Wednesday, June 19, 2013


"SLINGING." Yeah, that's the term my 13-year-old cousin made for practicing with the weapon I showed him. Well, I wasn't fully responsible, since he is also a huge fan of the Ranger's Apprentice series (which I introduced to him, so come to think of it I guess I was. lol) and just loves working with weapons.

Another iconic story involving the sling, that I especially love, is "David and Goliath." And to think I barely heard of it until just last semester in history class. I think as a kid all I heard was 'a giant defeated by a boy with a slingshot,' and I had no idea that this was the same story. I'm glad I heard the whole thing this time, so it actually makes sense.

So, I really wanted to learn the weapon. I even did a video blog about this.
    So what I did was I took a piece of durable fabric and sewed it together to make the pouch, and added two strings.It didn't stay that way, though, since squared corners can make it drag and effect your throwing with it, so i folded the corners and eventually replaced the string. I mean, lets face it. Are you really expecting a ROCK sling to hold together with just two pieces of string?

So I replaced the string with para-cord, and stapled two strips of sandpaper to the inside of the pouch to keep whatever ammo (rocks, golf balls, whatever) into it just a little better.

I kinda hated the staples being in it though, (and you can't use a sewing machine for that) so I took them out and hot-glued the strips.

As a result of taking the sling with me to a play at Mont co (that was supposed to be outside, which is why i took it), I really didn't wanna go anywhere without it.
When I went to my sister's college graduation and we were just walking around taking pictures, I found a bunch of smooth rounded stones near a grate, so I 'sorted through them' when nobody was looking, picked one up and put it in my pocket.

And then later I thought, 'If I really need sandpaper to keep the ammo in, then this probably isn't a good material for it.' So I made a different sling, this time cutting off a piece of a long rubber exercise band to make the pouch. Every day I would take my sling with me to school, and after my class was over I would go outside to the parking lot and practice throwing rocks in the river. It was grand.

BUT... I ran into a very frustrating and panicky accident. Mid-throw, a corner of the pouch ripped off (i had attached a grommet cause it had broken before) and landed in the river with the rock I had thrown.
I must have sworn half a dozen times panicking and hoping it wouldn't go too far. It floated close-by so I climbed down to the bank and grabbed it before it could float away.
So, for anyone who's interested in making a sling... NEVER USE RUBBER! EVER!

But in a way it was a good thing. I was kind of worried for some time about it breaking, and so now I knew for sure it wouldn't last. Now I knew I had to go to the best, classic, and most durable material possible for it: Leather. Yeah, it's legit.
  I cut a big squarish piece in half and used one of the two for the pouch, and used cording (left from what I had made a beaded totem necklace from) for the strings.

Important Tips:
1. The ends of a sling are essential. On end has to have a knot you pinch (NOT GRIP!) with your forefinger and thumb, and the other string has a loop that goes around your middle finger.

2. The length of the 'strings' should be roughly  the same length as your arm, so what I do is tie the knots before unrolling the cord and measuring. Then I add another few inches so I have room to tie them to the pouch and have a little remaining.

Later I noticed my golf balls weren't flying as far, which led to the conclusion that the pouch may have been a bit too heavy. So i trimmed about an inch and a half total from the pouch, 'cause I didn't want to risk making it too small.
And it works great.

After a while my cousin Caius asked me to teach him, so I had him use my first one (which I still have as an extra), and he got so excited about that I just had to make a good one for him. So i used the rest of the leather to make a copy (the picture here isn't of his, it's mine after it got trimmed).

Later, when I went to my friends' graduation ceremony I took the sling and one stone with me as usual, and on my way out of the "Wildcat stadium" I picked up three more.

Hopefully soon I can find another, and make it five stones like in the story.

So, the sling is a really fun weapon. And the best thing is, since it's basically a strip of leather and not the kind of weapon you'd get at DICK'S, it won't get confiscated or anything if you carry it around. I'm good at doing arc-shooting and going forward, but I don't know how to aim yet. Maybe when (and if) I figure out how, I'll have to do a blog about it too. I don't know, we'll just have to see.