If you ever went to Sunday school as a kid, you’ll probably remember the famous story of David and Goliath. In this Biblical tale, the shepherd boy toppled the fearsome armor-clad giant using only a simple sling and smooth river stones. Generally this sling is depicted as a the basic strap-and-pouch style (below left) but some have theorized that the story actually refers to a sling attached to a staff.

Slingshot vs shepherd staff sling weapon hunting shooting primitive 3v2

Neither of these primitive projectile weapons are commonly used these days, although the elastic-powered slingshot is a variation that remains popular. It still has a sling pouch, but replaces rotational force with stretchy elastic bands. So, which of these three weapons might have the most giant-toppling power? Zachary Fowler, the winner of Season 3 of the History Channel survival reality show ALONE, decided to find out.

Slingshot vs shepherd staff sling weapon hunting shooting primitive 1

On his YouTube channel, Fowler’s Makery and Mischief, Fowler came up with a few tests to compare a standard sling, staff sling, and slingshot. He and his friend Jason tested accuracy and power against plywood targets, melons, soda cans, and ballistic gel with a coconut inside — the last was intended to roughly imitate a skull.

Slingshot vs shepherd staff sling weapon hunting shooting primitive 2

The pair even set up a chronograph to measure the projectile speed of the staff sling and slingshot. We certainly wouldn’t recommend using the method they did, with an assistant hiding behind plywood in the line of fire, but the results were interesting nonetheless. Check out the video below:

Although the slingshot seems to have substantially more power and accuracy, it’s dependent on elastic bands. These will degrade over time, and it’d be difficult to scavenge replacements if one broke. Also, the slingshot wouldn’t be of much use if you ran out of stones or other ammo, while the staff could easily be used for powerful close-range defensive strikes even if your ammo pouch ran dry. The staff might also come in handy as a walking stick, fishing pole, or a variety of other tools. However, this weapon is also more difficult to master.

So, which of these projectile weapons would you rather have in a survival situation? Let us know in the poll below.

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