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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It is time that I start to experiment with flechettes.

Yes, I am hesistant because of the fear to hit my hand. But then again, hitting my hand with a powerful steel ball would be just as painful, right?

Also, even the Combow was available with flechette bands and the web site offered the flechettes.

So I have ordered cross bow pistol bolts and will adapt them for a "string" pouch. basically I will add a notch just behind the tip.

I plan to mount the slingshot for the first tests, so I can make sure there is no danger for my hand.

I also ordered an 80lbs pistol crossbow to compare the speed I am getting from both weapons.

Has anyone done this before? I'd appreciate your input.

Jörg
 

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I think what you're doing is admirable, but off-the-scale dangerous and I'd hate to think that others might try to copy it and severely hurt themselves.

I've shot a lot of strange shaped ammo, but I did it the timid (i.e. semi-prudent) way, with this bad boy. The idea is to keep my face and hands as far out of the path of danger as possible.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dan, I was afraid too - but why should shooting that arrow be any more dangerous than shooting a ball? At the energy level I am at, a hit with the ball on my hand would be just as devastating as hitting it with that arrow. Or do you think the arrow won't fly as straight as the ball would?

Anyway, I am planning to do many test shots from a safe position BEHIND the slingshot. Will also record the shots at 1200 fps so I know what is really happening.
 

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I tried shooting miniature darts, not as weapons, but for a laugh and into a dart board. I thought I could achieve better accuracy than throwing it by hand. I was wrong. The darts heads were too light for the fins. I scaled up to bigger darts, but the flights would fly off because the velocity was too high. I glued them in, but the transition from vertical in the pouch to level flight was hazardous and unpredictable. I never tried horizontal launch like a crossbow. That would be too weapon-like for my fun-inspired purposes. That's the way to go though, IMO. Unless you can guide it in a channel, I would fire it with the traction leading from the tip, rather than pushing from the tail. A sabot may work.

One of the few designs that worked well was the finned football you see below. It and its brothers were shot nose down in the pouch (foolishly from a regular hand catty) and always hit nose on. I didn't do any serious bench testing of accuracy or velocity. I was working towards the next stop being expanding or frangible shot that would dump energy and not penetrate or rebound. Like the Glaser Safety Slug this was intended as a safety feature. Most of these mechanisms depend on deforming in a predictable was with one end hitting first, so I needed fins. I was unable to determine whether making expanding ammo would be illegal, so I stopped there.



If you are to make fins, they need to be small enough not to reduce velocity. The way reduce drag and not lose too much control authority is to put a tail on. That's why darts and aeroplanes and helicopters have tails. Darts with long tails won't last more than one shot, obviously.

I guess the reason you want to do this project is spin stabilisation. For that you don't need a tail. There's really little point doing it to reduce cross sectional area. There are easier ways to reduce drag. The only other reason one might want to add a fin might to be make penetrators. Unless you're shooting at flak jackets that's not necessary as for hunting, you really want to dump energy and stun or kill the prey rather than stabbing it. If you are doing it for penetrating body armour, I'd rather not know about it.
 

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I seen a slingshot type shooter on a web page that shot darts that connected to the bands at the tip that seems a safer way to go
That's what Jörg's post shows.

Jörg, that should work, but I'm not sure what it will accomplish. Accuracy? Flatter trajectory? More power? Maybe it's worth a test, if it can be done safely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am looking for penetration. Lots of people want to hunt with slingshots, and I believe that full size arrows don't work well. They limit the draw length, and are fairly heavy.

But the short, lightweight flechettes may do the job.

Jörg
 

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This has been an interest of mine in the past. Shooting "darts" (small arrows) seems to be common in some other countries like the Phillipines as a tool of defense and hunting. They are shot sometimes from a single stalk, but also regular slingshots with a cord between the bands instead of a pouch. One name is a "Pana" which strangely I believe just means "bow". Here are a couple of pics I've collected on the subject.





Here is an interesting link as well:
dart patent

An interesting thread:
Filipino Archery
 
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I have no pictures or links as I'm not very good with computers, but I know of a blowgun site, with darts that have given me an idea ... basically, a small ball, with quite a large bradhead arrow-tip on it; the ball is placed in the pouch tip out and with almost no difference in the grip and release. If you find it loses it's path, might I suggest a small piece of string (like a kite tail) glued to the back. Just an idea, we are not allowed to shoot any type of dart or arrow I believe (here in the UK) so I don't want to encourage any law breaking. And protect that hand for certain. Good luck, I love to hunt!
 

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Perry, in your link someone wrote:

The accurate range is about 20feet (maybe 25 max?) away. The arrow will start to tumble after a certain distance.
Did you do any testing or research to test this and what was the reason for the instability?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
a small ball, with quite a large bradhead arrow-tip on it; the ball is placed in the pouch tip out and with almost no difference in the grip and release. If you find it loses it's path, might I suggest a small piece of string (like a kite tail) glued to the back.
I think such a projectile would start to tumble very quickly, tail or not.
 

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Perry, in your link someone wrote:

The accurate range is about 20feet (maybe 25 max?) away. The arrow will start to tumble after a certain distance.
Did you do any testing or research to test this and what was the reason for the instability?
I've done a bit of work on the idea quite a few years ago. Frankly, I abandoned the work because it felt too risky and I decided that with lead ammo a slingshot works perfectly well on small game without any dart or arrow. However, I never saw them begin to tumble when fired. The one thing that is critical is that the notch to cord or wire connection work perfectly, and that different darts need the "tassel" bigger or smaller. If it does not release well, it could hang and travel in an arc into your leg or just return back like the pen in Joerg's recent video.
 

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I think such a projectile would start to tumble very quickly, tail or not.
[/quote]

Do you think a 4 bladed tip might help? or perhaps a tail with a weight on the end, so the shot would have two balls essentially, one smaller than the other?
 

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Do you think a 4 bladed tip might help? or perhaps a tail with a weight on the end, so the shot would have two balls essentially, one smaller than the other?
Firing a short four bladed broadhead is not unlike trying to throw a dart backwards.

I remember as a kid reading about an ancient Japanese weapon called a Shuriken (nb/ not a star) a rod with two sharp points. This was thrown overhand end over end. It's relevant here because it took great skill to master. You need three or more points. Any projectile with more than one orientation or point may fall foul of laws banning 'throwing stars' in most jurisdictions.

No, the only passive ways to stabilise a flying point are to place the centre of drag behind the centre of mass behind the impact point (weathervane) and/or to spin stabilise.
 

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Firing a short four bladed broadhead is not unlike trying to throw a dart backwards.

I remember as a kid reading about an ancient Japanese weapon called a Shuriken (nb/ not a star) a rod with two sharp points. This was thrown overhand end over end. It's relevant here because it took great skill to master. You need three or more points. Any projectile with more than one orientation or point may fall foul of laws banning 'throwing stars' in most jurisdictions.

No, the only passive ways to stabilise a flying point are to place the centre of drag behind the centre of mass behind the impact point (weathervane) and/or to spin stabilise.
[/quote]

Thanks, I thought it might be the case, I know Shuriken well and they are difficult.
 
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