The Countryman's Weekly

Catapults

Catapults
March 25
08:06 2020

Getting the best from your set-up

By Wayne Martin.

FLAT band is the modern-day choice for catapults. Lots of people still use the old-school surgical elastic (tubes) or square and, of course, it’s everybody’s own choice what they shoot. Having shot all of them over the years, it’s my opinion flat band is the best option.

It does come with some drawbacks as generally it lasts nowhere near as long as tubes or square, can be affected in strong wind by vibrating and flapping around a bit, and it’s more affected by the cold. However, I still feel it’s a much better choice than the other two.

Flat band comes in many different thicknesses, and these are designed to be catered to ball size. Generally, the smaller the ball you’re using, the thinner band you’ll need. Don’t be fooled into thinking if you take a relatively small ball and use a high-strength band that you’ll get supersonic speed – it doesn’t work like that. Light ball, light band. Heavy ball, heavy band. Bands range from 0.45-1.2 millimetres thick and this would cater for ammunition from as small as 6mm to as large as 14-16mm.

The best-performing flat bands are tapered from one end to the other, the wider end being attached to the forks. This is done for several reasons, the first being safety. If the band fails and snaps, generally it’s always going to break at the weakest part – the thin end is attached to the pouch so if the elastic breaks, it flies forwards away from your face and no harm is done. If the elastic were to break at the fork end, you’d have a high-speed piece of rubber coming back at you in the face, and potentially your eye, so tapers are good.

 

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