Slings have been used as weapons since far before rubber was discovered. While a cordage based sling is an amazing tool and accurate distance weapon, this article today is specifically about the rubber banded (or rubber tubed) versions that you first think of when hearing the word slingshot. As children many of us may have used these, I did, and I used to shoot pigeons off the barn roofs with these and my single pump bb guns.
Between the flat band, multi-band and single tube approach there are many arguments. Most slingshot professionals will readily admit that a flat band holds more power than a tube, and multiples of these of course can potentially be more powerful depending on build approach. However, what is rarely argued is that the tube based approaches have longevity on their side, especially when kept away from the sun and its obviously detrimental affects on rubber.
My choices for slingshots for my go bags, and yes, I have slingshots in all but my lightest kit. My choices are simple, I base them on weight, performance, longevity and overall ability. The Marksman 3030 is my primary carry, I use it with a thumb up, finger up or split finger approach. My first choice for bands is either the long stretch high velocity red (which they come with) or high power black– and I tend to make my own bands (keeping several feet of rubber tubing around for everything from slingshots through tourniquets). I use 3/8” steel ammunition or lead when I can get it, this works well for rabbits through birds.
Aiming is a simple process,
- ensure the ammunition is exactly in the middle of the pocket
- grip handle tightly, placing thumb on the support closest to it
- hold it sideways, with the Y horizontal to the ground
- aim using the top branch of the Y placed directly beneath your target
- pull back evenly, past your face making sure to NOT get to close to your face with the band (it hurts, BAD if you get slapped with it.)
- again, ensure an even, straight pull,
- release when everything is lined up-
- go collect your prey
- (practice, practice, practice- use white inexpensive walmart marbles to practice)
Like archery, using a slingshot can be great exercise if done daily and the best part is, it is a relatively silent hunting machine.
The pro’s of the marksman 3030 are simple,
- solidly built
- easily replaced bands (use saliva to roll new bands on- alcohol dries rubber out)
The con’s are likewise simple,
- no wrist rest
- no special aiming devices
- not a flat band nor is it really compatible with flat bands
For myself, the pro’s outweigh the con’s simply because of the numerous additional uses I can get with the parts and pieces of the slingshot as it is carried. I have used one for as long as I can remember (or some variation of it) and have never had a reason to complain. Obviously, it is not my first choice for hunting, however, it is an option and a valid one at that. Practice for an hour or so and when you are hitting pop cans at 25 feet every time, you will quickly see the benefit.
Free the mind and the body will follow