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General >> General Slinging Discussion >> Finger rings and other gripers
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Message started by Ripcord on Aug 7th, 2003 at 6:26pm

Title: Finger rings and other gripers
Post by Ripcord on Aug 7th, 2003 at 6:26pm
In archery there is a style of string release that uses a very simple and small "thumb ring".  This lets the bow string rest on a spot other than the fingers but give excellant release control.  I see no reason not to use a similar (exact?) device for slinging as well.  You'd only have to put a loop in the end of the sling line, where you'd normally have a knot for gripping.

Also, instead of just a loop of string (leather, para-cord, whatever) to anchor the sling to you hand, what if you used something a bit more comfortable?

I'm thinking along the lines of "something" that would have a wider area, such as a leather patch, to which the string is permantely attached.

Distribute the load of the string over a wider area.  This will reduce skin abrasion, bruising and such.  True, it would make for a bigger package, but it might be more comfortable for some.

Title: Re: Finger rings and other gripers
Post by Chris on Aug 7th, 2003 at 8:21pm
For the loop that goes around your finger (or wrist in some cases), you could pad it out by sliding on some sort of tubing (like miniature pipe foam) or wrapping it in a fabric.  It might be possible to modify a driving, paintball, or archery glove to cover the upper half of the finger you use for the retention cord.  This would distribute the cordís force better and probably be comfortable after a while.  

The thumb ring was developed by the Mongols I think.  Keep in mind the forces involved with drawing back a real (battle) bow are higher than with a rotating sling (in my opinion).  The thumb ring was to protect the thumb in addition to providing an accurate release.  It might be an overly complicated design for a sling.

But, you have got me thinking about some sort of release system.  Like on composite bows with there pinching release thingy (sorry, I only shoot traditional).  What if a similar device could be held/attached and "clicked" at the appropriate point?  Anybody think there would be better accuracy or comfort?  

Slinging relies a lot on sensation, and the more you add, the less you feel.  It's a tough compromise, but if anyone is willing to give it a try, I'd love to hear how you get on.

Chris


Title: Re: Finger rings and other gripers
Post by archeorob on Aug 8th, 2003 at 11:04am
Hmmm...interesting concept.  It does complicate was is by nature a very simple tool.  But I don't see it distributing the weight as evenly as you suggested.  Then again, it may be one of those "try it first" concepts and in actual practice I would be surprised.  Wouldn't be the first time  ;)

Title: Re: Finger rings and other gripers
Post by Ripcord on Aug 8th, 2003 at 3:51pm
Archeorob, I have fairly soft, weak, whimpy hands. (Except for the calluses from my chain maille hobby.)  As such, I pad my hands as needed, others may not need to. People differ.

Consider a simple finger ring though.  If one is made that is twice as wide as the string, then you've distributed the load over twice the area.  This may be enough to prevet any blisters, abrasions, etc.

Your correct though in that some folks may not like the loss of "feel".  Again, different strokes for different folks.
:)

Title: Re: Finger rings and other gripers
Post by Chris on Aug 8th, 2003 at 6:11pm
I know exactly what Ripcord gets.  After a while, especially with heavier projectiles, my fingers start to hurt.  Everytime I release,  the slip knot (yes yes I know) tightens or slides, which really become agonizing after only a short time.  

I think a bit of protection for my middle finger would be handy and far more comfortable.  Selecting a good cord is important too.  A lot of the cheap nylon stuff you get from hardware stores really does your hands in.

Chris

Title: Re: Finger rings and other gripers
Post by Ripcord on Aug 9th, 2003 at 5:36am
Another possible griping method (just to add fuel to the fire), one that I did try a long time ago.

Instead of anchoring the sling to a finger or wrist, I braided a handle, using paracord. (Forgive me, but the name of the weave I used escapes me at the moment.)

The result though was a flexible length of braided cord about 3/4" thick.  This I grabed in the palm of my hand, using the last 3 fingers to do so.  The other sling end was gripped in the usual fashion between thumb and forefinger.

It did take a little gettting used to, but I did and prefered the way both lines ran parallel to each other, even through my pinch of the release end.

One of the results was that the only part of my hand that got abraided at all was the thumb tip and inside edge of my forefinger, which wasn't so odd of course.

Title: Re: Finger rings and other gripers
Post by archeorob on Aug 11th, 2003 at 9:21am
Huh, interesting idea ripcord.  Did you find that it slipped much though?  I would think that it might....but now you've got me thinking and I may just have to run outside and try it. :)

Title: Re: Finger rings and other gripers
Post by thrower1970 on Aug 11th, 2003 at 4:03pm
I know I am getting in on this one a bit late, but here are a couple of thoughts.

As to the release mechanisms discussed earlier like the ones used in archery (I shoot both compound and traditional), I would say that the purpose is different all together.  If you think of the movement required by an archer when releasing a string by hand, the fingers have to move quite a ways.  The sling, on the other hand, has only the movement of two finger about 1/4 of an inch apart.  If you where to replace the fingers with a caliper style release, I would say that accuracy would be compromised quite a bit because the trade off of movement vs. feel is too great.

As to the wear and tear to the hand, I have found a good quality leather glove (usually deer skin works best) allows me to overcome the abrasion factor while still maintaining the feel.  I am, however, interested in the braided "tail" to hold on to.  Did it seem to help that it was still flexable, or would a solid (possibly wooded) handle add more stablilty?  I guess that starts getting into the sling staff area then.

Well, those are my thoughts.

Ron

Title: Re: Finger rings and other gripers
Post by Jimb on Aug 12th, 2003 at 1:27pm
If you are using knot tied fastenings to secure your loop, you might want to redo your sling and sew through your loop instead of tieing a knot. If you use paracord just loop over the cord and sew through the area between the areas of attachment. You can also whip the area of sewing. That will leave a slip free loop. You can use variations of the same method to secure the pocket to the cords. A wrist loop seems more effective for heavier weight projectiles than a finger loop. Though I have no trouble throwing softball sized stones with a finger loop. I've been toying with the idea of a mega sliing to toss brick sized projectiles and water balloons and would use a wrist loop retention loop for that.

Title: Re: Finger rings and other gripers
Post by Chris on Aug 12th, 2003 at 1:48pm
I made a 9-foot sling that fired bricks and it only had a finger loop.  Making a fist around the cords helped distribute the weight.   Attaching to the wrist does seem like a good idea though.

I've tried with water balloons before, and it's very difficult to launch them without breaking.  The centripetal force is so intense; they flatten out in the pouch and break.  I remember a water balloon sling being sold at slingstones.com (since closed).  It had rubber tubing for cords and a sizable net for the balloon to sit in.

Title: Re: Finger rings and other gripers
Post by BillB on Aug 13th, 2003 at 2:13pm
I use a T-handled release with my compound from time to time. I really like it, and it has a trigger very similar to that of a gun. The result is that all the pull from the bowstring is transfered across all my fingers by the cross-bar of the T, and my first finger has to move only at most 1/4 inch to release. The upright of the T sticks out from my fist and the bowstring hooks into the end of that.

So, taking this and the fact that it reaches all the way to the base of my fist, it might be possible to attach one side of a sling to the end of the T at the bottom of the fist and hook the loop into the claw where the bowstring would go. Thus you'd have all the force against the comfortable T grip, one line out the bottom of your fist, the other out between the first and second fingers. A simple click with the first finger, and missle away.

I'm surprised, though, that there is so much mention of abrasion to the hands. Maybe it's just because I use it enough that I've got a callus there that it doesn't bother me. Anyway, I don't think I'd bother to migrate to some kind of release, it's more to carry, more to mess with and the simple sling works fine for me.

Bill B.

Title: Re: Finger rings and other gripers
Post by lightfoot71 on Aug 8th, 2007 at 8:51pm
My first experience with slings was with some nylon webbing that we improvised for a sling.  It was about 3" wide, I'm not sure how thick, I think about 1/8" or less.  We took a couple of wraps around our sling hand with one end, and pressed the other end against the wrapped end with our thumb.

Unless you used a very heavy rock, there wasn't enough sensation to tell where the rock was when you were winding up for the release, so we had to use pretty heavy stones, I think a half pound or more in weight.  That contraption worked remarkably well, and we were able to get pretty fair distances with a throw. It has been so long ago I would only be guessing at the distances, but I think it was greater than a city block.

Even with the heavy stones we were throwing there was no discomfort. I am going to look into locating some webbing and try that again.  At any rate, if you did use webbing for the grip it would distribute the weight better?  What do I know? Anyway I couldn't resist passing that along.

Title: Re: Finger rings and other gripers
Post by aussieslinger on Aug 9th, 2007 at 4:26am
A ready source of webbing is old seat belts. Just see a vehicle repairer or wrecking yard, they will probably give you more than you want for free.

Title: Re: Finger rings and other gripers
Post by curious_aardvark on Aug 9th, 2007 at 8:21am
seat belts are a pretty solid strap - how do you get webbing from them ?

Title: Re: Finger rings and other gripers
Post by Dravonk on Aug 9th, 2007 at 10:19am
Isn't that webbing? When I entered the word "webbing" in my usual dictonary page it translated it to "Gurtband" amongst other possibilities. And "Gurtband" is a seat belt.

You would just take a small piece of it, long enough to wrap easily around your finger, put a hole into each end and tie your sling to it.

Title: Re: Finger rings and other gripers
Post by aussieslinger on Aug 10th, 2007 at 5:22am

Curious Aardvark wrote on Aug 9th, 2007 at 8:21am:
seat belts are a pretty solid strap - how do you get webbing from them ?


I would have assumed that seat belts are much the same the world over but maybe not. The material I have is quite soft shiny synthetic of some kind, 47mm wide and approx. 1mm thick. The belts in my actual car are quite similar, thinner if anything.

Title: Re: Finger rings and other gripers
Post by curious_aardvark on Aug 10th, 2007 at 6:22am
still not an actual webbing though. Just a flat (I presume) nylon strap.
I got the impression that what was wanted was a wide grained net like webbing. could be wrong :-)  
Much like the polynesian stone bag that's depicted in another topic.

Title: Re: Finger rings and other gripers
Post by aussieslinger on Aug 10th, 2007 at 6:45am
It appears that the problem is not what seatbelts are made from, but what is meat by the term "webbing". In Australian usage seat-belts, straps on backpacks, safety harnesses etc. and even thick material like slings for lifting loads in industrial situations is classed as webbing; strong flat material which will hold tight with clamp style buckles as in seat-belts.

A bit over a year ago, before I came up with the idea to use the old conveyor belt material, I got hold of some seat belt material with a view to making a pouch from it. It works fine if you want a flat pouch, but tends to fray unless the cut edges are seamed or sealed in some way. I think the pouches I currently make are better and the material does not fray.

Title: Re: Finger rings and other gripers
Post by siguy on Aug 10th, 2007 at 9:43am
C_A, the term nylon webbing refers to the nylon straps commonly used for seatbelts, bag straps, and everything else.

it confused me too for a while, until i saw a picture when someone was talking about webbing.

EDITED to add: aussie slinger beat me to the post button it seems :P

Title: Re: Finger rings and other gripers
Post by Loki on Aug 10th, 2007 at 10:10am
I found this thread a little late I think, but I used a peice of the leather C_A sent me to make a guard for both my thumb and index finger. In essence I dont see why one couldnt attach the retention cord to the guard for the index finger.

Title: Re: Finger rings and other gripers
Post by curious_aardvark on Aug 10th, 2007 at 12:01pm
I've got a sling from captain paul that has  a sliding leather finger ring - which gives you all the advantages of a sliding loop with the comfort of a soft leather ring.

Not sure there is a an advantage of a tab over a know for the release cord though. And yeah I've never had any problems with a sliding finger loop anyway - even with the 2 mm paracord. But then my index finger has had 25 years of occassionally heavy yo-yo ing to condition it.  

So do we know if it was flat webbing or netted webbing that was wanted - I've kind of lost track of who wanted what lol
:-)

Title: Re: Finger rings and other gripers
Post by aussieslinger on Aug 10th, 2007 at 6:10pm
I also don't quite remember who wanted it, or what for. But whoever it was, he, or she, (note avoidance of the grammatically absurd, non gender-specific, pluralised "they"), can usually get it for free from car body repairers.

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