Tru Ball The Beast

tru ball beastTru Ball manufactures a $95 automatically re-setting open hook release called The Beast for Michael Waddell and the Bone Collector Team. Based on the older Short-N-Sweet, The Beast comes with two springs—3 or 11 ounces—to give you a choice of specific trigger tension settings. It is available with either a swept-back trigger (The Beast II) or a more vertical and forward trigger (The Beast). Unlike the Short-N-Sweet, The Beast connects to the strap with a solid rod instead of nylon web. The black leather wrist straps securely with a buckle or with Velcro.

Price: $95

Tru Ball (434-929-2800; www.truball.com)

Tru Ball Assassin Series

tru ball assassinThe four models of the new Assassin are built with a small caliper. The solid drop-away rod attaches to the strap through the globo-swivel connection with draw length adjustment. The black SST has stainless jaws and trigger. The Super has a camo anodized head, and the Super SST has a camo anodized head with stainless jaws and trigger.

Price: $85

Tru Ball (434-929-2800; www.truball.com)

Tru Ball Boss X

tru ball boss releaseBowhunters and 3-D shooters who prefer a hand-held release will like the new Boss X with small-sized caliper head (small, says Tru Ball, to shorten the D-loop). It comes in a three- or four-finger configuration with a 360-degree swiveling head to eliminate bowstring torque. Trigger travel, sensitivity, and even positioning adjustments are separate.

Price: $210

Tru Ball (434-929-2800; www.truball.com)

Tru Ball Absolute and ST360X

tru ball absoluteIf you enjoy competition, you will like the versatility of the new Absolute and the ST360X. They are available in three- or four-finger models with a free-floating (no-torque) head; the head stays in line as the handle rotates, eliminating torque and vertical peep movement. These open-jaw releases can be set for thumb or, in the four-finger model, pinky trigger activation.

Price: $230 Absolute

Price: $220 ST360X

Tru Ball (434-929-2800; www.truball.com)

Carter Enterprises Whisper

carter whisperThe new, three-finger (with attached pinky finger module) open-jaw Whisper has a unique system for adjusting trigger tension using tiny magnets that can simply be pushed in or out of slots in the release body. The Whisper is thumb-triggered, and allows trigger travel and tension adjustments.

Carter says the Whisper is a quiet shooting release (hence its name) with four rubber O-rings to “silence a lot of the sear mechanism.” But the noise a release makes is insignificant with the shot package, and in a competition situation noise is irrelevant, so the idea is something of a puzzle.

Price: $203

Carter Enterprises (208-624-3467; www.carterenterprises.com)

Carter Enterprises Lucky

carter luckyThe Lucky is a new hunting-style release—yep, black with a buckle strap. Triggered with your index finger, the Lucky has limited trigger travel, shorter head, and a double-sear system. This means trigger tension does not increase as bow weight increases during the draw cycle. It also uses the magnet system to customize trigger tension “with no springs,” says Jerry Carter.

Price: $148

Carter Enterprises (208-624-3467; www.carterenterprises.com)

Scott Archery Caliper

scott archery caliperWhat you ought to like about Scott releases other than the extensive selection is the option to use several different types of length-adjustable connectors (a rigid four-hole connector, connection via a nylon rope or with a soft nylon strap) between the release head and the wrist strap. The dual-jaw Caliper and several other Scott releases even come with—what now seems to be old-fashioned—a molded grip that really fills your hand.

Price: $55

Scott Archery (606-663-2734; www.scottarchery.com)

Scott Archery Sabertooth, Wildcat, and Silverhorn

scott releasesIn its Deluxe line, the double-caliper Sabertooth, single-caliper Wildcat, and open hook or string loop Silverhorn—all holdovers from previous years—are sold now with four interchangeable and adjustable triggers: knurled, slim-line post, spring, and a new, swept-back curved trigger.

Price: $75 Sabertooth

Price: $80 Wildcat

Price: $75 Silverhorn

Scott Archery (606-663-2734; www.scottarchery.com)

Tru-Fire Archery Edge

true fire edgeThis year Tru-Fire gave us the dual-jaw caliper-style Tru-Fire Edge, a wrist model series with a barrel smaller than a dime in diameter, a forward trigger. Pull the trigger to open the jaws; let up to close the jaws. The purpose of a forward trigger is to let you compensate for the half-inch or so of draw you lose when using a D-loop behind the bowstring. Between the head and the strap, the Tru-Fire Edge has a full inch of adjustability, and your personal setting can be locked into place. Trigger travel adjustment is standard, but check for models with special features such as head fold-back, web attachment, or even—let your feminine side out of the closet now and then—pink camo wrist straps.

Price: $85

Tru-Fire Archery (920-923-6866; www.trufire.com)

Jim Fletcher Archery Insider

jim fletcher archery insiderThe hook and trigger on the Jim Fletcher Archery Insider release are thoughtfully designed to reset automatically after a shot, and trigger tension is infinitely adjustable from stiff to light. Fletcher says the Insider is designed for “D-loop only” shooting, but there’s no reason other than arrow nock clearance that this release or others with an open jaw cannot be used successfully when hooked directly on the string. Available with a leather buckle or nylon hook-and-loop strap, the Insider attaches with length-adjustable nylon webbing.

Price: $75

Jim Fletcher Archery (760-379-2589; www.fletcherarchery.com)

Stanislawski Archery Element

stanislawski archery elementProbably not the best choice when you are climbing after elk or crawling behind hay bales for pronghorns, the new Stanislawski Archery Element could, however, work just fine for bear over bait where you will have a few moments to draw and then pull, allowing an unanticipated shot. The thumb-knob barrel is key to activating this release properly and, unlike a simple trigger-style release, it adjusts for tilt, projection, and angle. On the Element the thumb barrel acts first to (our apologies to The Nuge) lock and cock the release; then as you begin to draw, you hold down the barrel as it doubles as a safety; and, finally, at anchor, you release the barrel and pull through the shot. The open-jaw Element is available in a three-finger (the Trio) or four-finger (the Quattro) model with a polished, red anodized aluminum body.

Price: $236

Stanislawski Archery (315-258-9269; www.ishootastan.com)

Hot Shot Releases

hot shot infinityResurrecting an old name in archery, Corolla Capital Management has breathed life into the Hot Shot brand, starting with the single-jaw Infinity: $75 for the magnetic strap, or $60 for the buckle or Velcro strap. David White says that for 2010, the company is offering seven new releases in three categories: Infinity index finger, $160 Tempest T-handle-thumb button; and X-tecy back tension. First available is the single-jaw Infinity with a “lever-link” trigger, White explains, that replaces traditional release roller bearings and gives a bowhunter less trigger creep for a crisp shot and precise trigger pull. The internal components, he says, are “essentially self-lubricating.” Infinity is available with three types of adjustable wrist strap.

Price: $75 Infinity (magnetic strap)

Price: $60 Infinity (buckle strap)

Price: $160 Tempest

Hot Shot Manufacturing (800-551-3076; www.hotshotmanufacturing.com)