GUEST ARTICLE-article 2 of 2 today
Low Tech Weapon Options
The purpose of this article is to discuss low tech/low cost, weapon options. I’d also like to concentrate on options that are concealable, and would easily fit into an emergency pack. I’m not advocating bugging out from the city, but rather, the possibility that even rural dwellers might find a time when it will be necessary to retreat in haste to the woods for awhile. Obviously, it goes without saying that a gun is a superior choice. But for the purposes of this article, we will assume that firearms are not a practical option, for any myriad of reasons.
The first consideration is a take down bow. My Samick Sage take down bow is a decent quality recurve, but it is still pretty bulky, and wouldn’t fit into anything but a larger pack. The bow is easy to control and aim, and slings arrows with decent force, even using the 30lb limbs (The limbs on this bow are interchangeable, and you can purchase up to 60lb limbs if you wish). Also, to keep this ensemble truly packable, you would really want to include take down arrows along with it. This goes for the following concept being discussed as well.
Still, I really wanted something that was much more concealable, would still be fairly effective, and would fit into a small minimalist bag. I also wanted something that would be affordable for the limited income survivalist. First off, I purchased a Slingbow for $20 (linked below). I purchased a model that does not have the arm stabilizer (As with the wrist rocket) and I found my Slingbow harder to control as a result. So if you do get a Slingbow, consider getting a model that includes a stabilizer. Also, my slingbow was horribly inaccurate, even after I straightened the misaligned forks. It also shot arrows with very little force. So be careful when deciding to purchase one, and be sure to read through the reviews thoroughly before making your decision. But a good quality slingbow will suffice for game up to the size of deer and wild pig. Here is a video that I came across a while back, that shows you how to make a simple, yet effective slingbow, for very little cost.
How To Make A 45 Pound PVC Slingbow for $5 Zommbie Defence (sic) fishing, compact
Also worth mentioning is that some savvy individuals turned their simple slingshots into slingbows by increasing the poundage on their slingshot bands, and by placing a keyring across the forks to serve as an arrow rest, secured by a rubber band. I will be trying this myself at some point.
At the same time that I was researching Slingbows, I came across The Pocket Shot (Link below). I didn’t purchase one initially, but I found myself intrigued by this small, unconventional slingshot. It should be noted right off, that the standard pocket shot is designed to fire steel shot. However, there is also The Pocket Shot Arrow Kit. The arrow kit, in addition to firing arrows, can also fire steel shot, so it’s more versatile than the standard pocket shot. I paid $25 for my pocket shot arrow kit, because I didn’t want to pay the $50 that Amazon was charging for the official version, so I got the cheaper Chinese knock off at Ebay. I’m sad to report that the pocket shot was unimpressive in my test results. Sad, because I really wanted it to work out, being so concealable, and I loved the concept of the design. And even though I did purchase the Chinese knock off, it should be noted that I did purchase the authentic pocket shot arrow pouches, which also fit my Chinese model. Even then, I was still unable to get any kind of draw length in order to propel either arrows, or steel shot, with any kind of serious force or accuracy. As such, I’d have to say that you should pass on the pocket shot, at least at this point in time, until further refinement hopefully comes along at some point down the road.
Finally, there is the good old fashioned slingshot, the weapon of choice for such youthful television icons as Bart Simpson and Dennis The Menace (Speaking of which, did anyone else here want to bang Dennis’s mom? Okay, now we’re getting off topic :D ). In my research, I was surprised to see that there were entire online communities out there devoted to the use of the slingshot. As one might assume, many of these folks are from areas of the world where gun rights are heavily restricted. To my amazement, I was quite impressed by how well these folks put their slingshots to use, and with great effectiveness. Small game hunting with good success was no issue for these slingshot aficionados. I had never given the slingshot much consideration as a serious survival weapon; my only experience with them being the wooden Wham-O slingshots of my youth, that we just toyed around with. But of course, as one might imagine, there is many, many hours of practice involved, before one could ever hope to take to the field, and have any level of success with hunting. They would also suffice for defense, if that’s all that you had. But I’m not suggesting that they be used as a primary source of meat procurement. The ability to produce snares, dead falls, and fish traps, should be the primary method of meat procurement in a survival situation. Though if you are good enough, and game is plenty enough, you might find yourself reassessing this strategy, by taking a proactive approach.
Finally, another important consideration is that the slingshot/slingbows are heavily dependent on oil age rubber or latex materials. The good news is that the bands and tubes are quite affordable to buy in bulk. This means the ability to stockpile the bands, and being able to preserve enough of them, until hopefully, a rubber cottage industry once again emerges. Some people also made decent slingshot rubbers from old bicycle inner tubes, so think twice before throwing those old inner tubes out.
In closing, I’d say if you do not mind packing a larger item, then the take down recurve bow is hard to beat. Regardless of your bugout choice, everyone should have a simple bow, or the ability to produce simple bows for the apocalypse. You should also have plenty of Dacron for string making material as well.
The slingbow is a great bugout option for those that do not wish the bulkiness of the bow, though still bulkier than a standard slingshot, and even more so after including the arrows.
And the slingshot is a great option, due to its ability to be easily packed in an emergency kit. A small slingshot, even with some steel projectiles (recommended for accuracy) will take up almost no space in a pack. In the end, the small, compact, metal slingshot (linked below) with steel projectiles, was my personal choice.
The Pocket Shot (I cannot recommend it at this time without further refinement)
My Slingbow (I do not recommend this particular model)
My slingshot ($13 and all metal construction)