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Any slingshotters out there?

 
pollinator
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Is that what you are called?

I just ordered some, plus some practice ammo.  I've been watching some videos, to get ideas about how and what kind of targets I can make.

I did a search but didn't find too much mention here about slingshots, which really surprises me.

So, anyone out there?
 
author & pollinator
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Alina Green wrote:Is that what you are called?

I just ordered some, plus some practice ammo.  I've been watching some videos, to get ideas about how and what kind of targets I can make.

I did a search but didn't find too much mention here about slingshots, which really surprises me.

So, anyone out there?



I am very out of practice, but I used to really enjoy target practice and small game hunting with one.  It has probably been 10 years since I even had a quality slingshot!
 
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I plant seeds with a slingshot. I form a clay ball with seeds inside. I can shoot it hundreds of feet into the wildlands, which saves me the effort of climbing a hill. And the clay protects the seeds from the elements and critters until enough moisture and heat arrives for them to germinate.
seed-ball.jpg
seed ball for slingshot planting
seed ball for slingshot planting
 
Judson Carroll
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:I plant seeds with a slingshot. I form a clay ball with seeds inside. I can shoot it hundreds of feet into the wildlands, which saves me the effort of climbing a hill. And the clay protects the seeds from the elements and critters until enough moisture and heat arrives for them to germinate.



... exactly what we would expect Joseph Lofthouse to say!  Living legend permaculture guy uses a slingshot to shoot clay ball seeds.... yep.
 
Alina Green
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Wow, very cool.  I would never have thought of that!

What kind of seeds are you throwing?  Is it woods that you're shooting into?
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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I use a wide spectrum of seeds: grains, grasses, legumes, wildflowers, microbes, and fungi.

I take the Fukuoka approach of planting as many species as I can acquire, hoping that some will get established. I differ from Fukuoka because he made seed balls containing only one seed. I make balls containing an ecosystem.  I use only clay as the carrier, not things like kelp agar.

I plant into all types of ecosystems. The grasses in my current mix work better in sunny drylands than in more damp shady areas. The wildflowers vary between shade loving and sun loving.

I'd like to include more millets in the next batch of seedballs that I make.

 
pollinator
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I'm out of practice about half as long as Judson mentioned above, though all I did was target practice in the backyard. Just today, Paul gifted me a new slingshot and some glass marbles for ammo. I'll be jumping back into the practice, especially since it's our chosen method to repel turkeys from the hugel berms...

 
pollinator
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Howdy

ball bearings from replacing worn out axle bearings, ammo.
 
Alina Green
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:I use a wide spectrum of seeds: grains, grasses, legumes, wildflowers, microbes, and fungi.

I take the Fukuoka approach of planting as many species as I can acquire, hoping that some will get established. I differ from Fukuoka because he made seed balls containing only one seed. I make balls containing an ecosystem.  I use only clay as the carrier, not things like kelp agar.

I plant into all types of ecosystems. The grasses in my current mix work better in sunny drylands than in more damp shady areas. The wildflowers vary between shade loving and sun loving.

I'd like to include more millets in the next batch of seedballs that I make.



Thank you for doing that!  I'm hoping that all the teeny tiny things people are doing all over the world will (sometime soon) create a tipping point, in favor of changing that path we're on, from destroying the planet, to restoring it.

Sounds like there is something wrong with kelp agar?
 
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Sling Shots are enjoying a new golden age,  after the long dark of the 1990's when "wrist rockets" faded from the inventory of teenage boys.  

The mad German scientist and inventor Jorge Sprave  (may he sling forever) and his homemade Rambone slingshot have a lot to do with that. Sprave has also revolutionized the pistol crossbow, the stick bow, the catapult and anything else he can weaponize.  Ever wondered if you could launch an old circular saw blade through a police riot shield? Sprave knows these things.
Slingshot Channel

A properly strung Rambone is much easier to carry and conceal, as accurate, as powerful, and faster to load than a wrist rocket. They are also cheaper and easier to source rubber for.  Here's an expert in their use.
How to shoot

Wrist rockets are better for slingshot fishing in my experience.

In today's world of nosey drones, ubiquitous cameras, gunshot location installations, background/ID checks on air rifles,  and endless busybody  tattle tells with cell phones,  the time of the slingshot has returned.  There are endless reasons why a homesteader might want to quickly and near silently hurl a rock or a ball bearing or a marble a few dozen feet with surprising accuracy and considerable force. The handmade or store-bought rambone style slingshot  allows this capability to be tucked into a pocket. You can upcycle all sorts of rubber for the bands.

Like longbows and recurves, slingshots are learned reflexive shooters. That means they can be used in the dark, and for indirect shots. Super handy.

The traditional braided fiber sling is also enjoying a renaissance, and those are fun but harder to master. Their power, range, and versatility in the hands of a practiced user should never be underestimated, but it is a much more demanding hobby with little use outside of survival hunting and desperation based asymmetrical warfare. Still, hurling a half pound ball of wet clay through a 3/4 sheet of plywood with a rope and a leather pouch is a lot of fun and a good shoulder workout.

Happy slinging to you all!


 
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I use nice round rocks from the riverbed gravel I had installed 20 years ago on the driveway.

I checked with the wildlife inspectors and they said it was okay if I shoot at the invasive black squirrels from the cities that have been driving out the red squirrels.

That's all I shoot at. Better than the BB which would leave pellets lying around.

I love Joseph Lofthouse's clay balls (had to add an adjective there that just looked so wrong!!!) and I'm going to shoot me some landrace balls of marrow with pigeon poop and sugar sand with a coating of the local clay a métis friend will be showing me that I need for my mud oven
 
Jeff Lindsey
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Ok, some more on slingshots.

Cans hung from trees and lined up on boards, IMHO, make the best targets. It is simple and cheap and traditional for a reason. The feedback from the ammo hitting the can is instructive and fun. You will probably be shooting at things on the ground, below your normal line of sight, and things higher than your normal line of sight, so practice those shots. Shooting down is always tricky. When you get good, have someone toss the cans up for you. You can get good enough to hit those.

After a while, don't buy ammo packaged as such, except the clay stuff for use when you can't recover your ammo. It is too easy. Scrounge it. Go to good riverbeds and beaches to find smooth round rocks, find marbles and ball bearings in thrift stores, cast your own .50 caliber lead balls for the serious shots. If you value your ammo like a poor kid values their ammo, you will shoot with more care and you will have more fun as the ammo sourcing becomes part of the process. Paint balls can be shot, with all sorts of effects, but you can't squeeze the pouch hard.

Keep the clay, marbles, and ball bearings to the inanimate objects.  If you are ending varmints larger than mice, the animals deserves the clean kill of a heavy lead ball or a heavy steel hex nut shot vertically at short range, not a broken bone or a slow death from internal injuries because you have some fear of lead. Wear a  thin glove if you must.  Don't shoot birds at all unless you mean to kill them, a marble or even a bb can maim their fragile bodies. I have seen with my own eyes a turkey's breast plate stop bird shot. I have also seen turkey's  tragically blinded by bb shot and turkeys trying to survive with a broken wing.  Either kill the bird or use a method to scare it away. Don't wound animals.

Inspect your bands before every practice session, paying special attention to the ends of the tubes on wrist rockets. Cracked tubes at those points, on the sling or pouch, are the main points of failure.

Wear eye protection. It only takes one little failure of a bit of rubber to ruin your eye. It is really the only danger, except shooting your own hand that is supporting the slingshot. Just wear a pair of safety glasses.

There's a lot of options for carrying ammo. A small Crown Royal bag was the cool thing in 1985, and anything cool then is magically cool in these lesser times. I personally believe that a green Crown Royale bag gives you a +1 to hit, but your mileage may vary. Cigar tubes are the best paintball carriers if you are packing these discreetly.

For the real sling, paracord works as well, if not better, than natural fiber rope. Leather remains the best choice for pouches. River rocks and old billiard balls are your easily sourced ammo for these slings. You can fit 4 billiard balls in a 1980's era army surplus M16 magazine pouch and still close the pouch securely, in case you were wondering.

Happy slinging again.






 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Alina Green wrote:Sounds like there is something wrong with kelp agar?



Kelp agar, a common ingredient in Japan, binds things together nicely. I can't source it readily in the middle on continental North America.

 
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Slingshots are banned in Australia. They are classed as a weapon here.
 
gardener
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A plain sling is a lot of fun too. I can sling a bigger rock as well.
 
Alina Green
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As usual, sounds like there is a lot to learn and as many rabbit holes to travel down as you want to!  

I watched this, where he recreated the shot of the boy saving his sister, and then I watched his interview with the boy.  It was very eye opening to see how difficult a time he had of it, with all his experience and skill.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hT3ZsbwlNSM&t=1317s



Yup, classified as a weapon...and then banned.  A sign of the times.

Thanks for everyone's input.
 
Alina Green
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I assume this is the type of sling you are talking about?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28r-MQejnHg
 
master steward
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Hi Wayne,

Welcome to Permies.
 
Robert Ray
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Yes Alina, a shepherds sling is what I was talking about. Now look at cestrosphendone darts for another rabbit hole to go down.
 
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The man, the myth the legend.
 
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If you are using metal ammo,
you can glue a magnet to the handle and stick ammo to it.
Easier and quicker than pulling it out of a bag.
 
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Do you mean wrist-rocketeers or slingers ala David? I've had fun with both. For max wristrocket effect ball bearings are pretty good, for a leather sling damp clay is easy for shaping the desired ovoid, or pick through a pile of river rock. (it's not the hardness it's the kinetic energy that causes the desired damage, ie a helmet won't save you) I saw a Youtube of a REAL hot shot Brit slinger who could nail small targets. Gives you real insight as to why good slingers were well-paid mercenaries.
 
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So, after knee surgery last spring, I was given a 7+ft section of 'flat band' exercise elastic. Immediately seeing the 'cross-utilization' of such, I cut off a 2ft section and made a nice sling shot. They sell such in various places, or 'if' you have a friend in orthopedics who could 'requisition' you a piece...well, there you go..!   Myk  ..(PS..note here, a 'spare' in the vehicle, 'could' be used for 'self-protection'...in a pinch..., aahh , just sayin'
 
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I am enamored of the sling bow.
Modern sling shots have enough force to launch arrows, and whisker biscuits,  borrowed from archery,  allow for a clean release.
Some users claim to hunt deer with them!
That said, I can't see any sling as an everyday use item unless you are hunting varmints.
As a fun thing to practice for emergency use, they are absolutely amazing.
If I carried one, I would be more likely to use it, and I don't want killing things to be a goto move.
Practically speaking, I don't think I can kill my way out of my pest issues.

The seed balls turn a killing tool into a planting tool
I'm inspired to go work on my Von Bachmayr Seed  Drum project...
 
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Had a wrist rocket in the '70s, what a blast to use. Always scoured the local train tracks for "railroad marbles", taconite ore. "Often found near railroad beds are rough rusty-brown spheres of taconite or "iron" ore. These aren't really marbles, but I'll mention them here just to prevent any confusion. Taconite is a mineral containing about 25-30% iron in the form of magnetite. It was not a profitable source of iron until after World War II, and in the 1950s a process was devised that made it more commercially viable. In this process, the taconite is pulverized and the magnetite is separated by magnets. This iron powder is then combined with clay and limestone to form pellets containing 65% iron. These pellets are commonly conveyed by rail, and are lost through accidents or poor handling along railroad tracks." Ohio Metal Detecting
 
Jeff Lindsey
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Tracy Steele wrote:Had a wrist rocket in the '70s, what a blast to use. Always scoured the local train tracks for "railroad marbles", taconite ore. "Often found near railroad beds are rough rusty-brown spheres of taconite or "iron" ore. These aren't really marbles, but I'll mention them here just to prevent any confusion. Taconite is a mineral containing about 25-30% iron in the form of magnetite. It was not a profitable source of iron until after World War II, and in the 1950s a process was devised that made it more commercially viable. In this process, the taconite is pulverized and the magnetite is separated by magnets. This iron powder is then combined with clay and limestone to form pellets containing 65% iron. These pellets are commonly conveyed by rail, and are lost through accidents or poor handling along railroad tracks." Ohio Metal Detecting



Tracy,
I hunted the exact same ammo as a boy in the 1970's!  We called them "cinder balls". Wicked ammo from a wrist rocket. We had a cinder track at school and you could find them there as well.  I've got one the size of a golf ball here on my shelf, recovered from a river in eastern Colorado.

Great times.

Jeff
 
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My most recent dealings with slingshots was in and around 2001 to 2006 in and around Fernández, Santiago del Estero province, Argentina. I lived on the edge of the town of Fernández, mostly dirt streets, where the neighbours and students of the school would use slingshots. One of the uses for the slingshots was to kill my chooks. I was a relatively naive Canadian gringo of temperate continental clime, dumped in to a Spanish-speaking foreign country and culture in a dryland, very hot, sub-tropical climate, and raising chickens for the first time in my life. I often could associate better with the weather, plants and animals than with most of the human specimens however foreign those all were to me. For slingshots, the kids would fashion their "Y" piece of the slingshot from a locally available tree or branch crotch. The elastic, flexible, part of their slingshot came from old bicycle inner tubes. In this climate one could bike all year and could nearly go barefoot all year. Gentle, generous, but very hot at times and unbearable. This compared to my climate of native origin as was evidenced by the bizareness and foreign practice of hot weather at Christmas and New Year's eve, plus that i could hear the roosters calling all night as well as the firecrackers at night to mark these. Much different than the cold, snow and relative quiet—and lack of firecrackers and fireworks—at this time of year. Plus i was a total newbie at/with chooks, the Australian word for chickens. The chooks there in Santiago del Estero were partially nomadic, they would range far even if it was through other peoples' gardens, properties or spaces . Neighbours' chooks would be crossing through, travelling in and amidst my edges of living and working.

Ammo also needed to be invented or specifically located and obtained: there weren't even rocks in this bioregion-- ancient lakes, seabeds and also plenty of saline environments. So the slingshotters had to be creative, imaginative. Construction materials might sometimes yield ammo.

It was thanks to the slingshots—home mande, including from rubber from disgardeded, excess, unwanted, no longer useful (in its first function/iteration) that they were able to speed their trajectory onto plucking, gutting and BBQing my chooks to eventually feast on them. I have to say that the Argentinians are real masters of the original barbequeing. They have gotten the science and art of cooking/baking/roasting/boiling with fire down. For example, they manage their fires such that they always have a (small, secondary) fire going on the side to heat up water or for other utilitarian uses as well as a source from which to scoop out their real, home-made coals (charcoal purchase avoidance) to power the BBQ.
 
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https://chiefaj.com/
I met Chief AJ years ago when they were filming for a TV special with him using a sling bow.
 
Jeff Lindsey
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Louis Laframboise wrote:My most recent dealings with slingshots was in and around 2001 to 2006 in and around Fernández, Santiago del Estero province, Argentina. One of the uses for the slingshots was to kill my chooks.



Louis, that’s low. Dang. I take a dim, dim view of stealing a man’s animals.  

I take it you made your own slingshot, beefed up for a man’s strength, and counter hunted the miscreants until they learned to fear both the dark and your chickens?  A rock for a rock, that’s the slingshot way.

Regardless of the outcome, that’s a hard time. I’d like to hear more stories about your time down there.  

 
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Jeff Lindsey wrote:

The mad German scientist and inventor Jorge Sprave  (may he sling forever) and his homemade Rambone slingshot have a lot to do with that. Sprave has also revolutionized the pistol crossbow, the stick bow, the catapult and anything else he can weaponize.  Ever wondered if you could launch an old circular saw blade through a police riot shield? Sprave knows these things.
Slingshot Channel

A properly strung Rambone is much easier to carry and conceal, as accurate, as powerful, and faster to load than a wrist rocket. They are also cheaper and easier to source rubber for.  Here's an expert in their use.
How to shoot



You must have missed Joerg Sprave as he served himself a headshot with a huge slingshot against a target leaning onto his garden shed.
Nice round hole luckily between the eyes and not in the eyes.

He was weeping big time for his wife with blood rinsing out of his forehead ..

This guy is dangerous and no one should try to copy him...

I prefer my recurve 37lbs.
When the crows are attacking my little chickens and they do it just for fun,
from 50 Yards I join the fun.
One got hit and a dozend will escape and sure remember.
Now it's even enough when my dogs carry a stick they fly away.
 
Alina Green
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wow, loved the video of the old guy.  Is that what they call "intuitive shooting," where you don't really aim, you just do it by feel, because you've done it so much before?

But geez, that's a slow way to mow down your weeds.  
 
Tracy Steele
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See Hes wrote:

Jeff Lindsey wrote:

The mad German scientist and inventor Jorge Sprave  (may he sling forever) and his homemade Rambone slingshot have a lot to do with that. Sprave has also revolutionized the pistol crossbow, the stick bow, the catapult and anything else he can weaponize.  Ever wondered if you could launch an old circular saw blade through a police riot shield? Sprave knows these things.
Slingshot Channel

A properly strung Rambone is much easier to carry and conceal, as accurate, as powerful, and faster to load than a wrist rocket. They are also cheaper and easier to source rubber for.  Here's an expert in their use.
How to shoot



You must have missed Joerg Sprave as he served himself a headshot with a huge slingshot against a target leaning onto his garden shed.
Nice round hole luckily between the eyes and not in the eyes.

He was weeping big time for his wife with blood rinsing out of his forehead ..

This guy is dangerous and no one should try to copy him...

I prefer my recurve 37lbs.
When the crows are attacking my little chickens and they do it just for fun,
from 50 Yards I join the fun.
One got hit and a dozend will escape and sure remember.
Now it's even enough when my dogs carry a stick they fly away.



Apparently that was a well-played hoax video The Making Of - Crazy Slingshot Guy Fake Injury Trolling
 
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I just recently bought a bunch of the inexpensive clay target ammo for my old wrist rocket after having watched the "Fowler" youtube guy shoot his tiny, but deadly, slingshot.  I really enjoy being able to shoot it out the window and have the ammo break up into the dirt without having to worry about metal/glass in the yard.

I also bought one of the .60 cal big bore blow guns a few years ago.  That's a lot of fun, and it is no joke of a weapon.  There is a video online of it taking down a black bear at very close range.  Lot's of tours in Florida where people shoot iguanas with them.  A good choice of different ammo, from safe to deadly.

Since I'm talking about "back yard" type weapons, I have to say I really love my Air Venturi Avenger .22 caliber PCP style airgun.  It's expensive for an airgun, but not for this style of airgun ($400 for gun with scope).  Really fun, and incredibly accurate out of the box.  It's probably louder than a cb .22 but I shoot it from inside the house out a window, plus it's 100% legal to buy silencers for airguns in the U.S.  The bad thing is it needs to be pumped up with a high pressure bicycle pump (or $$ compressor).  



 
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The slingshot poster boy story:



I don't have good muscle coordination so I probably need something like this:

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