Thursday, December 30, 2010

Desk Top Slingshot Cannon

OK, as you may know I am planning to make a petanque ball shooting carriage mounted slingshot cannon. The goal is to shoot the 3" (8cm) (800 gramm heavy) steel ball with 70 m/s, almost 2000 Joules of energy.

So I wanted to do it like the Mythbusters and started out with a 1:10 model of it. This means the ammo has got to be 8mm steel as the petanque ball is 80 mm steel.

I have to say that working on such small mechanisms is not easy, in fact it is a lot easier to work big size. I am not totally happy with the precision of the job, but it is functional, even dangerously so. It fires 8 mm steel balls through a few layers of tough cardboard (moving boxes).

I have changed the lock mechanism, made it more sturdy by adding two more lock arms on the opposite side. This gives the lock arm much less play.

Have completed the model weapon now, including a second winch to adjust the shooting angle. This needs some finishing work and is ready to sit on my desk!

The "real" version will be almost 4 meters in total length.

Here is the video:

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"Hex Box" - No Handslaps, guaranteed

OK, following the "Cutlass" and the "Shield", now I completed my first 100% efficient no-handslaps slingshot.

The frame of the slingshot is made from thin 6mm plywood, now very stable due to the hexagonal construction. It is a box now, completely shielding the entire hand.

The handle is made from round rod and there is a long M8 screw that runs through the whole slingshot. The "forks" are M8 screws as well, forming the cores for the round 20 mm wood rods.

Due to the thin wood, it weighs about 450 gramms only.

It may look strange, but it is a very good shooter.

Now my wife wants a new bird house for the garden :-)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Cannon in action: The video

Too cold for destruction videos, but here is the cannon on action anyway.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Winch Operated Slingshot Cannon: Tripod Update

Have finished the tripod today, minus the paint job.

Looks pretty good! Full and free motion, and the weapon can be detached just by lifting it out.

It has beeing snowing since yesterday noon, and we are buried in snow. It is also freezing cold. So no destruction video yet!

You can see a pic of my snow covered car.

And last not least, my 18 yr. old niece Julia, who lives with us, in a nice Zombie parody during our christmas feast. I think the greed is genuine! The bird smelled and tasted heavenly.

(She is really quite pretty normally...)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hand Howitzer 30mm steel shooter

The slingshot I designed for Hogancastings (at no charge as always) is small, but very strong. I christened it "The Hand Howitzer".

The name bears a challenge.

Can a slingshot with such a low fork shoot 30mm monster steel balls, weighing 120 gramms (1920 gr)?

Of course.

Pete sent me a few samples, here is the one in bronze. Looks like solid gold to me.

Two layers of TB black per side, each layer is 14 cm x 5 cm x 20 cm.

The impact is huge.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Winch Operated Slingshot Cannon

Took me 10 hours, but now it works!

I wanted to make a REALLY powerful slingshot crossbow. But of course there is only so much draw weight you can handle, and even the push-out forks have their limits. So I had to incorporate a winch.

So I used an entirely new concept. The entire trigger/lock part slides between two 40mmx20mm wooden rails. The winch rolls up a mountaineer type rope wich draws out the band. A rubber powered arm locks the winch every 45 degrees of turning (8 positions on a full turn) Trigger and lock have aluminum tubes glued into the wood so the force is evenly distributed and the screws do not wear out the wood.

The force vector of this slingshot is entirely straight, there is NO fork height at all. This makes the weapon incredibly strong.

I had little time to shoot it as it is dark, but it has a ton of power with the first test bands (20cm x 14cm x 7cm Thera Gold per side). A child can operate the winch, and there is much potential for even stronger bands.

A fantastic new toy!

Here is a short video, it was too dark for more shooting... stay tuned.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Video: Four new shooters

I did a short video, presenting four of my recently made slingshots.



Neanderthal Shooter

OK, I do know that Neanderthals did not have rubber... but what if?

Took the antler I picked up on ebay a few days ago and sawed a huge fork off.

Then I cut out the rough outline, with a monstrous palm swell.

I had to leave some of the outer material intact in order to maintain stability.

Attached a set of bands from Bill Herriman.

It shoots well, is very comfortable in the hand. And it has this Flintstones look!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Flechettes - the video!

Here it is - my new sling-x-bow for shooting Sabaca's really cool darts.

It works really good, and has that sniper-like look I borrowed from .50 Browning rifles.

I used 11 mm plywood for the outer two layers and an inner layer of 18 mm plywood, with the trigger/lock part left out. This results in a nice, thick stock that is very comfortable.

It is equipped with Thera Band Gold, 1,5 times hunterband strength. Even in this cold weather it shoots pretty hard.

The lock is slotted so it is easy to notch the flechette into it. One moving part is enough for the entire trigger and lock.

You load it by stomping on the fork and pulling the flechette upwards. Easy and not dangerous.

This is fun!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Steel Flechettes - Pure Badass!

OK, started to test the flechettes (short bolts from massive steel). The design is not mine, a fellow slingshooter from Italy (Sabaca) invented them, quite simple to make with a few hardware store pieces.

I needed a slingshot with a bit higher fork, and goind through my collection, I found the Bunnybuster Tom sent me a few months ago. Perfect for the job!

I attached rubber with a paracord loop on each end (so there is no danger of entanglement, active band length 20cm x 7cm x 4cm Thera Gold. The loops are hooked into the wing nut wings, you grab the rounded hex nut at the end and draw out.

I had to get used to the flechettes but got the hang of it soon. No danger for the hands. The loops work very good.

It is amazing to hear the hissing of the arrows in flight. They need a few meters to straighten out, then they fly really straight.

I have shot them against a wooden board, 22mm thick. The flechettes hit the board very hard, from about 10 meters. It takes force to pull them out. They do not go through the board all the way, but you can see the cracks in the plastic coating (backside) already.

The M8 version has the same impact depth as the M6 version, surprisingly.

But then I took the Monster and butterflied 16mm lead balls into the same board, from the same distance... go figure.

All in all, a lot of fun, but I am not certain if the flechettes can really bring down larger game than lead balls can.

Will continue to test, and make a crossbow that really has some force!


Saturday, November 27, 2010

The "Slim U"

Had to test my new saw.

So I made this new design from 18 mm multiplex... a very simple, yet daring frame.

The fork is really slim, which makes the slingshot look elegant, I think. The stability is there, it comes from the depth of the fork arms. This easily survived my vise test for the strongest bands.

It really shoots great - and no handslaps, the fork protects my hand pretty good!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sling-X-Pistol: The Video

I have painted it black, attached rubber scales, even glued washers on in order to make them look the Ruger logos.

Optimized the fork as well, it is now a bit higher, for low powered shots (below 30% draw).

Here is the video:

Sunday, November 21, 2010


After several clumsy Sling-X-Bows, I wanted a compact plinking toy. A pistol!

Regarding the design, I always liked the Ruger MK2 .22 pistol. So I borrowed the grip/trigger look for my rubber based "competitor".

In order to have some amount of power, I turned the lock around (Stu's idea, in fact) and set for 45 cm (18") draw length (= total length of the weapon).

The trigger is really easy, just a lever that keeps the locks in place and releases them once the trigger is pulled. It is held back with a rubber band, this time it is not visible (under the lock plate).

The lock dowels are drilled off center, so that they are adjustable for different ammo size. Especially the small 8mm balls need very tight settings.

The three TB gold bands (2cm x 1,5cm x 11cm, effective length 8cm) are mighty hard to draw, about 12 kg draw weight.

The weapon shoots the 8mm steel ball with about 70 m/s, 230 fps. Not bad for the cold temperatures (freezing).

It is however more accurate with larger caliber ammo, maybe because the larger balls open the locks more evenly.

No video, it is already dark outside... maybe next week. This will give me time to make it nicer.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Review: Great frames made by Bill Hays

Bill Hays is exciting the slingshot community with his totally new designs. He makes frames that look like nothing else, but work just perfect and are amongst the most comfortable slingshots tested in The Slingshot Channel so far.

Three different frames are shown, one even has a 16 round steel ball magazine.



Sunday, November 14, 2010

Review: "Liberty I" ultra compact bow vs. Slingbow

The slingbow is a very popular weapon as it is compact, lightweight, easy to make and can shoot hunting arrows. But it competes with small bows, such as the "Liberty I" by Howard Winthers from

This video presents the "Liberty I" bow and compares it to the "Diamond Razor Edge" compound bow and the homemade slingbow (see the How-To on The Slingshot Channel).

The results are quite impressive, the small Liberty I shoots a 400 gr arrow at more than 310 km/h. It outperforms the larger Razor Edge and of course also the slingbow (made with materials for under 10 dollars).

Slow Motion scenes recorded at 1200 frames per second show the behaviour of the bow when shot, it stays amazingly calm.


"Pygmalion" - the taming of a natural fork

OK, I have never presented a natural fork so far. The reason is that it is hard to find a natural that has a low and wide enough fork, which is what I prefer.

A friend of mine challenged me to make a "Phoenix" design from a natural, and I accepted.

This is the outcome!

Yes, it is a natural fork. It doesn't look like a natural at all, right?

If you want to see how this was achieved, check out the thread on the forum (too many pics for the blogger).

A very strong slingshot, perfect weight and fork dimensions.


Monday, November 8, 2010

"The Sling Room"

It was raining cats and dogs today, so no outside video. But since many people asked me how many slingshots I own and which one is my favourite, I made a video showing my slingshot room.

57 of my best slingshots (I have hundreds) are kept on permanent display, most of them made by myself, but also a good dozen of the best types given to me by fellow slingshot makers.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Phoenix Variations

Have made two entirely different "Phoenix" models today. Phew! That was a lot of dirty work.

First one is a laminate of four 3mm Cocobolo veneer and three 3mm copper plates. A heavy, nice shooter that needs some more finishing - but for today it is enough.

The second one is probably the most beautiful Phoenix I ever made. 9mm birch multiplex core, then Thuja scales. The Thuja is too brittle for a sleek slingshot, but laminated to the multiplex it is rock solid. I just love this slingshot am I am totally proud.

Can't wait for the rain to stop so I can shoot the new babies!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Zombie Slaying Slingbow: How to make it at home

Have made another version of my slingbow. This time, upon many requests, I did a tutorial video as well.

I have devised a home made arrow rest, using rubber (what else). Also, I set the rest far back to gain draw length. Then, I designed the "frame" in a way that armslaps can never happen.

The bow is entirely made from 12 mm and 19 mm plywood, with three screws to stabilize the weapon.

It is more bulky, but also a lot more powerful than its predecessor.

Made this on Halloween, so I just had to shoot at a coconut... penetrated both sides. With a field tip.

The slingbow weighs 550 gramms (1,2 lbs), ready for shooting.

Here are the blueprints:

Here is the video:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Arrow launching Sling-X-Bow, plus WIN A COUGAR!

After the great response to the slingshot crossbows presented here, many have asked if it can be converted for shooting arrows. Of course it can! This video presents a homemade, Thera Band powered crossbow that fires full size arrows (not the short crossbow bolts") at 213 fps (65m/s).

The mechanism is very simple, yet effective. The weapon has a built in arrow rest that fixes the arrow in loaded condition.

The result is a long, but very narrow crossbow. It is accurate and powerful.

Also, at the end of the video you can learn how to participate in a drawing. The price: A customized "Cougar Limited Edition" slingshot, with hand crafted Thuja wood scales. If you want to participate, you have to be a member of, and introduce yourself in the "Welcome Forum". The membership is free.

Deadline is November 15, 2010.

There is a 2D version and a 3D version of the video, as the production is shot with the new Panasonic HDC-SDT750 3D camera. The 3D version is viewable as well, the link will be published at a later time.

Here is the 2D video:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Review: "Scallops", in massive cast bronze

I reviewed the fantastic "Scallops" slingshot, designed in Hong Kong and made in England.

This model is very special for the slingshot community, as Dan developed it in a live thread. We saw the Photoshop drawings, we saw the first moulds, we saw the first metal castings. So it was rather special to get my hands on the product!

After both Dan (the designer) and Pete (the manufacturer) have OKed the video, it is my pleasure to release it to the public.

A great slingshot, a highlight of my collection! Well done, Dan and Pete.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

The African Godess of Slingbows

I revisited the sling bow today, inspired by Fish (he made a sling bow a while ago, but posted the video again here in a different thread).

I had a few tasks.

First, I wanted to eliminate all the dead play.

Second, no handslaps.

Third, a conventional bow release had to work.

Fourth, I wanted a quality arrow guide for accuracy.

So I made the "bow" 40 cm long, and the bands are a bit pretensed in unloaded mode. This way, no dead play at all!

Then, I put a Hover arrow rest (kind of a whisker buiscuit) INSIDE of the bow, right in the middle.

The bands can never touch the arrow rest (a big problem with sling bows usually).

Next, I designed the bow arms in a way that the bands are effectively stopped and can not slap on my hand.

I formed the "cable" from some paracord, with a loop for the release (otherwise the angle is so steep that the arrow falls out in full cocked position).

This shoots great! It is the best sling bow I have made so far.

Weight is 550 gramms (1,2 lbs), complete with bands. It looks a bit like an African sculpture, that is the reason for the name.

Too bad is rains so hard that I can't do a video today, hopefully tomorrow will be better. But I have to finish the Scallops video first.