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i've looked at the internet sources and this forum regarding slingers

does anyone have info regarding the range (i know this varied),rate of fire and impact energy of ancient sling stones.the info i've seen seem a bit confused regarding range in particular.
In the little bit of slinging we've done, I would say you could get quite a rapid rate of fire as the chances are you're not aiming for a single man marching towards you but a huddle, impact varies with the type of throw, a 'flat' throw or an arching lob. Once I'm back on my feet (currently nursing a broken ankle) I'm keen to try some staff slinging. This is quite an interesting read [url:b0wh23iz]http://www.slinging.org/[/url].

Deb
Quote:In the little bit of slinging we've done, I would say you could get quite a rapid rate of fire as the chances are you're not aiming for a single man marching towards you but a huddle, impact varies with the type of throw, a 'flat' throw or an arching lob. Once I'm back on my feet (currently nursing a broken ankle) I'm keen to try some staff slinging. This is quite an interesting read [url:1kznmjnt]http://www.slinging.org/[/url].

Deb
very interesting link.
do you know of any concerning the impact energy that would be acheived with various stones,pebbles etc
Hi all, just my two cents worth. I've done quite a bit research into slings and slinging and the fact that always amazes me is that most people assume there is only one type of sling.
Actually the various different types of sling, ammunition and techniques make there are as much differences between them as with guns where you have pistols, rifles machine guns and sniper rifles etc. For instance everybody knows the story of David an Goliath where a sling was used as a sort pistol making a headshot. But if you take the Assyrian relief of the Battle of Lachish you'll see the slingers slinging rocks the size of building bricks in a high arc. They walk behind their own archers meaning the barrage of stones they sling come down in an almost vertical angle. This causes the enemy to hold their shields above their heads to protect themselves. And this is of course what the archers were waiting for.
You can imagine that the stones coming down were in fact merely falling stones having no residual energy of the sling itself left (nevertheless a big rock falling at ten metres per second still hurts )
On the other hand there's David with his headshot. Completely different but if you take into account that a lead double conical slingshot as used by the Balearic slingers in Roman service (which has its energy only from the slings throw) has a " muzzle" velocity of roughly a seventh of the muzzle velocity of a 7.62 Walther PPK (James Bond's old favourite) you'll understand why Goliath was toast.
As you see two different slings, two different tactical uses and two completely different effects. Its easy to see that also a different projectile in the same sling can easily lead to variations in accuracy and speed. A stone of pumice and a stone of basalt of for instance. Or a stone with a rough surface or a smooth water worn pebble.
And there is no such thing as just a sling. It has infinite variations. The Balearic slingers alone always had three slings with them of three different lenghths, for close range, middle range and long range. Of those slings is mentioned " they wore the shortest as a headband, the longest as a belt." (Forgot the source)
As for accuracy see: The Bible, Judges Chapter 20, 16.
All in all the ranges go roughly from what I found (and I am no where near as well trained as an ancient slinger) max. forty metres for a pistol style throw to 400 metres for a high mortar style throw with a long sling. I hope this has been of some use to you. Cheers.
Thanks.
i was interested in-for instance
at what range would a sling stone break bones or fracture a human skull
i know a slingstone would not neccesarily have to do either of the above to kill or disable

as well as the rate of fire compared to say a long or composite bow.
Its different to give a standard answer, as there were no standard ammunition. You could be using stones from the river, or the beach or cast lead bullets, or clay glands, the skill of the slinger is also a variable. There are folks out there quite skilled and can say how far they can do it, or archeological finds that give an estimation of range and written evidence of how surgeons had to extract sling bullets so we know serious damage is possible. But so many variables its difficult to say there'd be a definative answer.

Sorry to be so vague!
Deb
Have you read this article on slinging.org? http://slinging.org/index.php?page=the- ... richardson It is the only one I know so far which has more or less reliable data.

Information about range and energy of a sling vary widely in modern literature. Effective ranges between 50 and 250 metres and energies between 20 and 75 Joules are given. The article mentioned above gives ranges of 150 m for a 40 g glans and 130 m for a 85 g glans; the velocity V3 is about 31 m/sec. That will result in energies E3 = 19 Joule for the 40 g and 41 Joule for 85 g. Compare this with a composite bow of 36 kg/ 80 lbs weight: 180 m range with a 50 g arrow, velocity about 50 m/sec, resulting in an energy E0 of about 62 Joule. A late English long bow of the pattern found in the Mary Rose would have had a medium weight of 150 lbs, shooting an arrow of about 100 g about 250 to 280 metres wide and achieving energies of about 140 to 150 Joules.

I think a well trained ancient slinger would have achieved better results than the modern tester, so velocity, range and energy would have been higher, perhaps up to the given 80 Joules. Its more or less guesswork. The range of the sling was apparently higher than that of some bows, as Xenophon told us in the Kyrou Anabasis.

What you can achieve with the energies of a sling? Difficult to answer. Death or blinding with hits on the unprotected head, breaking of bones on the limbs in some cases, breaking of ribs, I presume. We have sources from the Spanish Conquistadores who feared the sling as the most effective weapon of the Inka. However, as far as I know, they tell us that death or blinding results with hits on unprotected heads. A helmet would have been a life saver imo, as would be a body armour.

We have the ancient reports about sling performance. I would be very careful to trust them word for word. The Balearic slingers broke shields and armour at the battle of Eknomos 311 BC, allegedly using stones weighting one mnai (over 400 g). A bit strange and certainly not a long range projectile.

The performance of the sling is not so impressive, as are the performances of the other ancient weapons, compared to modern ones. Against armoured troops the effectiveness of sling and bow could have been not so great, contrary to what Vegetius is telling us in case of the sling for example. I have read that after US Army standards an energy of about 700 to 800 Joule is seen as necessary to wound a person through a kevlar helmet. Ancient helmets were of course far worse performers but had also to deal with much less energy. And body hits? I know a case in which a policemen was shot in the breast at 3 m two times with .357 Magnum bullts (which has an energy E0 of about 750 Joule). His vest stopped both bullets, he described it as pain like hell but he was able to drew his weapon and shoot down the attacker. I really cannot imagine that an ancient soldier with lets say a linen or leather padded or bronze cuirass would have dropped dead when a 40 to 80 Joule ball would have knocked on his armour.
Quote:The performance of the sling is not so impressive, as are the performances of the other ancient weapons, compared to modern ones. Against armoured troops the effectiveness of sling and bow could have been not so great, contrary to what Vegetius is telling us in case of the sling for example. I have read that after US Army standards an energy of about 700 to 800 Joule is seen as necessary to wound a person through a kevlar helmet. Ancient helmets were of course far worse performers but had also to deal with much less energy. And body hits? I know a case in which a policemen was shot in the breast at 3 m two times with .357 Magnum bullts (which has an energy E0 of about 750 Joule). His vest stopped both bullets, he described it as pain like hell but he was able to drew his weapon and shoot down the attacker. I really cannot imagine that an ancient soldier with lets say a linen or leather padded or bronze cuirass would have dropped dead when a 40 to 80 Joule ball would have knocked on his armour.

That's absolutely true, but when we take the helmet into account, such a blow wouldn't wound the wearer, but at least give some kind of a blow, which could aesily give you a concussion of the brain, by which you are lost for the moment (and other behind you can get obstructed by your body), It's not always a deadly weapon, but it can have quite good impact on the whole body of men.
Yes, I concur. All in all it was surely a very nasty experience to be shot at with sling bullets (but also arrows). The thought alone that a bullet could hit you in the face would have been disheartening. No wonder that men, as Caesar wrote it somewhere, looked for additional protection f.e. for the face and neck during sieges when slings were used.
very interesting thanks guys
In addition: I was too lazy to search for my old records about ballistics, but some data from memory (so beware) to compare performance of slings and other weapons:

A perfect fist punch by a trained heavy weight boxer has an energy of about 130 Joule (data from an article by Beat Kneub├╝hl). The fist is of course not massive and has a far greater surface, so the energy is divided, other than when an arrow or a lead projectile would hit. M. Junkelmann (Die Reiter Roms, Volume III; Die Legionen des Augustus) quotes the energy of a single handed sword blow with 60 Joule, that of an 800 g thrown spear between 35 to 200 Joule (depending on wether it is thrown standing still, running or on a galloping horse). The ability to penetrate armour and flesh is of course also linked to the dimension of the front area of the projectile. A stone sling bullet with 50 or 75 Joule can never enter the human body, a lead glans with relatively sharp edges can (as Xenophon told us), but can not penetrate deep enough to do great damage. An arrow with the same energy of a javelin will normally penetrate far deeper, because the energy is concentrated in the smaller tip. The 50 g arrow shot from the bow (80 lbs) constructed for Junkelmann with an E0 = 62 Joule was easily able to penetrate an unriveted mail shirt (test however without padded or layered cloth underwear) and enter the body deep enough to kill. Same for a pilum. The javelin with broader leaf shape blade punched the mail too but was not able to penetrate more than a few cm.

Some modern weapons to compare: a pistol bullet .32 Browning has an E0 of about 200 Joule; it is widely seen as insufficient to be used for police work or even self defense because of the low energy. A 9 mm Para round, which is widely used by the European and some US police, has an energy of about 450 to 500 Joule. Same for the .45 Auto. The .357 Magnum round is normally at 750 Joule. A handgun bullet for police or self defense should be in the range of 350 to 800 Joule. A medium rifle bullet has an energy of about 3000 Joule, the 5,56 mm rounds of modern assault rifles are at about 1700 Joule.
The ranges by the best slingers recorded at slinging.org suggest much greater energy than than 80 J. Up to 400+ J, in fact. Melvin Gaylor supposedly threw a 212-gram projectile 350 meters. Even in a vacuum, that would take an initial velocity of 58 m/s and thus 365 J.