One day at my camp in the Huachucas, I was riding out a hail storm under my tarp, and getting a little bored. I decided to make a slingshot. I had with me some wide rubber banding material , given to me by my good friend Shawn Sprague in Maine.
It is a bit too wide to use as is, so I took my dura shears and cut a strip off the edge , about 18 inches long. Instead of cutting it and adding a cup made of leather (from a glove) or canvas (made from a torn up bag) , I simply torn a strip of duct tape from my Nalgene bottle and added a small piece to each side of the band where the cup should be.
This tape gives me an idea of where to load the ammo without actually looking at the slingshot. That way, I can run and shoot at the same time.
Many of the stones in this part of the mountains where I operate are edgy and it is difficult to find decent round or elliptical stones for ammo. Looking around I found a few stones that I made work. However, while “draining the main vein” I noticed some nicely shaped balls of pine pitch at the base of a Apache pine tree. There balls of pitch were roundish to elliptical and weighed about the same as the stones I was finding – perfect! This ammo put me in mind of the sling ammo used in the days of old – like David used to slay Goliath.
I was curious as to how fast this slingshot was shooting so, keeping in mind my 120 paces to 100 meters pace count, I stepped off 15 paces(= 37.5 feet or so), I took one of the semi large elliptical chunks of pitch , loaded it, drew back and let fly. – Wack! From release to impact with the Juniper tree, it was a count of 1 second. So I'm assuming it flies at 300 feet per second, or about 200 miles per hour(??). I'm totally guessing.
It was a lot of fun to make and play around with, I especially like the non-lethal pine pitch ammo, it was also low impact, but effective to ward off pesky squirrels.
See you on the trail,