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My Sling (Read 15835 times)
John W. (via Chris)
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My Sling
Sep 13th, 2004 at 9:35am
 
Hello,

I was an avid slinger.  I have made several slings in my youth and used smooth stones as ammo.
I could easily throw 1/4 mile with my sling which measured six feet from pocket to knot.  I used
nylod cord and leather pouch.. my first sling used the leather patch off a pair of Levi jeans.

I always used a leather braclet to hold one end of the rope, but used a knot it that rope further up
so I could feel where both ropes were.  I used a body motion that the discus thrower uses.
My entire body would spin my final throw when I would plant one foot... the left.  The right side of my body would come wheeling around as I released.

I once hit a rabbit at about 50 yards.  Could only find the head and hind legs.. they were not connected.

I was fairly strong and practiced daily for at least a hour.
Since I was born in 1949, I have retired from slinging, but did make one recently that I have not used.  With lead bullets, 500 yards would have been possible, I am sure.  I would be happy to demonstrate technique.  I had two throws.. one flat trajectory throw for less than 100 yards, and one "for the fences" that went very high and far.

When a rock would hit the ground a close range it would make a sound like a bullet, a whine.. very loud due to the rocks shape.

I did my slinging at 18300 East Arapahoe Road, Denver Colo.  We have since sold the estate.
I was at my peak around 1966-67.  There may be local ledgends about the area.

John W.


-------------------------------------------


For now, I offer a few more details:

As for my casting technique, I suppose I should take a short video of this for those interested.
I would not call my style casting, as that sounds like going fishing!  What I do has much more energy.

First I get it spinning round my head, using my left hand to hold the pouch till it is freely spinning.
Then, I start turning my body counter clock wise while acclerating the spinning with my left arm.
As I complete one or two turns of my body (like a discus throw), depending on much power I need
the final thrust comes about as I land on my left foot facing slightly left of target.

I use an slightly overhandish throw for close in, more side-arm for 100 to 200 yards flat shot, and lob it up for maximum distance.  Basic technique is sidearm, like I used to pitch.  Even can do submarine style.  It is not all one style.  Depends on power, angle of attack, etc. needed.  I NEVER used a sling shorter than I was tall.  That is the length measured doubled up.  I always used a leather braclet to attach one end to my arm, but held a knot from each rope to feel where the rope was reletive to the rock.

The pouch was made of leather, with a hole punched in each corner.  The leather is thin, flexible, and strong, and the size of or larger (but same proportions) as a levi leather taken from a levi jeans.
You may not know what that is.. do they still come with that?

Leather boot laces, two, are used.  On the left  side of the pouch, one lace is used to form a loop
thru both holes.  It is tied in a boline not.  It will not slip.  Same for the right side.  The rough side
of the leather should be towards the rock, for good control.  You do not want the smooth leather
against the rock.  You will not get power, or be able to spin the projectile.  These two leather loops,
now tied to the pouch, are then tied to the ends of nylon ropes.  These also use the boline knots.

Singe the ends of the nylon, so they do not unravel.  Use the smalled rope that will not break.
You want the weight at the end, to be the rock and you want minimum wind resistance.  This I had
at 6000 feet altitude where I did my slinging!

The advantage of the loops of leather is that leather on leather will not rip thru.  Also, it cinches the pouch around the rock, holding it secure.  The ideal shape of rock is a not a sphere!  It should be
like you took a ball of clay and made it longer about one axis, but still smooth and round all about.
This long axis is placed in the pouch so that it parallels the two holes on the left, and the two holes on the right of the sling.  Can you picture this?

How long to make the leather parts?  Just long enough to it works.  The extra wind resistance of a lot of leather shoelace out there is not good.  The stonger thin nylon is best for as much of the length as possible.  I did not experiment with other types of knots.

I did make on sling out of all leather.  It was very springy feeling, but I could not get the maximum power out.  It seemed to aborb engergy when I gave it maximum thrust.  It would good fun, or course, but I only made one all leather sling, since I wanted maximum distance and killing power.

Of course, at my age, don't expect the power to be there in full force!  Although, I can still hit
a golf ball > 300 yards, I used to be able to hit them 360.  I don't know what I can do with a sling today, but I can still do the spin, which I like to show people... the body spin I mean.  It is quite
startling.

The sling always went WAY past where I could hit the golf balls.. way over Arapahoe road,
even as far as Davidson's house.  I never used lead, only stone.  Arapahoe road used to be called Davidson Road, since that was the only family East of Parker Road out our way 15 miles SE of Denver.
The super far ones landed too far to spot with naked eye.

Now it is so built up, I could never use that same Knoll as my mound.  I would be hitting homes.

Also, I'm getting old, even have a shoulder that makes some noise.  But it is my left one, and does not figure in.  I live in Arizona now, Chandler AZ.  There is not a park large enough, nor depleted of humans enough for a demonstration.

I will have to go out into the desert to film this.  It will take some time.  Also, I still have to work
for a living!

If I were ever to hunt again, I would use my sling, or for self defense in the open.  It can also be used in close quarters using other techniques.. more on that later.

--------------------------------------------

One more thing..

I can see why my sling design is bettor that those I see "on the web".  The ones on web
do not grip the rock as well, since they depend on braiding techniques and will not automatically balance all forces in the correct directions, as mine does.  They put too much force in the center of the rock, causing it lose of control and power.  sort of like squeezing a water melon seed between your fingers.  Mine is more like a rifle.

Too bad so many slings are not optimal.
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Johnny
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Re: My Sling
Reply #1 - Sep 13th, 2004 at 10:19am
 
John W
You have got to get some photos/video up of your technique! We are all watering at the mouth! You can hit a golf ball at 300 yards?! Incredible! You are a living legend in the tradition of the ancient slingers! We look forward to photos and videos!!
Johnny
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I also love sushi..!
TNslinger  
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Re: My Sling
Reply #2 - Sep 13th, 2004 at 10:26am
 
Wow. †It is so rare that we hear from a true master.  I am inspired to become a great slinger.
†I am fairly sure Levis still come with little pieces of leather.
†Can't wait for the video.
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Re: My Sling
Reply #3 - Sep 13th, 2004 at 11:24am
 
Hi John, this is an intriguing description. I also learned to throw using a full-body spin--but not to the degree you describe, or with the same spectacular results!

When I want to throw for distance, I begin with my back (or even my right shoulder) facing the direction I want to throw, and spin my body to the left, with only a single wind-up spin of the sling itself. I throw in various other ways when I am after shorter and more accurate throws, but this is what I do when I want to put a rock way out into a lake....

Cheers, Ian
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Hobb
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Re: My Sling
Reply #4 - Sep 13th, 2004 at 3:35pm
 
Finally, another Denverite!  I go out to the railroad tracks just south of I-70 at Havana (a little east of 225) to throw rocks.  The Stapleton security guards think I'm nuts, but they leave me alone.  You're right about everywhere being built up.  I keep having to go farther & farther out to find open space.
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Re: My Sling
Reply #5 - Sep 13th, 2004 at 11:18pm
 
I have registered.  I am John Winters, the KnollSlinger.
8)
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The Davidson Road KnollSlinger&&Who can beat me?
 
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Re: My Sling
Reply #6 - Sep 13th, 2004 at 11:57pm
 
I would ask your stature, John, to wield a six foot sling so effectively! † I have used the 'modified discus' form for years, to sling my furthest distances. † But, at 5' 10" I am relegated to a 49" sling for most efficiency. †Having had a modicum of experience with a multitude of sling styles and slinging forms.....I have to say that I am quite puzzled at your choice of such a long sling. †My limited understanding of the dynamics of the sling prevent me from easily understanding how your efficiency is best reached with a sling of that length. †In my mind, such would require a very large man or one at (or slightly above) normal stature, with a commanding grasp of gymnastics. †I too would love to see this curious style of yours! †I would bet that, for it to be truly advantageous, †one would have to spin that 6 footer up to speed with 2 complete revolutions in the least! †I must admit that your rabbit account denotes either a bit of embellishment or naivete, †I'm not sure which. †Although it IS quite possible to hit a rabbit with the sling, †I myself have never experienced anything near what you describe. †The impact force necessary to affect what you purport is fantastic. †Color me suspicious. †I would ask when the body was discovered after the hit, as the only way I know of to affect what you describe under conceivably natural conditions with the sling (ie. rock ammo or anything less than exotic 'core punching' cookie cutter ammo), would be for a predator to have eaten the middle out of your target after the hit and before the find. †

I will stop with a quick caveat, †I am usually quite willing to be educated and do not discount the 'possibility' that you have something to teach!

Welcome and we await your further clarifications or admissions..... Smiley †No judgement either way. †I for one, would absolutely LOVE to see 1/4 mile reached with a 6 foot sling. † Shocked
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Blessings in Yeshua!&&
 
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Re: My Sling
Reply #7 - Sep 14th, 2004 at 1:17am
 
Sounds sweet.  I would love to see a video of your technique.  I can kind of picture it from your description, but could never reproduce it with any sort of effectiveness unless I could see it done. 

Johnny, I might be incorrect, but I think KnollSlinger can hit a golf ball 300 yards; not hit it at 300 yards (as a target).  Tongue That would be impressive in any era.  I had to read it a couple times to make sure that it what I thought he was saying. 

KnollSlinger:  Techstuff is our resident cynic and keeps us all on our toes and we love him for it.  Welcome to the forum.  I'm from Albuquerque, NM and glad to have another slinger in this corner of the world.  Look forward to your input here.

Barak
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Re: My Sling
Reply #8 - Sep 14th, 2004 at 6:59am
 
Hi from Spain and welcome  John winters "KnollSlinger"
Very nice and  interesting info, i also started slinging long ago when i was about  9 or 10 years old, now i'm 48 Smiley
Once i tried a body spinning throw but i ended smashing my head with the rock in the pouch, so i told myself not to try that never again Grin Happy to see that discus movement can work.
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Re: My Sling
Reply #9 - Sep 14th, 2004 at 10:17am
 
John, great reading of your slinging experiences. This is what it takes to keep us on track and  our blood moving.

Using body rotation is important with long slings. I use a wide  pendulum back and forth motion with sling followed by a counterclockwise one half body turn(described previously as a discus style windup). The amount of body rotation is decreased for my shorter slings as they all range between around 48 and 68 inches.  If all goes well I end up giving an overhand heave and follow thru.  I have not used stones for thirty years, just golf balls and baseballs of all sizes. The baseballs gave 114 -128 mph by radar gun for 9 casts at an indoor range with the gun behind a wall size net. The floor was sloped in places and full of ball return trenches. Outdoors with better footing would show at least 140 mph.

Are you kidding about being washed up sling wise?  You are still young and strong. I started abusing slings about age 12 in 1949, then off and on until around 1970, at that point until  1989 helped raise a family. The slinging bug got me and as in many endeavors a challenge got things going. Can I sling a ball as far or farther than a major league batter can slam one? That question answered positively, Iím moving back to denser projectiles again. Still get a gloat out of watching the annual home run hitting contest.

Cast Portland cement (not mortar) seams to work well, although itís just a binder, weighing in at 1.8 oz./cubic inch is more than natural stone.

Thomas         
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Re: My Sling
Reply #10 - Sep 14th, 2004 at 12:18pm
 
Thomas please elaborate on portland cement
and doe that by chance put you in oregon
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Re: My Sling
Reply #11 - Sep 14th, 2004 at 4:25pm
 
John, I really liked your post.  It is something that I would like to try now.   I would be very thankful if you could make a video of this.  Thank you.
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Re: My Sling
Reply #12 - Sep 14th, 2004 at 9:50pm
 
1/4 mile easily, huh?  Pretty cool.  You mentioned pitching, did you used to pitch in college?  Highschool?  Pro?
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Re: My Sling
Reply #13 - Sep 14th, 2004 at 10:40pm
 
LOBO
Common gray Portland cement is calcined lime/clay mixture named for Isle of Portland in southern England. Itís the binder for cement/sand mortar and concrete.
You probably know most of this already but some others may not.

I use the †David T. method for casting using tennis and racket balls cut almost in two. Tape them up after filling and let them †set †for a day before hatching. Wear protective gloves!†

I reside in a red dot near the north coast of Ohio.

Thomas

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Re: My Sling
Reply #14 - Sep 15th, 2004 at 3:17am
 
Ok, this is the whole rabbit story.
I do not embellish.  I do not lie.  And, You should be glad to hear this.  Shocked

  This rabbit was at the top of the Knoll.  I was to the NW of it.  There was nothing behind it.  I was in high school.  I was at the top of my form, sling-wise.  The rabbit presented a side profile to me at 50 yards, a distance I had to work not to sail right over.  How could I pass up this chance?

I got a stone, and used my full spinning technique, with a low shot that MISSED! I do not recall, but I think it went high and left.

The rabbit sensed the screaming projectile, and jumped and look around, but did not run.  It froze again.  Again, it gave me it's side profile as it sat there motionless, thinkg it was not seen??  HA! Grin

I reloaded and again used my full spin, but with an extra low shot this time, since the last was a bit too high.  BINGO.  Oh, yeah, rabbits don't PLAY bingo. I ran to the rabbit.  The head was there.
.........................................
There was a gap of about 9 inches to a foot.  Then there were the hind legs.  The spine and guts were not detectable.  The legs were on the left, the head on the right, as I approached from the NW.

I am sorry if this offends those of lessor ability or those who want to be kind to animals.  This animal did not suffer.  I hope I can die so fast.   Cry  I did not target another rabit with my sling after that.   Cry

I did target, and strike, utility poles and the transformers attached thereto.  My father did not like this.   Embarrassed

The rock was on the heavy side as I recall, something that I decided would be OK due to the short range.

I did not eat the rabbit, or touch it.  I was fearfull of tolerimia.

It was a Jack rabbit.  They are large and were overruning our place.

   I have killed a few rabbtis at other times with firearms, and beat one to death with a shotgun after wounding it and running out of ammo.  It was my father's shot gun and boy was he mad.  I bought him a new one for that December holiday they call Christmass.

My father died Memorial Day, this year.  He could also throw a stone one quarter mile with a sling, and it was he who told me how to make my first one.   Wink

I was about 190 pounds at the time, size 44 long, 6 feet 1 and 1/4 inches.  I did not lift weights much, as they do slow you down. 

I was a pitcher in highschool.. and sandlot, although few would stand in when I played sandlot due to my excissive speed.  I also pitched at M.I.T. 

My problem slinging these days is WHERE?  I may go out with some friends that shoot rifles, since they have four wheel drive.  I hope to shoot movie SOON.  You guys need this.  I want to know my energy compared to rifle.  I think I have more killing power. 8)
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The Davidson Road KnollSlinger&&Who can beat me?
 
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