Slingshots: A Classic Weapon With a Modern Twist

14 Dec 2018
Larry Ficks

Most of us had a slingshot as a kid, and we all used it for a little while before we got bored of it and went on to play with something else. Contrary to popular belief, slingshots are still widely used, even in the era of smartphones and remote control vehicles, which is funny to me because slingshots are some of the oldest “inventions” still available today in the same shape and form as they were thousands of years ago. Nowadays, slingshots aren’t just used by kids, but by outdoor enthusiasts as well. The slingshot can pack some serious heat in any situation, and all you need is a pocket full of rocks.

When you hear about a slingshot, you probably envision some edgy kid back in the 80s or 90s trying to terrorize animals and neighborhood kids. However, modern hunting and survival slingshots are nothing to mess with. They’re made of high-grade military materials, and in some states, you need a special permit to use them for hunting, on top of your hunting license. That being said, if you’re interested in trying out slingshot hunting, there are a few different popular types of slingshots that you can pick from. Once you’re really into them, you can go as far as making a custom one from scratch.

One of the most popular slingshot designs is the classic forked stick design. It’s a very simple and effective design that’s used by outdoor enthusiasts worldwide. You’ve probably seen this design as a kid or in an older movie, and they’re affordable, accurate and powerful. But as aforementioned, they aren’t legal everywhere, so you need to check local laws on slingshot ownership and usage. They typically use rubber slingshot bands that are quite durable and made of high-quality rubber. Although there are many other types of slingshot bands, rubber is the most popular one.

Another popular type of slingshot is the so-called Starship slingshot. These have their fork in front of the handle which allows you to have an increased draw length and make use of the stored energy in the bands. Their name comes from their look, which is quite similar to the look of the Enterprise starship.

But regardless of what type you go for, you actually need to become quite skilled with it in order for the slingshot to be effective. If you think you can just grab a slingshot and hit a squirrel without practicing a couple of metres out, think again. With practice, however, you can probably hit a moving target 10-15 metres out.