How To Choose The Best Hunting Catapults For Survival
One of the oldest tools used for procuring food are hunting catapults and a very good bit of survival kit to have in your bug out bag.
But what is the best catapult to hunt with? What is the best value for money and will greatly help you get through SHTF?
Catapults can be made from very basic materials and with practice can be very effective - Today's Catapults are considered a much more lethal and accurate weapon than ever before.
Made from high-tec materials and design giving you a serious weapon.
In a survival situation they would become an essential food hunting tool.
Firstly, let's look at the pros and cons of adding a catapult to your survival kit.
Along with your survival knife and a multi tool knife, a catapult is quite low-tec in it's principle design and operation, relying more on your own skill than the actual catapult itself.
Essentials to consider when choosing the best catapult to hunt with
Pros of The Catapult Design:
- Accurate and deadly
- Very quiet operation
- Easy to load and reload
- Fast reload [with practice]
- Simple operation
- Light weight
- Main working parts are easily changes or repaired
- Low initial cost
- Unlimited supply of ammunition if needed [ eg – stones]
High Tec Catapults
Above is a high powered 'compound' weapon designed to fire both ball bearings and arrows.
This is high tec catapult also has the option of adding a laser sight...!
You can screw the arrow rest attachment to the front of the catapult to allow the arrow to go through.
With the added wrist support you can maintain a steady aim and have a comfortable firing position as well.
Cons of The Catapult Design:
- Practice required to build up accuracy
- Ammunition can be bulky and weighty [ 200x 8mm ball bearings would weigh about 1.5lb ]
- A supply of replacement catapult bands is required
Essentially the catapult has only three components, making it ideal as a low maintenance and easily repairable bit of kit.
The frame, firing bands and pouch - it is also very easy to make your own for forage materials: wooden frame from a tree branch, leather pouch from an old shoe and firing bands for strips of an old cycle inner tube tyre.
Choosing The best catapult to hunt with
Anybody who has used a catapult before will tell you how invaluable it can be in survival situations.
Like any good hunting weapons, not every catapult is made equal. There are a few different features that you should think about which will enable you to choose the right catapult for you
1. Frame Material
There are three main frame materials, namely: plastic, wood and metal. Having different materials to choose from will offer you equally different advantages and disadvantages.
If you know the differences around what each one can offer, there's a much better chance you choosing the best hunting catapult for you.
– Most economical to manufacture and this reflects in the cost.
– Various plastic sub-types available. Offering different advantages in grip and feel as well.
– Glass-filled nylon also offers excellent frame material if you’re looking for a lighter catapult.
– Wooden catapults are the oldest types there is.
– Generally mimicking the 'Y' of a tree branch, but can be formed into many different shapes through laser cutting or hand shaping
-- They tend to offer a good 'feel', and you can make them yourself relatively easily.
– These catapults can offer a light and strong body.
– However, they are generally the most expensive of the three.
-- They are the most robust and longest-lasting frame material you can get.
– Choosing steel or aluminium frame catapults that have an ergonomic handle with added foam, rubber or cord wrapping also offers comfort to the mix.
2. FIRING BAND TYPES:
There are essentially two main band types in use within the market today- the flat rubber type and the tubular band type.
Each band type has a more specific use and will depend on what you intend to use the catapult for.
The rubber tubing type is better known for being durable, as opposed to a catapult with the flat rubber bands generally provide a a more accurate shot and are better in hunting scenarios.
- Flat Bands
– Catapults fitted with the flat bands tend to have a more faster shot and are more accurate, this is due to their rapid “snapback speed” feature ( *The rate at which your projectile moves forward ).
– Flat bands produce a higher 'feet per second' projectile speed with the added advantage of being easier to draw. If you’re firing for accuracy such as hunting, then flat bands are the best choice.
- Rubber Tubing
– Rubber tube band will outlast flat bans. It’s the best set to choose when surviving for longer periods of time.
– Rubber tube bands can offer you a specific draw weight. Choose the type that feels right for your draw strength and the best shooting action/feel.
* The best things is: Firing bands are relatively cheap and easy to get a hold of. Therefore you should test each one out and see which suit you the best.
See a selection of firing bands here;
3: AMMUNITION POUCH:
This may seam like a unnecessary consideration, but the ammo pouch can play it's part in a good catapult. Especially for it's comfort and grip.
Always get a catapult with the pouch made from leather, it will naturally mould to the type and size of the ammo that you use.
Being leather, it's natural properties allow it to remain supple at all times, giving you a feel for the ammo at all times.
4: Other Considerations:
There are many different types o catapults to choose from. Many them come with added features to entice to buyer.
Some of these features can actually add benefits to the product which make it a good purchase.
a) Grip Type:
It is essential that your catapult feels comfortable and has a good grip.
A catapult that provides a good grip do a lot more than just stopping blisters. - It will allow you to practice for longer without hand or wrist fatigue, and give you more shots with better accuracy.
Ergonomic or contoured slingshot handles will fit perfectly in your hand, like this CyberDyer Professional shown below:
b) Target Sighting
Having a sight and a point of reference will greatly improves your accuracy of shot.
It's a great addition to a hunting catapult as it will give you a feel for distance and shooting accuracy.
Sights are key to hunting accuracy and will give you a accuracy advantage especially with smaller game.
A lot of the top catapults will be fitted with an adjustable sighting systems attached, like this Obert Outdoor Catapult shown below:
c) Hollow Handle
A catapult with a hollow handle is worth considering, they are lighter but, being hollow, a lot less stronger.
However, they offer a space to store spare ammo and other survival gear like spare bands, a fire starter, matches, compass and son on.are great for storing additional ammunition or spare bands. These usually come with a screw-on cap at the base of the handle for access.
So a hunting catapult can be as low-tec as you want. Of course there are others, much more specific, high-tec catapults available like this calibrated hunting catapult shown here: ( *sells for £35.00)
Choosing a hunting catapult with a wrist support can help reduce fatigue and muscle stress, especially when practising and taking lots of shots.
But the main purpose of a wrist support is stability. It will aid you to keep the wrist locked in place in order to line a shot more accurately.
Personally, I don't use them, but if you have weaker wrists or for use with a child they are very good.
Overall the pros far outweighs the cons making this type of weapon ideal for hunting and preppers.
Remember you will also need a good supply of ammo [ball bearings seem to work best] and also some replacement bands - [the elastic rubber with replacement pouch.]
That said, there are some excellent hunting catapults around today that work really well and all hover around the same price bracket of between £25 - £100 - Replacement bands will cost anything upto £5 to renew and ball bearing ammo [8mm] is around £5 for 200.
Kotila UK Powerful New Slingshot Catapult Steel Handle Sling Shot Outdoor Game Hunting (Camouflage)
Outdoor Hunting Trumark Catapult heavy duty +2PCS Rubber Bands Replacement Animals Heavy Pull+50PCS 7mm Ball Ammo
Powerful Catapult Set, with Ball Bearing / Flat Rubber Bands / Storage Bag / Magnetic Ring
- Folding slingshot slingshot set: hunting catapult slingshot made of steel,
- Ball bag: makes loading the slingshot professional for hunting very easy and great fun.
- Magnetic Ring of the Twins Slingshot:
- 100 pcs. Steel round balls 8 mm stainless steel
A catapult is a uniquely stealth hunting tool, and with relatively little practice will offer a very effective method of hunting for small game.
There are cheap yet robust tools with the advantage of few moving parts and ammo that can be found on the ground!
I think all preppers should own at least one.....
Steve Hart - UK Preppers Guide