Hand-Sling #1

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Hand-Sling #1

Postby Marcus Minucius Audens » Tue Jun 14, 2016 6:11 pm

>>>> Hand-Sling #1 <<<<

The sling, or hand-sling. as it will be known in this discussion, is a weapon which goes far back into the mists of time. It's discovery may well go back farther than 10,000 B.C. This 'discovery' has been used effectively around the world for millenia and even in the modern day is a very effective weapon against unarmored or shielded opponents. The sling is counted as a "ranged" weapon meaning that it is a weapon that reaches out to a certain range with its projectile. A spear, javelin, pilum, and a bow and arrow are also classified as 'ranged' weapons. Most ranged weapons like thrown weapons (spears and pilums) only have a shart distance range. The hand-sling has a much longer range and is a hard-hitting weapon using small stones or in ancient times a cast lead, baked-clay or other projectile that became so deadly, it was considered equal or better than the bowman and his arrows. (1) Since the manufacture of the hand-sling is a very simple matter, in and of itself, the concentration on the improvement of the weapon centered on the projectle and its size, weight, shape, and exterior smoothness.

This weapon was an element in armies of the European and Near East conflicts, and were also a significant weapon that could be found in use in various areas around the world including the Pacific Island, and Mediterranean cultures. However, there is a great variety in range, and striking power which relates to the size and the surface of the projectile. Small pebbles in the bed of the river were found to have a smooth surface and therefore could provide a longer range than the projectiles with a rough uneven surface. However, selectivity in size and weight still had a hand in the range and striking power of the projectile, so the slnger had to determine the weight, size, and surface of each stone, prior to launching it. Later cultures such as the near Eastern armies were able to supply their slingers with projectiles made from carved stone or in some cases baked-clay projectiles which were smooth on the surface and of a similar weight. Many of these projectiles also had engraved or written on them a short phrase or word indicating the attack. This was achieved by the end of 7,000 BC. In the beginning of this change, the projectiles were formed as round balls. However, by 3,000 BC it had been determined that oval shapes improved the range and accuracy greatly, since the new projectile could and did orient itself and begin to spin as it traveled through the air to its target, very much like a modern day gun. In Grecian times it was found that cast lead projectiles were superior since the weight of the projectile reduced the drag of passage through the air.(2) Since the casting of lead projectiles was found to be cheaper than the construction of arrows or bolts this immediately make the hand-sling and projectile a much cheaper weapon to manufacture.(3) In addition to the cost reducton, it was found that an experienced slinger could fire in excess of twelve rounds a minute as opposed to the bowman who could hardly do half of that.

(1) Hawkins, 1847; Korfmann, 1973;
(2) Walker, 2004;
(3) Wise, 1976.

Respectfully Submitted;
Marcus Audens
Marcus Minucius Audens

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