|Introducing the KING CAT slingshot
|The KING CAT slingshot is definitely not your grandfather’s slingshot. If anything, it is
more like a slingshot from the future. Don’t get me wrong, I still think the tree-fork
slingshot is one of the most beautiful and functional shooting implements ever devised. I
still have several tree fork and board cut slingshots that I occasionally shoot for nostalgic
reasons. But, when it comes to competitive shooting nostalgia be gone, give me the top-
of-the-line slingshot. Now you’re talking KING CAT.
The KING CAT is a brand new slingshot designed over several years by Jack Koehler
specifically for competitive slingshot shooting. It is more complicated than the average
slingshot in that it incorporates 31 metal parts (counting all the nuts and bolts) and 4
wooden parts. The following is an examination of the individual parts and an explanation
of their use or function.
The KING CAT is made out of maple. Slingshots with serial numbers 1 to 88 are
constructed out of plane maple [all sold]. From 89 on up birds eye maple is used. The
wood is finished with four coats of either gloss or semi gloss polyurethane.
|The fork on the KING CAT slingshot is made of ⅛ x ¾-inch polished stainless steel.
The fork opining is 5 inches wide. This is wider than most other slingshots for a
reason. The wider the fork opening, the less likely the bands will interfere with the
projectile (band bunching) as it is leaving the pouch
The forks are attached to the slingshot with one stainless steel bolt. This means that
they can be attached at a slight angle, to the body of the slingshot, so they can be
attached perpendicular to the pull direction of the pouch regardless of shooting style.
The integrity of the bolt and fork have been tested to 103 pounds of pull force with
no sign of bending or breaking. (See test photos)
|A “clamp-on” system is used to attach the bands to the forks. This type of
attachment system has several advantaged over other systems. The greatest
advantage of this system is the ability to attach either flat bands or tube-type bands
with equal ease. With this system the flat bands (considered by most to be the
most suitable type of bands for competitive shooting) are attached vertically which
means that there is no twist between fork and pouch. Replacing broken bands can
be done fast and accurately.
|Fork extension means that the forks are some distance in front of the grip hand. It
is a well known fact that when the forks are moved forward, in relation to the grip
hand, the efficiency of the slingshot improves. (By efficiency I mean projectile
speed in relation to the pull required.) But if the forks are too far forward it makes
the slingshot ungainly. More importantly for me, with an excessive extension I can’t
use my grip hand to assist in loading the projectile into the pouch while keeping my
hand around the handle. (I’m very particular about placing the projectile in exactly
the proper position in the pouch.) Another advantage of the extended forks is that it
eliminates the problem of “knuckle knock” (the pouch springs back into the grip
|It is very difficult to design a slingshot sight that will work for every individual. Most
of the problems result from not having a rear sight on the slingshot. The problem is
compounded by the fact that there are so many different shooting styles. Change the
cant angle and the sight point changes, change the anchor point and the sight point
changes, and on it goes. I hold the slingshot in my right hand with a 50-degree cant
angle. I anchor the pouch at the edge of my mouth and aim with my right eye. The
sight system on the King Cat consists of two adjustable thumb screws; one for
adjusting left and right for windage and one for adjusting up and down for distance.
(Actually, each time the bands are changed the sight may have to be adjusted.)
I believe that this is the best sighting system but I don’t expect it to work for everyone.
If the distance and angle between the anchor point and aim eye are considerably
different from mine, the aiming will not work for you. The sight mount is made out of
polished aluminum so it may be possible bend it to accommodate other head shapes
and shooting styles. (For more about aiming and sights click HERE.)
|The wrist brace keeps the forks from tilting back towards the pouch when the bands
are pulled. The stronger the bands, the greater the tendency for the fork to tilt
backward. The wrist brace on the KING CAT is a little longer than most and therefore
more efficient at keeping the forks in place during the shot. Shooters use a variety of
shooting styles and therefore the ideal angle of the wrist brace can be different for each
shooter. For that reason the angle of the wrist brace on the KING CAT was designed
to be adjustable. The wrist brace angle can be adjusted from 5 degrees to about 15
degrees (as shown in the accompanying photo). Adjusting the wrist brace angle such
that the pouch, when released, just clears the body of the slingshot allows for the least
stress on the grip hand. The aluminum fixture at the end of the wrist brace (not shown
in photo) can be bent to conform to any forearm size.
|It is surprising to me that a minor design change in the handle can dramatically affect
the feel and function of a slingshot. The width, angle, shape, and length of the KING
CAT handle have been tweaked to perfection. The handle has a maple center with an
eighth-inch veneer of walnut glued to each side. To insure that the handle is firmly
attached to the slingshot, glue and two stainless steel screws (2 inch and 3 inch) are
| BANDS AND POUCH
The KING CAT is shipped with two sets of tapered latex flat bands. The bands are
0.03-inch thick and tapered from about 0.5 inch at the pouch to 0.8 inch at the fork.
The pouch is sized to accommodate a ⅜-inch ball bearing. When set to a length of 8
inches (from fork to hole in pouch) this band setup will propel a 3/8-inch BB at about
200 feet per second with an 10 to 12 pound pull. These bands are expected to last for
about 200 shots. Replacement bands should be purchased from vendors that specialize
in bands and pouches. [To purchase replacement bands go to Ebay and do an
“advanced search”. Under sellers ID enter “Flatband11105”.]
Each slingshot is branded (with a branding iron) on top with the name “KING CAT”
and on the bottom with the statement “Handcrafted by Jack H. Koehler”. A serial
number is also branded into the bottom of each slingshot. I suspect that in a few years
the lowest numbered slingshots will have the greatest resale value.
The KING CAT is designed specifically for competitive slingshot shooting. But even
more importantly it is designed to last for many generations. Instead of using stainless
steel for the fork it could have been made out of aluminum or mild steel, but quite
probably after a few hundred years, it would be rusted or bent. All the nuts and bolts
used in the KING CAT are stainless as well (except for the sight thumb screw) for the
purpose of longevity.
PURCHASING THE KING CAT
The KING CAT is being offered to the general public at a price of $93.00.
Would it be cheaper to order one without a sight? NO!
The price is $93.00 with or without the sight. My thinking is that even if you don’t
want a sight, perhaps your successors will.
If you have any questions concerning the King Cat email me at :
Sorry, the King Cat slingshot
is sold out and discontinued.
|ORDERS FROM OUTSIDE THE USA
Sorry! Due to confiscations and other
complications we no longer sell or ship
slingshots to destinations outside the United
I have been meaning to write back to you ever since I got my 3rd King Cat and
you enclosed the note saying that I must appreciate your craftsmanship.
Yes, sir, I do appreciate it. I have numbers 45, 48, and 90.
I bought the first one and absolutely loved it. Best slingshot I've ever shot. And
I've been using slingshots over 20 years. I got to worrying about what would
happen if something broke on 45, so I ordered me a back-up. I kept shooting it.
Loved it even more. So then I got me a back-up for my back-up.
I guess I am obsessive/compulsive. I shoot with number 45 every day. I haven't
even banded 48 or 90 yet. I know you are probably saying I will never need the
back-ups, and I would say, I think you are right. I just want you to know, I truly
understand what you have created here. It is the best of the best.
Right now the rage is to shoot board-cuts and ergonomics and naturals and such.
But your slingshot allows me to get into the same shooting position time after time
after time..... which leads to accuracy.
I am your fan for life. I am 41. I will be shooting King Cats for however long I
have left. I may never win an award or a tournament, but I want to thank you for
sharing your creation with all the rest of us.
Mr. Koehler, I enjoy shooting the King Cat. It took several shots to get use to
shooting at the 50 degree angle, but with I a little time and patience I've learned.
Not only is it fun to shoot, it is the best looking catapult I've seen.
I received # 98 and I was just delighted with its' quality. I am ordering 2 more
units from you. If my request is not unreasonable, I would be appreciative and
grateful if you could send me # 100 in my shipment.
Yours very cordially,
|The bands are generally installed as shown in the photo with the band coming out
of the clamp toward the shooter. However, if extremely strong bands are used it
may be necessary to use a different installation technique. This installation system
requires the bands be installed with the bands coming out of the clamp away from
the shooter as shown in this photo: