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Handmade Slingshots

Made possible with the invention of vulcanized rubber in the 1800s, slingshots are a modern improvement on slings, one of the world's oldest weapons. Handmade slingshots are one weapon option for small game hunters and survivalists. There are a number of relevant factors to consider before making a potential purchase of this weapon.

What is a slingshot?

A weapon used for throwing rocks and small projectiles, a slingshot is a thick forked stick made of a hardwood such as dogwood, hickory, or oak. Attached to the two prongs of the fork are two wide elastic bands connected by a central pocket. A rock, ball bearing, or other ammunition is placed in the pocket and held carefully. The user then pulls back the bands while holding the pocket containing the rock. Then, the user releases the bands and lets the slingshot pocket shoot forward, hurling the rock at high speed toward its target.

What are some factors to consider in a slingshot?
  • Accuracy: Accuracy is a crucial feature, particularly if you’re using this weapon to hunt small game. Accuracy may be affected by the amount of force, or "draw weight," needed to pull back the band containing the rock ammunition. Finding the appropriate draw weight for your personal needs is a necessary determination to make before a purchase.
  • Rubber Band: Generally, handmade slingshots use either rubber band tubing or wide, flat elastic.
  • Comfort: There are a number of possible grip styles available to a hunter. It is important to make a selection matching your hand size, your grip preference, and your level of comfort.
What are some safety issues to consider?

Safety is an important issue for all responsible slingshot enthusiasts. Before using a handmade slingshot, take a moment to examine the weapon carefully. Ensure that the slingshot is in working order by pulling back on the bands and checking that the tubing is whole, unworn, and flexible. Users should also ensure that the grip and forks are solid and free of cracks. A broken band or fork could cause ammunition to move, shoot, or rebound unexpectedly, causing injury. Responsible practices also include shooting far away from areas where there are children, crowds, or cars. Also, check the area between the slingshot and the target for unintended obstacles that can get in the way.

What advantages do slingshots have?

Slingshots are generally light, portable weapons for hunting smaller prey such as squirrels, rabbits, or other small game in season. Handmade models may possibly demonstrate an artisan's personal or distinctive style or include personalized touches in decoration or manufacture.