Introduction: Ancient Secret Weapon: a Paracord Slingshot
I have been building paracord-supported structures and items since 1977. It is the duct-tape of the cord and string business, and widely considered one of The Worlds Most Useful Things.
This Instructable is for a slingshot made out of paracord and a piece of bicycle tire inner tube. This is probably the only paracord Instructable I’ve written that does not involve ladder weaving the paracord. [Although it could, I suppose]
After the apocalypse, you can undo your paracord bracelet, or trekking pole leash, recycle some bike inner tube and go get some zombies with this rig.
A sling is an ancient projectile weapon typically used to throw a blunt projectile such as a stone. It is also known as the shepherd's sling.
“ And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground.” (Samuel 17:49)
As noted by Samuel, this is an effective and inexpensive weapon, precursor of the rifle.
I also like to go to local golf courses and when safe to do so, sling in different colored golfballs around the greens, for added golfer confusion.
Step 1: Things You Will Need
You will need:
Paracord- 6 feet or more, depending on your size.
A pair of scissors, or sharp knife.
A leather punch, if you have one, or an awl.
Stones,for ammo, up to 2” across; golfballs would do in a pinch.
Step 2: Prepare the Cradle
At the centre of the sling, a cradle or pouch is constructed. The cradle will fold around the projectile. [Some cradles have a hole or slit that allows the material to wrap around the projectile slightly, thereby holding it more securely; some cradles take the form of a net.] I used a piece of bicycle inner tube for a cradle.
Cut a piece of bike inner tube 4" long; using a leather punch, marlinspike or awl [careful not to stab yourself; I have ;) ] poke two lines of holes, parallel to one another and on opposite sides of the inner tube piece.
Step 3: Thread the Sling
Take each side of your paracord sling, and thread it through the holes you have punched along the sides of the cradle. I did not slit the cradle, as the inner tube wraps nicely around the projectile.
Step 4: Create the Release Cord
Simply tie off the two running ends of the sling in a simple double thumb knot; this will be the end of the sling which is released and allows your projectile to launch.
Step 5: Create the Retension Loop
At the opposite end of the sling, tie a double thumb not, big enough to fit over the index finger of your launching hand. This is critical; it would be embarassing to launch your first projectile with such an historic replica of an epic weapon, and to see the weapon itself go downrange.
Step 6: Test and Adjust
Now you quite literally, have weapon of biblical proportions. Goliath was said to have stood 7 cubits tall, or about 10 feet in height; given the slings effectiveness against a heavily armed and armoured Philistine, it is a very cost effective weapons system.
The final adjustment may be to tie a thumb knot on the doubled paracord on each side of the cradle, to prevent snarls.
Step 7: No Smiting!
Before I finish, I feel I must mention this: Despite the cool history of the sling, DO NOT smite anybody or any living thing with this weapon. With the right projectile, such as lead ingots, favoured by the slingers of ancient Rome, skulls are easily cracked open with these things. Skeletons excavated at archaeological digs bear witness to the slings' effectiveness as a weapon.
A big open space tp practise in would be best, like the old navy base in San Fransisco, where the Mythbuster guys test stuff out [Alameda??; Can you guys get in there?] Do not sling projectiles where you cannot see the impact zone. Be discreet; be smart.