Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hunting Ammunition for Slingshots

Types of Hunting Ammunition for slingshots


 If you ask most people about the best ammo for hunting with a slingshot the most popular answer is lead balls no doubt lead balls are effective projectiles for hunting with a slingshot but there are other alternatives. As a person who was raised not knowing lead balls as slingshot ammo I would like to share some of what I learned.

For the following you will need a proper pouch so many people now have taken to calling it a rock shooter's pouch but really this is the original styled pouch.

  In this post I wanted to quickly cover some of types of ammunition that are readily available and are more old fashioned in their style and effective. All of what is shared in this small post is very easy to acquire and unless you dont apply yourself to searching or as some guys out there love to make excuses say "we dont have those here or they are hard to find" really this means you have better apply yourself to their search look past the obvious because these everyday items are always within reach.

I grew up using rocks as ammo aka stones, pebbles etc, in addition as a stone user you pick other "stone like items" to improvise as ammo when the need is great. What follows are the most common with some simple explanation to get you started.

From top row to bottom.
Row 1: These are crushed limestone gravel rocks aka gravel rocks very common and in fact I picked these from my neighbor's driveway with permission. What you want when selecting crush limestone and related gravel are the cubic/square shapes and not so long rectangular shapes. Look for density more than anything as this will stablize their flight and are good up to an easy 20 yards. You can go up to 25+ yards but they must be heavy and a controled shot. They are roughly 1x1.5 inches and weigh close to 3/4 ounce. Please look first at density and weight before going for specific size dimensions as weight equals proper impact. Remember these gravel rocks take some learning and practice but are as effective as the best hunting ammo.

Row 2: These are igneous rocks aka Pebbles aka River Stones, they are oval shaped and within similar size dimensions to the gravel rocks but their width is different as they are ovoid shapes which some look like an egg others resemble a football. These are by and far the best of the natural world's hunting ammunition and can reach accurate ranges of 30 yards. They are a lot more dense than crushed lime stone gravel. These igneous pebbles are so dense and hard that they rarely shatter when hitting hard surfaces and can ricochet. On the other hand if a gravel rock impacts with a hard surface like a tree stump it can shatter. These igneous rocks do not shatter but can break if the surface/velocity of impact is great.  Look for density, as a lot of these igneous pebbles have strong veins of natural iron especially the darker stones. The ones pictured weigh from 3/4 oz to 1 oz. 

Row 3: These are 1/2  inch inner diameter hexnuts, they weigh roughly 17-18 grams very effective for hunting small game and can shoot accurate to 30 yards easily. In the middle is an igneous rock with a different shape this is like a 3/4 sphere a friend calls these a lozenge shape but can also be said to be a candy shape. Also good range accuracy, you hold these and hexnuts with their flat side resting between pouch finger grip.

There are other alternative types of ammo but I listed these as the kind to go to because they do not require preparation and just some selection and you have decent hunting ammunition.

You can use other types of stones as well, sometimes you can find very decent quartz pebbles with a good weight these are ok for hunting.

Whatever you use make sure you practice with the ammunitiion you intend to use for hunting as any variations will create "unexpected situations".

Good luck shooting and hunting..


Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Slingshot as a Projectile weapon.

The Slingshot/Resortera as a Projectile Weapon, Past and Present, how it kills and it's function as a low powered projectile weapon for hunting smallgame. By, Nico "el cazador"


Why was grandfather in his youth so successful at hunting with his simple resortera?

It was constructed from strips of red innertubes from the old car, fashioned on a mesquite fork and a shoe tongue for his pouch and armed only with round stones. Yet grandfather was able to daily bring home three to four rabbits for great grandfather and siblings to eat. His weapon was no where near the pseudo sophisticated slingshots of present day, so what was his secret?

Please read on as this blog is intended to teach you something about the true nature of the slingshot as a projectile weapon. This will dispell some of the current nonsense being peddled by the johnny come lately experts and show offs about the subject of slingshots and slingshot hunting.

The modern interpretations of a slingshot's killing potential as preached by the new found self proclaimed experts.

In many places where the (intellectual) people gather to discuss the function of the slingshot as a weapon. Very often there exists the large debate as to what it takes for a slingshot to be effective for smallgame hunting.

 Unfortunately the first avenue taken by the (would be experts) is the route of "power", usually the belief in power being how fast the slingshot can propel the projectiles, this is followed by taking velocity measurements also accounting for the weight of the projectile thereby measuring foot pounds etc. etc.

In some cases some people will perform "penetration tests" either shooting blocks of ballistic gelatine, some shoot at phone directory books to see how deep the steel or lead ball penetrates, others still will shoot at plastic jugs full of water.

A lot of these observations are based on the more modern uses of elastics like the exercise bands, medical grade latex bands and the thin latex tubes used in Chinese Slingshots all of these elastics have been proven to propel projectiles and some seriously rapid velocities which can make such modern versions of the original slingshot seem to function with similar results to an airgun meaning that they kill by penetration. So this is the modern interpretation..

Is this mechanism of killing, true of all Slingshots past and present?

The simple answer is no.

In fact this is something of a modern creation nor has this made the basic design of the humble slingshot any more effective than it was in the past.

Fortunately for you dear reader you will get to see that this is not the case and if you allow yourself the opportunity to learn from the examples presented here then you will see the true mechanisms of the slingshot in it's originally intended design.

Slingshot History, it's earliest ancestors:

Prior to the first made rubberbands in the 1840s there existed an ancient weapon from which the rubber powered slingshot was inspired.

This is the stone bow and later the stone/pellet shooting crossbow, which were used with stones, and baked clay balls (later lead balls for the pellet crossbow) to hunt smallgame. They were used to hunt fowl, even water fowl i.e. ducks, etc and to this day there exists  a tribe in Srilanka that still makes stone bows for the purpose of hunting smallgame to put food on the table. These people need this food to live so they are dependant on these tools for survival.

The Srilankan stonebow is the living ancestor of the rubberpowered slingshot, how does the stone bow kill? Very simple the weapon kills smallgame by the mere blunt force/trauma created from the impact of the round stone in the case of the Srilankan tribe they still use smooth pebbles. In other places baked clay balls are used in this manner.

When rubberbands came into use in the 1840s some time after the idea was spawned that the elastic nature or rubberbands could be harnessed as an energy source similar to the energy used in the limbs of a bow to propel a projectile. Hence the birth of the rubber powered slingshot was born.

Invariably as with the stone bow, the new born rubberpowered slingshot/catapult at first glanced used stones, like it's ancestor also later like it's other ancestor it has used lead balls as well.

 Setting aside history for a moment:

What is Blunt trauma? Simple answer, in medical terminology it is a physical injury of a non penetrating nature caused by blunt impact of some form.
Blunt trauma is also capable of breaking bones, and causing internal shock/trauma to the internal organs which could be within the vicinity of the blunt force injury.

Let's look at blunt force as a killer: Blunt force has long been utilized in the ancient world long before the creation of firearms and existed along side the primitive bow and arrow. Some of the most primitive being simply hurling stones at a chosen prey, to the slinged stone and the "rabbit stick" of Native America are all time honored methods of killing smallgame.

All powered by blunt force/trauma; even primitive tribes in New Guinea use arrows with large blunt tips with their bows to bring down large lizards to feed their family again powered by blunt force/trauma.  The blunt trauma formula is the age old strategy of the rubber powered slingshot from the days of red innertube rubber and the ubiquitous chained rubberband bands still used today.

The blunt trauma formula is as follows: surface hardness + mass + momentum = blunt trauma of some kind. The blunt trauma formula applied to a slingshot and projectiles of some kind translates to the following, the weight/mass/size and hardness of the projectile, projected by velocity/speed of projectile to create the momentum required, produces the blunt force/trauma required for killing smallgame.

Slingshot elastic bands and their role in the blunt trauma formula:

I will say this once, it does not matter what kind of elastic becomes your choice of slingshot bands. You can use latex tubing, you can use squared solid elastic, round solid elastic, you can use chained rubberband bands or flat latex bands. Whether you use, tubes, flatbands, chains or other all elastics can be used with the blunt force trauma formula of hunting.

 What matters is that you understand the capabilities and limits of your chosen elastic as this will determine the size/weight of your projectile when you create your blunt trauma formula for hunting smallgame.

Grandfather did not rely on modern gadgets for measuring velocity, it was enough for him to know that his slingshot bands which he cut from red tire innertubes from a car had enough "snap" and could send his stones with enough force to hit hard. That's all he needed to know and he regularly took 3 to 4 rabbits a day and harvested his share of jackrabbits, quail, doves to bring home and feed the family.

I know a man in the UK who uses square solid elastic with 45 caliber lead balls and his formula for taking smallgame depends on blunt force trauma and he is very good at his craft. One of his countrymen also uses square elastic but with the very heavy 16 mm lead balls something like (60 caliber lead).

My uncle always uses heavy oval pebbles from the arroyos back home in rural Mexico with round solid elastic on his natural resorteras to regularly bring home smallgame from dove, quails, to rabbits and squirrels.

What these examples have in common are hunters who understand the capabilities of their chosen elastics and thereby have through experience/trial and error created their blunt trauma formula for hunting with their slingshot.

My personal formula is based on using stones and in current times I have experimented with lead and steel balls and also created the "blunt effect"..

Generally it can be said that the heavier your projectile is, that more knock down power it will have. Thus when I use stones for hunting I stick within the 18 to 28 gram weight range and I use these with either chained red #32 rubberbands in a 4x4x4 chain or I use these stones with chained #64 rubberbands in a 3x3x3 chain. With my own formula I have been very successful in harvesting smallgame. Just make sure your elastic can handle the weight of your projectile this is always important.

 How does one measure potential blunt trauma in making their BT hunting formula?

 A simple exercise that will give you a "general idea" of the potential blunt force in a slingshot set-up is the " bean can test" basically a used steel bean or veggie or soup can is used as a target. These cans are much harder than your standard soda pop can so are more resillient. Consider that you cant so easily crush such a can with your bare hands but would have to give it a good blow with a stick, mallet or hammer to crush it.

The bean can test demonstrates on a physical level the kind of kinetic energy delivered by a given slingshot projectile and it's potential for blunt trauma.

I will show some pictures in this example to illustrate the effects of some projectiles.

The first are from my Alambre resortera mentioned in another blog it is powered by chained #64 rubberbands in a 3x3x3 chain.
This slingshot

Here's impact on a diced tomato can with an 20 gram stone at 10 yards
As you can see one stone had a serious flattening effect on the can and you can see some of the kinetic force did not remain in it's center but created shock around the impact point. This is serious blunt trauma, later I will show examples of game taken with this "stone ammo".

This same slingshot tested with .50 caliber lead balls about 180 grain a bit lighter than the stones but still enough weight to hunt with.
The impact was high in a hard area of a smaller tomato soup can and the lead ball tore open a hole in the can. This is because the lead is dense and the force more concentrated in one zone still this is also BluntTrauma projectile.

Now here is a picture with a faster elastic the red #32 rubberbands in a 4x4x4 chain on this slingshot.
I tested some baked clay balls to see what their potential impact would be with these much faster chains.
This is the result of several blows from various baked clay balls at 25 feet, mind you the one shot on the previous steel can was with a stone and a slower slingshot yet it flattend the can.

This is gives a person an idea of the potential for blunt trauma a given slingshot can produce and it's consequential posibility for hunting small game.

How well do either of these set-ups work for hunting.

This feral King Pigeon was taken at 15 yards with a stone, stone impacted shoulder and back in one blow and a quick finish to head for no further suffering. For those who dont know it, feral king pigeons are larger than your average pigeon yet there was enough blunt force to bring down this pigeon at 45 feet (15 yards)

This jackrabbit was taken with a .50 cal lead ball at 30+ yards with  a perfect head shot on it's crown no penetration just cracked the skull and was hit on the second shot, again a blunt force trauma kill. No further shots required a "clean kill"

This feral pigeon was taken with a baked clay ball at 15 feet with a perfect shot to it's neck a clean kill the animal died instantly.  Obviously no penetration of the projectile.


These are just some examples of what the original formula "blunt force" is capable of accomplishing with with a slingshot. There is no need for ridiculous speed nor penetration of small ammo nor do you need a slingshot that is so "high tech" to fill the pot. You can hunt with a general slingshot as long as you understand the blunt trauma formula, this is the original concept of the slingshot it is a Blunt force Projectile Weapon.


I hope this is helpful to those of you who have been mislead by the would be experts on slingshots that crowd the internet these days. Your slingshot need not go through milk jugs, or ballistic gelatine or "cut several playing cards" this all non sense and misleading to the aspiring slingshot hunter.


Best of luck in your hunting pursuits and yes all game shot was eaten and enjoyed by myself and my family. I do not believe in killing for the sake of killing.



Good Luck



Friday, July 13, 2012

Original Chained band tutorial

I originally posted this how to make chain linked rubberband bands for slingshot use at the now defunct Jacksshed back in August of 2010. I had recieved several requests from some of the various members after seeing field proof of the hunting effectiveness of the chained rubberband bands. Another note, I originally did the velocity tests with a heavier chain of 5x5x5 rubberbands per side. However  I have recorded some impressive speeds from  the 4x4x4 chain giving 193 fps with .50 cal lead balls and a whopping 163 fps with 20 gram round/oval smooth stones.

Note: Although the use of chained rubberband bands is a very old practice in slingshots, it can be said without a doubt that this particular configuration of using the redclay #32 rubberbands as illustrated in this old tutorial was first introduced by me in 2010 to the slingshot public. 

I introduced the use of red chained rubberbands in 2010 as a hunting quality elastic from my days on Jacksshed. The use of heavy pebbles with these red chained bands has been my hunting trademark for many years since before my teens. Only one man at the time I "publically introduced " these red chained rubberband bands came to use these bands along side me that would be my personal friend Jmplsnt. Any upstarts after this time who claim expertise in  the use of these chained bands are just new guys quoting an old source.

These red chains have proven effective in hunting and can work for you.

How to make the powerful chain linked rubberband bands

How strong are these bands? Properly constructed with the right rubberbands, I have recorded speeds with my chrony with a .50 cal lead ball 12 grams from 183+ fps to 203.3 fps with an average high 180+ fps and 174 fps with a half ounce 220grain lead bullet 14grams, consider also I used my large stone shooting pouch in these tests.

1. You will need a good bag of the red #32 rubberbands
These can be found from people in produce business and at one time postal and paper companies. Also rubberband gun stores sold as medium ammo, I now order mine from a rubberband gun store.

2. The secret to making these powerful bands: Experience has shown me that although all of the rubberbands look alike in the bag some have a softer stretch, others have a very firm stretch with good recoil why are some soft stretch and others firm? I dont know maybe its a factory bagging error?. You want to test each rubberband you pull from the bag.

Image A good firm stretch is what want to use. Firm stretch equals strong chain. If you are making a 5 rubberband per chain you must do this with each rubberband. Assuming your bands will 3 links long 3 links = 9" band. You will have 30 rubberbands to test and use the firmest stretch you can find.

Starting the chain assembly:

In this illustration I used a 4 per link as an example:
Assuming you have selected your firm stretch rubberbands we must now start the assembly.
Image Here you have stacked your soon to be links in this case four in each stack ( Use 5 per for heavy hitting power)

You want to organized your stacks so they dont twist so much as they are linked: Like so Image

Now do the same with your other hand and we can start to link these into a chain.

Take one stack and loop into the loop of the other stack like thisImageA few more angles to explainImage

Now you knot these loops by folding over the loop and pulling through the smaller loop created like this:
Pull through this smaller loop within the loop.
ImageHere you straighten the knot gently so that all bands are equal.
Now add your final link looping the same as you did the first two links and knotting in exactly the same wayImage
Your completed chain

Now there is one completed band do the same for the next band and do not worry as the bands will look short because they slip when new rubber. As you strecth these chains the knots will set in place giving a 9" band.

Attachments? I attach the bands to pouch tied with rubberbands, others will loop and pull into the pouch holes. Attachments to fork two best methods for maximum velocity are the Mexican tie down attachment I favor and the gypsy and Spain variant attachment.

Keep your chains away from sunlight, cold temps, dampness, extreme heat AC all of these items dry or rot the rubber. They do not perform as well when cold. I normally keep my chained catapult in my back pocket covered by shirt to protect it when on a mooch. I only take out when ready to shoot. Ammo in one pocket and slingshot in the other.

Last Notes:

During this time on the shed I had also introduced the chained #64 rubberbands as a viable hunting elastic. Here's a portion of that old post.

Resortera with # 64 bands

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Resortera with # 64 bands

Postby Nick » Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:12 am
Hi JD and everyone,

In the spirit of this thread I am posting a quick picture of a slingshot I made with a Mexican fork my uncle made for me years ago.

I installed chained rubberband bands these are #64 3 per link three chain.

I test fired it at about 15 meters ( I need to go down to basement to get the distance so I am in essence shooting uphill)

I shot at my hanging target can with 10.5 gram lead ( egg sinkers)

It hit precise at that range, I remember this band rig was common with a friend of mine in the old neighborhood. I did well with it, powerful enough to get the job done.

Here's the pic. btw there are various ways to attach these kinds of bands maybe I will show some other ways.
You'll have to click on the image for a larger view..

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Postby jmplsnt » Fri Mar 12, 2010 6:02 am
I like the looks of those bands. When I get off the boat I'll take some of my double linked setup and post the results as well. Thanks for sharing and inspiring me to try this kind of bands as well.
Unlike money, slingshots DO grow on trees.
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Postby tyke » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:40 am
I might have a go with these bands on the Milbro? if i can find some suitable ones that is,should be easy to connect and ive got a spare frame that needs rigging up.

Sounds like you come from a family of catty users/makers Nick,most people here just think theyre a kids toy,lol little do they know.
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Postby baumstamm » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:50 am
i like your resortas! do threy shoot over the top style?
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Postby gtavares » Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:53 pm
Great slingshot mate !!! :smt117
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Postby Nick » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:19 pm
baumstamm wrote:i like your resortas! do threy shoot over the top style?

Hi Baumstamm,

Yes they shoot over the top, the difference with these resorteras is that you pull against the tie as opposed to pulling the bands over the top of the horns like the catties you or fish make. The shot always travels over the top with this style. You still shoot it at an angle like the shoot overs, and I have never hit a fork this way that I can recall.

I will post a pic of yours as well in a while.
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Postby Nick » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:34 pm
tyke wrote:I might have a go with these bands on the Milbro? if i can find some suitable ones that is,should be easy to connect and ive got a spare frame that needs rigging up.

Sounds like you come from a family of catty users/makers Nick,most people here just think theyre a kids toy,lol little do they know.

Hi Tyke,

I can think of a few ways to install these bands on a milbro.

Yeah I do come from a family catty users and makers, my uncle was at the top in the family craft of catty making. My father had the basic knowledge and made very workable ones, but when my uncle saw me making them with such enthusiasm. He took me under his wing and gave me tips on carving and making pouches, attachment styles etc.

But of course I grew up in a big city Los Angeles so I took what my uncle from rural Mexico taught me and applied it to the city life.

What I picked up in the city really rounded off my catty making ideas.

I will post some of other types I make. Gary talks about one similar in his video (a wire frame made with coat hanger) that I was taught as well its just made differnt but the concept is identical.

Thanks everyone else for looking and commenting.
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Postby Nick » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:36 pm
Oh yeah sorry guys the fork is from a common small acacia that grows in Mexico they call the bush

( Huizache) it is a very strong workable hard wood very durable..
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Postby Nick » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:43 pm
jmplsnt wrote:I like the looks of those bands. When I get off the boat I'll take some of my double linked setup and post the results as well. Thanks for sharing and inspiring me to try this kind of bands as well.

Hi jmp

Yeah they are pretty strong bands, I have seen them flatten a pigeon with a marble. When I couldnt get my favorite red #32s I would use these #64 bands in this set up.

My old friend in the Barrio attached these differently and with a very wide fork. Of course the way he attached them the shot would go through the crotch which is why he used such wide forks.

UPDATE: 11/7/2013

I have noticed that there are some people who need help in keeping their chain linked rubber band bands from snapping too soon.

I made this video on You tube well over a year ago and it shows me making the chained bands from the #64 office rubber bands and it shows how I treat the chains with talcum and which prevents early breakage.

Good luck in your chained rubber band projects and happy hunting.