Band tuning is utterly essential to excellent performance when shooting a slingshot.

We talk about this one a lot. Band tuning is utterly essential to excellent performance when shooting a slingshot.

The process is simple, and just requires a little bit of math. The bottom line is that the latex power lies in its elongation. The further you stretch it the more power it has. So, if you don’t stretch it very far you’re not going to have much power.

Also, the more you stretcher the faster it wears out. So tuning your bands means finding the perfect place for you at your draw length where you have a balance of power and longevity that you want.

For example, if you stretch or bands to only 300% or three times elongation, you will get very little power but your bands will last much longer than if you were shooting at a much higher elongation.

Stretch your bands to 600% or six times elongation, and you will get fantastic speed and power but a shorter band life. The whole range in between is where you can experiment to find the perfect elongation for your shooting style.

The one thing you need to know is your draw length. You must measure the distance from the tip of your fork on your slingshot to your anchor point. This is your draw length.

Your draw length divided by the elongation factor is (at rest) is called your active band length.

For example, if your draw length is 30 inches and do you want to use a 300% elongation, you would want your bands to be 10 inches at rest. This is just an example. Shooting bands this long at only a 30 inch draw will result in very little power. And remember, your active band length does not include the pouch or the latex that is used for tying in or binding your band set to the frame.

A more reasonable example would be: if you have a 30 inch draw and want to shoot at a 5X or 500% elongation, you would want to trim your bands to 6 inches plus whatever bit of latex is needed to bind your band set to the frame. So probably about 6 1/2 inches not counting the pouch.

Knowing how to tune your band set is critical to slingshot performance.
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