September 25, 2022

Youth’s Lessons: The Slingshot – Part 4, by J.M.

(Continued
from
Part
3.)

If
you’re
ever
in
a
survival
situation
and
you
need
a
slingshot,
the
good
news
is
that
it’s
possible
to
make
field
expedient
bands
from
some
commonly
available
materials,
including:

Each
of
these
has
different
characteristics,
so
you’ll
need
to
do
some
experimenting
with
different
ways
of
shaping,
combining
and
attaching
them
to
see
what
works
best.

I
realize
that
this
is
probably
a
lot
more
information
than
you’d
ever
thought
you’d
need
regarding
slingshot
bands,
but
in
reality
I’ve
only
scratched
the
surface.
I
recommend
you
initially
stick
with
buying
quality
pre-made
bands
from
places
like

SimpleShot
,

Fowler’s
Makery
and
Mischief

and

Sniper
Sling

to
get
started.
If
you
want
to
learn
a
lot
more
about
how
different
bands
behave,
Montie
Gear
and
SimpleShot
produced
a

detailed
report

showing
the
results
of
different
tests
they
ran
on
different
bands.
There’s
also
a
nice

presentation

available
on
making
your
own
flat
bands,
and
plenty
of
additional
information
on
various
web
sites
and
forums.


Hold
Me

The
final
piece
of
the
slingshot
itself
is
the
part
that
actually
holds
the
ammo

the
pouch.
At
its
most
basic
a
pouch
is
a
simple
rectangle
of
leather
or
other
material
with
a
hole
on
each
end
to
attach
the
bands
to.
Leather
and
microfiber
are
the
most
common
pouch
materials,
but
you
can
use
anything
that
provides
sufficient
strength
to
hold
the
ammo
while
stretching
the
bands,
including

duct
tape
,
nylon
webbing
and
even
fine
netting.
The
material
should
be
flexible
enough
to
easily
fold
in
half
to
wrap
around
the
ammo,
but
rigid
enough
to
hold
its
general
shape
and
open
up
when
released.

One
common
feature
you
see
on
most
pouches
is
a
hole
in
the
middle,
which
helps
you
center
your
ammo.
There’s
also
a
variation
call
double
pitted’
,
which
has
a
hole
on
each
side
of
the
center
which
does
the
same
thing.
There
are
lots
of
other
potential
variations
in
the
shape
of
the
pouch

tapers
on
either
end,
tapers
in
the
middle,
extra
holes,
etc.
There’s
a

great
discussion

over
at
the
Slingshot
Forum
on
improving
the
shape
of
a
pouch.

If
you’re
going
to
be
shooting
arrows
or
darts
with
your
slingshot
a
standard
pouch
won’t
work
too
well.
Arrows
have
a
nock
in
the
back
and
darts
typically
have
a
small
notch,
both
of
which
work
best
when
held
with
a
string.

Dart/arrow
slingshot
strings

are
usually
similar
in
construction
to
a
bow
string,
just
a
lot
shorter
and
with
loops
for
attaching
bands.
You
can
even
just
use
a
piece
of
strong
line
with
loops
on
the
ends.

Like
all
of
the
other
parts
of
a
slingshot
I
recommend
you
start
with
quality
pre-made
bands
with
pouches
pre-attached
and
start
experimenting
with
different
pouch
materials
and
configurations
as
you
gain
more
experience.


The
Message

The
slingshot
is
a
delivery
system,
and
the
message
it’s
designed
to
deliver
is
the
ammunition
you
shoot.
However,
before
getting
into
the
various
types
of
ammo
there’s
one
important
concept
that’s
central
to
optimizing
the
amount
of
energy
your
ammo
delivers
to
your
target

your
bands
have
to
match
your
ammo.
As
discussed
earlier,
a
given
bandset
is
capable
of
storing
a
certain
amount
of
energy
when
you
draw
it,
much
of
which
is
transferred
to
your
ammo
when
you
release
it.
If
your
ammo
is
too
light
and
can’t
absorb
the
energy,
the
extra
unused
energy
will
cause
the
bands
to
continue
past
the
forks,
stretch
out
on
the
other
side,
then
come
flying
back
and
usually
hit
your
hand

that’s
called
hand
slap.
If
the
ammo
is
too
heavy
and
requires
more
energy
than
the
bands
can
provide
to
achieve
its
optimal
speed,
it
will
probably
fall
short
or
just
bounce
lightly
off
of
your
target.
Different
bands
also
contract
at
different
rates,
which
impacts
how
fast
ammo
can
get
going
before
it
leaves
the
pouch
or
string.
There’s
no
magical
formula
that
I’m
aware
of
that
allows
you
to
calculate
the
perfect
bandset
for
a
given
type
of
ammo,
but
for
straight
cut
flat
bands
using
Theraband
Gold
material
one
general
rule
of
thumb
is
the
band
width
for
steel
ammo
should
be
around
twice
the
diameter
of
the
ammo

e.g.
for
3/8”
steel
ammo
the
band
should
be
¾”
wide.
SimpleShot
has
a
couple
of
good
videos
that
provide
some
guidance
(Video
1
,

Video
2
)
on
band
width,
and
they
sell

pre-cut
bands

that
are
optimized
for
specific
types
of
ammo.
User
Adonis
on
the
Slingshot
Forum
has
also
provided
some
useful

guidance

relating
to
band
and
ammo
selection.

Now,
on
to
the
ammo
itself

there’s
an
almost
infinite
variety
of
things
you
can
shoot
out
of
a
slingshot,
but
for
the
purpose
of
this
discussion
I’m
going
to
divide
them
up
into
three
general
categories
based
on
the
type
of
impact
they’re
designed
to
have
on
the
target:

  • Blunt
    force
  • Penetration
  • Substance
    delivery

Blunt
force
is
what
almost
everyone
thinks
of
when
they
think
of
slingshot
ammo,
and
by
far
the
most
common
is
a
spherical
ball.
The
balls
can
be
made
of
steel,
lead,
marble,
glass,
clay
or
any
other
material
that
has
enough
density
to
absorb
the
energy
provided
by
the
bands
and
deliver
it
to
the
target.
Steel
is
by
far
the
most
popular,
with
the
most
common
sizes
being
between
3/8”
and
½”
(8mm-12mm).
It’s
relatively
inexpensive
at
around
$20
for
500
3/8”
balls,
and
can
be
reused
over
and
over
(assuming
you
find
it
after
shooting
it).
For
hunting,
lead
ammo
tends
to
be
preferred,
as
it
deforms
on
contact
and
does
a
better
job
of
transferring
energy
to
the
target
when
it
hits.
Lead
is
one
of
the
densest
types
of
ball
ammo
(30%
denser
than
steel)
that’s
readily
available
at
a
reasonable
price,
so
it
can
be
smaller
for
a
given
weight
(mass)
than
steel
balls,
reducing
air
resistance
but
storing
the
same
amount
of
energy.
Some
metals
like
gold
and
uranium
are
denser,
but
you’re
probably
not
going
to
be
shooting
any
balls
made
of
those
out
of
a
slingshot.
Tungsten
Carbide
is
roughly
70%
denser
than
lead
and
you
can
buy
bearings
made
of
it
to
shoot,
but
at
somewhere
around
$5-$10
each
for
a
3/8”
ball
you’d
have
to
pretty
well
off
to
shoot
many
of
those.
The
downside
of
lead
is
that
it’s
getting
harder
to
find
these
days,
but
you
can
still
find
lead
balls
at
places
that
sell

muzzle
loading
supplies

like
Cabela’s.
Lead
is
also
easy
to
melt,
so
you
can
buy

ball
molds

and
in
a
TEOTWAWKI
scenario
use
lead
scrap
like
tire
weights,
fishing
sinkers
or
battery
plates
to
melt
down
and
make
your
ammo.
Clay
balls
are
a
good
option
if
you’re
practicing
out
in
the
wild
without
a
backstop,
as
they’ll
easily
break
up
and
quickly
decompose.

Blunt
force
ammo
doesn’t
have
to
be
spherical

many
slingshoters
prefer
to
shoot
things
like
hex
nuts
filled
with
lead
and
rebar
cut
into
small
sections
as
ammo.
The
key
factor
is
that
the
ammo
should
have
a
regular
shape
to
improve
its
flight
characteristics
and
reduce
the
chances
of
a
frame
strike
due
to
an
uneven
release.
That’s
one
of
the
primary
reasons
why
most
manufacturers
and
knowledgeable
slingshoters
strongly
recommend
against
using
rocks.
If
a
situation
arises
where
you
desperately
need
ammo
and
rocks
are
all
that’s
available,
try
to
find
ones
that
are
as
symmetrical
as
possible.


Making
Your
Point

While
balls
deliver
blunt
force,
penetrating
ammo
is
designed
to
puncture
the
surface
of
the
target
and
damage
the
insides
or
cause
it
to
bleed
out.
There
are
two
types
of
penetrating
ammo

arrows
and
darts.
Arrows
are
the
most
common,
and
their
use
in
slingshots
has
given
rise
to
the
term
’slingbow’.
To
shoot
an
arrow
with
a
slingshot
you’ll
need
to
make
two
changes

a
string
in
place
of
a
pouch
to
nock
the
arrow
(discussed
earlier)
and
something
to
hold
the
arrow
in
place
and
guide
it
when
you
fire
it.
There
are
a
number
of
options
available
for
arrow
guides,
including:


  • Whisker
    biscuit


    This
    is
    a
    full
    or
    partial
    circle
    filled
    with
    stiff
    bristles
    with
    a
    hole
    in
    the
    middle.
    These
    are
    the
    most
    common
    type
    of
    arrow
    guide
    and
    do
    a
    good
    job
    of
    holding
    the
    arrow
    in
    place
    when
    you’re
    moving
    around,
    but
    they
    tend
    to
    create
    drag
    when
    the
    fletching
    of
    the
    arrow
    pass
    through
    them,
    reducing
    the
    arrow’s
    speed
    and
    potentially
    damaging
    the
    vanes.

  • Flip-up
    rest


    These
    are
    nice
    since
    you
    can
    fold
    them
    down
    when
    not
    in
    use,
    but
    the
    arrow’s
    fletching
    hit
    it
    on
    their
    way
    by,
    impacting
    the
    flight
    path.

  • Plates


    A
    company
    called
    Pocket
    Predator
    makes
    plates
    with
    arrow-shaped
    openings
    that
    can
    be
    easily
    attached
    to
    many
    wire
    frame
    slingshots.
    I
    don’t
    have
    any
    experience
    with
    these
    so
    I
    can’t
    say
    how
    well
    they
    work.

  • Brush


    This
    is
    similar
    to
    the
    whisker
    biscuit
    but
    with
    three
    smaller
    brushed
    spaced
    equidistant
    around
    the
    center
    opening.
    This
    provides
    openings
    for
    the
    fletching
    to
    pass
    through.

  • Ring


    People
    have
    done
    some
    pretty
    cool
    and
    simple
    hacks
    to
    support
    the
    use
    of
    arrows
    on
    their
    slingshots,
    including
    suspending
    a
    simple
    ring
    for
    guiding
    the
    arrow.
    I’ve
    never
    used
    this,
    but
    it
    looks
    like
    it
    might
    interfere
    with
    the
    fletching.

  • Stick-on
    rest


    You
    can
    add
    a
    spacer
    to
    the
    bottom
    of
    your
    forks
    and
    stick
    on
    a
    standard
    archery
    arrow
    rest.
    I’ve
    used
    one
    of
    these
    for
    years
    on
    my
    bow
    and
    they
    work
    really
    well.

Regardless
of
the
type
of
arrow
guide
you
use,
it’s
critical
that
it
holds
the
shaft
of
the
arrow
centered
on
the
bands

if
it’s
higher
or
lower
the
arrow
won’t
fly
where
you
aim
it.
The
picture
below
shows
a
good
example
of
a
nice
alignment

note
how
the
center
hole
in
the
arrow
rest
lines
up
with
the
center
of
the
bands.


 

 

 

In
regards
to
matching
bands
to
ammo,
an
arrow
with
a
broadhead
tip
weighs
3-5
times
as
much
as
a
½”
steel
ball,
so
you’re
going
to
want
to
use
pretty
strong
bands.
Some
vendors
sell

bands
optimized
for
arrows
,
but
the
most
common
approach
is
to
use
a
double
flat
band
or
looped
tubular
band
to
get
the
required
power.
Using
a
slingbow
setup
with
matched
bands
and
arrows
with
broadhead
tips
allows
you
to
hunt
larger
game
than
you
can
with
just
a
basic
slingshot.
As
I
mentioned
earlier,
this
is
the
type
of
setup
Chief
AJ
used
to

bag
a
grizzly
bear

with.

You
can
also
use
a
slingbow
and
bowfishing
arrows
to

harvest
fish
.
Bowfishing
arrows
have
a
few
differences
from
hunting
arrows

they
don’t
have
fletching,
since
those
only
add
drag
in
the
water,
and
there’s
a

slide

that
moves
up
and
down
the
arrow’s
shaft
with
the
line
attached
to
it
so
you
can
haul
the
fish
back
in.
Since
there
is
no
fletching,
any
of
the
arrow
guides
I
discussed
up
above
will
work
fine
for
bowfishing
arrows
without
slowing
the
arrow
down.
The
arrow
head
will
also
need
to
have

barbs

on
it
to
prevent
the
arrow
from
pulling
out
when
you
drag
the
fish
on
shore.

You
can
use
a

reel
,

drum

or
a
simple
container
to
hold
the
fishing
line
to
make
it
easier
to
carry,
but
I’ve
bowfished
with
the
line
just
looped
around
my
wrist
and
the
slack
coiled
up
on
the
ground
(after
making
sure
there
was
nothing
big
enough
in
the
water
to
drag
me
off).
As
long
as
the
line
can
spool
out
with
minimal
resistance
when
you
hit
a
fish
and
you
can
grab
it
to
pull
it
in
it’ll
work
fine.
For
the
line
that
attaches
to
the
arrow
I
usually
use
around

100’
of
100lb.
braided
Kevlar
cord

or

Microcord
,
which
I
found
tend
to
tangle
less
than
regular
heavy
duty
fishing
line.
If
you
don’t
use
a
reel
you’ll
definitely
want
gloves,
since
the
line
can
easily
burn
your
hand
if
the
fish
is
swimming
fast.
Note
that
with
slingbow
fishing
you’re
putting
an
arrow
through
the
fish,
so
it
is
definitely

not

“catch
and
release”.

The
string
‘pouch’
I
mentioned
earlier
works
well
for
holding
the
arrow,
but
an
arrow’s
nock
is
pretty
small
and
slippery,
making
it
difficult
to
hold
onto
when
you’re
drawing.
The
way
this
is
commonly
addressed
is
by
adding
a

D-ring
loop

to
the
back
of
the
string,
providing
a
place
to
grip
when
you’re
drawing.
The
D-ring
works
well
in
conjunction
with
an
archery

arrow
release
,
as
well
as
with
the
much
simpler
(and
cheaper)

QuickFire
.
Some
manufacturers
add
a

bead

or

leather
grip

to
the
D-ring,
but
I’ve
never
found
either
to
be
substantial
enough
to
be
comfortable
for
long
slingbowing
practice
sessions,
especially
when
pulling
heavy
bands.

(To
be
continued
tomorrow,
in
Part
5.)

Original Source