Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Slingshots: Not Just Child's Play

Erin mentioned yesterday that she has added a slingshot to her prep gear, but I've had one in my gear for years. They're very handy for small game, birds, and varmint control, especially in areas where a gun cannot be fired.

While the old Dennis the Menace-style slingshot still exists and functions well, I am a fan of the "wrist rocket" style of slingshot because the integrated wrist brace stabilizes the slingshot, allowing for a full-power pull with less difficulty in the same way that a  compound bow is easier to draw than a longbow. I can hold my Marksman Laserhawk at full draw long enough to acquire a sure aim and wait for an ideal shot, bu doing the same with Dennis the Menace is far more difficult to do.

"Dennis" and his cohorts do have one huge advantage, though: while the wrist rocket requires specialized surgical tubing bands, the traditional slingshot can be run on a wide variety of band types, including some you can create at home. I'll address the hows and whys of that in a future article.

Why a Slingshot?
The two huge benefits of a slingshot are its silent nature and the ability to use and reuse virtually anything as ammunition. Being silent means you can practice in your basement, garage, or backyard with minimal setup and virtually no concern about crossing the neighbors or Johnny Law. This is good, because slingshots require a fair bit of practice to achieve and maintain a high level of accuracy.

The wide variety of ammunition a slingshot can eat means that they can run indefinitely; you only need to pick up small stones from the ground to have a pocket full of ammunition. However, stones are usually the worst choice for ammunition, useful mainly for plinking and not serious work; better ammo flies straighter, more consistently, and hits harder.
  • Erin's chalk marking ammo is a great practice tool, and well worth the investment. 
  • For hunting work, I like either 1/4" steel balls, or common 1/8 oz split shot fishing weights. Larger steel balls are available for very powerful slingshots, but I prefer the increased velocity of the smaller ammunition. 
  • For chasing off pests, 3/8" clay balls impart a sting with reduced penetration and without leaving a mess behind.
In short, slingshots are wonderful, handy tools that are easily worth the space they take in your kit.

Next week I'll demonstrate the physical act of shooting a slingshot.


No comments:

Post a Comment

The Fine Print

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Creative Commons License

Erin Palette is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.