Catapult for Hunting

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santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,849
1,061
64
Florida
Hex nuts, ball bearings, lead shot of various sizes, glass marbles, etc. as long as they’re consistent you can learn to shoot them.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,886
1,796
McBride, BC
Mass matters. I stepped up 2-3 shot sizes in steel shot to shoot Canada geese with the same"punch" as the old lead.
Seems the impact energy is quite different.
Little pebbles are asymmetric, don't fly true and they weigh so much less than the mass of a similar-sized piece of lead.
Lead in the environment. You might consider larger steel ball bearings instead of lead.

Big game hunting bullets are often nominated depending on the game. Deer (165 gr) vs moose (180 gr)for example
 
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punkrockcaveman

Full Member
Jan 28, 2017
773
579
yorks
I'm a big game can hunter. Bagged me a fully grown pint can of stella artois yesterday!

I've shot for years now, here's a little of what I have learned, hope it helps.

I use tubes, the chinese ones though. They are fast and last well. I've probably tried every tube going, I'm not keen at all on large diameter tubes, they seem to get in the way of the bearings flight path intermittently. I would argue that flats are better I think this is due to there speed and limpness, but I've never found them to last more than a couple of hundred shots. I'm not keen on this as every time you change a bandset the set up changes slightly and this isn't good for consistency and ultimately accuracy. I probably get 1000 shots from a bandset, atleast. Oh and flat bands are noisey on the shot. Tubes are very quiet.

You will hear ''OTT is just as accurate as TTF''. This is true, but OTT causes handslap, which can be off putting, unless you flip the catty, which is yet another variable to reduce accuracy. For a beginner I would always reccomend TTF. I think over the pond they call it OTF, Outside The Forks.

A good all round hunting ammo is 10mm lead ball, or 11-12mm steel. Single 3060 tubes work well with this kind of ammo. I use 1745, which is a little lighter, but I shoot semi butterfly (I draw back well past my cheek) so I have a longer draw length, giving me more power from lighter bands, and they are maxed out on the available stretch. You'll probably get around 180-200 fps.

The release, is everything. But you probably know that from archery.

If I were to buy a catapult now, I'd probably buy a simple shot scout, you can band it every which way and it's a proven frame.

Hope that helps
 

LukeR

Member
May 9, 2020
29
47
28
E. Sussex
Tubes are more durable than bands, but less efficient. I don't know why exactly; my guess would be that the air inside the tube has some damping effects. I've never hunted with a catapult but my guess is that you'd want efficiency over durability since you are (hopefully!) not taking many shots. Tubes might be better kept for plinking.

Theraband Gold is the best elastic I've tried. It's that stuff you get for physiotherapy. That particular one is considered by many to be the best and it can be bought in long rolls. £30 for a lifetime supply. It's easy to cut your own bands (DO buy the proper cutter) and it's great fun to experiment with different lengths and tapers.

Straight bands will last a little longer but sacrifice efficiency. Bands which taper towards the pouch are more efficient but less durable. For a hunting band, I'd again imagine you'd want the most efficient you can get since you can cheaply replace them if they break and always carry some spares.

For ammo, I bought 1000 10mm BB's for £12 on ebay. If you manage to collect 50% of everything you shoot that's 2000 shots before they're all gone, or 0.6p per shot. Pretty good imo.
 
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Stew

Bushcrafter through and through
Nov 29, 2003
5,679
653
Aylesbury
stewartjlight-knives.com
Tubes are more durable than bands, but less efficient. I don't know why exactly; my guess would be that the air inside the tube has some damping effects. I've never hunted with a catapult but my guess is that you'd want efficiency over durability since you are (hopefully!) not taking many shots. Tubes might be better kept for plinking.

Theraband Gold is the best elastic I've tried. It's that stuff you get for physiotherapy. That particular one is considered by many to be the best and it can be bought in long rolls. £30 for a lifetime supply. It's easy to cut your own bands (DO buy the proper cutter) and it's great fun to experiment with different lengths and tapers.

Straight bands will last a little longer but sacrifice efficiency. Bands which taper towards the pouch are more efficient but less durable. For a hunting band, I'd again imagine you'd want the most efficient you can get since you can cheaply replace them if they break and always carry some spares.

For ammo, I bought 1000 10mm BB's for £12 on ebay. If you manage to collect 50% of everything you shoot that's 2000 shots before they're all gone, or 0.6p per shot. Pretty good imo.

Is there an idiot's guide out there as to how long to make your bands, how wide to have them and how much to taper them? (I'm sure that there are lots of subjective options but a good beginners choice without having to do lots of experimentation)

I seem to recall that attachment is just by wrapping the bands with offcuts of the band?
 

punkrockcaveman

Full Member
Jan 28, 2017
773
579
yorks
I work off between 6:1 and 5:1 stretch ratio. My draw is 71cm and I use bands that have an active band length of 12.5cm. Active band length being the usuable/non restricted parts of the bands. The shorter the bands you use the shorter life they will have though, but they will be faster for sure.
 

LukeR

Member
May 9, 2020
29
47
28
E. Sussex
Is there an idiot's guide out there as to how long to make your bands, how wide to have them and how much to taper them? (I'm sure that there are lots of subjective options but a good beginners choice without having to do lots of experimentation)

I seem to recall that attachment is just by wrapping the bands with offcuts of the band?
There is indeed! Joerg Sprave of the Slingshot Channel on youtube has made an excellent band calculator. Just plug in your specs and it'll tell you the dimensions. The key is to use a sharp roller cutter onto a cutting mat. Scissors, scalpels etc leave little imperfections which will be the weak point at which the band eventually breaks. The cleaner the cut, the longer the band will last.

Here is an excellent slow-motion analysis showing why tapered bands are better. The difference is pretty surprising!
 
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LukeR

Member
May 9, 2020
29
47
28
E. Sussex
Regarding how to attach them, I can't find the video I was looking for but this gives an idea of the attachment method I use. It's surprisingly strong. For the pouch side you want to tie a constrictor knot (just google it).

 

Onelifeoverland

Full Member
Mar 3, 2020
307
149
Caerphilly, South Wales, UK
Gamekeeper John does an excellent band length tutorial on You Tube.

The easiest way but not necessarily the most accurate is to hold the band in hand the catapult would normally be in and 'draw' the bands back to your anchor point. Keep adjusting until the bands are at full stretch. Then you have your band length.

OLO
www.onelifeoverland.com
 

Stew

Bushcrafter through and through
Nov 29, 2003
5,679
653
Aylesbury
stewartjlight-knives.com
Well, this happened....

77947-A2-C-D825-4-AC8-AF21-B714-CCC3-B549.jpg
 

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