October 4, 2022

Youth’s Lessons: The Slingshot – Part 3, by J.M.

(Continued
from
Part
2.)


Add-Ons

There
are
dozens
of
possible
additional
features
that
can
be
built
into
or
added
onto
a
basic
slingshot
frame
to
enhance
its
effectiveness
and
functionality.
One
of
the
most
common
ones
is
a

wrist
brace
,
which
is
a
rigid
extension
that
attaches
to
the
frame
and
presses
down
on
the
top
of
your
forearm.
In
regards
to
my
earlier
discussion
about
the
lever
behavior
of
a
slingshot,
a
wrist
brace
helps
overcome
this
problem
by
transferring
the
rotating
force
on
your
wrist
into
a
downward
force
on
your
forearm,
which
allows
you
to
use
stronger
bands
that
you
may
not
have
been
able
to
fully
draw
with
wrist
support
alone.
Wrist
braces
have
somewhat
of
a
mixed
reputation
among
the
slingshot
community

some
people
deride
them
as
‘training
wheels’
while
others
swear
by
them.
I’m
of
the
opinion
that
preparedness
isn’t
a
popularity
contest,
so
anything
that
could
potentially
enhance
your
ability
to
harvest
game
or
protect
yourself
should
be
considered.
I
use
a
wrist
brace
frequently
when
hunting
and
fishing
as
that
allows
me
to
use
stronger
bands
without
tiring
out
as
quickly,
and
it
allows
me
to
relax
my
grip
on
the
frame
to
rest
my
hand
without
dropping
the
slingshot.
Be
aware
that
in
some
locales
wrist
braces
on
slingshots
(sometimes
referred
to
a
‘wrist
rockets’)
are
specifically
called
out
by
law
and
may
be
illegal,
so
do
your
homework.

A
wrist
brace
is
just
one
of
many
additional
features
you
can
get
on
or
add
to
a
slingshot
frame.
Some
more
options
include:


  • Rotating/swiveling
    head


    The
    forks
    are
    designed
    to
    rotate
    around
    the
    center
    of
    the
    handle
    and/or
    swivel
    up
    and
    down.
    This
    ensures
    that
    your
    pouch
    is
    always
    perfectly
    centered
    when
    you
    pull
    it
    back.

  • Swappable
    head


    Some
    manufacturers
    provide
    multiple
    heads
    you
    can
    swap
    between
    for
    different
    needs.
  • Picatinny
    rails

    Some
    slingshots
    include
    a
    short
    section
    of

    Picatinny
    rail

    somewhere
    on
    the
    frame,
    allowing
    you
    to
    attach
    firearms
    accessories
    such
    as
    flashlights,
    lasers,
    sights,
    etc.
  • Sights

    Many
    people
    use
    the
    frame
    or
    band
    for
    sighting,
    but
    you
    can
    also
    find
    slingshots
    with
    built
    in
    open,
    fiber
    optic
    and
    even
    red
    dot
    sights.
  • Lasers

    Can
    simplify
    aiming.

  • Flashlights


    Having
    a
    flashlight
    on
    your
    frame
    can
    be
    useful
    when
    hunting
    or
    fishing
    at
    night.

  • Spring
    arms


    These
    have
    a
    spring
    as
    part
    of
    the
    fork,
    which
    allows
    you
    to
    store
    additional
    energy
    when
    the
    bands
    are
    pulled
    back
    without
    having
    to
    use
    longer
    bands.
  • Stabilizers

    A

    long
    rod
    with
    a
    weight

    attached
    to
    the
    front
    of
    the
    frame.
    This
    helps
    reduce
    small
    movements
    for
    a
    more
    stable
    shot.

  • Extended
    forks


    These
    are
    extensions
    for
    the
    frame
    that
    move
    the
    forks
    further
    out
    in
    front
    away
    from
    your
    hand.
    Since
    the
    amount
    of
    energy
    you
    can
    store
    in
    a
    slingshot’s
    bands
    is
    proportional
    to
    the
    length
    of
    the
    bands,
    extended
    forks
    allows
    additional
    energy.

  • Pulleys


    Wrapping
    the
    bands
    around
    a
    pulley
    is
    another
    way
    to
    increase
    your
    band
    length
    without
    having
    to
    extend
    the
    forks
    out
    of
    the
    front.
  • Arrow
    rest

    This
    can
    be
    a

    whisker
    biscuit

    or

    other
    type
    of
    rest

    that
    allows
    you
    to
    shoot
    arrows
    with
    your
    slingshot
    (more
    on
    that
    later).
  • Ammo
    storage

    Space
    inside
    the
    handle
    or
    a
    magnet
    attached
    to
    the
    frame
    for
    holding
    spare
    ammo.

This
is
just
a
sample
of
some
of
the
extra
features
available.
As
you
gain
more
experience
with
slingshots
and
start
to
understand
your
specific
style
and
needs,
you’ll
be
able
to
make
more
informed
decisions
on
what
features
make
the
most
sense
for
you.
My
preferred
hunting/fishing
slingshot
kit
with
options
for
home
base
use
is
the

SimpleShot
Hammer
XT
bundle

with
the
optional
thumb
screws,
which
includes
a
wrist
brace,
arrow
support,
swappable
heads
and
a
Picatinny
rail
that
I’ve
attached
a
flashlight
to
for
night
hunting/fishing.


Get
a
Grip

How
you
hold
your
slingshot
when
you
shoot
can
have
a
big
impact
on
your
power,
consistency
and
accuracy.
There
are
generally
three
styles
of
grips
you
can
use:

  • Hammer

    This
    is
    where
    you
    hold
    the
    body
    frame
    just
    like
    a
    hammer

    all
    of
    your
    fingers
    and
    thumb
    wrapped
    around
    the
    base
    of
    the
    frame.
  • Pinch

    Your
    lower
    three
    fingers
    are
    wrapped
    around
    the
    lower
    body
    of
    the
    frame,
    and
    your
    thumb
    and
    index
    finger
    are
    wrapped
    around
    the
    base
    of
    the
    forks.
  • Fork
    supported

    Similar
    to
    a
    Pinch
    grip,
    but
    your
    thumb
    is
    pressed
    directly
    against
    the
    inside
    of
    the
    fork
    to
    provide
    additional
    support.

Here’s
a
picture
that
illustrates
examples
of
all
three
grips

from
left
to
right
are
the
Hammer,
Pinch
and
Fork
Supported:


 

 

Once
again,
moving
your
grip
higher
up
on
the
forks
and
closer
to
the
bands
reduces
the
length
of
the
lever
action
against
your
wrist,
allowing
you
to
use
stronger
bands
and
reduce
the
strain
on
your
wrist.

One
other
point
is
probably
pretty
obvious,
but
it’s
worth
mentioning

some
slingshot
frames
are
designed
specifically
to
only
be
held
with
a
certain
grip
style.
A
good
example
is
the

SimpleShot
Hammer
,
which
is
designed
specifically
for
the

wait
for
it

Hammer
grip.
That
doesn’t
mean
you
can’t
try
to
use
other
grips,
but
doing
so
will
not
be
nearly
as
effective
or
comfortable.
Other
slingshots
like

Zachary
Fowler’s
Sparrow

are
designed
to
accommodate
a
wide
variety
of
grips.
When
you’re
just
getting
started
with
slingshots
it’s
worth
trying
out
several
frame
styles
and
grips
to
see
what
works
best
for
you.


Banding
Together

While
the
frame
of
a
slingshot
acts
like
your
body’s
skeleton
to
hold
everything
rigidly
in
place,
the
bands
act
like
your
muscles.
As
such,
the
bands
of
a
slingshot
have
a
big
impact
on
how
much
energy
you
can
provide
to
your
ammo,
which
determines
far
you
can
shoot
and
how
much
energy
you
can
potentially
deliver
to
your
target.
Like
the
rest
of
slingshoting
there
are
a
lot
of
band
options
to
choose
from
with
a
lot
of
different
factors
to
consider.

The
amount
of
energy
you
can
store
in
a
band
is
determined
by
a
number
of
factors,
but
one
that
has
the
biggest
impact
is
the
total
volume
of
material
in
the
band.
For
example,
for
two
bands
of
the
same
material
with
the
same
length
and
width,
the
thicker
one
will
be
able
to
store
more
energy
but
will
also
be
harder
to
draw
and
will
retract
slower
than
a
thinner
band
(reduced
velocity).
Everything
else
being
equal,
a
longer
band
will
be
able
to
store
more
energy
than
a
shorter
one
but
will
require
a
longer
draw
to
obtain
maximum
energy.
The
shape
of
the
band
can
also
make
a
difference.

The
material
the
band
is
made
from
also
impacts
how
much
energy
it
can
store.
There
are
two
primary
materials
used
for
slingshot
bands

Natural
Rubber
Latex
(NRL),
which
is
natural
rubber
that
is
extracted
from
the
rubber
tree,
and
synthetic
rubber,
known
as
thermoplastic
elastomer
or
TPE,
which
is
manufactured
by
clumping
and
drying
petroleum-based
chemicals
together.
Latex
is
by
far
the
most
popular
and
is
slightly
stronger,
has
more
elasticity
and
works
better
in
colder
temperatures,
but
some
people
can
be
allergic
to
it
and
it
dries
out
and
cracks
over
time,
particularly
if
exposed
to
UV
rays.
Synthetic
rubber
is
non-allergenic
and
more
resistant
to
degradation
from
ozone
and
UV
light,
but
it
has
less
elasticity
than
latex.


Temperature

is
another
factor
that
has
an
impact
on
the
performance
of
your
bands.
Very
cold
or
very
hot
temperatures
will
reduce
the
amount
of
energy
you
can
get
out
of
your
bands;
the
optimal
temperature
range
for
most
bands
is
usually
somewhere
around
60°F-90°F
(15°C-26°C).
If
you’re
going
to
be
hunting
in
cold
weather,
store
your
slingshot
inside
your
clothing
until
you’re
getting
ready
to
shoot
and
stretch
the
bands
a
few
times
before
you
use
them.
Your
bands
also

generate
heat
as
you
draw
them
and
then
start
to
cool
down

almost
as
soon
as
you
reach
your
full
draw
length,
which
starts
reducing
their
available
energy.
Being
able
to
draw,
aim
and
release
quickly
increases
the
available
energy
by
retaining
more
heat.
Like
many
other
preps,
being
subjected
to
extreme
temperature
swings
over
time
can
also
reduce
the
useful
life
of
your
bands,
so
store
them
somewhere
with
a
constant
temperature.

Band
geometry,
material
and
temperature
all
combine
to
determine
how
a
band
behaves,
and
one
of
the
critical
behaviors
to
consider
is
maximum
elongation

how
much
a
given
band
can
stretch.
The
easiest
way
to
determine
this
is
to
stretch
the
band
and
measure
it

pinch
1”
between
the
thumb
and
index
fingers
with
both
hands,
place
it
over
a
ruler
and
measure
how
far
you
can
stretch
it.
If
you
can
stretch
it
to
5”
then
the
band
has
a
maximum
elongation
of
5X
or
500%.
Some
really
beefy
bands
may
only
be
able
to
stretch
3X,
while
some
of
the
thin
ones
might
stretch
8X.
The
cut
length
of
a
band
combined
with
its
elongation
factor
determines
how
far
a
band
can
be
pulled
back
(drawn)
when
you’re
shooting

a
6”
band
with
5X
elongation
can
be
drawn
up
to
a
maximum
of
30”.
The
closer
to
its
maximum
elongation
the
more
energy
you’ll
get
out
of
the
band;
however,
the
more
you
stretch
a
band
the
shorter
its
useful
life
will
be.
The
most
commonly
used
elongation
range
is
around
4X-6X.

It’s
useful
at
this
point
to
discuss
the
concept
of
draw
length,
which
is
how
far
back
you
pull
the
bands
when
shooting.
There
are
essentially
three
different
ways
to
draw
a
slingshot:

  • Anchored

    You
    draw
    the
    pouch/ammo
    back
    to
    your
    cheek
    or
    ear.
  • Partial/Half
    Butterfly/Albatross

    You
    draw
    it
    back
    to
    some
    point
    past
    your
    head,
    but
    the
    elbow
    on
    your
    drawing
    arm
    is
    still
    bent.

  • Full
    Butterfly/Albatross


    You
    draw
    back
    past
    your
    head
    with
    the
    drawing
    arm
    fully
    extended.

The
anchored
draw
is
the
most
common,
especially
for
beginners.
The
longer
butterfly/albatross
draw
has
the
advantage
of
allowing
you
to
use
longer
bands
(more
energy),
but
can
be
more
difficult
to
master.
You
can
determine
your
draw
length
by
measuring
the
distance
between
where
the
band
connects
to
the
slingshot
being
held
in
your
outstretched
hand
and
where
it
connects
to
the
pouch
when
it’s
fully
drawn

the
easiest
way
to
do
this
is
by
holding
a
tape
measure
in
your
hand
just
like
you
would
a
slingshot
and
drawing
the
end
back
to
where
you
want
to
anchor,
or
you
can
use
a

piece
of
string
and
measure
.
You
can
then
determine
the
desired
length
of
your
relaxed
bands
(called
‘active’
length)
by
dividing
your
draw
length
(30”
for
me
when
anchored
on
my
cheek)
by
your
desired
elongation

if
I
want
a
5X
elongation
my
active
band
length
needs
to
be
6”
(30”/5).
Active
band
length
is
measured
between
where
the
bands
attach
to
the
pouch
and
where
they
come
off
of
the
frame,
so
you’ll
need
to
add
a
little
extra
for
the
attachments
at
both
ends.

Here’s

a
good
video
showing
an
example.

Band
Profiles

To
keep
things
even
more
interesting,
there
are
two
different
forms
of
bands

tubular
and
flat.
Tubular
bands
(tubes)
are
made
from
rubber
or
latex
tubing,
and
are
the
kind
most
commonly
seen
on
traditional
Daisy
and
Barnett
slingshots.
Tubular
bands
tend
to
have
a
longer
life
than
flat
bands,
but
they’re
generally
considered
less
accurate
and
slower.
They’re
available
in
a
lot
of
different
sizes,
and
are
usually
measured
as
a
combination
of
inner
and
outer
diameter.
For
example,
2050
tubing
(one
of
the
more
powerful
ones)
has
an
inner
diameter
of
2.0mm
and
an
outer
diameter
of
5.0mm.
Dan
Kung
has
an
excellent

chart

showing
the
sizes
and
draw
strength
of
various
types
of
slingshot
tubing.

Flat
bands
are
cut
from
sheets
of
latex
or
rubber
material,
and
are
considered
to
provide
more
power,
consistency
and
accuracy
than
tubular
bands.
Flat
band
material
is
typically
measured
by
thickness
in
millimeters,
with
.5mm
being
one
of
the
more
commonly
used.
By
far
the
most
popular
material
for
making
flat
bands
is
Theraband
latex
exercise
bands,
with
the
gold
color
being
one
of
the
most
common
(commonly
abbreviated
as
‘TBG’

Theraband
Gold).
Flat
bands
offer
a
lot
of
flexibility
by
allowing
you
to
cut
them
to
your
desired
width,length
and
shape
based
on
your
shooting
needs.

You
can
tweak
the
geometry
of
flat
bands
to
change
their
behavior

they
actually
can
provide
more
speed
with
the
same
amount
of
material
if
you
cut
them
with
a
taper
(wider
part
attached
to
forks,
narrower
part
to
the
pouch).
The
folks
at
Sniper
Sling
Slingshots
have
done
a

nice
test

that
shows
that
a
tapered
band
with
the
exact
same
volume
of
material
as
a
straight
band
will
provide
around
15%
more
speed
with
the
same
ammo.
In
general,
the
more
taper
the
more
speed
(up
to
a
point),
but
the
shorter
the
band
life.
A
mild
tapering
of
around
3:2
is
considered
an
optimal
combination
for
increasing
speed
while
minimizing
impact
on
band
life.

Regardless
of
the
type
of
material
there
are
several
things
you
can
do
to
increase
the
amount
of
energy
you
can
store
in
your
bands.
The
most
common
one
is
to
use
multiple
bands
together

2,
3
or
even
4
tubes
or
flat
bands
stacked
together
on
each
side.
You
can
also
achieve
a
similar
result
by

looping

the
tube
or
band.
Another
option
with
flat
bands
is
to
use
one
that’s
wider
than
the
attachment
point
on
your
forks
and
folding
it
in
half
lengthwise
before
attaching
it.
For
tubular
bands,
Dan
Kung
has
a

cocktail
band

that’s
made
up
of
a
thinner
tube
inside
a
thicker
tube.
There
are
lots
of
debates
on
using
multiple
thinner
bands
vs.
a
single
thicker
band,
but
when
you’re
getting
started
I
suggest
sticking
with
quality
single
flat
bands,
which
should
meet
90%
of
your
initial
requirements.

You
also
need
to
consider
the
life
expectancy
of
your
bands.
Any
given
band
can
provide
anywhere
from
dozens
to
thousands
of
shots,
and
the
exact
number
depends
on
several
factors:

  • Stretch

    The
    more
    you
    elongate
    the
    band
    when
    you
    draw,
    the
    sooner
    it
    will
    wear
    out.
  • Taper

    The
    more
    extreme
    the
    taper
    on
    flat
    bands,
    the
    shorter
    the
    life.
  • Use

    The
    more
    shots
    you
    take,
    the
    fewer
    you
    have
    left.
  • Material

    TPE
    generally
    lasts
    longer
    than
    latex.
  • Quality

    Since
    bands
    are
    made
    from
    mass
    produced
    material,
    small
    imperfections
    in
    the
    manufacturing
    process
    can
    impact
    band
    life.
  • Abuse

    Bands
    that
    slap
    against
    the
    frame
    when
    shooting,
    sharp
    edges
    on
    frames,
    etc.
    can
    all
    contribute
    to
    premature
    failure.
  • Elements

    Exposure
    to
    ozone
    and
    UV
    rays
    will
    reduce
    a
    band’s
    life
    expectancy.
  • Temperature

    Frequent
    large
    temperature
    fluctuations
    can
    reduce
    a
    band’s
    life.
  • Friction

    Bands
    rub
    against
    the
    frame
    and
    themselves
    as
    they
    stretch,
    which
    will
    eventually
    wear
    the
    material
    out.
  • Dirt

    Dirt
    can
    get
    into
    all
    of
    the
    nooks
    and
    crannies
    in
    your
    band,
    which
    can
    rub
    against
    the
    material
    and
    wear
    it
    out.
  • Chemicals

    Strong
    chemicals
    like
    petroleum-based
    products
    and
    harsh
    cleaners
    will
    cause
    bands
    to
    deteriorate.
  • Folds

    Sharp
    creases
    in
    a
    stored
    band
    can
    reduce
    its
    life.

Taking
a
little
care
with
your
bands
should
allow
you
to
get
hundreds
or
even
thousands
of
shots
from
them.
Some
people
swear
that
covering
your
bands
with

talcum
powder

can
increase
their
useful
life
significantly,
and
other
espouse
the
use
of
protectants
like
Armor
All,
silicone
lubricants,
etc.
for
reducing
friction
and
increasing
the
life
of
bands.
I
recommend
that
you
first
focus
on
getting
accurate
and
generating
power,
and
if
you
start
experiencing
problems
like
premature
band
wear,
multiple
bands
sticking
together,
etc.,
then
start
looking
into
the
various
protectant
options.

To
be
continued
tomorrow,
in
Part
4.)

Original Source