Ancient Secret Weapon: a Paracord Slingshot




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.

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    8 years ago on Introduction

    After seeing your instructable when it first published, i wondered what slinging was. I then remembered the David and Goliath story (I re-read it, my bible did not have details about the sling though). I saw somebody's comment for and went there. They had a lot of great tutorials and articles. I probably made 3 or 4 of there slings. I did not have any inner tube when this published. I got some inner tube so i made this and it worked great! A+ for this instructable, keep them coming!

    See my latest instructable!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    For those interested, has really good information and more tutorials.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I dont think that elastic materials are involved in this kind of slings but may be they could help somehow . The point is how easily the stone gets out of the pouch when you relese the line . See how traditional slings are made nowdays are made in Balear islands . Raw vegetal fibers and that's all.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    i can make one out of one piece of para cord but anyways this is an overall a good little project


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Technically I believe this is considered a Sling, a sling shot requires the use of some type of elastic material for the acceleration of the projectile.

    It is an ancient weapon more commonly known from David vs Goliath, where tiny little David killed a giant of a man called Goliath with a sling as you referenced.

    Great little instructable, I made a slightly larger leather pouch as a kid and used it for water balloons. Same materials, paracord & leather.

    Simply amazing to see how well such a simple device works.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Oops noticed you used an intertube and not actually leather, Might actually work better than leather as it would spring back more readily. I might just have to recreate my water balloon sling for the kids.