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Beginners Guide To Sling Ammo (Read 7150 times)
Shultze
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Beginners Guide To Sling Ammo
Apr 30th, 2004 at 7:48am
 
As a newcomer to this forum and to the art of slinging I have some (probably) basic questions about ammunition and projectiles.
A few weeks ago me and some friends of mine where bored, we solved the problem of boredom by constructing a siege machine of some kind. It´s one of my friends who knows more about it but anyway it´s some trebuchet look alike hand powered roman thing, I think. Whatever. As people saw it (and now remember that we live on and go to a school where people spends all days (and nights) of learing of and creating ancient stuff with traditional materials, tools and techniqes) we recieved feedback in how to make it better and what to modify. The best tip however came from a girl in my class who suggested we build staff slings. We did.
We have been shooting stones for a week or so now and of course the round or at least roundish stones are our favorites, no greater secret in why it is that way.

The thing is that I saw pictures of strange looking football shaped ammo. I also read a little discussions of them at this forum. I heard of some roman lead versions and your clay ones. After I´m finished writing this I´m gonna head for the clay room and make a few but I wonder more about them (and other ammo). I made some questions so it will be easier for you to awnser.

1. Why the football shape?
2. What is that kind of projectile called?
3. History of it?
4. I would also like some historical info about ammo for medieval staff slings.

- John
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Matthias
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Re: Beginners Guide To Sling Ammo
Reply #1 - Apr 30th, 2004 at 11:24am
 
Hey Shultze, welcome to the group!  8)

I'll leave the experts to handle most of your questions, but will chip in that it is possible to search the forum (for glans, or glandes). I'm new too and it took a bit of fumbling to figure out that you need to set the date range to somthing like 999 days in order to get any old results, and that the form will reset itself if you go back to do another search so you need to remember to check it again. (hey Chris could the default be longer?)

As for staff sling ammo, I suspect that you find that the ammo was a lot heavier than you're expecting... Also - and most relevant to your question, I don't think that there would be any advantage (and probably a disadvantage?) to using oblong/football/almond shaped projectiles with a staff sling. With a hand sling, the glans is released so it spins on its' long axis, and flies point first or point first but slightly raised. A staff sling would always (at least the way I've built them?) release with backspin, long axis horizontal and perpendicular to the flight path... Not too aero!

Matthias
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srgs9
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Re: Beginners Guide To Sling Ammo
Reply #2 - Apr 30th, 2004 at 11:30am
 
John, welcome to the group... As far as history goes were looking at 30,000+ years of R&D from all over the planet. The reason for the football and eggshaped glandes(Roman term) is less drag thus more range and better penetration. Somewhere in another thread there is a list of names for slings in other languages...I can't remember if ammo was mentioned.
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Chris
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Re: Beginners Guide To Sling Ammo
Reply #3 - Apr 30th, 2004 at 12:09pm
 
Welcome John,

There is still much debate about why many later projectiles were (American) football shaped.   The jury is still out on whether they truely would fly point first because of some unique areodynamic properties.  However, assuming they do (which we assume they did, otherwise why would the Romans use them), there are some benefits.

- Greater penetration force if the projectile lands point first.

- Air resistance (drag) is determined by the surface area presented to the wind.  Having a longer elliptical projectile has greater mass, but less presented surface than a sphere.  This means increased range.  

As far as I know, this innovation is first seen with the greeks.  It wouldn't surprise me if some of the other ancient empires (Babylonians, Sumerians, Assyrians, etc.) had them too. 

Chris

P.S. I don't know how to change the search default.  Seems kind of silly to me too.
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Hobb
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Re: Beginners Guide To Sling Ammo
Reply #4 - Apr 30th, 2004 at 12:50pm
 
I've got a staff-sling and a Hoopak (don't ask, it's like a modified staff-sling), and neither of them fire with the kind of speed, precision and power of a hand-held sling.  The only advantage to them that I can see is that they throw larger, heavier, ammunition -- MUCH larger.  The optimal ammo so far, at least for my toys, is a round or oblong stone somewhere between the size of a grapefruit and a cantaloupe.  They don't go far, but I fired off a rock that size into a small chunk of concrete at about 20 yards, and the concrete disintegrated!  No damage to the stone!  (No, I'm not that accurate yet.  I was firing into a pit filled with small chunks of concrete).
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english
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Re: Beginners Guide To Sling Ammo
Reply #5 - Apr 30th, 2004 at 1:34pm
 
There is a combination of probable reasons for the shape of glandes that you might want to find out about:
The above ideas about decreased drag are interesting.
They might be that shape so as to be easily loaded into the Roman (split) pouch slings.
The point, also, is a good idea, but I do not see any logical reason why the missiles would rotate in flight.
  The history of the sling is very long, and of course it depends on which part of the planet we are discussing; A LOT of cultures have used the sling at at least one point in their history; therefore, there can really be no brief overview, unless one discusses the evolution of the sling.
  Information about roman/medieval staff slings can be found on a few websites, but I think that Nikolas Lloyd's site, and another website mentioned in another thread are the best.  I think it was something to do with the Anglo Saxons, Regia Anglorum or something.
  I think that staff slings can give a lot more consistency of throw than regular slings, but that is just because there are three factors determining when the stone is released; weight of the projectile, angle of the hook on the staff, and length of the staff.  With the normal sling, you must choose when to release yourself, and so this can vary a lot over a hook, which will rarely change.
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srgs9
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Re: Beginners Guide To Sling Ammo
Reply #6 - Apr 30th, 2004 at 1:43pm
 
Hobb,
I'm pretty impressed with my staff sling using clay galandes, tennis balls and such. Granted I'm not slinging bowling balls but the range and speed of the ammo is at least twice that of my hand slings with the same rounds. My staff sling is about 42" (the staff part) and takes some getting used to, but I can see how the long range would come in handy... I've been wanting to build a longer one but haven't gotten a round to it yet.
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David_T
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Re: Beginners Guide To Sling Ammo
Reply #7 - Apr 30th, 2004 at 3:02pm
 
Hey there Engish,

Your comment:

"The point, also, is a good idea, but I do not see any logical reason why the missiles would rotate in flight." baffles me.

Surely you do not mean that you don't think the projectile rotates as a football in flight?? If so, all you have to do is find some elongated stones or concrete, about 50-70 yards of open space, and you can prove this fact to yourself. In fact, get a long fist size chunk and sling it. You can watch it wabble, wabble, wabble, as it goes through the air and slowly achieves a more concentric rotation. The smaller pieces imediately take on a football like spiral rotation, and depending on the angle of release, they work their way through the air into a point first orientation. I am right handed and mine always fade to the right point first. Sling them in a high arcing trajectory so you have more time to observe them. Try some --you will see Grin
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Matthias
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Re: Beginners Guide To Sling Ammo
Reply #8 - Apr 30th, 2004 at 3:22pm
 
That comment got me too! I suppose if you had some sort of really slippery (or high tech(stuf)) pouch design you could minimise spin, but even my polyethylene twine designs put massive spin on the projectile. The cardboard tailcone that I taped to a tennis ball while cheating at the "great sling challenge" really showed this off too, and demonstrated quite nicely that a projectile (even an aero stabilised one, fletching etc) is going to hold the launch attitude due to the spin.

Matthias
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Hobb
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Re: Beginners Guide To Sling Ammo
Reply #9 - Apr 30th, 2004 at 4:16pm
 
Quote:
Hobb, 
I'm pretty impressed with my staff sling using clay galandes, tennis balls and such.

srgs9:
My staff-sling's only about 30 inches -- that should account for some of it.  I'm betting pouch design and cord length are factors, as well.  Maybe it's worth experimenting farther (further?), 'cause right now I'm getting twice the distance of my staff sling out of my hand slings!  I'll have to try some casts with more uniform ammo than I've been using.

Quote:
The smaller pieces imediately take on a football like spiral rotation, and depending on the angle of release, they work their way through the air into a point first orientation.


David_T:
Yup. 

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srgs9
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Re: Beginners Guide To Sling Ammo
Reply #10 - Apr 30th, 2004 at 5:34pm
 
Hobb,
Might just be the cord length and ammo weight.  I've only been fooling with mine half hartedly so I'm not realy sure about the ratios. Looks like another case of the R&D blues this weekend... Now if I could just figure out why all of my "simple hobbies" turn into a physics nightmare...
... A wise man once said "research is something done when you don't realy know what you're doing..." I'm sure I've got enough electronics parts to build a time mechine but wouldn't want  to be the one to plug it in. My luck I'd end up in the heat of battle wondering where my clothes went.
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Hobb
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Re: Beginners Guide To Sling Ammo
Reply #11 - Apr 30th, 2004 at 5:52pm
 
  Grin
We've got some pretty yucky weather out here right now, so I'll give this weekend a miss, but that gives me the week to fiddle with design specs.  I gotta say, though, I rather like lobbing giant rocks -- like pre-industrial artillery.  Maybe I'll get me one o' them trebuchets...
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srgs9
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Re: Beginners Guide To Sling Ammo
Reply #12 - Apr 30th, 2004 at 6:29pm
 
Getting pretty bad here as well...looks like I need to disconnect my antenna as lightning can be shocking.... I'll try and get some pics this weekend. If nothing else I can figure out how to get my POS dig. cam to work as far as sending out stuff. Hey maybe I can get some shots of "the modern slinger" ... I use an M18A1 (claymore mine) bag as my sling bag.
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big_sling_gland
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Re: Beginners Guide To Sling Ammo
Reply #13 - Jan 4th, 2008 at 8:16pm
 
foot ball shap is for areodynamics.
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