The Pocket Shot 2.0 is a winner.
Just over a year ago, I reviewed the original Pocket Shot slingshot. This circular slingshot has been on the market for a few years now it's one of the more interesting new products out there.
One I really liked, the other disappointed me. Read on to find out more about these products.
The Hammer Handle
I'm going to talk about the Pocket Shot Hammer first because of these two products, I was not as impressed with this as the 2.0. When I first reviewed the Original Pocket Shot slingshot, I figured the Hammer would be easier to aim and use than the first iteration. After all, the original circular slingshot takes some getting used to on its own. As I noted in my original review, you will not be good with the Original or the Hammer right off the bat.
After using both, I'm not sure if the Hammer is better. The Hammer handle basically turns this into a more traditional slingshot. The Hammer kit they sent me also included a wrist brace, which does work well at giving a more traditional slingshot feel and better stability.
So, to start things off, I put one of the black standard pouches on the pocket hammer. One thing I love about these slingshots is the ingenious and simple system of quickly changing out pouches based on the ammo you're using. It only takes seconds to do it by sliding the cap into the inner ring and turning it to loosen or tighten the ring and pouch.
I used traditional steel ammo you can find any Walmart for these tests, but you can also use small stones and even small paintballs. Whatever you use, the Hammer handle does feel like a regular slingshot. I don't have anything to measure how many fps the balls were flying, but they're enough to blow through a small cardboard box and, I'm presuming, small game like squirrels or rabbits.
I hate to say it, but the pocket hammer handle almost takes away from the compact nature of the original circular design to add this large handle to it. This is more of a frequent backyard plinking device than the original, which I would almost classify as a survival item. For instance, you can trick this one out with some rail mount attachments, something you can't do with the original.
After putting a ton of rounds through this thing, it's still tricky to shoot. Even with a handle, the Pocket Shot takes some getting used to. I think people good with traditional slingshots are going to have an easier time with this than I did.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not trashing the handle design, it just turns out I like holding the original circular design better, which I did not expect when I first opened up this product.
The Pro Arrow Kit
The arrow kit was something I was interested in when Pocket Shot first sent me the Original slingshot over a year ago. Then they unexpectedly sent it to me out of the blue this summer. But this kit ended up disappointing me greatly.
The kit they sent me included three of the red arrow pouches and the Pro Arrow pouch. The Pro pouch includes a loop at the end and an archery-style trigger release. Of these two pouches, I liked the red Pocket Shot arrow pouches best. Pocket Shot also includes a very nice whisker biscuit arrow rest that screws into the front of the slingshot and some nock caps to protect the pouch while you're shooting.
But sadly, once I got to testing, neither pouch performed the way I'd seen these pouches perform in other videos. The arrows had almost no velocity flying out of the pouches. Most of the time they just kind of flopped out to the ground.
Worse yet, I couldn't even pull these pouches back as far as people in some other video reviews I've seen online. They didn't seem as flexible. I'm not sure if I just got a bad batch of pouches or what the deal was, but they just flat-out did not work for me.
Eventually, the loop on the Pro Arrow pouch unraveled completely on me and I couldn't test anymore. It may have something to do with the fact that I wasn't using Pocket Shot's branded arrows (which they did not send me) for this test.
Wanting to cover all the bases, I finally got the arrows to work somewhat after putting one of the red pouches and the arrow rest on my original Pocket Shot. Strangely, this was less awkward for me to shoot and I was able to get a few arrows near to where I was aiming. But they still lacked a lot of the velocity that I've seen in videos of this system online.
I tried two different brands and sizes of arrows. I'm not sure if it was the pouches, the arrows or my own skills that were lacking. But in the end, this slingbow really feels more like a novelty for the kids than it does for the adults.
The Pocket Shot 2.0
Pocket Shot sent me the Arrow kit all the way back in August and I've just been so swamped that I haven't had a chance to really test it. While the Hammer Handle was sitting in my to-do pile, another box arrived from Pocket Shot a couple months later. To my surprise, it was the Pocket Shot 2.0.
While the Arrow kit was disappointing, the 2.0 is anything but. This is absolutely the best version of this slingshot they have made so far yet thanks to new pouches and a totally redesigned construction.
First off, instead of plastic, the 2.0 features a durable aluminum construction. It just feels so solid and well-made in the hand. This time however, Pocket Shot built in a gimbal system into the outer ring that allows the inner ring to move around independently. Not only is the gimbal silky-smooth, but it also makes aiming the pocket shot easier than ever.
The outer ring is also greatly improved comfort-wise. My one complaint about the original Pocket Shot was that the hard plastic does a number on your fingers after holding it and shooting for a while. That's not the case with the 2.0.
Pocket Shot put a comfortable rubber coating on the outer ring's metal that will help prevent this slingshot from slipping in your hand. They also put a couple of triangular-shaped holes which are perfect for setting your fingers partly into. It just adds to the stability and ease of aiming this system.
The Pocket Shot 2.0 also features the new Pro pouch 2.0. These pouches seem slightly longer and more flexible than the originals. They also seemed to offer a lot more wallop behind the shot. I had some shots blow right through a cardboard pizza box with ease.
This being the third different version of the Pocket Shot that I've used so far, I feel this one is unequivocally the best of the bunch. I was easily able to hit a small target at up to 20 yards using the 2.0 with just a minimal amount of practice. It probably took me twice as long to accomplish the same with the original Pocket Shot.
I did two rounds of testing with the 2.0 not once did my hands get tired or cramped up like they did with the original. I think the 2.0 would be a great choice for someone older who has weaker or arthritic hands.
I was having so much fun with my last test that before I knew it, I'd gone through the entire box of steel ball slingshot ammo I'd just purchased.
The bottom line
Honestly, if you were to ask me which of these options I'd recommend if you've been thinking about buying a Pocket Shot, I'd go for the 2.0. This is the more expensive option between the Hammer, the original and the Pocket Shot Junior (the only one I haven't tested).
But of these four options, I feel like the 2.0 is the one that truly perfects this design and makes it the most fun to shoot, especially if you're looking for something nice for your child or grandchild to take out back plinking every so often.
The 2.0 looks and feels like something they'll be able to have fun with for years to come.