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Updated November 7, 2022 12:51 PM
The best rubber bands on the market today go beyond the forked sticks and cut tubes of bicycle tires we played with in our youth. Nowadays, we are talking about high-end materials combined with precision engineering. As a result, these are not toys, but powerful tools.
We’ve put together some great options. Your final choice will largely depend on your purpose of using it, whether we’re talking about hunting, tending to the animals behind your garden produce, or just laughing at the can. At the end of the day, the best slingshots are those that will deliver the load with authority while being easy to handle.
I have used different brands and models of slingshots since I was a little kid growing up in the sticks. From homemade cobblestones, tree branches and rubber bands to wrist rockets and more, no tin can or gas bottle was safe. Ammunition was usually smooth rocks collected on the shores of the lake, although marbles or steel shot were an occasional splurge when I had the funds.
There are three main factors that were used when evaluating the tires for this article.
- Value: Few of us have enough disposable income that we can afford to just throw money at something that’s worthless, even if it looks nice.
- Quality: When it comes to a tool that can be used to provide food or at least prevent us from getting food – like when we find Mr. Rabbit jumping our garden fence – we need to be sure that the tool will stay in actual use.
- Reputation: Any fly-by-night company can slap some tubes on a cheap frame and call it a slingshot. For my recommendations here, I’ve stuck with brands that are known for reliability.
Best Slingshots: Reviews and Recommendations
Best value: Beeman Marksman Laserhawk
Beeman Marksman Laserhawk marksman
Why did he make the cut?: The Beeman Marksman Laserhawk is very similar to the wrist rockets we had as kids. It’s accurate and reliable, while being very easy on the wallet.
- Tempered steel arm and yoke
- Elastic tubes, not bands
- It weighs 0.7 pounds
- Uses 1/4 inch or 3/8 inch steel shot
- Folds for storage or carrying
- Wrist support for stability
- Flexible tubes are not very strong
A rocket-hand slingshot style like the Beeman Marksman Laserhawk can be more accurate than its counterparts, due to the stability provided by the support arm. The more accurate you are, the more slingshots you will use. This one is designed to handle both 1/4 inch and 3/8 inch steel shot, which gives you options so you can tailor the ammo to the target, using the larger ones for larger creatures .
The pick is tempered steel, making it strong and unlikely to snap under pressure. The handle has finger grooves for comfort. When needed, the flexible tubes are easy to replace or swap out for ones that offer more downforce.
What’s really nice is that this sling can be folded relatively flat, making it easy to store and economical in terms of space. It’s also easier to pack in your bag when you’re out and about. All this for less than fifteen bucks, giving you plenty of room in the budget for ammo and such.
Best for beginners: Scout Hunting Slingshot
Best for beginners
Scout Hunting Slingshot SimpleShot
Why did he make the cut?: The Scout’s simple yet effective design makes it easy to learn the basics of accuracy, allowing the beginner to succeed with just a little practice.
- Polycarbonate construction
- It weighs 4.6 ounces
- Made in the USA
- Can easily change the elastic
- Supports different shooting styles
- Ergonomic handle
- Comes with only one set of elastic bands
With a very traditional look and feel, the Scout Hunting Slingshot is easy to use. The first time you pick it up, it looks almost familiar already. A key element to accuracy with anything is repeatability. The handle on this slingshot is comfortable in the hand and is very easy to hold in the same position over and over again.
The sling comes with a set of flat band elastics, but is designed to use anything from tubing to rubber bands. This gives the beginner many options when they are just starting to learn how to shoot a slingshot accurately.
This slingshot also supports a variety of shooting styles. Whether you prefer a hammer handle, a spiked handle, or a fork-backed handle, you’ll be able to do it smoothly with this model. Again, this allows the beginner to experiment a bit and try different styles to see what works best for them.
The best EDC sling: TOPS Mini Slingshot Knife
Best EDC slingshot
TOPS Mini Slingshot Knife TOPS Knife
Why did he make the cut?: If you’re looking for a slingshot that you can take with you almost anywhere, you want something small and compact. The TOPS Mini Slingshot Knife fits the bill while remaining seriously useful.
- 3.5 inches long
- It weighs 1.3 ounces
- Micarta handle
- Leather case included
- It can easily fit in a pocket
- Powder coated steel construction
- Not as instinctive as other models
TOPS Knives introduced their first slingshot in 2017 and it proved to be extremely successful. Their mini slingshot is the same high quality construction, just on a smaller scale. With its powder-coated black steel handle and red Micarta handle, it fits the bushy look of many of the knives made by TOPS.
The goal was to create a slingshot small enough to easily carry around on a regular basis, something you could use to whip up whenever the urge strikes. This slingshot is so small and light, you might forget you had it with you. The leather case allows you to carry it on a belt vertically or horizontally, but you can just as easily throw it in a pocket. Add a steel fist to a small plastic bag and you’re good to go.
With just a little backyard practice, this small scale slingshot will prove to punch well above its weight class in performance.
Things to consider before buying the best elastic bands
There are countless slingshots on the market today and it can be difficult to decide which one would be best for you. Here’s what you should keep in mind.
If you can’t afford it, then it won’t matter if it’s the best elastic ever made. Fortunately, even what we would consider a “high-end” slingshot is much more reasonably priced than a firearm. Realistically, most people can fit the average elastic into their budget. Ammunition price is a related consideration. Though again, ball bearings or marbles are significantly cheaper than bullets, not to mention easier to reuse. When practicing in your backyard, hang an old comforter from a clothesline behind your target, leaving it loose at the end. This makeshift backstop will make it easy to collect your photos to use again.
Construction of the handle
The body of the slingshot must be durably constructed from quality materials. If the handle breaks during use, it can lead to serious injury. It should also be comfortable and easy to hold steady when you use it. The more ergonomic it is, the more accurate you will be with it.
The elastic is what provides the strength for the elastic. There are two types – tubular or flat strips. Tubes are best if you’re going to be hunting or otherwise taking the slingshot out into the wilderness, as they tend to hold up better to rough use. Flat tapes are often more powerful and give a slight advantage for accuracy, but they wear out faster.
Frequently asked questions
Q: Can you use a slingshot for self-defense?
You can certainly use a slingshot for self-defense. Doing this requires enough practice ahead of time to ensure accuracy, of course, as well as a steady hand when under pressure. But many slingshots are powerful enough to cause serious injury to a would-be attacker.
Q: Is a slingshot illegal?
It is impossible to give a complete answer as to whether a slingshot is illegal, as jurisdictions have different laws regarding the possession and use of slingshots. Many municipalities, for example, have outlawed the use of wrist slings, which many have dubbed “hand rockets.” In some areas, it depends on how you use the slingshot, such as for hunting. It is best to consult your state laws as well as municipal ordinances to be clear about what is and is not allowed in your area.
Q: How effective is a slingshot?
A slingshot is an extremely effective tool for hunting, defense and similar pursuits. They are so effective that laws have been passed to control their use in some areas. Whether you’re trying to harvest a rabbit for dinner or just keeping it from stealing lettuce from your garden, a slingshot is a powerful and effective tool.
Final thoughts on the best slingshots
Slingshot shooting can be a great way to spend an afternoon with your kids, as well as a great opportunity for small games on the range. Any of the ones listed here will do the job well without being overly complicated to set up and use. Grab one and have some fun!