The Pocket Shot
||200 lb (90.7 kg)
in 1995 when I moved to Washington State. Since then, I have
backpacked in all seasons and conditions the Northwest has to
offer. I prefer trips on
rugged trails with plenty of elevation gain. While I continuously
strive to lighten my load, comfort and safety are most important to me.
I have finally managed to get my basic cold weather pack weight, not
including consumables, to under 30 lb (14 kg).
|POCKET SHOT LLC
Weight, Listed / Measured
|Not listed / 2 oz (57 g)
Dimensions, Listed / Measured
| 2.3 " x 1.3 " (58 mm x 33 mm) / 2.75 " x 1.5 " (70 mm x 38 mm)|
5 " (127 mm) overall length
Pocket Shot is a very different take on the old rubber sling shot.
Instead of the traditional 'Y' handle and rubber bands, it uses a round
body and cone shaped (latex) rubber pocket. There is even a screw on
lid that allows The Pocket Shot to become a storage container for its
own ammo. There are a couple of different versions of the product and a
few accessories. This review is for the base model Pocket Shot – Black.
In addition to the basic product (ring body, screw on lid, black
pocket and blue "pro" pocket), I also received a second black pocket and
bag with 100 5/16 " (8 mm) steel balls.
October 18 2017It
is not very often that someone comes along and creates an entirely new
way of producing an old tried and true product like a sling shot. But
the manufacturers of The Pocket Shot (hence forth referred to as just
Pocket Shot) have managed just that. I am not sure I would go as far as
saying the Pocket Shot is revolutionary, but it sure is interesting.
a traditional sling shot the Pocket Shot is capable of firing an
assortment of ammunition, but having no leather, plastic or other
durable material for holding the ammunition like most traditional
slingshots do, the pocket shot is not intended to fire anything but
smooth round ammunition. The manufacturer recommends using 1/4 " to
5/16 " (6 mm - 8 mm) steel slugs, marbles, small paintballs around .4 cal
(~10 mm), and airsoft pellets. They advise against sharp items like
rocks and glass as well as BB's as they are likely to tear the pouch
and obviously can be quite dangerous. The manufacturer also sells, in
addition to the recommended size steel balls and other accessories,
10 mm (~.4 ") ABS plastic practice ammunition.
with a small piece of paper that contained some basic instructions and
numerous warnings and safety guidelines. Probably the easiest to
overlook is the warning about Latex. The product does contain natural
rubber latex which some may be allergic to. Beyond that there are a
number of warning and "DO NOT" statements which basically cover what
should be mostly obvious regarding the safe use of a product like this.
I won't list them all here but would mention one in particular due to
personal experience, and that is the caution to ALWAYS wear eye
protection. When I was young I was firing a friend's bb gun and had a
pellet ricochet off of a steel pipe and strike the wall right next to
my head at eye level. Needless to say I have been a fan of eye
protection ever since that close call.
I would note, and it is mentioned by the
manufacturer, that laws vary and the possession and/or use of this
product may be prohibited or restricted. It is important to check local
laws and regulations.
receiving the product I performed a basic inspection to familiarize
myself with the components, how they work and ensure there were no
obvious problems or flaws. Then being the kid at heart I am, I
immediately took it out into the yard and shot a few steel balls into
a cardboard box. I was struck by a few immediately obvious things. First it
is surprisingly accurate (I was about 10 yards/meters from the target)
and easy to shoot. Second, I am not half bad at shooting it left
handed. I am right handed but am suffering from tendinitis in my left
arm (commonly referred to as tennis elbow) making holding the pocket
shot with my left hand very painful. The last immediately obvious
thing? This thing is fun to shoot and I will have to reign in my
natural instincts to keep myself out of trouble (I already had one shot
ricochet off the box and strike my new camper. Don't tell my wife!). The next thing I did
was purchase a rather large container (it was the only size available)
of .4 cal (~10 mm) paint pellets. After a few minutes of firing those at
a scrap of plywood, I became quite sure I am going to get into trouble.
That is WAY too much fun! I would note the paint pellets are not as
accurate as the steel balls, but they have some distinct advantages;
few to no ricochets and they make it quite obvious where they hit. Also
being water based and biodegradable, there are no small pieces of steel
in the grass for my lawnmower to find (Yikes!).
- Small, lightweight, and easy to use.
- So much fun, it might be too easy to get into trouble.
|Mar 8 2018|
|One of the things I
like about gear testing is how often products surprise me. Admittedly
this is most often because my expectations are inconsistent with
reality. And this is the case with the Pocket Shot.|
carrying the Pocket Shot while hiking, backpacking, and even Nordic
Skiing, practicing using it on various targets for fun and to hone my
skills should the need ever arise that I might actually need to rely on
it (e.g. to acquire food).
Using it in my backyard is fun and I
found it quite easy despite having to use it left handed for the first
few weeks. As mentioned previously, after a few close calls in my
backyard while using the steel balls, I switched to small paint balls.
These were a LOT of fun. They provide instant feedback regarding where
I hit and less cleanup than the steel balls which I try to collect if
only to prevent them from being ejected by my lawnmower. However
I found the force needed to draw the Pocket Shot resulted in crushing
the paint balls while still inside the pocket. I was able to modify my
shooting by pinching the pocket behind the ball, which prevented them
from popping inside the pocket but is kind of awkward and negatively
impacted the accuracy. Despite this it was quite fun.
on the trail has been a slightly different matter. At the start I had
not consider LNT (Leave No Trace) principals and was thinking
along the lines of my previous experience using slingshots on the trail
(mostly with rocks). Obviously Rocks are not an option for the pocket
shot, unless maybe I happen to find some really nice smooth river
pebbles. In the areas I frequent this is rare, so not really an option.
I do not like the idea of leaving steel shot in the wilderness
unnecessarily so practicing beyond my backyard with steel shot has not
really been an option. Using the paint balls on the trail initially
seemed like a good option, and the first time I tried it, it was fun.
However I quickly realized while the paint is non-toxic and will wash
away with the first rain, this could be a while (especially in my
area), and in the mean time would be quite the eyesore for others. As a
result I took to carrying the Pocket Shot and a small supply of steel
shot in my pack with me (using the original tube it came in) while
hiking and skiing but have not used on the trail after that first time.
now that the test period is over what are my plans for the product?
When it comes to practice use on trails I still prefer a
traditional sling shot so I can use the rocks I find in keeping with
LNT principals. Not to mention not having to carry ammo with me.
However, I find the pocket shot more compact to carry and very easy to
use, so should I have the need to use it (e.g. to acquire food) I would
prefer to have the Pocket Shot. As such I intend to continue practicing
with it in my yard and carrying it in my pack.
Likes: Compact, Easy to use, Accurate
Dislikes: Does not work with found ammo (rocks)
my report. I would like to thank the folks at POCKET SHOT LLC and BackpackGearTest.org
for the opportunity to test this product.