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Finger tab

Finger tab

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A finger tab or Archer Tab used in archery
Archery
Archery is the art, practice, or skill of propelling arrows with the use of a bow, from Latin arcus. Archery has historically been used for hunting and combat; in modern times, however, its main use is that of a recreational activity...

 is a small leather
Leather
Leather is a durable and flexible material created via the tanning of putrescible animal rawhide and skin, primarily cattlehide. It can be produced through different manufacturing processes, ranging from cottage industry to heavy industry.-Forms:...

 or synthetic patch that protects an archer's fingers from the bowstring. It is strapped or otherwise attached to an archer's hand. In summertime, tabs are far more comfortable than gloves and can more conveniently use thicker material. They are also less expensive and easier to fit, and are the normal finger-protection used with bows.

The tab usually has a retaining loop on the back of the tab that fits over the middle finger, which is simply there to keep the tab on the fingers when the string is loosed. Tabs come in various forms. The simplest is made of a single patch that is placed below the nocking point between the fingers and the string. This style of shooting is called 'Three finger under'. These are most often used in barebow or longbow
Longbow
A longbow is a type of bow that is tall ; this will allow its user a fairly long draw, at least to the jaw....

 styles of archery.

More complex tabs have a split about one third down the leading edge so that the fingers can be placed with one finger above and two fingers below the nocking point of the arrow. This style of shooting is called split finger or Mediterranean Draw
Bow draw
A bow draw is the method used to draw a bow. Currently, the most common method is the Mediterranean draw, long the usual method in European archery. Other methods include the pinch draw and the Mongolian draw.- Pinch draw or "primary release":...

. The tab may also have a platform that is attached to the back of the tab and forms a flat cover over the top, to give the archer a hard reference point underneath the chin when the string is drawn back. Platform tabs are more common for recurve
Recurve bow
In archery, the shape of the bow is usually taken to be the view from the side. It is the product of the complex relationship of material stresses, designed by a bowyer...

 or Olympic Class target archery.

A thumb ring
Thumb ring
A thumb ring is a piece of equipment designed to protect the thumb during archery. This is a ring of leather, stone, horn, wood, ivory, metal, ceramics, plastic, or glass or which fits over the end of the thumb, coming to rest at the outer edge of the outer joint...

 or thumb tab is used similarly to protect the thumb by archers practising the Mongolian draw
Bow draw
A bow draw is the method used to draw a bow. Currently, the most common method is the Mediterranean draw, long the usual method in European archery. Other methods include the pinch draw and the Mongolian draw.- Pinch draw or "primary release":...

. The Japanese yugake is a reinforced glove with a special ridge which holds the string.

In the past 25 years mechanical releases have become popular. The mechanism is usually attached to the wrist; it holds the string, and releases it when triggered.

The term tab is of uncertain origin, perhaps an alteration of tag (small hanging piece).