The slingshot, sometimes known as a catapult or shanghai, is a projectile to use to fling different small objects to the target with the use of a Y-shaped metal or wooden frame and rubber bands. Although it is usually nowadays in the hands of kids as a toy, the slingshot has been utilized numerous times as an effective weapon throughout history. To know about its functions and methods of use, here is a brief history of the slingshot.
It is believed that the earliest incarnations of the slingshot appeared in Russia, and they are often named “rogatka” by the locals. The unique name is said to be derived from the Russian word “rog,” which is translated as horn in English.
However, the modern version of the slingshot that uses vulcanized rubber only come to be in after 1890, when parents or kids would often get the inner tubes of rubber tires to create the rubber bands for the slingshots.
The slingshots then became a popular children’s toy in the 1900s, and several companies like Wham-O and Saunders Archery Co. created commercialized versions of the slingshot to sell to the parents who are looking for toys to give to their children.
Wham-O is suggested to be the first company to mass-produce slingshots when they created the Wham-O slingshot in 1948. On the other hand, the Saunders Archery Co. invented slingshots that have built-in wrist braces for better support and accuracy in 1954. They named their invention the Wrist-Rocket.
The Wrist-Rocket is the first slingshot to use surgical rubber tubing instead of vulcanized rubber. Soon after, the surgical rubber tubing became the most common material used for slingshots.
Besides being a toy, the slingshot has been used by different military factions around the world. Guerilla forces, such as the Irish Republic Army, would often construct slingshots whenever they are running out of weapon resources to use during times of conflict.
The slingshot has also been used by the US military as a launcher for small drones or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) that wouldn’t be able to take off on their own. But the fork used for the drone slingshot was two soldiers who are standing far away from each other while holding each end of a long elastic cord.
The Best Slingshots
Since slingshots have been around since before the 1800s, it is normal for it to have more than a hundred iterations or versions in the market. However, there are only a few brands or companies that are producing high-quality slingshots, and here are some of the best ones that they have created.
First on the list is the BASUNE Solid Wooden Slingshot, a simple toy made of only wood and rubber. It is small enough to fit in a child’s hands, but its adequate size makes it usable for adults as well. The BASUNE slingshot comes with a pack of small wooden balls for ammo and an extra rubber band in case the one attached to the frame breaks.
The POPLAY Wooden Slingshot is a vintage-looking toy that is also made of wood like the BASUNE. Each package of the POPLAY contains two slingshots, so your son or daughter can have an extra, or he or she can give it to a friend. There are no wooden balls included with this 2-Pack, but you can easily buy ammo for it, and one of the most popular slingshot ammo you can purchase is the Hog Wild Popper Balls, which are made of soft foam.
As opposed to wood, the Daisy PowerLine B52 is made of solid steel that is much more durable and can last longer. The PowerLine B52 also comes with a foldable support frame that you can place on your wrist to make your shots more precise. Like the POPLAY, the PowerLine B52 doesn’t come with ammo, but Daisy is selling steel ball packs that should be compatible with the slingshot.
The Barnett Cobra Slingshot has a metal y-frame that has rubber parts for a better grip. In addition, the slingshot also has a front stabilizer to make the weight of the tool more balanced while you are holding in with one hand. For better stability, the Cobra Slingshot has wrist support that can be detached if you don’t want to use it.
For people who are looking for a smaller slingshot, the HQSY Wrist Rocket Slingshot can be the best choice for them, as it is so compact that you can even put it in your pockets. The HQSY slingshot comes with three extra rubber bands, 50 steel balls, a small adjustment tool, and a soft leather case.
From the smallest, we are now going to tackle one of the biggest slingshot on the list, which is the Easimgo Professional Slingshot Set. The Easimgo slingshot is made of metal and has a long handle with finger ridges for better grip. Also, the slingshot comes with a wrist brace to make it more stable in your hand. Each package of the Easimgo slingshot includes 50 steel balls, 50 hard clay balls, three adjustment screws, and three extra rubber bands.
The COOY Slingshot has a similar frame to the Easimgo, but it has a small flashlight at the bottom so you can use the tool in the dark. The slingshot comes with 25 hard clay balls, 25 steel balls, an extra rubber band, and an adjustment tool that you can use to adjust the height of the frame.
The Nature Launchers Wooden Slingshot is a basic toy that is made of wood and has only one band of rubber. The link will lead you to a 2-Pack version of this slingshot, and the toys that are included in the box have carved faces of different animals at the front of the frame.
Specifically made for kids, the Mighty Fun! Mischief Maker Slingshot is a small toy that is made of wood and comes with a black rubber band that is not too thick for children to get hurt while pulling it. To make it even more kid-friendly, the slingshot comes with four EVA foam balls that are soft and won’t hurt others when they are hit by the toy.
Another compact slingshot like the HQSY, the D&Q slingshot’s handle is made of wood while the fork of the frame is made of metal. Moreover, it has a built-in aiming point at the top of the frame that you can use to aim better at the target. The D&Q slingshot comes with ten rubber bands, which is the highest amount of extra bands out of all the slingshots on the list.
The slingshot is one of the best toys that children can own, and its stronger and bigger versions are also great weapons that adults can use for self-defense or hunting. For safety purposes, make sure that the slingshot that you are going to buy for your kids is not made of metal and does not use steel balls for ammo.