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Someone should invent an "electromagnetic lock" release pouch. This would smooth and stabilize the release, and also prevent trigger thumb because the magnet does the holding, not your fingers.

I'm thinking something you hold in your hand, that contains a battery, a "push-once-for-on, push-again-for-off" switch, and an electromagnet. Put your steel ball in the pouch, and have a small hole in the back center of the pouch so part of the steel ball is exposed rearward. Click-on your device, grabbing the ball in the pouch with the electromagnet, draw, then click-off the device to power down the electromagnet thus releasing the pouch. You could use a simpler momentary push-for-on switch too. Push and hold the switch,snag pouch and draw, let go of the switch to release the pouch. You can get small electromagnets that can hold around 40 lbs with 5 watts of power. That's easily within the rechargeable battery range (inexpensive NiMH AA's would probably do just fine). For non-steel ammo, you'd have to build some type of ferrous (steel) metal into the pouch itself to grab with the electromagnet.

Make the devices handle out of hollow tube. Maybe 4 inches of small diameter plastic PVC pipe (electrical conduit?) Hook up the batteries inside this tube. Mount the switch on one end of the tube so when you hold the tube your thumb naturally rests on the pushbutton switch. Mount the electromagnet to the side of the tube somehow - so the whole contraption looks like a "T" with the magnet sticking out between your middle fingers. To picture what I'm imagining, think of a pair of "brass knuckles" used in fighting. On the front of the knuckles, where you would hit with, sits the electromagnet. And the back part of the knuckles that you would grip in the palm of you hand would be the tube and batteries I'm talking about. The switch sits on top, pointing upwards so your thumb could press it.

Here's some electromagents: http://www.solenoidc...gnetcatalog.htm

And here are the specs on one that just might do the job:

http://www.solenoidc.../e-05-125p2.htm
http://www.solenoidc.../e-05-125p1.htm

I don't know how much an electromagnet like this would cost, or if the pull is strong enough for actual use drawing a slingshot. Here's something at Amazon.com that is similar (it's an electromagnetic door lock). It quotes 100 lbs of pull for $38. But I don't know what kind of power you have to pump into it to get 100 lbs of pull, nor how big it is. http://www.amazon.co...pd_sim_dbs_op_2

Sounds like an interesting project for someone with money and time to look into (that wouldn't be me - I have neither!) Hmmm, I've almost talked myself into thinking this might actually work. But being an engineer, I tend to ignore little details like "It might weight twenty pounds, dim the lights of the city when you power it up, and sterilize any male within 50 feet when you actuate it". Ahhh, ... details, details!
 
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