When you think about hunting, rifles are the first thing that comes to mind. Most people don’t put slingshots in the same category as other “serious shooting” equipment and just glance over it and label it as a toy. But slingshots are incredible tools that are not only great for hunting but can be utilized for self-defense and recreational purposes as well.
Slingshots have evolved significantly over time. While their primary shape has largely remained the same—a Y-like structure with an elastic material towards its top to project the ammo, today, you can find various types of slingshots available today. Manufactures opt for a unique look and feel that distinguishes their iteration from the rest. Some alter the shape, some offer special ammo, and some deliver unparalleled performance. Whatever their trait is, all these slingshots provide the player with an exciting choice.
In this article, we’ll be going over the different types of slingshots and how they stack up against each other, along with three recommendations that have innovated the traditional slingshot formula and transformed it into a substantial shooting tool.
Types of Slingshots
Let’s first learn about the different slingshot types available today. Remember that countless small factors can influence how a slingshot is used and how it performs; hence I’m going to stick to the three instrumental types of slingshots (from which everything else is derived).
This is the design that comes to mind when you hear the word “slingshot.” It’s the most traditional type of slingshot that distinctly resembles the English alphabet Y. A rubber tube or band is attached to either side of the forks; there is a pocket in between said fork that holds the projectile or ammo.
Back in the day, wood was primarily utilized to make slingshots. Wood was strong and easily accessible, so it provided the right balance between quality and cost. There were two further distinctions: handmade and machine-milled.
The Zip-Zip slingshot is the oldest commercial slingshot ever; it was made in 1918 and is also credited as one of the first slingshots developed using modern techniques, milled from cast iron boasting a solid frame; more durable than wood. Before this, all slingshots were handmade from scratch.
Fast forward to today, contemporary slingshots are designed using plastic, wood, and metal. Metal is a sturdy material, and it lasts the longest in all conditions, which makes it ideal for long hunting sessions. It’s also lighter than both plastic and wood. Metal slingshots’ reliability makes them more expensive than other slingshots, but if you want to use a metal slingshot, you can buy a hybrid that combines plastic or foam grips with an aluminum or steel frame.
Plastic slingshots don’t hold up as well, but manufacturers offer them in diverse qualities that accommodate their price. Hence plastic slingshots are the most affordable option and often recommended for beginners. If you’re looking for a tactical slingshot, then you should avoid plastic and stick to metal.
Lastly, the classic wooden frame is a good middle ground between metal and plastic. Still, it’s not recommended for outdoor activities or longer hunting sessions as wood does not endure well against severe climate such as rain. Laminated wood is an option for those who must go for wooden slingshots for hunting as it persists better against water or snow.
Also known as wrist support slingshots, this was the next step in the innovation of slingshots. The drive to achieve more power and precision with these tools led to creating a slingshot that boasted a harness that would sit atop your wrist.
Surgical tubing is used in wrist support slingshots, and that’s why the invention of this slingshot came at about the same time as the invention of surgical tubing. This type of tubing was much more powerful than standard rubber or flat bands, so manufacturers saw an opportunity to implement this in newer slingshots.
The only problem was that because of that extra power, drawback was greater as well. You needed to pull back forcefully on the tubing to get a good shot, so it wasn’t comfortable and proved to be very fatiguing.
Therefore, wrist support was made and connected to the bottom of the slingshot to provide stability and confidence when pulling back the pocket. This helped fight against wrist fatigue and made taking shots with surgical tubing a lot easier.
Because of the nature of this type of slingshot, it’s not as portable as an orthodox slingshot. A wrist support slingshot is bulkier, heavier, and packs in a whole lot more resistance but at the same time power, which makes it very suitable for hunting down animals or competing in professional tournaments.
Even if they’re not as compact, they still provide an edge over other hunting equipment like guns and fully-fledged bows because a slingshot is smaller and more pocketable than both of those options. Plus, the wrist support can fold inwards, making the slingshot easier to carry around.
Coming to our final inclusion, this type of slingshot is explicitly meant for the hunters. It was made keeping shikaris in mind as it offers the most amount of power and performance out of any slingshot possible.
A slingshot bow is just a regular slingshot that has been modified to support arrows in straightforward terms. It includes an arrow rest between the two forks and a different type of tubing that works with certain arrow nocks.
The powerband used in sling bows is much stronger and robust than even surgical tubing and provides great drawback resistance, so you need a lot of force to pull it back. That’s what makes sling bows so potent and powerful.
Like wrist rockets, these slingshots can also come with wrist support to provide better stability and align the shot perfectly. The grips on sling bows are made to be very ergonomic, so you not only feel comfortable while holding them but also so you can have a firm grip of the slingshot itself.
The size advantage of sling bows allows them to be almost as effective as standard bows yet still being much more manageable. If your goal is to hunt down larger animals, then slingshot bows are perfect for you as they’re very much capable and still significantly more portable than any larger hunting tool, such as firearms.
The Best Slingshots
Now that you’re fully aware of the various types of slingshots and the factors surrounding them, you may be wondering which slingshot to exactly get for the next hunting season. The following recommendations are hand-picked and represent some of the best slingshots available in the market right now.
This is the perfect slingshot for beginners. As the name implies, it’s made out of strong ABS plastic that feels indestructible.
It follows a simple Y-shaped design but provides an incredible grip that’s comfortable and very easy to adapt to for amateurs. The size also works in its favor making it extremely portable. The compact size allows you to put it in any pocket, or you could just throw this in your bag and forget it was even there.
It features bright orange flat bands with just the right amount of draw weight without feeling too resistive for newbies. Since it doesn’t pack in wrist support, you have to stick to the traditional way of stabilizing it by your hand, but the grip is so helpful that you won’t find it hard to do so.
This slingshot radiates excellence. The build quality is fantastic. It’s made out of polycarbonate and glass-filled nylon and feels premium in hand. That’s not all; this slingshot is entirely manufactured and assembled in the USA.
It comes with rubber tubing out of the box, but the wide fork allows you to swap that out for flat bands when the occasion asks for it. Both single-strand and looped tubes work with this slingshot, making it quite versatile.
Lastly, the handle is highly ergonomic and provides a firm grip of the slingshot without much sway. There’s a slight offset to the handle’s shape to make it extra comfortable to hold. And a paracord lanyard along with a 2040 tube is supplied in the box as well to get you started instantly.
This unit is made entirely out of steel, so it feels sturdy, and the body is also adjustable to your liking. The grip has indents to make it more ergonomic and comfortable to hold, and the whole construction follows a classy black aesthetic.
Attached to the forks is latex rubber tubing that provides an incredible amount of power with a high drawback weight which can help you land more precise shots.
To help with that resistance, wrist support is included so you can maximize this slingshot’s full potential while not feeling fatigued at the same time. A leather pouch is also included with the slingshot so you can travel around with your ammo.
Slingshots are an excellent tool for both hunting and just enjoying yourself on a lovely weekend. You don’t need to stalk big game to get the joy out of playing with slingshots.
There is one last thing to keep in mind, and that’s the type of sling used in slingshots. Rubber bands are flat, less powerful, less resistive, but also have less a quick snap-back that provides greater speeds; they’re generally recommended for beginners.
For pros, rubber tubing is the way to go as it’s more powerful, has higher draw weight, and lasts much longer than flat bands. It doesn’t offer initial rapid snap-back, but it can match flat bands’ speeds with the right tuning and aim.
You may not feel confident with your slingshot right off the bat as it takes some getting used to. Playing around with different bands, figuring out your preferred resistance, along with some practice, is all you need. But once you’re more comfortable, it won’t take long before you turn into a full-on hobbyist.