David killed Goliath with just a single sling shot so slingshots should never be taken for granted. It is a very simple weapon yet it can also be very lethal. If a giant was killed by a single sling shot then this simple weapon should not be taken for granted. It is not a toy that should be left lying around for kids to play with. Bear in mind that slingshots are lethal.
History of Slingshots
Slingshots were used by people for a long time. It was used as hunting weapon. The very first slingshots were very simple and used a thong and a pouch. From the simple slingshots a more accurate models were made. The innovated slingshots use a y-shaped frame with two elastic strips attached to it. At the end of the elastic strips is a pouch that is usually made of leather.
The use of elastic strips started after rubber was invented. Around 1818 slingshots that use iron frames became popular. These slingshots are used for hunting small games. The surge in the use of hunting slingshots however gained popularity after World War II. This was after a do it yourself slingshot was introduced using dogwood frame that could take out a small game using an 8 mm diameter buckshot.
Later on hunting slingshots that have arrowhead rest were made. These hunting slingshots could take on bigger games. Then more innovations were introduced like the use of rubber tubing and the slingshot body that provides a wrist rest for better accuracy.
Use of slingshots
Slingshots were not just used for hunting. In fact years ago it was used by juvenile delinquents before it was transformed to a nobler use. It was only after later that hunting slingshots became popular. Here are the uses of a slingshot:
Hunting slingshots were used to hunt small games like fowl and rabbits. There are hunting slingshots enthusiasts that only hunt using slingshots.
The slingshot was also used in military operations but it was mostly used by the guerillas. The Irish Republican Army used and its use was promoted by Saddam Hussein.
There are toy slingshots. These are not something that should be given to children as toys but there are toy manufacturers who make plastic slingshots for kids.
It should be remembered that slingshots are lethal so it should be used responsibly.
Here’s a glossary of common terms used in the slingshot sport. There are some slang words too. I think this may help some of the newcomers figure out what we are talking about. Every sport has them and Slingshooting is no different. I know I missed a few so let me know and we’ll add them in. Here’s a few:
- Prongs, forks, branches = the two structures that form the “V”
- Throat, crotch, yoke = the opening between the “V”
- Frame = the body of the slingshot
- Anchor point = The spot usually around the cheek or corner of the mouth where the pouch lands when it’s pulled back.
- Draw = the distance bands are pulled back to the anchor point
- Lam or Laminate frame = Slingshot carved from a multilayered board
- Traditional fork = any slingshot without a brace
- PFS or Pickle Fork Shooter = a very shallow throated,small,thin slingshot
- Tree Fork = a slingshot made from a “V” formed tree branch-Also called a natural fork
- SB’S- Steel Balls- Slingshot ammo of choice
- BB’s Small Round Ammo used for BB Guns and also as a load in a pouch
- “A Load” Shooting more then one pellet in a pouch
- Tubes = tubular rubber
- Chinese tubes = thin tubes
- Flats, flatbands, straps = flat cut rubber
- Cubes = quadrangular-square rubber
- Gauge = the thickness of flat rubber, the thickness of tube walls
- Board cut = a slingshot cut from a board
- Ergo = a board cut slingshot shaped to fit the hand
- Cant= the angle that the slingshot is held at. 45 degree, 90 degree, etc.
- Finger braced = a gripping method where you brace the index finger and the thumb up against the forks for more support
- Pistol grip = a grip where you don’t brace the fingers up against the forks
- Hammer Grip = same as Pistol Grip
- Gangsta Style = Horizontal frame hold, Parallel to ground
- Over the top = a band set-up that allows the bands to fly over the top of the forks
- Knuckle Knock = sometimes the pouch on an over the top set-up comes back and slaps you in the knuckles
- Through the throat, through the fork = a band set-up that allows the bands to go through the “V’ opening or throat
- Chrony = a device that’s used to measure speed(usually in Feet per second)
- Speed Shooting = loading and shooting as fast as you can put ammo on target. Term also used for shooting for high speeds over a Chrony
- Snap Shooting = a super fast draw and release popular with hunters(for obvious reasons) and also shooting for high speeds over a Chrony
- Hysterisis = A condition that happens with rubber when it’s stretched and held for too long causing a loss in velocity
- F.P.S. = a velocity designation, Feet Per Second
- Starship = slang term for any wrist-braced or extended fork slingshot
- Dry shot = shooting a pouch empty (DO NOT DO!!!)
- Chinese Handcuff = a method for putting tubes on the forks(round metal) where the tips are moistened and the tubes are slipped on. When dry,the action of pulling back the sling tightens the tube-prong connection so they won’t come off
- Pre-stressing = stretching the rubber before tying on to a pouch or a post. Reduces pouch curl on a pouch connection and makes a more secure attachment at the posts for a non-”Chinese” attachment
- African Wrap = a method of attaching rubber to the posts where the rubber is run down the front of the posts to the base of the prongs. Leather strips or strong cord is wrapped all the way around and up until it reaches the tops of the posts. A very secure way but a long band is needed
- Spanish or Spain Attachment = A method of attaching rubbers to the forks where by holes are drilled down into the posts,then small leather strips or strong nylon cords(both ends) are pressed down into the hole forming a small loop. Toothpicks or other wedging material is forced into the hole with the addition of a strong wood glue. The rubbers are attached to the loop when the glue is dry. Make sure the loop is securely anchored before shooting.
- Gypsy Tabs = Leather or other suitable material attached to the prongs which bands are attached to. Makes the last longer-popular is some European countries.
- Cupped pouch or dimpled pouch = a pouch that has a cup in the center for ammo placement
- Double cupped pouch = a pouch that has a cup on each side of the pouch for ammo placement(also good for loads)
- Pouch slap, band slap = the assembly slaps or hits the post when going through the throat.It also rubs a little on an over the top set-up but not as much.
- Center punched = a hole right in the middle of the pouch for ammo placement
- 3 hole pouch = like a center punched pouch but the center hole is the same size as the band holes. It is a self centering type pouch
- Ventilated pouch = a series of holes(5-10) punched in a pouch to reduce air drag and lessen weight
- Wings = The ends of a flat strap assembly that come through the pouch hole after tying. Also same thing with a tube set tied in this fashion
- Hole in Tube, Hole in Strap = the pouch connection on a tube assembly where a small hole is made close to the end of the tube.The tube is then feed through the pouch hole and into the tube hole making the attachment.Probably the most popular method of tube to pouch connection.Also was done in the past on flat strap assemblies(not as good on flats)
- Flier = a wild shot, not going where intended
- Group or grouping = a specified number of shots at a specific distance(shots are measured to see how close they are
- A slotted attachment or Matchstick method = A thin cut is made in the top of the post. The end of the rubber is folded over about 1 inch and stretched to fit in the slot.The addition of a matchstick in the loop or a rubber piece aids in securing it
- Double slotted attachment = two thin cuts are made in the top of the post. Rubber is stretched to fit into the slot nearest the throat first,then stretched around to fit in the outer slot. The rubber is then pulled tight to seat up against the fork. A popular method used on older wooden slingshots(Wham-o, Lohman, Bullseye Etc.)
- Catch box = a cardboard box or other material with an opening in the front and rags, old t-shirts, or towels hanging behind the opening to catch ammo shot at a hanging target in the front of the box
- Straight set = A straight cut band assembly
- Tapered bands or tapered tubes = Rubber cut with a wide end for the post and a narrow end for the pouch.Gives more speed then a straight cut
- Gauge Taper = On sheet rubber sometimes the sheet is thicker on one end then the other.
- Double Taper = On some flat rubber the rubber sheet itself is tapered(Gauge Taper). One end is thicker then the other. If bands are cut properly from this type sheet, you can get a double taper-thickness of the rubber plus the width. Thin and narrow end at pouch, thick and wide end at forks. A very fast high performing set of bands possible with this cut
- A Shoot = A slingshot Tournament or a gathering of slingshot shooters
- Flippers Draw, Albatross style, or Butterfly Draw = A drawing style. It is popular in the Czech Republic and also used by old timers down in the south U.S.A. The pouch is drawn up from the waist and at the same time the the frame holding hand is pushed out as far as possible, the pouch is drawn back well behind the normal anchor point. Aim is by feel and a lot of practice.A very difficult style but great speeds are possible because of the extra long draw
- Rotating Prongs = a movable or rotating attachment at posts,especially helpful with tubes.Helps them last longer and gives more speed
- Palm Knob, Heel Knob, Palm Swell = a swell at the bottom of the handle of some slingshots (can also be a swell in the middle too). Aids in gripping and in security
- “Missed by that much” = An exclamation used by all slingshooters!
There are more terms but it’s supper time for me!!!! Flatband:D