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Missing Barns and Telling Yarns
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to like shooting BB's. I really do. I like everything about shooting smaller ammo. I prefer smaller frames that fit into my pocket. I like using light bands and tubes to chase cans around. I like being able to pack 50-60 1/4" steel comfortably in my back pocket. I enjoy being able to shoot near people in parks with something unobtrusive and non-threatening.

But I'm not having any luck with BB's. I've been using copper .177 ammo I stole from my brother, and it's been one problem after another. I am calling upon you, the wise greybeards and plinkers of the forum, to help me give it one last 'college try' before giving up altogether and settling on larger, more expensive 1/4" steel as my go-to ammo.

I'd like to hear all your tips and preferred methods, but there are three things I seem to be struggling with in particular:

1. What pouch size? I've been cutting pouches out of old soft leather, and it often feels like the BB just gets lost in there. It's hard to tell if the ammo is settled deep in the pocket and centered correctly, and it's hard to tell if my misses are related to my poor ability or using the wrong type of pouch. So what do you prefer? What size, material, or brand pouch should I use?

2. What band strength? I've been using single 1632 tubes for my small ammo, but my accuracy is slightly erratic. Are they too overpowered for BB's? Is there a BB setup I should/could just purchase from a supplier? My pouch and band tying skills are pretty sad, and I'm sure that's affecting my aim as much as my choice of tubes.

3. How do I grip? I learned to grip ammo from Bill Hays. I use my thumb pad and the second knuckle on my forefinger. I pinch the ammo itself, making sure not to pinch in front of it. This seems rather difficult with BB's though, as I can barely feel them sometimes. How do you all do it?

Sorry for the long post. Shooting BB's is my ultimate goal at this point, for both cost effectiveness and ease of carry, and I'm willing to throw down some dollars to get the right bands, pouches etc. Just point me in the right direction!
 

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I use #64 office bands for .177 BBs. I cut the loops and use one band per side. They have plenty of power for bbs. I use a bb pouch from Simple Shot. I have never gotten any real accuracy. I can hit an aluminum can often enough to keep me interested but that is about it. I suspect my release is the problem. I just can't feel the bb.

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Missing Barns and Telling Yarns
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985 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I use #64 office bands for .177 BBs. I cut the loops and use one band per side. They have plenty of power for bbs. I use a bb pouch from Simple Shot. I have never gotten any real accuracy. I can hit an aluminum can often enough to keep me interested but that is about it. I suspect my release is the problem. I just can't feel the bb.

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hmm. I have the same issue. I can't really "feel" the BB or how I'm holding it. I suspect my bands are too powerful though, so I'll certainly look into the #64's.
 

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Grandpa Pete
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1,419 Posts
I have made a few very small natural frames and banded with #64 rubber bands or when I can find them extra large bands used to hold plastic bags in waste baskets . I use small, light weight pouches made from deer hide. They are thin enough that you can actually feel the BB in the pouch.

GP
 

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Amateur
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I really enjoy shooting BBs and have tried a few different setups. I'll try to share some of my experience, hopefully it can help. I have included a few pics of some past setups as well for reference. Also, just bear in mind that most of slingshooting comes down to personal preference so what I like might not work for you.

1. Pouch size: I like a pretty small pouch for bbs. I tried making some tiny leather pouches, but found that I liked the cheap chinese microfiber ones better. The pouch in the picture with the jellybean is one of my favorites right now, it came as a freebie in an order from gzk, but you can buy them on his website. But any small microfiber with a small enough or no center hole is good for me. I'll link a few examples of styles of pouches that I like for bbs.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/5PCS-Microfiber-Leather-Slingshot-Pouches-Muiti-Hole-Outdoor-Hunting-Sling-Shots-Catapults-Accessories-Random-Color-50x15x8mm/32839703244.html?src=google&albslr=225494945&src=google&albch=shopping&acnt=494-037-6276&isdl=y&slnk=&plac=&mtctp=&albbt=Google_7_shopping&aff_platform=google&aff_short_key=UneMJZVf&&albagn=888888&albcp=1582410664&albag=59754279756&trgt=539263010115&crea=en32839703244&netw=u&device=c&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIqsGh4ZrT4wIV5__jBx2IYAzQEAQYASABEgIbJPD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

P5b and P4g from GZK https://gzkchina.onloon.net/detail?itemId=97f4d2749d0d49f5bc5853442c724e79

Warrior Ninja pouch https://www.ebay.com/itm/Warrior-Pouches-Slingshot-BB-pouch-microfiber-laminated-Luxury-Ninja-x-5/273815127646?hash=item3fc0a7465e:g:eNwAAOSwyZhcu4K6

2. Bands. I used to primarily use single tubes for bbs, 1632 and SS extra small, but I've found that, personally, I'm more consistant with thin, narrow flats. The green bands on the jellybean are about 11 mm wide straight cuts of 0.6 mm Ussop band. I'm not sure of the active length, I just kinda eyeball what looks right and then adjust by feel. Shooting fixed anchor I have a 36 inch draw. I use 0.55 mm precise and 0.45 mm sumeike a lot as well. I have a set of 0.45 cut to 13mm (straight) that I really like for bbs as well. I use the 0.55 as an all purpose band and use several different straight cuts and small tapers (maybe 2 or 3 mm difference between frame and pouch end) with similar effectiveness. In general, you don't need much rubber. Draw weight on a dedicated .177 setup should be quite low. I have never used the Theraband Blue bb specific flat bands that SS sells, but others seem to have good experiences with them.

3. Grip. This is where I differ from a lot of shooters, as I shoot with my thumb down and grip the ammo with the tips of my index finger and thumb. I shoot bbs with a very deliberate opening of the digits, not the "relax the grip" method. When I grip a bb to shoot, I'm gripping the bb and the pouch directly in front of the shot. It's difficult to explain, but somehow it allows me to be consistent enough with release. Obviously, with a thicker pouch (like the gzk P5b on the jellybean), the feel will be different than a thin pouch. Personally I've grown to prefer the thicker microfiber material. It might be counterintuitive, but I feel like i have better "feel" and controlled release with a thicker pouch material.

https://slingshotforum.com/topic/117864-thumb-down-pouch-hold/?p=1324412

Hope this helps. Don't give up and keep experimenting and I'm sure you will find a setup that works for you and your individual style.

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Ray Rowden
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Hang tough, Mikey!

BBs are tough to master, but you know the rewards are great.

1. Pouches. The small microfiber pouches work well for me when knew. I have used one so much I was loosing ammo through the centering hole during the shot. I make a lot of my own pouches and I like leather cut 3/8" by 2" for .177 steel. I can shoot thin pouches, but I favor something with enough substance to feel a little stiff.

2. Bands. I like office rubber, narrow cuts of latex flatbands, and 1632 tube. While you're climbing that learning curve, you may want to add an inch to your 1632 tube sets.

3. Grip. That really is where the magic happens. My first plateau of success with BBs came with a PFS style hold and release. That is, a 90 degree turn of the pouch, and a slight bend, away from the opening of the forks. I still use the 90 degree turn, but I shoot without a bend, unless I'm shooting PFS. My current grip is the same you use. I start out pinching hard, so the pouch closes in front of the BB while I draw, and when I am near full draw, I relax the grip just enough to feel the pouch shift forward (not slip, the skin of my finger moves with the pouch) and opens in front of the ammo. Then I gently relax the grip to release. I guess I have to pinch hard to feel the BB, but can't release cleanly from the hard pinch. One additional point of focus - true with any light bands - work on feeling absolute neutral with the hold. That is, no up, down, left or right pressure on the pouch when you release.

Keep shooting, Mikey! Perseverance will pay!
 

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...I start out pinching hard, so the pouch closes in front of the BB while I draw, and when I am near full draw, I relax the grip just enough to feel the pouch shift forward (not slip, the skin of my finger moves with the pouch) and opens in front of the ammo. Then I gently relax the grip to release.
This is a very good explanation of what I was trying to describe and exactly how i grip and draw a bb in the pouch, but I use a more active final release and no twist.

Most of what I know about shooting bbs and light setups came from KawKan's and others past posts on the subject.
 

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I'm just reading this wondering what it's gonna be like to go bigger.. i feel like the release mechanics change noticeably just from .177 to 1/4" (all I've shot). Just my $0.02 :)

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It seems to me that moving up in ammo size is less challenging than moving down.
The smaller ammo seems less forgiving of errors, and the .177 is the least forgiving of all.
I'm not trying to make comparisons other than the difference between ammo sizes regardless of going up or down.. The mechanics changeed for me and I thought it was relevant... I'm so new I thought not to give specific recommendations, and I have nothing but good experience with BBs (.177)

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As mentioned above, the small microfiber pouches work great for BBs, until they get stretched out too much. I like BB pouches about 44-50mm in length and about 12mm width.

For BB bands there are lots of options. The 1632 singles or pseudo-tapers are great. You can rev those tiny balls to 250-280fps and reach out to 30 yards or more. A skinny 5/16" cut of TBG or maybe Precise Yellow .55mm would be fine too. The .45mm Pink Sumeike should be good but I don't think I tried them yet with BBs. I had some Sanctband Plum bands shooting BBs at almost 300fps but they didn't last too long. The 117B office bands work fine and you don't have to cut them. Unfortunately they don't last too long if you stretch them to 31-32".

I pinch the pouch right on top of the BB and maybe a bit in front. The small BB requires a firm hold and my fingers get a bit sore/tender after a few lengthy shooting sessions.
 

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Con somebody explain why everything I post is all of a sudden questionable???

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Fear not, nothing you post is causing offence or considered wrong. You're going through a learning curve all of us are on lol

One of the Joy's of slingshots is we all experience different things with the same setup, be it ammo, bands, ammo style etc.
 

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Shooting BB's is awesome. You can get a whole hobby to fit in your jeans watch pocket (even with a few hundred shot) - and also means you can shoot any time you are able (as you'd have it to hand). I think I shoot more BB's than any other ammo combined...

Firstly - the cheap 'red' Chinese pouches work amazing - though the last batch I got were larger and more pliable than the ones I've had before and the BB's can actually fall through the centring hole... But thats fine as BB setups work just as well slinging 6mm... The size I use is about 11 x 45mm

Secondly - elastic (office) bands work fine but I find them to be short lived - use single (or very short pseudo) 1632 tubes - they last ages and are very consistent. I make them for around a 450-480%

You want the pouch/tube setup to be light and minimal as possible - once you get the setup figured out there's no looking back. BB's are laser fast and surprisingly accurate when its dialled in - but they can be overwhelmed very easily having them flying all over if your bands are too powerful for them.

I grip between thumb and the first joint of my index finger...

Also don't be sacred to use larger frames for BB's - the SS Torque is a stunning BB shooter. Some small frames feel great but they don't always shoot as accurately as others...
 
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