I’M NEW TO SLINGSHOTS. WHAT KIND SHOULD I USE?
- A wrist braced tube slingshot?
- A flip style board cut?
- A Chinese slingshot?
It doesn’t really matter. You’re learning trajectories and building up your muscle groups and the rest is a matter of fine tuning.
WHY DON’T YOU OFFER A WRIST BRACED SLINGSHOT AND WHY ARE THEY BANNED IN SOME COUNTRIES?
A wrist brace reduces wrist movement, particularly stopping forks from canting back under severe band traction. This increases accuracy and allows for a stronger pull.
Some countries banned braces because they wanted to limit the power of slingshots. it’s hard to legislate against kinetic energy or speed, because who’s to say what each person can pull or whether they would change the bands, so they just said no wrist braces.
TUBE OR FLAT BAND?
The ratio of surface area to the insides determines the speed the band can pull back at. A thick lump of a band is slower than a thin band. Thick elastic is less sensitive to shot weight than thin elastic.
Most tubes have relatively thick walls.
The advantage of tubes is a relatively long life because tearing usually starts at the edge and quickly propagates through thin elastic.
POUCH SIZE AND LEATHER?
Pouch size should generally be 2 1/2″ or 6cm long, about 1/2″ (12mm) wide. Some people like bigger or smaller depending on what they shoot. The ball should fit in the pouch with room in front of it to securely hold it within the pouch
We highly recommend SuperSure Products bonded leather pouches. There is no finer pouch a available
WHAT IS FORK WIDTH/HEIGHT?
People measure it differently.
Width: Some measure side to side inside of the fork, some the middle of the tips and some the outside. Fork width isn’t a big deal for flip shooters, more critical for wooden between the fork shooters.
Height: Some measure from the bottom of the fork, others from the hand. A low fork makes for less rotation back under traction. A high one is safer. It’s a matter of preference.
WHAT IS FORK HIT?
The shot hitting the fork. Often caused by poor release technique or uneven band tension due to poor form. When you are learning, they will happen! However, once you have mastered the few basic elements of proper slingshot shooting technique, they will become a rare thing of the past.
HOW SHOULD I ATTACH BANDS TO A FORK?
There are many ways. Here are examples:
- Tube on prong
- Flatbands tied over the top with elastic
- Flatbands tied around a natural fork
- Chinese “Ball in Tube” method
- Chinese “Custom Style” method
Visit the 'Learn' section for some great videos on how to attach the bands
HOW SHOULD I ATTACH A POUCH TO BANDS?
There are many ways. Here are examples:
- Burn a hole through the tube and loop through it
- Flatband tip looped through the pouch and tied with elastic or string
- A double length looped through and tied off
WHAT KIND OF AMMO I SHOULD USE?
Dense balls are best. Any object that is roughly spherical such as marbles, ball bearings, lead round ball or hex nuts. The weight is critical. It should fast and straight without dipping excessively.
STEEL BALLS OR LEAD BALLS?
Steel is long lasting, packs a punch and is non-toxic, but it may rebound or ricochet at lethal velocities.
Lead flies straighter, packs a bigger punch and is less prone to rebounding, but can deform on impact. Also there is the potential toxicity of handling lead that should be taken into consideration.
HOW DO TARGET SHOOTING AND HUNTING DIFFER?
Target: use lighter ammo permitting lighter bands
Hunting: keep it as light as possible but you still have to kill your target at range so need heavier ammo and bands to match
FLIP STYLE OR BUTTERFLY STYLE?
It’s not about “or” as they are not mututally exclusive. They can be combined.
Flip refers to the wrist action of a natural flipping of the forks forward on release of rearward traction. It makes for a smooth release and avoids fork hits.
Butterfly refers to drawing it past the rear shoulder. It suits intuitive shooting and is a lighter draw with longer acceleration time.
WHAT SAFETY EQUIPMENT DO I NEED?
Polycarbonate glasses at a bare minimum and a healthy dose of common sense.
IS THERE ANY MAINTENANCE NEED FOR SLINGSHOTS?
Follow the maker’s instructions.
Inspect the frame, bands, ties and pouch frequently.
Keep the bands dry and away from oils and store them out of sunlight Latex protectant is desireable.
Don’t let the frame become damaged, especially the fork and tips. If it’s wood, avoid extremes of moisture and dryness.
If the pouch shows signs of wear or weakness, replace it.
WHAT IS "ACTIVE BAND LENGTH" AND WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
- The percent of elongation. Most bands reach peak performance at around 500% elongation. If you have a thirty inch draw length and your active band length is 6 inches, you have reached 500% elongation. At this point, you are achieving good performance coupled with moderate bandlife. One could shorten the active band length in this example by one inch, would push the bands to 600% elongation. The result would be more speed but at the expense of shortened band life. Going past 600% elongation does little to incrementally increase speed and drastically reduces band life.
- As one begins to experiment with other elastics, the active band length can be a good benchmark for assessing one elastic's performance against another. As an example, a person may enjoy a given taper in .030" latex at a given active band length. If they were to use the same taper dimensions with a thicker or thinner material, using the same active band length helps one to assess the performance characteristics in a more meaningful way.