Saturday, February 6, 2021

A short history lesson with pictures

Politicians favor gun control because they believe that it will eliminate citizens' ability to remove them from office using methods not mentioned in the Constitution. They are also protective of their proxies and don't want them to suddenly sprout leaks.

History suggests that firearms are not required, that this problem has been studied for thousands of years and many alternatives exist, sitting on the shelf just waiting for us.

Here are two of those alternatives, presented for educational purposes.

Are Politicians going to outlaw work-boots? Source of image

 All it takes to make a sling is the tongue of an old boot and a couple of laces.

Fits in a pocket and won't set off metal detectors


The commonly accepted maximum range is between 300-and-350 yards. You read that right; Yards, not feet. Works better against massed formations than targeting specific individuals when used at-range. Consequently this is a better tool for installing leaks in proxies than for targeting specific people.

Working backwards, that suggests a release velocity of 175-to-200 feet-per-second.

Artifacts from battle sites usually had writing or images cast into the surface. Some historians speculate that the writing functioned like the dimpling on a golf ball and increased range. Other suspect it helped the glandes grip the pouch of the sling.

Part of the magic involved the use of glandes or purpose-made projectiles.

A chi-square distribution. The "zero" was approximately an ounce (about 30 grams) and the peak was about twice that.

The size of the glandes varied wildly, presumably due to ad hoc patterns used when making them on-the-march. Five hundred years of evolution under the Greeks and Romans suggests that 2 ounces (60 grams) is a good, all-purpose weight. For reference purposes, the hardball used in baseball weighs about five ounces.

Painting them a bright color makes them easier to find and reuse.

Not than any of you need more hobbies, but there are history buffs that practice slinging. Commonly used projectiles include 2-oz egg sinkers or HERE 

Other alternatives include a 1-1/2' length of 1/2" copper tubing filled with lead or a 1-1/2" length of 5/8" rebar. If the home-caster uses a 2" length of copper tubing and leave a 1/2" unfilled on one end, then the glandes becomes a dart and will eventually stabilize and fly filled -end-forward.

Using a release velocity of 185 feet-per-second and a 2 ounce projectile, the projectile has about 65 foot-pounds of energy at release. That reality checks as the slinger would have to generate about 30 pounds of force over a 2' arc to impart that kind of energy and that seems entirely plausible.


Are they going to outlaw umbrellas?

Umbrellas were favored by Bulgarians for the clandestine installation of leaks. Bulgarians were employed by the Soviets for "wet-work" when the Soviets wanted to maintain a slight distance or did not want to risk their own assets.

Look up Bulgarian Umbrellas. Who knew it was a thing?


  1. I love history myself, and am always eager to learn new skills!.
    Thanks for the informative educational article.

  2. At long range slings are area denial weapons with a high trajectory but at short range you can snipe with one too, and the low and flat arc is hard to read. Consider the difference between a throw to the plate from the outfield and a pitch.

    Re #2 Over the summer we watched Auntie use bumbershoots to both conceal actions in their rear and to defend against gas attacks.

  3. I was interested in slings at one time. Back before the phone company had area codes. My buddy and I tried to use them and it didn't work well. Had about a 20 degree arc of accuracy horizontally. Maybe not that good vertically. Thinking back I recollect that what we were throwing was heavier than 2 OZ. Anyway I'll try to use something else if I need to.---ken

  4. Used to steal the weights from my uncle's tackle box. He finally bought me 100 for $1 at the bait shop. We used them on Carolina Rigs for bass.

    1. WOW! 100 for $1. That's been awhile. Did you ride your horse to the bait shop or did your uncle have one of those early cars? --ken

    2. LOL, that was in the early 60s... In Louisiana when things were still cheap in the country stores!

  5. The Soviets used a Bulgarian when they wanted to shoot the Pope as I recall. On another subject, how do you get the sling to release the projectile ?

    1. You release the strap pinched between your thumb and forefinger, allowing the pouch to open. Learning that timing is a big part of being a good slinger.

  6. I recall reading somewhere that it was 80 foot pounds which broke the skin on a human.

    In my yout I became quite apt with a sling. I was able to hit a fish from a distance of about 20 yards. I used marbles or 1/2" ball bearings.

    I used to make boomerangs. Messing around, I spied a bird on the wire about 70' above ground and about 50 yards laterally from my position. The bird took wing just before my throwing stick hit but it did hit the wire exactly where that bird had been perched. I was quite pleased with myself. I didn't really want to harm the bird, it was simply an aim point. It would really be something for a human to move fast enough to effectively dodge a boomerang.

  7. Are we all talking about slings or sling shots? ---ken

  8. I think they're talking about slings. The centrifugal force is generated by the wind up, whereas with a slingshot, velocity is limited by the rubber bands and the draw strength of the shooter. And that's limited by the tensile strength of the rubber bands before breakage.

    That's my WAG.

    1. That's what I thought too. But marbles and ball bearings seem way too small and light to wind up to throw with a sling. . Maybe would work.--ken

    2. I recall seeing slings used against the IDF on news footage. As a countermeasure the IDF started using snipers with silenced .22 to "surgically remove" knees. The Soviets picked up and adopted the technique. Just as an additional point perhaps worth pondering,that did you happen to take note of the use of facial recognition to i.d. those in DC. Imagine if they could prove you were trying to really hurt someone with a sling.

    3. Now that you mention I recall the IDF getting rocks chucked at them with slings. I had forgotten that. I find that facial recognition use disturbing. Too much margin of error for false accusations. It happened to a friend's son. --ken

    4. If you look at older videos you can see Autie's boys using 'brellas as concealment for them to suit up with full face/eye coverings. If you aren't a moron who leaves his neck tattoos exposed that doesn't give image recognition systems much to go on. They've spent the last year training and refining tactics.

    5. and apparently with some insider training.--ken


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