Slinging.org Forum
https://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl
General >> General Slinging Discussion >> Slingers versus archers
https://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1076609590

Message started by Hondero on Feb 12th, 2004 at 1:13pm

Title: Slingers versus archers
Post by Hondero on Feb 12th, 2004 at 1:13pm
This it is the passage that I mentioned in the thread "Ammo storage:". It corresponds to a war by the territory in the first times of Greece:


"... but when the Epeians met them with arms, and it was found that the two forces were evenly matched, Pyraechmes the Aetolian and Degmenus the Epeian, in accordance with an ancient custom of the Greeks, advanced to single combat. Degmenus was lightly armed with a bow, thinking that he would easily overcome a heavy-armed opponent at long range, but Pyraechmes armed himself with a sling and a bag of stones, after he had noticed his opponent's ruse (as it happened, the sling had only recently been invented by the Aetolians); and since the sling had longer range, Degmenus fell, and the Aetolians drove out the Epeians and took possession of the land."

This story seems to me extremely interesting because it is the first, and I think the one, historical narration of a duel between an archer and a slinger. Do you think that slingers have had advantage on the archers in the antiquity?  I think that until the appearance of the compound bow the range of sling was greater than of the bow, and besides its  projectiles were more heavy and destructive. In regard to the precision, a skillful slinger  had not to envy to an archer, although it was easier  to get accuracy with the bow.

Hondero

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by english on Feb 12th, 2004 at 1:34pm
I practise both slinging and archery, but I have to say that it is far easier to get accuracy and train someone quicker with a bow.  Round 1:  Sling:0 Bow:1
 However, slingers can carry far more ammunition, and so can last out longer campaigns.  Sling:1 Bow:1
 Arrows must be constantly tended and maintained.  Stones are easy to find anywhere, whilst glandes need a lot of preparartion; if a slinger is desperate, he can just pick up some nice rocks.  Of course, an archer cannot do this.  Sling:2 Bow:1
  An archer can shoot faster than a slinger; although many will disagree, a highly trained archer can shoot off many more arrows than a slinger can stones in one minute.  Sling:2 Bow:2
  A bow can break easier, and will wear out, whereas a sling will not.  3 - 2
  I think a self bow's range can be very big; think longbows.  A composite bow's range can be enormous (350+ METRES!).  A sling can probably out range a bow, but the slinger needs to be very very strong, and the sling needs to be very good.  3 - 3
  A bow can be used in a more cramped environment than a sling, and can be used better in woodland. 3 - 4
 The bow can also be lethal in more places than a sling, due to barbed heads (although there are many accounts of lead sling bullets, in use by the romans, being shot into flesh and not being able to be pulled out.  This could be lethal, naturally, due to infection.)  3 - 5
A sling can be carried in a  pocket or pouch and does not get in the way.  4 - 5
   A sling is not an extra weight to be carried when fatigue sets in in an army.  5 - 5
 Similarly, enormous carts are not required to transport ordinance, whereas there are tales of ammunition for archers requiring vast amounts of preparation and transport.  Naturally, the same is not true of the sling.  6 - 5
 Anyone else want to add anything?  It looks like the sling might win the contest.  Of course, it depends what you want the weapon for.

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by David_T on Feb 12th, 2004 at 2:01pm
And Don't Forget:

A bow can not hold your pants up! ;D ;D

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Yurek on Feb 12th, 2004 at 2:15pm

wrote on Feb 12th, 2004 at 2:01pm:
And Don't Forget:

A bow can not hold your pants up! ;D ;D


... and a sling can be made of pants but a bow not ;) 5 - 0

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Hobb on Feb 12th, 2004 at 2:26pm
But do you really want to fight without your pants? ;)

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Hobb on Feb 12th, 2004 at 2:29pm
I'm interested in the bit that says "the sling had only recently been invented by the Aetolians."  I'd always assumed that the sling came before the bow in most cultures.  Could it be that the bow is the "Primitive" weapon and the sling is the "Advanced" technology?

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Johnny on Feb 12th, 2004 at 2:42pm
Hondero
What is your source for this story? Herodotus?Polybius?Plutarch? Thanks for posting this interesting story!!
Johnny

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Yurek on Feb 12th, 2004 at 3:12pm

wrote on Feb 12th, 2004 at 2:26pm:
But do you really want to fight without your pants? ;)



No, I don't want. But if I wouldn't have other choice... Anyway, primeval slingers fought without pants :D

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Ulrica on Feb 12th, 2004 at 3:30pm
wow. What a sight!   :o

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Yurek on Feb 12th, 2004 at 3:52pm
Ulrica...

You are ashaming me  :-[

Jurek ;D

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Hondero on Feb 12th, 2004 at 4:33pm
Well, in the worse of the situations, you can even tie the sling to your hips with the pouch on the appropiate place. It is assumed that you are using a sling for big stones  ;D

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Hondero on Feb 12th, 2004 at 4:45pm
Hobb, you are right. There are evidences of sling in Neolithic time, but there are little arrow heads ( from bows) at the end of Paleolithic, about 3,000 years before. But may be the sling appeared when the bow and not drop off evidences (natural stones).

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Foner on Feb 12th, 2004 at 5:11pm
I think that the most important factor is how long does it take you to put the stone or the arrow and throw it. Under equal skill and accuracy, it just depends on how fast you are. It doesn't matter if you hit your enemy with a stone or an arrow. Just like it matters not if your get hit by a bullet from a pistol or a bullet from a sub-machine gun. The important thing is how many bullets can you shot in one second, and in that case you better use the sub-machine gun.

Foner

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by JeffH on Feb 12th, 2004 at 5:48pm
The sling really does have a distinct advantage or two.

I shoot bow and sling.  I have to say that range is not comparable at all.  The sling can easily out range the bow (longbow, selfbow, etc.) And can cause severe damage far away.

In close quarters, I would opt for the bow without hesitation.  I would choose the bow for quick learning.  But it is the sling that would be in my fore ranks at war.  The sling could easily reduce the numbers of your enemy before your archers had to take their first shot.

jeff <><

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Hobb on Feb 12th, 2004 at 7:30pm
I didn't realize slings could even outdistance longbows!  

Kidding aside, Yurek's point about the pants is valid -- I would think slings would be cheaper and easier to supply to your troops than bows, once your men were trained.

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Johnny on Feb 12th, 2004 at 9:00pm
Haven't you guys read Xenophon? The Greeks kept the Persian horse archers at bay with their Rhodian slingers. The Persians got waxed by the Greeks when they brought up their slingers. Get a copy of  "The Persian Expedition" by Xenophon. Great Read!
Johnny

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by David_T on Feb 13th, 2004 at 12:36am
Oh No,

I am going to lose my position as "Moderator" if I'm not careful ::) Forget my comment about a sling being useful as a belt.

Yes, Hondero's post was very interesting and the one of the Greek slingers outdistancing the Persia archers.

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by JeffH on Feb 13th, 2004 at 2:02am
Yes, we must at all times use restraint and modesty when posting.  This is a place abundantly lacking in vulgarities.  Let us strive to keep it that way.

Now, as for slings and bows.  They each have their place.  Fear not slingophiles and archophiles, your weapon of choice remains most formidable and uniquely suited to battle alongside the other.

Personally, I like them both and use them both and make them both.  They are fun to use.

jeff <><

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Hondero on Feb 13th, 2004 at 3:17am
Johnny, the text is from Strabo, Geography-book 8. The story is also narrated by Pausanias in his "Description of Greece".
About the sling range I´ve read that only Turkish compound bows could out range the sling. They could reach 600 meters :o

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Ulrica on Feb 13th, 2004 at 3:22am

wrote on Feb 13th, 2004 at 2:02am:
Yes, we must at all times use restraint and modesty when posting.  This is a place abundantly lacking in vulgarities.  Let us strive to keep it that way. <><


Sorry!
I just couldn´t resist..

Ulrica

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Hondero on Feb 13th, 2004 at 3:33am
It was funny.... can´t we follow on with it? :'(

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Ulrica on Feb 13th, 2004 at 4:02am
Hondero;

I also found it fun and I laugh a lot!
Your part with the sling-protection, was also very good  :)

It was harmless and I think it is nice from time to time to get a bit off-topic, as long it stays "okay", and not get to big.. and as long as no one felt uncomfortable and hurt.

And a laugh make you live longer.. that means we can also sling together longer.

Ulrica

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by english on Feb 13th, 2004 at 4:33am

Quote:
About the sling range I´ve read that only Turkish compound bows could out range the sling. They could reach 600 meters

Well, the Turkish compound bow is no better than the Hunnish, Mongol, Avar, Scythian, Chinese, Persian or Indian compound bows; they all use exactly the same materials, or pretty much (ie, sinew, and horn; this vatries, naturally, as to where it is from, as the Chinese used four pieces of water buffalo horn, the mongols used anything they could find, etc).  As to the idea that they could shoot 600 metres, I believe that would only be possible from a mountain top, with a top end bow of draw weight around, say 150 pounds, and a very strong favourable prevailing wind.  I would rather use the bow in any military or survival situation, because I KNOW that it can go a long way, not snag on any branches and be reliably accurate.  I would have to be very confident with my skills with a sling, whereas with a bow, it is easy to be confident, because of it's ease of use and all that.
 Also, I believe that in order-of-first-used, the primitive weapons are:
1: A rock.
2:A stick
3:A club
4:A spear (with fire hardened point)
5. Knapped flint knife
6:An axe
7:A throwing spear
8:A sling
9:An atlatl
10:A bow
Although this of course may be wrong.  And the australian aborigines NEVER developed a bow-type weapon.  Nor, I think, a sling.

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by english on Feb 13th, 2004 at 5:17am
Having said all of the above, I must say that I think the atlatl is the coolest weapon ever: the sling is very cool, but the atlatl is subzero.  And you can kill something the size of a woolly mammoth with one.  Some archaeologists believe the atlatl is the reason for mass extinctions in north America during the late ice age.  So I would probably use one of them, over bow or sling.  Sorry folks.

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by magnumslinger on Feb 13th, 2004 at 6:44am
This question had to come up sooner or later, but i think it's like asking, who would win: Batman Or Spiderman?  Or, the articles in firearms magazines with titles like,  "Which is more powerful:  .30-06 or .308 heavy loads?"  It's thought-provoking, and great to consider and discuss, but my dad can still whip your dad, no matter which side I take!  The Bow is USUALLY better in confined spaces, but there are certain techniques which allow the sling to ALSO be just as useful in most cramped areas, such as the straight over-the-head  "bowing centerline" technique I've described, as well as one or two others that come to mind.  There's a great website sometwhere that talks all about the ancient Mongols, and says that they sometimes used bows as strong as 300 pounds or more, and the draw weight was customised to match the strength of the archer.  They had to used a full fisted grip, and symmetrical "Sampson-between-the-pillars"-type drawing motion to draw the bows, and a "thumb ring"  (which resembled a sawed-off version of a modern-day guitar) slide to allow the bowstring to slip out of the hand on release without injuring the thumb.  The draw weight was so strong that modern ways of drawing and holding bowstrings would never have worked for the Mongols.  The string was pulled past the ear, and the arrow was held, and shot off of the opposite side of the bow than is done by right-handed archers today.

Another interesting thing is that bows and slings are BOTH difficult to guarantee hits with on small kill zones at long distances using point-type shooting.  If you read the debates on "maximum humane sporting distances" for taking deer, they are surprisingly short (inside of 40m, usually, even for master masksmen.), although people have taken game and killed enemies far in excess of these distances.  

The Benjaminites used both the sling AND the bow, and so would I, given a choice.  Versatility is always preferable.  They are both great weapons, and my mopney in a duel between a slinger and an archer would be on whoever scored the first disabling shot into a vital area of his opponent's body, regardless of the weapon he prefered.

I personally like slings better, but I also really like bows.

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Dan_Bollinger on Feb 13th, 2004 at 8:20am
According to Kaufmann, the usage of the sling and bow were mutually exclusive. A culture would develop one, but not the other with very few exceptions.

I think one very important weapon was left off the list. The sharpened rock, aka flint knife. The rock, stick and club are all found objects in nature. The knapped stone is man's handiwork, man working a material into a new shape and use. Very important. Without this you don't get axes, spears, atlatls, or bow and arrows, which follow it as improvements.

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by english on Feb 13th, 2004 at 8:54am

Quote:
I think one very important weapon was left off the list. The sharpened rock, aka flint knife. The rock, stick and club are all found objects in nature. The knapped stone is man's handiwork, man working a material into a new shape and use. Very important. Without this you don't get axes, spears, atlatls, or bow and arrows, which follow it as improvements.
 Well, I think that by including the axe, I also included the knapped flint, but I will amend this in my post.  The knife is a weapon I would consider very important, but not a primary weapon, unlike (most of) the others.  But thank you anyway. :)

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Hondero on Feb 13th, 2004 at 12:24pm
English, the problem of the origin of the sling is not solved. One thing is the archaeological evidence, that would place the sling in the Neolithic (ceramic projectiles) and another one the invention possibility, that as you say it would locate it before atlatl, after the bolas (similar intrincacy) that were used already in the inferior Paleolithic (500,000 years B.C. in the half of the period). I am convinced that there is its origin, but respecting the archaeological science objectivity, we must not speak of it before the Neolithic (7.000 B.C.), subsequent to atlatl.

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Chris on Feb 13th, 2004 at 4:24pm
I don't think anyone can clearly state the evolution of weapons.   Different weapons developed at different times in different cultures.  I think it's a mistake to generalize.  I do, however, believe that the sling generally came first.  It was much easier to produce than a bow (which really required skill specialization).  Ammo was also simpler and easy to produce; unlike arrows.  It also was a natural progression from bolas (or just rocks on cords; tethered slings).  A bow was a much larger technology jump.  

Chris

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by David_T on Feb 13th, 2004 at 7:54pm
Yes, to everything here stated.

But I still say I like the "vesatility" of the sling--weapon or wardrobe!!   ;D ;D ;D And I think either use has its merits. I must say, I laughed more about the wardobe aspect. ::)

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Yurek on Feb 13th, 2004 at 9:10pm
David,

But what about the sling with the splited cradle?

Jurek  ::)

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by David_T on Feb 13th, 2004 at 11:05pm
Yurek,

Maybe summer air conditioned wardroble--definately not winter wear!!

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Ulrica on Feb 14th, 2004 at 4:21am
*laugh*

Ahh... you guys....   :D

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Hondero on Feb 14th, 2004 at 1:39pm
Definitively the sling as a wardrobe thing is very versatile and also non-discriminative unisex dress. For summer, like you guys say, the one of split pouch or better the one of pouch in mesh. For heavy winter one of dense leather, like those for projectiles of concrete with sharpened edges, and even in leather with hair. And for sundays  and festivities nothing better than a well braided and colourful Andean ceremonial sling, of ample pouch and with tassels at the ends. Hummm, the tassels would be placed behind. What I wouldn´t know is when to use the contest slings like those of Yurek-Whipartist... maybe to bathe?

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Ulrica on Feb 14th, 2004 at 1:51pm
Nice Hondero!!   ;D ;D *LOL*

Is there one special designed with tree Pouches for me??   ;)

Ulrica

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Hondero on Feb 14th, 2004 at 1:56pm
Ohh, difficult question....  you must use two slings:  the conventional one and another like that of the cestrosphendon, that has two pockets :D

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by David_T on Feb 14th, 2004 at 3:58pm
But Alas,

Thought I prefer the sling, the bow could serve as a quick retreat device when the acher is out gunned by the slinger in a winter battle.

He could use his bow as a ski and speed away-- asssuming he were on a hill. Or if one of his companions were killed by the mighty slinger, he could use two bows and ski away as in cross- country skiis? This of course is assuming that they were long bows--recuves might not work so well. ;D

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Yurek on Feb 14th, 2004 at 6:37pm

Quote:
...He could use his bow as a ski and speed away-- asssuming he were on a hill...


In that situation the slinger has adventage over the archer too, because he can use his sling as a parawing and bomb the vamosed archer.

I'm sure that this thread will contribute to arising the new trend of fashion. It would be profitable for popularization of slinging too, since each fashionable person would wear a sling along.


Quote:
What I wouldn´t know is when to use the contest slings like those of Yurek-Whipartist... maybe to bathe?


That kind of a sling should be the best as an evenig lingerie, I suppose.

Jurek ;)

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by David_T on Feb 14th, 2004 at 7:09pm
Yurek,

Wonderful idea mi amigo. Pedo, be sure that you have your wide pouch and not your mesh one or you, the slinger, will also be the projectile!   :o

I am practicing my espanol ;D

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Yurek on Feb 14th, 2004 at 7:31pm
David,

Your Spanish is much better than mine, but I have understood your idea. I'm a bit surprised :D

Just a slinger as an alive rock, something like a kamikaze. Of course, when the stones are finished off.

Jurek :D

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by David_T on Feb 14th, 2004 at 10:29pm
Yurek,

Actually what I mean is---if you used the mesh pouch, it would not catch the air as a parasail and you would fall to the ground like a stone. ooch!

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by english on Feb 18th, 2004 at 11:00am
Ok, I have been convinced that the sling is better.  I was using low powered shots with small stones, but now I am using high powered shots with large stones, I believe it is better than the bow, or anything else.  I can also smuggle it to school and shoot the stupid kids with pieces of blu tac.  Now that is something you can't do with a bow.

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Hondero on Feb 18th, 2004 at 11:21am
And in fact so much envy has the bow to sling that even exist bows to throw stones... well, there are also slings to throw arrows, but they are short darts that can´t be thrown by the bow ;D

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by english on Feb 18th, 2004 at 12:24pm
In fact, it is possible to shoot short darts with the bow.  You use something called an arrow guide.  It is the same length as an arrow, a grooved piece of wood.  This is attached to the bow handle, and one simply draws the bow to the end of the arrow guide, with a dart, and lets fly.  The Koreans used to use these, as did the Indians, from around Delhi, who fought the Mongols.  The problem is that the dart can go mad and fly out of the groove and shoot the archer in the wrist.
  However, I agree that the sling is better... for some things.  

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Hondero on Feb 18th, 2004 at 2:52pm

You see, english, another advantage of the sling on the bow. You never will hurt the hand with it since the stone is always ahead  ;D. Jokes aside, interesting the  the adaptation of the bow for short darts. Which were the advantages on a conventional arrow? It was almost a crossbow...

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by english on Feb 18th, 2004 at 3:01pm

Quote:
Which were the advantages on a conventional arrow? It was almost a crossbow...
 Yes, it was almost a crossbow.  when the Mongols invaded India, they reported, in Secret History of the Mongols, that the Indians were using crossbows, when in fact they were using the arrow guides.  The advantages of using the dart are that they could go further and hit harder, because you are giving the same power to a much smaller projectile, which is lighter, etc.  So they worked very well.  Especially as the bows used by both the Koreans and Indians are strong composite bows.  Similarly, the crossbow is actually a much stronger weapon than the simple bow, or composite bow, and the arrow guide relies on much the same principle.  Anyway, in Korea, traditional archery is encouraged, but I believe, because of an accident with an arrow guide, they have been banned.  That may be slightly wrong, but I don't know.

Title: Re: Slingers versus archers
Post by Yurek on Feb 18th, 2004 at 8:59pm
Here is the link to polish site about the world archery achievements. I'm simply shocked, some distance are terirfic. I'm not able to translate it now. Anyway, the peoples' names, dates, tensions and the ranges are readable for all, some other words probably too. If someone is interested, I will try sumarize selected fragments.

http://www.rycerska.gildia.com/bron/osiagi_lucznicze

Jurek

Slinging.org Forum » Powered by YaBB 2.5.2!
YaBB Forum Software © 2000-2021. All Rights Reserved.