Learn the history of a survival knife that traces its history back to...
What happens when a slingshot gets it on with a bow and arrow? The Pocket Shot Pro Arrow Kit is born. Not long ago, Pocket Shot updated the classic slingshot to a circular handheld design, allowing for a smaller package with greater versatility. More recently, they took it one step further and added features to allow the handheld device to fire arrows for increased capability and lethality.
The traditional slingshot came about in the mid 1800s with the advent of vulcanized rubber. It quickly gained popularity and even became a symbol of rebellious kids like Dennis the Menace in pop culture. Pocket Shot replaced the vulcanized rubber, which can be prone to cracking and drying out, with a latex compound that increases elasticity while maintaining a smaller, more robust package. The base of the latex pouch is reinforced for added durability for using various types of projectiles without damaging the pouch, and also features a loop for use with a release. The next evolution for Pocket Shot was the addition of a “whisker biscuit” arrow rest. The biscuit is a series of fibers arranged into a donut shape that acts as a hold for arrows. The fibers are designed to permit arrow fletching to pass through without affecting stabilization of flight. The Pocket Shot design allows for easy change out of the pouch as needed with the use of the included key.
The Pocket Shot Pro Arrow Kit we were sent includes a wrist brace, making it more similar to a traditional slingshot or “wrist rocket” as some refer to them. The wrist brace makes it easier to get a full pull on the pouch for maximum velocity with added stability. The strap is adjustable with Velcro. Also included was an arrow release, which for the uniformed, essentially gives you a trigger instead of using your fingertips to release the bowstring. A couple of arrow nock caps were included to round out the system. The pouch is advertised as a 40-pound draw weight, making it legal for hunting in most areas (check your local laws). Inside the pouch is a nock point that gives an audible click when the arrow is properly loaded. Loading an arrow is straightforward — push the arrow into the pouch, through the whisker biscuit, and seat the nock into place.
Shooting the Pocket Shot Pro Arrow Kit is simple. Pull the pouch to the rear and release. The author found this concept easy, but only after punching himself in the face … twice. A traditional slingshot is aimed by looking over the top and setting the intended target between the two arms. A traditional bow and arrow are aimed when the string is back, generally against the shooter’s face, and the eye looks toward the target above the arrow. The Pocket Shot seemed like a traditional slingshot, and physics being what they are, upon release the shooter’s hand came back and hit him in the mouth. After a repeated attempt, it was learned that it’s necessary to aim this product like a traditional bow and arrow rather than a slingshot to avoid a busted lip. What this represents is the learning curve with any new piece of gear and the importance of practice. Plus, simple trial and error.
After a few sessions, the aiming became a bit more natural and arrow placement became somewhat repeatable, although sniping a squirrel from more than about 15 feet would be difficult. For reasons yet unknown, the nocks of some arrows broke upon impact with the practice bag. One side would shear off and launch into oblivion. The kit does include nock covers so perhaps this is a known issue. It’s also important to note that traditional feather vanes became damaged while loading them into the whisker biscuit. Plastic types held up much better over time without sustaining damage. Keep this in mind when you choose arrows.
With practice, the Pocket Shot Pro Arrow Kit can be a valuable survival tool. The size comparison to a traditional bow and arrow makes it significantly more portable and packable. Replacement parts are inexpensive and can be stockpiled, and arrows are readily available across the country. The bowhunting market’s variety of specialized broadheads gives the user an ability to tailor the tool to desired game, and possibly even use it for defense if better options aren’t available. The fact that this can also be used as a slingshot with ball bearings or even pebbles means that you have an almost limitless supply of ammunition that you don’t need to tote around, saving weight.
The Pocket Shot is a good option for those who cannot carry a rifle for survival but want the ability to kill small to medium game. Will this replace our hunting bows? No. However, it’s much more compact, a lot of fun to shoot in the backyard, and may find a place when we go out on day trips to the mountains.