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Sling Bow Modification for Increasing Versatility

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posted on Jan, 21 2010 @ 11:29 AM
The sling bow is a survival tool originally publicized by Dave Canterbury. This Thread explains my version of this unique and versatile device.

For background information on the development of the sling bow and its uses here is Dave Canterbury’s original YouTube videos.

Using the Slingshot to Hunt Big Game

Sling Bow Final Modification How To

Sling Bow (Bow Fishing Mod How To)

The sling bow is a modified slingshot that incorporates the use of an arrow rest (usually a whisker biscuit or a key ring) and high performance bands so that arrows can be shot from it. The concept is that a very small and portable weapon can be used in an emergency to quietly hunt small game (with conventional shot), large game (with an arrow) or even fish (with a fishing arrow head and spool).

One of the main drawbacks of a sling bow is that once the bands are modified for ergonomically holding an arrow it becomes incapable of holding regular shot. Another drawback is that when a standard slingshot is used with a whisker biscuit there is a substantial offset between the height of the bands and the center of the arrow rest. This causes the arrow to shoot low and to the left (for right handed shooters) and a considerable amount of practice (at least for me) is needed to compensate.

I wanted a modification that addressed these problems and also made field repair and improvisation easy.

This is my sling bow modification

I have removed the standard band mounts (by cutting them off with a hack saw) and replaced them with open ended loops who’s centers are at the same height as the center of the whisker biscuit.

The main advantage of these loops is that the bands can be instantly swapped out so the standard band used for shot can be changed to a band with a knock string and release loop for shooting arrows. Any band material can be mounted to the sling by simply forming a loop in the end of the material.

The band stays in the loop when it is relaxed and can only be taken out by stretching it so that its diameter shrinks enough to allow it to slip through the loop opening. The loops face forward so that this cannot happen while taking a shot.

How I built this sling bow.

I started with a regular Marksman sling shot.

For the loops I used off the shelf eye screws. I chose zinc plated screws instead of stainless so they could be easily welded. The Marksman forks are made of ¼ round stock and I chose to go with eye screws that were one standard diameter below that. This is so the welding would be a little more conformal and also to keep the weight down a bit.

I then made a small gap in the bottom of the loop by removing a bit of the end with a hack saw. I actually put both screws in the vise side by side and cut them together to keep them as much the same as possible. Any small nick in the sling shot’s rubber banding means disaster so I used a dremel tool and a small hand file to round the edge around the end of the loop. This also helps to get the band in and out of the mount quickly.

After cutting the loops I used a hammer and bent the shaft of the loops to match the curve of the original Marksman forks.

This is the difficult part. The loop shafts have to be cut to the exact length so that their centers match the height of the center hole of the whisker biscuit.

Again, I cut both screws together.

Before welding the loops onto the forks of the Marksman I drilled the heads off of the rivets holding the plastic handle to the sling shot’s frame to remove it so that it would not be melted. I also used a wire brush wheel on a grinder to remove a couple of inches of the paint from the forks so that it would not contaminate the welds. After welding, I replaced the rivets with 6-32 nuts and bolts. I started with 1 inch bolts and cut them to length so they would not protrude from the handle. They are two different lengths.

Well that's it. Hope there is some helpful info.

posted on Jan, 21 2010 @ 05:02 PM
That's bloody good.

It seems like you've taken a good idea and made it much better. It's been a long time since I owned a sling bow - called a catapult over here and have never considered that it could be a great addition to a survival kit.

They sell the same model at our local fishing shop - this must be done - so I'll give this a go myself.

It's particularly good for us in England since guns are illegal and you're unlikely to get locked up for carrying a catapult.

Nice one D!

[edit on 21-1-2010 by Stanton Dowd]

posted on Jan, 21 2010 @ 05:12 PM
Excellent presentation dainoyfb.

Most people don't realize the value of a slingshot unless they learn the bow as well.

Have you had the opportunity to try this out and how is the accuracy ?
Any problems encountered ?

posted on Jan, 21 2010 @ 05:56 PM
I have to give most of the credit to Dave Canterbury or whoever showed him for coming up with the sling bow concept. I just added my 2 cents to and already brilliant trick.

The accuracy is excellent for the range that you will get out of an arrow shot from it. The videos in the OP have some examples of Dave shooting it and after a bit of practice he is pretty much stacking the arrows.

The biggest drawback of this system is that it does not shoot arrows with a lot of power. It is essential to use high powered bands and I have actually been doubling the bands up. This mounting system allows for that. I find that there is a huge advantage to using thin shaft, carbon fiber arrows. So I suppose a disadvantage would be that if you have to build arrows in the bush they are going to be quite a bit heaver, therefore significantly reducing range.

posted on Jan, 23 2010 @ 09:55 AM
I'm going to keep adding the odd note here as I think of things to mention or continue to modifiy and test my sling bow.

I had the opportunity to remove the wrist support section of the sling shot frame when I had the plastic handle off. This would have significantly reduced the weight and profile of the whole system. Matching the height of the band mounts to the height of the whisker biscuit center reduced the height of the mounts quite a bit. This also has the added benefit of reducing pressure on your wrist when drawing back, however when using the sling bow with high power bands to shoot arrows the draw weight is significant and its nice to have the extra wrist support.

I presently use the arrow insertion gap (wedge shaped space) in the whisker biscuit as a aiming site. I'm considering attaching a small laser pointer along one of the wrist support rails to assist aiming which was another argument for keeping the wrist support attached.

posted on Jan, 23 2010 @ 10:04 AM
I am not going to take a bunch of pics but along the same lines, a few of us have had a TM Hunter rest on our sling shots for many years now.

it don't fold out of the way but is made with a spring type design that makes it easy to just hold down when not needed.

ETA link for TM hunter rest

[edit on 23-1-2010 by Doc Holiday]

posted on Jan, 23 2010 @ 05:37 PM
reply to post by Doc Holiday

Thanks for showing that. I find that the whisker biscuit mounted with the tie wraps is a little floppy. The TM Hunter rest, if clamped or bolted directly on would probably be a lot more stable. Also I'm leery about the long term ruggedness of the tie wraps and have opted to carry extras with me (for repairing the sling bow as well as for other uses).

When the whisker biscuit is tie wrapped to the sling shot for some inexplicable reason having to do with some oddball physics it actually snaps strait up into the vertical position or strait out of the way at 90 degrees. Its hard not to like that. It is also nice that the whisker biscuit holds the arrow nicely while your bouncing around in the bush or holding the sling at any angle. I'm trying to think of something simple and better than the tie wraps for mounting the Whisker biscuit. If I come up with something I'll post it.

posted on Jan, 29 2010 @ 02:18 PM
Why don't you just use a real sling? I only ask because the materials you're using will eventually deteriorate in a survival situation, and you would be out of luck, both in skill of a traditional sling and FOOD, lol. The traditional rock or dart sling can be made in the wild very easily and if you practiced with it instead of relying on rubber cordage and metal trinkets to make a hunting weapon, youre only dooming yourself for failure in the long term.

Dont get me wrong, however, I LOVE slingshots. I have one of my own, and will use it as well as a sling in a survival situation. Problem is: I only have 1 extra rubber cord if the one breaks, and after the second breaks I'll be forced to just use the traditional sling.

Trying to be super friendly with suggestions here, I only want to help you to have a backup plan to your backup plan. =D

[edit on 29-1-2010 by Tanulis]

[edit on 29-1-2010 by Tanulis]

posted on Jan, 29 2010 @ 04:58 PM
reply to post by Tanulis

I think some people like the sling bow because of the relatively low amount of skill required to operate it effectively coupled with its versatility. There is a practical limit to the amount of time that I want to be spending on certain life skills. My personal philosophy is that If I'm in the bush for such a long time that I'm going to go through my supply of slings then I'll have plenty of time on my hands to fabricate and master weapons that can be maintained indefinitely in that environment.

Anyway this thread is about sling bow modifications and not a debate about which weapons are best for what situation. Already a load of those here on the survival forum including ones about the sling bow and other improvised weapons if you are interested.

[edit on 29-1-2010 by dainoyfb]

posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 12:55 PM
reply to post by dainoyfb

I agree, and afterall, being in the bush, you are bound to get bored, and start making stuff out of necessity of not going nuts being bored.

posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 01:03 AM
so the bands are just high resistance ''thara-bands'' correct? and what lenght, have you found to deliver the most velocity? is it hard to pull with the band doubled up, because i have been using med resistance, and it is still a little hard to keep a good grip on the pouch when drawing it back, i added a bunch of tape arround the nock so it is easier to grip, but it still isnt the best,

posted on May, 11 2011 @ 08:15 PM
reply to post by dainoyfb

I am contacting you from the UK and am having major problems with not only getting the parts for this project, but also finding a lazy Brit to weld up the parts as per your instructions, so what is the chance of you fabricating the baby for me and charging me accordingly. i want one of these big time..

All the best....Kingbrian

posted on May, 17 2011 @ 01:21 PM
reply to post by dainoyfb

Hi guys, im having problems getting a whisker biscuit from suppliers in the UK, and have found one in the States...BUT!! now they want to know if i need a left hand or right hand one!!? as its not cheep i dont want to order the wrong one, can anybody help?? i hold the slingshot with my left hand and draw with my right, so the V needs to be on does that make it a lefty or righty i need to order??

Thanks Guys

Derek in UK

posted on May, 17 2011 @ 01:50 PM
reply to post by kingbrian6263

Don't take my word as gospel, for a slingbow I don't think it matters. I think it only makes a difference when you are actually using it on a compound bow.

Oh unless you plan to hold it sideways, and use the V notch as a makeshift sight, then it might matter. Just thought of that.
edit on Tue, 17 May 2011 13:56:22 -0500 by TKDRL because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 19 2011 @ 04:10 PM
reply to post by kingbrian6263

Hello you just need a replacement Whisker Biscuit not the the whole rest. With it being left or right it really doesn't matter just flip it around. The Carolina Archery Whisker Biscuit Arrow Rest Replacement.
edit on 19-5-2011 by ShotgunBlast because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 19 2011 @ 04:54 PM

Originally posted by dainoyfb
I have to give most of the credit to Dave Canterbury or whoever showed him for coming up with the sling bow concept. I just added my 2 cents to and already brilliant trick.

Real nice job dainoyfb!

If you ever plan to use it for survival I would carry back up bands and a pouch to carry it in, the rubber will only last a few days or less if not stored away from sunlight and moisture.

I have seen many variations of an arrow slingshot, I'm sure Dave Canterbaury was inspired by some of the guys who hang out on slingshot forums.

Anyway check out some these old patents, some of the arrow slingshots go back to 1800's.

Patent number: 442931
Filing date: Sep 15, 1890
Issue date: Dec 16, 1890

Patent number: 516852
Issue date: Mar 20, 1894

Patent number: 2610620
Filing date: Apr 2, 1947
Issue date: Sep 16, 1952

Patent number: 4573445
Filing date: Mar 27, 1984
Issue date: Mar 4, 1986

There's all kinds of crazy styles...

edit on 19-5-2011 by imitator because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 24 2011 @ 02:57 PM
in a pinch you can sling an arrow with just 4 zip locks, and a key ring.

edit on 24-5-2011 by ShotgunBlast because: (no reason given)

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