Lion Mouth Slingshot
The traditional nailhead slingshot still seems to be very popular in China although many modern examples are now made from hightech plastics or stainless steel rather than wood. This attractive frame style has even caught the attention of some American slingshot shooters. I joined the club a while back when I bought a traditional POM Feihu and a hybrid Feihu frame that I still enjoy regularly. The Lion Mouth design looked a bit different so I recently ordered one from MAKarchery on AliExpress. Shipping time to central Canada with ePacket was an amazing 15 days -- only 11 business days. The frame with some yellowish bands arrived in the typical sealed white plastic shipping bag with English and Chinese labels. The contents were well padded in bubble wrap and nothing was damaged.
The Lion Mouth frame is made from ABS resin with a curvy shape that settles well in my hand. The lightly textured ABS has some sort of rubberized coating that provides a secure grip. With heavy use I'm sure the coating will eventually wear off but the frame will still be useable after this happens. For $6.77 USd I definitely can't complain. The frame has the common narrow fork tip with a healthy fork thickness from front to back. Like the Feihu, the fork is thicker at the base and tapers towards the end with the traditional nailhead button on top.
The handle on this comfortable frame has a well-rounded contour with no sharp edges or corners. It bends away at the bottom to match the shape of a slightly closed hand. The forks have a fairly low profile but I don't find them too low for safety. The fork gap is a generous 2.2" which is wider than most of my frames. When shooting I hold high on the forks and actually lean them a bit towards the target for a ball path that's even closer to my hand. This hold gives very low stress on the wrist and seems to contribute to accuracy. I use a finger hook & thumb brace hold but I found that a pinch grip is also comfortable.
The tip design is over-the-top and requires that wider bands wrap around the fork tip and completely cover the tip when at full draw. It looks different and was a big change from what I shot for many years but the style works fine and the results show that it doesn't hinder accuracy. I had no problem regularly hitting a plastic golfball from 10 yards. Unfortunately, my longer distance shooting will have to wait until the deep snow melts.
The Lion Mouth has a lot of pros but still has one obvious con. Some shooters prefer a lanyard on their frames but this model doesn't come with any attachment method. A small threaded eyelet should work fine for fastening a lanyard but would require a hole to be drilled in the bottom of the handle.
Overall I think this frame was a good purchase. The unique shape is what first caught my eye. I enjoy small frames and the bargain price was too much to resist. I'm fighting the urge to order a couple more.
Overall length = 116 mm (4.5")
Width across forks = 83 mm (3.25")
Fork gap = 56 mm (2.2")
Fork width = 13.5 mm (0.5")
Material = ABS resin
Total weight = 105 g (3.8 oz)
Bands = Unknown orange with 0.025" thickness
Band cut = 18 mm x 12 mm x 190 mm
Speed = 232 fps with 5/16" steel and 32" draw
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