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A very interesting topic! I think there are probably as many tapers are there are shooters. I don't have any idea which are best, but I usually try to do a ratio of thick end to small. Something like 5:4 (25mm to 20mm), 4:3 (20-15), or 3:2 (24-16, 27-18, 18-12, etc). I think the less aggressive tapers likely last longer. And while I haven't actually compared the more aggressive tapers probably perform better. I have been using 3:2 over the past few months and really enjoying these, and have been having good band life even with the more aggressive taper- although I have been careful to not max out the bands on elongation factor.
 

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I once cut some Thera-Band blue rubber to 29 cm length and tapered from 26 mm to 16 mm, and made a double-layered band set with this. I never measure velocity, but the 12 mm steel ammo I was using went straight through 10 mm particle board making nice holes, like in good Swiss cheese.

Generally speaking, I taper to about 40%, which seems to work out quite well in terms of velocity and bands longevity. Thinner rubber seems to contract much faster than thicker rubber, so I would assume that thicker rubber will yield better results with increased taper.

It's really all about experimenting, although some shooters have run extensive tests with velocities shown in spreadsheets.
 

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I've gone as low as 3/8" on some tapers but I prefer to stay at or above 1/2". I cut up to an 1/8" over the fork width mostly. I'm still shooting .4 to .45 most of the time and doubled up on speed bands. The bigger the taper and the thinner the latex, the faster the ball speed so far for me. I've been using 1-5/16 to 5/8 doubles on the Taurus TTF with a 14" active for speed, but mostly I'm shooting 2 to 1 on average with a good quality Chinese latex. I shot with Simpleshot latex for a long time and I still use it, but there's lots of great choices out there. Speed, longevity, consistent shooting accuracy, and smoothness of the draw are all different with the different manufacturers. Sumeike is fast, but Precise & Yongshuihu are smooth and consistent.
 

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I learned here in the forum that 3:2 ratio is some kind of optimal- I tried it and I have no objection.

Experimenting with tapers I noticed that more radical taper is more positive influence it will have but on EVER smaller ammo. Heavier ammo with severe taper at least with me works bad.

Ba the way, I would really like to see some valid and practical math involved in tapers.

cheers,

jazz
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

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Reed Lukens wrote "... I cut up to an 1/8" over the fork width mostly"

Since I never see others fold bands I occasionally suggest to shooters that it's okay to fold bands to fit on the forks. The slingshots I shoot are generally much smaller than the average here on the forum but my bands are full sized. The way that I accomplish it is to simply fold the band lengthwise at the fork end and tie it on in the folded position. I've never had one fail.
 

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Reed Lukens wrote "... I cut up to an 1/8" over the fork width mostly"
Since I never see others fold bands I occasionally suggest to shooters that it's okay to fold bands to fit on the forks. The slingshots I shoot are generally much smaller than the average here on the forum but my bands are full sized. The way that I accomplish it is to simply fold the band lengthwise at the fork end and tie it on in the folded position. I've never had one fail.
I fold bands also at times. An eighth" over before stretch perfectly covers the front side of the fork when drawn back
 
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