Travis Smola

Gear Review: The Unique But Versatile Pocket Shot Slingshot

The Pocket Shot is a new take on traditional slingshots.

As long as human beings have been hurling projectiles at things through bows, firearms, and other devices, we as a human race have been trying to perfect new designs on them.

This constant innovation even proves true for the simple slingshot. The folks at Pocket Shot decided to take slingshots in a whole new direction with their Pocket Shot circular design slingshots. They recently sent me one of their newer models in Mossy Oak Bottomland camo to test. I'd never used anything liek it, and was eager to give it a try.

I've since learned this kind of slingshot design isn't entirely new. Several YouTube videos I watched had dozens of people commenting on how they used to make slingshots like this as kids. Instead of a rubber band, they would use balloons and the rings off milk jugs or toilet paper tubes.

But it seems Pocket Shot set out to improve upon that idea by making a unique design more rugged and serious.

The Pocket Shot uses a tough latex pouch instead of a balloon to launch projectiles. For the purposes of my testing, I used only the 5/16 inch steel ball bearings they provided with my sample. Their website says you can also use clay balls, airsoft BBs, paintballs, and even smooth river rocks. I'm still going to give some of those other options a try, but the steel ammo just felt right for this thing.

They actually sent me two different types. There is the standard black pouch and a blue pro pouch.

The black pouch is a little more flexible and Pocket Shot says you can get high velocity shots of up to 300 feet per second out of it. I couldn't actually test this because I don't have the equipment to do so, but I'm guessing the claims aren't far off the mark from my observations. The blue pro pouch is a lot heavier and tougher and you'll get a little more speed, up to 350 feet per second out of it.

As far as penetrating power goes, it depends on how close you are and how far back you pull the pouch. Some of the closer shots penetrated all the way through the empty tree stand box I used as target. When I increased the distance, that penetrating power obviously decreased.

I also used the Pocket Shot on an empty pop can and managed to tear it up decently before the end of my test. I'd compare it to a low-power BB gun or youth model pellet rifle. In other words, just enough to take down small game.

Either way, Pocket Shot LLC says you can expect to get about 200-400 shots from each pouch. In my testing the pro pouch definitely hit harder, but it was also harder to control.

One more thing: it's important to make sure you read the instructions first. I did not, and with the egging on of my friends, I stupidly tried to fire it with three steel ball bearings at once. Not only did it not work, but it also tore the latex pouch. Thankfully they sent me extras for the test.

Speaking of extra pouches, it is very easy to change these out. The Pocket Shot comes with a screw-on lid that you flip over and it acts as a tool to unscrew the outer ring that holds the latex pouch in place. Literally anyone can pick this thing up and replace a new pouch in only a minute or two. We have to give major kudos to Pocket Shot for realizing that replacements would be needed and making it so simple.

If you don't abuse it like I did initially, the pouches actually hold up very well. I didn't experience any more tears during my testing.

Practice makes perfect

Pocket Shot

Travis Smola

I've got to be honest, but you will not be good at shooting the Pocket Shot straight out of the package. A majority of users will not get the hang of it at first. I think it's because the circular design is a bit awkward to hold and takes some getting used to. Also, it's more difficult to aim since there are no sights.

You will definitely have to put some practice in to be proficient. I started off at about 15 yards and had to decrease the distance just so I could hit the medium-sized box I was aiming at. After a little while I finally achieved a small grouping. Holding the Pocket Shot did make my fingers sore after a while because of the awkward positioning of my hand.

The company also sells a "Pocket Hammer Handle" kit that can attach to the slingshot in a more traditional fashion. I didn't actually get to test this because they didn't send it to me, but just from seeing photos of it, I'm betting it makes it more comfortable and accurate to shoot.

As a hunting slingshot for small game, you'd best be prepared to have a lot of patience and to probably miss some shots before you have success. It will be very difficult to bag a squirrel or rabbit with this.

After a while I finally nailed a couple shots from about 15 yards, but it wasn't easy by any means. You'd have to be seriously skilled to hit a running animal with the Pocket Shot. Still, if I was in a survival situation, I'd definitely prefer to have this rather than make a slingshot or similar weapon from scratch.

Survival item

Speaking of survival, I've seen YouTube videos where these slingshots are included as part of pre-made bug out bags or survival kits, which isn't a bad idea at all. The Pocket Shot has an extremely compact design that won't take up much room in your bag. Even if you have a small take-down rifle or bow, this thing is small enough to include as a back-up small game weapon.

Even better, the whole slingshot is a self-contained unit. With the lid securely attached, you can keep extra ammo and even an extra pouch contained within. There's no searching around in your bag around to find the ammo when you need it. This means in a survival situation you can just take it out and start hunting right away.

Another accessory kit Pocket Shot sells, but that I did not get to test, is the Pocket Shot arrow system. This system includes longer arrow pouches and a whisker biscuit cap to hold them. The company sells custom carbon arrows for use with the arrow kit. They include rubber knock caps that keep the knocks from damaging the latex pouch. It's definitely an interesting alternative to a regular bow and arrow.

A fun novelty

Pocket Shot

Travis Smola

The Pocket Shot is definitely the most unique commercially-made slingshot I've ever seen. It does have a bit of a steep learning curve when it comes to getting proficient with it, but its compact design also makes it a perfect addition to any bug out bag or survival kit.

It's also a unique plinking device that can make for some fun and interesting target practice sessions with friends and family. They're only $25, so you'll definitely get your money's worth in fun at the very least. I'll definitely be looking for more opportunities to use my Pocket Shot in my future outdoor adventures.