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The Sling ca. 1500-2000 (Read 2162 times)
Subotai_Ba_Atur
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The Sling ca. 1500-2000
Jun 20th, 2006 at 2:08am
 
Sorry to post two topics so fast, but I recently noticed that there is no thread here that goes beyond the middle ages.

Even though the sling was largely extinct in Europe when black powder arrived, it remained in the Americas, and has lasted till today in parts of the Middle East and SE Asia.

Anyone here know how lead from a sling would compare to lead from a harquebus or musket? They did face off in the Spanish-Indian wars in South and Central America in the 1500s and 1600s. Spanish soldiers said that the sling was the only ranged Aztec weapon they really feared.

I saw a picture in Time Magazine (1964) of a US helicopter in Vietnam that had an arrow sticking out of it's fuselage. Does anyone have any information on instances of them shooting slings at us, or earlier the French or Japanese? Arab rioters in Israel and Iraq have made wide use of the weapon.

An interesting side note is the DREAD weapon system project, essentially an electric machine-sling. http://www.defensereview.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=526
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Weirdoinventor
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Re: The Sling ca. 1500-2000
Reply #1 - Jun 20th, 2006 at 8:05am
 
Well, a small lead sling projectile is about the size of a large bullet. It is trown with great speed, but I don't think it's as fast as a bullet. A sling is relatively weak at a short distance. Speed and stealth count. If you sling at somebody from an ambush, they see you rise and sling, and they return fire before you even hit them. So I guess the sling is a battlefield weapon. Large armies entering your range can take significant damage from slings, archers are outranged by it, and it works relatively well against armor. When a submachiner comes arround the corner however, he can kill lots of slingers before they can even try to do something back.
A newer function of the sling could be grenade trowing, they are lighter, smaller and more silent then the modern devices. However, with large range and security, and far less training needed, the modern devices win again.
And that leaves the sling as a riot weapon. Cheap and easy to make, and far superior to trowing stones with your hands, especially since the last option requires you to be very close to the enemy.
So against modern guns I'm affraid that the sling might be a model to old, which of course still is a very respectable score for one of the earliŽst weapons...
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Subotai_Ba_Atur
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Slings don't kill people.
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Re: The Sling ca. 1500-2000
Reply #2 - Jun 20th, 2006 at 7:02pm
 
Oh, no doubt modern repeating firearms are far more effective than slings (save maybe the M-16 family, those guns suck). I was talking about older guns, like matchlocks and flintlocks, as well as instances of the sling's continued use in war in SE asia and the mid-East. I think it would be an important closing topic for the book.
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funda_iucunda
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Re: The Sling ca. 1500-2000
Reply #3 - Jun 21st, 2006 at 4:43pm
 
Subotai_Ba_Atur,

here some figures which I found at Junkelmann, "Die Reiter Roms" (The Roman Horsemen) volume III. He wants to give an impression of how much the modern weapons differ from the ancient. Fairly successfull I suppose:

muskete (type Montecuccoli 1686)      sling
ammunistion: 30,93 gr. lead bullet      glans 60 gr.
caliber:      17,5 mm                  ---
velocity (V 0): 494 m/sec.            50 m/sec.
energy at start: 3774 joule            75 joule


On 30 m distance the muskete bullet penetrated 4 mm thick sheet steel.

funda
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funda_iucunda
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Watt den een sin Uhl is
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Re: The Sling ca. 1500-2000
Reply #4 - Jun 21st, 2006 at 4:47pm
 
My tabel got a little bit mixed. This one can be read more easily I hope:

muskete (type Montecuccoli 1686) / sling
ammunistion: 30,93 gr. lead bullet / glans 60 gr.
caliber: 17,5 mm                             / ---
velocity (V 0): 494 m/sec.               / 50 m/sec.
energy at start: 3774 joule           / 75 joule


On 30 m distance the muskete bullet penetrated 4 mm thick sheet steel.

funda
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Subotai_Ba_Atur
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Slings don't kill people.
I do.

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Re: The Sling ca. 1500-2000
Reply #5 - Jun 21st, 2006 at 7:10pm
 
And what did the sling bullet do?
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Mffmggn flrrflrt glvncs!&&&&-Kenny McCormick
 
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funda_iucunda
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Re: The Sling ca. 1500-2000
Reply #6 - Jun 23rd, 2006 at 4:31pm
 
Junkelmann didn't give any new record about the damage a sling could cause. He just quotes the ancient (among others Xenophon) and the spanish Conquistadores.
I suppose that his figures rely on the article of Baatz (Saalburg Jahrbuch 1990). Zwiebeltuete had a critical look on Baatz' figures on his website.
I got the impression that Baatz calculated theoretically but didn't try any practical experiment. May be that the problem for many archeologists is the prejudice that it takes a lifetime to learn slinging. The members of slingig.org show that this is not true. I think that slinging.org is able to contribute much to the scientific knowledge of the ancient sling. (May be that there are already some academics among us. It would be a gain for all of us.)

funda
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