Everyone knows about the classic slingshot, a rubber-powered, hand-held catapult perfect for flinging marbles or steel balls at high speeds.
However, not everyone knows you can shoot arrows with a unique variation of the slingshot called— The Sling Bow.
How Do Sling Bows Work?
A sling bow is nearly identical to a slingshot except for the arrow rest positioned between the prongs. This is where you rest the stem of your arrow before placing the nock within the pouch.
On some sling bows a small piece of bow string and D-loop is attached to the pouch to allow for more precise aiming.
Drawing the sling bow is fundamentally the same as drawing an arrow in traditional archery. Using proper anchoring, stance, and form. Always follow proper safety practices!
Just like with normal slingshots, the aiming process is more instinctive. But of course with practice, you will get the hang of it and maybe even find yourself more accurate with a sling bow than a normal bow!
Some models of the sling bow allow for additional attachments to improve your aim even further!
Benefits of a Sling Bow
Like a slingshot, the sling bow is easy to carry and incredibly maneuverable.
This means you could have it by your side while using your normal archery gear. If your bow string so happens to accidentally get damaged, you can easily use the sling bow as an alternative in the meantime.
Its small frame practically takes up no space among your equipment and could fit in a cup holder. Basically allowing you to store it anywhere you want.
Some may even consider the sling bow the lightest bow in the world due to its practical weightlessness.
Sling bows are a very popular DIY project as the Y-shape slingshot frame makes it easy to create unique sling bows using wood working tools!
Parts of a Sling Bow
It wouldn’t be archery without the arrow!
This is the top part of the sling bow that forms the recognizable Y-shape prevalent with most slingshots. Its primary function is to firmly hold the rubber in place as you pull it back to draw.
3. Arrow Rest
The arrow rest is the main feature of almost all sling bows. Without it, shooting arrows with a slingshot can be far too dangerous and not very accurate. Some sling bows allow you to move down or disconnect the arrow rest for slingshot purposes.
4. Rubber Bands
This is the driving force for most sling shots. Don’t underestimate the power and speed you can reach with this, always practice safety!
With normal slingshots, this is where the round projectile is set. Certain models of sling bows allow you to nock your arrow in place and have a D-loop for bow releases.
6. Mounting Holes
Many modern slingshots and sling bows have mounting holes that allow for the ability to add cool attachments like a flashlight or laser sight for pin-point precision.
Just like with standard bows, practice a good grip with proper stance and form!
8. Bridge Mount
This is another part of the sling bow where you can add further attachments like a casting reel for bowfishing!
9. Wrist Brace
When handling a sling bow or slingshot with heavy-duty rubber bands a wrist brace is absolutely necessary. Your wrist can only hold so much tension before the bands begin tilting the frame backwards. The wrist brace gives sling bows and slingshots the sturdiness it needs without compromising your aim.
Power, Speed and Accuracy of a Sling Bow
You can judge a sling bow’s power by comparing the poundage of the bands to the the poundage of a bow’s draw-weight. For example, a 30 pound draw-weight sling bow is near identical to a standard 30 pound bow. And 30 to 50 pound bands is more than enough for hunting or target practice.
The power is also determined by what kind of arrow tips you use. Using a 400 grain arrow and 100 grain razor sharp metal broadhead can take down large game!
It’s normal to find standard sling bows reaching speeds up and above 180 FPS (Feet per second).
The accuracy depends on the Archer’s skill and modifications used. Instinctive aiming is the term used when you aim without a sight. Practice makes perfect!
A wrist brace is recommended to stabilize the sling bow as you pull back heavier bands.
Types of Sling Bows
A simple slingshot with an arrow rest attached. Very easy to replicate with wood if you have the right tools.
These are the sling bows you are easily able to modify. Like attaching a casting reel for the popular sport of bow fishing!
The Pocket Shot is a unique form of sling bow that uses the arrow rest as a handle! You may consider this the most practical bow for its compact size.
The Gearhead Archery T15 Pro, is a hybrid of both a sling bow and a recurve bow. It uses a combination of rubber and the strength of the heavy-duty metal risers. Definitely one of the most advanced sling bows currently available.
Sling Bow Archery Safety
Always keep the sling bow safely pointed at proper targets and away from you!
It is very wise to wear heavy-duty safety glasses when operating any slingshot device.
After many skillful uses of your sling bow, it is very important to give the rubber bands a proper inspection. Improper bands could lead to to them snapping when drawing back!
Look out for any cracks along the bands or if you feel they are stretching too easily.
Make sure you use high-quality slingshot bands to replace your older ones!
It is also a good idea to occasionally check the frame of your sling bow to make sure it is sturdy with no visible dents.
There are many different ways to apply the bands onto the prongs of a slingshot so always make sure you are using your specific sling bow’s proper procedure.
Conclusion To: What is Sling Bow Archery?
It is amazing what devices we have made over time when it comes to the purpose of launching arrows at high velocity. The Sling Bow is a fine example of the more unique directions we took to achieve that goal.
To those that practice archery often, using a sling bow will feel like second hand nature. The dynamics of pulling the bands is very similar to drawing a bow string so everything feels natural and as it should be.
Give it a try if you see a sling bow the next time you are at the archery range or buy your own Sling Bow!
Don’t be surprised if your first shot from a sling bow is a bullseye!