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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As a senior citizen novice sling shooter with a bit of arthritis in my hands, I currently shoot rather light bands (3/4" straight cut TBG)and 1/4" ammo somewhere in the vicinity of my catchbox.
Other than developing more power for hunting (which doesn't interest me), what is there to be gained by going to heavier bands and larger ammo?
Bob
 

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As mattwalt said. I'll just add as my hand sometimes plays up after dropping a m/cycle years ago, I find 7mm (9/32") or 8mm (5/16") easier to handle. Both of these can be fired successfully with much lighter bands such as 0.45 or 0.5. Always worth trying new things to see what suits you and make it more enjoyable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
After posting this I watched a Nathan video on matching band size to ammo.
Then I went and cut some straight 1/2" TBG bands for my 1/4" ammo.
I really don't notice much velocity difference compared to the 3/4" bands at 33 feet, but the draw is nicer!
And the bands don't rebound as much.
I also made up some straight 3/4" bands to use with the new pouches I ordered along with the Axiom Ocularis frame. I'll try that one out with both 1/4"" and 3/8" ammo with the proper bands.
Not sure if I'm going to like the rounded fork tips on the Ocularis. I don't know where I'll find a good aiming reference point on them. I liked the look of the Scout better, but didn't want to pop $40 for one just yet. I don't have enough experience to be able to appreciate the finer points of the higher end frames yet. By the time I get there I'll probably discover that strapping some bands onto a natural fork works as well as any of the higher tech stuff. Then I'll justify all the money I spent learning what makes a difference as merely stocking my "collection of primitive weapons"! :)
Bob
 

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For me I've found ammo smaller than 3/8" starts getting a little fiddly, and larger than 3/4" starts getting too dang big.

1/2" & 5/8" marbles are usually cheap and readily available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The 1/4" stuff is pretty easy to handle in those tiny Chinese laser cut pouches that came with the frame I bought on Amazon.
Simple Shot identifies them as being compatible with BB's or 1/4" ammo.
The deal for me about the bigger ammo is that my arthritis, especially in my thumbs makes it VERY uncomfortable to pinch hard enough directly on the ammo to enable me to draw the bigger bands back to the anchor point. I'm envious of those folks who can shoot accurately while drawing light bands back past their ear!
I'll make a stab at the bigger stuff after I get a better grip on the basics shooting 1/4" ammo with 1/2" straight cut bands.
Bob
 

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For me I've found ammo smaller than 3/8" starts getting a little fiddly, and larger than 3/4" starts getting too dang big.
1/2" & 5/8" marbles are usually cheap and readily available.
i have found 5/8 marbles from the dollar store good for rabbits within a 30ft range, headshot and it bursts the brain quite well, instant kill.
 
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I've bee very surprised lately how light a handset is needed for 1/4" - I'm using 1632 tubes and finding what is my BB set (short pseudo) actually flings them very well. Suggests a 8-6mm TBG taper would work great...

Do consider getting tubes - they obviously take a lot of the hassle out of cutting very small handsets. And are therefore much more consistent.

I use the 3 grooves in the outer ring of the Ocularis system to align my bands
 

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From my personal experience:

- The ammo, pouch, and bands used should all be calibrated as closely as possible i.e. small ammo, small pouch, lighter tapered band sets vs. large ammo, large pouch, and heavier tapered band sets.

- The pouch size should be roughly 3-4 times the length of the spherical projectile diameter, and roughly 1.5 times the width of the spherical projectile being used. This reduces both pouch weight and drag factors to obtain higher projectile velocities and energy output, while ensuring that the ammo is securely seated in the pouch, and that it can be held securely between the front section of the thumb and the second joint of the index finger prior to the release. Small ammo in large pouches tends to move around: beware of fork hit potential.

- Smaller ammo allows for bands with a lighter draw weights, which makes for more accurate shooting during prolonged shooting sessions (depending on correct holding and release techniques);

- Smaller ammo will have a flatter trajectory, as opposed to larger and heavier ammo at typical slingshot shooting distances (10 to 15 yards, or less);

- Steel ammo of a given size will have a flatter trajectory than lead ammo of the same size (metal density and relative weight).

- The elasticity of rubber has its limitations in terms of its maximum retraction speed, attainable projectile velocities, and related output energy, which in turn depends on band thickness, lengths, and widths.

- Tapering increases projectile velocity to a point, but ultimately stronger bands with higher draw weights and heavier ammo are the only way to increase the energy output of slingshots in absolute terms.

- Larger ammo is suitable when destructive power at closer ranges is called for (think "magnum"), and/or for hunting to ensure a humane kill at typical slingshot hunting distances.

Personally, I have taken to 8 to 9 mm ammo for my backyard target shooting at 10 yards using Chinese-made slingshots, as the performance ratios based on the above criteria are what best suits my needs: hunting is with slingshots is prohibited in Switzerland. That said, I do have a couple of homemade bent 8 mm thick stainless steel rod frames for strong flat bands to shoot heavier steel ammo in the 12 to 16 mm size.

Heavier ammo implies higher draw weights by definition to obtain a relatively flat projectile trajectory, albeit that one can achieve a good personal compromise between ammo weight and band tapering to reduce draw weight as far as possible. It s really a case of testing various combinations to see what best suits your needs.

Larger ammo is generally easier to hold inside the pouch. The key question is finding a suitable compromise between having a flat trajectory and sufficient "oomph" at the intended shooting distance, while nevertheless having a band set (or tubes) that do not transform shooting sessions into a work-out and painful fingers at the end of the whole process.

Least but not last, the design of the slingshot in ergonomic terms also plays a major role in the way draw weight is felt in the slingshot holding hand: the frame being used needs to be adapted for stronger bands by distributing the pressure generated by higher draw weights in the hand in a way that minimizes potential hand and finger pain. Using pouch material that is thick enough and which does not slip in the fingers, is essential too.

My 2 cents worth... B)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
On tapering the bands: it seems that by reducing the width of the band for some of its length, you are able to get a longer draw with less perceived effort than if the band was full width for its entire length.
As many have noted, while there seems to be some velocity gain, you are also reducing the lifespan of the band by over-stretching the tapered part.
At my current level of understanding (novice), the trade off is not sufficiently positive to warrant the extra effort in cutting tapered bands, along with having to replace them more often.
I am finding the draw light enough with my straight cut 1/2" bands to have a good time with the 1/4" ammo.
One day if I'm bored, I might make up a 3/8" straight cut band set just to see if I can tell the difference.
Bob
 

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As a senior citizen novice sling shooter with a bit of arthritis in my hands, I currently shoot rather light bands (3/4" straight cut TBG)and 1/4" ammo somewhere in the vicinity of my catchbox.
Other than developing more power for hunting (which doesn't interest me), what is there to be gained by going to heavier bands and larger ammo?
Bob
Greetings and welcome from a fellow senior novice. While I do not suffer from arthritis, I was deconditioned and had weak grip strength when I started. My shooting is slowly improving. Walking, stretching, squeezing hand grip exercise devices, focusing on my form and follow through are as important as having the right set-up. At my stage of development, I look for slingshots that are comfortable to grip and draw, and then match my ammo to the set up. I shoot more accurately with larger ammo, 3/8" steel, 1/2" and 5/8" marbles work best for me.

Lots of good information here on the physics of slingshots.

Looking forward to reading about your progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Greetings, Sahib!
Getting into "senior" status without arthritis is indeed a blessing!
No way around it. Bigger ammo= heavier bands= higher draw force = more pinch required on ammo=no fun for this guy! :-(
I know, by using lighter, longer bands you can draw back past your ear and get good velocity with bigger ammo, but that's a more advanced technique that I'm not ready for as yet.
We each have our own limitations be they physical, Time, financial, etc. Somehow we still seem to find a way to have a good time in spite of them!
Bob
 
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