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How to make a Slingshot Catch Box

By Bill Herriman

As a child I carried a slingshot every where I went except to school and church (that was forbidden). I shot a lot and developed some bad habits. I shot a bow most of my life, so I was not new to the mechanics of shooting. I had laid down my slingshot when I was about 13 and had not thought about shooting one again until about 20 years ago.

I knew that I had to get rid of some of my old habits and tune my slingshot skills, but how to shoot enough to do that. I could not afford to shoot that much down at the river as good ammo just cost too much for a person on a limited income.

I decided that I needed a target or catch box and I started experimenting with some ideas. I knew that the backstop would have to be tough, suspended from the top and swing free to absorb energy. I tried carpet, muslin, nylon net, canvas, denim and many other materials. I tried different shapes, even some which fold up. I had some success with everything that I tried, but none satisfied me. Then I found that a modified cardboard box worked as well as anything. I also found that tee-shirts last much longer than any other material (In fact over 100 times as long). The tee-shirts in the pictures were shot 5 years and still no holes, although they are stretching and sagging, they still work.

Now to the finial box and catch curtain design.

Bill of material:

· One 18" wide x 18" deep x 28" high cardboard box

· One piece of 1 x 2 white wood lumber 6 feet long

· Four steel corner braces (4 inch)

· Three 3 inch steel c-clamps

· Eight #10 Round head machine screws (1 inch long) with nuts

· Four # 8 round head wood screws (1 1/4 inches long)

· Eight # 10 light steel washers

· Four # 8 light steel washers

· Two steel paper clips

· One piece of short pile carpet (not rubber backed)

· Two good solid used tee-shirts (garage sale)

· One square yard of heavy rip stop nylon fabric


1) Set up cardboard box and fold top flaps down into the box. (Pictures 1, 2, & 3)

2) Place steel corner braces on inside of the top of the box about 2 inches

from the top and install with #10 machine screws and washers with the screw heads and washers to the out side. Place one washer under each screw head. (Picture 8)

3) Mark and cut a 14 inch diameter hole centered on one side of the box and with bottom of the circle 9 inches up from the bottom of the box. (This 9 inches is important) (Picture 1)

4) Trim the carpet to fit the inside of the bottom of the box perfectly and place it with the pile down (the backing up) in the box. (Picture 4)

5) Cut 2 pieces of 1 x 2 wood 20 inches long then cut a notch in the ends so they fit the inside of the top of the box. (Picture 7)

6) Fold the arms of the tee-shirts, and clamp them between the 1 x 2 pieces of wood so that they fit up to 1/4 inch from the sides and bottom of the box. (This is the catch assembly) (Picture 5)

7) Cut 4 Pieces of 1 x 2 wood 3 in long.

8) Hang the catch assembly in the box (away from) the front hole and 6 inches from the inside back of the box. Mark this placement on the inside of the box both front and back. (Pictures 6 and 7)

9) Punch holes in the cardboard box and install the short wood blocks with the four # 8 round head wood screws and washers So that the catch is captured. (Don't make this fit too tight as the catch assembly must drop in place easy) (Pictures 6 & 7)

10) Place the large metal paper clamps on the top of the front of the box to hold targets (Pictures 3 & 8)


1) Always use Safety glasses

2) You should hang a sheet behind the catch box at lest 8 inches from the wall in case you miss the box.

3) Never shoot farther away from the box than you can hit the opening

4) Lead is not recommend for practice ammo, as it is too toxic to handle all the time (and it will foul the pouch and tee-shirts)

5) I don't recommend ammo smaller than 44 cal (7/16 diameter) so you can see the shot fly.

6) Box should be placed so that a miss will not go down range.

7) There is no better target than paper to practice with as you know exactly where your hits are and this will help your skill. A cracker box, cereal box, etc. unfolded with blank side out and a black spot in the center with a magic marker will do.

8) The more you practice the better shot you will be.

9) To retrieve shot tilt the box toward one of the front corners, then scrape them up with a small empty box.

10) If the box gets dog eared save your hardware and reuse it.

Steel shot may be purchased by the pound reasonably from:

Royal Steel Ball Products

P.O. Box 901

Sterling, IL61081

Phone 815-626-2539

Flat Band assemblies may be purchased from:

Bill Herriman

707 Cardinal Drive

Kerrville, TX78028-2906

Phone 830-895-4733

Notice: the pictures were taken at two different boxes.

Have fun and always be safe. Bill

Brown Packing materials Shipping box Carton Wood
Packing materials Wood Pet supply Packaging and labeling Shipping box
Shipping box Waste container Wood Waste containment Packaging and labeling
Green Rectangle Sleeve Wood Aqua
Outerwear Blue Rectangle Sleeve Red
Wood Musical instrument String instrument Hardwood Electric blue



1,029 Posts
Thanks, Tex. Lots of good information and advice, as always.

I use a magnet on an extendable wand (thanks Mako Pat!) to gather ammo from my catch box. I also tape a paper target to a piece of cardboard for my target.
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