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Slingshots

Slingshot Use and history

Slingshots depend on strong elastic materials, typically vulcanized natural rubber or the equivalent, and thus date no earlier than the invention of vulcanized rubber by Charles Goodyear in 1839 (patented in 1844). By 1860, this "new engine" had already established a reputation for juvenile use in vandalism. For much of their early history, slingshots were a "do-it-yourself" item, Stick slingshot typically made from a forked branch to form the "Y" shaped handle, with rubber strips sliced from items as inner tubes or other sources of good vulcanized rubber and firing suitably sized stones. While early slingshots were most associated with young vandals, they were also capable hunting arms in the hands of a skilled user. 

Below is an intersting example of an alternative design of a slingshot.

Slingshot arrow

Firing projectiles, such as lead musket balls, buckshot, steelball bearings, air gun pellets, or small nails, slingshot was capable of taking game such as quail, pheasant, rabbit, dove, and squirrel. Placing multiple balls in the pouch produces a shotguneffect, such as firing a dozen BBs at a time for hunting small birds. With the addition of a suitable rest, the slingshot can also be used to fire arrows, allowing the hunting of medium-sized game at short ranges.[1][2][3] While commercially made slingshots date from at least 1918, with the introduction of the Zip-Zip, a cast iron model,[4] it was not until the post World War II years saw a surge in the popularity, and legitimacy, of slingshots. They were still primarily a home-built proposition; a 1946 Popular Science article details a slingshot builder and hunter using home-built slingshots made from forked dogwood sticks to take small game at ranges of up to 9 m (30 ft) with No. 0 lead buckshot (8 mm [0.32 in] diameter).[5] The Wham-O company, founded in 1948, was named after their first product, the Wham-O slingshot. It was made of ash wood and used flat rubber bands. The Wham-O was suitable for hunting with a draw weight of up to 200 newtons (45 pounds-force), and was available with an arrow rest.[1][6] The 1940s also saw the creation of the National Slingshot Association, headquartered in San Marino, California, which organised slingshot clubs and competitions nationwide. Despite the slingshot's reputation as a tool of juvenile delinquents, the NSA reported that 80% of slingshot sales were to men over 30 years old, many of them professionals. John Milligan, a part-time manufacturer of the aluminium-framed John Milligan Special, a hunting slingshot, reported that about a third of his customers were physicians.[6] The middle 1950s saw two major innovations in slingshot manufacture, typified by the Wrist-Rocket Company of Columbus, Nebraska, later renamed Trumark. The Wrist-Rocket was made from bent aluminium alloy rods that formed not only the handle and fork, but also a brace that extended backwards over the wrist, and provided support on the forearm to counter the torque of the bands. The Wrist-Rocket also used surgical rubber tubing rather than flat bands, attached to the backwards-facing fork ends by sliding the tubing ends over the tips of the forks, where it was held by friction or adhered with the addition of liquid rosin.[7] Slingshots are also occasionally used in angling to disperse bait into the water over a wide area, so that multiple fish are attracted near the angler's fishing rod. A home-made derivative of a slingshot also exists, consisting of a rubber balloon cut in half and tied to a tubular object such as the neck of a plastic bottle, or a small pipe. The projectile is inserted through the tube and into the cut balloon, and the user stretches the balloon to launch the projectile. These so-called "balloon guns" are sometimes made as a substitute to ordinary slingshot, and is often used to create the "shotgun" effect with multiple projectiles fired at once. 

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