As part of my everyday carry gear, I'm looking at including a slingshot for taking game birds whilst hiking.

However I've never used one, what should I be looking for in a catapult when purchasing? What kind of ammo will I need? Where can I find good tutorials for beginners?

  • Is it legal to use a slingshot for game birds in your area? Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 13:53
  • 2
    @JamesJenkins subject to certain restrictions (hunting only public land and hunting birds in season), it is legal in the UK
    – Chris J
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 13:58
  • Isn't this an incredibly dangerous thing to do on an "everyday" opportunity while hiking, especially in a densely populated area like the UK? When primarily hunting you have time to choose your location and control your surroundings properly, but while hiking...
    – imsodin
    Commented Jul 23, 2016 at 12:02
  • We used them when we were kids in Italy, not legal but being kids we didnt worry about it, we built them with inner tubes and used ball bearings as projectile. We cleaned quite a bit of rats... If you miss your target they can be rather dangerous and ball bearings bonuce off hard surface with good energy... It takes a long time and yard work to pay for a broken window glass using your allowance.... Commented Jul 23, 2016 at 14:37

2 Answers 2


On the surface this seems like a rather simple question, But imagine if the question was "What should I look for in hunting gun?" Essentially the same question, just a different weapon.

I found an article Now: Super Accurate Slingshot(Popular Mechanics Jan 1984) that talks about state of the art 30 years ago. Much like for guns there are entire web sites dedicated to the weapon The Slingshot Community as well as multitudes of articles. Google finds more than 7,000 hits for "slingshot hunting" in books. They are made out every material imaginable; wood, metal, composite. There are as many designs as there are firearms.

There are also several options for elastic/rubber bands used. Much like firearms, there are lots of options. The big online (non-hunting specific) have 100's of options.

When it comes to the weapon of choice, just like with firearms, personal preference and budget dominate the decision making process.

As for ammunition, it can be anything from found objects like rocks, to factory made round object like ball bearings, or even arrows.

In the end, all that really maters is practice. Pick whatever you want for the weapon, and the ammunition, just practice a lot with whatever you choose. You want your target to be dead on the first shot. Allowing an animal to escape with a broken limb is wrong. No matter what weapon you choose, how fancy it is or how much you spend, if you don't practice, you will not have consistent kill shots.

Arrows, ball bearings, and slingshot


The Pocket Shot!

If you want a slingshot for backpacking, then this is the one I'd recommend:

enter image description here

It looks unconventional, but I think it's genius, best part is you can store all your ammo in it and it packs away super small!

Watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kY5ku1kE_M

You can even get a wisker cap for it and shoot arrows too:

enter image description here

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