September 27, 2022

Youth’s Lessons: The Slingshot – Part 5, by J.M.

(Continued
from
Part
4.)

If
you
want
to
easily
include
some
arrows
as
part
of
your
slingshot
carry
kit
without
worrying
about
how
to
store
and
carry
them,
PocketShot
makes
some
great

standard

and

bowfishing

3-section
take-down
arrows.
If
you
plan
on
going
after
larger
game
you
should
replace
the
field
tips
on
the
standard
arrows
with

broadheads
.

As
an
aside,
since
slingshot
people
stole
arrows
from
archery
folks,
I
guess
some
turnabout
is
only
fair
–a
company
called
Shoottech
Systems
makes
a

dual-string
bow
with
a
magnetic
catch

on
the
string
that
allows
you
to
shoot
steel
balls
with
a
bow.

Darts
are
arrow’s
little
brother,
but
they
can
be
amazingly
effective
for
hunting
and
fishing
as
well
as
self-defense,
and
they’re
a
lot
more
portable
and
concealable.
These
are
typically
5”-6”
long
shafts
with
a
sharp
tip,
a
notch
for
hooking
it
to
the
band
string
and
a
knurled
tail
to
grip
when
you’re
drawing.
Like
arrows
they’re
available
with
fletching
for
hunting
(and
self-defense)
and
without
fletching
for
fishing.
My
favorite
hunting
dart
is
the

Sniper
Sling
Gen
2
,
which
has
a
shaft
made
of
carbon
fiber
and
a
replaceable
tip.
They
weigh
around
.2
oz.
(6g),
which
is
a
little
more
than
a
7/16
steel
ball,
so
you
can
use
regular
bands
instead
of
heavy
ones,
but
they
have
amazing
accuracy
and
penetration
power
even
with
regular
bands.
Using
a
single
tapered
Theraband
Gold
band
with
a
dart
string
and
only
drawing
to
my
cheek
I
shot
one
at
½”
plywood
from
about
30’
away
and
the
dart
completely
penetrated
the
plywood
with
the
tip
sticking
out
around
¼”
on
the
other
side.

Here’s
a
video

of
some
guys
testing
them
out
with
similar
results.
The
darts
are
a
bit
more
expensive
($28
for
5),
but
worth
it.
If
you
ever
need
replacement
tips
you
can
contact
Sniper
Sling
via
email
and
they’ll
sell
you
some
for
$1.20
each
plus
shipping.

Fishing
darts
are
similar
but
are
usually
made
entirely
out
of

stainless
steel
,
don’t
have
fletching
and
have
some
barbs
on
the
tip.
At
.7
oz.
(21g)
they
weigh
a
little
more
than
the
Sniper
Sling
darts
(roughly
the
same
as
an
11/16”
steel
ball),
so
you’ll
want
slightly
beefier
bands
to
use
them.
They
also
typically
have
a
hole
or
loop
on
the
back
end
for
attaching
your
fishing
line
to.
With
enough
practice
they’re

amazingly
effective
.

Here’s
a
picture
showing
(from
top
to
bottom)
a
Sniper
Sling
Gen
2
sharp
point,
a
Sniper
Sling
Gen
2
blunt
point
(for
practice),
a
fixed-barb
fishing
dart
and
two
retractable-barb
fishing
darts.
You
can
find
the
fishing
darts
on
sites
like
eBay
and
AliExpress.


 

 

 

 

Another
option
is
to
make
your
own
darts,
and
it’s
pretty
easy
to
do
using
commonly
available
materials.
There
are
tons
of
DIY
article
and
videos
available
on
the
web

just
search
for
‘diy
slingshot
darts’.


CAUTION!
CAUTION!
CAUTION!
 
Shooting
darts
from
a
slingshot
can
be
a
very
effective
way
to
hunt,
fish
and
defend
yourself,
but
they
can
also
be
extremely
dangerous.
With
arrows,
the
tip
never
gets
behind
the
forks,
so
the
shooter
is
relatively
safe.
When
you
draw
and
release
a
dart,
the
razor
sharp
tip
is
flying
by
your
hand
and
fingers
at
nearly
its
maximum
velocity,
so
even
a
little
mistake
can
cause
a
serious
injury

if
you
doubt
that
and
have
a
strong
stomach,
try
searching
YouTube
for
slingshot
dart
injury
’.

I
highly
recommend
that
you
get
comfortable
and
competent
shooting
regular
ammo
before
even
thinking
about
darts,
use
the
blunt
tip
Sniper
Sling
darts
or
grind
down
the
tip
of
a
couple
of
darts
smooth
for
practice,
and
wear
hand
protection.
Sniper
Sling
sells
several

protective
hand
covers

(I
use
their
Kevlar
one
in
the
field),
or
you
can
make
you
own
protective
cover
from

plastic
or
metal
.
I
also
only
shoot
darts
with
a
hammer
grip
slingshot
(my
SimpleShot
Hammer)
to
keep
my
delicate
human
parts
as
far
away
from
the
path
of
travel
as
possible,
and
I
always
use
hand
protection.
Here’s
a
picture
of
my
dart-shooting
rig
and
my
hand
protected
with
the
Sniper
Sling
Kevlar
glove:


 

 

 

 


Message
of
Substance

The
third
category
of
slingshot
ammo
is
substance
delivery

that’s
where
you
use
a
slingshot
to
send
some
kind
of
liquid
or
powder
at
your
target.
The
most
obvious
example
of
this
is
paintballs,
which
can
be
loads
of

fun
to
shoot
with
a
slingshot
.
Note
that
most
of
the
paintball
sites
and
forums
are
very
emphatic
that
you
should
never
shoot
a
paintball
with
a
slingshot,
as
you
can
cause
someone
an
injury.
I
tend
to
somewhat
skeptical
of
that,
since
in
the
US
paintball
guns
are
allowed
to
shoot
at
up
to
300fps,
which
is
well
beyond
what
most
people
can
shoot
with
a
typical
slingshot.

Paint
isn’t
the
only
substance
that
can
be
delivered
with
a
slingshot

you
can
buy

empty
paintball
shells

and
fill
them
with
whatever
you
want.
For
example,
you
could
fill
the
shells
with
a

stink
bomb

mixture
and
shoot
it
at
pests
that
won’t
stay
out
of
your
yard.
For
more
serious
situations
there
are
companies
that
sell
paintballs
filled
with

pepper
spray
and
tear
gas
,
which
can
be
useful
if
you
need
a
non-lethal
ammo
alternative.
You
can
also
make
you
own
by
filling
the
shells
with
something
like

Capsaicin
powder
.
If
you
hit
someone
with
it
the
shell
will
burst
open
and
the
powder
will
expand
into
a
small
cloud,
and
any
that
gets
on
the
target’s
skin,
eyes,
nose
or
mouth
can
instantly
incapacitate
them
(but
can
also
result
in
serious
harm).
Less
dangerous
options
such
as
powdered
Carolina
Reaper
powder
can
be
used,
or
you
can
dilute
the
Capsaicin
with
an
inert
powder.
Note
that
if
you
want
to
practice
this
I
highly
recommend
using
something
like
talcum
powder
instead
of
the
real
thing.
If
the
ball
and
substance
you’re
using
is
too
light
to
travel
an
effective
distance,
consider
mixing
in
some
small
lead
shot
to
add
weight.

And
since
I
know
someone
out
there
is
thinking
this,
no,
I
don’t
know
if
it’s
possible
to
make
flaming
or
exploding
balls.


Down
to
Business

Now
that
you
have
a
better
understanding
of
how
slingshots
work
and
the
options
available,
let’s
take
a
look
at
actually
shooting
one.
As
with
any
weapon,
the
first
thing
you
need
to
think
about
is
safety.
Here
are
some
safety
rules
everyone
should
follow
when
shooting
slingshots:

  • Always
    be
    aware
    of
    your
    target
    and
    what’s
    behind
    and
    around
    it

    Just
    like
    with
    a
    firearm
    you’ll
    be
    sending
    a
    high-speed
    projectile
    down
    range,
    and
    you
    may
    not
    always
    be
    accurate.
    Slingshots
    have
    a
    much
    wider
    angle
    of
    potential
    trajectory,
    since
    you
    could
    have
    a
    bad
    release
    or
    the
    ammo
    could
    deflect
    off
    the
    fork,
    causing
    it
    to
    go
    off
    at
    an
    angle.
    I
    recommend
    considering
    everything
    in
    a
    180°
    arc
    in
    front
    of
    you
    as
    your
    potential
    impact
    area
    for
    safety
    purposes.
    This
    means
    don’t
    shoot
    a
    slingshot
    in
    the
    living
    room
    with
    your
    target
    hanging
    near
    the
    glass
    cabinet
    containing
    your
    spouse’s
    porcelain
    cat
    collection
    and
    be
    aware
    of
    any
    people
    or
    pets
    wandering
    around
    the
    area.
  • Wear
    safety
    glasses

    Slingshots
    are
    something
    else
    your
    parents
    were
    right
    about

    you
    can
    put
    someone’s
    eye
    out
    with
    one.
    The
    danger
    isn’t
    just
    from
    the
    ammo
    flying
    around,
    but
    a
    band
    can
    come
    loose
    or
    break
    when
    you’re
    drawing
    it
    and
    snap
    back
    into
    your
    face,
    which
    could
    do
    some
    serious
    damage
    to
    your
    eye.
    Yes,
    I
    know
    many
    of
    the
    videos
    I’ve
    linked
    to
    in
    this
    article
    show
    people
    shooting
    without
    eye
    protection,
    but
    to
    once
    again
    paraphrase
    your
    parents,
    ‘If
    some
    idiot
    on
    YouTube
    jumped
    off
    a
    cliff,
    would
    you?’
  • Inspect
    your
    slingshot
    before
    shooting

    Check
    out
    the
    bands,
    frame
    and
    pouch
    for
    nicks,
    tear,
    breaks,
    loose
    band
    connections,
    etc.
    Do
    a
    full
    test
    draw
    on
    your
    bands
    with
    the
    slingshot
    held
    low
    so
    if
    the
    band
    breaks
    it’s
    not
    coming
    at
    your
    face.
    I
    also
    do
    a
    quick
    inspection
    every
    dozen
    shots
    or
    so
    in
    case
    a
    problem
    has
    developed
    while
    I
    was
    shooting.
  • Use
    a
    lanyard

    Most
    slingshots
    have
    a
    hole
    in
    the
    bottom
    of
    the
    frame
    for
    a
    lanyard,
    and
    you
    should
    loop
    that
    around
    your
    wrist
    before
    shooting.
    If
    you
    draw
    your
    band
    back
    and
    the
    frame
    slips
    out
    of
    your
    hand,
    it
    now
    becomes
    a
    large
    heavy
    projectile
    coming
    right
    at
    your
    face.
  • Don’t
    shoot
    impaired

    It’s
    hard
    to
    focus
    and
    you’re
    a
    lot
    more
    likely
    to
    make
    painful
    mistakes
    if
    you’re
    drunk,
    sick,
    tired,
    injured
    or
    just
    not
    feeling
    well.
    Shooting
    a
    slingshot
    is
    definitely
    not
    a
    ‘hold
    my
    beer’
    activity.
  • Hand
    protection

    If
    you’re
    shooting
    darts,
    always
    use
    hand
    protection.

When
you
first
receive
a
new
slingshot
you’ll
probably
be
tempted
to
slap
the
bands
on
and
start
shooting,
but
there
are
two
things
you
need
to
do
first:

  • RTM

    Slingshots
    may
    seem
    simple,
    but
    each
    one
    is
    different
    and
    not
    setting
    it
    up
    or
    using
    it
    correctly
    can
    have
    a
    significant
    impact
    on
    your
    safety
    and
    performance.
    Read
    the
    instructions
    that
    came
    with
    it
    and/or
    check
    out
    the
    vendor’s
    web
    site
    for
    additional
    details
    on
    things
    like
    how
    to
    attach
    the
    bands,
    the
    best
    grip,
    etc.
  • Bands

    Most
    slingshots
    come
    with
    extra-long
    bands,
    so
    as
    discussed
    earlier
    you
    need
    to
    figure
    out
    your
    desired
    elongation
    and
    draw
    length
    and
    cut
    your
    bands
    to
    the
    correct
    length
    before
    attaching
    them.

Before
you
start
practicing
you’ll
need
to
set
up
a
target.
You
can
buy
a
commercial

catch
box

(also
called
an
ammo
trap),
or
you
could
hang
up
a
sheet,
tarp
or
other
cloth
to
catch
your
ammo
and
suspend
your
target
in
front
of
that.
I
put
the
bottom
of
the
sheet
in
a
wide
plastic
bin
to
collect
the
ammo
and
keep
it
from
rolling
around.

Now
pick
up
your
slingshot
and
inspect
it
for
safety.
Regarding
which
hand
to
hold
it
in,
most
shooters
hold
the
slingshot
with
their
non-dominant
hand
and
draw
with
their
dominant
hand,
but
you
can
try
it
both
ways
and
use
what’s
most
comfortable
for
you.
For
example,
I’m
right-handed,
but
an
old
injury
to
my
left
elbow
causes
some
pain
when
I
fully
extend
it,
so
I’m
a
lot
more
comfortable
holding
with
my
right
hand
and
drawing
with
my
left.
If
the
bands
are
new
or
it’s
colder
where
you’re
shooting
you
can
stretch
the
bands
a
few
times
to
loosen
them
up.
If
it’s
a
new
slingshot
try
out
different
grips
and
practice
drawing
(without
ammo)
to
see
what’s
most
comfortable
for
you.

The
best
stance
to
start
with
is
standing
with
your
feet
perpendicular
to
the
target
about
shoulder
width
apart.
Most
people
hold
the
slingshot
sideways
with
the
grip
parallel
to
the
ground
(‘gansta’
style
for
you
gun
people),
although
some
folks
prefer
shooting
with
it
held
upright.
As
you
gain
more
experience
(and
additional
slingshots)
you
may
find
that
you
use
both
orientations,
depending
on
what
you’re
shooting.

I’m
not
going
to
go
over
the
actual
mechanics
of
loading,
aiming
and
shooting
a
slingshot,
since
there
are
a
lot
of
good
resources
available
that
cover
that
better
than
I
can
(and
this
article
is
already
really
long).
I
highly
recommend

Zachary
Fowler’s
‘How
to
shoot
a
slingshot’
video

as
an
excellent
starting
point
(the
videos
are
part
way
down
the
page
on
the
right
side).
One
recommendation
I
would
add
is
to
start
at
a
short
range
and
focus
on
your
draw,
aiming
and
release
mechanics
before
focusing
on
accuracy.
When
I
first
got
started
and
whenever
I
get
a
new
slingshot
I
start
at
a
distance
of
5’
and
use
a
piece
of
paper
with
a
bunch
of
½”
dots
drawn
on
it
as
a
target.
I
use
the
dots
as
aiming
points
and
keep
practicing
until
I
can
consistently
put
every
ball
into
a
1”
or
smaller
area;
note
that
I’m
only
using
the
dots
as
a
fixed
aiming
point,
not
the
actual
target.

My
initial
goal
is
precision

I
want
to
make
sure
my
draw,
aim,
and
release
are
consistent
enough
that
I
can
consistently
hit
the
exact
same
point
over
and
over
again
and
that
I’m
hitting
somewhere
close
to
where
I
expect
to.
I
also
note
the
offset
of
my
hits
grouping
relative
to
my
aiming
point
so
I
can
figure
out
where
I
need
to
actually
aim
to
hit
the
target.
Once
I’m
consistent
at
5’
I
move
back
to
10’
and
start
trying
for
accuracy
as
well
as
consistency.
When
I
get
accurate
at
10’
I
move
back
to
20’,
then
30’,
40’,
etc.

When
you
start
shooting
arrows
I
recommend
using
an
actual

archery
target
,
since
a
hanging
sheet
won’t
stop
them
and
dedicated
archery
targets
are
designed
to
make
it
easier
to
remove
the
arrows.
For
shooting
darts
I
use
a
‘sandwich’
target
that
consists
of
2”
of
dense
foam,
then
two
or
three
layers
of
old
carpeting,
all
backed
by
¾”
plywood.
I
find
this
makes
it
easier
to
remove
the
darts.


Kitting
Up

If
you’ve
read
this
far
you
hopefully
have
a
better
understanding
of
modern
slingshots,
but
you’re
probably
scratching
your
head
on
the
best
way
to
wade
through
all
of
the
options
to
get
started
and
be
prepared.
I’ve
put
together
a
couple
of
suggested
options
based
on
the
following
requirements:

  • Cost

    The
    options
    are
    listed
    from
    low
    to
    high
    in
    terms
    of
    overall
    investment.
  • Expandability

    The
    ability
    to
    expand
    the
    system
    to
    support
    future
    requirements.
  • Flexibility

    The
    ability
    use
    different
    ammo
    and
    bands,
    depending
    on
    the
    situation.
  • Ease
    of
    use

    The
    ability
    to
    reconfigure
    things
    easily
    in
    the
    field.

The
absolute
least
expensive
option
is
to
DIY
your
own
slingshot
using
a

Y-shaped
tree
branch

or
other

Y-shaped
object

and
improvise
some
bands
out
of
available
elastic
with
a
duct
tape
pouch.
Ammo
can
be
any
small
heavy
objects
you
can
find
like
hex
nuts,
ball
bearings,
marbles,
etc.
The
problem
with
this
approach
is
that
you’ll
most
likely
end
up
with
inconsistent
results
depending
on
the
materials
you
use
to
build
your
slingshot,
which
may
impact
your
accuracy
and
power
and
cause
you
to
develop
some
bad
habits
or
get
frustrated.
You
can
improve
the
performance
by
using
a

pre-made
band

that
costs
around
$5.
While
this
approach
can
be
fun
and
rewarding,
I
recommend
that
you
start
with
a
commercial
slingshot,
which
will
allow
you
to
focus
on
learning
and
honing
your
aiming
and
shooting
skills
without
worrying
if
the
problem
is
you
or
your
slingshot.
Once
you’ve
acquired
good
skills
and
have
some
experience
you’ll
find
that
you
can
make
a
much
nicer
improvised
slingshot,
since
you’ll
be
able
to
more
confidently
identify
and
address
any
issues
with
your
design.

(To
be
concluded
tomorrow,
In
part
6.)

Original Source