Wednesday, June 29, 2011


In the past, I often designed the handles of my hammergrip frames like knife handles.

Thing is you don't hold a drawn out slingshot like a knife. The pressure is all in the webbing between thumb and index finger, and on the middle joint of the pinkie.

So I decided to test a frame that leaves everything else away! A welded frame from 12 mm stainless steel, with Thuja burlwood applications. It shoots great. And look at the balance!

Monday, June 27, 2011

On antler.

Made an antler frame yesterday, with a one inch steel ball as the heart of the design.

Drilled three holes into the steel ball, then threaded them and put in 8mm threaded rods. Attached the antler parts, as always this survived the vise test even without glue. Epoxy made it rock solid. I also soaked the spongy marrow with epoxy. Then I polycoated the frame, this will take care of the rust as well (the steel ball isn't hardened stainless, otherwise I couldn't have drilled the holes in).

Lost against Venus Williams...

...but came close!

Fired tennis balls yesterday, with the "hand Howitzer" and triple TB gold bands, full butterfly. Clocked the shots at 129 mph (207 km/h)! That is just one mile per hour slower than Venus Williams record serve.

Tennis balls are quite heavy, 58 gramm (928 gr).

95 Joule, 71 ft-lb!


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Slingshot vs. iPhone!

"Will it shoot?" The Slingshot Channel tests if it possible to use an iPhone as slingshot ammo, and also what happens when a big steel ball, shot from a powerful slingshot, hits an iphone full on the touchpad.

A specifically designed slingshot crossbow is employed to launch what many regard as the best cell phone in the world.

You can see iPhones beeing shot at ballistic gelatin, "Mythbusters style", and also a "long range" shot, demonstrating the accuracy. No iPhone survived the tests, in the end, a "3G" model is fired flat against a house wall. This opened up the device in record time.

A little bonus in the end takes care of several requests for specific gelatin tests...



Thursday, June 23, 2011

Medieval Style Crossbow: Assault rifle scope added

I wanted to add a sighting system to the medieval style crossbow, which right now is my favorite plinker.

Not so easy, the rubber swings forward and does not allow the medieval "fork" sights at the front of the weapon. Everything has to be behind the lock.

I bought a few Hensoldt scopes, made for the German Army standard isse H+K G36 assault rifle. Surplus, fine condition, 5 Euros a pop. These are made to be installed INSIDE of the plastic G36 stock, so there is no adjustment of any kind. But just the right factor (3x) and nice crosshairs.

I made a mount system from wood, nothing that a medieval weaponmaker couldn't have done (minus the modern screws).

It is amazing how accurate this is, and how easy the cocking is. I am plinking with TB black, a preteen boy can draw this out with both hands and a foot in the stirrup.

These inexpensive scopes are ideal for slingshot crossbows. A lot of fun!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Jörg "Machete" Sprave (TV Trailer)

A few weeks ago, a German TV team ( made a piece about me. The challenge: To build a plunger shooting slingshot! It will be aired next month, in a German science magazine called "Galileo". They will do a whole episode about plungers, and I am a part of that one.

The guys are great, we had a good time to say the least. They wanted to do a fun trailer, much like Robert Rodriguez's "Machete" with the gresat Danny Trejo as the protagonist. It came out great. Best is: They allowed me to upload the trailer to my channel, even put in English subtitles for me!

Here it is:

My wife says my bearing is more upright and I drive faster ever since I saw the piece... :)


"Night Hunter": Win it!

Attaching a flashlight to a slingshot is not new, see Trumark's "Bat" model. But these days, a whole new kind of flashlights is available! The video shows a Fenix TK35, which throws a powerful 820 lumen beam with just eight ounces of weight. This video shows a specifically designed slingshot with a hand made mount for the TK35.

The video:

It is easy to light up your target. This video shows the destruction of yet another sparkling wine bottle in total darkness.

You can win this "one of a kind" combo! Simply go to and check out the official giveaway details.

You can read more about the Fenix TK35 here:


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Speargun rubber!

Ordered some speargun rubber.

Got 16, 18 and 20 mm thickness, a meter each.

The stuff is beastly! I decided to test the "weakest" one first. 6,5mm walls, compared to 3mm walls on the already tough Thera Tube silver. Here you see TB black, silver and the 16mm speargun rubber in comparison.

Did a bandset for the medieval crossbow. The center hole is too small and the rubber is too tough for the knot in hole method, so I attached the rubber to the outside. Works fine.

Draw weight of this exceeds the 40 kg my scales can measure. I estimate it at 45 kg (about 100 lbs).

I reinforced the nut and tickler with steel because I did not trust the wood on wood method for this off the scale power. It holds fine.

It is surprisingly easy to cock the crossbow, the stirrup method rocks. Ancient weapon makers clearly knew their stuff.

It shoots absolutely frighteningly fast. My most powerful sling-x-bow for sure.

But there is room for improvement - see the 18 and 20 mm beasts in comparison... stay tuned.

Here is the video:

Watch it on youtube

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hammergrip style design for "Gamekeeper" John

I asked John if he wanted a hammergrip design from me, as he doesn't have such a model in his portfolio for now. He said yes!

Now I have to take a few things into consideration.

1. He sells his products at a low price (17 pounds). Therefore, it must be possible to make it in reasonable time.
2. Materials, same thing. He uses 18 mm multiplex. So that is what I must use, too.
3. He has his own style (by now), with medium fork height, width and horizontal fork tips. Deep band grooves. That must prevail.

It ain't easy to make a good hammer grip frame from 18 mm boards, as you need something substantial as a handle. I made very good experiences with narrow, but deep handles - this way there is a lot of control over the frame. No unwanted canting. So two parts are needed, and for stability, the fork part goes all the way down the handle part. A little epoxy and all is solid.

I had to optimize it, as always when I make the first sample from a new design. But now it is a fantastic shooter. Note this is not as well finished as my "beauties", simply because it is a prototype.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Charles Goodyear Memorial Day Giveaway


today is the official Charles Goodyear memorial day.

Exactly 167 years ago, Mr. Goodyear filed his famous patent that described the vulcanization process. The rubber bands that we are all using for our slingshots are still, to this day, basically treated the way Mr. Goodyear came up with.

In order to honor the great inventor, I am giving away a Cougar "Limited Edition", banded up the way the winner prefers.

All you have to do is to write a comment to this thread:

honoring Charles Goodyear's invention. Any sensible comment is OK. I will do the drawing at noon Berlin time tomorrow (16th of June 2011).

Good luck!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Review: Three "Gamekeeper" Catapults

John "Gamekeeper" Webb has been selling his slingshots for quite some time now, and his designs kept improving. Therefore, it is high time that The Slingshot Channel reviews the products.

The excellent catapults are made from high grade multiplex wood, well polished and sealed with polyurethane. The bands are top notch hunting bands, capable of very hard shots.

The very affordable weapons (20 pounds including shipping) have passed all tests with flying colors.

You can win one of these slingshots! John will directly ship the model of the winner's choice.

Drawing will take place on July 1st, 2011. You have to vote and also leave a comment here:

Thank you, John, for the generosity as I am sure it will bring many new members to the forum.

Medieval Style Crossbow shoots balls, is rubber powered

I have made many slingshot crossbows, but all have been long and narrow - more like a modern rifle.

But this time I wanted to make a slingshot crossbow that resembles a medieval style model! Of course with rubber instead of a steel prod, and shooting balls instead of bolts. But regarding the look and lock/trigger mechanics, I wanted to follow the ancient design.

It came out very good!

Here is the video:

It shoots great, and as you can see in the slomos, the bands never touch anything - they will last a long time.

The weapon is really accurate.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Second Natural from Ukraine

Made a slingshot from the second natural I brought from Ukraine. This time, a hazelnut fork, wide but not even.

My idea was to make it even by adding a handle made from some other material.

I rummaged through my exotic wood box and found a piece from a scrap convolute I bought on ebay (like, 10 pieces for 10 Euros). I made the handle from it. I don't know what wood it is, but when I started the rasp and filework, it smelled strongly like lemon, very pleasant.

I sawed out the even part from the hazel fork and prepared it for the "marriage" with the handle.

The vise test failed (I always test before the glueing), so I replaced the wooden "dowel" with steel. This time, rock solid. I love my steel, truly.

The slingshot came out fantastic. The hazelnut looks like polished ivory, and the contrast with the dark, strongly grained handle is quite attractive, I think.

No ink this time, just clear gun stock oil.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Natural From Ukrainian Beech

Made this one today, from the beech fork.

A big fork that turned into a small slingshot... just the way I like it.

Inked and oiled it, now all I have to do is to clean the grooves out and then polycoat the frame.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Foam Handle Shooter

Bought a set of soft foam handles for bikes at the hardware store sale like a year ago, found them while cleaning up the shed.

I decided to make a strong, efficient slingshot with it. Sawed out a wide, low fork from multiplex, with a straight bar instead of the usual handle. Fitted the wood into a piece of copper tube I had left over from the heated band shooter, fixed everything with aluminum pins (detachable). Then I slipped the foam handle over the copper tube.

Inked the wood to match the handle.

A great shooter! Put on a strong three layer TB Gold band, works really good.

Took about 40 minutes total.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A trip to Ukraine

Just returned from my first visit to my wife's parents. They live in Kovel/Ukraine, not far from the Polish border.

My father in law was very happy with the "Red Army" slingshot I gave him. We took it to the Datcha (a large garden outside of the town with a small summer house), and while the Shashlik roasted on the BBQ, we shot at the makeshift backstop.

The neighbor came over and shot with us some, then we switched to his Baikal air rifles. At the end, I shot a 15 mm steel ball into the wooden plank he used as a target, and punched a big hole clean through the wood!

A fun trip, only slightly tarnished by the 7 hours waiting time at the Polish border... nothing moves for hours, just frustrating.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Made a Red Army frame from Jim Harris's natural

Will be driving to Kovel/Ukraine this weekend, about time. Have been married four years in a month and haven't met my mother/father in law as they live in Ukraine and it is very hard to get a visa for Germany for the guys.

So what to bring? Sure - a slingshot. My father in law served in the Red Army many years ago, so it had to be a RED one.

I took the natural fork Jim Harris gave me at the ECST, a big one (I love those as you can freely carve the shape).

A higher fork again (beginner dimensions), and since my wife says we have the same hand size I did add finger grooves.

It is amazing how well the inking method works, every time. I will be putting on a few layers of polyurethane and then make a presentation box, like the one I made for my boss.