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Origin & Role of The Sling (Read 7869 times)
Subotai_Ba_Atur
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Origin & Role of The Sling
Jun 18th, 2006 at 3:17pm
 
A lot of people on this site seem to believe that the sling was developed mainly for hunting. I disagree.

There's a book called "Soul of The Sword" by John something or other (too lazy to look up name). He mentions the belief of many archeologists that the sling was mainly a weapon used by shepherds and other grazing nomads for use in herding and shooting predatious animals.

The sling's popularity seems to coincide with the shepherd-farmer split in the neolithic, occuring primarily in the Mid-East. The shepherds used slings, while the farmers, being far too busy to learn any skill that wasn't absolutely necessary, seemed to favor the club.

The author of the book mentions the fact that animal skulls are far too thick and sturdy to be cracked with a blunt melee weapon. Besides, you'd have to be nuts to get that close to a wild animal in the first place. To see these weapons appear so early in history as to predate major warfare suggests that the farmers were looking for some sort of personal protection against human raiders.

I find it hard to see the sling as a hunting weapon for two main reasons. First, it was extremely popular amongst Jews (hunting ain't kosher). Second, it's operation takes space and time, and is likely to spook game, whereas a bow or throwing spear is practically instantaneous, and can be shot/thrown from cover. True, a sling can be whipped in one go, but it's still slower than a bow, and I doubt it would produce enough energy to take down anything but small birds and rabbits.
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Re: Origin & Role of The Sling
Reply #1 - Jun 18th, 2006 at 3:27pm
 
Welcome to the forum....as you search the articles section and various threads of this site,  I'm sure you will come to a greater understanding of this lowly implement, the sling.

Who here has not?


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Willeke
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Re: Origin & Role of The Sling
Reply #2 - Jun 18th, 2006 at 3:30pm
 
We have had several discussions on the power of the sling compared to bow and arrow, the latest you can find by clicking on this link: http://www.slinging.org/forum2/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=project;action=display;num=11...
Maybe that can change your ideas.

There are also a few threads on hunting with the sling, with reports from people using it.
Those are people nowadays who are likely to be less experienced than the early slingers whos survival depended on their hunting skils.

Willeke
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Subotai_Ba_Atur
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Re: Origin & Role of The Sling
Reply #3 - Jun 18th, 2006 at 3:47pm
 
I know how powerful slings are. What I said was that it takes a second to build up to the power needed to penetrate, say, deerhide, in which time you'd have to be pretty lucky not to spook the deer. All that's required to fire an arrow is the release of the bowstring.

If you've found some way around this, please tell.
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Re: Origin & Role of The Sling
Reply #4 - Jun 18th, 2006 at 4:21pm
 
Quote:
If you've found some way around this, please tell.



There's a pun in there somewhere, I just know it!   Wink


Considering that we learn best by experience,  perhaps one could make a sling, and compare the time it takes to release a stone at high velocity, to the speed with which one draws, aims and releases an arrow.


Depending upon one's proficiency level, it can be an eye opener!


There is no denying the power, accuracy, and hunting efficacy of a bow and arrow, but then....perhaps it is too easy to do the same of the sling.  


Afterall, one of history's most famous Israelite's seemed to fare pretty well against a lion, a bear and a rather large, warlike human.



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Mike
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Re: Origin & Role of The Sling
Reply #5 - Jun 18th, 2006 at 4:35pm
 
Hmmmmmmmmm. Oh! I know! David!

What missile is the hypothetical question referring to? Just a rock or something else, like a lead glans or dart?
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Kold
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Re: Origin & Role of The Sling
Reply #6 - Jun 18th, 2006 at 4:46pm
 
I know I am going to be disagreed with on this one, but, pretty much everything in the bible has NO archeological  evidence. It is a wonderful story book, it has moral lessons that should be read but have proved to be nothing more than mythology. I know the sling is powerful enough to hunt with because I have used one and continue to do so out of love and respect for the weapon.

Loki
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Re: Origin & Role of The Sling
Reply #7 - Jun 18th, 2006 at 4:55pm
 

Pick up a copy of BAR (Biblical Archaeology Review) and expand your horizons.... I know it has mine.

Of course there are numerous, more recent and verifiable claims for the accuracy of the sling.  With enough practice and patience....you might be able to recount such example from your own experience!


Wink


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Kold
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Re: Origin & Role of The Sling
Reply #8 - Jun 18th, 2006 at 5:09pm
 
I have read that one. Try getting into pagan studies, it is fun and interesting, and I mean the books that are written by pagans, not "christians"  Grin but do avoid Silver Ravenwolf, Fionna Horne, and various other fluffy bunnies. I have been to your world, come see mine.

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siguy
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Re: Origin & Role of The Sling
Reply #9 - Jun 18th, 2006 at 5:20pm
 
back on topic...


as far as penetrating the hide of a deer quickly, perhaps the apache style and solobo's razor ammo would do the job.  if we can think of it now, who's to say they didn't think of it then?  even if it was as simple as jamming some pointy metal or wood bits into a lump of lead or clay, it would still be effective enough.  also, you could stun (hit him in the head)  the deer and run up and kill it with a club.  there are a number of possibilities, and a desperate man knows no bounds.
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Re: Origin & Role of The Sling
Reply #10 - Jun 18th, 2006 at 5:52pm
 
Kold, when I was young, I explored such environs.....and prefer to leave such realm to the experts.

Siguy, you obviously have personal experience with the power and accuracy potential of the sling.

Smiley



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siguy
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Re: Origin & Role of The Sling
Reply #11 - Jun 18th, 2006 at 6:14pm
 
actually, i have had little experience with either the power or the accuracy potential of hte sling, except when i hit a tree trunk dead center and the stone rikoched  (sp?  Tongue )  off of it and hit me dead center of the forehead.

other than that, i go by the testimony of many past and present generations, as well as my own logic.
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Subotai_Ba_Atur
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Re: Origin & Role of The Sling
Reply #12 - Jun 18th, 2006 at 7:17pm
 
I think you guys are misunderstanding me. I wasn't talking about fire rate. In the hands of a seasoned professional a sling is probably a good deal faster to load and fire than a bow, especially with weighted slipknot.

What I meant was that the act of loading and drawing a bow can be done smoothely and silently, whereas a sling windup is fast and violent. Unless you've done something else to screw up (like being upwind or not concealing yourself) the game will have no idea you're there untill you release the bowstring. a spinning sling, however, will be heard whizzing and seen quickly. I'd imagine you'd have to be a good deal closer than with a bow. Even so, I'd still rather a bow for that particular job.
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Zwiebeltuete
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Re: Origin & Role of The Sling
Reply #13 - Jun 18th, 2006 at 7:33pm
 
There have been ancient lead glandes and stones found where the edges have been sharpened, either to increase the damage or possibly to increase the range.

What the person(s) wanted to develop who invented the sling we will never know. (Probably like in 500 years nobody will know what the persons wanted to develop, who found Viagra.) But what I am very sure is that the sling was soon after used at least ALSO for hunting. You don't have to hunt mamoths to feed your family. A dead rabbit or evel larger animals will feed them too. The kinetic energy of a sling bullet of a well trained slinger with average talent is probably about the same as a small caliber rifle, which is - I believe - used for hunting. The Apache style is also very quick and with a hemp sling silent. So as the sling is a general purpose distance weapon it would be dumb to use it only for one purpose. So why not use it for hunting, warfare, against wolfs, ... ?

Now what I do want to say is, a discussion if the sling has been developed or used only for one purpose is moot. If you have only a sling every problem looks like a target. Smiley

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Re: Origin & Role of The Sling
Reply #14 - Jun 18th, 2006 at 7:43pm
 
I have looked at my Apache video. At 25 fps the whole throw is 15 frames (0.6s) and of this the throwing arm can be seen from the front only 5 frames, i.e. 0.2s. I believe a trained person is faster then me. With a hemp sling the only sound is the rustling of your clothes. After that the time to impact is the same for sling and bow.

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