Hand-Sling #2

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Hand-Sling #2

Postby Marcus Minucius Audens » Wed Jun 15, 2016 5:44 pm

>>>> Hand-Sling #2 <<<<

As prevously indicated the Hand-Sling started out using small smooth pebbles from a stream bed, but as more and more people looked into it, the better the Sling Ammunition became. The Hand-Sling did very well, actually, with this more simplistic ammunition, simply because a slinger was able to generate a higher "Muzzle Velocity" than that of a bowman, against an enemy. This idea was basic to the fact that a smooth projectile would not encounter as much resistance during the flight to the target, as did an arrow. Now in regard to striking power, the bow was more efficient since the weight of the arrow behind a sharp point, struck the target with a small impact area. This impact area, in average, was found to be about 0.08cm over all. in the earlier years of Hand-Sling usage, with the more irregular shaped pebbles, the average impact area was about 1.9cm over all. This larger impact area was largely responsible for the projectile's failure to puncture its way into flesh or to punch its way through armor. Since, during this time, the arrows and projectiles had about the same weight, neither had any significant advantage in regard to the total weight of the projectile being fired. (1)

A slinger who had some degree of training and skill could actually fire projectiles which could attain the speed of 90 meters/second . The best of the trained and experienced bowmen, using a longbow, and firing five arrows at a rapid rate could do no better than a much slower 60 meters/second. This additional speed (kinetic energy) result was a more severe impact on the person of the enemy, however, because the area of impact of the arrowhead tip is about 1/24th the size of a typical pebble stone, the penetration factor was still greater for the bowman's weapon. However, the impact of the stone against flesh does have some very interesting effects from the point of the slinger. The impact of a Hand-Sling pebble has the ability to cause severe internal bleeding and even in some cases is liable to crush bones. (2)

There are some comments regarding the results of a slinger attack which have been recorded in history:

>>> During the Spanish Conquest of the Aztec Empire in the 15th century an observer recorded that a Andean slinger could shatter swords or kill a horse in a single hit. (3)

>>> Vegitus, a Roman writer in the late 4th century, observed in his famous "Epitoma Rei Militaris:" - "Soldiers, despite their defensive armor, are often more aggravated by the round stones from the sling than by all the arrows of the enemy. Stones kill without mangling the body, and the contusion is mortal without the loss of blood."

>>> A quote from Diodorus Siculus, A Greek Historian from the 1st century AD is also revealing -- "But when Hamicar saw that his men were being overpowered and that the Greeks, in constantly increasing numbers, were making their way into his camp, he brought up his slingers, who came from the Balearic Islands and numbered at least one thousand. By hurling a number of great stones, they wounded many and even killed, not a few of those who were attacking, and they shattered the defensive armor of most of them. For these men, who are accustomed to sling stones weighing a mina (--o.6kg), contributed a great deal toward victory in battle [. . . ]In this way they drove the Greeks from the camp, and defeated them." (Book XIX. 109).

Later in the cycle of new projectile designs for the sllng, the lead projectile was shaped more in the conical way that would result in striking the enemy point first. Now, this impact area, while still larger than an arrow point, assured that the projectile had a far better chance of penetration than previously. This improvement is detailed by Grunfeld. (4) In addition, Celsus, who is a medical writer from the 1st century BC, has said in his writings, "De Medicina" the following:

>>> . . . . there is a third type of [projectile] that sometimes needs to be removed, a leaden bullet or rock or something similar, which breaking through the skin, lodges inside in one piece. In all these cases, the wound needs to be opened a bit wider, and what is inside must be extracted with pincers along the same pathway by which it entered.


(1) Korfmann, 1973; Gabriel, 1991; Richardson, 1998a; Skobelev, 2000;
(2) Ferrill, 1985; Grunfeld, 1996;
(3) Kormann, 1973; Wise 1978;
(4) Grunfeld, 1996;

Respectfully Submitted;
Marcus Audens
Marcus Minucius Audens

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