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A Brief History of The Staff Sling - Alan Wong

The staff sling is believed to have been used in the early

Byzantine staff slingers
during naval battle

to middle Medieval period in Europe, although it was most likely used in other regions as well. The staff sling was used in many groups, including Carthaginian, Vandal, Roman, and Byzantine peo9ples. It was mainly used by European armies for sieges and naval purposes. Staff slings were also known by their Latin name, fustibalus. Staff Slings are more powerful and have a greater range than a sling, but are less accurate. They also require two hands, so the user could not carry a shield. Staff slings were good siege weapons because masses of stone could be lauched at fortified locations at a high-arcing angle. The projectiles would cause much damage and chaos falling upon the enemy location. Staff slings were excellent siege weapons at range, but were hard to aim up close. In my experiences, a staff sling's only use at a close range would be to wack someone with the stick! Besides this shortcoming, the staff sling was a great weapon, and like the sling, outranged the bows of the time.

When I first became interested in slings, I researched much about them, and quickly learned how to use them correctly. I came across a staff slinging article and found if very fascinating. Being one of those people that likes to tinker, I already had a 1/2 inch PVC pipe spare, which I had used as a blowgun earlier. I already had a sling, so I decided to try to make a staff sling. I fastened the sling to the pipe and made it so one end could slip off. I tried it a few times and it kept hitting the ground! I also found that the rock sometimes went straight up. I experimented, and eventually found out the information I'm about to give you.


Staff slingers
during a siege
English staff slingers in the
Battle of Sandwich, 1219

The Construction

• First get a 1/2 inch
PVC pipe. 4-5 feet is a good length. Anything longer might require a friends help to load.

• Second get some leather cord or anything else you use to make a sling cord out of. Cut two lengths of 2 feet.

• Third make a pouch, and attatch the two cords. Basically make another sling. (See "Making a simple sling: An illustrated guide")

• Attach the sling to the staff on one end, about 4-6 inches down the staff. Then make a loop on the other end of the loop. You will have to adjust this later to make your staff sling work at whatever angle of fire you want.

• Lastly you have to adjust your staff sling to your preferences. Adjust the angle of fire, paint it, or do whatever...




When you fire a staff sling, think of it as the arm of a trebuchet or catapult. The arm whips forward followed by the whip of the sling releasing the rock. Whip the staff sling forward as if you were the catapult and it was the arm. As for aiming goes, I'm not very accurate. Make sure you have a big area. These go far!


I hope you enjoyed my article and learned something about staff slinging. I hope you have fun with your staff sling. Don't kill anyone, and maybe even show your friends this article. Keep on sling'n!

- Alan Wong

© 2007