What is Slingshot?
A slingshot, shanghai, flip, bean shooter, or a hand catapult (primarily British English) is a small hand-powered projectile weapon. The term wrist-rocket, sometimes used generically to describe any slingshot, is a registered trademark of Saunders Archery. The classic form consists of a Y-shaped frame held in the off hand, with two rubber strips attached to the uprights. The other ends of the strips lead back to a pocket which holds the projectile. The pocket is grasped by the dominant hand and drawn back to the desired extent to provide power for the projectile (up to a full span of the arms with sufficiently long bands).
One of the dangers inherent in slingshots is the high probability that the bands will fail. Most bands are made from latex, which degrades with time and use, causing the bands to eventually fail under load.
Failures at the pouch end are safest, as they result in the band rebounding away from the user.
Failures at the fork end, however, send the band back towards the shooter's face, which can cause injuries. One method to minimize the chance of a fork-end failure is to utilize a tapered band, thinner at the pouch end, and thicker and stronger at the fork end. Designs that use loose parts at the fork are the most dangerous, as they can result in those parts being propelled back towards the shooters face, such as the ball attachment used in the recalled Daisy "Natural" line of slingshots, shown at right. The band could slip out of the slot it rested in, and the hard ball in the tube resulted in cases of blindness and broken teeth. Daisy models using plain tubular bands were not covered in the recall, because the elastic tubing itself does not cause severe injuries upon failure.