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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone studied this subject and if so what is the conclusion of why do some hit the forks instead of pass through or passover the forks? Is there any slowmotion video of this undesireable event. And what would be the remedy?
 

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All the above, how i hit my forks is the hand holding the slingshot has the forfinger slightly ahead, which cants the catapult. that forward fork if further out ahead and gets hit.
 

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Slingshot dynamics, at their core, are purely about newtonian physics and the behavior of elastic materials. Consequently, if a well balanced spherical projectile shot from a well designed slingshot with evenly mounted and evenly cut bands results in a forkhit, it is almost assuredly caused by an inconsistency/imperfection in one's grip and/or release.

For example, if you're shooting gangsta style, there's not one but two separate and commonplace natural tendencies that can result in the occasional fork hit.

a) Twisted cupping: there's a natural tendency to want to cup one's hand against one's jaw in the soft crook on the rear-top of the hand, between the base of the thumb and forefinger. The problem with this is that doing so causes a 45-90 degree twist from distal (outer) horizontal to near vertical, which in turn generates uneven force in the bands, and when released, the bands and shot will accelerate in an equally twisted reverse of the same path, which can cause the shot to clip the SS frame on it's way past. Similarly, there's also a tendency to not hold the slingshot with both forks perfectly perpendicular and equidistant from your cupping point while aiming, which like a slightly twisted grip can result in uneven force generated in the bands and thus a variance from the desired trajectory. The solution to all of the above is to make sure that your slingshot is angled and canted properly so that both forks are perfectly perpendicular to, and equidistant from, the imaginary trajectory path connecting your cupping point to the distant spot you're aiming, AND that your position/angle of cupping isn't causing an unintended twist in the bands. Remember that you're actually aiming with TWO hands, not just the one holding the slingshot ... and also that your eye is slightly offcenter from the trajectory itself.

b} Gripping in front of the ball: The most consistent release is achieved by gripping the sides of the ball itself, rather than pinching the pouch in front of the ball. If you grip in front of the ball, there's a good chance that the pouch will drag unevenly against one fingertip or the other upon release, resulting in an uneven trajectory that the ball will then accelerate along.

I initially had some issues with both of these, and was successfully finessed out of them by some of the more experienced shooters on this forum. I'm passing the favor forward to others by elaborating at length here.

Hope that helps.


Edit: wow, triply crossed posts.
 

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I shoot gangsta and flip the slingshot a fork hit is caused mainly by bad form if you turn the wrist upwards you are angling the slingshot narrowing the fork depth increasing the chance of a fork hit as for flatbands or looped tubes being uneven that would also be a factor.That being said an uneven fixed tube has no effect as the others compensate only when a tube starts to split will you get a shot go off center could that result in a fork hit maybe but as I flip the slingshot it does not happen.I always grip my pouch in the front of the ammo enveloping it in soft leather and never have any problems with it so maybe it's the leather being used that is the cause and not the way you grip it.
 

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Tex-shooter
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When you release a slingshot the shot and pouch starts to fall a little, then the bands catch up and pull them up usually past the flight plane. This oscillation can cause fork hits if the slingshot is not in a proper tune with the band and shot size. What makes this tuning difficult is everybody’s draw length is different, so there is a lot of factors enter into this tuning. Then there is fork twisting, unconscious fork movement, different anchor points, different shooting styles and different fork widths to consider. What I am saying is that shooting a slingshot is not a simple matter and a bad habit can plague someone all of there shooting life. I have coached and worked with one person that keep hitting the fork and I could not diagnose just what he was doing wrong. So it is almost impossible to tell someone what is wrong via a post on the web. That is why I always recommend a wider fork for a beginner and some experienced shooters as well. A lot of narrow fork shooters are sub-conscious flip shooters and move the fork out of the way so as not to get fork hits, but this style requires more practice to be accurate. I have shooters tell me often that they don't need a wider fork to be accurate and then come back and ask for help with fork hits. One of the shooters with a very good shooting form is Bill Hays. I would recommend that every one watch him shooting on YouTube. It won’t make you a good shooter, but it might help. -- Tex-Shooter
 
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The right fork width is very important, as Tex said. Only very good shooters can manage a narrow fork without flipping.

And it is easy to figure it out.

If you have a draw of 1 meter, and shoot at a target 10 meters away from you, with 10 mm balls, and a fork width of 50 mm (all pretty normal dimensions), then you would have to deviate 20 mm from the straight line to the target at fork level in order to slightly touch a fork arm. For a full fork hit, you would have to fail slightly more. But let's use the 2 cm deviation for now.

Math has it that a shot that deviates 2 cm at the fork would be 20 cm off at the 10 m distance!

So if you

1) do not flip (those who do NEVER have fork hits), and
2) have fork hits

then maybe you are just not accurate enough for the fork width you chose.

I recommend (as Bill said) that you start with a rather wide fork. 12 cm (about five inches) is a good start. Then shoot. At the end of the day, look at your worst shot. How far was it off? Divide that number through four (for safety margin) and you have your safe fork width.

So if your worst shot was 40 cm off to the left or right, 10 cm fork width would be safe for you. With a 10 mm ball and a 10 cm fork width, you can miss by 45 cm and still don't hit the fork.

So you Milbro fans out there, shoot flipstyle! It has about 38 mm fork width. If you miss by more than 14 cm at the 10 meter target, you will hit the fork if you don't flip.

If you flip and have fork hits, then you aren't flipping right. This is the only explanation.

Jörg

PS: The same calculation works for low hits and fork height.
 

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Joerg

If you are talking about people who start shooting now , at 10 meters most of the people will shoot much more then 20cm off target anyway.

That does not mean they would hit the fork ,It does not mean they hold the slingshot the wrong way.
I shoot gangsta but when I try to shoot the normal way I am off target sometimes dont even hit my catch box, but never get forkhits and I am not even afraid I will get(4.5cmBetween forks).

What I wanna say is; What you said should apply to people who are accurate shoters.
 

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Tex-shooter
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I think that any body, no matter how good of a shot they are, can hit a fork when wing shooting a fast moving target because of the fast fork movement. I always use a little wider fork when wing shooting. Also the pouch can move the shot by rubbing a narrower fork even with a good shooter if he holds the fork with out much movement. I have proved this on a bench test for accuracy several years ago. That is why I shoot a fork with a 2 and 1/2 inch dimension between the fork tips. Of course pouch size enters into this. My test was done with a 2 and 3/4 inch long pouch. Tex-Shooter
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think that any body, no matter how good of a shot they are, can hit a fork when wing shooting a fast moving target because of the fast fork movement. I always use a little wider fork when wing shooting. Also the pouch can move the shot by rubbing a narrower fork even with a good shooter if he holds the fork with out much movement. I have proved this on a bench test for accuracy several years ago. That is why I shoot a fork with a 2 and 1/2 inch dimension between the fork tips. Of course pouch size enters into this. My test was done with a 2 and 3/4 inch long pouch. Tex-Shooter
OK Tex, I have tried but I have yet to hit anything zoooming through the air yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The right fork width is very important, as Tex said. Only very good shooters can manage a narrow fork without flipping.

And it is easy to figure it out.

If you have a draw of 1 meter, and shoot at a target 10 meters away from you, with 10 mm balls, and a fork width of 50 mm (all pretty normal dimensions), then you would have to deviate 20 mm from the straight line to the target at fork level in order to slightly touch a fork arm. For a full fork hit, you would have to fail slightly more. But let's use the 2 cm deviation for now.

Math has it that a shot that deviates 2 cm at the fork would be 20 cm off at the 10 m distance!

So if you

1) do not flip (those who do NEVER have fork hits), and
2) have fork hits

then maybe you are just not accurate enough for the fork width you chose.

I recommend (as Bill said) that you start with a rather wide fork. 12 cm (about five inches) is a good start. Then shoot. At the end of the day, look at your worst shot. How far was it off? Divide that number through four (for safety margin) and you have your safe fork width.

So if your worst shot was 40 cm off to the left or right, 10 cm fork width would be safe for you. With a 10 mm ball and a 10 cm fork width, you can miss by 45 cm and still don't hit the fork.

So you Milbro fans out there, shoot flipstyle! It has about 38 mm fork width. If you miss by more than 14 cm at the 10 meter target, you will hit the fork if you don't flip.

If you flip and have fork hits, then you aren't flipping right. This is the only explanation.

Jörg

PS: The same calculation works for low hits and fork height.
Hey JoergS, Is it possible for you to demontrate in slow motion video whats going on with fork hits. Might be a good study since it seems to be a common occurance.
 

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There are many different causes for fork hits, so slow motions would not deliver transparency.

Fork hits and wide misses can have the same reason. A wide enough miss will cause a fork hit when you don't flip.

A lot of people always flip without even knowing it.

Jörg
 

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For me, the remedy for fork hits was to only shoot slingshots with forks that are at least 2.5 inches wide and/or shoot thru the forks (my preference is tubes) instead of over them.

I will no longer shoot slingshots with narrow forks (less than 2.5 inches), for this reason; nor will I buy them.

I've only experienced a couple fork hits in my life, but when it occurred it was always with a slingshot that had narrow forks.
 

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I have had two fork hits one giving me a nice smack back after.. The reason I hit the forks was like others have posted, I was trying to hit a moving target! I think what happens is you get caught up in what's going on 20m away and forget that you have adjusted the fork a couple inches but the pouch and elastic have stayed right where they were originaly, so when you go for the shot the ball comes toward where the fork gap was.. but now there is a fork arm and crack there is a nice dent. I have got a slow motion video on my YouTube page of me taking a shot and one of my chained elastic breaks sending the shot out on a funny angle. Its not quite a fork hit but it demonstrates how a quick action can nearly cause disaster...
 
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