Hunting with slingshots?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by epijunkie67, May 30, 2012.

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  1. epijunkie67

    epijunkie67 Member

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    Does anyone here have experience hunting with a slingshot? I've used them in the past to just goof around with but I've never tried taking game with one of them. Given the small size and light weight they seem like they would be a nice thing to throw into a pack just to have on you.
     
  2. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Good for birds and squirrels at close range.

    My father used to bring me rocks rounded from being rubbed against train wheels. I liked them better than the buckshot sold as slingshot ammo. Marbles can also work. Basically, you're looking for an optimal compromise of weight and shape, large enough to get a good grasp on, but dense for its size, so it'll retain energy and not have too much wind resistance.

    Look at Joerg's stuff for examples of good slingshots that have ample power to take small game at close range. I still hope to get one of his slingbows at some point.

    John
     
  3. jbkebert

    jbkebert Member

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    I have used .50 and .45 cal lead balls to take a few rabbits. Plenty of weight they fly well and enough to get ahold of.
     
  4. Coyote3855
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    Coyote3855 Contributing Member

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    A slingshot requires a LOT of practice to be effective. Don't just throw one in your pack and expect to eat squirrel. I used slingshots as a kid. Hit a sparrow at about 30 feet with a rock that weighed 3-4 times as much as the bird. Interesting results. Rock carried the bird another 20 feet.
     
  5. Leadbutt

    Leadbutt Member

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    As others have posted some practice and skill go a long way with them the best I ever used was the old model "Wrist Rocket" and 50 caliber steel ball bearings, small game up to yotes have fallen to me with that rig, but it seems to b more like archery, lots of practice!!!!
     
  6. dubya450

    dubya450 Member

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    When we were kids my cousin and i would head to the railroad tracks here in Minnesota and collect taconite to use as slingshot ammo and we'd sit in trees and shoot vermin and birds. I'm not sure if there is alot of taconite throughout the country because most came from the iron mines in northern mn but if you find it its good cheap ammo.

    I think the rounded "rocks" jshirley is talking about were probably taconite pieces.
     
  7. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    Several spots on the web like the Slingshot forum talk alot about hunting with a sling shot or a Slingbow. My Grandpaws both shot critter with Boardcut Wham-O's they made from borrowing a real Wham-O and tracing it on to a hardwood board. They used them well into their 70's .
     
  8. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Wrist wrockets wrule!
     
  9. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    Steel balls work okay. Most of the lead balls are just too heavy until you get to about 38 caliber. I wouldn't want to have to depend on feeding myself with a slingshot.
     
  10. AStone

    AStone Member

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    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?

    Nem
     
  11. AStone

    AStone Member

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    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", an overview survey of SS makers with comments about quality.

    From that, I found the Trumark and Sanders pages.
    Here's a nice little pictorial on Saunders models
    which is part of a much large site just called "The Slingshots Page".

    And check out the fiber optic sites on this Trumark. Tacticool SS or what? :cool:

    SlingshotShop.com looks like a useful resource, as does Archery Exchange (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 may be the Cadillac. Or maybe the Porsche.

    Also, found a forum devoted to slingshots; appears to be connected to the Trumark pages.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2012
  12. sm

    sm member

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    Hunting with slingshots? - Yep!

    I mean come on, I am a Southern Boy, this ain't rocket science. *grin*

    Grandma decided it was time for to have my very own slingshot at age 3.
    I was driving her nuts about feral cats messing with MY quail. So we had gone down again to shoot feral cats near some covey's of quail with the .22 revolver that was in my dresser drawer crib, when I came home from being born.

    We shot all my ammo, and Grandma had forgotten to replace the boxes of .22 ctgs she kept in the truck. Here I am 3 years old, out of ammo, and I know, just know there are more feral cats that need killin'.

    Grandma had this laugh.
    So while I am trying to convince her, we need to go back to the house to get more ammo...
    And how I had some more monies from collecting coke bottles and maybe later we could go to town, to let me buy more ammo...

    She laughs, and informs me we are going to drive over to the wood-line, have a picnic (cold fried chicken and milk in mason jars) WE are going to find a fork to make ME a slingshot.

    Oh Boy!
    I knew what a slingshot was. Grandma had one, Mentors had slingshots, bigger kids did as well. I had shot one, my size, but I did not have one of my very own.

    After the picnic, we found the "right wood" and brought it home. Red rubber from a inner tube was the rubber used. Leather for the pouch. My size, and I could pull it back and it was...MINE!

    I used rocks a lot, still I got "ball bearings" from Mentors, from where they worked, or from Fillin' Stations, and where else. I also got marbles.

    Basically-
    Young'un has a slingshot now, so we have to keep him in ammo as we do his revolver...

    Born premature, still it is said premature kids have "knacks". I had a "knack" with a slingshot. I had exceptional eyes until my early forties. This same knack with a slingshot, hitting moving targets, again showed itself in using a handgun, rifle, and for sure shotguns.
    [I started with handguns at age 3, rifles age 4 and shotguns at age 5]

    True. The first time Grandma tossed a big rock and asked me to hit with my slingshot, I did so. A Mentor, seeing this, said if I could do it again he would let me have the almost full box of .22 shorts he had in his truck. I did it again.

    Mentors included folks in the Military. So I got "stuff", and I used a OD canvas pouch (first aid kit ?) for my slingshot ammo. I also had that small "butt-pack" which for me, made a perfect backpack.

    I hunted feral cats hard with my slingshot. I would fell doves on the ground most times, though I did take a few "just taking off". Grandma was surprised to say the least, the first time I come back from being out "hunting" and dumped doves out of my backpack.

    I get bigger, and could use more powerful slingshots, I have felled small game, like rabbits, squirrels, along with snakes and frogs. Rats are tough, mice are easy...

    Armadillo's do not succumb to slingshots very well. Even though I found this out at age three, I dunno, sorta neat the sound is when a rock/bearing/marble bounces off one. You can drive a 'dillo nuts getting into the garden, even run them off.

    Pest control is fun, and say for instance in a barn with farm/ranch equipment these work wonders on some pests.

    I need to make myself another using "good wood". Sorta doubt red inner tube rubber is going to be easy to find. I do use a newfangled slingshot from time to time. It just ain't got the character and soul of a old fashioned, homemade one.

    Young'un
     
  13. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    I have used glass marbles (made for slinghots) which are probably the easiest to see in flight on squirrels without success. I suspect if you hit one in the head, it would fall out of the tree and be stunned sufficiently to kill with a club.

    The 1/4" steel balls seem to be the best. But on a tough skinned animal like a squirrel, you're still depending on a "knock out" like the marbles for the most part.

    Tried lead round lead balls made for black powder guns and clearly the smaller balls would work better. I settled on 32 caliber (0.31") as the best, but they don't deform on impact with a small animal. Hence you are better off using the 1/4" steel balls made for slingshots.

    If somebody would make a "rubber band" that you could get some serious velocity (maybe 300 fps) and sitll be pliable enough to pull back single handed, they might make an effective weapon for small game. You can clearly kill birds and cottontail rabbits with a slingshot. You need penetration as opposed to blunt force.

    In my opinion, slingshots are fun and not that difficult to learn to shoot fairly well out to maybe 10-15 yds, but a regular BB spring loaded BB (Daisy) would probably work better and certainly be easier to shoot well. But regular BB's seem to have a mind of their own at times.

    Then you are carrying a gun instead of a slingshot and unless there are prohibitions on carrying a gun, you're better off with an air rifle (preferrabley one that reaches about 800-1000 fps in 0.177, or 22 caliber) or shooting SV 22 shorts or some other low noise 22 rimfire cartridge.
     
  14. AStone

    AStone Member

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    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.
     
  15. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    The 1/4" steel balls are sold in stores like Kmart and I would guess Walmart and are made for slinghots.
     
  16. SleazyRider

    SleazyRider Member

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    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.
     
  17. AStone

    AStone Member

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    To avoid hijacking Epijunkie67's thread any further :uhoh:, I've started a new thread over here for my research. I'll still follow this one with interest.

    22 and SleazyRider, thanks. I've copied your responses to the new thread.
     
  18. reppans

    reppans Member

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    Check out slingshotforums.com, they have have a great hunting section. For humane kills, they advise not going below 3/8" steel on small animals like birds and seem to prefer over 40 cal lead to 1/2" steel on stuff like squirrels and rabbits. Also suggest that you should be able to hit a 2"x2" target better than 50% from 10 yrds for clean head shots.... don't want wounded animals escaping.

    I think I'm liking 7/16 steel the best for my target practice (I'm not hunting caliber yet).. too light a ball and you get nasty band slap.
     
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