The 10 Best Hunting Slingshots
This wiki has been updated 13 times since it was first published in February of 2018. So, you’re an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys hunting for small game and birds, but you’re looking for a new challenge to liven things up. Why not try one of these slingshots? Most of them have enough power to fire small steel or clay balls at a lethally high velocity, yet are compact enough to stash in your backpack, or even your pocket, as you travel to your next strategic location. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best hunting slingshot on Amazon.
June 18, 2019:
Hunting slingshots are not the same things you played with as a kid. In general, they are much more powerful with thicker, multiple bands being typical, and often include a sighting or aiming mechanism to help put your shot exactly where you want it to go. Built to last, they are designed to let you replace the rubber bands as they age so that you can always enjoy the slingshot's full intended power.
In this update, we re-evaluated each selection for quality and value and included both wrist-rocket and standard models to suit a range of preferences. Added the Huntcool Catapult and the SimpleShot Scout as solid, no-frills, y-style options that will appeal to purists with their basic design and reliability. Removed the Larel Vitor Velocity due to concerns about its availability.
An Underrated Hunting Tool
Slingshots work best for targeting small game at close range, such as rabbits, squirrels, pheasants, or pigeons.
Everyone is familiar with the slingshot, but how many people have actually hunted with one?
Before you scoff at the notion, give it some thought. Sure, if you were to create a ranked list of the most effective hunting weapons, the slingshot would come in just ahead of brass knuckles, down near the bottom. But there’s a reason people choose a kayak over a motorboat or opt to bike instead of driving a car — for fun, for the challenge, or maybe even both.
Though they’re not as powerful as a bow and require a considerable amount of practice to shoot accurately, slingshots are quite useful in certain situations. When stealth is important, for example, you’ll be glad you’re equipped with a silent weapon that won’t give away your location or attract unwanted attention.
Some hunters pride themselves on their arsenal of complex tools, but simplicity is one of the fundamental benefits of a slingshot. Its straightforward design makes cleaning and maintenance a simple process, and thanks to its compact size, it’s easy to carry and transport.
Unlike firearms, you can purchase a slingshot without various pieces of documentation, which is convenient for casual hunters or outdoor enthusiasts who simply want to have the weapon available in case an emergency situation arises. A small bag of extra gear or a survival kit should easily accommodate a standard slingshot.
Obtaining ammunition shouldn’t be a problem either — it’s as easy as picking up a rock off the ground. If you do want to purchase professionally manufactured steel balls as ammo, they’re inexpensive and available in a variety of stores.
Slingshots work best for targeting small game at close range, such as rabbits, squirrels, pheasants, or pigeons. You can go after larger prey — like ducks and geese — but your success rate will likely diminish as you step up the size of the game.
Laws regarding slingshot hunting vary by state, but they are not particularly strict. While some states feature no laws, others require some sort of hunting license. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you visit the local Department of Natural Resources prior to using a slingshot in that state to ensure you're legal.
Ready, Aim, Sling
Ultimately, the only way to guarantee success in slingshot hunting is by perfecting your aim and technique. That being said, the quality and style of the slingshot you choose will have a significant impact on your results.
The material of the frame is important — this is what you’ll grip for leverage and targeting. Wooden frames may look vintage and rustic, but they won’t hold up long-term in adverse conditions. A plastic frame is an adequate, inexpensive option, but it is not as solid or durable as a quality metal frame, which is the most reliable type you can choose.
That being said, the quality and style of the slingshot you choose will have a significant impact on your results.
A comfortable grip is essential, as it will help minimize hand and wrist fatigue and help you maintain confidence in your shot. You must also consider the band, for which you have two choices: rubber tubing or a flat band. Rubber tube bands tend to last longer, but flat bands are easier to draw and provide greater accuracy and speed, making them ideal for experienced slingshot hunters.
As a shooter, a high level of precision is your most valuable tool. The draw weight of your slingshot is a critical factor in how accurate you’ll be; if it’s off, the weapon won’t feel steady in your hands as you shoot and you’ll start to feel fatigue faster. The wider the band, the greater the draw weight will be. It may take some trial and error, but you’ll want to identify your ideal draw weight as a shooter.
The weight of the pouch (the component that holds your ammunition until it’s catapulted) is something you should consider, too. A heavy pouch can diminish the overall energy you put behind a shot. A slingshot with a lightweight, well-built pouch should offer a smooth action and consistent power.
Not only does a sturdy wrist support provide comfort and steadiness for your hand as you line up your shot, it allows you to generate greater velocity, as well. Some models feature a built-in sight, which helps you achieve more precise accuracy.
Slingin’ With The Best Of Them
Allen Iverson once infamously declared, “We’re talking about practice, man!”
He probably wasn’t referring to the crucial role practice plays in becoming a talented slingshot shooter, but he certainly could’ve been. Without any practice, your accuracy level will be on par with closing your eyes and throwing a dart.
When you release them, do so gently and smoothly, keeping your hands steady the whole time.
There are two methods for holding a slingshot, and you’ll have to find the style that best suits you. If you hold the slingshot in a standard upright position, the forks are aligned on a horizontal plane. When you hold it vertically, the basic principle is the same, but the forks will be positioned in a manner similar to how you’d hold a bow and arrow. Both can be effective — it comes down to personal preference.
It will take a while to master the slingshot, but if you use proper technique from the get-go, the learning curve will be nice and steep.
When you assume a shooting stance, make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart and your weight is evenly distributed across both feet. Focus intensely on your target — if you’re shooting at an apple, find a small blemish or mark and make that your focal point, so you’re focusing on a target within a target.
When you’re ready to shoot, inhale and exhale slowly. As you line up your shot, make sure the bands are in line and centered on your target. Draw the bands carefully, and don’t release them until everything feels perfect. When you release them, do so gently and smoothly, keeping your hands steady the whole time.
In preparation and in execution, safety should always be on your mind. Always wear eye protection, and make sure you’re not shooting near hard surfaces that could cause your projectile to ricochet and injure you or someone else.
If the tubing is damaged, do not shoot. Make sure to replace the bands before you use the slingshot again.
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