight and nothing goes quite right. For me the target is my focus and the pin a wandering object. I let both become a picture. Once settled, aiming and always aimng, I engage back tension and only engage back tension, not force it. My pin may wander a bit, even look off, but somehow my arrow finds where it needs to be.
Back tension does not have to be full back tension. Back tension can be only the release side of the back. Only you can decide what works best for you.
Learned you can do things you thought not possible. There was this well known archer and he noting being relaxed and letting the shot happen and able to close his eyes and nail 5 for 5 on the NFAA 5 Spot, 20 yards. Well, I wasn't there, but one person took a bet. 3 X and two 5s and he lost, $10. This person still didn't believe it and yep, he lost another $10.
So I had to try this, eyes closed, 20 yards and the NFAA 5 Spot. My first attempts were not good, but I had the information and began using it. Eyes closed I began to relax. Within a few days I was able to hit 5 of 5 and ever so often some Xs got drilled. I later gave a demonstration and that had some pressure. I backed off each time I didn't feel that relaxed feeling. And I did get 5 of 5 with all watching. Okay, it was a play thing, something to try. I don't do it on any regular basis.
Later, practicing with my Stan MagMicro Trio (the blue hinge pictured) at 30 yards. One decided to challenge me to hit the bull's eye one more time. Can of pop was the bet. So just as I got on target and ready to fire he turns out the floor lights. I shot. Dead X. I was relaxed, I knew I was on target and lights off didn't matter.
There are times I don't remember anything but aiming and the shot just plain happens. And the only reason it happens is because I learned to relax. I don't care if it's using my index release, my thumb release or my hinges. Relaxed, the sight picture settles. Relaxed and justing aiming, the shot goes off. I can't say it's back tension and I can't say it's just drawing the tiny bit more. I do know I have no recollection of mentally squeezing my index finger or my thumb.
You can't really relax if you don't have bow fit. Being over bowed, too much draw weight is as bad offender as too long of overall draw length.
Pictured top row left to right; TRU Ball Tornado, Scott Mongoose, True Fire Hurrican. Bottom row left to right, all hinges; Stan Onyx 2 finger, Stan BlackJack 3 finger, Stan MagMicro Trio, TRU Ball ST360s, 3 and 4 finger.
Note the Onyx and Mag, neither have thumb posts. Some may think scarey considering the number of busted mouth stories that abound. But proper procedure and they are quite tame.
Interesting read Sonny, thank you. I have to agree on the "relaxed" portion being key, and if you're fighting a bow that is over weight for you or your draw length is off, it'll be hard to relax enough to to truly focus on the target.
I haven't competed (yet) at any of the local shoots, but I would like to. Until now the focus has been on hunting, and friendly competition among friends. I can tell you that after reading Coach Bernie's first book (haven't read the second yet) "Idiot proof archery", there was an "ah-ha" moment when things began to click and I began to shoot better than most of my friends. Alot of the the influence had to do with relaxing, focusing, letting the shot come naturally. I highly recommend his book to anyone in our sport whether new or experienced.
I have not tried a back tension release, and don't know that I will. I currently use a Scott Wildcat, and absolutely love it. Having come from a lifetime of "gun" background before archery, its hard to get away from a trigger. But as with guns, the trigger of my release is all about control and not "punching" it. :)