Home Forums Ancients Early Imperial Roman Legionary Slingers Reply To: Early Imperial Roman Legionary Slingers

Sane Max

I make and use my own slings, oddly my Lead Sling Bullets are exactly 50 grams.

a LOT of bӣ%*X is talked about slings. They do not have the same stopping power as a 44 magnum. Unless the target rolled and fell over on the sling bullet?

They are an effective thing, but they stopped being used for a simple reason – gunpowder weapons did what they do, but a lot better.

Slinging.org are lovely folk, but they do tend to be a bit ‘pro-sling’.  Just a bit…. members range from the serious type to the ‘Kid who just got some nunchuks’ type.

The three-sling folk referenced above is from Polybius, and refers to Balearic slingers – auxiliaries in other words.

I have never used a sling on a horse, but can see no reason why you couldn’t. Power and range would be very adversely effected though. I have slung sitting and kneeling, and it’s not hard, but is much weaker as a lot of the power comes from the legs. The most common method of use is pretty much the same as throwing a baseball, juts with a much longer arm 🙂 . Can you throw a baseball sat on a horse?


Re-enator slingers have also been in touch and they say that it does not take a lot of space or training to use a sling against a massed target at relatively short range (say 30-40 metres).

The issues I have had with learning to sling, all done on my own, may be instructive

– Sling power is mainly a function of arm power times sling length. Longer slings are more powerful.

  • Longer slings are less accurate than short ones.
  • I spend my day typing and making ‘phone calls rather than wrassling sheep or chopping wood, so I am hardly representative of the typical ancient slinger
  • I am dyspraxic.

So. I was shown how to use a bow when I was a kid. Once shown, and after a day, I could at least get the arrow to go vaguely where I wanted it to, and to a fair distance.  When I started slinging, I was fortunate after a week to be able to hit a brick wall at 30 yards.

I showed a passer-by how to use a sling once. It immediately made clear to me that they are a skirmish weapon.  you don’t want to use a sling within 2 sling lengths of someone else using one, unless you and he spend a few days training together, or you want a full sling-pouch to the back of the head occasionally. You move a little when slinging – a step back, a step forward at the throw. Archers can group far more tightly than slingers can. The armoured Assyrians slinging in ranks from the British Museum carvings are either the ultimate trained experts, or more likely an artist making the Great King’s lads look terrifying.

Sling bullets are stopped quite easily by any sort of armour, but the concussion of the impact would be very effective against someone in Linothorax for example. I have seen damage to ballistic Gel that was covered in mail for a test shot.

There are slings and slings. my 50g bullets are on the light side, If I was buying a new bullet-mould I would get 75g. But I have slung lead bullets the size of a hen’s egg (guess what I used for a mould?) and that could smash breezeblocks at 60 feet, and my favourite ammo for a staff-sling is half a housebrick. Like I say, a long sling is far more powerful than a short one – a sling is a lever.







  • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by Sane Max.