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Author Topic: Slings: For Combat and Survival  (Read 2641 times)

Baked at 420

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Slings: For Combat and Survival
« on: July 18, 2015, 10:08:06 pm »

Slings are weapons that use centrifugal force to lob shot great distances with reasonable accuracy. They are just as deadly now as they were in the old days. You can make them out of fabric, cords, leather, or similar materials. It consists of a "pouch" which is actually an oblong piece of cloth or leather, and at either end a length of strong cord is tied. One cord has a loop that goes around your wrist, and the other cord has a knot tied in it that you grasp between your thumb and forefinger. The cord around your wrist is held by your pinkie finger. Excluding the loop and knot, both cords should be about 1 yard long. The shot is put into the pouch and the sling is twirled vertically like an underhanded softball pitch. You release the knotted cord to let fly the shot. It takes a fair amount of practice to become accurate, but a blow from a slung shot is devastating. There are also methods for sidearm and overhanded shooting, but these are even more difficult to master. You could make one in Jail from a torn up t-shirt and shoot chunks of soap... At close range, it can be used as a garrote or be loaded and used as a flail without releasing the knotted cord. Best of all, it can be rolled up and fit in a pocket or be tied around the waist under a belt.

Staff Slings
Staff Slings are more accurate and devastating though with less range; and were a weapon used in the Ancient Near East during the Bronze Age. You need a replacement broom pole or 4-6 ft long 1" dowel. You could also fabricate this from a sapling. You need a 1-2" spike to stick out of one end. You can hammer in a nail and cut the head off, or use antler or bone spike. It's up to the maker. If you hammer anything into it, use a 1" length of 1" inside diameter pipe as a ferrule to keep the staff from splitting. You make the sling as above, except with different cord lengths. One cord needs to be 22 inches, the other needs to be 18 inches. Make a small loop in the end of the 22" cord and tie the 18" cord to the staff 18" from the end of the staff with the spike. The pouch needs to be 16" long and 4-6" wide. This is like a hand held trebuchet. It slings overhand in a single arcing motion. You can also wrap the sling portion around the staff and use it as a walking stick or melee weapon.

Shot for Slings
Round rocks are the most expedient, but pretty much any dense material can be used. Staff Slings can handle larger shot (about the size of a tight fist) than regular Slings (about the size of an egg). Traditionally, shot has been made from clay and lead, but can also be cast from potmetal, pewter, concrete, or plaster. Spheres are the best shape in my opinion. Ball bearings come to mind. As mentioned, you can also make soap shot, though heavier materials will do more damage.
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Re: Slings: For Combat and Survival
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2015, 03:07:22 pm »

I'm very fond of shepard slings, made and used quite a few.
But like music, its not easy to do well even with lots of practice.
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