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Were ancient Balearic war slings tapered ? (Read 7375 times)
JerrySlinger
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Were ancient Balearic war slings tapered ?
Oct 11th, 2009 at 10:49pm
 
Does anyone know if ancient Balearic slings tapered or were they the same width on the tension and release cord? I am curious why they are tapered like a whip and if they were always that style.
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Re: Were ancient Balearic war slings tapered ?
Reply #1 - Oct 12th, 2009 at 1:48am
 
In places where things are made according to a tradition there is often very little if any change evenover centuies. So It is likely that "ancient" Balearic slings were the same as they are today. However as slings are made from natural materials it is unlikely there are any slings around more than a century or so old. Of course that's a guess so it may be way out.

Tapering the release cord gives two advantages. Firstly the end behaves more like a whip and gives a louder crack on release. Secondly, due to less weight, there is less jarring of the hand as the released sling snaps straight making it more pleasant to use.
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JerrySlinger
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Re: Were ancient Balearic war slings tapered ?
Reply #2 - Oct 12th, 2009 at 2:43am
 
The only problem I see with tapering is that it weakens the sling. In war time I would want the most durable weapon possible. Also I don't see why a loud crack on a war sling is an advantage. Except for intimidation there may be times when you might not want to give up your position to the enemy with loud cracks. I really became curious to this question after seeing T.J. Potter's Balearic style sling which isn't tapered http://www.seekyee.com/Slings/gallery/bal1.htm and it doesn't appear tapered in wikipedia either http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Balearic_Slinger.jpg . I have very little knowledge as to how slings were used in war so I am very curious.
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Re: Were ancient Balearic war slings tapered ?
Reply #3 - Oct 12th, 2009 at 8:43am
 
Don't know if they taper their release cords or not but on my 6 strand slings I pretty much have to taper the release cord. Once I fold over the finger loop I'm dealing with 12 strands that I have to braid so things can get pretty messed up if you're not careful.  After the pocket I'll normally work back about 3" and cut one out of the heard, then go another 3" and cut the second, then 3" and the next one and work my way back until I've got 3 strands left. Then I'll braid them back a few inches and tie em' off. I can then tie a knot where I'll need it for my thumb and finger to hold onto the release cord.  If nothing else it makes the slings look a lot better and cuts down on air resistance when you sling.
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Re: Were ancient Balearic war slings tapered ?
Reply #4 - Oct 12th, 2009 at 8:53am
 
I'm with aussie - given the serious slinging traditions still going on, I'd say they're the same today as thy've always been.
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Re: Were ancient Balearic war slings tapered ?
Reply #5 - Oct 12th, 2009 at 4:28pm
 
well tapering has the added advantage of not hooking to the direction of the throw. this slows the release cord and makes the shot of mark. paleoarts has a sling with a tab, but he trained wit hit and knows how to sling wit hit right. but when i used it my throw was way off

and, they aren't using cheap nylon crap made from flexible god knows what. they're using strong naturally harvested fibers that will be nearly impossible to break.

loud cracks wouldn't help or not- most slingers weren't for skirmishes and quick silent hit and run. a javelin would be better for that.
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Re: Were ancient Balearic war slings tapered ?
Reply #6 - Oct 12th, 2009 at 11:12pm
 
With my experience using Balearic style sling for a while, (You can check out my pics of my braided Balearic style slings) doesn't agree with your first sentance. All of my tapered slings will handle heaver weight rocks ( 1-200 grams) if I increased the size of my pouches to the full 17cm they would handle 500 g rocks all day long.

I tend to sling 50 to 200 gram rocks out of my balaric style slings. Most of them are landscaping rocks I pick up at one of the local hardware stores.

I have never had any of my tapered braided slings give under load. Can't say the same for my leather pouches. All the braiding I do is with Jutte and Sisal I purchase from hardware stores. For the slings I enter in Historical Arts and Science competitions I use hemp twine I pick up at Wal-Mart for those. And I also do sling with those display models, same thing.

Have to remember that in the ancient armies there wasn't a lot of the sneak and peek that you see today, and trust me by the time ya hear those loud crack the stones are only seconds away from landing.


JerrySlinger wrote on Oct 12th, 2009 at 2:43am:
The only problem I see with tapering is that it weakens the sling. In war time I would want the most durable weapon possible. Also I don't see why a loud crack on a war sling is an advantage. Except for intimidation there may be times when you might not want to give up your position to the enemy with loud cracks. I really became curious to this question after seeing T.J. Potter's Balearic style sling which isn't tapered http://www.seekyee.com/Slings/gallery/bal1.htm and it doesn't appear tapered in wikipedia either http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Balearic_Slinger.jpg . I have very little knowledge as to how slings were used in war so I am very curious.

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Re: Were ancient Balearic war slings tapered ?
Reply #7 - Oct 13th, 2009 at 4:15pm
 
oh yeah, the most force that is on the sling is where the retention cord and pouch meets.
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Re: Were ancient Balearic war slings tapered ?
Reply #8 - Oct 13th, 2009 at 11:52pm
 
I would guess that the Balearic slings were made without tapers at first, this being a more straightforward design, and that tapered release cords were developed after some time. At what point tapers were first used is more than I can say, but I see no reason that it couldn't have been in ancient times.

One thing to consider is that the sisal fibers used to make the nicely tapered Balearic slings today were used in ancient times, so the ancient slings likely would not have had as graceful a taper as they do today.

-Timothy Potter
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Re: Were ancient Balearic war slings tapered ?
Reply #9 - Oct 14th, 2009 at 1:03am
 
I am assuming Timothy that you meant to post that the Sisal fibers were not used in ancient times. Since Sisal is a 19th century development. It comes from a sterile member of the agave family and didn't really take off as a commercial fiber plant until the 19th century.

Traditional Balearic slings were made from Esparato, Black Tufted Rush, and Hemp. ( Or at least I can document those Fibers from historical sources)

Marc Adkins

Timothy Potter wrote on Oct 13th, 2009 at 11:52pm:
One thing to consider is that the sisal fibers used to make the nicely tapered Balearic slings today were used in ancient times, so the ancient slings likely would not have had as graceful a taper as they do today.

-Timothy Potter

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JerrySlinger
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Re: Were ancient Balearic war slings tapered ?
Reply #10 - Oct 14th, 2009 at 5:53am
 
So why use sisal?
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Re: Were ancient Balearic war slings tapered ?
Reply #11 - Oct 14th, 2009 at 4:04pm
 
dunno Roll Eyes
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Re: Were ancient Balearic war slings tapered ?
Reply #12 - Oct 14th, 2009 at 5:23pm
 
I have been looking for hemp and I can't find it anywhere..only jute and sisal. I wanted to make my next one out of hemp but made it out of mason line instead. I don't know if it is all in my head but I can throw a lot harder and further with my mason line sling then I can with my sisal ones which are all the same demensions.  I didn't taper the mason line sling because it the nylon is so slippery I don't think it will stay clean for long. But back to tapered fiber slings not being strong.. I hung one of my tapered sisal slings through the finger loop from my chinning bar the other day and was able to hang and swing from it and everything. I am 150lbs so it is pretty strong..In my search to find if their slings were tapered I read that the first ever armored boat was made because the Balearic slingers were able to sink boats from the shore with their slings. That's pretty amazing http://periodictable.com/Items/082.58/index.html
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Re: Were ancient Balearic war slings tapered ?
Reply #13 - Oct 14th, 2009 at 5:40pm
 
I think that's not quite right-- it was screens to protect the crews of rowers and marines on Metellus' ships (nicknamed "Balearicus" for his conquest of the islands), not to prevent Balearic slingers from sinking warships.
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Re: Were ancient Balearic war slings tapered ?
Reply #14 - Oct 14th, 2009 at 6:10pm
 
Wal-Mart Craft Section, Around the jewlry making supplies

That's where I get mine.

Marc Adkins

JerrySlinger wrote on Oct 14th, 2009 at 5:23pm:
I have been looking for hemp and I can't find it anywhere..only jute and sisal.

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