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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited by Moderator)
Here is a sorta rigorous and sorta messy comparison between a couple of 0.5mm latex brands. I have been eager to look at the newish Snipersling and Sandstorm was generous enough to send some samples when he got rolls of both the yellow and black. In short, these both make great brands even though they are quite different, with the yellow being very supple and the black being stiffer and heavier pulling.

Now for the messy part of the comparison- I did say it was going to get messy, didn't I?

Every time I compare different latex brands I feel like I want to pick a winner, and this time I can't do that. Hopefully you all can look at the data and agree with me that a champ can't be picked or declare a champion for yourself. The reason I had trouble was that all the latex brands I compared varied quite a bit in optimal active length and draw weight. So I included draw weight, speed data with 3/8" and 5/16" ammo for a couple of different active lengths for each latex. I hope all find this info useful for finding whatever sweet spot you want to get to when balancing draw weight vs velocity vs longevity. I did condense some of the data into an "efficiency table" where I calculated velocity per pound of draw weight to find the most efficient latex.

Interestingly the Precise 3rd gen was the champion for efficiency, although it was also the slowest latex of the bunch (barely). If you want the most bang (fps) per pound of draw weight the Precise 3rd gen is it. Also interesting was that efficiency declined with increasing elongation. As expected and obvious, all bands shot faster when they were stretched farther. However, looking at fps / lb draw weight all of the latex brands got less efficient when stretched farther. So stretching farther did result in shooting faster but came at a small cost in efficiency. I would not have predicted this and the effect is small, but consistent between all brands and interesting to note.

As far as outright speed goes, the Snipersling black is clearly the champion of the bunch putting 3/8" steel out at ~242 fps and 5/16" steel out at ~275 fps when stretched to 600%. Pretty crazy speeds for short draw 0.5 bands. The flipside of this is these bands had a draw weight of 18.9 lbs under these conditions! Also pretty crazy for 0.5 latex. For comparison, the Precise 3rd and Sniper Yellow both put 3/8" steel over 210 fps and 5/16" steel at over 240 fps with a 550% elongation factor and draw weights right around 12 lbs. Pretty cool to get ~88% of the speed with only ~64% of the draw weight.

So here's my bottom line- Precise 3rd, Simpleshot, Sniper yellow and black are all perform very well and none is a huge step above the rest. And they all span a wide range of optimal elongation factors and draw weights. I don't think you can go wrong with any of them.

If speed is your only criteria, the Snipersling black is for you.

If I had to pick a champion for myself out of all this, I would bail on the outright top speed and pick the Snipersling yellow. It has the very stretchy silky smooth draw I love with the Precise 3rd gen and shoots just a touch faster than the Precise, although it also pulls just a touch heavier as well.

Snipersling claims that the yellow is up to 5% faster than other brands and the black is up to 10% faster than others. While they were faster in my testing I didn't see that big of a gap. I will note that Sniper does have a video of a speed test up and it was done at full butterfly, so maybe with the longer draw / powerstroke it might make the claimed numbers. That said, from my short draw test it is detectably, though marginally, faster than some of the other current top brands.

Bottom line- I wasn't able to reproduce the speeds improvements they claim but I can say the Snipersling latex is some good fast shooting stuff that is at least on par with, if not a slight step up, from some of the current front runners.

The test details: All new bands with Simpleshot med kangaroo pouches, all mounted on PP sideshooter frames, all were 27-18 sharpened tapers cut using a plexiglass template. Testing was carried out over a couple of different days but temperatures between days were close, so the results should all be pretty consistent. Since most of these were fairly stretchy, I shot them at 550% and 600% elongation factors. The Sniper yellow and Precise 3rd were both stretchy enough I also added a 625% series for those. Snipersling claims its bands can go to 650%. Without having tried that I my feeling is the yellow would make it there easily while the black felt like it was getting maxed out at 600%- it might go to 650% but would pull substantially harder getting there. Note that the Snipersling yellow at 625% elongation had a draw weight similar to Simpleshot and Sniper black when both were only stretched 550% (all ~15.5 lbs), and at this draw weight both of the Snipers shot ~4% faster than the simpleshot (low 230's to low 220's).

I realize the 27-18 tapers are a bit unusual. I like them because they nicely fill the forks on PP Scorpion, Taurus, and Sideshooter frames that I use most often. Also because this taper in 0.5 send 3/8" steel out at about the same speed as 27-18 tapers of 0.8 latex do with 7/16" steel- so I get a consistent sight picture and trajectory with my "light" setups for 3/8" and heavy setups for 7/16". And the large tapers are necessary to get the 7/16" at or over 220 fps from my short draw.

I will do a bit more testing with some more conventional tapers to let everyone see how these perform with some more conventional cuts- probably 24-16 and 20-12 since I have templates for these. I expect the relative performance will stay the same but it will be interesting to get ballpark numbers for draw weight and velocity with these more common tapers. Stay tuned.

I have also put the Snipersling bands on my daily shooters and will see how long they last compared to the Precise 3rd I am used to. I am horrible at counting shots but I should get a feeling for whether I get the 1-2 weeks or so of near daily shooting out of these or if the Sniper latex fails in three days or less. I will update when I get this rough indicator of durability back.

Sniper table.jpg

Sniper efficiency table.jpg
 

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Ray Rowden
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Great info and even better analysis here, IMHO!

Thanks for grinding through it, and sharing the results.

I was especially happy to see your efficiency results. That really supports my inclination to set up bands and tubes with well under max stretch.
 

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Very informative! Thanks for putting in the time and sharing the results.

I mostly shoot flats in the .45 to .55 thickness range so this is right up my alley. I have also noticed that the simpleshot black latex pulls a little heavier than others in the same thickness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Great info and even better analysis here, IMHO!

Thanks for grinding through it, and sharing the results.

I was especially happy to see your efficiency results. That really supports my inclination to set up bands and tubes with well under max stretch.
I was really surprised to see the efficiency results, I was expecting the opposite. But it does indeed support setting up bands with lower elongation ratios with a double bonus of higher efficiency and longer life. Maybe like the rest of life it is all about compromise. And finding the best tradeoff between efficiency, performance, and longevity is the challenge.

I guess it just means you step up to thicker quicker for larger ammo. Either that or learn to long draw.

I am thinking I will re-invent the wheel (again) by testing draw length / power stroke next but doing efficiency numbers with that- i.e. seeing how a longer power stroke affects both performance and efficiency. I did it once with thin tubes (no efficiency numbers) but have been wanting to see with flat bands. Especially since my curiosity for butterfly is up again with all the recent discussion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Very informative! Thanks for putting in the time and sharing the results.

I mostly shoot flats in the .45 to .55 thickness range so this is right up my alley. I have also noticed that the simpleshot black latex pulls a little heavier than others in the same thickness.
Yes, the Simpleshot has a relatively high draw weight compared to the others. It was interesting for me to see the numbers. I never considered Simpleshot a "heavy" puller. But then again, I was always amazed at how light the Precise 3rd was. So maybe the Simpleshot is normal and the Precise is "light"?

Numbers aside, it was easy to feel how light the sniper yellow pulled and how stiff the sniper black was compared to the others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I put the sniper black and yellow on PP Scorpion frames and will use these as my regular every day shooters for a bit and see how long the bands last.

I put a magnet's worth of ammo (probably 50-75 shots) through each today and was hitting really well.

Both performed as expected, I am using the black for 3/8" and getting mid 230's. The yellow is giving upper 240's with 5/16". I will see if they last the week plus I hope for out of bands and check them on the chrony now and then to see if they keep their zip.

I am really liking these. Next time I need to order more 0.5 these may be it.
 

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Yeah I know I had had already told you, but for the rest of the gang, it's become my everyday stuff. The yellow is probably my favorite, the draw on the stuff is super smooth. Although I did really like that Precise 3rd gen you had sent me too. Next time I'm buying latex gonna go for some Catty Shack Blue and Theraband Blue. I read both were really nice and if you haven't tried those I'll send you out some for you to work your magic on. I need to look into where to buy theraband though. That's the old standby but it hasn't touched one of my frames yet. I haven't seen anything but the amber sold through Simpleshot. Sammy did send me some orange looking stuff but it's unlabeled so it'll have to remain mystery latex at this point. Sometimes mystery latex is darn fine stuff!
 

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I have tried the catty green but not the blue. The Catty green 0.82 is the fastest I tried have for 7/16", just barely but reproducibly beating out Simpleshot 0.8. Although it comes at a cost, the Catty green 0.82 is about at the limit of what I can pull and shoot accurately. While the SS lags behind by a few fps, I am more accurate with it since it pulls a few lbs lighter.
 

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Very informative! Thanks for putting in the time and sharing the results.

I mostly shoot flats in the .45 to .55 thickness range so this is right up my alley. I have also noticed that the simpleshot black latex pulls a little heavier than others in the same thickness.
Yes, the Simpleshot has a relatively high draw weight compared to the others. It was interesting for me to see the numbers. I never considered Simpleshot a "heavy" puller. But then again, I was always amazed at how light the Precise 3rd was. So maybe the Simpleshot is normal and the Precise is "light"?

Numbers aside, it was easy to feel how light the sniper yellow pulled and how stiff the sniper black was compared to the others.
Great info , much appreciated . Curious how you are measuring the draw weights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Great info , much appreciated . Curious how you are measuring the draw weights.
I measure draw weights using a cheap luggage scale I got off of Amazon- I can't remember but it was only like $15 or something and comes in handy for slingshots, bows, backpacking equip, etc..

The PP Sideshooter frames are nice for measuring draw weight, they are uniform thickness HDPE that you can crank into a vise to hold it. From there I put a yard stick down, attach the luggage scale to the pouch, and pull back along the yardstick with the scale to get the weight.

Since latex has hysteresis, the weight starts to drop slowly but steadily after you get it pulled back- and this makes it challenging and frustrating to get a draw weight. So to get what I hope is a consistent and accurate weight I usually give it two or three tugs to half or two thirds of the draw length, then pull it back and try to catch the weight as quickly as I can after I get it pulled back.

It might be better, or at least more consistent, to hold it at full draw for 3-5 seconds and let the weight settle in, but I think the way I am doing it is realistic for shooting.

But I do get variability measuring draw weights this way. I usually take several measurements and go until I get two or three in a row that vary by less than 10% and take the average of those for the draw weight.
 

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I use the same type of scale on my bows and get a very accurate reading when compared to a static weight however I was afraid the loss of weight with bands over time would not allow my scale a stable enough period to give a fixed number. I tried to duplicate your numbers , it didn't matter as my scale had crapped out so I was unable get draw weights. However I was able to get a speed comparison between SS black .5 and BSB (white) .5 with the same approximate band tapers on the same frame with 3/8 and 7/16. At my mile high altitude with 6" active bands the SS black was in the mid 240's , the BSB a marginal 5 fps faster but the BSB draws much smoother without the stacking of the SS black. However , I saw little difference in speed when I moved up to the 7/16 , both running between 210 and 220.

Lots of variables involved but fun to compare before the skies darken and another toad floater hits the high chaparral. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited by Moderator)
I use the same type of scale on my bows and get a very accurate reading when compared to a static weight however I was afraid the loss of weight with bands over time would not allow my scale a stable enough period to give a fixed number. I tried to duplicate your numbers , it didn't matter as my scale had crapped out so I was unable get draw weights. However I was able to get a speed comparison between SS black .5 and BSB (white) .5 with the same approximate band tapers on the same frame with 3/8 and 7/16. At my mile high altitude with 6" active bands the SS black was in the mid 240's , the BSB a marginal 5 fps faster but the BSB draws much smoother without the stacking of the SS black. However , I saw little difference in speed when I moved up to the 7/16 , both running between 210 and 220.

Lots of variables involved but fun to compare before the skies darken and another toad floater hits the high chaparral. :thumbsup:
I have a hard time getting a good static draw weight reading but do the best I can to get an initial draw weight before it decays.

I guess one relevant detail I omitted was draw length- mine is a bit short (29 inches). Differences in draw length should change speed between shooters, though the relative speed of different bands should stay the same even as draw length changes between shooters. I usually get speeds just a bit lower than others report and I attribute this me having a slightly shorter draw. Other small differences may be things like exactly how active length is measured. Overall, when trying to duplicate other people's results I usually get the relative rank of bands (faster and slower) right but come in a bit under what other people report for speeds.

So my band active lengths for ~550% elongation were 5.5", and 5" active length for ~600% (and I rounded to the the ~550 and ~600%, these would be right if my draw was 30").

Your speeds are a bit faster than mine and my guess is differences in draw length,. I would bet the relative speed of the bands will be similar and people who draw longer than I do will get higher numbers overall. I have never tried BSB, but it sounds like really good stuff, slightly ahead of SS.

Here is a link to a scale really similar to mine- looks like the same thing but a year or two newer.

https://www.amazon.com/American-Weigh-Scales-Multifunction-Electronic/dp/B0012TDR9E/ref=sr_1_10?dchild=1&keywords=luggage+scale&qid=1622934247&sr=8-10
 

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I took my scale apart to see if there was something obvious but was unable to fix it , even accidentally which is always a bonus. :) I'll pick up another tomorrow , they are pretty accurate. My draw length is about 31" to the back of my jaw , definitely enough to make a difference as you referenced. I have also wondered how people measure for active length , I measure from the tie wraps to the tie wraps , fork to pouch, and was using about 6". Sounds to me that the BSB and the Precise Gen.3 have very similar traits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I took my scale apart to see if there was something obvious but was unable to fix it , even accidentally which is always a bonus. :) I'll pick up another tomorrow , they are pretty accurate. My draw length is about 31" to the back of my jaw , definitely enough to make a difference as you referenced. I have also wondered how people measure for active length , I measure from the tie wraps to the tie wraps , fork to pouch, and was using about 6". Sounds to me that the BSB and the Precise Gen.3 have very similar traits.
How to measure active length exactly is another one I struggle with and change a bit time to time. I don't think the doubled over elastic ahead of the pouch and under the tie stretches nearly as well as the band so I have started leaving that out instead of measuring active length from the frame tie to the pouch- in this case the "active length" might be 1/4" longer than if I measured from frame tie to pouch. When testing I do the same for all bands made for that test. So between active length measurement method and draw length there may be some absoslute differences in velocity between users although I expect the relative rankings of various elastics to stay the same.

As for draw length, looking at how big its effect is will probably be my next test. Another chance for me to re-invent the wheel since it has been done several times. But I am an experiential learning and sometimes doing it again for myself helps me a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited by Moderator)
I'll complicate issues more. I picked up a new luggage scale today and took some readings on my bands at 31".

.5 BSB white 27-18 , 6' active length------12.25#

.5 SSblack 27-18 , 6" active length-------13.75#

31" draw
Huh, maybe I should check my scale. It's been through a few drops and a couple of bow building blowups, but I've never had reason to question it, or check / calibrate it.
 
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