If you hear the word ‘slingshot’ and images of a mischievous Bart Simpson come to mind, you’re not alone. Although sling-type devices have been around since biblical times (remember how David slayed Goliath?), modern slingshots are engineered like never before and are considered legitimate weapons.
Out of the various slingshots that we’ve reviewed, we recommend The Scout Hunting Slingshot as the best well-rounded slingshot for survival situations.
In this article, we are going to take a look at what survival situations a slingshot can be an essential tool as well as what qualities to look for when choosing the best slingshot for your bug out bag.
Should I Add a Slingshot to My Bug Out Bag?
Lightweight and versatile, slingshots make an excellent addition to any bug out bag, and the best part is you don’t need to pack ammo!
Whether bugging out in the wilderness or an urban environment, projectiles for your slingshot can easily be scavenged. Not only will you not be weighed down by packing extra ammo in your bug out bag, but you won’t need to worry about running out.
When bugging out in the wilderness, nearly any rock will serve as usable ammo; however, riverbeds are probably your best bet for finding smooth stones that will fly well.
If you find yourself in an urban survival situation, there are plenty of sources for ammo including building debris and concrete, or, if you’re lucky enough to come across one, items from abandoned hardware or sporting goods stores.
However, if you do have space to spare, then packing some steel slingshot ammo isn’t a bad idea.
Slingshot Uses in Survival Scenarios
The two best most applicable uses for a slingshot are hunting and self-defense; making it a versatile survival tool.
Slingshot as a Hunting Weapon
For those who have never hunted with a slingshot, it may seem like a laughable concept, but rest assured that a good slingshot is capable of killing most small game (squirrels, rabbits, birds, etc.) from 30 feet away.
The following are some advantages of using a slingshot to hunt small game:
- Gives you a small profile and makes it harder for animals to spot danger
- Makes it easier to maneuver through brush to improve your shot or conceal yourself
- Its completely silent – won’t give away your location to other animals or unfriendly humans nearby
The slingshot is a great choice for feeding yourself on small game but what about larger game, or fish? A good slingshot can take care of them too.
If your group is large enough that a couple squirrels simply won’t suffice, you can easily modify your slingshot to shoot arrows and take down bigger game.
You can also catch fish through slingshot fishing – a modified form of bow fishing that usually requires adding a reel to the slingshot, especially if you intend to fight the fish. Here is a how-to video if you are interested in learning more about slingshot fishing:
Slingshot as a Self-Defense Weapon
Don’t discount the power of slingshots in conflict (remember David and Goliath?) – they can be excellent survival weapons against both aggressive animals and humans.
Some of the advantages of using a slingshot as a survival weapon include:
- Its small size, which makes it easy to conceal until you need it
- Even just brandishing it and showing an attacker you are not unarmed can be enough to show you aren’t an easy target
- Ammo can be easily acquired in the field making it a great choice for long-term survival
- No need to worry about keeping it dry
- Silent firing – you can stealthily take down targets without alerting any collaborators
If you’re still on the fence about whether or not a slingshot can be an effective self-defense weapon, consider that in recent history it has been used by various irregular forces including the Irish Republican Army and Ukrainian Anti-government protesters – this certainly demonstrates the slingshot’s effectiveness in modern conflicts.
The Best Survival Slingshot: The Scout Hunting Slingshot
You will want your slingshot to be accurate, powerful, and durable.
The Scout Hunting Slingshot delivers on all three of these requirements.
The Scout’s heavy duty flat bands allow for accurate, high-velocity shooting when stalking prey. Paired with some scavenged ammo, or 3/8″ steel slingshot ammo, The Scout Hunting Slingshot is a force to be reckoned with.
It is 100% American made and utilizes a classic design upgraded with indestructible, modern materials. For example, its glass filled nylon construction provides an extremely durable frame while remaining lightweight.
The Scout is designed with an ambidextrous grip that fits just right for any sized hand.
The Scout Hunting Slingshot a great choice if you are looking for a reliable way to feed yourself with small game or birds while on the trail. Naturally, The Scout can also be used as an effective self-defense weapon.
Its sub-$50 price point delivers great value and makes it a smart addition to any survival kit.
Want to see The Scout in action? Check out this video that demonstrates just how accurate it is…
Features to Look for in a Slingshot
If you’re experienced with a slingshot, then you know what a valuable survival weapon it can be. What you may not know is that not all slingshots are created equal; there are distinct features that make some more suited to a survival situation.
Let’s take a look at the different considerations to make when choosing a slingshot:
- Frame Material
- Band type
- Other Features
Generally, slingshots are made from three materials: metal, wood, and plastic. For your reference, I’ve listed the benefits and drawbacks as well as key considerations of each material to help you choose the best slingshot for your needs.
- Metal slingshots are light and strong
- They will generally be the most expensive but are far sturdier and last longer than wood or plastic
- For a BOB, an aluminum or steel slingshot with a plastic or ergonomic foam handle is the ideal choice
- A wooden slingshot is the most classic design
- They are generally engineered with a simple Y-shape and a rubber band attached to each fork
- Different plastics can have very different qualities
- Plastic slingshots are often more economical
- Modern plastics such as glass filled nylon can be an incredible choice for durability and weight
The two types of bands you will see in modern slingshots are flat bands and rubber tubing.
The determination of which is best for your survival needs really depends on what you intend to use the slingshot for – tubing may be better for hunting due to its durability, while flat bands provide better accuracy and would serve better as a self-defense weapon.
The benefits of each are as follows:
- Tubes tend to last longer; they would be the better choice if you are planning to use a hunting slingshot to feed yourself over an extended period of time
- There are many types of slingshot tubes to suit any desired draw weight, check out the guide below:
- Flat bands are easier to draw and typically produce a faster projectile speed; if you won’t be firing a lot but want better accuracy when you do, this may be a better choice
- Flat bands would be a good self-defense option when making an evacuation that may require you to deter aggressive people
- Flat bands tend to be faster and more accurate than tubing due to their rapid “snapback speed” – the rate at which the projectile is propelled forward
Both tubing and flat bands are relatively cheap – if you are seriously considering a slingshot as a survival weapon, it may be worth experimenting with a few different types to find the best fit for you.
The best slingshots have several features that differentiate them from the mediocre ones.
Some features are relevant for a survival or hunting slingshot, others less so, let’s take a look at the best slingshot features:
- No matter what the use, having a comfortable grip is an essential feature for any slingshot
- A grip will let you fire more shots and increase accuracy by reducing hand and wrist fatigue
- When choosing the best slingshot, look for one with a contoured handle that fits your hand naturally
- A sight helps to improve the accuracy of your shots
- This is a great feature for someone with little experience as it can reduce the amount of time you need to dedicate to improving accuracy. However, don’t assume that just because you have a sight you will instantly become an accurate shot – practice still makes perfect!
- If you will be aiming at lots of small targets, such as small game, a sight is a key feature
- If you expect to be aiming at large targets, such as humans, at shorter distances for self-defense, a sight becomes less necessary
- Most of the best hunting slingshots will come with a sight attached
- Many slingshots come with a screw-cap hollow handle that can be used to store almost anything, from spare rubbers to ammunition
- You can also use a hollow handle to store survival gear, similar to the hollow handle of a survival knife
- While not a necessary feature, a hollow handle can be quite useful if you think carefully about what could be packed in there (fishing kit, items to make fire, button compass, etc.)
The Best Slingshot For You
When it comes to choosing the “best slingshot,” we really like The Scout Hunting Slingshot, but it comes down to your own personal preference.
After reading this guide, now that you’re more informed on the various nuances in various slingshots, you’re able to make an educated decision.
A slingshot is a versatile tool that can be used by both male and female preppers, from teenagers to seniors; slingshots are especially advantageous for preppers who aren’t comfortable with firearms or don’t have the size and strength to wield a hand-to-hand weapon.
However, like anything in life practice makes perfect. It does take some time to become accurate, but time is really your only investment as ammo – rocks, spare nuts or bolts, nails, etc. – is free!
Remember, practice is essential for proficiency!
While its simplicity is part of its appeal, the slingshot is a skill-based instrument that requires practice in order to get good. So take your time, practice all you need and develop your skills on this unassuming “toy” that could very well play an integral role in your survival.
Even if you decide a slingshot is just not the right fit for your bug out bag and survival plan, I would still suggest grabbing one as they are a lot of fun to play around with.
What do you think?
Do have a slingshot in your bug out bag? Is there a particular slingshot that you love? What do you think are the best slingshot features for a survival situation? Let us know in the Comments Section below, thanks!
17 comments on “The Best Slingshot For Survival Situations”
Interesting article, I don’t go anywhere without a slingshot, yes I am an addict. The commercial models with large tubes will get the job done but I really think there are some better options out there. I really like the simple shot scout and flat bands.
Thanks for your input. It is always great to hear real world feedback from someone with experience!
I have not shot a slingshot in quite some time and this is the first I have ever heard of flat band sling shots but I can assure anyone out there who is wondering if a slingshot is a good survival tool for hunting small (and medium sized) game and I will assure you it is. I used to shoot a wrist rocket brand sling shot from a very young age and after awhile like anything else the aiming becomes an impulse and the slingshot just seems to find its target. When I was shooting one a lot I would not have hesitated shooting an animal the size of a small deer (In a survival situation) from under 50 feet with a ball bearing, as long as a person hits it in the head there is a very good chance that you will at least stun it long enough to dispatch the animal.
Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Good to know that you agree a slingshot is a realistic option for survival.
I have not had a slingshot for many years but am now looking to get back to using one for fun, hunting and self protection as I now live in a remote location. The Barnet Diablo Pro has been recommended to me, any thoughts on this as compared to the above ones?
The Barnett looks pretty good. I like the counterweights on it, I would think that would add accuracy.
Thanks for the reply. That is the one also the Barnett Black Widow, it seems the guy in the shop rates the Barnett make. I will call in and check them out in the coming weeks, may start with the basic Black Widow then step up.
Cool, let me know how you go, always happy to hear real world experiences with gear.
Well a couple of months on and have been using a Barnett Black Widow for @ 3 weeks, wrist guard already broken but replaced with cord and happily hitting a 3 x 3 inch target 8 out of 10 shots from 20 foot, not a bad buy for less than 10 GBP. Have a different make waiting for me in the UK after seeing how effective a slingshot can be. Thanks again for the article, started a useful “hobby” !
The ultimate defense-oriented survival slingshot IMO would have the following properties:
3. Wrist brace (for stability)
5. Ammo dispenser in handle
6. Powerful bands
It should sorta be able to fit in your pocket, while being able to quickly unfold. It should also have storage of large-caliber ammo internally, because a .75 lead ball from a strong slingshot can take down a human a lot more reliably than can a random small rock.
I am a scout lover and have killed more squirrels, rabbits and yes deer than i can count. If you put triple layer theraband gold butterfly bands on it, it will take down anything short of a elephant. this is a very viable survival weapon and I always have mine ready to go.
Magnets are your friend; they might counterweight somewhat, but if you can pull steel bearings from the outside of the handle it makes things quite fast. A strong neodymium magnet on the outside also helps keep the bearings quiet if they’re stored inside the handle.
You mention David vs. Goliath and a “sling-type” device. Slings are quite a bit different than sling shots. They are easy to make but require much more skill for accuracy. If you are interested in sling-shots, a sling presents a unique challenge.
Bible says David carried a staff and sling into battle with Goliath.
This could be the Shepards Sling where the sling was tired to one end of the wooden staff increasing its distance and velocity.
Google Shepards sling with staff.
I’m currently working in Vietnam 🇻🇳 and make my own slingshots from tropical hardwoods such as acacia and jackfruit trees.
I don’t use power tools and only use a pocket knife, folding hand saw, sandpaper.
I always put tabs or gypsy tabs on all my slingshots. Tabs from leather are best but you can also use rubber from inner tubes, heavy nylon webbing, paracord.
I do most of my shooting along the Saigon River and shoot at bottles, and any other stuff floating by.
My pouches are made from leather but I’ve made some with rubber inner tubes as well with great results. Rubber is extremely tough and durable and can be cut into any shape and size.
I always have a slingshot in my backpack when traveling and enjoy shooting along the beach or even from my hotel balcony.
I often go to the Mekong Delta and do some shooting around the rice fields and canals.
arent there issues with rubber deteriorating over time? if in a BOB, whats the time frame for replacing to ensure its reliable when needed? or is there something that can be done to preserve its integrity reliably?
Guys and Gals I am a Sling Shot fanatic. I have loved them for as long as I can remember. I love rifles too but here in China a no gun policy reigns. I have a collection of great steel framed sling shots. They are popular tools in Asia for hunting and fishing. Its great reading your stories. Thanks.