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One of my favorite flat bands are ordinary Alliance #107 rubber bands, available from most office supply stores in the US, though I buy mine from Amazon.com. They are cheap, require no tricky cutting and last a long time. Are they good enough for you? Good question, so I decided to do some tests to help you decide.

For comparison, I used two identical frames, my own design La Cholita in half inch plywood. One frame was banded with #107s and the other with .050 food grade latex from RubberSheetRoll.com cut the same width as the #107s. Both bandsets were fitted with Performance Catapult's (Jim Harris) pouches. I tied them on with thin strips of TB Gold in an OTT configuration and 8 inches between the pouch-tie point and the frame.

The first step was to fire 25 break-in rounds with each slingshot. I used .375 (9.4 mm) lead balls, and got a bit of hand-slap with both, indicating there is more energy available. Then I measured my draw-length at 34 inches, and using a digital fish scale measured the pull strength at 14.08 pounds for the #107s and 11.44 pounds for the latex.

Next I set up my speed test equipment, consisting of a metal chair with a wooden stick affixed to the back and a clothespin to hold a 5x8 inch index card located exactly 10 feet away from my catch box fabric. Then I placed my Acer Netbook on the chair and using Audacity, I recorded the sounds of a dozen or so shots from each slingshot hitting first the 5x8 card and then the cloth backstop 10 feet away. Then I transferred the files to my big computer and read the files to measure the elapsed time between the two strikes. I entered that information into a spreadsheet and calculated the speed in fps for each shot and finally got an average speed and energy. Here are the results.

#107
Average for 10 shots = 173.87 fps, 5.03 lbs/ft energy

.050 latex
Average for 10 shots = 183.95 fps, 5.60 lbs/ft energy

So far, no surprises. I expected the latex to be faster, but was pleasantly surprised to find the #107s to be as fast as they are.

Next, I will shoot both slingshots until the bandsets wear out or break. Past experience tells me to expect about 300 shots from the latex and more from the #107s. Every shot is recorded, so for the first time I will have an accurate count. Whichever breaks first will be replaced with a set of Tex's Field bands, and I will do the same speed, energy, and longevity tests on them, for comparison purposes. Note: Everyone already knows that Tex's bands are as good as it gets, so there really is no need for me to reinvent the wheel.

Henry

14 August, 2011 - The left side latex band broke at the pouch after 390 shots.
15 August, 2011 - 490 shots total on #107 bands. Very light scuffing at fork. No tears.
16 August, 2011 - 600 shots total on #107 bands. No tears.
17 August, 2011 - Velocity test - 178.7 fps 5.3 lb/ft energy
19 August, 2011 - Band broke at 696 shots
 

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Henry...which type of Alliance #107 were you using....Pale Crepe Gold. or Sterling...I imagine the Gold would be the best choice with higher rubber content....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Maybe i missed it, how many rubber bands did you use, or was it just one whole band per side? this interest me alot for my BB shooting.
I use one band per side and trim to length. These bands are much too heavy for BB shooting. I'm getting light band slap with .44 cal lead. I use some scrap TG Gold (Thanks Dan, ZDP-189) cut 1/2 inch x 1/4 inch by 9 inches for BBs. It's more than enough.

Henry
 

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Philly
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Good thread Henry, I will be following it with intrest.
Philly
 
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Rather than trim the band to length, you might try using the whole band with a loop at the fork end. This might add a tapered effect and add an extra thickness at a point where you tie to the forks. I was going to rubber cement this extra band area to eliminate friction between the two layers of rubber. I would probably try that type of rubber cement used for bicycle patch...maybe contact cement...not sure yet...Maybe others have tried this to eliminate friction between bands at critical contact points...(?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Rather than trim the band to length, you might try using the whole band with a loop at the fork end. This might add a tapered effect and add an extra thickness at a point where you tie to the forks. I was going to rubber cement this extra band area to eliminate friction between the two layers of rubber. I would probably try that type of rubber cement used for bicycle patch...maybe contact cement...not sure yet...Maybe others have tried this to eliminate friction between bands at critical contact points...(?)
Hey! You're getting ahead of me. LOL!

My friend AJW has a Flat Cat that is eating flatbands with gusto, I'm going to make him a set like that to try on it.

On my Panama Tipicos, I fold a portion of the band back and underneath to eliminate abrasion at the fork.

Henry
 

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Philly
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Amazon has them for $7.49 for 1 lb box, 50 bands, shipping is $6.50, still a cheap alternative to 25 sets of purchased Latex bands.
Philly
 

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I love my Alliance Sterling 107's, they work wonderfully for target shooting ,especially for marbles. These days though I mainly use them as throw ins in my trades. In fact, Dayhiker has most of my stock at this point


But they certainly have there good uses. I also have some Universal 105s (total garbage with almost no latex!)
And the Alliance Gold Crepe, which I do not recommend, For some reason they just do not have any poke to them. I can't even get single bands to fire bb's with any speed!!! I have to say, the Sterlings are the way to go, if you want to use even heavier ammo you can use a cocktail set up as well, like DragonMaster does....

If you guys want some more info on these, there is some great info on this thread from long ago:
http://slingshotforu...__fromsearch__1

Great testing Henry, thanks

Cheers - John
 

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Awesome bands, i wish that one day they will ship it to my country (Israel)... if so, i will buy like bunch of em!.

And thanks Henry
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Awesome bands, i wish that one day they will ship it to my country (Israel)... if so, i will buy like bunch of em!.

And thanks Henry
Since you have one of my Typical Panama Slingshots with 107 bands, can you tell us how they perform for you, and how long they lasted?
 

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Do not use the gold crepe. They are very slow. Now I have to get more 107's as I have never tried the sterling
 

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Amazon has them for $7.49 for 1 lb box, 50 bands, shipping is $6.50, still a cheap alternative to 25 sets of purchased Latex bands.
Philly
Staples will ship them to one of it's stores for free. I paid like $7 total for mine.
 
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