About a three years ago I read the book "Clan of the Cave Bear" by Jean Auel. It is a great novel depicting the life of a group of neanderthals who adopt a cro-magnon girl. The author spent quite some time learning the crafts of the people she meant to write about. She learned how to flintknap, make fire using a cattail stalk and clematis board, and use a sling. The slinging really stood out to me in the novel. In my research I found that the sling is one of mans oldest ranged weapons, and, in the right hands, can be as accurate and deadly as the book describes. Being a leather worker, I pulled out my supplies and braided a sling out of some black and red leather strips and a scrap of red top grain upholstery leather. The end result was a very functional and very pretty sling. My accuracy left something to be desired and after an entire day of hurling rocks at a target and hitting it twice, I decided to look up the proper way to use this weapon. I stumbled across Slinging.org and was amazed. There were not only videos about how to use a sling but tutorials on the construction. I found that because leather stretches, it is not the best material to use for slings. It will work if the leather is the right kind, but braided leather strips would not do. So I promptly ran to the store and picked a roll of jute twine. Again I set to braiding. The resulting sling was beautiful. sadly it got lost in one of the many sewage flood in my basement. Last week I bought another roll of twine and set to revitalize my obsession with throwing rocks.
Here is the release and finger loop of my sling. It was made using six strands of twine around twenty feet long. The finished sling is around five feet long with a split pouch. It can comfortably hold an apple.
Right now the weather in my area is not the best for being outside so when the rain stops and if gets further from the "just above freezing" mark I will have pictures of me using it.
Now, off to try to make a fire in the living room, if I can just find that cattail stalk my daughter was playing with...