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Stepping ahead: the Sling (Read 4407 times)
Oleander Ardens
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Stepping ahead: the Sling
Jan 29th, 2007 at 12:26pm
 
While I was backpacking alone in the indian Himalayas I had to face quite often packs of stray and shepard dogs. It was surprising how effective it is to throw stones - it always worked when some dog tried to get lucky. Then I remembered that the sling was the shepard's bow. I guessed that a sling is an ideal weapon to scare off various predators, especially since it can be also efficiently used by weaker persons. In fact given the availabilty of decent stones, it's compact size and weight make it together with it's innocent look an ideal companion for the globetrotter - today and thousends of years ago.

The sling is indeed an ideal weapon of selfdefense. Even a small group of humans, composed of men, woman and bigger children could have shot a high volume of stones in a short time at predators of all sorts. Even if their skill would have varied greatly, just the look and the sound of a slinger would have installed fear into most animals, reminding them of old pains or close misses. Turning the tail becomes quite natural for most predators once they have tested that you are for them no gain without pain.The decent stones which could be used in such occasions were easy to replace. This enabled every member to train or play often with the sling.

Humans propably quickly realized that the power of the sling is also very useful for killing small mammals while it seldomly can bring down a dear-sized game reliably - that's what the Atlatl and later the bow was for. This broadend their supply and hunter base, as woman and children are well able to stalk smaller game. The inability to kill large game with ease and the broad use by the poorest and weakest made it inattractive for the upper social strata in more evolved societies which preferred the bow, which is better suited for most types of hunting.


So far my perspective on the early history of the sling, to be continued...
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Mordechaj
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Re: Stepping ahead: the Sling
Reply #1 - Jan 29th, 2007 at 12:34pm
 
interesting thesis.  Smiley
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funda_iucunda
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Re: Stepping ahead: the Sling
Reply #2 - Jan 29th, 2007 at 4:11pm
 
I'm not sure at all whether the bow is really better for hunting. But surely its production is much more demanding concerning material, skills and time. In short the bow is much more expensive and prestigious than the sling.

funda iucunda
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bigkahuna
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Re: Stepping ahead: the Sling
Reply #3 - Feb 4th, 2007 at 1:50pm
 
I am interested to know if you came upon any native slingers in the Himalayas or India??
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Re: Stepping ahead: the Sling
Reply #4 - Feb 11th, 2007 at 3:25am
 
funda_iucunda wrote on Jan 29th, 2007 at 4:11pm:
I'm not sure at all whether the bow is really better for hunting. But surely its production is much more demanding concerning material, skills and time. In short the bow is much more expensive and prestigious than the sling.

funda iucunda


One big advantage of the bow for hunting is that the release of the arrow is almost instantaneous. Even then animals with extremely quick reflexes can "jump the string" and get out of the way of the arrow. Imagine trying to hit an alert animal like a deer with a helicopter or similar. The deer would be gone before the stone was even out of the pouch. Of course if you are a shepherd trying to scare off potential predators from your flock, this is not such a problem.
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funda_iucunda
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Re: Stepping ahead: the Sling
Reply #5 - Feb 11th, 2007 at 3:40pm
 
Of course the helicopter wouldn't work. As far as I read the Apache style is the only style (single hurl over hand) to hit the game without warning it. I'm no hunter but the article of Forsyth (look at "Articles") seems convincing to me. It relies on the hunting practise of a hungy Apache.

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funda_iucunda
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Re: Stepping ahead: the Sling
Reply #6 - Feb 11th, 2007 at 3:42pm
 
I ment "hungry Apache". Sorry.

funda
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Re: Stepping ahead: the Sling
Reply #7 - Feb 12th, 2007 at 3:43am
 
I also found that article on the Apaches and Grandfather in particular absolutely fascinating. Here was a man for whom no sling meant no eating! It's amazing how the movie industry has left an imprint in our minds of Apaches as being inevitably on horseback and armed with bows.

I have experimented with Apache style but am not sure if I'm doing it right. Results seem promising, though I need a shorter sling. Projectile speed seems to be almost the same as with Greek stye (judged purely by the apparent time between swish and whack of the ball hitting the wall.) A chronograph may tell a different story.
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funda_iucunda
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Re: Stepping ahead: the Sling
Reply #8 - Feb 12th, 2007 at 3:37pm
 
for the Apache style it might be better to use a short sling. I have the feeling that it allows better control and accuracy. But I hadn't the opportunity to check this theory thouroughly so far. May be somebody around here has experience with it.

funda
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Re: Stepping ahead: the Sling
Reply #9 - Feb 12th, 2007 at 7:23pm
 
What is the maximum range of the apache style??
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Re: Stepping ahead: the Sling
Reply #10 - Feb 12th, 2007 at 10:13pm
 
I think that would probably depend on the skill and strenght of the slinger.
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Re: Stepping ahead: the Sling
Reply #11 - Feb 13th, 2007 at 10:23am
 
I tried a slightly different apache style. This is how: Stand just as what you would do normally, but with the pouch held in the non-throwing hand in front. This way, you don't have to worry about grass or uneven ground. I think this slightly adds to the power because the acceleration path is lengthened. I was using a 1-metre sling(with aussieslinger's pouch Grin ), so I don't know the improvements yet....

Has anyone of you tried this kind of style?
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funda_iucunda
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Re: Stepping ahead: the Sling
Reply #12 - Feb 13th, 2007 at 2:52pm
 
During holiday on Madagaskar my father in law interviewed a man who sold leather slings how to use them. He showed him an Apache style shot overarm. The stone flew some estimated 70 to 80 meters. It was just a demonstration and not for accuracy.

If we talk about hunting with slings we should be realistic. Normally a modern shot gun is used on distances not farer than 30 - 50 m. Even for guns with single bullets and a much wider range (boar, deer etc.) are recommended for no farer distance. Though this recommendation is for avoiding any remaining risk of loosing the prey or its long suffering it shows that hunting is even today no long range activity at all.

funda iucunda
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Dale
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Re: Stepping ahead: the Sling
Reply #13 - Feb 13th, 2007 at 8:09pm
 
Loh_kah_hoe,

Yes, I have tried that.  It works well with longer slings.

Steven posted something he had saved, some unknown person describing a conversation with an elderly lady who slung somewhat like that.  If I remember, she tossed the stone and pouch out to her left (toward the target) before whipping it back, under, around-and-over-and-RELEASE!  Very quick, and put quite a dent in a trash can about 30 meters away.

Oh, I found a
link to Steven's post
.
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Re: Stepping ahead: the Sling
Reply #14 - Feb 13th, 2007 at 8:27pm
 
Nice! Shocked I wish I can see some videos of these masters demonstrating the weapon.... Sad

There must be a little trick that gives the power, not only physical strength.... Before, I thought of slinging like whipping, but don't know how... It really does exist! Cool

I must focus on the Apache style.
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