Thursday, September 13, 2012

Slingshots in the Roman Empire?

All modern slingshots are based on vulcanized rubber. The process was invented in 1839 by Charles Goodyear, so before that invention, rubber wasn't a useable energy storage media for weapons at all.

However, boys will be boys, and so there no doubts was a need for "badass" weapons even in ancient times.

This video looks at the "David" sling and the staff sling, two ancient weapons that can hurl a heavy object with much force. But the accuracy was critical, as the thrower needs a lot of practice to hit the target.

Therefore The Slingshot Channel presents a slingshot that uses hemp rope instead of rubber - a material that was readily available in Roman times. Since hemp is not flexible, bundles of it are used as torsion springs - the rotational force of the twisted stacks are used to swing two poles, with a slingshot pouch attached.

The weapon shoots much like a modern slingshot - but of course it is weak in comparison. However, it can shatter a bottle easily, as shown in the video!

As a bonus, a GoPro camera is shot up in the air with the blunderbuss slingshot crossbow. Some nice photos came out of that attempt!

A "The Slingshot Channel" production.