How to aim a slingshot

Answers to How to aim a slingshot

Slingshot is a fun but lethal tool that is quite effective against small rodents such as rats and even birds such as pigeons. Regardless, knowing how to aim a slingshot however can be quite tricky as there is a technique involved in using this little hand-powered projectile weapon.

Slingshots are no doubt most popular with children as you can find pebbles in certain places for free or you can buy steel balls for better power when aiming. The range for a slingshot is up to 25 metres. Since you are required to hold the frame while youíre aiming, unless you have a strong, chances are your hand will get tired easily.

Thatís why it is important that you get a slingshot that has a wrist brace so that you can hold the frame securely. With the frame stabilized, your shot will not only be more accurate but also more powerful. Now that you understand the importance of having a stable frame, learning how to aim a slingshot should be as easy as a pie.

Before you start shooting with a slingshot, make sure that the rubber bands are strong and not dried-out or teared. Also make sure that you use your slingshot responsibly and never fire your slingshot in the direction of people or animals.

You can aim a slingshot by holding it horizontally and aim with the upper fork end. Make sure that you pull the pouch all the way back to your cheek and release it while breathing out. Indeed, to shoot correctly, you need to center the ammo (pebbles or steel balls) in the pouch. While pulling the pouch back, make sure that the handle is parallel to the ground so that the fork is 90 degrees to the upright position.

More Information on Slingshots
A slingshot, also called a shanghai or a catapult (not to be confused with either the catapult siege engine or shepherd's sling) is a small hand-powered projectile weapon. It has a pocket for holding the projectile. Each end of the pocket is attached to a rubber band, which is attached to the ends of a fork-shaped frame.

There are several shooting styles, but the most common is to hold the slingshot horizontally and aim with the upper fork end. The pouch must be pulled back to the cheek, and is to be released while breathing out. When one releases the pocket, the stretched rubber bands accelerate the pocket, and projectile. Another technique is to aim the slingshot by aligning the elastic bands with the target.

A slingshot champion appearing on a popular late night show some years ago said to hold the projectile pocket at a fixed position near the body, such as the hip, and move the frame based on gut feeling and practice, just like a gunslinger or hip-shooter in the American wild west. Many gunslingers could hit a target without raising their weapon to eye level.

A slingshot can be powerful enough to hunt small game. In order to achieve power, the correct ammunition must be used; steel balls are the most common choice. A typical heavy pull band slingshot should be used with 3/8" to 1/2" steel balls. Using lighter ammo does increase speed insignificantly, as the mass of bands and pouch always add to the projectile mass.

With practice, slingshots are effective against small rodents and songbirds at ranges up to 25 metres. They are excellent for hunting rats and pigeons. Because of the low ammunition cost (pebbles work) and ease of use, slingshots are very popular with children. The weak hand holding the frame becomes fatigued by doing so.

Many slingshots have a wrist-brace so the user's weak hand doesn't have to hold the frame very tightly. Some models come along with stabilizers, rotating prongs, sighting mechanisms and other sophisticated improvements. While these are not necessary, they usually add to power, lifespan of the bands and accuracy.

The material for the rubbers is critical. The best widely-available material is dipped latex rubber surgical tubing or latex sheeting. It lasts about six months before it needs to be replaced. It can be attached to the frame and packet by stretching it over a metal rod of the correct diameter.

Some slingshots have been constructed of metal tubing of the exact diameter. Rubbers should be stored under water away from sunlight, which causes them to stiffen and crack. The weight of the pocket is critical, because if the pocket is very heavy, the slingshot will be weak. The best pockets are made of soft leather, which does not fray.

Securely attaching a pocket at home can be quite difficult. An effective way is to drill a short section of hardwood dowel lengthwise, and place the pocket in a cotter pin. Next, insert the pin into the dowel, and wrap the ends of the pin completely around the dowel. Finally, stretch the rubber over the dowel and pin-ends. Never re-use a cotter pin.

The slingshot is not related to the sling. Mechanically it operates on a different principle. Operation is different, as well. Today, slingshots may also be used in recreational paintball games as backup or silent sniper weapons. Even though the average speed and distance of a slingshot is slightly less than that of a paintball gun, some paintball playing fields may not allow them.

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