Some kids have never known the joy of making or using a slingshot. In fact, I bet plenty of parents just avoid buying these types of things. Before the internet age though we had to be a little more creative when it came to entertainment and play.
The slingshot is not just a toy though. A slingshot can be an inexpensive and effective way to hunt and help out with defense.
Slingshots can be used for hunting small game in most places. Of course, you have to be careful when using in a populated area but that is true of a lot of things.
If I had to survive in a city for any length of time and the food supply was running low I would definitely be trying to supplement through whatever small hunting was possible. A lot of towns are full of squirrels and rabbits for example.
A slingshot can be used for defense. If used correctly it could be considered a non-lethal weapon but make no mistake that a slingshot cannot kill or severely injure. It is not a joke kid’s toy, especially the ones made specifically for adult use such as hunting.
Slingshots are a fun weapon/toy to introduce to kids and teach them how to be responsible.
Sometimes people talk a lot about kids not being responsible enough to handle some objects or situations. Well, there is a way to change that. Even if a kid is not quite ready for messing with knives or guns, a slingshot is something that can be introduced with supervision. There are different types too so a smaller one that can’t do as much harm, can be the way to go. It is fun when you are young to sit up some aluminum cans or plastic bottles and try to hit them with a slingshot and not a bad way to pass an afternoon while spending some time with the young ones in your family unit.
Latex Allergy Warning
A lot of slingshots rely on latex bands so if you are very sensitive to latex then you need to be aware of this before purchasing any slingshot or replacement bands.
This slingshot may look basic but it gets outstanding reviews from its loyal customer base. I am going to toot the horn of my state here a little bit. I love that these slingshots are made right down the road from me in Western North Carolina! When you buy the Scout you are supporting American manufacturing and jobs and getting a great slingshot at the same time.
The slingshot is made of polycarbonate and features a comfortable handle and grip. The design is suitable for people of all sizes and ages.
Simple Shot also sells wrist braces and a ton of accessories for this slingshot. You should try them out. They also make and sell the Axiom Ocularis.
This is a basic budget hunting slingshot that is suitable as a first slingshot for older kids or for just stashing back in your preps or bag just in case. It does offer some wrist and arm support which some people like.
The B52 is a good way to inexpensively try out the world of slingshots to see how you like it or those that want to try out slingshots with the family. For less than the cost of one of some of the slingshots in this article, you can get 4 of these.
This slingshot is quite similar to the Scout. It is made to be lightweight and strong and easily fit in a pocket. That handle is textured for a better grip. IF you want, you can use paracord and add to the handle and grip as needed to make it more comfortable for you. This would be a good slingshot for a bug out bag due to the weight and easy concealability.
This stainless steel handled slingshot uses three powerful bands and leather sling for maximum power. It features an easy to use sighting system. It is a decent choice for someone that just wants the basics in a slingshot and prefers metal over other materials. The handle appears to be wrapped in paracord when you get it.
Ok I know that this slingshot looks really fancy and overloaded to some. Keep in mind that you don’t have to use everything that it comes with all the time either.
If you are not the best shot then the removable laser sight could help. At the same time, one must consider how a laser can give away your position or even draw the attention of what you are shooting at and spook your game if you are not fast and careful.
I do like that it has multiple bands which seems like it would offer more force.
Out of all the designs in this post, I am drawn the handle of this slingshot. I like something that molds to my hand well and keeps it from slipping down.
The Huntingdoor comes in several styles if you click on the link above. Perhaps what makes it stand out the most is the sights. Most slingshots don’t have a sight system to speak of but this one does. For me, this is a big deal because I don’t have a lot of confidence that I can just eyeball it and hit something with a slingshot, especially not small game that can be really fast and flighty.
The slingshot is also small and lightweight enough to throw in a bag. Since the handle is wood, you are going to want to care for it a little differently than one made of hard plastic.
Yes this slingshot has a kind of silly face on it but it also has sights and comes with a nice carry case for your belt. The case allows you to carry some ammo for easy access too. I think the cases are kind of neat that come with some slingshots because they are not something that screams weapon if someone sees it on your belt.
Here is a slingshot that offers a lot of options and a wrist support for those that like it. For your money, you get a full kit with replacement parts. It is nice that you can take the laser sight or flashlight holder off too. That is something I just don’t think I would want to use due to scaring what I was shooting at.
The wrist support features magnets that allow you to keep some ammo out and close at hand for fast reloading. The kit comes with 200 steel balls and two replacement bands so you have some extras right from the start.
As far as affordable kits that have a slingshot that offers a lot of versatility, you probably are not going to find a better bargain out there.
I couldn’t resist finding at least one slingshot for hunting that was in the high-end range. At the time of writing, this one comes in at over $85. For that price though you get an impressive full-featured system.
The removable laser sight that comes with this slingshot is green. Apparently, that color is easier to see when out during the day. Magnets on the heavy-duty wrist guard offer a secure place for extra ammo. The handle features a hollowed-out design that reduces weight but is still quite strong.
Shot Options For Slingshots
In an emergency or SHTF, you could use whatever you could find for a projectile but it is a good idea to have some factory-made shot too, especially for hunting. People used to not be above saving the lead or metal from shooting an animal and recasting it into bullets. If you found a metal ball from a slingshot when cleaning an animal you can clean and reuse if you want.
Metal shot comes in varying sizes which are usually ¼’” or ⅜” diameter. It is suitable for hunting small game. Take a look at a picture of the difference in the size of the shot because there is a bigger difference in ¼” and ⅜” than you might be imagining. Diameter is like that.
I noticed that Daisy makes glass balls in a ½” diameter. It is recommended for practicing due to its high visibility and the lack of ricochets. Although some people do say it is possible to kill a squirrel or similar with it, it is really just for practicing.
For those that want to practice a lot and do it safely, clay shot is the way to go. It breaks down over time too so you don’t have a bunch of tiny metal balls accumulating in one spot. The accumulation is the reason why some people get something that will catch the metal balls. Foam targets are one option.
Slingshots and Arrows?
I have seen a few pictures where experienced persons have used short arrows in their slingshots. If that actually works well it would allow for taking larger game than usual and be quite a self-defense method.
Of course, this is something that you would want to practice with a lot before actually using it as a hunting method. It is an interesting alternative to a bow and arrow huh?
The bands and slings will wear over time, especially with regular use. If you are serious about slingshots, then it is wise to put back some extra parts for repairing or replacing. Of course, you might be able to salvage something during a long emergency, it is a slingshot after all, but it is awfully inexpensive and easy to just throw a few replacement parts back.
General Guidelines For Hunting With Slingshots
A slingshot takes practice like any tool or weapon. It may seem like you could barely hit the side of a barn when you first start out but that will change. Every minute you spend plinking cans in the backyard will help.
Those with experience say that before you really try hunting out seriously it is best that you get to the point where you can hit a 1-inch round target most of the time. To me, that sounds hard. The point is that if you want to use a slingshot well you are going to have to put the time into it.
Yes, there are some people that this skill will come more naturally to some. Weapons are like that. I have seen teenagers that have never shot a gun, step up and use a .22 better than people that have been shooting off and on for years. Give yourself some time and don’t give up just because you don’t use a slingshot well the first few times.
Avoid any urge to take larger game than you should.
Going for game that is too large is likely to just hurt or agitate it. You also may create a wound that later kills the animal via infection after it runs off. That is something best avoided. Slingshots are mostly for rabbits and squirrels.
The main danger to the person using a slingshot is ricochets. Wearing some glasses is advisable whenever possible. Also, be aware of hard objects and rocks that may cause ricochets where you are practicing or hunting. A broken window that is a result of a ricochet may send out some small glass shards too.
If you use a slingshot a lot you may start to get calluses or blisters on parts of your hands so some may wish to wear a well-fitting pair of gloves. Check out my post on tactical gloves for some options.
Kids and Slingshot Safety
Some kids are going to be fine with a slingshot and little supervision after they know the basics and the rules. Goofing off with a slingshot really can result in severe injuries like loss of vision or an eye. Younger kids should probably be supervised most of the time they are using a slingshot. It is easy to forget to wear eye protection or take it off at some point when practicing too so they may need a reminder.
Fishing with a slingshot is something that is new to me.
I was not aware that people used slingshots for fishing. I guess it is an alternative to just clubbing them as I have seen people do in the past. It seems that people use small arrows for some of this. Personally, it seems to me like a good way to get hurt. I am not going to give up my regular fishing methods anytime soon. There are a ton of videos on Youtube if you are curious or want to figure out your own hunting methods.
Hunting Laws and Regulations
While during a long emergency, these may not matter, during regular times there are hunting laws and rules that you need to go by. Sometimes there are exemptions if you are on your own property or animals are destroying or damaging any part of your property. Even slingshots have to follow some rules. There may be daily limits, seasons, etc. Don’t assume that just because you have a slingshot and not a bow or gun that you can get away with not following rules that are in place during regular times.
Being in the right place at the right time is a big part of hunting right? If you are unfamiliar with the best time to hunt, you should brush up on that. James wrote an article on hunting times that can help out.
Alternatives To Slingshots
An air pistol or air gun is the closest alternative to a slingshot. There are some that you have to pump up and that does cause some noise. We experimented with the Crosman air pistol. You can get some pretty formidable shot for it.
If you don’t feel you are up to a slingshot then you may just want to consider an airgun. They are definitely not as discreet but they can also offer more knockdown power. The airguns that require pressurized C02 allow you to shoot without any pumping.
Should you add a slingshot to your bug out bag?
I think that a slingshot could be a decent contribution to your bug out bag if you are serious about staying out in the bush for an extended period of time. While a slingshot can be used for defense, I would not want it to be my main weapon or even my first back up.
I would advise occasional practice too even if you are just mainly using it as part of your bug out bag. For the sake of space, weight, and durability, I would look to the Scout or Axiom and at least some ammo to do for a while. Sure you can use rocks and such if you find them but nice round steel ammo is going to be a good thing in the beginning.
What type of slingshots do you have? What has been your experience hunting with them?