Over the last couple of days, I've gotten hooked - again - on slingshots.
It started innocently over here in this thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=661388). I found myself getting so excited about the concept that I was starting to hijack the OP's thread, so instead, I thought I'd just start one of my own to explore this more.
Here's my first substantive post in that thread, for background to this one.
Well, dang. I'm hooked.
I dropped in on this thread on a whim a couple of nights ago and posted, not really thinking I'd stay long. But now that it's in my thread subscriptions, I got pulled back by 22's post. And having a nice slingshot in the wilderness kit - or at least the makings for one - couldn't hurt. At the very least, I could use it to plink pine cones, and I might even be able to add a little meat to the stew pot with one. Would be fun to try (to keep from opening a can of sardines or anchovies, or ... worse). And I'm about to take my first camping trips <--- note plural ) in over a year during the next few months in some big, rugged country, and I plan to make it fun and try out some new gear that I'm researching now (for example, a large knife/machete for chopping and batoning wood for fire and shelter).
So, I'm in.
As a kid, I loved slingshots. I'm not sure how old I was when I got my first, but around five or six. My dad loved them, too, especially wrist rockets. We'd take one to the county landfill (aka 'dump') when we went (this was in the '50's) and shoot cans and bottles. Loads of fun.
I never hunted with one, but can see that it would be totally doable. And quiet, especially in places where one would prefer not to announce presence with a small caliber report. (Even .22 shorts and pellet guns make more noise than a sling shot.)
I haven't owned one in years, but have watched some of Joerg's videos.
I can see there's going to be some nice tips in here, so I'll hang out and learn.
Question: if you were going to buy a Cadillac of slingshots, what would it be?
Here's the one that followed that.
See, I knew I'd get sucked in. :uhoh:
I've just spent a bit of time searching and bookmarking. Very interesting reading.
Here's a decent article on "what to buy" (http://www.melchiormenzel.de/info_buy.html), an overview survey of SS makers with comments about quality.
From that, I found the Trumark (http://www.slingshots.com/) and Sanders (http://www.sausa.com/category.php?category=16) pages.
Here's a nice little pictorial on Saunders models (http://www.melchiormenzel.de/slingshots_modern_saunders.html) which is part of a much large site just called "The Slingshots Page (http://www.melchiormenzel.de/)".
And check out the fiber optic sites on this Trumark (http://www.slingshots.com/html/sling-shot-fsx2000.html). Tacticool SS or what? :cool:
SlingshotShop.com (http://www.slingshotshop.com/) looks like a useful resource, as does Archery Exchange (http://www.archeryexchange.com/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=196&cat=Slingshots+%26+Accessories%20title='Slingshots%20&%20Accessories') (several Saunders available there).
Geez, why do I feel like a kid? :)
Added by edit: From what I've read so far, I'm guessing the Saunders Wrist Rocket Pro (http://www.sausa.com/product.php?product_pk1=2) may be the Cadillac. Or maybe the Porsche.
Also, found a forum devoted to slingshots (http://talk.slingshots.com/forums/index.php); appears to be connected to the Trumark pages.
Followed by this one.
Well, I'm about ready to pull out the credit card for a Saunders Falcon 2. Just under $20 plus shipping.
So, another question: any body know of a source of inexpensive balls - preferably metal - in the 1/4" to 3/8" range?
Saunders sells balls, and they come with some of their 'packages', but they're not necessarily as cheap as I suspect they could be. (but for that package, shipping is free, so ... )
I'm thinking of steel buckshot or used ball bearings. I've searched a bit for both in bulk, but I'm not having much luck so far.
After that post, I learned some new stuff about the Falcon 2,
but decided to explore it here more rather than there so I didn't hijack the OP's thread any further.
Here's what I learned that I have a question about. In the second review of this Amazon page (http://www.amazon.com/Saunders-Falcon-Wrist-Rocket-Slightshot/product-reviews/B000HE9YMY/ref=cm_cr_pr_hist_5?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addFiveStar&showViewpoints=0) about the Falcon 2, the author claims that the pouch of the Falcon 2 will only shoot 1/2" balls, that 1/4" and 3/8" won't work in it. Further, shoot rocks in it is out of the question. The issue seems to be about the pouch design; it's hard plastic designed to hold the 1/2" ball, not smaller ones, let alone asymmetrical rocks.
So, my next question (in addition to all those above) is, where can I find a pouch for a Falcon 2 that will accommodate smaller balls and even rocks that I can add to a set of good double bands, and how do I make that modification? That is, how do I attach a new pouch to the flat bands?
And what flat bands do you recommend? I've seen reference on youtube to a set of bands for the Falcon 2 created by "Slingshot Bill" (who reportedly was much involved in the Falcon 2 design), but can't find reference to them.
I've got some other questions, too - hence the thread name "Slingshot primer" - but I'll save those for later.
Muchas gracias in advance.
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June 3, 2012, 08:48 PM
Got two responses to my questions over there. I'll post them here for completeness.
The 1/4" steel balls are sold in stores like Kmart and I would guess Walmart and are made for slinghots.
I buy cheap taconite slingshot ammo on Ebay. It's dirty, but excellent for plinking. I save the steel balls for hunting.
Fun Fact: In New York State---yes, where I live---slingshots with wrist supports are illegal. Okay, it's not a fun fact, just a plain fact.
June 3, 2012, 09:04 PM
Just found this video by Joerg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztpBkviDKIw) - who is a THR member (I mentioned his videos above) - that is relevant to this thread. In particular, in the video, he compares the Saunders hawk to a different slingshot by Fish. He raises the issue about both the pouch and the bands of the Saunders, and prefers the Fish.
Clearly, I've got more to learn. But I still want a wrist rocket because I'm a small man, not a big guy like Joerg.
June 3, 2012, 09:52 PM
The Slingshot Forum and the Trumark Forum are get places to talk shop about Slingshots old and the new custom makers of hunting slingshots.
June 3, 2012, 09:58 PM
This wiki article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slingshot) also offers useful background for a primer.
June 3, 2012, 10:32 PM
Liking this one (http://www.slingshots.com/html/sling-shots-fs1.html) best at the moment. Tubular bands. Even though not the preference of target shooters (they like the double flats), this article (http://www.slingshots.com/html/slingshot-bands-rr1.html) contends that the tubes are more stable over time, and are less likely to cause eye injury, and accept 5/16" and 3/8" balls.
Tubes are actually a lot slower than flat bands. They do last a bit longer, but that is pretty much where the advantages end. Most of the mass produced slingshots are sold with tubes (Saunders beeing the exception), simply because it is cheaper.
You can very easily make your own flat bands, way more powerful than tubes and with less of a draw weight. You can make your flat bands matching the weight and type of your ammo perfectly well.
A typical bandset, made at home, will cost about 2 dollars. It will outperform store bought bandsets by a great deal.
You can find the link to my "band manual" (free) and my online band dimension calculatore here:
Making your own slingshot from a wooden fork is easy, and fun. See this video, for example:
As for the Saunders bands, Bill "Texshooter" Harriman makes great replacement bands with leather pouches. See this video:
June 4, 2012, 02:21 PM
There is one thing about slingshots that I suffer some confusion... are we seeking blunt force injury to take the game or penetration? When David took down Goliath, it was blunt force injury but he could certainly get some serious velocity on the projectile with a sling versus slingshot.
June 4, 2012, 03:40 PM
And check out the fiber optic sites on this Trumark. Tacticool SS or what?
Only nubies would go for this. A slingshot is an instinctive weapon, practice enough, judging distances and POI become second nature.
I have used slingshots with .36 lead balls on rabbits where they would almost go through and through. .44 LB was best for blunt force trauma, they died quicker from it than the penetrating shot with .36 LB.
Speaking of flat bands, I will give away my age here. But when a kid, I could get old used red inner tubes for free from filling stations, I became a hoarder and connoisseur of them for making bands from. It was almost a disaster for kids using slingshots when the latex red inner tube supply dried up and were replaced by the black synthetic ones,
Was stationed in Germany 1956-58, we were once on maneuvers when some communication equipment came in packaged with large sheets of latex rubber. Another country guy and I pounced on them for making slingshots, we killed three hares and a rook the first time out. The city boys were fascinated and almost overnight half the company was running around shooting slingshots. It all came to an abrupt end when someone put a 1/2” nut through the windshield of the CO’s jeep.
June 4, 2012, 10:51 PM
Only nubies would go for this. A slingshot is an instinctive weapon, practice enough and judging distances and POI become second nature. I thoroughly agree, Hang Fire. I guess those fiber optics might help some, but it seems more of a gimmick.
Interesting point about .44 v .36. Filing that one away for use.
Joerg, thanks much for your advice. I was hoping you'd stop in here and offer your thoughts. :)
Will definitely check out all those links, starting now with a late dinner. I may have some questions later ...
June 5, 2012, 12:49 AM
Joerg, after watching Slingshot Channel videos and reading pages for about 2 hours,
my new interest is in the Dankung Cougar (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zLnudI-ArHg#!). Metal, tubes and flat bands. I understand the grip now.
From where do you recommend that I purchase one?
June 5, 2012, 01:11 AM
This (http://www.dankung.com/emart/the-cougar%C3%82%E2%80%9C-%C3%82%E2%80%93-the-first-%C3%82%E2%80%9Cglobal%C3%82%E2%80%9D-slingshot-by-j%C3%83%C2%B6rg-sprave-p-322.html) seems to be the place to get a Cougar.
June 5, 2012, 01:51 AM
Only nubies would go for this. A slingshot is an instinctive weapon, practice enough and judging distances and POI become second nature.
[ -snip- ]
Old Rufus Hussey would agree. Sadly, he is no longer with us, but there's a video record (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ieWrWLjii0) of the old "bean shooter" at work.
June 5, 2012, 09:30 AM
sling-shotting is fun. this is how i'm introducing my boys to marksmanship. it definitely teaches you how to instinctively aim and shoot. i don't want sights, scopes, or any fancy gadgets. just a boy/man and a slingshot, and lots of rocks, marbles, and steel balls is enough.
June 5, 2012, 10:03 AM
I just got into slingshots...
Take Joerg's advice, forget the commercial surgical tube wrist braced slingshots and go with a flat band from a smaller custom maker like pocketpredator.com or flippinoutslingshots.com - it makes all the difference in the world. $25 will get you a fabulous shooter. Just for the hell of it, I re-banded my old wristrockets with store-bought Daisy tubes and pouches and it shoots horribly... heavy pull, weak power, and I can't hit anything with it. It would definitely turn me away from what is otherwise a great sport/hobby.
I have a safe full of guns, compound and recurve bows, and high-end German air guns.... I have to say that a decent flatband slingshot is more fun than all of them. It has something to do with being a bit more challenging (without sights); the added dimension of you proving the power/propellant (like a bow); ability to customize power (like a reloader); extreme low cost and maintenance; and, of course, the ability to shoot/carry anywhere (except NJ). And make no mistake, modern flatband slingshots are as inherently accurate as pistols and can be as lethal on small game at close range. OK, so it's not much of a self-defense tool, but I'm glad as it would wipeout the broad legality of the device.
It more than satisfies the shooting itch for me, and I can pop off a few hundred rounds in my basement or backyard, with reusable ammo, and no worries about my neighbors. I haven't been to the gun range since I got it!
Reppans, yes, I have seen the light re the wrist rockets v ... what does one call the other style? Traditional? Traditional Y? Traditional fork?
It clicked for me last night while watching videos, especially J÷rg's, especially this one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLnudI-ArHg) introducing the Cougar along with use of pinkie and flipping down, and this one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Gam2yA1Wqs) by Perry of A+ Slingshot on called "the Slingshot Grip" using thumb and index finger. Both offer great material for a primer.
By they way, J÷rg also reviews those A+ slingshots here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcb_MUl89T4).
June 5, 2012, 12:10 PM
Arf, that video of Rufus Hussey is amazing. :what:
Shows what one can do with a very simple tool and point shooting can do,
and that small game can be taken (or so his story suggests with rabbit head shots).
PS: just after I posted this, I found this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPPf_jLZfxg&feature=related) of Rufus on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
June 5, 2012, 12:45 PM
Latex sheet rubber of desired thickness here: http://www.rubbersheetroll.com/latex_rubber.htm
June 5, 2012, 01:08 PM
Just for the hell of it, I re-banded my old wristrockets with store-bought Daisy tubes and pouches and it shoots horribly... heavy pull, weak power, and I can't hit anything with it. It would definitely turn me away from what is otherwise a great sport/hobby.
You're definitely way ahead of the curve than I am. I just bought the Daisy models because that's what I had access to at the time. I had no idea there were custom models with flat bands when I got them. Although we're having fun with what we have (we don't know any better), I'm going to have to buy one of the better ones to experience what you're talking about.
June 6, 2012, 01:27 AM
Rufus is an amazing instinctive shooter... Also check out [Master?] Bill Hays on YouTube. He's an amazing aiming shooter and owner of the pocket predator.com site
June 6, 2012, 10:33 PM
This thread has been interesting. I might just have to get back into the slingshot game again for kicks. I still don't have a good feel for the "power" of these newer flatband designs, but it is not a lot of money. So, I may play.
June 9, 2012, 05:25 PM
Hey folks, just wanted to share my progress.
I probably have around 1500 rounds under my belt, shooting my first home made band set, and these are my last 4 target sheets from 25'... each with about 15-18 shots each. The last sheet, my worst, I put about 4-5 shots through the same ragged hole just under the post-it. I've settled on 7/16" steel ball bearings as my favorite "ammo".
Shot another round with my mass-produced, commercial wrist brace, rebranded with new Daisy yellow tubes, and confirmed it still sucked - heavy short draw, shaking at full extension, hard to accurately hit anything. I suppose I could practice enough to get better with it, but no where near the instant gratification of a modern flat-bland. I'll pass. (Down side of flat bands is that won't last as long.... around 1,000 shots or so, but as Joerg mentioned quite easy to cut and make yourself.)
I don't think I can much better with my Glock 19... maybe my S&W 686, but not the Glock.
June 9, 2012, 05:36 PM
Very cool, Reppans. Nice work. :cool:
Makes me all the more sure that's the way to go.
And I forgot to ask when you posted the pic of that black slingshot earlier : what is it? Who makes it? What's the material? How do you like that offset handle? I'm not sure I understand that, so help me understand it.
June 9, 2012, 10:47 PM
Mine's a Bill Hays Seal Sniper...it's his cheapie model at $25 made of black polymer and his site is pocketpredator.com. I mentioned his videos and website on an earlier post. However, I honestly believe its more in the flat bands, pouch and ammo selection than the frame itself.
The offset handle is for sideways shooting (gangster style), with the two forks parallel to the ground, index finger and thumb riding up on the fork in/on the indentations which greatly helps with the leverage and makes a wrist brace unnecessary. Asymmetrical design so it can be flipped and banded the other way for lefties. It's how most of the precision target shooters are shooting.
You really gotta search for some of Bill Hays YouTube videos, I think he's about the most accurate precision shooter I've seen able to light friction matches at 10 yrds, split lead ammo against knives and other cool party tricks.
June 9, 2012, 10:48 PM
They are fun and now that it is summer Time I am going to do some more slingshot shooting .
I have a Trumark , a old rebanded with Black Widow Power bands Wrist Rocket and a Refinished Wham-O frame that I am going to get some flat bands for.
June 11, 2012, 04:45 AM
About 10 years ago I had alot of tube slingshots that were very powerful and accurate. Right now I have a tube slingshot that has been in a drawer for the last 10 years and it is very powerful and accurate.
Is it possible that they are making tube bands lower quality than they did years ago???
June 11, 2012, 06:53 AM
About 20 years ago I built a shoulder fired slingshot gun. It was made in a steel square tube within a steel square tube slide extension configuration, with inside tube locking in place when fully extended. Used standard leather pouch retained in a slot and had trigger let off. The sights were mounted on a separate fixed configuration which extended several inches above tubes for slingshot. Rear was an aperture and front was windage adjustable offset archery pins for different distances.
If warm ambient temperature remained constant and for a given set of tube slings, the accuracy one could obtain was amazing. Ragged one hole groups at 10 yards was almost childĺs play, minute of bunny rabbit out to 50 yards was common. But even a small temperature drop could raise havoc with accuracy beyond a few yards.
I gave a fleeting thought as to marketing, but liability concerns, insurance cost etc. nixed that. Possibly could have sold the design, but never even considered a patent for it, as slight changes in the design could have easily gotten around it. Gave it to a friend who went ga gah over it.
June 11, 2012, 07:16 AM
I have about eight or ten slingshots. Most are purchases but a couple are homemade.
My favorite is a folding wrist rocket. It goes in my back pocket when I am out walking around the woods and fields. I favor white marbles for ammo. They hit hard and are easy to see in flight so each one is a learning experience.
I keep a half gallon milk container sitting at an accessible spot in the woods - one that I can see and approach from a number of angles. It is a favorite practice target and shot at from many angles and distances.....kinda like stump shooting with a bow. One bonus of this use is that I am able to recover many of the marbles as they are easy to see against the woodland floor.
About ball bearings .....traditional slingshot ammo, yes......don't know what they cost you but you might try a five pound bag of OOOO buckshot. Maybe cheaper.
Each pellet is a bit heavier so there would be a trajectory change.
PS - Hangfire: that sounds like a remarkably clever invention.
June 11, 2012, 12:08 PM
ulfrik, I don't mean suggest that all tubes are inherently weak or inaccurate - I just think the commercial store-bought (yellow Daisy's I have) have chosen longevity over performance and the inaccuracies probably comes from holding a heavier draw at maximum extension (using a consistent anchor point). Compared to Theraband Gold flats, it feels like the difference between shooting a 75 # recurve bow to a 75 # compound bow.
There's no free lunch however, and I'm pretty certain the Daisy bands will last 5x the number of shots as the Therabands. There are also much lighter/faster tubes you can buy on the dedicated slingshot sites, but they won't last as long either.
Pete, agree lead is probably the best hunting ammo, most kinetic energy for a given wind resistance, less ricochet risk, but more handling/environmental health concerns, and "vacuuming" steel at the bottom of your target catchbox with a magnet sure is nice. Steel sells for $3.50 a lbs, any size.
Very cool idea Hangfire, especially like the sights which I think these things really could use.
June 11, 2012, 01:43 PM
The downside for such was the surgical rubber tubing being so sensitive to temp changes. I often thought of Kalrez as an answer for such. At the time I was a maitenance mechanic on gas turbine (jet) engines in Alaska. We used high temp Kalrez o-rings which could withstand temps of several huindred degrees. But I noted when working on units at even below zero, the Kalrez seemed to retain it's elasticity and snap. They were a very high dollar item then, maybe now not so much.
August 5, 2012, 01:22 PM
Haven't visited this thread in a couple of months because I've been off in blade land during that time, but I don't want it to die because I'm still super interested in acquiring a sling shot for my wilderness kit.
Last night, I was surfing sling shot sites. (You can recognize genuine nerds easily;
we're the one's who surf the I'net on Saturday night looking at slingshots. :rolleyes: )
I found a new maker that I hadn't found before.
Pocket predator slingshots. (http://www.pocketpredator.com/two.html) Any thoughts about his work?
They appeal to me. I like the idea of a G10 slingshot, and his "universal forks" that accept bands and tubes is a good idea (although it's certainly unique: Joerg's Cougar forks are universal, also). There are also some useful videos on the site.
August 5, 2012, 01:52 PM
And, does anyone know a source of J÷rg Sprave Limited Edition Cougar? That one reportedly comes set up with bands, v the Dankung version (http://www.dankung.com/emart/the-cougar┬“-┬–-the-first-┬“global┬”-slingshot-by-j├Ârg-sprave-p-322.html) that comes set up with tubes. I can't find a source online for the limited edition.
I also found this one (http://www.ebay.com/itm/170715124277#ht_658wt_894) which ostensibly comes with neither, which may be best anyway: I could just cut my own bands from thera band.
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