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Thread: Slingshots?

  1. #1
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    W.R.Buchanan's Avatar
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    Slingshots?

    Since we don't have a slingshot forum I figured it would be OK to place this thread in here.

    I have been an avid Sling Shootist since I was 8 years old. I got my first BB gun when I was 8 and spending the summer with my father in Bath Michigan. However my Mother would not let me bring it back to California with me at the end of summer. Since I was a Latch Key Kid, (no one there after school until mom got home at 5:30) she considered that a BB gun would just get me into trouble. (probably would have)

    I was pretty bummed as I had saved my allowance for 8 weeks that summer to get that gun, a Daisy Golden Eagle, and it was a pretty big deal to me. When I went back the next year my Dad's second wife would let me shoot it as her father had "Accidentally" shot himself in the head and killed himself while cleaning his .22 cal Rifle? I don't know how you do that accidentally?

    As a substitute, my Mother bought me a Whamo Slingshot for $1.50 and I started shooting it daily after school. She figured that what harm could I do with a simple slingshot? The Slingshot actually came with some instructions showing how to hold the thing and how to aim it. I got good real quick and with an endless supply of marbles I shot more birds with that slingshot than I ever got with my BB gun when it finally showed up 4 years latter looking like it had been well used by someone else. Found out she was the one shooting it virtually every day shooting starlings that invaded the farm . I still got it but it is in serious need of restoration.

    I still have the sling shot as well and all it needs is new bands> I tend to hold onto my favorite toys for along time. 62 years for this one, and the BB gun.

    Anyway I still shoot slingshots frequently and the reason for this thread is at the SHOT Show earlier this year I found something that was really cool. It was a sling shot by an outfit named Simple Shot https://simple-shot.com/slingshots/ It is by far the best one I have ever had and that includes many I have made.

    It was by far the best thing at SHOT 2020! It is a simple U yoke style sling shot with no arm brace and it is easily the most accurate one I've ever had. I got it and a backstop that catches the steel balls and started shooting it frequently about 2 months ago. I am up to the point where I can hit a 3"dia target about 8/10 times at 10 yards in my shop. In my earlier days I could hit a beer bottle at 30 yards just about every shot with my Wrist Rocket. It had 1/2" surgical tubing and a 35 lb draw weight and I was shooting Lee 240 gr .44 call SWC's which flew sideways! Had a big impact on a guys butt who was rifling thru my car one night. I can't even hold it at full draw now.

    I am shooting mostly 3/8" steel balls and they are running about 250 fps out of this new one. But I also shoot 1/2" balls as well and I can assure you that at 125 gr. they are running about 225 fps and getting smacked between the eyes with one would surely ruin your day. New materials for the bands and new designs that allow you to repeatably hold the bands at the same length which is the key to pinpoint accuracy.

    Been carrying this thing as my CCW in my jacket pocket because it is not considered a Lethal Weapon and I can't carry a gun in CA. So far I haven't seen any need to bring it out at Walmart or other places we go to forage for food and supplies, but due to the current climate you never know who is going to get froggy and inside 10 yards I can deal with a threat with enough force to disrupt them and give me and mine a window to escape stage left.

    This may sound ridiculous to many, however I assure you that this sling shot is powerful enough to do some significant damage and if with some Divine Guidance I can hit the guy right above the bridge of the nose between the eyes, he is going down. This will give us time to either further deal with him somewhat brutally or split!

    Anyway I just thought I'd tell you what I do for fun.

    Randy
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    Last edited by W.R.Buchanan; 03-25-2020 at 01:29 PM.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master



    MUSTANG's Avatar
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    Haven't had a Slingshot in over 50 years. Thanks for bringing the "Ole Sling Shot" back for discussion.

    Which is the best sling shot projectile Cast or Swaged?
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  3. #3
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    A .50 cal ball weighs 175 gr. and with the right slingshot would be lethal inside 10 yards. Cast is fine. Although my LGS has swaged Round Balls for Muzzleloaders in about every size known to man. $10 for a hundred.

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

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  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I just received the Wood crafters e-mail the other day and they have a new sling shot kit now on sale. It a very nice looking set up would be a lot of fun to build and with a fancy wood would make Dennis the menace jealous.
    I have made them for the 2 older grandsons ( not this one but a simple sling shot using heavy rubber bands) not super powerful but then the daughter buys them marshmallows to shoot from them. Their dog loves that.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I have a lyman .455 round ball mold. Makes a very impressive WHACK when it hits my backstop.

    They sell 50 foot boxes of rubber tubing for exercise. They are not that expensive.

    I like the longer rifle type slingshots using a 2-3 foot stick, pvc, etc with forks at the far end and a good handle.
    You can get pretty accurate with some practice.

    No primers, powder needed, just need a good bullet catch. Reuse till they are banged up then remake them round again.
    Truly thrifty.

    Also less than lethal. A hit into muscle mass will hurt like heck, disable, but not kill.

  7. #7
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    I also shot slingshots since about the day I could walk. I started using rocks and dirt clods the graduated to "mining" (digging) clay out of a ricefield, rolling my own projectiles. I would dry the clay in the shade and when it was almost dry I would roll the balls again on polished concrete giving them a reflective shine.

    Would buy rubber and leather at the store, cut a forked branch out of a tamarin tree and carve it to the desired shape. then I'd tie everything together with rubber bands. I was deadly with that those things.

    Last edited by Conditor22; 03-25-2020 at 12:37 PM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    We might as well add a blowgun form to!!! I need to go pick up one of those cold steel’s at Cabela’s The next time through. I can still remember as a kid I would pull back my slingshot too far and have a few of those rubber bands slap me in the face when they broke. Yeeeeoooouch!!! I still have the slingshot that I won in Boy Scouts back in the early 80s. It’s got a gray swirl plastic handle on it. I believe it’s the same one as the picture of your third one from the left. I strung a new replacement rubber sling on it a few years back.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy OldBearHair's Avatar
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    Right on W.R. Buchanan. I also imagine that 125 grain lead ball would do great damage just about any spot on the torso that it hit at 225 fps. I shudder to think about a hit on the Adam's Apple or even mid sternum. Maybe a collar bone. I shot a possum once with the same 1/2 lead ball with trajectory about the same as my hunting bow. The ball hit behind the front shoulder and traveled forward about five inches taking the hide into the hole with the ball. DRT. It would ne nice to see some penetration tests on Ballistic Gel. Stay safe now and God Bless.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy OldBearHair's Avatar
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    Last time one broke and hit the corner of my mouth, I made the statement that if I ever shoot one again, it will be from the hip.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Bean Shooters Are Best For Boys - Memories of Rabbit Stew and a Slingshot


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    When I was a kid growing up in Northern Virginia in the days “before the beltway,” boys learned at Dad's knee the fine art of building and using the lowly “beanshooter” or “bean-flip”. Ours were cut from the crotch of a dogwood tree, slung with natural gum latex rubber bands cut from bike inner tubes or 3/8 surgical tubing bound to the upright forks with braided nylon fishing line or dental floss, then varnished. I still have mine, pictured above, which has taken a pickup load of rabbits, birds and other small small game for the pot. The mere thought of Mom's rabbit stew with Southern milk gravy ladled over biscuits hot from the oven still warms my heart even after all these years.

    It was Dad’s rule that boys could not hunt unsupervised with a gun until old enough to get a driver’s license, and drive to town to the hardware store on their own without an adult. (I still think that is a good rule). At 16 we could buy .22 shells for $0.78 per box, if we also carried the required note from Dad stating that it was OK, and we used our own money. But .22 rifles are a story for another time...

    Dried green peas or tiny round creek pebbles were our usual practice ammunition, all that was allowed by Dad for use by boys until the age of 12. At 12 we graduated to glass marbles, because they flew more true and hit harder, but had to buy them out of our allowance. As teenagers, after we had proven our ability to bring home "rabbits killed with a cat’seye” we were entrusted with cast lead 00 buckshot, or .36 cal. lead round balls from the Colt mold which came with Great Grandpa's 1851 Navy which he used in the War of Northern Agression. Dad's admonition was that LEAD was "killing" (hunting) ammunition, so practice at a backstop was OK, but no random shooting where we weren't sure where it would go! (Also a good rule!)

    Dad as a farm boy in West Virginia had helped feed his family with a bean flip during the Great Depression. The buckshot and pistol balls we cast in the barn over a WW2 Ranger stove was our preferred, hard hitting and effective slingshot ammo. We mostly hunted rabbits in Mom's kitchen garden, less often raccoons attacking the garbage cans behind the back porch at night or groundhogs whenever we could “Indian-up” upon one along our fence and wood line in the back pasture.

    As kids we were taught to eat what we killed, and learned how to prepare game for Mom’s stew pot, salting the hides, cutting the prime cuts into serving pieces and grinding the bones and guts for chicken feed. NOTHING was wasted.

    But today times have changed. Kids think hamburger grows from a seed planted under the plastic film over the Styrofoam meat tray in the Food Lion. Few kids own slingshots, let alone make their own! Aren’t those something made in China? Indeed many urban areas restrict the sale of “wrist rockets” and such because they are often used as “gang weapons.”

    But in difficult times, which we could easily see again soon, you can do much worse than to make your own slingshot. With diligent practice you can actually feed and defend yourself with it. If the leftist Commie domestic enemies in our country ever get their way we could be reduced to that unless you are willing to die with your gun held in your cold dead fingers...

    To carry a “loaded” slingshot in your overalls back pocket so that it is handy for a fast shot at Mr. Wabbit or Dingus the Drug Dealing Dirtbag (with practice you can draw and shoot a pop can, or a dirtbag in the head at 20 feet in 2 seconds), a single glass marble, 00 buckshot or cast lead pistol ball, either .36 or .44 cal. is centered in the leather pouch, which is LIGHTLY greased with Vaseline, and retained by a rubber band doubled and tucked snugly around the pouch. When the slingshot is drawn and released, the rubber band discards, sending your buckshot, lead ball or marble on its merry way.

    “Bunny wabbit with biscuits tonite Mom!”

    A decade later a high school classmate of mine who shall remain nameless discovered that 9/16" ball bearings from the jet engine maintenance shops made safer ammunition to recon strange noises along the airfield perimeter at night than his issue M16. Whenever a scared 19 year-old touched off a round at night it was certain to initiate search and traversing, interlocking fields of fire from multiple M60s, accompanied by 81mm illumination rounds, and nobody'd get any sleep... A silent, hurled ball bearing would effectively drive off the bats and monkeys and ease the night terrors of a scared kid on his first tour in a combat zone.

    But full disclosure I must tell "The Fable of the Golden BB." Only once during a 9-month tour a hurled ball bearing was answered by a loud "thud" and a weak moan, followed by dead quiet...
    The watch changed without incident. The K9 handler patrolling the perimeter fence at dawn found a sapper hanging upside down in the wire, very dead, bleeding profusely from a head wound. He called the command post on the radio asking the Sgt. of the guard if there had been any firing last night? "Negative Kilo Niner, silent night, all was right." He then clarified "Then we must have some MACV spooks visiting here hunting with night vision because we got a Double Delta (Dead Dink) at Charlie 57 head shot with a .45 and NOBODY heard a f*&$ing sound..."
    Last edited by Outpost75; 03-24-2020 at 10:18 PM.
    The ENEMY is listening.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    Avid slingshooter here guys; made a few bought many. Mr. Buchanan I’m real familiar with Bath MI. Not to far from my grandparents farm, I killed the biggest whitetail doe I’ve ever seen right across the street from the historic marker for the Bath school bombing. Thanks for posting this while I’m home during WhuFlu I’ll break out the sling shots and maybe make one for the boy.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I put some large diameter surgical tubing on a wrist rocket frame I found. Draw weight was pretty stout. Incredible power when using .375 lead round ball ,but the recoil working through the arm brace nearly broke my arm. That's about the only limiting factor with these.
    A better arm brace that spread the recoil force more evenly could allow a truly lethal velocity with heavy lead slugs.

    Perhaps a brace that ran under the extended arm to near the elbow and held down by a Velcro strap might do the job.

    I have a couple of medical fore arm braces with metal inserts, been using one as an arm guard when using my bows.
    Hadn't thought about it till now but it might be adapted.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    I have a couple of wrist rockets. Been using a slingshot since a teenager. I use "atomic fireballs" candy as ammo. Biodegradable.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I have been playing with them for decades too! I found the Simpleshot website several years ago due to some BEAUTIFUL slingshots that they used to feature. Custom made works of are. I bought one of their small simple flips and some bands. Got me a lee buckshot mold and began to shoot it again. So many toys so little time. I lives in the console of my little truck for passing time or????
    Well can’t find what I was talking about, many another site??? Anyway Simpleshot makes some nice simple flips and good bands. There were some nice ones from antler, I found a couple sheds last weekend, well working from home can be good.
    Outpost75, you always have the most interesting posts that remind me of my youth but always bring even more!!! Awesome “disclosure” there!
    Last edited by rking22; 03-25-2020 at 01:03 AM.
    “You don’t practice until you get it right. You practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

  16. #16
    Boolit Master


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    In NJ we weren't allowed to have them. They are considered weapons of mass destruction and you would be charged with a felony, same as a gun. Even a bb gun required a Firearm Identification card. Nice stories folks.

    The link didn't work. Correct link is:
    https://simple-shot.com/slingshots/

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    I've been working my way slowly through "Hell, I was there" and Elmer Kieth talks about using a slingshot in self defense as a boy. Took out a few teeth with it if the story is to be believed and bought enough time for escape.

    I actually made one for my eldest daughter and now that spring is here she'll get to use it more. Crushed up balls of foil for her ammo.
    "There are no solutions there are only tradeoffs" ~ Thomas Sowell

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy Win94ae's Avatar
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    I have 2 wrist rockets on the shelf behind me, just got new bands for them. I have lots of 44cal balls, marbles, and ball bearings to shoot. I also shoot the old time sling, I use large rocks with it.

  19. #19
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    Mr. Wolf: Thanks for the correction on the link. https://simple-shot.com/slingshots/ I changed it in the OP as well. Sorry about the "Fun Police" in NJ, we have them out here too. In fact your state probably got their gun control ideas from us.

    For info the one I got from them was the "Scout LT" and I got some extra bands and the backstop as well. I got the SHOT Show discount and my total was around $65 total.

    The actual Slingshot is the best made one I have ever seen and it uses flat bands rigged over the top and cut to 7:1 pull ratio. 6:1 is considered max. This is the ratio between your draw length and the length of the bands when relaxed. The new Latex material they use promotes faster acceleration rather than brute force like Surgical tubing does. If you need more power you just double up on the bands. I got one set that has two bands per side, but I won't use it for a while as I won't be able to hold it at full draw. The band sets are pre rigged and are better than anything I have made in the past and they are only a few bucks, so no need to reinvent the wheel.

    Randy
    Last edited by W.R.Buchanan; 03-25-2020 at 05:28 PM.
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    Cool thread!! I haven't had one in years though It has crossed my mind. I tried making a simple sling last year but couldn't never get it to work like I wanted. I'm gonna have to get one thanks for the idea. You old guys rock!

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check