Summertime Fun: Slingshots

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Slingshots aren’t exactly firearms. However, I consider them as being a “back-to-basics” when it comes to launching small projectiles at targets down range: a reminder of why some of us like to shoot. Being back home for part of the summer, my dad was nice enough to refurbish some 30+ year old slingshots that I had used growing up. Mostly for the younger kids to learn and practice on, but honestly I’m not ashamed to admit that shooting slingshots is still a lot of fun.

One of the best parts about slingshots that you can just walk around and find natural targets. However, besides rehabbing the old wrist rockets, he also built a skills target for the kids to practice their aim. If you decide to build something similar yourself, make sure you adjust the angle and keep it a fair distance from the shooters to avoid ricochets.

TFB Summertime Fun: Slingshots

TFB Summertime Fun: Slingshots

Depending on the weight of the ammunition and the band you outfit your slingshot with, the maximum range is between 50-250 yards. So just like in the powder burner world, make sure you know your target, backstop and what’s behind it. Besides injuries, slingshot ammo can damage important (and costly) items like gigantic window panes.

TFB Summertime Fun: Slingshots

TFB Summertime Fun: Slingshots

Ammunition sources can range from scrounged rocks to marbles and steel balls. While rocks are certainly suitable, flat or oblong shapes can cause wild in-air curves. For precision work, ball bearings are a must. This glass ball ammo is 30 years old – a holdout from simpler times.

TFB Summertime Fun: Slingshots

TFB Summertime Fun: Slingshots

Whether or not you you have kids, consider picking up a slingshot or two. There’s a solid month left of Summer, you might as well relive some childhood memories.

Sadly, check your local laws and regulations; some states have banned slingshots. (I’m looking at you, Massachusetts.)


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Laserhawk Marksman Folding Slingshot – http://www.beeman.com/store/product.asp?ret_id=1240879&pid=66441

MSRP: $9.95

Specifications:

  • Tempered steel yoke and arm support
  • Highest quality tubular thrust bands
  • Arm support designed for comfort and greater velocity
  • Fold-up design for easy storage and carrying

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Trumark FS-1 Slingshot – http://www.slingshots.com/html/sling-shots-fs1.html

MSRP: $12.95

TRUMARK’S FS-1 Wrist-braced slingshot folds to a compact size. The FS-1, FSX-2000, and FSXFO are the only folding slingshots made with an ammo storage chamber inside the handle. The wrist-brace can be easily removed from the handle, and reinstalled later. Although removing the wrist-brace turns the FS-1 into a non wrist-braced, slingshot, you can still store items in the handle. The handle can store ammo, matches, small knives, or repair kit. It’s unique bottom valve “flips”open, to dispense 5/16″, 3/8″ or 1/2″ ammo. The hollow handle also keeps the slingshot floating if accidently dropped in the water.

Unlike all other, solid-core-handle, folding slingshots sold today with handles molded in two pieces, Trumark’s handles do not use glue, rivets, or screws to hold them together. They are molded in one complete piece! The wide aluminum forks, with a 4 1/2” spread between the prongs, increases powerband life. The light non-rust aircraft aluminum frame and compact size make the FS-1 sling shot a favorite survival aid for campers, hunters, and backpackers. Powered by matched-pull latex RR-1 powerbands, described here, with a split-chrome leather pouch…225 Yd. Range!

 

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Trumark Steel Ball Ammo – http://www.slingshots.com/html/ammunition-sa30.html

MSRP: $4.95

Trumark’s® Steel-Ball Ammo has been selected for it’s special size, it’s not too small and not too large. Ammo that is 1/4″ or smaller is too light. It will “tear up” wrist braced slingshot bands that need more weight in the pouch when shot. Steel ammunition that is larger than 3/8″ is too heavy and unsafe if used improperly. Trumark’s ammo is a good balance between light and heavy, and is the ideal size for shooting in all wrist-braced slingshots. Perfectly round, Grade A ammo centers easily in the pouch, and lets you concentrate on the target as you get ready to shoot. (Grade B ammo has a “flat spot” that is found on cheaper metal balls designed to mix paint in spray cans). Avoid paint can balls. Shoot Trumark® Grade A steel balls for BULL’S-EYE accuracy! 120 Shots per bag.


Trumark – http://www.slingshots.com/#

Boulder, CO

For phone orders: 1-844-878-6272
8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday-Friday.
Saturday & Sunday: 1-303-817-2420

Beeman/Marksman – http://www.beeman.com/store/contact.asp?ret_id=1240879

help@marksman.com

Marksman
10652 Bloomfield Ave
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
http://www.beeman.com
1-800-227-2744



Pete

LE – Science – OSINT.
On a mission to make all of my guns as quiet as possible.
Pete.M@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • BattleshipGrey

    I have a lot of past experience with a slingshot, probably more than I should’ve. My best shot was hitting a “goose-sized” target at 100 yards (not that it was my most ethical shot).

    My bands always seemed to break when I was on a good roll though.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Ha “goose-sized”.

    • Edeco

      …but not goose-like in any other way, right?

    • John

      Hey, a Turkey is “goose sized” and if you did in November KUDOS!

    • David Mc

      I never tried no 100 yards, I just figured there wouldn’t be much or any steam left after getting it there. But on the other hand 15 or 20 yards, I would put it there.

  • pun&gun

    Why on earth would you ban slingshots…?

    • Anonymoose

      Broken windows?

    • Edeco

      It’s interesting. Cartridge firearms of course are regulated, but allowed, kindof, maybe, at some level in all states. For the areas that seek maximum regulation, it’s like they’re forced to allow guns, but anything else, you know there’s been news about taser bans lately, the state authorities think (1) is theirs to lord over and (2) is scary due to not being regulated like guns.

      My point being, I’m thinking, and it’s not a happy thought, that this ongiong trench warfare over relatively minor regs on guns has created a toxic situation for non-gun sporting and self-defense items and knives.

      • Pete – TFB Writer

        I think it has to do more with some people want to “save us” from any sort of danger. That they know better.

        • Edeco

          Certainly, that’s the motivation. But my point is, where they’re frustrated on guns, they can succeed on slingshots. Like a bad-day-at-work-kick-the-dog thing. And it’s exacerbated because slingshots are not centrally regulated, making them seemingly more dangerous. Guns become isolated, like you can have those but nothing else for sure, which isn’t a strong position

          What all this means is, to me, one can’t cheat principle. People say like a certain pro-gun association is just being pragmatic. Well, OK. I’m really not blaming them for slingshot bans. But I don’t think unprincipled pragmatism a solid stand-alone long-term plan. It allows one to get cut off from behind.

          • Pete – TFB Writer

            I agree. We are on the same page.

        • Rodney Steward

          It worked for Hitler!

    • John

      You see the goal is not ban slingshots per-se, it is to ban any enjoyable recreational activity that is both cheap and educational (you know velocity times mass and all that good stuff). We’re supposed to just shut up and pay the $4300 to put our kids in a summer camp and leave the slingshots to the military!

      • Rodney Steward

        It should be an Olympic sport, better than a lot of the things they have!

        • John

          You know, that’s true but with today’s Olympics, they would add laser guidance systems and an electronic trigger!

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    You can put a serious dent in somebody’s melon with one of those things.

  • B.

    I’ve found the folding type of wrist braced slingshots tend to break easier than their non-folding counterparts. The folding brace itself is the weak point in the system.
    Saunders Archery SR7 is the style I had as a kid, and had it not been stolen when I was in HS would likely still be in my home today because they are a simple, well made slingshot for just under $20 online.

  • DanGoodShot

    Wow. MA ban sling shots?? How.. whu… whe… Merica???

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Make or purchase is banned. Possession is not, it appears.

  • Art out West

    I agree that slingshots are a lot of fun.
    Also, in regard to Mass. banning them, it should be fought on a 2nd Am. basis. Knives, spears, atlatl, swords, slingshots, tazers, airguns, etc. are all “Arms” and are protected. The Constitution specifies “arms” not the subcategory of “firearms” as what is protected. We have the right to keep and bear “arms”, not just “firearms”.

    • noob

      I’d love to see someone try to use that old “the founding fathers never imagined that technology” argument on slingshots.

  • Data Venia

    Anything hard and regular makes good ammo. So while glass marbles are a bad idea, jawbreakers are a good one. Similarly, If they’re old enough not to eat it, expired aspirin tabs or the like would make good frangible ammo for plinking.

  • Disarmed in CA

    Dried beans are good for close-up work and are ‘environmentally friendly’
    I haven’t quite figured out how to aim to POI yet, have the cheap one up top. Cheap pump BB guns are more satisfying and accurate for me.

  • noob

    In Victoria, Australia the Control of Weapons Regulations 2011 lists slingshots as a “prohibited weapon” under schedule 3:
    16 A hunting sling or slingshot designed or adapted to be used with an arm brace which fits or rests on the forearm to support the wrist from the tension of the elastic material used to propel the projectile (including the device commonly known as the “Saunders Falcon Hunting Sling”).

    17 A catapult, shanghai or hunting sling (without arm brace described in item 16) that is manufactured and intended for commercial distribution.

    • Tassiebush

      Yep it’s just as legally crap down here too not that anyone pays attention of course.

      • James in Australia

        Really? That must be recent as last year I picked one up on the way to Hobart Airport over the counter at a sports shop.
        Checking Victoria’s regulations at the airport I then gifted it to a local before flying home.

        • Tassiebush

          Yeah they are in shops. I have seen them too but they are not legal and haven’t been since the 90s if I recall correctly. Sometimes they are sold as bait casters. Sometimes they are sold as frames and bands separately. It’s just not enforced but it could be.

  • Roscoe

    Ice cubes……just sayin’

  • Tassiebush

    I’ve got a lot of lead balls around my yard. Not ideal for practice ammo.

  • Pete – TFB Writer

    Good call. Can’t make or buy them, but possession isn’t illegal.

  • elkhunt

    THE OL WRIST ROCKET GOT ME LOTS O GAME AND FUN….

  • David Mc

    O Hillery get to looking at this & she will be trying to take our Slingshots away & give them to the muslims.

  • Rodney Steward

    I still love my flip, use marbles most of the time and love the steel ball or bearings when I can get them! I’ve been carrying a flip for over 40 years along with a few others around here! We’ve taken small game many times, and is a great way to get even with idiots, no one expects a flip to be used for getting even! But this just come from a friend that had trouble with a certain person messing with his mailbox!!

  • Rocketman

    Small game hunting with a slingshot makes a lot of sense. You can take small animals and birds and not spook the larger game with a gunshot. I also think that it would be a good thing to have on a private plane if you were worried about being forced down in rough rural country. With reuseable ammo you could survive a long time.