Crossbows are some truly awesome hunting tools. They are easy to master, and pack a heck of a punch. However, just how much of a punch and how effective your crossbow bolt is will largely depend on the kind of tip you have on it.

Today we want to talk about broadheads for crossbows, specifically mechanical broadheads, as well as the difference between mechanical and fixed-blade models. We will also review two of the best mechanical broadhead for a crossbow on the market at this time, so you know what you are getting into.

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What is a Mechanical Broadhead?

A mechanical broadhead is a special type of crossbow bolt. These are bolts which have the standard arrow head, but then also have folding blades which open up on impact. There are both rear- and front-opening blades for mechanical broadheads.

The point of these crossbow bolts is that the blades do not open until they impact or hit a target. The blades stay folded and hidden during flight. As you might be able to guess, this does come with some key benefits.

Pros and Cons of Mechanical Broadheads

As mentioned above, mechanical broadheads for crossbows do feature some distinct advantages, although they also have limitations as well. Let’s take a closer look at both the pros and cons of mechanical broadheads for crossbows.

Pros

One of the biggest benefits that comes with using mechanical broadheads is that they are very aerodynamic. Due to the fact that the blades stay hidden and folded during flight, the bolt as a whole is far more aerodynamic. This therefore allows for much greater flight speed and distance, decreased loss of speed, increased accuracy, and a stronger initial impact.

Another pro that comes with using mechanical broadheads is that they greatly increase the cutting diameter when a target is hit. This means that you have a much greater chance of killing your prey on impact than when compared to a fixed-blade broadhead.

At the same time, it can also help increase bleeding, thus creating a larger blood trail, and therefore making prey easier to track.

When it comes to ballistic curves, mechanical broadheads fly in a very stable manner and fly through the air like field points.

Cons

The fact of the matter is that due to the high-tech nature of mechanical broadheads, they usually cost more than other bolts and arrows. The best mechanical broadheads for crossbows are not cheap.

Mechanical broadheads, due to having moving components, tend to be much less durable and long lasting than fixed-blade broadheads. Simply put, the more moving components there are, the more components there are which can break.

On many models, maintenance can also be an issue because with most bolts and arrows, the blades can simply be sharpened. However, for many mechanical broadheads, the blades may actually need to be changed, thus increasing time and money spent on maintenance.

Mechanical broadheads use a lot of energy to open up those blades, so while there is a high initial impact, mechanical broadheads don’t penetrate as deep into a target, which is a problem for big game hunting.

Fixed Blade vs. Moving Blade Broadheads

Something that is important to keep in mind is the difference between fixed-blade and mechanical broadheads. While mechanical broadheads are great for maintaining speed and accuracy, for creating a heavy initial impact, and for creating a big wound, there are some key differences between these and fixed-blade broadheads which you should be aware of.

Fixed-blade broadheads are usually considered best for hunting very big game, such as elk and moose because there is no energy spent on opening the blades, and thus, fixed-blade broadheads usually penetrate much deeper into flesh, and sometimes even into bone.

Yes, mechanical broadheads are fine for smaller game, even for smaller deer, but they often have issues penetrating deep into big game animals due to energy being used to unfold the blades upon impact.

Moreover, fixed-blade broadheads are not the best for maintaining speed and accuracy during flight because the large blades can act as rudders, which catch the wind, slow the fixed-blade broadhead down, and decrease accuracy.

Fixed-blade broadheads are cheaper to purchase than the mechanical alternative, plus there is the fact that because there are no moving components, fixed blade broadheads tend to be more durable, they deal better with bone, and the maintenance needs are not as high.

How to Choose a Mechanical Broadhead

Before you go out and purchase a mechanical broadhead for your crossbow, there are some main considerations which you should keep in mind. Let’s talk about the most important purchasing factors.

Grain Weight

First of all, something you need to pay attention to is what the grain weight of the mechanical broadhead is. Your crossbow should have a specific range of grain weights which it is suitable for, and you should always get bolts, whether broadheads or not, that fit within the parameters outlined by your crossbow. Matching the grain weight of the bolts to the bow is very important.

Durability

We mentioned how mechanical broadheads score somewhat low on the durability scale, especially when compared to fixed blade models. Therefore, due to their comparatively low longevity and durability, it is extremely important that you go for a model that is highly rated for durability.

This means that the components should always be made of high-quality metal, and this is especially true for the moving components. It’s the moving components which you really need to watch out for here. Moreover, the broadhead needs to be able to deal with bone and also being pulled out of a target once those blades are open. Both durability and integrity are important.

Front vs. Rear Opening

Something else to consider is whether it is a front- or rear-opening model. Mechanical broadheads can have their blades deploy from the front or the rear of the head. Some people do prefer front-opening mechanical broadheads, and they work just fine.

However, generally speaking, rear-opening mechanical broadheads create a much larger wound with a heavier blood trail, and they also use less kinetic energy to open the blades, thus increasing penetration and impact. For this reason, most choose to go with the rear-opening models.

Sharpness and Penetration

Yet another important factor to keep in mind is how sharp they are and what the penetration is. This is crucial because in general, mechanical broadheads aren’t exactly known for their stellar penetration abilities. Therefore, before making a purchase, always read the product description closely, as to how sharp and penetrating the broadhead in question is this will detail the accuracy, distance, and the size of game that can be hunted with it.

Balance

The other thing to keep in mind when purchasing a mechanical broadhead is how well balanced it is. This is very important, especially for crossbow bolts which are much shorter than normal arrows; they fly differently. Now, some prefer an evenly weighted bolt, but for the most part, a front-heavy bolt is preferred, as these models tend to fly straighter and feature heavier impacts.

Our Top Recommendations For Mechanical Broadheads

Here are two mechanical crossbow broadheads that we would like to review, with both being high-quality options. Let’s take a closer look right now.

Rage Bowhunting Hypodermic Crossbow Mechanical Broadhead

When it comes to mechanical broadheads for crossbows, this Rage Bowhunting Hypodermic Crossbow Mechanical Broadhead might just be the best one out there.

One of the defining features of this particular model is that it features dual blades for a huge wound and a massive blood trail. In fact, this broadhead features one set of front-opening blades and a set of rear opening blades, so it does come with a lot of benefits in this regard. This is often referred to as a hybrid tip.

What is also impressive about the Rage Bowhunting Hypodermic Crossbow Mechanical Broadhead is that it uses so called FAT, or ferrule alignment technology. In essence, this helps to create a much more aerodynamic bolt, which flies faster, longer, and is more accurate too. It is said that as far as mechanical broadheads go, this is by far one of the most accurate.

In terms of grain weight, the Rage Bowhunting Hypodermic Crossbow Mechanical Broadhead comes in 2 options — 100 grain and 125 grain, which should be fine for most basic needs. To ensure a stable flight path and that the blades don’t open up prior to impact, this broadhead also features a high energy shock collar.

Something that stands out about the Rage Bowhunting Hypodermic Crossbow Mechanical Broadhead is how sharp the blades are. It features a very long leading edge blade to ensure deep penetration. All blades here are made with high quality and razor sharp stainless steel. When open, this model creates a 2-inch wound.

New Archery Products NAP Spitfire Crossbow Mechanical Broadhead

Here we have a slightly less expensive option, although not by a whole lot. It’s not quite as fancy or advanced as the one which we just looked at, but it still gets the job done just fine.

One of the big differences between this mechanical broadhead and the one reviewed above is that this one features a 1.5-inch cutting diameter, as opposed to 2 inches. Moreover, the standard size for this model is 100 grain, so it is a bit smaller in general. Although, that said, it is also available in a 1025 grain model.

Something else to note about the New Archery Products NAP Spitfire Crossbow Mechanical Broadhead is that it features triple front-deploying blades, diamize sharpened blades, so you know that they are very sharp and extremely durable.

Moreover, another feature is the long and hardened trophy tip which adds a lot of penetration power to the equation and is specially designed to penetrate and split bone upon impact. Now, there are replacement blades available if needed, which is important because the mechanical blades may bend a bit when they impact bone.

Conclusion

There you have it — everything you need to know about mechanical broadheads, the differences between them and fixed blade designs, and what they can do for you. At this point, you should have no trouble finding the best mechanical broadhead for a crossbow.

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If you are just getting into archery, specifically bow hunting, you might find that all of the equipment options are totally mind-boggling. The fact of the matter is that you have to choose the right bow, with the right components, and with the right specs for your needs. We will review a couple of the best carbon arrows for hunting, just to give you an idea of what to look for.

Nowadays, most bow hunters choose to go with arrows which feature shafts made of carbon, and there are many reasons for this.

Today, we want to discuss why carbon arrows are as popular as they are, how they stack up against other materials, and how to choose the best carbon arrows.

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Types of Arrows to Consider

Of course, carbon is one of the best materials that can be used for arrow shafts, but it is not the only material. There are three main materials which are used for making arrow shafts — wood, aluminum, and carbon. So, how do they stack up against one another?

Wood

For a very long time, thousands of years, the go-to material for arrow shafts has been wood, and for good reason. Wood was available in abundance, it is very easy to form and to work with, and they definitely get the job done. One reason wood was used was due to the fact that people did not know how to process various other materials, such as metals, into arrows.

However, if you are using a compound bow or a crossbow, you won’t be using wooden arrows. When it comes to performance, they just cannot meet the demands of modern day bow hunting. Moreover, wooden arrows are much heavier and slower than their metal counterparts, and with modern tech, harder to produce than metal models as well.

Aluminum

As time went on and technology progressed, the next option for bow hunting, in terms of arrow material, was aluminum. Aluminum is very easy to work with and can be processed and machined in such a way which creates arrows that meet the exact needs and tolerances of bow hunting.

Moreover, when compared to wood, aluminum is also very lightweight and strong, not to mention inexpensive. Aluminum arrows are still used today and some hunters prefer them over carbon. With an equal spine and size, an aluminum arrow is still heavier than a carbon one,  although aluminum arrow shafts tend to function better when it comes to transferring greater amounts of energy.

Carbon

Carbon arrows first made their appearance in the early 1990s and have increasingly grown in popularity. For most bow hunters, carbon arrows are the  only option. Simply put, carbon arrows outclass all other arrow types in virtually every way. They are very lightweight and they can be machined to very specific tolerances.

The result is a lighter arrow with greater speed and accuracy, thus making carbon the most popular option around. That said, carbon arrows are not particularly cheap to make or to purchase, but the improved speed and accuracy which they produce is well worth the investment.

Why Use Carbon Arrows? The Benefits of Carbon

You might be wondering what all of the hype is about when it comes to carbon arrows. There are a number of benefits which any bow hunter gets from using carbon arrows, as opposed to wood, aluminum, or any other possible arrow shaft material.

In terms of durability, carbon arrows are the toughest out there. This material can take some very serious punishment without bending, cracking, warping, or breaking in any way.

Due to the nature of carbon and the way it is machined, arrows made of carbon tend to be the straightest arrows on the market, and the straighter the arrow, the faster it flies and the more accurate it is.

A great part about carbon arrows is that while they are flexible and have a good amount of flex to them, they never actually bend, thus retaining their shape for much longer than other arrow types.

Due to the fact that carbon arrows are stiffer than aluminum arrows, and because they quickly recover from flexing, it makes a single carbon shaft easily tunable for a wide range of arrow draw weights and draw ranges.

Because a carbon arrow is much lighter than an aluminum arrow of equal size and spine, it can travel much faster. Of course, a faster traveling arrow is always better.

When it comes to hunting large animals, comparable aluminum and carbon arrows don’t have the same penetration. For the most part, you will get far better penetration when using a carbon arrow.

Smaller and lighter carbon arrows with small fletchings tend to handle the wind much better; their flight is affected less by the wind than a heavier and larger aluminum arrow.

Choosing a Carbon Arrow

Before you go out and buy just any old carbon arrow, there are some key considerations that you need to know about. Here we have the most important factors for you to think about before making a purchase.

The Spine

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing your carbon arrow is the spine. In layman’s terms, this refers to how stiff the arrow in question is. Generally speaking, you want the arrow to be quite stiff with minimal flex.

This will allow the arrow to stay straight during flight, thus allowing for greater accuracy and speed, plus when the arrow hits the target, due to the stiffness, the result is greater penetration power.

Keep in mind that if you have 2 arrows of different lengths, with the same spine. The longer arrow is going to flex a lot more. It’s a good idea to do some research and determine what level of stiffness is best for you and your hunting needs.

Length

Something else to consider is the length of the arrow. When you bought your compound bow, the draw length should have been properly adjusted. When your arm draws back to a certain position, the bow should be fully drawn. The arrow length needs to match this; if the arrow is too long for your bow and the draw length, you will have aiming and accuracy problems, and if the arrow is too short, it will come off the string/rest when you go for a full draw.

Poundage

Another important aspect to keep in mind is what the poundage and draw weight of the bow are. If your bow has a high poundage rating, and you go to shoot an inflexible arrow, it might cause the arrow to shatter. Make sure to know your bow’s poundage and what kind of weight the arrow in question can handle. Keep in mind that a higher poundage will usually always result in faster flight speeds and more impact/penetration power.

Straightness

The other factor to keep in mind is the straightness factor. Simply put, you want the arrows to be as straight as possible with as little deviance as possible. You will see ratings for straightness, such as ± 0.006, which would not be the best, while others are straight to within ± 0.002 inches, or even more. Simply put, the straighter the arrows, the more accurate your shots will be and the tighter your groupings will be.

Two Best Carbon Arrows For Hunting

We want to take a quick look at two of the best carbon arrows out there and what they can do for you.

Carbon Express Maxima Hunter Arrow

This is a very nice set of carbon arrows. The Carbon Express Maxima Hunter Arrow comes in a pack of 6 at a fairly low price, making them ideal for hunters who have budgetary constraints.

In terms of specs, the Carbon Express Maxima Hunter Arrow has as size of 350 with an overall length of 32.5 inches, with a .350” spine, and a GPI of 8.9. All things considered, these specs are quite standard, but they also lean more towards the high speed and high performance side of things. Due to the grains, it’s an arrow that will produce fast speeds combined with a fairly high impact and stopping power.

Something which stands out about this Carbon Express Maxima Hunter Arrow is just how straight it is. These arrows feature a straightness factor of ± 0.0025 inches, which is about as good as it gets. Such a high level of arrow straightness helps to maintain a straight flight path and allows for greater accuracy, as well as speed.

Perhaps the biggest standout of the Carbon Express Maxima Hunter Arrow is its proprietary dual spine weight forward technology. In essence, this means that these arrows are made by fusing two different carbon materials to effectively create a dual spine arrow with a weighted front.

This in itself comes with a variety of benefits. For one, it causes the arrow to start spinning about 20% sooner than other arrows, thus increasing flight speed, distance, and accuracy. It also helps arrows recover from flex faster after being shot, with better overall energy management.

Simply put, in terms of speed, accuracy, and recovery, the Carbon Express Maxima Hunter Arrow is one of the best options out there.

Easton Full Metal Jacket Arrows

This is a very interesting option to consider, these Easton Full Metal Jacket Arrows. Now, what is important to note about these arrows is that they feature a carbon core with A 7075 metal alloy jacket.

What stands out is how the carbon is very lightweight and fairly stiff, with the added strength of the alloy jacket. Now, this alloy jacket adds some weight to these arrows, which means that they don’t fly quite as fast as others, and therefore not as far. However, a big benefit is that they have plenty of impact and stopping power at closer range.

Something else which stands out is how these arrows are very stiff, which is thanks to the combination of a carbon core and a metal jacket. They don’t flex very much at all, and when they do, the recovery time is very fast, which helps with accuracy and stopping power.

Keep in mind that these arrows feature a straightness factor of ± .002 inches, making them extremely straight, and this is guaranteed, thus allowing for greater speed, accuracy, and tighter groupings too. Also keep in mind that these arrows have a 340 spine. What is also nice is that these arrows come with an integrated bright red X Nock, one of the best nocks in the business.

Conclusion

When it comes down to it, carbon arrows are simple the best option for a variety of reasons. They are unbelievably straight, lightweight, and very durable. The fact that carbon is easy to work with means that they can be machined to meet very specific needs.

There are, of course, many factors to consider when choosing the right arrow, such as length and draw length, poundage and draw weight, the straightness factor, and more.

Before you choose any carbon arrow for hunting, it is important that you know what your preferences are and what specs you need the arrows to have, especially in comparison to your bow. Take your time when choosing carbon arrows, and you should be just fine.

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Shooting a bow is not easy and it takes a lot of practice to get it right. However, there are tools and accessories which can help make shooting easier and more reliable. One such accessory is the bow release. That said, how do you choose a bow release? Are there different types of bow releases? What is the best bow release for accuracy? These are all questions which we are here to discuss.

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What is a Bow Release?

A bow release is often referred to as a mechanical aid or mechanical draw string aid. These are mechanisms which have some sort of hook or ring, which the string of the bow hooks into. Then, depending on the type of bow release, there is some sort of trigger or mechanism which is activated, which releases the string and fires the arrow. It’s often called a mechanical aid because it’s a mechanism which makes drawing a bow string much easier than doing so by hand.

Different Types of Bow Releases

One of the most important things to know about is what type of bow release you want to get. So, let’s get familiar with each type of bow release, and yes, there are quite a few, all with their own specific benefits.

Wrist Strap Bow Release

Wrist strap bow releases have been around for a long time, the reason being that they are super simple and user-friendly, usually don’t cost too much, and they work quite well. These are generally made with some kind of fabric or leather strap, hopefully reinforced for strength, which fits around the wrist.

With a wrist strap release, there is a D-ring which holds the string, and an index finger activated trigger to release the string. These are very easy to use, and they come with a number of benefits.

What needs to be said about wrist strap bow releases is that if you use them right, wear them the same way, and are consistent with them, they are fairly accurate. Although that said, they are not considered to be the most accurate. Because it is likely that you will not wear the wrist strap in the exact same position every single time, it can affect accuracy in a negative way.

However, there are also some very beneficial aspects to wrist strap bow releases, such as ease of use, especially when it comes to using your index finger to pull the trigger. It’s very intuitive and easy to master.

Moreover, another benefit is that wrist strap bow releases keep your hands free, so you can deal with your gear without constantly having to get and put away a handheld release.

The other benefit with this type of bow release is that it makes drawing and holding a high-powered bow with a high draw weight much easier; with handheld models, you only use your hands and fingers to draw, but with a wrist strap bow release, you can use all of the muscles in your arms to draw, thus making it easier to use a high-powered bow.

Handheld Bow Release

The other main type of bow release is the handheld model, which as the name implies, is held in by hand as opposed to being strapped to the wrist. Many archers, whether for hunting or practice use this style of mechanical release, and it’s all because of accuracy and consistency.

As long as you draw the bow the same way each time, you will get the same result. Handheld bow releases are generally the more accurate of the two. There are a variety of types of handheld bow releases.

Thumb Releases

One of the most common and user-friendly types of handheld bow release is the thumb release. These are very simple to master and to use. There is a D-ring which holds the string, which is combined with a round knob which acts as the trigger (sometimes called a thumb barrel).

Simply pull the string back and press down on the knob with your thumb to release the string. Thumb releases are often considered to be one of the most accurate and consistent types of handheld bow releases.

Hinge Releases

Hinge releases are also fairly common and while they may look almost identical to thumb releases, that is where the similarity ends. For advanced archers, for people who know what they are doing, hinge releases can provide a very high level of accuracy and consistency.

However, using them has quite a learning curve. There is a hook which holds the string in place, and when you want to release the string, you have to rotate the whole mechanism to force the string off the hook. It can be difficult to learn, but once mastered is very reliable.

Resistance Releases

The other main type of handheld bow release is the resistance release. These do not use any kind of trigger, and instead, they are finely calibrated to release the bow string when a certain amount of resistance is met.

In other words, when you draw the bow string past a certain point, the resistance release will automatically let go of the string.

These can also be extremely accurate, but be aware that your bow and the release need to be finely tuned and in tune with each other, or else the release may let go of the string too early or too late.

Which Bow Release is Best for You?

Now that you know what the different types of bow releases are, and how accurate each is, it’s also important to discuss what kind of release is best for you. In other words, are you a beginner or a pro, a hunter or a target shooter?

For Beginners

Although they are not considered the most accurate, if you are a beginner just getting into archery, it’s the wrist strap release that you might want to go for. The reason for this is because they are simple. As a beginner, you have a lot to worry about, so using a simple release mechanism is ideal.

However, if you feel as though you can handle a handheld release, and you like the advanced accuracy which they can provide when compared to wrist strap models, the next best option to go with, the next easiest to use option, would be the thumb-release handheld bow release.

For Hunters

The consensus on what kind of release to use for hunting purposes is totally up in the air, and when it comes down to it, it’s more a matter of personal preference than anything else. Now, men usually prefer using a wrist strap release because it leaves the hands free to do other things, carry gear, and whatever else.

Moreover, they are constantly on your wrist, so if an opportunity presents itself, you can quickly hook in the D-ring and fire.

That said, wrist strap releases have some issues when it comes to hunting. For one, if it is cold or rainy out, and you are wearing long sleeves, even a thick coat, then managing a wrist strap release becomes a bit complicated. Also, they can hit your bow string and potentially blow your cover.

On the other hand, some hunters prefer handheld bow releases because they can be attached to a bow string and left in place; they are more accurate and reliable for shooting, but they can also slip out of your hands.

For Targets and Tournaments

For tournaments and target shooting, if you have a bit of experience, handheld releases are the way to go because wrist strap releases just cannot produce the same level of accuracy as handheld models.

Most target and tournament archers go with thumb or hinge release models because they are highly adjustable. Handheld bow releases allow for consistency and high levels of accuracy, thus making them best for target shooting and tournaments.

How to Choose The Best Release for You

Before you go out and buy any kind of bow release, there are some important factors to consider. Let’s take a look at what you need to keep in mind before choosing the best bow release for accuracy.

Your Needs and Skill

First and foremost, you need to take into account what we discussed above. In other words, what type of shooter are you? Are you a pro or a beginner, a hunter or a target shooter? You need to carefully consider all types of bow releases, their pros and cons, and which one best suits your needs and skills.

Ease of Use

Related to the first point, it’s always nice to have a bow release which is easy to use. Generally speaking, wrist strap releases are very easy to use, but not the most accurate. If you want something that is easy to use, as well as fairly accurate, you may want to consider a thumb-activated handheld bow release. Keep in mind that a lot of this has to do with personal preference and what works best for you.

Materials and Durability

Another very important consideration is what materials the bow release is made of. Now, whether you go for a handheld or a wrist strap version, anything that can be made of metal should be made of metal. Automatically, the less plastic is involved, the better.

You want to pay close attention to the release and trigger mechanisms. If you are going for a wrist strap, leather is always a go-to option.

Comfort

Once again, comfort is also a matter of personal preference. You might find finger tabs or gloves, handheld models, or wrist strap varieties more comfortable. In all reality, what you find most comfortable is going to take a bit of trial and error to figure out.

Weight and Size

This is usually not a main consideration, but how large and heavy the bow release is, is important. It’s a bit of a trade-off, because larger and heavier models will usually be more durable and easier to hold, but lightweight options are going to cause less fatigue.

Noise

Noise is another factor. Now, this is really only a big deal for hunters, because the clicking sounds which some bow releases make can blow your cover. So, if you are hunting, be sure to get a bow release which is highly rated for silence.

Adjustability

The other important factor to consider here is adjustability. Generally speaking, you should be able to adjust the length of the shaft, the position of the trigger, and the tension on the trigger. This is important because it will allow you to adjust the release to meet your own needs and preferences.

Our Top Picks

The following are considered to be the best bow releases for accuracy. Here are two different models which deserve our attention.

Spot Hogg Wiseguy Release Buckle

First off, we have the Spot Hogg Wiseguy Release Buckle, which is a fairly high-quality and somewhat expensive wrist strap bow release. One of the things worth noting is that the wrist strap is made of reinforced leather, which is about as tough as it gets. It features a bit of padding on the inside to keep your wrists comfortable, but may cause a bit of chaffing.

The bottom line is that the Spot Hogg Wiseguy Release Buckle is very durable, and not only the strap itself, but all the components. For a release that comes in at nearly $150, we expect a high level of durability, which you get here, also thanks to the tough metal components used in the mechanism itself.

We would also like to say that the Spot Hogg Wiseguy Release Buckle is made in the US. Now, although this model is very durable and long lasting, it is important to note that it is very lightweight, so much so that you will barely notice that you are wearing it.

What is nice about the Spot Hogg Wiseguy Release Buckle is that it features a forward trigger design which allows you to use your index finger to release the string, and moreover, the trigger is adjustable for different amounts of pressure. At the same time, this unit also features an adjustable length, so you can get the best draw length and speed for your needs.

The fact that it comes with an open jaw means you can hook the string up real fast, but just be wary of the string falling off if not done right.

Tru-Fire Hardcore 4 Finger Revolution Archery Release

Here we have a slightly more expensive option, the Tru-Fire Hardcore 4 Finger Revolution Archery Release, which is a handheld thumb-activated bow release. One of the big benefits is that this unit is very comfortable to hold, as it comes with a special ergonomic finger grip style.

There is a groove for each finger, making it easy to draw and comfortable to hold. If you are looking for something very comfy and easy to use, this is a prime option to keep in mind.

The Tru-Fire Hardcore 4 Finger Revolution Archery Release is also extremely versatile. This is a thumb activated version, which out of all the handheld releases is by far the easiest to use. In terms of versatility and adjustability, this release features 16 different thumb knob positions, as well as an adjustable tension level.

Therefore, you can adjust the trigger to meet your exact needs, both in terms of thumb position and the amount of pressure that needs to be applied to activate the release mechanism.

What is also convenient about the Tru-Fire Hardcore 4 Finger Revolution Archery Release is that it features a string hook with 260 degrees of rotation; in other words, the release can rotate so you can move your hand freely.

Finally, this bow release is made in the US, and it is made with only the highest-quality materials; there is a reason why it costs as much as it does.

Conclusion

You should now know more or less everything about different bow releases. In terms of the best bow release for accuracy, we have reviewed two high-quality models, and we’ve also gone over how to choose the best bow release for your needs. The decision now rests firmly in your trigger finger.

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Arrow rests may not be new per se, and while they have been around for a long time, there have been many advancements and innovations made. There are many types of arrow rests, and it can make choosing the right one a nightmare. Here, we want to take a look at what makes the best arrow rest for hunting.

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What is an Arrow Rest?

Simply put, an arrow rest is an accessory which allows archers to rest their arrows on a specific platform or mechanism to stabilize the arrow during the drawing and shooting phases, to allow the arrow to rest easily, with the end goal being to increase overall accuracy.

Considerations When Purchasing an Arrow Rest

You definitely don’t want to just go out and buy the first arrow rest that you see. There are quite a few considerations to keep in mind before you come to a final choice.

Type of Arrow Rest

One of the main considerations when selecting the best arrow rest for hunting is the type you want. As you will see further below, there are a multitude of arrow rest types, and each comes with specific benefits, drawbacks, and intended purposes.

The type of arrow rest you get will depend on what your skill level is, what your needs are, and what type of archery you plan on doing. Please refer to the below section on types of arrow rests for more information, as this is extremely important.

Ease of Use

The next consideration is how easy to use and how user-friendly the arrow rest is. A lot of fancy features and high-tech components are nice, but remember that they can also make things harder. Once again, you should refer to our section on the types of arrow rests available to figure out which one is easiest to use.

A recommendation here, if you are a beginner, is to use a containment arrow rest, something like a Whisker Biscuit, which is probably the most beginner friendly arrow rest out there.

Overall Stability

Yet another factor has to do with stability. Some arrow rests, such as containment rests hold an arrow in place and don’t allow for much movement. There are others which are a little looser and allow the arrow to move around, some quite freely.

Just be aware that a very stable arrow rest is great for aiming and accuracy, but some features which allow for stability may also slow down arrow speeds and may also damage fletching.

Shaft/Fletching Protection

We just discussed the fletching of an arrow. The fact here is that some types of arrow rests such as containment rests, especially those with whiskers, although they are stable and accurate, often end up bending and shredding the fletching on an arrow. Arrows can be expensive, so you really don’t want this to happen.

Some arrow rests are just going to cause this no matter what, so it’s up to you to decide if you can sacrifice some fletching for the other benefits you get. There’s usually always a trade-off to consider.

Accuracy

Next, you also want to pay attention to how accurate the rest in question is. This is related to some other points we have covered, such as the type of arrow rest and stability. You should do some research to find out which types are most accurate and which features allow for the most accuracy. Prong and containment rests are often quite accurate.

Mounting

Something else to pay attention to is how easy the arrow rest is to mount. Does it have different mounting positions so you can adjust it to your needs? Is the model designed for left- or right-handed use, or is it an ambidextrous model?

Durability

Durability is always something to look  for. What we can say here is that you always want to look for high-quality metal components. The less plastic there is, the better off you will be. Often the price is going to make a difference. It is highly recommended that you check out specific models closely and see what people have to say about longevity and durability.

Noise Reduction

If you plan on hunting, you absolutely need a bow rest that is quiet, preferably somet5rhing with noise and vibration dampening capabilities. As a hunter, anything you can do to prevent your cover from being blown should be done.

Brand and Price

Finally, it is also recommended that you go with a quality and reputable brand name. The fact of the matter is that with archery gear, you do get what  you pay for, and it’s never worth it to go with the cheapest accessories.

Types of Arrow Rests

When you shop for a specific bow rest for hunting, one of the most important things to know is that there are different types of bow rests — five main types to be precise — and they each offer their own distinct advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at the five main types of arrow rests and what they can do for your hunting experience.

Prong-Style and Shoot-Through Arrow Rests

The first type of arrow rest to be familiar with is the prong-style or shoot-through arrow rest. This type of arrow rest consists of two prongs and a bottom which hold an arrow in place.

A great part about this type is that it is extremely easy to mount, to set up, and to use, perhaps the easiest of all arrow rest types. Prong-style and shoot-through style arrow rests are generally considered good options for beginners and for general use.

What is also worth noting is that prong-style arrow rests tend to be some of the most affordable on the market, making them a good choice for beginners and people working on a budget. Another advantage that comes with this style of arrow rest is that for the most part, the prongs are highly adjustable and can be moved around to work with most or even all arrow diameters.

On the other hand, arrow containment can be a bit of an issue, as the top of this style of arrow rest is open, and this can make it a bit difficult to keep the arrow on the prongs.

Capture or Containment Arrow Rests

Another popular arrow rest is the containment arrow rest, also known as the capture arrow rest. The distinguishing feature here is that the arrow is enclosed on 3 sides, thus allowing the arrow to stay in place at all times, which makes firing off a shot much quicker because you can have your arrow loaded in place.

In terms of usage, many bow hunters use a containment arrow rest specifically due to the fact that it can allows for fairly quick drawing and firing, with another main advantage being that having the arrow fall off this kind of rest is nearly impossible. This can also help increase accuracy when hunting.

What is also beneficial about containment arrow rests is that they work very well with mechanical release aids, they are great for accommodating mostly all arrow widths and sizes, and they may reduce shooting errors.

On the other hand, this type of arrow rest also comes with some issues, especially ones like Whisker Biscuits, which use small bristles or whiskers to stabilize the arrow while in the rest. These whiskers often reduce arrow speeds. Now, this type of arrow rest is known for its ease of use and its high level of accuracy, but it can also wear fletching down quickly and slow arrow speeds.

Drop Away Arrow Rests

The next type of arrow rest you should be familiar with is the drop away arrow rest. This type of arrow rest, while quite popular, is mostly only used for target practice. Most bow hunters would never use a drop away arrow rest, especially because it can be fairly noisy. The rest or mechanism, as it drops away, makes quite a noise, which is not ideal for hunting, where preserving your cover makes a difference.

As for drawbacks, which we may as well get out of the way, the drop-away mechanism is automated, and as is the case with anything automated, it may fail at any time, whether it be when dropping away or raising up. The other drawback is that drop away arrow rests really are not ideal for beginners, as the setup process can be fairly difficult.

All of that said, drop-away arrow rests do have some pretty big advantages worth noting as well. The biggest advantage is that because the rest itself drops down as soon as the arrow is released, there is minimal contact between the arrow and the rest. This allows for a greater take off and flight speed, a good deal of accuracy, and it helps protect the fletching from damage. If you are looking for a high-speed arrow, the drop-away rest is a good one to consider.

Pressure Arrow Rests

Yet another type is the pressure arrow rest, sometimes also known as the plunger rest. Now, what is important to note here is that these are specially designed for archers using their fingers to shoot, or in other words, for anyone not using any kind of mechanical release aid.

The main quality of the pressure arrow rest is that it pushed on the arrow from one side or the other. The point of this type of arrow rest is to compensate for horizontal pressure or oscillation cause when shooters use one hand or another. In other words, it helps to keep an arrow straight. If you are right handed, the pressure rest would apply pressure to the front of the arrow from the left-hand side, and vice versa.

This beneficial for anybody shooting with their bare hands, especially in terms of accuracy. Moreover, this type of arrow rest is quite durable and easy to use. On the other hand, it’s not the ideal choice for people using mechanical release aids, plus this type tends to reduce arrow speeds.

Specialty and 3D Arrow Rests

While not exactly a type of arrow rest per se, there are a variety of specialized arrow rests that get grouped into a single category. These arrow rests come in all shapes and sizes, and each one is designed for a specific purpose. Therefore, only experienced archers with a very specific purpose should consider getting any kind of specialty arrow rest.

Recommendations

Here are two arrow rests which we have reviewed in some detail, each of which comes with specific benefits. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Quality Archery Products HDX Arrow Rest

This is a fairly affordable, yet high-quality arrow rest, the Quality Archery Products HDX Arrow Rest. This model kind of looks like it might be a prong arrow rest, but is in fact a drop-down arrow rest.

There are two side prongs which hold the arrow in place as you draw and aim. This goes a long way in helping to stabilize the arrow, and it helps make aiming much easier as well. The fact that the arrow is somewhat contained during the draw phase can be very beneficial.

The Quality Archery Products HDX Arrow Rest is a fairly durable model overall, and it is made with high-quality components, which in part is thanks to the steel and machined aluminum used in the construction.

Moreover, although it is one of the more reliable drop-down models, be aware that things can go wrong with the drop down mechanism. However, this particular rest uses velocity drop-away tech, so it should be reliable and user-friendly overall.

What is nice here is that the Quality Archery Products HDX Arrow Rest comes with an easily adjustable timing cord, and speaking of adjustability, it also allows for vertical, horizontal, and overdraw adjustments.

This model also comes with AVT or advanced vibration technology, which helps to reduce vibrations and allows for a very quiet shot, something which bow hunters should appreciate. The fact that the Quality Archery Products HDX Arrow Rest is so reliable and high quality is surprising considering that it comes at a fairly low price, and it even has a limited lifetime warranty too.

Trophy Ridge Original Quick Shot Whisker Biscuit

Here we have a more basic and affordable arrow rest, the Trophy Ridge Original Quick Shot Whisker Biscuit, which as we discussed up above, is a high-quality containment arrow rest which comes at a decent price. One thing worth noting right off the bat is that this arrow rest is designed to be exceedingly beginner friendly, as mounting is about as easy as it gets, and using it is no harder.

Of course, one of the main benefits that you get with the Trophy Ridge Original Quick Shot Whisker Biscuit, is that the arrow is mostly contained. This means that there is no chance of the arrow falling off or out of the rest, so you can actually keep it nocked while in the rest. Moreover, the fact that the arrow is contained also means that aiming is made much easier, a big bonus for beginners.

In terms of overall durability, the Trophy Ridge Original Quick Shot Whisker Biscuit is up there with the best of them when compared to previous models. It’s made of durable metal, so it should last for some time, as it is advertised as being about 150% stronger than the previous model.

What’s also worth noting about this version is that it comes with custom rubber boots for silent arrow loading. Now on a side note, the whiskers will slightly decrease arrow speeds, and they may also damage fletchings over time.

Conclusion

At this point, you should know virtually everything there is to know about arrow rests, the differences between types, what they are good for, and more. At the end of the day, perhaps the biggest deciding factor in terms of the best arrow rest for hunting for you is going to be your own personal preference. Just make sure to choose wisely.

If you are a bowhunter or planning on getting into bow hunting, you need to have the right equipment. Of course, the bow itself is the most important part of the equation, but certainly not the only part. Almost as important as the bow is the sight, the thing you use to acquire a target and aim.

Without a good sight for hunting, the chances of hitting your prey are not great. Today we want to take a closer look at a specific type of sight, the single pin bow sight, and discuss what it can do for you. We will discuss buying factors, and we will review some of the best single pin bow sights for hunting.

In a hurry?

My two favorite pin bow sights for hunting is the TRUGLO Range-Rover PRO LED Bow Sight and the HHA Optimizer Sight. You can not go wrong with either of them!

Types of Bow Sights

Before we get into talking specifically about single pin bow sights, let’s take a quick look at all of the types of bow sights and what they can do for you.

Fixed Pin Bow Sights

Fixed pin arrow sights are very common and a fan favorite for many. These come with fixed pins, usually anywhere from 3 to 5 pins, sometimes more. In terms of what the pins do, the top pin would be for close-range shooting and the bottom pin for long-range shooting. Each pin represents a certain distance, which can usually be set by the user. It’s usually best to stick with even increments, such as 5 or 10-yard increments, just because it’s easy to remember.

Single and Movable Pin Sights

Single pin sights, as the name suggests, come with one pin, and there are movable options that allow you to adjust the position of the housing based on the distance of the shot. When adjusting these, be sure to mark the distance which each position represents. Single pin systems are quite easy to use and absolutely perfect for hunting.

Competition Sights

These are also known as target sights, and although some hunters will use them occasionally, they are very expensive and really made for competition target shooting. However, that said, these sights come loaded to the brim with features and are hands down the best in terms of target acquisition and accuracy.

Pendulum Sights

If you are hunting out of a tree stand or something similar, a pendulum sight is a good idea to look into. These help hunters who need to make adjustments based on elevation. Keep in mind that while pendulum sights are great for shooting from an elevated position, they are very difficult to master and virtually unusable when shooting from the ground.

How to Choose a Single Pin Bow Sight

When you go to buy a single pin bow sight, you don’t want to just go with the first one that you see. There is actually a lot of consideration that should go into choosing the right one for your hunting needs. If you keep all of the factors in mind which we are about to discuss, you should have no problem finding the right single pin bow sight for your needs.

Pin Size

One of the first considerations to keep in mind when selecting a single pin bow sight is the size of the pin itself, or in other words, the size of that dot in the middle of the sight. Now, the average size for these pins is 0.019 inches, which is a medium. There are both larger and smaller pins, and for the most part this is a matter of personal preference.

You want the pin to be large enough to see, but also small enough so that it does not completely obscure your view of the target. A medium pin size is recommended for most hunting needs. Some also say that a larger pin helps archers acquire a target more easily, but smaller pins assist with accurate targeting. It all depends on your skills.

Pin Color and Brightness

Another feature to consider is the color and brightness of the pin. In terms of color, this is once again more a matter of personal preference than anything else. People are different and you may have an easier time seeing one color over another.

That said, the color will make a difference when it comes to light conditions. Simply put, a bright and light-colored pin is best for the night and low light conditions, whereas darker and duller colored pins are best for daytime shooting and high light conditions.

You do also want to keep the brightness of the pin in mind. High-quality single pin bow sights will allow you to adjust the brightness, so you can use the same one no matter the lighting conditions.

That said, you need the pin to be bright enough to see, especially when it comes to hunting at night, early morning, and late in the evening. However, on the other hand, you also do not want a pin that is too bright, or else the bright light will wash out the target and mess with your vision.

Adjustability

Single pin sights will all come with dials so you can make the proper adjustments for elevation, but this is not the only thing to pay attention to. A micro-dial for windage adjustment is a bonus, something that will go a long way in helping to maintain accuracy.

A good single pin bow sight should also come with second and third axis adjustments, so you can adjust the position of the pin to compensate for elevation, windage, and distance. If you plan on shooting from elevated positions or making very long shots, getting a single pin bow sights with the ability to make these adjustments is strongly recommended.

Weight and Size

Both the weight and the size of the single pin bow sight are important to consider as well. In terms of the weight, if you get one which is relatively heavy, one thing you can be sure of is that it should be made with durable and high-quality materials.

However, that said, when it comes to usability, something with a lower weight is usually best. The reason for this is because the weight of the bow sight will affect your ability to balance the bow, which in turn can lead to issues with accuracy. Sure, heavier sights are often far more durable and long-lasting, and often have extra features, but a really heavy sight can cause problems.

The same can be said for the size of the single pin bow sight in question. A larger option may have more features and be a bit easier to see through, but simply put, if it’s too large, it may actually just get in the way.

Durability

Of course, when it comes to hunting and being out in the woods, especially when lots of movement is concerned, you also want to go for something that is very durable. You don’t want to put your bow down only to find that the sight is messed up because you bumped it on something.

That said, if you buy a high-quality unit, especially modern ones with strong pins and enclosed fiber optics, you should be fine. On a side note, metal makes a big difference. If you can find a single pin bow sight made of lightweight metal or carbon, you are in luck.

Something you should aim to avoid here is getting a bow sight with lots of plastic components; plastic is cheap and lightweight, but also not very durable either.

Range

Another factor is the intended range of the unit. For hunting purposes, most shots are made at 50 yards or less. Sure, some people try to push this and may try for that 100-yard shot, although this is exceedingly rare. The point here is that you need a bow sight that can accurately acquire and lock in on a target at the distance you plan on shooting. Just remember that not all bow sights are designed for the same distances.

Design, Special Features, and Price

When it comes to the matter of personal preference, the biggest one is going to be the design of the model. Each single pin bow sight is going to feature its own unique design, and this is a matter of personal preference.

Simply put, you may prefer one style or design over another. What you want to pay attention to is how the sight is attached to the bow and where the adjustment dials are, as this is going to be a matter of comfort.

Moreover, many of the modern higher-end units come with their own special features, with a select few even featuring high-tech features such as infrared night vision. You should look into the variety of special features that single pin bow sights can come with.

This brings us to the final point of price and brand name. This is the kind of thing where the brand name and price are going to make a difference. You get what you pay for, and if you want a high-quality unit with all the bells and whistles, you will have to pay for it.

Best Single Pin Bow Sights Recommendations

Here we have what are considered to be the best single pin bow sights on the market at this time. Let’s take a closer look at both of the following bow sights to see exactly what they bring to the table.

HHA Optimizer Sight

If you are looking for a very high-quality single pin bow sight that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, this HHA Optimizer Sight is a fantastic option to keep in mind. One thing we want to note right off the bat is that this particular model can be used by both right- and left-handed archers.

Next, what can also be said about the HHA Optimizer Sight is that it is a very durable unit. In terms of durability, this unit is made out of CNC machined aluminum with a high-quality armor pin, complete with high-grade wrapped fiber optic. It’s definitely a long-lasting single pin sight.

Going back to the aluminum build, the HHA Optimizer Sight is not only durable, but also very lightweight, so it should not impact balance very much at all, thus allowing for easy shooting and a great deal of accuracy.

The green sight ring is another bonus, because it allows for easy target acquisition, and on that same note, the brightness of the pin can be mechanically adjusted to meet lighting needs. It’s a good single pin bow sight to go with for a variety of light levels.

Just to be clear, the HHA Optimizer Sight features a 0.019 pin inside of 5’ of wrapped fiber optic. What is also worth mentioning about this sight is that it is extremely easy to mount. Also, the HHA Optimizer Sight features a tool-free micro-dial for windage adjustments, thus also increasing accuracy and ease of use.

Read more about the HHA Optimizer Sight on Amazon

TRUGLO Range-Rover PRO LED Bow Sight

This is a slightly more expensive single pin bow sight, but it also has some pretty nifty features that make it worth the slightly higher price. Let’s not forget that the TRUGLO Range-Rover PRO LED Bow Sight is made of durable and lightweight machined aluminum, making this a long-lasting single pin sight that will not negatively affect balance or accuracy.

What really stands out about the TRUGLO Range-Rover PRO LED Bow Sight is how adjustable it is. For one, this is a slider sight, so you can move it closer or further away from your eyes, which is a very unique and useful feature. Moreover, this sight also comes with a zero-in elevation dial and a tool-free micro-dial for windage adjustments. This high level of adjustability is a big bonus which makes this unit worth the cost.

Another great feature is the illuminated LED dot in the center, which is a more modern version of the previous version which used a straight-up pin. The benefit here is that the dot is illuminated and is therefore very easy to see in all light conditions.

That said, the brightness of the pin/dot is fully adjustable to meet any and all shooting conditions. The large field of view and the glow-in-the-dark shooter’s ring are special features you get. You can even get a Range Rover lens kit for up to 2x magnification for long-distance shooting.

Read more about the TRUGLO Range-Rover PRO LED Bow Sight on Amazon

Conclusion

There you have it — everything you need to know about how to choose the best single pin bow sight for hunting. Remember to keep all of the important considerations in mind, compare those to your own needs, and then you will be ready to make a choice.

There are various components of an arrow that any archer needs to be familiar with. Whether you are 3D shooting, target archery, or hunting, being familiar with all of the components you are working with is very important. Of course, you have your bow, which nowadays is most likely a compound bow, although you might be using a crossbow or something even more old school.

In a hurry?

If you looking for a great fletching jig then have a look at the Bohning Complete Tower System which is the jig I use. My friend Robert use the Bitzenburger/Zenith Fletching Jig that I also like but I think you can save a couple of dollars and go with the Bohning Complete Tower system that work just fine!

The size, weight, draw length, draw weight, and other factors work towards determining just how far, fast, and accurately that arrow is going to fly. However, as you might have guessed, the bow itself is only half the equation. Equally as important is the arrow itself.

There are various components of an arrow — the arrow shaft, the arrowhead, the nocking, and the fletching. Today we are here to talk about arrow fletching, what it is and what it does, the types of fletching, and more. Something we also want to talk about is the arrow fletching jig, which is a special tool used by professionals and DIYers who want to make their own custom arrows that will meet specific needs.

Arrow fletching jigs can be very useful tools, and they can y help make the life of any archer much easier. That being said, what exactly is an arrow fletching jig and what does it do? These are questions we are going to answer, and we even have a couple of high-quality arrow fletching jigs to review, just to give you an idea of what you are getting into.

What Is Fletching and What Does It Do?

Fletching are the vanes or feathers found at the rear of an arrow. Fletching often takes the form of three straight vanes or feathers, but may also take on other forms. Generally speaking, one of the fletchings will be a different color than the rest. This one is called the “index” or “cock” fletching, with the remaining being known as “hen” fletchings.

The point of fletching, placed at the rear of an arrow shaft, is to help stabilize the flight of an arrow. Fletching does this by causing the arrow to spin during its flight, allowing it to stay on path much better and increase accuracy. At the same time, the spinning motion of the arrow also helps to cut down on drag and helps to preserve its speed, also allowing for greater flight distance, and when the arrow hits its target, a greater impact.

On a side note, something to keep in mind is that the diameter of the fletching, for the most part, needs to be larger than that of the arrowhead or broadhead on the front of the arrow shaft. The weight and size of the fletching need to compensate for the size and weight of the arrowhead.

Types of Fletching

There are a variety of possible fletchings that an archer can purchase or apply to their arrow shafts, each of which will produce a different result and affect arrow flight in a different way. Moreover, there are also differences in spacing and the number of fletchings that archers can choose, which will also produce specific results. Let’s go over the most common fletching types.

Straight Fletching

The first type of fletching worth mentioning is straight fletching. This type of fletching features vanes which are perfectly straight from front to back and run completely parallel with the shaft of the arrow.

Now, this type of fletching will not cause an arrow to spin because the straight vanes cut through the wind evenly, which will slightly decrease overall accuracy and stability.

However, a benefit of straight fletching is that there is no drag and no speed loss due to the highly aerodynamic nature; it cuts right through the air. Now, this is fine for close-range shooting, out to 40 or maybe even 50 yards, but at further distances, the decreased stability and accuracy will make a big difference.

Offset Fletching

The next type of fletching to consider is offset fletching. With offset fletching, the front of the vanes is ever so slightly bent or angled, just enough to catch the wind a little bit. However, keep in mind that with offset fletching, only the very front of each vane is slightly curved, but the majority of the vanes, towards the rear, are still straight.

This slight offset of the fletching allows the arrow to spin slightly, thus also increasing arrow accuracy and stability. Keep in mind that this causes a slight loss of speed as well due to the drag being created, although the loss of speed with offset fletching is negligible.

Helical Fletching

Moving down the list, the next type of fletching to consider using is known as helical fletching, which is like a more extreme version of offset fletching. Here, virtually the entire vane is curved, not quite to the rear of the vane, but from the front to well past the halfway point. In other words, helical fletching has a fairly aggressive curve.

The biggest benefit of helical fletching is that it causes a fast and constant spinning motion. This serves to greatly increase the overall stability and accuracy of an arrow during flight. However, this type of fletching is also known for causing a fairly high amount of drag and speed loss, due to the curved fletching catching the wind, sometimes as much as 5 or even 10 feet per second.

Keep in mind that this type of fletching can be configured to cause an arrow to spin either clockwise or counter clockwise.

Spin Wings

As the name of this type of fletching implies, spin wing fletching is designed to produce the maximum amount of arrow spin possible. Yes, spin wings do create the most amount of spin, which helps to greatly increase arrow accuracy and stability, but they also create the most drag and speed loss, resulting in limited speed, flight distance, and overall impact. This kind of fletching is ideal for short to medium-range shooting.

Flu Flu Fletching

Flu Flu fetching consists of unevenly spaced and unevenly sized vanes, with the main purpose being to increase drag and limit flight distance. This type of arrow fletching will cause an arrow to fly fairly fast and straight for roughly 30 yards, then quickly slow down. This type of fletching is often used for turkey, duck, goose, and other bird hunting purposes; if you miss your target in mid-flight, the arrow won’t go too far and is made much easier to retrieve.

What is an Arrow Fletching Jig?

Ok, so now that we have covered hat arrow fletching is, what it does, and what the different types of arrow fletching are, let’s talk about the arrow fletching jig and what it does. The arrow fletching jig is a simple and straightforward tool that is used to help archers attach fletching to an arrow with minimal work.

An arrow fletching jig holds an arrow shaft in place vertically, so you don’t need to hold it or use any kind of sub-par clamp. The fletching jig also has arms on it, usually 3 arms, which serve as clamps. The fletching is placed on the jig’s arms, with a bit of fletching glue. The arms of the jig are then closed on the arrow, thus gluing the fletching to the rear of the arrow shaft.

The big benefit of arrow fletching jigs is that they allow for proper fletching spacing around the shaft, something which an average person probably won’t be able to achieve using their bare hands and the naked eye. Fletching jigs are also useful because they hold the fletching in place tightly until the glue has dried. It’s just one of those tools that can help make life much easier for any archer looking to make their own arrows.

How To Choose An Arrow Fletching Jig

Before you go out and buy any old fletching jig, there are a few considerations that you need to keep in mind. The quality and construction, the size, and style of the fletching jig are going to determine what it can be used for and how useful the jig is. Let’s take a closer look at the main factors to keep in mind before buying.

Material and Construction

One of the most important aspects is the material used in the construction of the fletching jig. Sure, you can go with a cheap and lightweight option made of plastic; plastic is lightweight and cheap, but also not the most durable. It is recommended that you select a fletching jig made of aluminum, alloy, or some other kind of metal. This is something that you don’t want to have to keep buying.

Arrow Types and Size

Something else to pay attention to is what kind of arrows it can handle. Most archers are using carbon arrows, so standard jigs can generally all handle carbon arrows, but some can also handle wooden or aluminum shafts. At the same time, you also want to pay attention to how long and how large an arrow the jig in question can handle. High-quality models will be able to handle all arrow lengths and diameters, but this is not always the case.

Fletching Type and Adjustability

One of the most important factors is what types of fletching the unit is compatible with. We have already discussed fletching types, so keep these in mind when making a selection. Most modern fletching jigs should be able to handle straight, offset, and helical fletching, and most are highly adjustable to make switching between fletching types easy.

Ease of Use

We aren’t going to get too deep into this here, but the fact of the matter is that some fletching jigs are much easier to use than others. Your best bet is to read reviews about the specific jig you are looking at to see how user-friendly it is. Some fletching jig designs take some practice and skill to use properly.

Brand and Price

The other aspect to keep in mind when selecting the right fletching jig for you is what brand name it is and how much the unit costs. Simply put, you get what you pay for, and investing a few extra dollars in a high-quality brand name unit is recommended; it’s always worth paying a bit more for something that will last.

Best Arrow Fletching Jigs Recommendations

Here are some of the most diverse, multi-functional, complete, and user-friendly arrow fletching jigs out on the market at this time.

Bohning Complete Tower System

Many arrow fletching jigs can only handle one or two types of fletching, which is, however, not the case with the Bohning Complete Tower System, which allows you to attach more or less any type of fletching to an arrow shaft. This particular fletching jig allows for 4 inch straight vanes, a 1 degree offset, 3 degree right helical vanes, 1 degree offset for impulse vanes, 2 degree right wing feathers, 2 degree left wing feather arms, and mylar vanes.

What is good about the Bohning Complete Tower System is that it works with all sorts of arrows including carbon and aluminum, plus it works with all arrow shaft diameters too, as it is highly adjustable. Moreover, the Bohning Complete Tower System is also compatible with center posts for F nocks, A nocks, pin nocks, HE nocks, and crossbow bolts.

This particular model is extremely user-friendly, and all of the instructions you will ever need are included. All you have to do is make fine adjustments depending on the type of fletching you wish to attach. It’s one of the most user-friendly and straightforward arrow fletching jigs on the market.

It is also worth noting that the Bohning Complete Tower System is one of the more durable and long-lasting jigs out there, which is kind of surprising considering that it comes in at a fairly low cost.

Read more about Bohning Complete Tower System on Amazon

Bitzenburger/Zenith Fletching Jig and Clamp with Upgrade Kit

In terms of durability, longevity, and the overall quality of the construction, this Bitzenburger/Zenith Fletching Jig is one of the best out there. This model is made with all-metal alloy components, making it extremely rugged. If treated right, it’s the kind of fletching jig that should last a lifetime. Now, this high level of quality and durability comes with a higher price, nearly twice the price of the jig reviewed above.

What does need to be said about the Bitzenburger/Zenith Fletching Jig is that it does take a bit of practice to master. Sure, all of the necessary tools and instructions are included, but that said, it’s not quite as easy to get the hang of as the model reviewed above. That said, this particular jig does come with its own set of benefits, such as that it accepts virtually all nock types without the need to remove the nocks to apply fletching.

Another benefit is that the Bitzenburger/Zenith Fletching Jig accepts all arrow shaft sizes. Moreover, this fletching jig is very versatile in terms of the types of fletching it allows the user to apply to arrow shaft. It comes complete with a self-centering shaft cradle, along with adjustment dials to make fine-tuned adjustments to fletching position.

Yes, it allows for straight, offset, and helical fletching. What’s also nice is that various fletching configurations can be selected from, including 3 fletchings at 120 degrees, 4 fletchings at 75 x 105 degrees, and 4 fletchings at 90 degrees.

Read more about Bitzenburger/Zenith Fletching Jig on Amazon

Conclusion

The bottom line is that the days of applying fletching to arrows by hand is long gone. Sure, some old-school folks may choose to do so manually, but a fletching jig makes life a whole lot easier.

They are great tools that can apply various types of fletchings to arrows in a fast, easy, and very precise manner, plus most fletching jigs can handle all arrow types and sizes too. Just keep the main considerations in mind when selecting the best arrow fletching jig for you, and remember that you get what you pay for. When it comes down to it, the two jigs reviewed here today are some of the best out there.

5 pin bow sights are fantastic bow hunting accessories. They come with a high level of adjustability and they help make shooting easier and more accurate. That being said, there are so many options to choose from that it might make your head spin. Today, we want to talk about all of the factors you should keep in mind when choosing one, so you can get the best 5 pin bow sight for hunting.

In a hurry?

The 5-pin sights from Trophy is a goto brand when it comes to sights and I personally use the Trophy Ridge React Pro Sight and a good friend of my use the Trophy Ridge React H5 5-Pin Bow Sight and we are both very happy with these sights!

How To Choose a 5 Pin Bow Sight

You don’t want to buy just any 5 pin bow sight because you might end up with something that doesn’t suit your needs. There are a variety of factors that you should take into account before making your final purchase.

Pin Size

One of the most important factors to keep in mind is how large the pins s are. This is important, especially for a 5 pin bow sight. The standard pin size is 0.019 inches, although there are also pins that are substantially larger or smaller. What is important to note is that smaller pin sizes tend to allow for more accuracy.

That small pin lets you zero in on a specific part of the target, whereas with a larger pin size, you will cover a whole target with said pin, but being able to zero in on a specific part of that target is not going to be easy. For most general purposes, a pin diameter of 0.019 inches will do just fine, but if you are into really competitive shooting, you may want to opt for a smaller pin size.

Pin Color

Another important factor is what color the pins in the sight are. Color is going to make a difference, a big one. For one, it’s usually best to go with brightly colored pins that are easy to see in most light conditions. If you plan on shooting in low-light conditions, or even during the night, something like a bright green pin would be ideal. However, if you plan on shooting in bright light conditions, something slightly darker would probably serve you better.

What you also need to keep in mind is color contrast. For instance, if you plan on hunting in the woods during the spring and summer, there is going to be a lot of green around, so having green pins might not be best, as the lack of contrast will make the pins hard to see, and therefore harder to aim with.

So, make sure the pins are of a color that stands out against the background you are shooting in, and make sure it’s the right color for the light conditions too.

Pin Brightness

Yet another crucial aspect to think about when purchasing a 5 pin bow sight is how bright the pins are. Although this is related to the color of the pins, it’s not quite the same because there are tons of pin sights out there where the pins are illuminated in some way, whether through electronics or old-school glow-in-the-dark tech.

 Generally speaking, you want there to be some sort of brightness or illumination to the pins, as this will allow the pins to really stand out against any background, thus making it easier to see the pins and to aim with. However, you do not want the pins to be too bright, especially when the light levels are low.

A bright light will ruin your ability to see in the dark and it will wash out your target in light, thus effectively blinding you. Now, the convenient aspect of most modern bow sights, whether single pin or multi-pin, is that for the most part, the brightness level of the pins is usually adjustable, so you can turn the brightness up or down depending on your needs.

Pin Adjustability and Range

So, 5 pin bow sights, of course, have 5 pins, and each of the pins represents a certain distance, which should, therefore, make it easier to aim and hit a target. What is important to consider, for one, is if the pins are fixed or adjustable.

Now, for the most part, 5 pin bow sights will be fixed in nature. In other words, each of the 5 pins represents a distance, such as 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 yards. With fixed sights, those distances cannot be adjusted.

However, there are also more modern 5 pin bow sights which may be adjustable, where you can adjust the position of the pins to represent different distances. This allows you to adjust the pins in various ways to meet your exact hunting needs.

Bowhunting is usually not done at further out than 50 yards, but having a bow sigh than can be adjusted to reach further is still a benefit. However, the trick is that if you adjust the pins for various distances, you do need to be able to remember the distance which each pin is set to.

Overall Adjustability

The next thing to keep in mind is how adjustable the 5 pin bow sight is. Your 5 pin bow sight should be adjustable for windage or wind speed, and angle or elevation. If your bow sight cannot be adjusted for both of these factors, you will find that you will have a hard time hitting your target, especially on a windy day or if shooting from an elevated position.

Moreover, bow sights like this usually have 2 main methods of adjustments to choose from.

Some models require an Allen wrench, or another type of wrench to make adjustments. The benefit is that adjustments are rather permanent in the sense that the bolts will not move on their own, thus things won’t change unless you want them to. However, the downside is that making fine adjustments is a bit more difficult, plus you need a special tool to do so.

The other version to go with is a simple knob or micro-dial. These dials allow you to make adjustments quickly and easily on the fly without the need for any special tools. On the other hand, the knobs or dials may slightly rotate on their own, especially during taking a shot or when you are walking around, thus requiring adjustments to be made more often.

Size and Weight

The next vital factor which you should consider when purchasing a 5 pin bow sight is how large and heavy the model is, with weight being the more important of the two.

Now, in terms of weight, if you have something that is fairly heavy, chances are that the bow sight in question is made with thick and durable materials that will last for some time. Moreover, heavier sights may also be heavier due to the fact that they come with some special features. This will of course make the bow sight larger too.

On the other hand, smaller and lighter bow sights may not be made with overly durable materials, and they probably won’t have any special features either. That said, there are some really high-quality units which are durable and lightweight.

Although durability is key, you want to find something lightweight. Remember that heavy bow sights will throw off your balance, thus making it harder to aim. However, if you have some muscle, a heavier sight may add some stability to the equation. It’s a clear trade-off that you have to think about.

Durability and Construction

Of course, durability is always important. You need to get a bow sight that can handle a decent amount of punishment and will withstand the test of time. Pins can be a bit fragile, depending on what you get.

Now, smaller pin diameters are usually best for accurate aiming, but larger pins are more solid and durable. It’s another trade-off that needs to be considered, and it’s why it is usually best to go with mid-sized pins.

However, if you find a high-quality unit, you might be able to find pins which are both small and durable. Moreover, the overall durability of the sight should considered as well, especially the fiber optics and housing.

A wrapped or reinforce fiber optic housing is always good to have, something that is impact and shock resistant, which can keep the pins safe and sound. Simply put, there are many different bow sights, so read the reviews and be sure that you get a model which is highly rated for durability.

Price, Brand Name, and Warranty

There ae plenty of high quality 5 pin bow sights out there and that being said, the brand name is going to make a difference.

Well-known archery brands are generally going to have higher quality products, whereas generic products usually won’t live up to the strict demands and harsh conditions of bow hunting. What we really mean to say is that you get what you pay for, which is especially true with this kind of thing.

It is strongly recommended that you don’t cheap out and get something really inexpensive; it is worth investing a few extra dollars into something with a high level of durability and lots of useful features. On a side note, you also want to pay attention to the warranty. If you buy something expensive, it should last for a long time, but things can and do go wrong, so having a long-term and all-encompassing warranty is never a bad idea.

Hand Orientation

The final thing you should keep in mind before making a purchase is what the hand orientation of the 5 pin bow sight in question is. Some units are designed for right-handed shooters and others for lefties. There are also many bow sights out there which are ambidextrous and can be used by both left- and right-handed shooters. On a side note, you should look for a model that is easy to mount, and that once it is mounted, it is secure.

Best 5 Pin Bow Sights For Hunting Recommendations

Here we have what that is often considered some of the best 5 pin bow sights for hunting. We have two models that we want to cover, and both are pretty top-notch in their own ways.

Trophy Ridge React Pro Sight

When it comes to high-quality 5 pin bow sights loaded with awesome tech, the Trophy Ridge React Pro Sight might just be the best out there. Now, be aware that this model is quite expensive, but as we mentioned above, you get what you pay for, and you do get a whole lot. Right off the bat, the most impressive feature is the React Technology.

This means that the pins automatically adjust to the optimal locations based on arch calculations, and once 2 pins are accurately sighted in, all other pins will automatically adjust themselves to the appropriate position out to 60 yards; adjusting the pins in a 5 pin bow sight has never been quite this easy.

Something else which stands out about the Trophy Ridge React Pro Sight is that it comes with 4 mounting positions, and it is very easy to mount, plus it can be used by both right- and left-handed shooters. What is also worth noting is that this model is very durable. The Trophy Ridge React Pro Sight is made with stainless steel hardware with a solid aluminum assembly, plus solid pins too. This sight is very durable and tough, but what is surprising is that it’s not overly heavy.

Going back to the pins, there are 5 pins, with all being bright green, except for the center pin, which is red. You can choose from 0.01 and 0.019-inch pins to suit your needs; they are ultra-bright fiber optic pins that are very easy to see, and the brightness level is adjustable.

Finally, the Trophy Ridge React Pro Sight also allows for easy windage, elevation, second axis, and third axis adjustments. It’s one of the most highly adjustable 5 pin sights out there.

Read more about the Trophy Ridge React Pro Sight on Amazon

Trophy Ridge React H5 5-Pin Bow Sight

Here we have a much more affordable 5 pin sight to go with from the same brand name, but less than half the price. Of course, being more affordable means that it doesn’t have quite the same level of quality or number of features, but it will still do just fine for most basic hunting and target shooting needs.

Although this is one of the more affordable models, what is impressive is that it still comes with that same React Tech discussed above. You only have to adjust 2 pins on your own, and using this React Tech, the other pins then adjust themselves. Once again, it’s a very simple yet reliable way to adjust the pins.

What you might also like about the Trophy Ridge React H5 5-Pin Bow Sight is that you can easily make adjustments for windage and elevation, plus second axis adjustments, with simple dials that do not require tools. Although, unlike the model above, this sight does not allow for third axis adjustments.

We want to say that the Trophy Ridge React H5 5-Pin Bow Sight is built tough with all metal components. Now, it’s not quite as tough as the pricier model reviewed above, but it still holds its own. There’s also the fact that this model is easy to mount with 4 mounting positions, and it can be used by both left- and right-handed shooters.

Finally, in terms of the pins, they are high quality and bright fiber optic pins which are easy to see, with an adjustable brightness level, surrounded by an illuminated ring. Keep in mind that the pin size is 0.019.

Read more about the Trophy Ridge React H5 5-Pin Bow Sight on Amazon

Conclusion

If you plan on going hunting and you want a sight that makes shooting easy, especially when it comes to various distance, a good 5 pin bow sight is a great way to go. We have taken a look at two of the best, but there are also many more out there.

The most important thing for you to do is to evaluate what your own needs and skills are, and then compare those with the various factors which we discussed in our buyer’s guide section. If you do this and you take your time doing so, you should have no problems finding the best 5 pin bow sight for hunting.

Image by: Juha Kettunen

Fixed blade broadheads bring a sort of awe, even if you are not a hunter. These deadly tools have been around since the Stone Age and people still use them to hunt.

Like many bowhunters, you are probably proud of the broadheads in your arsenal. So let us help you find the most accurate fixed blade broadhead to add to your collection.

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Muzzy 3-Blade Broadhead Review

Muzzy needs little introduction in the world of bowhunting, and the Muzzy 3-blade broadhead gets our vote for the most accurate of all fixed blade broadheads.

There is a good reason some bowhunters describe this Muzzy as bad to the bone. The hardened steel trocar tip truly maximizes penetration power on contact and slices right through bones.

The tip is there to improve flight stability as well. The is one fixed blade broadhead that’s just as accurate as the best mechanical broadheads. With the 3 ultra-sharp stainless steel fixed blades, you can hunt some of the biggest game with the Muzzy.

It is sold in a pack of 6 broadheads and you have a selection of 3 different grains to match your bow and arrows. The 75-grain broadhead has a 1-inch cutting diameter which goes up to 1-3/16” for the larger 100 and 125-grain broadheads.

The Muzzy 100 is perhaps the most popular of the bunch. It is almost as accurate the 75 and as deadly as the 125. You can even equip your arrows with different sizes of Muzzy 3-blade broadheads, this is it if you want to maximize the blow without affecting flight trajectory. Judging by its power, build quality, and accuracy, you are getting excellent value for the money to boot.

All About Broadheads

While the Muzzy is as accurate as you’re going to get in fixed blade broadheads, let’s take a closer look at what makes a great broadhead. We’ll go over broadhead types, features, and maintenance tips in the following sections.

Broadhead Types

There are five different types of broadhead for various hunting applications. We’re going up to five for educational purchases even though there are only two types (fixed blade and mechanical) as far as the majority of today’s bowhunters are concerned.

Fixed blade

These broadheads don’t have any moving parts. As you might imagine, the fixed blades tend to be far more durable than mechanical blades. Design wise, fixed blade broadheads come with cut-on-contact or chisel tips.

The selection depends on personal preference and the type of game. However, chisel-tip broadheads usually deliver more penetrating power.

Pro Tip: Watch out for accidental cuts with these, especially if you hunt on a tree stand.

Mechanical

This type features retractable blades that only deploy on impact. The retractable blades allow mechanical broadheads to be almost as accurate in flight as field points at the cost of penetrating power. Some of the kinetic energy at the point of impact is used to expand the blades, so theoretically mechanical broadheads will always have less penetrating power than fixed blade broadheads.

In addition, they may not be as durable and require some extra maintenance.

Chisel point

Chisel point broadheads are favored by some hunters who track large game. There is a variety of point profiles to choose from. However, they may not make any noticeable change in penetration depth.

Of course, many fixed blade and mechanical broadheads are equipped with chisel points as well. These categories may overlap some.

Cut-on-contact

These broadheads have blades that run all the way to the tip. This allows them to retain optimal speed on impact. As a result, the game has less time to run away, which translates to less tracking for you.

Cut-on-contact broadheads are great for hunting birds and small mammals, but some even use them for deer hunting.

Blade Count

Broadheads come with 2, 3, or 4 blades. For example, 4-blade broadheads cause a much larger wound, but they are heavier and less aerodynamic and may require some extra care.

Two-blade broadheads are easy to sharpen and they are more durable. These broadheads are narrower, plus they often have a thicker cutting surface than 3- and 4-blade broadheads. Needless to say, they are also more aerodynamic as they’re closer to field points, which can make them more accurate.

3-blade broadheads are pretty much the standard nowadays. They offer the best of both worlds, so to speak. They are near impossible for game animals to dislodge.

4-blade broadheads usually feature two large primary blades and two smaller secondary blades. The cutting diameter is maximized but they may not penetrate as deep as 2- and 3-blade broadheads.

Profile

Take a close look at the shape of a broadhead as it determines the penetration depth and wound size. The available profiles differ greatly. They go from ancient stone heads all the way to fighter jet-like.

In any event, some general principles apply. A slimmer profile means there’s more mass for the cutting surface. These are excellent for smaller game animals since there’s less tearing. In addition, the slim profile may provide more penetration when you hunt animals that have dense muscles like deer or elk.

A wider profile delivers a larger wound which can be helpful for less-than-perfect hits. However, there’s usually less mass per blade and they’re less durable. These broadheads work great for soft tissue game.

Weight

The weight is one of the first things to account for when you go broadhead shopping. At the same time, it can be tricky to zero in. But there are a few common rules that can make the selection easier.

The weight needs to match your arrows. To be exact, flexible arrows are best used with lighter broadheads. Conversely, stiffer arrows can better accommodate heavier broadheads.

Those who hunt with a traditional bow should be fine with heavier broadheads. On the other hand, contemporary compound bows are usually spot-on center shot. So it’s recommended to use the material of the arrow as a guide for the broadhead weight.

For example, thin aluminum and carbon shafts work well with 100-grain broadheads. If you use thick aluminum arrows, 125-grain broadheads may work better. Anything above 125 grains and you’ll need a really powerful bow and exceptionally stiff arrows.

Note: With traditional and off-center shot bows, it would be best to seek professional help as there are even more factors to consider.

Maintenance

It only takes only a few minutes of your time to maintain your broadheads and greatly improve their lifespan and performance. The broadheads need to be sharp, straight, and without any visible damages.

First, inspect for breaks, cracks, and chips. A nicked blade might throw off on impact and is best replaced at the first sign of imperfection. Also check and see if a broadhead wobbles when you try to remove it.

Inspect the mechanism of expandable or mechanical broadheads before use. It should deploy all the way but not before impact. If you use removable blade heads, you might want to have extra sets of blades on hand.

Once you are done inspecting the broadheads, take a closer look at your arrows. As they say, straight as an arrow so they shouldn’t have any deformation or bulges.

You can also remove the broadhead to inspect the threads. It should unscrew and screw easily and sit straight when installed.

Sharpening

Sharpening your broadhead might be challenging if there are a lot of fixed blades. Nevertheless, you should be able to nail the technique with some practice.

Flat diamond stones and whetstones are good options for home use, provided they can reach between the blades. Ceramic and diamond rods are also a viable option. Regardless of the tool, make sure to keep a shallow angle and follow the bevels.

Pocket sharpeners allow you to perform quick touch-ups in the field for razor sharpness. Remember to use a model that’s designed for broadheads, or you might end up with rounded edges.

In addition, avoid pocket sharpeners that sharpen multiple blades at once. They might work but you’ll get the best results by sharpening one blade at a time.

Right on Target

Bowhunting is a demanding discipline and selecting the most accurate broadhead can significantly affect your performance in the field.

You can rely on Muzzy 3-blade broadheads as reviewed above to deliver powerful blows time after time and most of all, you’ll appreciate the superior accuracy. They’re super-sharp and built to last and you get six broadheads in an order. They also come in 3 different grains (two widths) to match your bow and arrows.

Finally, the maintenance is a breeze for these fixed blade broadheads, and they are as durable as they come.

Image by: Florida Fish and Wildlife

Imagine how amazed your child would be when he or she unpacks a brand new crossbow. Crossbow archery is one of the coolest sports indeed. But you never know if the initial amazement is going to wear off after just a few weeks.

This is why you need to make an informed choice. We’ll help you select the best youth crossbow that provides optimal value for money and ease of use.

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Wicked Ridge by TenPoint Ranger Crossbow Package Review

The Wicket Ridge (TenPoint’s budget line) Ranger is designed with small-framed shooters in mind. This is a serious compound crossbow with cams at the end of the limbs. It is lightweight yet powerful and the string is easy to cock.

Including stirrup, the length of the crossbow is 33.9 inches and the un-cocked axel-to-axel width is 22.6 inches. The draw weight is 150 pounds, so your youngster shouldn’t find it hard to cock the bow.

This crossbow features a patented TenPoint ACU-52 cocking mechanism, which is an integrated system with a self-retracting rope. It cuts the draw weight in half and ensures drawing precision time and time again.

The Ranger is capable of firing arrows at up to 300 FPS. This is a package that includes a TenPoint multi-line scope that can help your child land each arrow on target. Plus, you get three 18-inch carbon arrows with 100-grain points and an instant-detach quiver for the arrows.

Without the accessories, the Wicked Ridge Ranger weighs 5.9 pounds. Your youngster shouldn’t have any problems carrying the crossbow on hunting trips or to the archery range

Another element that stands out is the foregrip. The elongated safety wings keep your child’s hand away from the string release path. And the crossbow also comes with a trigger guard.

Considering the performance, build quality, and safety features, the Ranger offers excellent value despite the higher price range. And even if your child loses interest after some time, this crossbow is suitable for all ages, including you.

PSE Archery Jolt Crossbow Package Review

Looking for a budget crossbow? The PSE Jolt is well-worth your attention. For the price, it can hold its own against other recurve crossbows (within reason). As you might have guessed, this isn’t a compound crossbow like the much more expensive Wicked Ridge Ranger.

The Jolt is 32 inches long and 27.5 inches wide when un-cocked. At 5.8 pounds, this model is among the lightest youth crossbows.

This PSE crossbow sports a CNC-machined barrel and recurve limbs for better stability and power. It is also silent thanks to the rubber string groove that reduces vibration and sound. Plus, it comes with a few safety features.

The anti-dry fire prevents a beginner archer from accidentally firing the crossbow without an arrow, which can destroy the bow. There is also an integrated foregrip with wide grooves that ensure better handling and safety. On top of that, the pistol grip and extendable shoulder stock improve the overall ease of use.

The package includes an illuminated scope, 4 aluminum arrows, quiver, cocking device, rail wax lube, and rubber string grooves.

Everything You Need to Know about Youth Crossbows

The following sections should help you select the best crossbow for your child. It covers everything from safety to desirable accessories, so feel free to check it out.

Safety Aspects of Youth Crossbows

Without a doubt, crossbows can cause some serious damage, to both the target and the user, which makes safety the top priority for any parents.

The first thing to do when you get a crossbow is to give it a thorough look. Inspect the string, cables, bolts, and other elements to ensure the unit is properly assembled. If something seems off, you shouldn’t try to fix it on your own.

The anti-dry fire mechanism is now equipped in all current product crossbows. It protects the integrity of the crossbow and prevents injury that might result from dry firing. The triggering mechanism needs to have a safety lock and make sure your child keeps it engaged until he or she is ready to shoot.

Arrow selection is another crucial safety aspect. The crossbows featured in this article come with proper arrows, so you can have peace of mind there. But if you want to get extra arrows, make sure to look for the right length, stiffness, and weight for your bow.

Proper safety mechanisms and arrows are just the beginning. To ensure risk-free operation, you need to teach your child how to handle the crossbow. This means keeping the fingers away from the arrow track and cables/strings. Instruct your child to point the crossbow in a safe direction at all times, even if it’s not loaded.

Before loading the arrow, inspect if the crossbow is cocked the right way. There is a clicking sound to confirm it’s fully cocked. The crossbow becomes uncocked only after it’s fired. In other words, your child mustn’t attempt to uncock it by hand or with a cocking device.

A crossbow requires some maintenance to keep in perfect working order. It usually involves lubricating the cables and string to prevent white fuzz. Depending on the model, you might need to apply lube after every 5 or 10 shots.

Draw Weight and Speed

The draw weight and speed can vary significantly from one model to another.

At the low end, there are youth crossbows with a draw weight of 100 pounds, which should be suitable for even the youngest of shooters, since the draw is assisted by the construction of the crossbow (you’re not actually moving 100 lbs.). On the other hand, the draw weight can go all the way up to 185 pounds.

When making a selection, consider your child’s age and strength and find a crossbow that he or she won’t struggle to draw. However, you should know that greater draw power doesn’t always translate to more speed.

For example, there are models with 175 pounds of draw weight that can only fire arrows up to 240 FPS. That’s because there are other factors that come into play. But with all equal, a higher draw weight will result in a higher FPS.

It should only take a few seconds to draw a youth crossbow. With practice, your child should be able to do it quicker. We’ll come back to this later.

Price and Affordability

There is a youth crossbow for every budget. But you may not want to skimp as the really cheap models might compromise build quality and or safety features.

Rather than focusing on the price, take a look at what a crossbow has to offer. The material is a good place to start. Carbon fiber crossbows may be the best choice, but they’ll also come with premium price tags.

The number of accessories that come with the crossbow will affect the price as well. Experts and seasoned archers usually go for the bare crossbow since they may already have everything else. For a novice, you’re better off going with a package that comes with every you need to start shooting. Packages usually reflect a discount compared to buying everything separately.

Some packages may come with all standard accessories. Some may include a superior scope or special arrows. You’ll just have to weigh everything before you pull the plug.

Take the PSE Jolt as an example. The package comes with 4 arrows and some maintenance gear.

Weight and Dimensions

Compared to adult crossbows, youth crossbows weigh much less for the fact that they are smaller. On average, the bare bow weighs around 5 pounds. And there are even smaller models that can come in at 4 pounds on less.

But you may not want to go for the lightest crossbow you can find. Especially with the budget models, it usually means more plastic parts and lower durability and quality.

As for dimensions, the first measurement you encounter might be the axel-to-axel width. The uncocked width ranges from around 18 to 27 inches. More width might make the crossbow top heavy, especially for very young shooters.

This brings us to the matter of crossbow balance. A good crossbow needs to have an even weight distribution for its size to allow for easier handling and targeting. As a rule, a child should be able to easily pick up a loaded crossbow without any strain in the arms or shoulder.

Some models, like the PSE Jolt, feature an extendable shoulder stock that lets you adjust the overall length and achieve more stability.

Quality

A few factors determine the quality of a youth crossbow and the materials are the first thing to consider. You should look for a good combination of machined aluminum and high-quality plastic. Carbon fiber is also an excellent option if you are ready to spend more.

All of the mechanical elements need to be integrated or securely bolted to the crossbow body. In other words, the whole thing needs to feel solid and rigid. The string and cables affect the crossbow’s quality as well. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes and can influence the crossbow’s performance.

The common string materials are synthetic, polyester, and natural fiber. The material affects the string friction and the way you attach it to the bow. Regardless of the material, you should go for a crossbow that comes with a sting with reinforced looping to prevent stretching or breakage.

Only compound crossbows come with cables, which operate the cams and in essence help you draw the crossbow. That’s why compound crossbows are capable of much higher draw weight and kinetic energy/speed.

Having a great scope and carbon arrows also adds points for quality. A good scope has to come with a metal casing and high-quality optics so that the sight is bright and clear. Carbon arrows provide superior durability and greater range.

Speed

The speed is measured in FPS (feet per second) and most modern crossbows are rated between 235 and 300 FPS. There are a few compound crossbows that might reach up to 330 FPS, but this may be in flux as manufacturers come up with more and more advanced crossbows.

When considering the speed, you should think about your child’s purpose for using the bow. For example, if you want to take the young one hunting, it would be better to choose a faster crossbow. This way you maximize the chances of a hit even with a moving target.

Most hunting jurisdictions require certain specs for bow hunting to prevent unnecessary suffering as you’re not going to be able to shoot to kill with a weak crossbow.

You might be wondering what are the other aspects that affect the speed since we’ve established that the draw weight isn’t the only one. The limbs play a major part as well, of course, as the draw is only to tense the limbs and store potential energy. This can be further enhanced by the use of cams as seen on compound crossbows.

The good strings are usually made of high-end synthetic fibers or linen. As for the limbs, you might guess that carbon fiber is desirable. However, the traditional laminated wood and aluminum alloy limbs can also deliver decent speeds, especially with youth crossbows.

Youth Crossbows vs. Regular Bows for Hunting

Youth crossbows may be more desirable than regular bows for hunting purposes.

First comes the size. Compared to regular bows, crossbows are much more compact and easier to carry around in the woods. Moreover, contemporary models are as lightweight as most regular bows.

The accuracy, of course, depends on the shooter, but crossbows might offer some advantage especially for youths. They have a string lock that ensures consistent shooting and a rail that keeps the arrow still. And don’t forget the scope – it is much easier to use on a crossbow than on a regular bow since you’ll be able to aim almost like a rifle.

In addition, you should factor in the draw. Crossbows come with a drawing mechanism that keeps your fingers and forearms away from the string. Also, you don’t have to draw and hold like a regular bow. And think about the design as well.

You can hold a crossbow like a rifle and press a trigger to release the arrow. So there is no way for the string to come in contact with their hands or forearms. With regular bows, you need to use a thumb release or fingers, which just brings more safety concerns.

Overall, it should be easier for you to teach a child how to use a crossbow. The only compromise is the time it takes to cock and arm a crossbow.

Good Accessories for Crossbows

There are a bunch of crossbow accessories to choose from. Here are what you’ll need to make it fun and easy for your child to use the bow.

Cocking Device

Unless the crossbow features an integrated cocking device, you really need to get one. This is usually a winch-operated gadget that mounts on the crossbow. It allows the child to easily cock the crossbow, regardless of the draw weight.

Sling

If you want to take your child hunting, a crossbow sling is a must. It makes walking with the crossbow a breeze.

Case

The case is another essential accessory for a few reasons. It protects the crossbow and the optics during transport. In addition, you can store arrows and other crossbow accessories in the case.

Choose one that has soft protection on the inside and a 330° zipper, which allows you to quickly access all the contents.

Targets

There are special targets just for crossbows that can withstand the higher kinetic energy of a crossbow arrow.

The usual options include 3D competition and practice targets, bags, and foam block targets. Bags are the most affordable option, mostly used with field points. 3D targets come in various shapes and sizes that mimic game animals.

Holders

Holders or stands keep the crossover safely stashed away. They are a great option for the home or even at the range. The crossbow would point downward, but it’s still at hand when you want to use it.

Scope

On any hunting trip, chances are you are going to be well away from your target. There are a few different scopes to choose from, including fiber optics, red dot, or laser sight.

And guess what? The bows reviewed in this article come with an excellent scope. So there’s one less accessory to worry about.

Quiver

The quiver is another absolute necessity on hunting trips and at the archery range. It needs to be strong enough to support broadheads. And there are quivers that attach to your belt or to the crossbow.

Both the Wicked Ridge Ranger and the PSE Jolt come with a quiver that attaches to the crossbow and supports broadheads.

Monopods and Bipods

These accessories are designed to provide additional stability and accuracy, which is important for young archers or bowhunters who are just starting out. A monopod or bipod makes it easy for them to find the shooting position. Plus, they don’t have to worry about shaky hands on hunting trips.

Noise Dampeners

When hunting, one of the biggest challenges is to stay silent. All crossbows make some amount of noise since the energy conversion to the arrow’s kinetic energy isn’t 100% efficient, so it’s worth considering a dampening kit. It applies to the crossbow’s foot stirrup, string, and limbs to reduce vibration and noise.

Trigger and Rail Lube

You should teach your child crossbow maintenance from the start. It’s important to note that common lubes might leave residue or damage the bow, so consider a lube that’s specially designed for crossbows. Show your youngster the love and care that a soldier or sharpshooter gives to their prized rifles and it might inspire him or her to do the same.

String Wax

The string is a vital crossbow component. As such, it needs to work smoothly and efficiently at all times. Applying wax to the string protects it and ensures its longevity. And again, you need to use crossbow wax or risk gumming up the string.

Discharge Target

The only safe way to uncock a crossbow is to fire at a target. This is where discharge targets come in handy, especially on hunting trips. You should use a field point when you shoot at the discharge target to prevent damaging your broadhead.

The Final Word

Hopefully, you are now armed with everything you need to know about selecting the best youth crossbow for your child.

First of all, find a model that fits your child in terms of size and weight. Make the build quality and safety features your top priorities. Unless you already have the accessories, for a new archer, you’re better off with the crossbow package than the bare crossbow.

Any way you slice it, the Wicked Ridge Ranger is an awesome compound crossbow in its price range. The package comes with an excellent scope and three carbon arrows. More importantly, it sports a safety drawing mechanism.

What constitutes a clean release? Letting go of the bowstring when it’s at full draw. That’s because, at that point, the highest amount of energy stored in the limbs is transferred to the arrow and allows it to reach its target at an optimum speed.

Archers use different types of releases. And, if you’re an avid hunter that’s struggling to master the clean release, a release aid may be your best course of action. Consider getting the best thumb release for hunting applications if you want to stop going home empty-handed.

Related articles:

Spot Hogg Wiseguy Release Buckle Review

The Spot Hogg Wiseguy Rigid Nylon Release was constructed specifically for avid hunters who want a wrist-strap-style release, but with the same accuracy and quality as a target release.

This release is one of the easiest to use of its kind. The extra support for the little finger helps reduce the amount of physical stress at full draw.

The jaws swivel 360 degrees. This is helpful for adjusting shooting angles. It also makes the thumb release ideal for both right and left-handed archers.

The design is compact yet the build quality is solid. Making screw adjustments is easy and the light weight allows you to carry and use the thumb release for many hours in the woods.

The pricing is surprising too. As one of the more affordable thumb releases on the market, the Max Hunter Pro 3 performs well above its price range.

Both the handle and the head are made of a quality aluminum alloy. The surface of the grooves is smooth and leaves no room for accidental cuts even when using on a large compound bow.

The trigger release is the most important feature. The trigger is highly sensitive, which means it will facilitate very fast arrow releases. This helps to deal with target panic and the inability to maintain the aim at maximum draw.

Tru-Fire Hardcore Revolution Release Review

This is another interesting choice if you’re looking for maximum stability from your thumb trigger release and it’s worth considering if you’re on a tight budget. The Tru-Fire Hardcore Revolution is sleek, solidly built, and loaded with customization options.

The head turns 360 degrees and the thumb trigger can be adjusted for both right and left-handed archers. The trigger comes with customizable sensitivity levels too, as you will find 16 different positions to experiment with.

Perhaps more suited for highly skilled archers, the Tru-Fire Hardcore Revolution thumb release is a solid choice if you want to improve the consistency of your shots and avoid any unwanted delays when taking aim.

Bow Release Aids and the Value of the Thumb Release

Bow releases are also known as release aids, mechanical releases, or simply releases. They are archery accessories that help archers overcome certain psychological blocks as well as correct technique flaws to some degree.

What Is a Thumb Trigger?

A thumb trigger is known as a release aid which facilitates a quick arrow release while also reducing some of the noise created by this action.

Types of Bow Releases

Compound bow archers have the most variety when it comes to release aids.

Thumb trigger release

Thumb releases are mostly used on compound bows. They feature a handheld sling trigger mechanism which is also sometimes used on recurve bows.

You may want to consider a thumb release aid if you’re a 3D competitor. One of the benefits of the thumb trigger is that it can double as a back tension release, which most archers find comfortable and easy to master.

Index finger trigger release

The index finger release uses a wrist strap or caliper and has similar uses as a thumb trigger release.

Back tension hinge release

This can be used as a handheld release, with a wrist strap and a caliper. It’s considered a cure or corrective accessory for target panic.

Finger Tabs

Finger tabs offer a good feel of the string but they also leave the fingertips exposed. They’re classified as handheld bow release aids and compatible with all types of bows and strings.

Gloves

Gloves don’t have a complex mechanism behind them. They’re used mostly for the protection of your hands and fingers but may also help maintain a longer draw. At the same time, they offer less feel of the string.

As a side note, it’s important to distinguish between back tension releases and thumb releases. Although both aids work in the same way mechanically, thumb trigger releases don’t ever come with wrist straps.

They feature the classic 3 or 4-groove finger rest and a small sling at the end which releases the string when the trigger is activated.

Understanding the Thumb Trigger Release

It’s important to understand that shot execution is the most important when it comes to hitting your target. Perfectly executed shots can be done without release aids or with index finger release aids, thumb triggers, and anything else along those lines.

A thumb trigger release won’t make you more accurate if your technique and mechanics are awful. However, most expert archers would agree that the popularity of thumb triggers comes from their ease of use.

The thumb release is easier to learn and master than the index finger release. Also, using a release aid in general allows you to capitalize on repeatability. You get more consistent shots off with minimal jerking to make up for the archer’s lack of experience.

What’s also important to know is that a thumb trigger release aid doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to use your thumb to manually trigger a release. Most often than not, reaching the appropriate amount of tension will simply pull your thumb into the trigger and release the arrow.

How to Use a Thumb Release

Archers develop their own “techniques” or preferred methods of release. Therefore, there’s no definitive way of doing things when using a thumb trigger. However, there are a few general guidelines that you should follow while practicing with this accessory.

The thumb shouldn’t activate the trigger. Instead, you make use of the tension buildup between your shoulders. As you pull back and build up tension, your release hand rotates in such a way that the trigger is pushed against the thumb.

Hence, the thumb does trigger the arrow release but you don’t do it by moving it on purpose.

Features to Consider – Tips for Buyers

Different manufacturers have their own unique details and design features that make their release aids ideal for certain situations. For example, not all thumb triggers on the market have a fine trigger.

Trigger Sensitivity

The more sensitive the trigger is, the faster you can release the arrow. This may be the difference between getting a clean kill and maiming an animal. If you’re looking for less drag, sensitive triggers are the way to go.

Practice Features

Some thumb releases are designed to be beginner-friendly and actual teaching instruments. A thumb release with trainer lock, like those offered by Stan, is recommended for inexperienced archers.

Trigger Customization

Being able to configure your trigger the way you want can also make a big difference in your hunting experience. Look out for triggers that allow you to adjust the tilt, angle, and projection.

String Compatibility

Without good compatibility between the string of your bow and the release, you won’t have a good time no matter what you’re shooting at.

Make sure that the release you have your eyes set on is compatible with your setup: D-loops, string fasteners, metal tabs, etc. You’re unlikely to make it work if the attachment points don’t match.

Finger Grooves

Notice that thumb releases come with either three or four finger grooves. Some archers may argue that a 3-finger grove design is easier to hold in the long run.

However, it comes down to personal preference really. 4-finger grooves do give a sense of better stability.

It’s also important to check how deep the fingers go and how smooth the edges on the grooves are. Poorly made thumb releases often add too much friction and may cause blisters after intensive use.

What You Need to Know about Hunting with Thumb Releases

So what makes thumb triggers so great for hunters? One of the reasons has to do with noise levels. Because of the way the thumb release mechanism works, there’s little to no clicking noise when you release the arrow.

Of course, the actual noise levels will vary depending on the design of the release aid. But it is important that you don’t give away your position that easily, especially if you’re stalking from close to medium range.

The ease of use relative to a wrist release aid is far better. Any attachment, no matter how useful, is essentially one more thing that can get in your way. Wrist releases have a tendency to do so.

Hunters that use thumb release triggers have the option of removing the handheld release at any point. Especially if the model can clip onto the D-loop with a locking jaw.

Thumb releases also have great adjustability in comparison to wrist releases.

Thumb triggers are known for solving certain target panic issues. Target panic describes premature releases or an inability to maintain the aim on the target’s center mass.

Because the handheld release doesn’t actually need a finger to trigger a release, it allows more time for the archer to set up a perfect execution. The trigger will be activated when the proper tension is achieved and the thumb is pulled into the trigger.

Last but not least, you also have to consider carrying around a spare. The thumb trigger release is known for having the highest number of moving parts and the most complex mechanism of the lot. This means that many things can go wrong and cause your release mechanism to break down.

Conclusion

By now it should be clear that finding the best thumb release for hunting is all about balancing specific features and preferably without having to overpay. If you’ve also picked the Tru-Ball Max Hunter Pro 3 as the top dog, it’s quite understandable.

The trigger sensitivity is hard to beat in or outside its price range. The compatibility with left and right-handed shooting is even better, and the build quality as well as the comfort of the 4-groove design is just what hunters and competitive archers need.

That’s not to say that the Tru-Fire doesn’t make a very good run at the number one spot. However, it is not perfectly tuned out of the box and may require more practice and tinkering before improving your technique.