A Discussion- beginner forks

Discussion in 'General Slingshot Discussions' started by WildBill, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. WildBill

    WildBill The Silly Song Guy

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    I've often heard from folks here when advising those who are new to shooting to go with tall and wide forks (with many brands sometimes named) so as to avoid some of the pitfalls associated with more advanced shooting. Yes, such forks are more forgiving and less likely to be susceptible to fork hits, wild shots, and other such. I've also heard certain grip styles also advised to the newbie shooter.

    I'm definitely a newbie shooter myself, and I have yet to shoot a 'high and wide' fork. All of my shooting has been done with the natural Moorhammer I made a while ago. And it's an unforgiving little beast- I have to be wary of what I'm doing before I release my ammo.

    For me, I think this has helped me be a better shooter in a fair short amount of time. Before I had to pack everything, I was hitting soda cans 60% of the time at 6 meters and, although I have had some 'misfires', they are few and not drastic. The tenuous nature of the low fork, hammer grip beast forced me to be cautious and certain before I performed my release.

    This has made me stop and think about the typical beginner fork advice. Is an 'idiot proof' slingshot really a good learning tool? As a craftsman, I've often said that I'm only as good as my tools, so wouldn't this also carry true in slingshots? I'm at a crossroads on this line of thinking, and any input, both for and against, would be appreciated.

    -Wild Bill
     
  2. Arturo Borquez

    Arturo Borquez Administrator

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    I agree your thoughts WildBill, wide and tall forks makes easier (or less traumatic) the learning curve, my first slingshot was a "big tall horns" chinese ergo hammer grip ... the Ferrari's and Lamborghini's after the city cars lol !
    cheers
     

  3. studer1972

    studer1972 scooter trash

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    I stared with a Falcon II, moved to a Wham-O Sportsman, then a Pocket Predator Ranger. Things were going great and then my shots started going wild. Now I shoot a Trumark. It works. :eek:

    I love my Ranger and look forward to the day when I can safely shoot it again. Dgui/pfshooter agrees with you, WB. Per his video on the Trumark S9, he couldn't hit anything with it. He invented his OPFS, and now he can hit just about anything with any slingshot. I have to note that I am less coordinated than most, so I probably need more "help" than most.
     
  4. Will

    Will Thread Hijacker

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    I like this 'in at the deep end' approach personally. But I've found that although I learn quickly this way, some people don't respond as well. I would much rather see someone learn slowly with a safer, more forgiving design than see them have an injury that would put them off slingshots.
    When I'm instructing apprentices, I make damn sure they are able to safely use a 4" grinder before I let them play with the monster 9".
    Just my two pennies however.
     
  5. AngelicScars

    AngelicScars MILF of the board

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    I prefer baby steps when learning something new, personally. Though, once I get the hang of it, I tend to dive right in. To each their own. :)
     
  6. Withak

    Withak aka Whitehawk!

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    It may just depend on the shooter. Someone who can take instruction and follow direction could probably start with a more 'advanced' model. But for those who want to 'grip it and rip it' without taking the time to consider form, etc., would probably be better served with a beginner model. My recommendation would be, based on what I've done myself, is to take the model I want to shoot, regardless of design, and band it down for a lighter load. Slip on a mechanics' glove and safety glasses, then start to practice. Practice ammo like the wadded-up aluminum, marshmallows, Joerg's powder-filled paintballs, are all more forgiving with respect to an RTS, a fork hit or hand strike. So in my mind, you could really start with just about any frame, just lower your expectations for speed and power until you master that style.

    My first purchased slingshot after getting back in to slingshots last year was a Gamekeeper John model, somewhat narrow and short forks, that came banded with double TBG. I got fork hit after fork hit, kind of banging it up a bit, as well as a hand strike, mostly because I didn't know how to shoot. Once Dolo turned me on to TBB, I tried a single layer and smaller ammo and the thing shot great. Now I'm back to TBG again after some practice. Going with Arturo's comment, it might be like taking that Ferrari and temporarily giving it a Toyota engine.
     
  7. VWscooby

    VWscooby Senior Member

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    I like that idea Withak, using the frame that you want but with weaker bands and softer ammo.
    An example I would use would be motorbikes. The laws are restrictive in the UK when you start riding and there are different tiers of power you are allowed depending on age, experience etc. What people are doing now to save money is buying the bikes they ultimately want then fitting restrictor kits. As they get used to the bikes (and as the law allows) they can increase the power in stages until they have the full flavour!
    Jumping in at the deep end works with some things, less so with others. It also depends on how sensible someone is!
     
  8. studer1972

    studer1972 scooter trash

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    Ook! Ook! That's me! :)

    When I first tried slingshots in 2001, I wanted something I could plink with up at my parents cabin. Their cabin is in a no hunting/no firearms zone and my chief joy at the time was destroying consumer electronics via pistol and shotgun. The Marksman I bought was great for perforating aluminum beverage cans, but not much else. I got back into slingshots when I saw what Joerg can do with them. I gotta smash stuff, it's what I do. People who are primarily interested in precision shooting would probably be better served by your method.
     
  9. turtleman

    turtleman New Member

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    I just casted my first aluminum slingshot so excited to see how it worked:eek:
     
  10. rock slinger

    rock slinger I rarely shoot rocks!

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    I still can't shoot small slingshots sideways. I need a 3 inch gap, I don't worry about height, I think three inches is a good start because normal production models have five inches

    If I looked into it I could probably end all fork hits, but old habits die hard so I don't want to try.
     
  11. WildBill

    WildBill The Silly Song Guy

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    I recall that my first slingshot was a foldable Wrist Rocket- I think is was made by Beeman. This was circa 1981. I specifically recall that it was a tall, wide-forked tube-type thing that was very unwieldy for me. I used Pachinko balls for ammo at the time, and I had no accuracy with it whatsoever. 30 some years later, I'm using the low fork Moorhammer and can actually hit targets. I'm seeing Withak's point- it probably depends on the shooter. The low fork aspect, at least for me, makes the slingshot feel more like a part of my hand as opposed to a contraption that's dragging back on top of it, and I like that feel. It's something akin to the difference between an old sports car without power steering and a new vehicle- yeah, the new one is safer, but the old classic will give you a feel for the road that no modern safety cage can achieve.

    -Wild Bil
     
  12. Arturo Borquez

    Arturo Borquez Administrator

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    I agree that low forks feels a way more "natural" (same for narrower) that's why I ended shooting PFS's, all this evolution was "in baby steps" (Angelic's way) lowering, narrowing and extending the draw ... one step at a time until felt confident verifying each achievement ... my analogy about cars is that a city car needs a basic sense of awareness and skills to go almost secure, on the contrary high end sport cars (almost racers) demands all the skills and awareness from the driver to avoid breaking or crashing the machine (hurting yourself) ... that said, this doesn't imply that standard frames can't shoot well, most of the best shooters use standard frames but if you are able to shoot well a PFS you will be able to shoot well any frame even if you don't like it, the contrary doesn't comply ...
    cheers
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014
  13. Flipgun

    Flipgun Well-Known Member

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    I think that a good beginner sling would be the Lead Launcher or the two others based on it, Bad Company and Bad Hammer. All are hammer grips but the forks are rather low. A good finger brace to start with is a Chalice and a Derringer for a pinch grip.
     
  14. 4foruglenncoco

    4foruglenncoco Member

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    Honestly I started with double tbg (my first shot after 7 years[ yes I was actually a sharpshooter when I was 5 with a daisy, I lived next to the jungle in Singapore and had to keep the monkeys from invading our house, I'M SERIOUS]) and I haven't gotten one fork hit or a RTS and my first shots were only a few inches off then I hit the can without missing a shot for 10 shots it's just so natural to me