For modern compound bows with a short axle-to-axle distance a bow release is critical for consistent accuracy. Fortunately there is a broad array of release choices from simple to complex and from purely target shooting to hunting only. For this review we'll be taking a look at the Patriot and Patriot JR, which are entry level bow releases manufactured by Tru-Fire of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
The Patriot (back) and Patriot JR (front).
Tru-Fire is a bow hunter focused company and is best known for their wide variety of bow releases, but they also produce a line of mechanical and fixed blade broadheads. The Patriot and Patriot JR are the cheapest releases in their lineup and at $25 for the Patriot and around $23 for the JR, they are one of the least costly releases on the market from a major brand.
The Patriot JR is for kids or those that need a particularly short release. While construction of the trigger assembly and connecting rod is identical, the JR features a roughly half inch shorter connecting rod and a much smaller wrist strap. For most kids the Patriot JR will fit perfectly.
Trigger adjustment is accomplished by turning a small screw on the back side of the trigger assembly. Tru-Fire recommends making adjustments in ¼ turn increments and testing for premature release by using an old bow or shoe string which is good advice that applies to making adjustments to the trigger on any release. Out of the box, the trigger has a little bit of creep, but breaks cleanly and is predictable.
Either release has an adjustable trigger by turning the small screw at the back of the trigger.
The trigger assembly is solidly constructed, pictured here with the jaws open.
The trigger head rotates a full 360 degrees and thus makes the Patriot and JR versions appropriate for either a right hand or left hand shooter. The connecting rod is attached to the leather of the strap by a bolt which allows the trigger head assembly to pivot left or right in the hand relative to the bow string. This is fairly common in most strap type bow releases.
The strap is made of leather and a long length of velcro. While buckle straps give a more consistent anchor on the wrist, the velcro works well as long as you make sure to securely strap it down before a shooting session. Failure to completely secure the velcro can allow the release strap to slip some on the wrist.
Either release uses a length of velcro to strap the release to your wrist.
Perhaps the only downside to the release is its limited amount of length adjustment. The connecting bolt can be reattached a half inch back on the strap to reduce the release length a bit, but that is it. Because of the low cost, the Patriot lacks any other kind of length adjustment, for this reason it would be best to visit your local archery supplier and try on a Patriot before purchase to assure it will fit your hand and shooting style.
The Patriot JR (front) is a smaller and shorter release than the Patriot (back).
Notice that either release can be shortened by moving to the inside bolt hold
visible on the leather portion of the strap.
Overall the Patriot is a great economical bow release. There are a lot fancier releases on the market but the combination of low cost, durability, and a limited lifetime warranty from Tru-Fire, makes the Patriot a worthwhile consideration. Just make sure it fits your hand or your young shooter's hand before purchase.
For more information visit Tru-Fire .