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The best slingshots on the market today go well beyond the forked sticks and cut-up bicycle tire tubes we played with in our youth. Nowadays, we’re talking about high-end materials combined with precision engineering. As a result, these aren’t toys but powerful tools.
We’ve gathered together a few excellent options. Your final choice will largely depend upon your intended use of it, whether we’re talking about hunting, taking care of critters that are after your garden produce, or just plinking at cans for giggles. At the end of the day, the best slingshots are ones that will deliver the payload with authority while being easy to handle.
- Best Value: Beeman Marksman Laserhawk
- Best for Beginners: Scout Hunting Slingshot
- Best EDC Slingshot: TOPS Knives Mini Slingshot
I’ve used various makes and models of slingshots since I was a young kid growing up out in the sticks. From homemade ones cobbled together from tree branches and rubber bands to wrist rockets and more, no tin can or soda bottle was safe. Ammunition was usually smooth rocks picked up on lake shores, though marbles or steel shot was an occasional splurge when I had the funds.
There are three primary factors that were used when evaluating slingshots for this article.
- Value: Few of us have enough disposable income that we can afford to just toss money away on something that’s worthless, even if it is neat looking.
- Quality: When it comes to a tool that might be used to provide food or at least prevent food from being taken from us—like when we find Mr. Rabbit hopping our garden fence—we need to be certain the tool will hold up to actual use.
- Reputation: Any flight-by-night company can slap some tubing on a cheap frame and call it a slingshot. For my recommendations here, I stuck with brands that are well-known for reliability.
Best Slingshots: Reviews & Recommendations
Best Value: Beeman Marksman Laserhawk
Beeman Marksman Laserhawk Marksman
Why It Made the Cut: The Beeman Marksman Laserhawk is very similar to the wrist rockets we had when we were kids. It is accurate and dependable, while being very easy on the wallet.
- Tempered steel arm and yoke
- Elastic tubes, not bands
- Weighs 0.7 pound
- Uses 1/4-inch or 3/8-inch steel shot
- Folds for storage or carrying
- Wrist support for stability
- The elastic tubes aren’t tremendously powerful
A wrist-rocket style of slingshot like the Beeman Marksman Laserhawk can be more accurate than its counterparts, owing to the stability offered by the support arm. The more accurate you are, the more use you’ll get out of the slingshot. This one is designed to handle both 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch steel shot, which gives you options so you can tailor the ammunition to the target, using the larger ones for larger critters.
The yoke is tempered steel, making it strong and unlikely to snap under pressure. The handle has finger grooves for comfort. When needed, the elastic tubes are easy to replace or swap out for ones that offer more knockdown power.
What’s really nice is that this slingshot can fold up relatively flat, making it easy to store and economical in terms of space. It is also easier to pack in your bag when you’re headed out into the wild. All of that for under fifteen bucks, giving you plenty of room in the budget for ammunition and such.
Best for Beginners: Scout Hunting Slingshot
Scout Hunting Slingshot SimpleShot
Why It Made the Cut: With the Scout’s simple but effective design it is easy to learn the basics of accuracy, allowing the beginner to succeed with just a little practice.
- Polycarbonate construction
- Weighs 4.6 ounces
- Made in the USA
- Can easily switch elastics
- Supports different shooting styles
- Ergonomic handle
- Comes with just one set of elastic bands
With a very traditional look and feel, the Scout Hunting Slingshot is easy to use. The first time you pick it up, it feels almost familiar already. A key element to accuracy with anything is repeatability. The handle on this slingshot is comfortable in the hand as well as being very easy to hold in precisely the same position again and again.
The slingshot comes with one set of flat band elastics, but it is designed to use anything from tubes to rubber bands. This gives the beginner plenty of options when they’re just starting out with learning how to shoot a slingshot accurately.
This slingshot supports a range of shooting styles, too. Whether you prefer a hammer grip, a pinched grip, or a fork-supported grip, you’ll be able to do it comfortably with this model. Again, this allows the beginner to experiment a bit and try different styles to see which one is best for them.
Best EDC Slingshot: TOPS Knives Mini Slingshot
TOPS Knives Mini Slingshot TOPS Knives
Why It Made the Cut: If you’re looking for a slingshot you can carry with you just about anywhere, you want something small and compact. The TOPS Knives Mini Slingshot fits the bill nicely, while remaining seriously useful.
- 3.5 inches long
- Weighs 1.3 ounces
- Micarta handle
- Leather sheath included
- Can easily fit in a pocket
- Powder-coated steel construction
- Not as instinctive as other models
TOPS Knives introduced their first slingshot in 2017 and it proved to be wildly successful. Their Mini Slingshot is the same high-quality construction, just on a smaller scale. With its black powder-coated steel and tan Micarta handle, it fits right in with the bushcraft appearance of many of the knives made by TOPS.
The goal was to create a slingshot small enough to be easily carried on a regular basis, something you could use for plinking whenever the urge strikes. This slingshot is so small and lightweight, you could forget you had it with you. The leather sheath allows you to carry it on a belt either vertical or horizontal, but you could just as easily toss it into a pocket. Add a handful of steel shot in a small plastic bag and you’re ready to go.
With just a little practice in the backyard, this small-scale slingshot will prove to punch way above its weight class in performance.
Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Slingshots
There are countless slingshots on the market today, and it can be difficult to decide which one would be best for you. Here’s what you need to consider.
If you can’t afford it, then it won’t matter if it’s the best slingshot ever made. Fortunately, even what we’d consider to be a “high-end” slingshot is far more reasonably priced than a firearm. Realistically, most people can fit the average slingshot into their budget. Ammunition price is a related consideration. Though again, ball bearings or marbles are considerably cheaper than bullets, not to mention easier to reuse. When practicing in your backyard, hang an old comforter from a clothesline behind your target, leaving it loose on the bottom. This makeshift backstop will make it easy to collect your shots to use again.
The body of the slingshot should be durably constructed from quality materials. If the handle breaks during use, it could lead to serious injury. It also needs to be comfortable and easy to keep stable when you’re using it. The more ergonomic it is, the more accurate you’ll be with it.
The elastic is what provides the power for the slingshot. There are two types—tube or flat bands. Tubes are best if you’ll be hunting or otherwise taking the slingshot out into the wilderness, as they tend to stand up better to rough use. Flat bands are often more powerful and give a slight edge for accuracy, but they wear out more quickly.
Q: Can you use a slingshot for self-defense?
You certainly can use a slingshot for self-defense. Doing so requires sufficient practice ahead of time to ensure accuracy, of course, as well as a steady hand when you’re under pressure. But many slingshots are powerful enough to cause serious injury to a would-be assailant.
Q: Is a slingshot illegal?
It is impossible to give a blanket answer as to whether a slingshot is illegal, as jurisdictions have varying laws regarding the possession and use of slingshots. Many municipalities, for example, have outlawed the use of wrist-supported slingshots, what many have termed to be “wrist rockets.” In some areas, it depends on how you’re using the slingshot, such as for hunting. It is best to consult both state laws as well as municipal ordinances to be clear on what is and what is not allowed in your area.
Q: How effective is a slingshot?
A slingshot is an extremely effective tool for hunting, defense, and similar pursuits. They are effective enough that laws have been enacted to control their use in some areas. Whether you’re trying to harvest a rabbit for dinner or just keep that groundhog from stealing lettuce out of your garden, a slingshot is a powerful and effective tool.
Final Thoughts on the Best Slingshots
Shooting a slingshot can be a great way to spend an afternoon with your kids as well as an excellent option for small game out in the field. Each of the ones listed here will do their jobs well, without being overly complicated to set up and use. Pick one up and have some fun!