Our new slingstring is ready and waiting for action. (I have been calling this cordage contraption for glans shooting a “pouched-double-string”. However, that’s quite a mouthful. Apollodorus and the rest of the cognoscenti may get a chuckle, but “slingstring” says it all, I think.)

The leather pocket seen in the photo is currently empty. The double strings are closer together than our previous version from a couple of years ago. This should help to relieve some of the downpressure on the deck, lowering friction and increasing velocity. At least that is the theory. We’ll see…..

6 Responses to “More than just a mouthful.”


  1. Randi Richert says:

    Nick,
    I love to watch what you’re doing. It always seems to answer some questions and more importantly raise new ones.


  2. Nick says:

    Thank you Randi. After I suss this pouch out with some different weight glandes, we’ll see what happens with a carefully controlled load of one inch long, 1/2″ round bars. This pouch should hold at least a dozen I would think. Cheers…


  3. Randi Richert says:

    I predict a whirring path of death and mayhem, especially with round bar. It will be most interesting to see what the shot pattern velocity and peneration look like. Will you be able to get an accurate read multiple projectiles using your type of chronograph?

    I’ve got a solution for the deck clearance issues when shooting stones/glandes. The answer lies in our discussion of you post about the rail with incised grooves back in December. Then think of how a stonebow, or better yet a modern slingshot works. With those two things in mind look at the images of the ballista in transport and the one being set up on Trajan’s Column and see if you come to the same conclusion I do.

    A hint…sometimes what’s missing is more important than what you see.


  4. Nick says:

    Please tell me you’re not thinking of something like a glorified water balloon catapult. The transport images I am thinking of seem to show an ironframer with the stock removed. …..Nah! that’s not it. Couldn’t be.

    I’ll ponder some more. But not right now. I’m off to try that new slingstring.


  5. Randi Richert says:

    Great minds do think alike. Actually, I hadn’t thought of the water balloon catapult angle, but it’s a very fitting analogy. The only thing I would ammend from your answer would be that the stock/case is still where it belongs. That is to say, it extends back from behind the ladder to the winch as it should with a stand-mounted inswinger.

    Because it is a piece of field artillery and not a belly-cocked hand weapon there is no need for the case to stick out beyond the frame. Rifles have a forehand, howitzers don’t.

    What’s missing is the grooved rail (AKA canalis fundus or quadratus stylus) that gets installed once you decide you’re shooting sharps, as is being done in the other image I mentioned.

    The grooved rail is tall enough that when it is in place it causes a slight downpressure on the bowstring reducing tail waggle as you have so aptly demonstrated.

    When it is removed there is more vertical room for the double slingstring, pouch, and payload to move unimpeded.

    The chelonium and claw act just like the thumb and foreifnger do on a wrist-rocket. Accuracy is not affected because a slingshot’s aim is determined mostly by the release point, which in this instance will always be at the back of the case near the winch.

    The next question is, what’s the easiest way to attach and lock the grooved rail in place so that it doesn’t cantilever out when the trigger block is run out? My guess is that the case is made as Schramm suggested (Marsden TT p.195 fig#1)but without the dovetails, and it is kept in place by a transverse pin or pins through the sides of the regulae and bottom of the rail. It’s simple, close to what we see on earlier weapons, and can be done standing on the side of the engine as seen on Trajan’s.


  6. Nick says:

    You have mentioned this removal of the forend before, I believe. It would require a different approach for capturing the bowstring as that lock is now accomplised by pinching the string between the rail and the deck. Any unsupported projection of the steel rail (ie. deck) would need to be stiff enough that the rail would not deflect and break the lock. I am not sure I see the advantage to this approach either functionally or historically. On this latter, I suspect you are looking at that TC transport image where there does not appear to be a projecting forend. I am concentrating more on that TC image with the machine set up for operation. In the firing configuration there does indeed appear to be a forend, (see my posting “The Incised Line”). That particular rendition looks so similar to Firefly in terms of a well supported rail system, I would rest my case largely upon it.

    This is not to say that your point does not have merit. If it didn’t you may be assured that I would not be “shy” in attacking it. If I ever build another machine, I will consider what you say on this matter more closely. For now we are stuck with this, as I see it, handsome probiscus.

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