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General >> Project Goliath - The History of The Sling >> Thom Richardson article wanted?
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Message started by bernardz on May 19th, 2018 at 11:13pm

Title: Thom Richardson article wanted?
Post by bernardz on May 19th, 2018 at 11:13pm
According to this URL at sling.org

https://forums.spacebattles.com/threads/the-effectiveness-of-slings-in-warfare.399306/

It refers to an article on this site, held on this site which I cannot find here.

I would like to determine his comments so I would like to read it

+++++++++++++++++++++

There is a lot of wank thrown at the sling, saying that it can easily punch a hole through armor, saying it has an insane trajectory...etc. Well here is the thread that will debunk any and all myths.

Myth: A sling has an effective range of 400 meters.
Reality: Slings are notoriously inaccurate and most of you won't be able to hit anyone with it. If an iron age warrior were to target an enemy soldier with it, he would have to be within an estimated 30 paces. Even then, expect to take months of training to score a hit 1 in 5 times. I doubt a sling stone can even travel 400 meters, let alone hit something with it.

Myth: Sling stones travel as fast as arrows.
Reality: Slinging.org - The Ballistics of The Sling - Thom Richardson Whoever mentioned this in SB forums (withholding his name so he doesn't get embarrassed) clearly has never taken physics before. The fastest a stone traveled according to this test is 38.3 m/s. This isn't even as fast as medieval wooden arrows, let alone contemporary ones. Heavier projectiles move slower than lighter projectiles, especially if they are launched with an inferior mechanism. That brings us to the third false assumption....

Myth: Slings inflict more damage than javelins and arrows.
Reality: Heavier missile =/= more lethal. Spears and arrows kill by slicing and blood loss, which will fall an unarmored soldier in a different but equally fatal manner. The sling is less effective than the other two at defeating armor because it doesn't hit hard enough to knock someone out of a fight aside from a head shot and its not designed for penetration purposes.

Considering longbows were first wielded in the Stone Age, what surprises me is that slings weren't rendered obsolete.

Title: Re: Thom Richardson article wanted?
Post by Sarosh on May 20th, 2018 at 4:50am
the main page of slinging.org is down...
but here it is:

https://web.archive.org/web/20121016213520/http://slinging.org/index.php?page=the-ballistics-of-the-sling---thom-richardson
the article reports too low velocities and ranges.
I consider myself average skilled slinger and threw rocks more than 100g at 120m for accuracy.

Thom Richardson reports 100g lead max @120m.
    then he mentions:

Quote:
My range tests indicate a much shorter range than has been previously asserted. This may because I have not learned to sling within a sling-using culture, or because I am inept at it.


as for the post on the other forum:
seems like someone couldn't use the sling so he decided to be resentful instead of trying.

he also seems to compare slings and bows in medieval times forgetting classical or roman times. and surely there could be a lot more tales about stone or bronze age if we had written history...

Title: Re: Thom Richardson article wanted?
Post by TheJackinati on May 20th, 2018 at 5:25am
It seem's you've met one of Spacebattles slightly-infamous trolls. He also made an archery thread... which pretty much became a dog-piling thread in no time at all.

I am a Spacebattles user under the same name as here. He is ill-regarded by most users who frequent the War-room thread, though I don't think I should write much more without infringing on the 'Affairs of other boards' rule.

Suffice to say, there are more reasonable users on that site, and the War-room thread is one of the most stable and respectable parts of Spacebattles.com. I have also made several posts there about the effectiveness of slings.

Title: Re: Thom Richardson article wanted?
Post by Frondeur on May 20th, 2018 at 1:50pm
Wow! I had never  found those archives by myself! Thanks!

Title: Re: Thom Richardson article wanted?
Post by Curious Aardvark on May 20th, 2018 at 2:19pm

Quote:
I doubt a sling stone can even travel 400 meters, let alone hit something with it.

the current world record is 437 metres It was with a normal unshaped stone, I've held it :-)
Someone just didn't do their homework.

And thom richardson was clearly not a very good slinger and just based his findings on what he - personally - could do. Looking at the article - he couldn't do much.

@sarosh - had no idea we were archived anywhere.
Cheers
That's very useful and will be brought to everybody's attention.

Title: Re: Thom Richardson article wanted?
Post by Thearos on May 22nd, 2018 at 11:08am
I agree with Mr Aardvark that Richardson on slinging is uninspiring, both for distance and for accuracy. It's a difficult body technique. It's also probably true that a lot of day-to-day practical non-war slinging for herding and hunting takes place at  distances of e.g. 30-80m, and that long-range accurate slinging with lethal projectiles requires a whole new dimension of training

Title: Re: Thom Richardson article wanted?
Post by Bill Skinner on May 22nd, 2018 at 11:34am
His article actually struck me as, "If I can't do it, then it can't be done."


Title: Re: Thom Richardson article wanted?
Post by Morphy on May 22nd, 2018 at 5:20pm
As a group we may not always agree on the particulars but there is no doubt that the sling's range is far greater than that.

Title: Re: Thom Richardson article wanted?
Post by kicktheotter on May 23rd, 2018 at 7:29am
Even I was getting 120m within the first two days of learning Balearic style using stones of different weights that were roughly rounded but not biconical or aerodynamic. I haven't been able to measure but I'm absolutely sure I can do better than that now I've had some more practice. In the ancient world, practicing everyday from childhood to adulthood? They would laugh at 120m max.

Title: Re: Thom Richardson article wanted?
Post by Thearos on May 30th, 2018 at 11:46am
I agree completely with Mr Skinner: Richardson actually SAYS that he found slinging baffling but then went on to publish his results. Imagine doing this with a firearm or with an edged weapon.

Title: Re: Thom Richardson article wanted?
Post by Bill Skinner on Jun 1st, 2018 at 10:41am
Or a wood plane or a sythe.   Or a blacksmith forge.

He should have just said that he was only able to do what he did but that he was a novice and that someone experienced may be able to do much better. Even if he didn't think it was by much.

Instead, he postulated that he was equal to the ancient slingers and that every historian had lied about what slings were capable of.  He should have used a small amount of common sense and figured that if slings weren't effective, they wouldn't have been used as long as they were.  Especially in warfare, where if it doesn't work, you get killed.

Sort of like with kylies and other flat throwing sticks, the range is listed as rather short and a lot of people doubt how effective they are.  Even though there was an experienced thrower who demonstrated effective they were back in the 1920's by killing a deer with one while on a rabbit hunt.  In front of a bunch of anthropologists.  And there are YouTube videos out with guys throwing them over 100 meters.  And hitting their target at that range, too.

The problem with tools is that the older they are, the more skill and practice is required to use them successfully.

Title: Re: Thom Richardson article wanted?
Post by Curious Aardvark on Jun 3rd, 2018 at 11:57am
in england, this is  a Kylie:

Title: Re: Thom Richardson article wanted?
Post by NooneOfConsequence on Jun 3rd, 2018 at 11:11pm
She looks pretty sharp, but I wouldn’t want to throw her at a deer. Aside from the whole thing being extremely awkward, I might also throw out my back ;D

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