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Question: What Is Your Ideal Ammo Weight?

20-40 grams    
  0 (0.0%)
30-60 grams    
  3 (6.0%)
40-70 grams    
  3 (6.0%)
50-80 grams    
  6 (12.0%)
60-90 grams    
  9 (18.0%)
80-120 grams    
  7 (14.0%)
100-140 grams    
  9 (18.0%)
120-160 grams    
  7 (14.0%)
160-200 grams    
  3 (6.0%)
200+ grams    
  3 (6.0%)




Total votes: 50
« Last Modified by: Whipartist on: Oct 11th, 2011 at 3:46am »

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Your Ideal Ammo Weight, The Ancients, And Accuracy (Read 12741 times)
rockslingerboy2
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Re: Your Ideal Ammo Weight, The Ancients, And Accu
Reply #30 - Oct 14th, 2011 at 4:28pm
 
A 25 gram stone isn't going to have much killing power - you really need to be rocketing fairly sizeable rocks at very high speeds to take out even small game and medium sized birds if hunting - wild creatures are incredibly tough and can still escape when injured.
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Re: Your Ideal Ammo Weight, The Ancients, And Accu
Reply #31 - Oct 15th, 2011 at 1:00am
 
Let me just quote Korfmann.  

Quote:
Measurement of a representative sample of biconical and ovoid stone missles from sites in the Near East indicates how broad the range could be.  The minimum weight was 13 grams; the maximum, 185 grams.  With respect to volume the range was from five cubic centimeters to about 65.  (If the missled had been perfectly round, the diameters corresponding to these extremes in volume would have been respectively about two centemeters and five centimeters.)

Taking sling missiles in general, whether they were made of stone, clay or lead, the range of weights is usually narrower than this.  Few of the lighter missiles weigh less than 20 grams and few of the heavier ones more than 50.  This was true, for example, in Roman times.  In 1885 the German classical scholar K. Zangemester published among other findings the weight of sling missiles from the certain sites in Sicily and Italy.  He found that the missiles with the lightest average weight (ranging from a minimum of 24 grams to a maxium of 46 grams) were from Sicily.  The heaviest were from Asculum, a mainland site; their average weight was over 47 grams.  Those from a second mainland site, Perusia, were intermediate in weight.  

The missiles sometimes used by the Balearic slingers provide a notable exception to even the Near Eastern maximum of 185 grams.  The Sicilian-born historian Diodorus Siculus, writing in the first century B.C., gave and account of the Battle of Eknomos, where carthaginian forces, including 1000 lightly armed Balearic slingers, defeated Agathocles of Syracuse.  The slingers are given much of the credit for the victory.  Diodorus stated that their stone missiles weighed on mina each.  Nw the mina is variously calculated to be equivalent either to 300 grams or to 450 grams.  If one conservatively chooses the lesser value (which roughly corresponds to the Roman pound and the Attic mina) and assumes that the Balearic missiles were made of limestone, each stone would have been 6.3 centimeters in diameter, or nearly the size of a tennis ball.  That size and weight probably represents the outside limits for sling missiles made of stone.


And to further back this data up, here's a quote from Hondero's wonderful book at Project Goliath http://slinging.org/wiki2/index.php/Main/PROJECTILES

Quote:
Thousands of clay projectiles have been found throughout the Middle East, corresponding to this period, and equally in many other places and periods, such as in North Africa, Sicily, Sardinia, etc. Above all, they were used by the Carthaginians, who were perhaps the ones who spread this type of projectile throughout the nearby Mediterranean. Thus we find them also in Roman archaeological beds, and even the Gauls used the incendiary projectile of fired clay. Their shapes were varied, from spherical (fairly rare) to ovoids, biconicals, spindle-shaped, etc. Their size, being variable, could be placed in average terms around 4.5 x 3 cm and weighing around 35 grams.

To mention a typical bed of these projectiles, the excavations and ruins of Carthage have brought up thousands of clay projectiles, used in the defense of the city against the Roman attack.

In Numancia, these projectiles have also been found, of an average weight of 30 grams and of biconical or ovoid shape, although their Celtiberian affiliation is not clear as they do not appear in other settlements. They may have belonged to African auxiliaries supplied by King Yugurta, who fought against the Numancians on the orders of Scipio. In fact, a group of them have appeared near others of Roman lead, below the layer of ashes and remains that identified the siege and tragic destruction of the city (3).


The entire page where this quote comes from is well worth reading for anyone interested in this subject.

If anyone likes slinging heavy, that's great.  Many ancients did, and heavy projectiles from long slings deliver the most energy to their targets, as a rule.  Obviously the Balearic Islanders, the Persians and others which have been mentioned, slung large projectiles.  

Yet just the same, the majority of stone, clay or lead sling missiles found and described in Korfmann's landmark work and in Project Goliath, were under 50 grams.

Please note also that the stones found at these sights do stand out as being used for slings because they have been shaped.  They aren't your average river rocks, but rather carved football shaped stone projectiles which clearly distinguish themselves from the natural surroundings.

If that's like slinging a pack of cigarettes and wouldn't even kill a bird, then I guess the ancients must have been hunting mice or something?  Or else the alternative was that they had far more velocity and accuracy behind their shots then we are presently imagining, making every shot worth the great efforts they put into crafting and shaping the projectiles they used, be they stone, clay or lead.

Out of 22 votes so far, we only have one vote for the weight range described by both Korfmann and Hondero.  

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Jaegoor
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Re: Your Ideal Ammo Weight, The Ancients, And Accu
Reply #32 - Oct 15th, 2011 at 5:30am
 
A lower weight is lighter to be shot. However, it also often leads to a bad Sling method. With higher weight one feels the Sling much better. And one learns the strength of the Sling where from really comes.

For many light projectiles there is still another explanation of the use.
One has not shot them individually. But as Schroot Just for the hunting on birds
if the big advantages have.

If this is, however, really in such a way, one has also shot a higher weight.
Several Glandes bring it easily on weights of from 100 to 200 g
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Re: Your Ideal Ammo Weight, The Ancients, And Accu
Reply #33 - Oct 15th, 2011 at 7:18am
 
Interesting reply, Whipartist. A few points:

Zangemeister's publication is one of the basic, and early sling bullet publications-- so his figures apply to lead bullets (Asculum, Perugia). The Sicilian ones (this is before the big Monte Iato excavations) are probably clay. So: lead bullets weight usually btw 25 and 50 g. You are right that some stone projectiles, and clay biconals, are also in the light range.

But this does not mean that we should sling light stones if we want to imitate the ancients, nor that the ancients 'usually slung light". The stone "acorns" and the clay biconals are in fact rare, and to be considered huting ammo. or short-lived solutions or special ammo (as in heated clay bullets); most ancient sling stones were big and heavy, as shown by visual evidence, from the Makron cup (480 BC) to Trajan's column (AD 117), and by archaeological finds where documented. Most sling stones, of course, will not show up as such in the evidence.

[Edited for spelling of Makron]
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Re: Your Ideal Ammo Weight, The Ancients, And Accu
Reply #34 - Oct 15th, 2011 at 7:22am
 
Today I bought a kitchen weight, so now I know something about the ammo weights I use.  Mostly I use tennis and bandy balls, the latter weight a few grams more than the tennis balls (both around 60 grams), but behave more like golf balls (=much better Cheesy)
For stones I have lately used some wheighting 200+ grams, and like them for close range/short sling accuracy slinging.
But they are not optimal for long sling/distance work, and is heavy to carry.

My older stones is +/- 100 grams, I`ll test myself again with them with the long sling when the soccer field is free from people.
They work fine for accuracy too, but when the heavy stones hit they hit Wink

I`ll not be difficult though, give me stones from 80 - 250 grams and I`m a happy slinger Cheesy
timann

PS I find figure8 good with all ammo weights and all sling lenghts (relevant to me-27 - 41")
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Re: Your Ideal Ammo Weight, The Ancients, And Accu
Reply #35 - Oct 15th, 2011 at 11:52pm
 
Quote:
But this does not mean that we should sling light stones if we want to imitate the ancients, nor that the ancients 'usually slung light". The stone "acorns" and the clay biconals are in fact rare, and to be considered huting ammo.


Quite rare?  The trusted sources I quoted from express them as being the dominant stuff found.  How can anyone know that they are hunting ammo?  Please cite your source for this opinion.

Quote:
or short-lived solutions or special ammo (as in heated clay bullets); most ancient sling stones were big and heavy, as shown by visual evidence, from the Makron cup (480 BC) to Trajan's column (AD 117),


The Makron cup offers absolutely nothing in the form of proportion.  The stone in the sling cradle is about two to three times the size of the stones bouncing out of the bag carried oddly on his arm, which should be free for battle and balance.  I wonder if size 15 4E feet were common among ancient slingers as well?  

Trajan's Column is the same thing as above.  Does anybody on slinging.org sling grapefruit sized stones with a sling shorter than the length of their forearm?  Once again the stone in the sling is more than twice the size of the ones in his tunic.  In fact that stone is as big as his size 5 6E foot.  His toes are long enough to be used for fingers.   The handle on his sword doubles as a toothpick once you unscrew the pommel.

Can anyone figure out how the slinger on Trajan's Column reloads his sling, once he lets go of his first shot?  His left arm and hand are completely pre-occupied both with a heavy shield in his hand, and in holding those big stones in his tunic from falling out.  Have you ever tried to reload your sling without your other hand?  

Also, judging by the way his tunic is slung over his arm, balancing the weight out of all those stones, that tunic is either made of lead lined fabric or else those stones are actually really light in weight, and exaggerated in size only for artistic reasons.  Because if those are big rocks, the weight of that tunic isn't going to hold them up for a second.  

These artistic representations of slingers show little more than that slingers were around at the time of the artist's work, that they slung things they carried in quantity, and that they were in battles.  The pictures seem to me to indicate a stylized unfamiliarity with some of the realities of actually using the weapon.    

Crude disproportionate artistic pictures are poor evidence of proportion, size, and weight of real world items.

Quote:
and by archaeological finds where documented.


Which documented finds? 

Quote:
Most sling stones, of course, will not show up as such in the evidence.


That's an argument from silence.  Actually even natural river stones really stand out when they are found, away from rivers.

I don't doubt that many ancient slingers slung big.  But the sources I quoted show stone and clay projectiles in the lower weight ranges as being the dominant finds.  Until I am made aware of other finds which show that the above sources are out of date, I have to conclude they aren't.  

Quote:
For many light projectiles there is still another explanation of the use.
One has not shot them individually. But as Schroot Just for the hunting on birds
if the big advantages have.


The shaped sling projectiles were definitely not shot, which is logically round or else just crude small river stones.  There is zero point to taking minutes if not hours and hours to carve a perfectly shaped ovoid out of solid rock, just in order to sling it in the form of shot.  Shot achieves its effect through dispersal and quantity, not specially carved shape.  

Also, if this were the case then I'm assuming that you'd also expect glandes to be a form of shot, given that they are in the same shape and weight class as the stones?

It's fine if many people on slinging.org like to sling heavy.  It is a valid way to sling both historically and for physical reasons.  But no modern slinger's preference changes history.  I think lighter weight sling projectiles have not been an adequately explored subject among us modern slingers and merely want to point that out.  


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Re: Your Ideal Ammo Weight, The Ancients, And Accu
Reply #36 - Oct 16th, 2011 at 8:21am
 
Thearos wrote on Oct 13th, 2011 at 1:06pm:
And how do we say "This pebble was used for slings" ? At maiden castle in Dorset, the huge ammo dumps are almost certainly for slings, so we get a good idea for ancient celtic slingstones-- big things.


I like big stones just under 1/2 lb and up, maybe it's the Irish (Celtic) in me that does it?  Maybe I'm just mean though, I'll put any random piece of junk in the pouch to see if I can sling it.  I shot a big twisted piece of scrap metal, like half a chair.  I made it go like eight feet  Grin  I tried to sling some rebar, and failed miserably. Embarrassed  Batteries and little bits of scrap-iron are great.  Sticks and logs do not work, but little wood nuggets do.

Whipartist wrote on Oct 15th, 2011 at 11:52pm:
 I think lighter weight sling projectiles have not been an adequately explored subject among us modern slingers and merely want to point that out.  


Little dense stuff, even rocks, shoots a touch farther IME, but is a little harder to aim.  Maybe that's why they used light stones, for range.  I put an iron bolt into a hill at 45 ft, deep enough I couldn't get it back.  So penetration might be it too, if the enemy was poorly armoured.
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Re: Your Ideal Ammo Weight, The Ancients, And Accu
Reply #37 - Oct 16th, 2011 at 10:04am
 
@Whipartist:

I write about the period I know best, classical Graeco-Roman antiquity. Clay biconals are a rarity. Stone 'acorns" are nearly unknown. Case: the "small material" from Kameiros on Rhodes, published by the Italians, in monographs ans as aprt of the Annuario della Scuola Archeologica di Atene. I've read the excavation reports One shaped stone bullet (Italian exavation), as opposed to 20-30 sling bullets out of lead. This does not include the countless lead bullets from the countryside (Kalavarda).  Case: excavation of the Pythion at Athens, or of the shrine of Athena at Stympahos: lots of lead sling bullets, no clay or "stone acorns"

It is true that clay is found e.g in N. Africa or Syria (Bronze age). Also in Sicily (Monte Iato).

Hunting ammo: this is my speculation, based on two things-- 1. it takes surprisingly little shock to kill a bird. 2. It is a good idea not to mash the bird.

Makron cup: the point is that this slinger is throwing big round things, the "hand-filling stones" known from the literary sources. Another C5th cup shows a big chunky stone.

Trajan's column: perhaps the sling size is problematic, and the coat fold has been a puzzle. But the artist assumes that sling stones are big.

Liv. 38.20-21 shows Acilius Glabrio, in his campaign against the Galatians, gathering lots of projectiles for the forthcoming battle, including "mid-sized stones that can be thrown with the sling".

Archaeological finds: those quoted above, and of course Maiden Castle.

It's not quite an argument from silence, it's an argument from absence, and from pattern of finds corresponding to visual and literary sources.

Therefore: I submit that slinging very light stones does not reflect widespread ancient practice; perhaps hunting practice. Whipartist is right to draw attention to the lightness of clay bullets. But by the "golden age of slinging" (400-50 BC), the choices are "smashers", heavy stones, or "hi-velocity", light lead sling bullets.

(Edited: spelling of Pythion corrected. Monte Iato added.)
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Re: Your Ideal Ammo Weight, The Ancients, And Accu
Reply #38 - Oct 16th, 2011 at 11:45am
 
The other site from Classical antiquity where sling projectiles have been found in vast quantities is Olynthos.

Note this paper on Olynthos (which wonders if slings weren't used indoors):

http://www.history.ucsb.edu/projects/histpublications/files/00070-lee_2001.pdf

He also notes that Pritchett observes that classical archaeologists usually don't pay attention to stone or clay projectiles, only lead. But I would also note that baked clay projectiles are noticeable archaeologically, and so are stones that are clearly meant for slings.

Olynthos, then, should be added to the roster of sites where lead, but not "light clay" and not "light stones" are found.
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Re: Your Ideal Ammo Weight, The Ancients, And Accu
Reply #39 - Oct 16th, 2011 at 11:47am
 
In other words: clay projectiles and stone 'acorns" are light. But they are not the predominant projectiles for slings.
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Re: Your Ideal Ammo Weight, The Ancients, And Accu
Reply #40 - Oct 17th, 2011 at 12:22am
 
Thanks for the link to the cool article.  Interesting to see how archaeologists piece history together with evidence they dig up.  I doubt the speculation that slings were being used indoors, but it's hard to make out any other theory to explain why the glandes were found mostly indoors.

   
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Re: Your Ideal Ammo Weight, The Ancients, And Accu
Reply #41 - Oct 17th, 2011 at 6:09am
 
Yes, it's a good piece. Maybe people with sling bullets in bags being chased indoors and killed there ?
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Re: Your Ideal Ammo Weight, The Ancients, And Accu
Reply #42 - Oct 17th, 2011 at 12:56pm
 
most people do not weigh their ammo and consequently have almost no real idea of what things weigh.

Example: I filled a couple of squash balls with sand this week.
The size feels nice and the weight and density is great. They feel like almost perfect sling ammo.

So I weighed them.
I was extremely surprised.

I gave them to various people and asked them to estimate the weight.

Nobody has yet guessed a weight LESS THAN DOUBLE the actual weight.
Some going up to 3 or 4 times.

They weigh 54 grams, just under 2 ounces. And if you were hit with one - you'd be going down.

The reason ancients used this weight lead ammo is very simple. It's the right weight for both distance slinging and vicious impact at the terminal end.

And I would put good money on the fact that all of you who are quoting high sling ammo weights are way way out and massively overestimating the actual weight of your missiles.

I don't know why - but somehow I am still surprised at how many people we get on here who claim to know more than the ancient professional slingers. Who lived, breathed and died slinging.
These were people at least as intelligent as people are today, but tremendously more skilled in their professions than those of us who do the same thing on an amateur scale today.

They'd had centuries of hard lessons and technical practice to work out the right shapes and weights of their sling missiles.

And yet we still get people trolling up to the forum on a regular basis who 'know better'.
And state that the professional slingers were obviously not using the right weight or shape ammo.

I should be used to it by now - but somehow I still get exasperated by people who believe ancient, skilled professionals were idiots who had no idea what they were doing.

So todays lesson that you will mostly ignore - weigh the ammo you use and see just how close or far away your guesstimates have been Smiley  
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Re: Your Ideal Ammo Weight, The Ancients, And Accu
Reply #43 - Oct 18th, 2011 at 12:00am
 
Hmmm... If your balls are lighter than your friends guessed, it might be a surprise. It does not, however, necessarily allow conclusions about other people on this forum estimating their weights inaccurately.
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Re: Your Ideal Ammo Weight, The Ancients, And Accu
Reply #44 - Oct 18th, 2011 at 12:11am
 
A pound of food is a whole meal. C_A has a point.

Edit: Just weighed some stones, they are less than 1/3 lb and more than 1/4.  So 5 oz or so. (Improvised balance.)  So I was off by 3 ounces.

Guess I could go lighter if the pros did it.  I always feel silly shooting little stones though.
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