Who is a slingshot aficionado here?

by Otony, Tuesday, October 08, 2019, 21:39 (179 days ago)
edited by Otony, Tuesday, October 08, 2019, 22:06

I used one of the typical arm braced varieties in my late teens and early twenties, mostly as something to fool around with while camping or fishing. I’m pretty sure my ammo was all of the “found” variety, that is to say whatever was handy be it rocks, ball bearings, etc. Mostly of the etc variety to be sure. My level of accuracy was never very impressive as a result, plus I never truly applied myself. After that my interest dropped off considerably and that old catapult sat around until the rubber rotted off.

Here a few months ago my son expressed a desire to try out a slingshot, so I picked up a Dankung and a clone of the very popular Scout slingshot, both made in China. Cost for the pair was about 35 bucks. I also invested in a huge box of 3/8” clay balls, mostly because I was concerned with bounce back. Now the clay balls crumble on impact with hard objects, and knowing the stupid sh!t I did as a kid (okay, and yesterday too) I figured The Boy needed the safety factor. The fact that the balls are reasonable on the wallet may have influenced me as well.

Well friends, we are having a blast. Having consistent ammo has made a big difference in my accuracy, and has given Vinny a step up over the fumbling of my early years. The Dankung is a huge improvement over my old slingshot, even though it lacks an arm brace. It is an original design, not a Chinese knockoff of an American or European catapult. From what I gather, slingshots are hugely popular in China and if you go to AliExpress you will literally see thousands of offerings, along with all sorts of accessories. I’ve yet to find anything like the Dankung style made anywhere but Asia, which is sort of refreshing.

The Scout clone I bought is a knockoff, but I didn’t realize that at the time. It was my first introduction to shooting with flat bands instead of tubes, and is a great piece of kit. I joined a slingshot forum (slingshotforum.com) and very quickly realized that I had bought a ripoff of American intellectual property (thanks eBay, but Amazon is equally guilty), so in atonement I bought a real Scout LT. At 34 bucks it costs about twice what the Chinese clone does, but there is a fair improvement in quality. Still, the Chinese version works well, and if you are on a constrained budget you can make the moral decision for yourself.

So here we are, burning our way through thousands of clay ball (another Chinese innovation btw) and enjoying the heck out of ourselves. I recently bought a thick bamboo cutting board, and am going to use my scroll saw to cut out a couple of slingshots so we have a few more to play with. The forum I mentioned has over 150 templates available for download, and I’ve observed an incredible variety of styles made from a dizzying array of materials. All I can say is that it is a REALLY good thing that I channel my addictive personality into fishing and shooting sports, because in this case the affliction is relatively reasonable in expense!

Otony


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