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I am very excited to be able to post my own review of A+ Slingshots' Bamboo PS-1. I have huge respect for Perry (pallan65) and his gorgeous slingshot creations and made my own homage to his work under paid license) a while ago because I simply could not wait for the post. I called this the Clone Trooper, because it was as close to a direct clone as I could manage from the images available.

A Reminder of The Clone Trooper

The Clone Trooper Marches Off to a New Home

I enjoyed shooting this frame and so did my friends. Offered the pick of my rather large pile of slingshots, my friend (shown in the picture above) picked the Clone Trooper out saying it was unintimidating unlike my scary low fork powerhouses, but shot well and consistently.

So, the Clone trooper left my collection. Anyhow, there is no substitute for the real deal. At the time when I arranged the permission and license for the Clone Trooper, I also placed an order for one of his best and sure enough a few days ago, Perry was kind enough to sell me one of his very finest Bamboo Classics.

Bamboo PS-1 In All Its Glory

Since I joined the forum and discovered his work, I have always lusted after a PS-1. It's simply the most organic, well proportioned, symmetrical and basically right-looking slingshot. There's no wonder why it's irresistible to buy and harder still to avoid reproducing some or all elements of its design. It's just too perfect not to be influential. I just hope people that plan to copy this original commercial design do so with Perry's permission and agree to pay his license fee.

Scalloping Shows Off Natural Cross Grain

Perry knows all about wood. This is a craftsman's creation with other craftsmen in mind as customers. The most striking difference between the original and my poor reproduction is the way Perry has deeply scalloped the handle and sides of the fork to reveal the cross grain. I didn't do so and I find the original more shapely, more ergonomic and more appealing for the way it reveals its natural beauty.

Truly A Pocket Shooter

Another thing I got wrong was the scale. I think mine was 2.5" between the forks rather than 2.25". It doesn't sound a lot but you can see from my pictures here how different the feel is in the hand. I have small hands and the smaller size still filled them well, feeling solid and confident. The advantage is it would fit better in a pocket than my copy. Some shooters did like my larger slingshot for the substantial size, and if you have large hands or don't want your fingers so close to the bands, then you may want to buy a wider PS-2 or PS-3 model.

Shot properly, with the thumb behind the fork, it's a comfortable and accurate frame with little tremor. I now find it a little awkward, because I have gravitated towards a higher forefinger grip on most of my frames, but if I drop my forefinger lower like it's meant to be, then everything works 100% as it should.

Besides being small, the light weight of the bamboo makes it easy to slip into your pocket and forget despite its substantial and grippy 11/16ths thickness.

A lovely Touch

Perhaps one of the nicest touches is the words A+ Slingshot appearing just over the crook of my thumb and Perry's Signature, date and the frame number showing on the fork. It's an understated way of saying this is a quality product handcrafted from scratch by someone who is proud of his work.

Longevity of Bamboo

At first I was cautious about the bamboo. Bamboo board is not the strongest of materials. Bamboo has a tendency to split and bamboo board has additional weaknesses from the adhesive holding the laminate together. However, this is very very well made. I think it no coincidence that both forks are cut precisely so that there are two full layers of the 5/16bamboo strips on each fork and that there is a very long inch and a half of wood surface connecting the join. This is the most likely failure point and Perry has subtly made this as strong as possible.

He has also applied a layer of varnish to the frame to help stabilise the wood from absorbing moisture and cracking.

Nevertheless, for the sake of safety, I and any other buyers should be on the lookout for any drying or splitting of the bamboo, particularly around the critical fork join.


The set of bands that came with the PS-1 were A+ Slingshots' own natural latex bands. They are a double layer, untapered 5/8" wide by about .06" thick. I am so used to Thera-band and other synthetic rubber that I was not used to the way that they draw out. It has a real natural rubber feel to it, drawing out smoothly and then toughening up. The bands reach the elastic limit transition at around 28" and stopping at about 32". This is great for me, but people with larger arms or who do not like shooting from the elastic limit may require longer bands.

The bands are attached at the fork end over generously rounded tips into deeply grooves band tie slots. I have been cutting these similarly ever since the Clone Trooper. The tie appears to be bicycle inner-tube. This is a good choice because it is strong and unlikely to sag or perish. It's as secure as it can get. Perry also ties on the bight like I do, so the bands can be easily untied.

I love the pouch and attachment. It's pure class and performance. Perry has cut nice generous holes to pass the entire band through and double the bands through the pouch. They are then tied tight with cord. It means that there are no band ends that weigh more and contribute nothing. The tie can also be made lighter. The pouch is made of good quality chromium tanned split leather and measures 7/8" wide and 3 5/8" long, sufficient for any ball or 5-6 small shot. It has a small centring hole.

Longevity of Bands

I am enjoying the bands and the unique feel of natural latex. Natural latex has disadvantages though. It isn't abrasion resistant for starters. It noticed this tearing on the lower side of both the lower bands almost immediately after I had started playing with it. By this point, it had only been drawn twice and never fired or dry fired. This point corresponds on the band to where the band is not stopped by friction with the fork and where it begins to stretch out. Maybe retying with a strip of Mylar or even thin exercise band under the lower band can prevent or arrest the damage. This isn't a complaint; it's part and parcel of the material and traditionalists give up some band wear happily for the feel of natural latex. The latex also perfectly complements the wood frame.


It's a goodly pull. The draw weight is somewhere between an Express Band and a Hunter Band . It's not as fast as either, though being about on a par with Field Bands with even the fairly light 6g (90 grain) sinkers I had to hand. It's probably enough for birding. It's got good 'flow' and throws shot very straight. I like it.

Final Destination

I have just the person for this slingshot. I will soon visit a friend, a Philippine Aeta tribesman from Olongapo, Zambales. His entire culture has revolved around bamboo for time immemorial. He is also a gifted shot and will be used to a traditional Y frame and natural rubber. I'll gift this to him and he'll get me dinner with it. Unless I get it first!

Oh well, that means I'll be needing another slingshot from Perry.
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