Friday, 26 November 2010

Mr Sling Shot

We've looked at Trebuchet , Old School Catapults, Mini Cannon (and part two), and Repeating Crossbows but surely there's more?

A while back during one of my periods of 'research' I found the Slingshot Channel and it's creator Jörg who very kindly agreed to be bombarded with daft questions on your behalf. Enjoy.

SBW: How did you get so interested in catapults?

Well, I loved them as a boy already. My father taught me how make a slingshot with car tyre inner tubing and natural forks, and soon afterwards I started to sell them in school - until the headmaster stopped my little business...

When I grew up, my interests shifted to motorcycles and then cars, so I forgot about slingshots for the most part. A few years ago, I read a few threads about slingshots in a German gun forum, and had the basic idea for my "V" design. I decided to make a prototype, and it worked. People loved it, and although by now I have far more effective models, the "V" is still popular - maybe because it looks so cool.

I made my first videos for youtube, to show my invention to others. Soon my channel became quite popular, and now I think I am totally addicted to slingshots! It is a great hobby, you can make them easily at home and shooting is possible anywhere. Slingshots are one of the few weapon types that aren't heavily regulated, unlike firearms. That is a great advantage, and probably one reason why they have gained so much popularity over the last years.

SBW: Do you hunt with them?

I don't. That would be illegal (= poaching) in Germany. But anyway, I grew too soft for killing cute animals. As a kid, I killed lots of birds, rats and even a rabbit with the puny slingshots I had back then - but now, I just shoot at dead things.

SBW: Do you sell the catapults you make?

No. I have a great job, and my contract prevents me from any sort of side business. That is not so bad, as I have no deadlines, taxes or insurance issues to worry about! Also, I think my credibility in the forums would decrease much if I would have commercial interests. But I have given away many slingshots for free and I traded a few of them against other home made gadgets. Also, I have given a design to a Chinese slingshot manufacturer, and they plan to bring out that model soon. here's the link

SBW: You've made quite a few videos, which is your favourite ?

I like "Slingshot vs. Ballistical Gelatine" the 1200 pictures per second super slomos in the sun are nice and the AC/DC song is very appropriate!

SBW: What is your idea of the perfect catapult?

One that also solves the world starvation problem? No, seriously, there is no such thing as the perfect slingshot. There are just too many trade-offs. Fast, super thin flat bands are incredibly powerful, but they don't last nearly as long as thick, sturdy tubes - which are much slower. It's the same with cars - there is no "best car in the world", there are just good compromises, that's all. Every shooter has to find the best individual compromise. From all my designs, the fourth generation "W" slingshot with the rotating grip, equipped with ball bearings, is my favorite model. Powerful, precise, foolproof - and nice to handle. Beautiful, too!

SBW: What's the perfect size of lead ball?

Depends. I don't like lead balls smaller than .44, because they are too hard to grip through a leather pouch. .44 and .45 lead balls are very good for hunting, they fly fast even when a medium strength band set is used. I personally prefer the .75 musket balls, they deliver an incredible amount of energy (80 Joules), many times the power of a good air rifle.

SBW: I'd like to embed a video in the piece, which do you think are your best?

I like this one: Three interesting slingshots in one video, and I like the snow outside.

Fun huh?