The Box O’ Truth #55 – Slingshots and the Box O’ Truth

I recently got a note from my friend Piccolo on AR15.com. He said: “As you may know I shoot antennas over trees and light poles with a slingshot with a fishing reel attached. The reel winds in the monofilament that drags 550 para cord that the wire goes to.

I have noticed quite a difference in the flight characteristics between a 3/4 oz. sinker and a 1 oz. sinker.

How about grabbing a slingshot somewhere and a few different sized things to shoot and see what kind of terminal ballistics you can get out of the various sized shot.

It may very well end the birdshot/buckshot argument once and for all when you can show that mass matters.

Just an idea.”

Well, settling the birdshot vs. buckshot argument is a mighty high goal, but maybe we can at least have some fun. That sounded kind of interesting to me. I have also had folks ask me how much penetration you would get from buckshot at very long range, after is has slowed down a lot.

I also have had folks ask me if I have ever tried loading buckshot rounds with glass marbles, or steel balls, or something other than lead buckshot.

And lastly, I had a manufacturer of a new “super slingshot” ask me to try out one of their new products. It seemed like everything was coming together.

First, I gathered the equipment.

I had an old “no name” slingshot that I have used for years to discourage squirrels from eating my tomatoes.

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Here it is.

I also got a new product from my friends at Montie Gear.

It is a slingshot made from high quality aluminum.

It is called a Slingshot, Y Fork.

Their ad says, “The aluminum frame is cut from 1/2″ thick aluminum plate with a waterjet at 50,000 psi for unrivaled strength and low weight.

Then we either powdercoat or anodize the aluminum frame (depending on the color)

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This slingshot is ready for hunting or target practice. Don’t hesitate to use ammo up to a 1/2 ball bearing or .44 cal lead ball ammo with this beast!

This slingshot features a tapered flat band and leather pouch assembly. The tapered flat band has a 16 pound pull weight at approximately a 28″ draw. The band has a tapered shape and is made from a Thera-Band Gold material for a fast shot and long life.”

It is a really high quality product. But it is not cheap, as quality equipment seldom is. It retails for $99.95.

I will try several kinds of ammo.

First, a glass marble that I have used in the past.

It is .51 inches in diameter.

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And weighs 43 grains.

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I have some steel ball ammo from Mountie that is .374 in diameter.

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And weighs 55 grains.

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I cut open a 00 Buckshot shell and got a 00 buckshot which was .338 in diameter and weighs 60 grains.

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Lastly, I tried a round rifle ball of .440 caliber that weighs 128 grains.

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First, we will chronograph them with my friend Joe’s chronograph, using the old slingshot.

And the bad news was that the slingshot apparently did not generate enough velocity to register on the chrono.

We tried all the different balls several times but all we got was “Error” on the chrono.

Now let’s try them with the Y Fork Slingshot.

The glass marble did 173 fps.
The steel ball did 178 fps.
The 00 Buckshot did 175 fps.

And the .44 ball did 143 fps.

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I wonder how they will penetrate.

One way to find out.

We shot the water jugs with the various rounds out of the Y Fork slingshot.

The glass ball made a crack in the first jug, but did not penetrate.

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The steel ball went right through the front of the first jug, but did not exit.

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The 00 buckshot went through the first jug and put a very slight dent in the second jug.

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The .44 ball went through the first jug and almost penetrated the plastic into the second jug.

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Conclusions:
  1. The Y Fork Slingshot had a much greater velocity than the old slingshot. Since we couldn’t get a reading on the old one, it is hard to make a statement about a comparison, but just by observing the projectiles, it appeared to have about twice the velocity than the old slingshot. It shot noticeably faster.
  2. The velocity was pretty close for the different projectiles. This indicates that the greater penetration depends on the mass or weight of the projectiles.
  3. The heavy lead projectiles that were doing 150 – 175 fps made it through 6 inches of water with some energy to spare. That would translate to over 3 inches penetration in ballistics gelatin.
  4. After going through the chrono, the lead balls made a good dent in the wooden fence 20 yards down range.
  5. I wouldn’t want to get shot with one of these things.

All in all, the Y Fork Slingshot was a surprise, as it had significant greater velocity than expected. It also shot straight and true. It would certainly be useful for hunting small game, as my Dad used to use a slingshot to hunt rabbits and put many in the pot.

Thanks to Joe for the chrono help and thanks to Vern for the help with the pictures.

I plan on letting my Grandson Jace practice with it and takle over the anti-squirrel duties.

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