Weapons have been around for a long time. One of the oldest, yet still used, is the catapult. Providing you buy the right one and learn to use it well, it can be a beneficial survival and hunting tool for your bug-out bag. In this article, we are going to look at how to pick a survival catapult.
However, how do you choose the best catapult for hunting? There are various things that you need to consider before buying your preppers catapult. First of all, you need to know that you can purchase hunting catapults that are very basic, yet very useful. However, the newer models are much more lethal and much more accurate than anything that has ever been available.
The newer models on the market are very high-tech, and they are dangerous weapons. Therefore, if you are in a survival situation, they can be an essential tool for hunting for food. While some people prefer to have more sophisticated methods for hunting, it is still always a great idea to have some of the basics such as a survival knife, multi-tool, and a catapult.
How To Pick A Survival Catapult
If you have ever used a catapult, of if you speak to someone who has, then you will know how invaluable they can be in times of need. However, unfortunately, not all catapults are made the same. Before we get into the specifics of which catapults you should consider, we need to look at the factors that you should look for first. There are three main parts to a slingshot, and you need to pick the best of each to get the most out of the equipment that you buy.
There are three different types of materials that manufacturers use for the frames. Each of them has its benefits and downfalls, so you need to know what they are before you pick one, and it ends up being the wrong one. They are:
- Plastic. – Plastic is still not a one type fits all. However, it is the cheapest to manufacture, and therefore, the most affordable to buy. Different types of plastic will offer different weights, feelings, grips, etc. If you want the lightest kind of catapult, certainly go for high-quality plastic.
- Wood. – Wood is the oldest catapult material that you can get. They still mimic the Y shape of a tree branch, but you can find them in many different forms. They usually feel better than any other material, and you can make them yourself with ease.
- Metal. – Indeed, the most expensive of the three types, but they are also the most durable and most robust, too. If you buy a good quality one, they can be lighter than the others, too. However, they can be cumbersome if you have the lower-end ones. You can add handle wraps to the frame to make them more comfortable.
There are two main options for firing bands, and each of them has its advantages and downfalls, too. Knowing the different uses for each is essential in picking your hunting catapult. In general terms, flat bands are better for hunting, as they are more powerful and accurate. However, tube bands will outlast flat, so, it is our opinion that you should carry both types.
- Flat bands. – Flat bands produce a faster, therefore more powerful, and more accurate shots. That is due to the rapid “snapback” of the bands. Along with the quicker projectile speed, you will also have the extra advantage of a smoother draw. So, if you are looking for speed, accuracy, and damage, flat bads are your best choice.
- Tubes. – Tubes will last longer than flat bands, period. As there are more tubes than bands, they can offer differing draw weights, meaning that you get a different feel depending on the weight. You should take some time to pick, which is the best for you. Rubber tubes are the better option for if you need to be in survival mode for a longer time.
Our opinion is to have a flat band if you think that you will be bugging out for a short time. However, always carry a set of tubes, just in case SHTF more.
Hunting Catapult Pouch
Yes, the pouch does matter more than you think. While people believe that a pouch is just for holding the projectile, which it is, it needs to do it well. Comfort and grip are the two main priorities when it comes to a pouch. Using a leather variety will offer superior performance in both aspects, it will mold to the ammo, and give you a firmer, more comfortable grip.
A comfortable grip is critical. While you may think that you are only going to take a few shots to take down some game, you will need a lot of practice. The practice is the key to getting a better accuracy when you need it, and having a soft, ergonomic grip will allow you to take more shots without giving you blisters or hand and wrist fatigue. The better the fit, the more you can fire with it; the more you fire, the better you get.
While you may get a pretty good shot without a sight, you can bet your bottom dollar that you will have a lot more accuracy with a sight. They will provide you with a fixed point of reference, meaning that you can become more accustomed to the range and accuracy of the catapult, giving you a better chance of hitting the target when the time matters. Some sights have more than one reference point, too, so that you can get further shots accurately.
While hollow handles are not as sturdy as the solid counterparts, they do offer some quick access storage for ammo. However, it is not only ammo that you can store in there if it fits; you can store it. Spare bands, firelighters, and ammo are my favorite to store. However, as I have said, they are not as strong as the solid variants.
Having a catapult with wrist support will offer a few benefits. First of all, you will have a marked reduction in wrist and hand fatigue while you are practicing. Furthermore, you will have more stability while shooting, meaning that your aim will be better. Some people prefer not to use them, but the majority of them can fold out of the way, so my opinion is to buy one with it, and see how you prefer, you can always upgrade.
Pros And Cons Of Catapult Hunting
As with everything, there are some pros and cons to using catapults for hunting. Now that you know what to look for in a slingshot, you may want to know what the pros and cons of them in general are.
- Accurate and lethal
- Very quiet
- Quick and easy to reload
- Low cost
- Unlimited ammo; stones.
- Practice required, as with anything
- Ammo can get heavy when you carry a lot
- You will need replacement bands
As you can see, there are a few cons to it, but they are similar to anything. Rifle hunting has a lot more parts to go wrong, and the ammo is heavier, and you still need just as much practice. So, having a catapult in your bug out bag is undoubtedly an advantage, no matter what.
Now we will have a look through our top picks for hunting catapults.
Best Hunting Catapult
Here is a selection of our favorite catapults, or slingshots, that you can buy.
- Axiom Ocularis
- Lodonc Slingshot
- I-Sport Hunting Catapult
The first of our choice is the Axiom Ocularis. This catapult is made in the USA by slingshot enthusiasts, so you know that it is going to be one of the best. There are some downsides to this catapult that we have pointed out above, and there is no sight on this item. However, that is the only downside, as the rest of this catapult is terrific. In fact, unless you specifically want one with a sight, you probably don’t need to read the rest of our recommendations.
The Axion Ocularis is so good that it has won more tournaments for competitive slingshot shooting in the USA than any other catapult. The thermoplastic is durable and lightweight, and it has holes in the handle so that you can use paracord to customize it and make it more comfortable to use. The patented band change system makes it extremely easy to change the bands, and it will hold both flats or tubes.
It comes with a microfiber pouch to allow even more feeling of holding the ammo, but it may still be better for you to get a leather pouch and try the difference.
- Exact duplicate of Nathan Masters‘ personal Axiom Ocularis
- Simple band change
- Allows flat or tubes, in multiple configurations
- No sights
The Lodonic catapult certainly has more features than the Axiom. It is a lovely combination of the strength of stainless steel and the comfort of wood, making this an excellent all-rounder. It is also more substantial than the Axiom, but that is to be expected given the material. However, what this catapult does have is removable and adjustable sights. Within those sights, you have two options, a single point or a triple point. The triple point makes it easier for learning the techniques of holding.
For even easier sighting, you can use cord in the center sight holes, which gives you a colored reference point. Those sights are interchangeable, so you can have them on either side of the posts, which helps if you are left or right eye dominant.
It comes in a handy carry case that allows you to hold all of the spares and Allen wrench that you need for adjusting the sight, and a stubby screwdriver if the thumbscrews are difficult for you to use.
- Adjustable and interchangeable sights
- Carry case
- Spare bands
- Not customizable on the handle
- Heavier than the Axiom
Not too dissimilar to the Lodonic catapult above, but it is slightly bigger. It is similar looking, but the design is somewhat different. I feel like this is slightly more ergonomic than the previous, as the handle is more shaped to fit the hand. However, of course, that is a personal preference, and it will depend on your hand size. The stainless steel and wood construction is just as durable, too. However, the handle is not customizable either.
The sights are different on this as there are only two points, but they are adjustable, you can put them on either side, and it also has other aim points for different range firing. This product doesn’t come with as many accessories as the others, but the grip and sight are what sets it apart from them.
- Ergonomic handle
- Adjustable Sights
- Not many accessories
- Heavier than the Axiom
Catapults are an essential part of any bug-out bag, even if you do not intend to use them all of the time. There will be times when you have no other option, and you need to hunt. These will kill small game such as rabbits, or fish if you can get to them. They could undoubtedly save your life when SHTF. As an ending note, if I had to pick one, the Axiom is my pick every day, if you haven’t already guessed.