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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had made a trade with Dragonmaster a while back and in return I recieved a pair of these home-built dankungs. Upon recieving the package in the mail I was at first very happy to see he had sent two (always very nice) as I only sent him one natural. I didn't know he was going to do this and I found it to be very generous on his part. The two dankungs (or Dragon-kungs, if you will) are pictured below for your review:



I have, in the past, had one of these and didn't like it much, though that was before I learned how to make and shoot the chained rubber bands. I wasted no time in strapping up with a set of Red Clay 32/444 with an ersatz pouch. Keep in mind I hard-tied these versus allowing them to "float" as is done with the majority of these slingshots. I have often thought about using these in this manner but I think the individual strands would free themselves of the eyes and while that's not a fault of a slingshot made for Chinese tubes I didn't feel like chasing it down all the time. So I hard-tied them and that was that.

I was immediately struck by the heft of these slingshots. I believe he bent them out of 5/8" stainless steel rod, which should make them nearly indestructible. I think they are bent quite well and they lay very flat, feel great in the hand, and also slide into one's back pocket like a lover's hand. They also have little lanyards hanging from the handle-wrapping that are great to leave outside your pocket. They are great to use to pull it free from a pocket, as was proven in some tests inside my house. I believe it would work as well on a stream or in the field.

I went out on my porch with three .44 lead round balls and performed what I call a Three-Shot Drill with no warm-ups with either this slingshot (the larger of the two) or any other all day. My target was a rabbit-sized chunk of wood at around 20 yards. I drew to my chin, hoped for the best, and was rewarded by a resounding thwack as my .44 slammed into the "rabbit". I was greatly heartened by this and tried again with identical results. Knowing I was onto something good I fired off #3 for another solid hit. I was pretty stoked as I didn't have a lot of experience with this kind of slingshot, honestly wasn't real hot on them, and now had a great mini-session. Later in the evening I shot five times at a soda can in my yard at around thirty yards with .44 and .38 lead round balls and was able to connect twice at that range. I felt that was pretty decent shooting at that range and also heartened that my misses were all by inches (and only a few inches, at that) and not by feet or yards. Remember, this was with a slingshot that was not of my favorite type and also had been warned by the builder that they would shoot a little different than what I was used to and would probably need some re-training. Well, I'm happy to report that I seem to be getting along just fine with them and while I had wanted something small and waterproof for my summer wade-fishing (typed as we have 5 inches of snow on the ground with more falling) I can report I will be using these for much more. I will never give up my naturals but these are pretty impressive in their own right.

There was one "feature" with these that I really liked, even more than I did on the factory-made ones. These were home-built with what I will call minimalist equippage (which is what made me want one so badly to begin with) and the "eyes" where the bands attach have a very slight point at their exact tops. This keeps the bands anchored very well, versus the perfectly-circular eyes of a commercial model. I'll also say my American copies (strange to say that, I know) have very smooth eyes, bent perfectly, and are also very flat. He did a great job on them and there are no projections or rough metal anywhere on either of these.

While I am no authority on this kind of slingshot I do know they have been in use in China for some time and are quite traditional there. I can see some Chinese farmer bending one out of a scrounge piece of iron bar left over from repairing something after the day's labours are done and going on his merry way, alert for rabbits and pigeons as he went about his daily efforts. Anyone who thinks otherwise should check out the following propoganda poster from Mao's War On The Sparrows:


I know Smitty and perhaps a few others (Tyla) have made these and Smitty had even built a jig to bend these on. I realise I haven't killed anything with them but these do shoot pretty good for me and I give them the jmplsnt Two Thumbs Up.

thanks for looking, and thanks Dragonmaster for a pretty good pair of slingshots. Your work pretty well sums up my Slingshot Philosophy!
 

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Glad you like them I make them in pairs and these were larger than I normally make so I thought why not send both. After all you did an excellent job on the natural you made me and went out of your way to make sure I was able to get your slingshots to you though I think I got the better end of the deal.
 

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Way to go Jmp, that is a fine pair of shooters from a fellow scrounger with a slightly different style. As DH once said, it is good for you to step out of your comfort zone once and a while and have some fun with these shooters. I think they'll enjoy being at your side while wading through those crystalline streams in the warmer months casting for the big one with an eye on the tree line.....scanning for game.

I can see it now, and I hope that happens and you return to a computer later with stories and pictures to post, and maybe some blood or at least a lot of dirt on your Dragon-Kungs.

They look good strapped up with the reds, I know that you will enjoy them, and I have to say great job Dragonmaster, I have adopted the name of Dragon-Kung for these and it fits very well, they look like a good pair of slings and they have found a good home in a good collection.

Cheers - John
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Strangely enough, I have been hitting very well with these even though the very terminus of the fork is only about 3/4" above my hand while shooting and I normally prefer at least an inch on my naturals. That said, I can shoot pretty good with both of them (strapped up the smaller one yesterday) and spent a few minutes humiliating a soda can at about 12 yards with marbles before loading up in my truck. These lay flat in a pocket and are wonderful while walking around. Though, I must say, I haven't been able to shoot much as the temps here have been very low and it's hard on chained rubber sets. So the full Field Test will have to wait until probably the next time I'm home from the sea.

Bane, these will be my go-to's on my wade-fishing trips and my very limited testing shows they may be more than that, too. Only time can tell, and warmer weather to get off my poor bandsets' backs.

I like these a lot and while I still prefer a natural (or my deer antler) I really do think the Chinese are onto something good with them.
 
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