Introduction: Split Pouch Shepherds Sling

The shepherds sling is an ancient and powerful weapon -- to those who can master it. It's easy to make and use but hard to perfect your technique. This instructable will teach you how to make a simple but powerful sling of your own.


Things you will need are:

  • Paracord (a good few feet; length will vary based on your preferred length and size).
  • Elastic (optional)
  • A lighter or source of fire
  • Scissors

Step 1: Cut Your Paracord

You will need two pieces of paracord that are long, a medium length, and a shorter one. The length of each will depend on a few different factors.

For the long pieces: First, you have to figure out how long you want your side strands to be. Longer gives for a farther range, shorter gives more accuracy. For a beginner, a good length is about the length of your arm. For a more advanced slinger, half your wingspan is recommended.

The next step is to determine how big you want your pouch to be. Mine is about 4 inches, but you can make this as big or small as you like.

The overall formula for figuring out the length you need to cut is:

Length of the side strand + (2 x Length of the pouch) + about 5 inches

You will need to cut two of these

For the medium strand: I used about 14 times the length of my pouch, but it's good to cut a little extra just in case

For the small strand: About 1 foot of paracord. If your sling is a lot smaller or larger than mine you will need more. It's always a good idea to give yourself extra in case you miss-measured, so you don't have to cut and waste more.

Note: if you are using elastic, you will NOT be using the small strand. Substitute that piece of rope with the elastic.

Step 2: Make Your Pouches

Take the end of your long paracord rope and tie a bowline at the end (pictures 1-4). Here's a link in case the pictures are confusing.

Note: The loop that the bowline creates should be as long as you want the length of your pouch to be.

Repeat this step for the other one of your long strands (picture 5)

Step 3: Combine Your Pouches

You should have your two strands with the bowline loops from the previous step.

Lay these next to each other (picture 1). Then, pull one bowline over and through, and the other under and through (pictures 2 and 3).

What you have now (picture 3), is how your sling is going to be at the end of this project. It is VERY IMPORTANT that one bowline goes under and one goes over. This will ensure that the pouch is slightly twisted.

For now, undo one side so you're back to picture 2.

On the side that is combined (right side in the picture), take your medium length rope and tie it around the bowline half of the pouch. Make sure that the rope is even -- when you hold the ends together they match up and are equal length.

To clarify:

  • Fold your medium length rope in half to ensure its equal
  • On the right side of your sling, tie the medium length rope around the half of your rope that is closest to the bowline (picture 4)
  • Double-check that the rope is still even on both sides

Step 4: Weave the Pouches

By now, you should have your medium length rope tied to one side of your pouch (the side ending in a bowline).

Take the end closest to the other side of the pouch (the one ending in a loop), and start weaving it between the two strands of the rope (picture 1).

You will continue to do this until you're about 1/3rd of the way done weaving. Once at that point, insert your short rope, and continue to weave around it (picture 2).

PLEASE NOTE: I did that step backwards. The shorter strand should be pointing in, not out.

After you have enough weaving to hold that strand in place, undo the knot on the other side of the pouch and start weaving that

This next part is a bit tricky, so I'll do my best to explain:

The short rope is going to make an X across the inside of your sling. Meaning, on the bottom pouch left side, that rope will run across to the top right, where it will make a loop across to the top left and come back to the bottom right (picture 3)

In order to do this, you will:

  • Start weaving the top pouch
  • When you get 1/3rd of the way in
    • Bring the free end of the short rope up
    • Leave a loop
    • Bring the rope down by where you were weaving
    • Weave around the side you just brought down
    • See picture 4 for a visual of this
  • Continue to weave until you have completed 2/3rds of the top pouch
  • Weave around the second strand of the X

Then, go back to the bottom pouch. Keep weaving that until you're 2/3rds done, then put the free end of the X through, and weave around it.

Keep alternating between weaving each pouch until you get close to the ends.

Take the bowline end, insert it over (if you did under before) the loop end of the top pouch, so that the pouches are connected at both ends.

Continue to weave on both sides.

When you run out of space, start to weave as you normally would, but instead of moving the end forward, tuck it backward, between the previous weavings (picture 5). This will make a knot. Trim it close and melt the edges together so they don't fray. Repeat for the other side.

Step 5: Finish the X

You should now have something looking like picture 1.

Tie a knot close to each edge of the X. Trim it if necessary -- remember to melt the edges! (picture 2)

Step 6: Make the Finger Loop and Release Knot

At one end of your sling cords, tie a bowline with the loop being big enough to fit your finger (picture 1)

At the other end, tie a knot (picture 2)

Note: you do not have to melt the edges when you trim the rope above the knot. Having the edges fray will help muffle the sound of your sling when you release, keeping targets unaware of your presence.

Step 7: You're Finished!

Now all you need to do is practice. There are a lot of different techniques, I suggest checking youtube for tips. If anyone has any experience and wants to give tips, please do!

What I suggest is to do a few test throws and watch yourself. Do you consistently hit too far to the left or right? Too high or low? Try different rocks, methods and speeds. And practice practice practice!

Please don't use this sling to injure other human beings, and BE CAREFUL! It is a weapon and needs to be treated with care.

Have fun with your new sling!