Several of the early commercial slingshots from the 40's, 50's, and 60's were excellent slingshots and it's a shame that they are still not available. I know that many of you and myself would be happy if they were still around.
Without a doubt, the most famous of these slingshots was the Wham-O slingshot. Richard Knerr and Arthur Melin designed this slingshot to shoot meat into the air to train their falcons to dive. The interest in their slingshots persuaded them to go into the slingshot business. The Wham-O slingshot was made from heavy ash hardwood and powered by straps of pure live gum rubber. It also had an attached arrow rest making it possible to shoot arrows too. The pouch was made from genuine 4oz. Cowhide and could hold several small bearings at one time or 1 or 2 of a larger size.
John Milligan developed the "Milligan Special" in the Detroit area. It came in two different sizes and was offered through mail order. The Milligan Special was made out of cast aluminum and highly polished. It was powered by imported natural gum rubber bands. John was an expert marksman and performed such feats as extinguishing a candle at 30 feet and shooting thrown eggs at a distance of 25 feet. He holds the record for breaking several dozen eggs in a row. Milligan's slingshots are still in use especially among the shooters of the Multi-Lakes Conservation Slingshot League.
In the first issue (Apr/Jun) Carl Tinker's slingshots the Deerslayer and Killdeer were discussed. The Killdeer is a great slingshot. The Deerslayer was a larger version. It would be great to have these slingshots available again.
Victor Animal Trap had two slingshots available through their catalog, the Victor 20 and the Victor 10. The slingshots were molded plastic with pistol grip stock. The larger one, the Victor 20, had a compartment in the handle to carry ammo. Pure gum rubber straps powered them.
The Mulder's Catapull was an aluminum slingshot that was very similar in design to the Victor 20. It was also powered with live rubber speedslings.
Another favorite of mine was the Boler slingshot. This slingshot was made of epoxy resin and was very durable. It came in both a right hand and a left-hand model. It had finger grooves and offset handle. It was powered by natural gum rubber surgical tubing. The tubing was fastened to the slingshot by special latex that stuck only to itself. A leather holster was included with each slingshot. The Boler has a unique hookup that allows the leather pouch and tubing to fly over the forks.
The last "old timer" I want to discuss in this article is the Weber Slingbow. This was the first commercial slingshot that I bought. It was molded from high-impact plastic. The bands were live-action pure gum rubber surgical tubing, The tubing was fitted with an aluminum prong that fit through a hole on the slingshot and was held on by a nut. It was very easy to install a new set of bands. I have an older version of the Slingbow that was manufactured by Glo-Lure Division of Study-Craft Corporation of Melford, Wisconsin.
I'm sure I've missed some that were your favorites. Please let me know of those I've missed so they can be featured in a later issue.
I would really like to see some of these models available again. They are fun to shoot, fairly accurate with practice, and easy to carry.
At one time I had the opportunity to buy the molds for both Tinker's slingshots and the Boler slingshots. I am now interested in obtaining them. If anyone has any information about them please contact me.
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