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Marksman Pocket Hunter - Review

Memo to self: The next time $30.00 is burning a hole in your pocket, do not throw it away on a Marksman Pocket Hunter.

An impulse buy, rationalized as a slingbow that I could shoot out of the box (or more accurately, the miserable clamshell packaging), the pocket hunter fell far short of the mark.

The supplied field point (and several others that I tried) would not screw into the arrow shaft. The plastic wrist brace was ugly. The arrow nocking system, a length of paracord threaded through a leather pouch, was prone to failure and the arrow dropped off the paracord as I started to draw. The large blocky pouch increased air resistance and decreased velocity. I could not get a good grip on the paracord to draw the rather stout bands, which broke during my first shooting sessions. The paracord did not lend itself to a clean release. The few times that I managed to draw the arrow, it would not stay in the plastic arrow guide.

Rather than throw it in the trash (I doubt that the big box store would accept it back after I mangled the clamshell packaging), I replaced the plastic wrist brace with a paracord and jute twine lanyard. I made a whisker biscuit out of leather and feather scraps and a nock out of paracord, artificial sinew, and dental floss. I rebanded it with double braided #64 rubber bands in a 2-2-2-2 configuration.

A caliper release enabled me to nock, draw, and cleanly release. My homemade bandset, while a vast improvement over the broken tubes, was seriously underpowered and reminded me of a 15 lb. child's bow. If I go back to this sling bow, I will install tubes.

The time I wasted tinkering with the Pocket Hunter is not recoverable. Moreover, $30.00 is too much for an unusable arrow, a $12.00 wire frame "wrist rocket," 3 cents worth of paracord, and 20 cents worth of plastic, molded into an unusable arrow guide. The clamshell packaging adds insult to injury.

Launching an arrow seems like a natural evolutionary step in slingshot development, and one can find patents for sling bows that are over 100 years old. However, Slingshots are designed to propel 50 to 75 grain ammo. Arrow field points alone are typically 100 to 125 grains or more. Add another 300 grains for the shaft and then consider the drag from the fletching. Launching an arrow from a slingbow is a challenge. The Marksman Pocket Hunter does not even come close.

My rating is "do not buy." Especially when the vendors on this site offer what appear to be workable slingbows.

Following my own advice, I ordered a Timber Wolf from Perry at A+ Slingshots. Perry's slingshots are handbuilt and can sometimes take 2 months or more. Based one of Perry's custom slingshots, it is well worth the wait.

Marksman Pocket Hunter FINAL.jpg
 

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I'm keen to find out more about Bill's archery plates and a 'cheap' Chinese or similar wrist brace slingshot. Whether the arrow 'guide' is specific to a certain width shaft... Going out and buying a SS hammer etc. is out of the question for me due to the hight costs involved - especially as it may be more 'toy'...

My first and only (and failed) attempt at a slingbow was in the mid 80's - sort of saw the potential but lack of any sort of archery equipment ()like actual arrows) meant I was making everything up as I went along. Also the rubber I usually was using resulted in lack-lustre results... Keen to revisit with the knowledge I have now.
 
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