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Tex-shooter
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I have bought me a new HP model CA350 camera. It has sound and the capability of shooting long videos. This video is the lowest resolution that it will shoot videos at. I got the camera for $73 including shipping on Ebay. I am still learning how to use it, so you all will have to be patient. Here is a few of my thoughts on very strong power bands if you are going to shoot them. I am not talking about bands like Truemark's black bands, but bands with over 35 pounds of pull and especially large tubes. I think the key to shooting very heavy power bands is to be able to strengthen one self so that it is not a strain on their body. I know if I were to shoot very heavy power bands, that it would cause me problems because of my age and not being able to build up my muscles enough. Also young and new shooters should stay away from them until they are adequately strong enough to handle them. -- Tex -- Here is the link.
http://www.youtube.com/user/slingshotbill
 

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Member, Brotherhood of Slingshot Nutz
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Excellent, Bill. Right on the mark -- just like your slingshootin'
 

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You handsome devil,nice video and very true too! Flatband
 

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Well said. This is great information you shared especially for the physical problems it can create. Many people are not aware that the tendons of the muscles can take three months to catch up to muscles that are being worked out. So what you say is vital for anyone getting into something without the proper graduation of exertion/repetition.

Thanks Bill.

I was definitely one who wished you were with us at the tournament.
 

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Thanks for the video, Bill. It was certainly informative and there's a lot that was 100% spot on and needed saying. First, I believe you are right that weaker bands can be sufficient for hunting small game. I'm no expert hunter, but people I know who are have tugged on my Hunter Bands, winced and said they hunt with catapults that are a much easier draw. Secondly, I agree that Extreme Heavy Power Bands can be hazardous to the user. One should only shoot a slingshot that one can safely draw. We're only in our 30's, but my friend and I noticed that our elbows would creak under the strain of the heaviest bands and wondered if the sounds of cracking cartilage were a bit iffy.


Nevertheless, I'll still shoot my Hunter Bands and when the roll of Thera-band Gold I have on order arrives, I may make some even heavier bands.
Why?

  • Shooting high power bands drives the design evolution of my frames by highlighting inadequacies that may be less noticeable with lesser bands. When I reduce the draw power a step of two with lighter bands, I will still have a design that is less susceptible to wobble, tremor and the other undesirable effects of draw force.
  • Sometimes, you do need a powerful band. Testing with very high power bands help establish the upper limits of the power envelope of a completed frame design in terms of structural integrity, ergonomics and biomechanics. I know that I can shoot light ammo on fast light bands, or heavy ammo on heavy bands. There is never any doubt that I may one day fit a more powerful bands and have the slingshot fail.
  • They have training applications. By shooting these bands, I push my body further and build up muscle in the right places. When I then shoot with light bands, it will seem easy by comparison. It's like training for a marathon wearing weights on one's ankles.
  • Powerful bands are fun. Always hitting the target is cool, but powerful bands and high energies are exciting and were the reason I got back into slingshots.
 

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One thing I wrote above deserves a bit of elaboration. The frame, bands, pouch, shot and shooter are all part of an integrated system. That's why I fit my slingshots to the shooter's hand and I should really match the bands to the shooter's arm length and draw force. Many other makers do the same.

We can take this line of thinking further. If slingshot shooting were a well-funded Olympic sport, we'd have university bio-mechanics graduates, occupational and sports therapy specialists and other scientists studying every aspect of how the slingshot and shooter interact. Look at archery for example. There's a lot of research done and published (see link for an example) and it has is credited with raising scores and reducing injuries.

I'm now looking at how these principles can be applied to my shooting and to the design of my slingshots. The PDF linked above shows why the handles of all my ergonomic designs are canted around 45 degrees to the side compared to line crossing the tops of the forks and why I am learning to draw with a locked fork arm, and more horizontal forearm on the pouch hand. I am concerned that if I always shot light bands which are so easy to pull and hold at full draw that I may slip into a weak and inconsistent stance and action that may result in injury should I occasionally use more powerful bands as I lack the coordination and discipline to do it properly if I didn't have to. For me it's better to train with the most powerful bands I can draw which force me to draw properly and which exaggerate my correctable faults.
 

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The only reason I opt for powerful bands is for hunting. I'll do pushups, weight training, pulling bands whatever it takes. Id rather miss game with a powerful slingshot than to injure game with an accurate but low powered slingshot. Plus IMHO thick gauge bands are cool.
 

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Tex-shooter
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
There are several things that I would add. One is a stronger pull weight does not always mean more power and how much power is enough. Attach wires instead of rubber to a slingshot fork, pull 100 pounds and see how much speed and power it develops. My express bands only pull 16 pounds, but are quite capable of producing up to 30 joules and that is quit a bit of delivered power. Does that mean that stronger bands will not produce more power, not at all, but how much power is enough? One of the hunting associations has placed 8 joules as being adequate power to take small game. If hunting larger game, even a cheap bow is a better weapon. Also if shooting very strong pull bands, it might be wise to use some type of a release. Trigger finger is not uncommon and can even happen with lighter bands. It was first detected in hand gun shooters that shot a lot. It also happens in bow shooting and that might be why that some companies developed releases a few years ago. You know, that when a company has a problem, they don’t always publicize it. I have never had this problem and have shot bows up to 125 pound pull (when I was young), but one of our own great forum shooters and slingshot makers has had to have surgery for this problem. I am quite sure that he would not want anybody else to go through this problem. That is why I say that, if shooting extreme power bands, be very cautious and they are just not for everyone. -- Tex
 

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excellent video and great advice.
 

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Tex-shooter
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I plan on posting more shooting videos as I learn the new camera and have time. -- Tex
 

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Every enthusiast interest goes through the "bigger better more" stage and even hardcore power mongering. I've been though it with every interest from slingshots and weight lifting to cars, trucks, guns, archery, air rifles and now slingshots again "magnumitis" always sets in. When you start out with the hardcore stuff without building the complete package things break and ssstuff happens. Start with reps of light to medium "power" and build endurance along with muscle - those magnum power bands will be easier to adapt to as well as be used with proper form. Doesn't mean you shouldn't or can't use extra heavy bands, just use in moderation to avoid ssstuff happening. I have no issues with double thera golds or 8 strands but I enjoy shooting and am much more consistently accurate with slightly lighter easier pulling bands. If you are shooting a Lot chances of ssstuff happening increases dramatically with heavy pulling high power bands and ruins the fun.
 

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Hey ZDP, its nice that you attached the pdf with the info on canting your hand 45 degrees to the side. I naturally hold the sling this way and Ive always known that this aligns my wrist, elbow and shoulder so my arm is locked and holds the weight of the bands with relative ease.

This might be the cure for some of the guys that have elbow problems or maybe help avoid those type of injuries.
 

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This is what can happen if you shoot too heavy of bands. Stage 3 Trigger Thumb - surgery. Then you have to learn a new way to shoot.

 

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Jim - Ouch!

Was that a recent accident? How did it happen? This seems to be a cut, not a hit.

The band strength really needs to be just right for the ammo you are shooting. For 9,5mm steel, a very thin single band per side (Thera Gold, 2,8cm x 1,8cm x 20cm) will max out the speed at about 260 fps. You can triple the bands and the ball won't be any faster (in fact, it will be slower).

Heavy bands are for heavy ammo.

Jörg
 

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Jörg, I think it's a surgical scar to repair tendon damage.

Jim, that looks nasty. How recent was that? Has it totally healed yet? Maybe a release can be made to replicate the old way you shot but without the pinch force.
 
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