BackpackGearTest
  Guest - Not logged in 

Reviews > Base Camp Gear > Misc Tools and Toys > Pocket Shot Pocket Hammer > Test Report by David Wilkes

Test series by David Wilkes

The Pocket Shot 

Initial Report - October 18 2017
Long Term Report - Mar 8 2018

Tester Information

Name: David Wilkes
E-Mail: amatbrewer@yahoo.com
Age: 52
Location: Yakima Washington USA
Gender: M
Height: 5'11" (1.80 m)
Weight: 200 lb (90.7 kg)

Biography:

I started backpacking 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).

Product Information

Manufacturer:

POCKET SHOT LLC

Year of Manufacture:

2017

Manufacturer’s Website:

www.thepocketshot.com

MSRP:

$25 USD

 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

The Pocket Shot

Product Description:

The 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.

Initial Report

October 18 2017

PartsIt 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.

Like 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.

The product came 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.

Modern art?Upon 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!).

Likes:
  • Small, lightweight, and easy to use.
 
Dislikes:
  • So much fun, it might be too easy to get into trouble.

Long Term Report

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.

I envisioned 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.

Using it 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.

So 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)

This concludes my report. I would like to thank the folks at POCKET SHOT LLC and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this product.

 



Read more reviews of The Pocket Shot gear
Read more gear reviews by David Wilkes

Reviews > Base Camp Gear > Misc Tools and Toys > Pocket Shot Pocket Hammer > Test Report by David Wilkes



Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to BackpackGearTest.org. Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product. Owner Reviews are based on product owned by the reviewer personally unless otherwise noted.

If you are an avid backpacker, we are always looking for enthusiastic, quality reviewers. Apply here to be a gear tester.


All material on this site is the exclusive property of BackpackGearTest.org.
BackpackGearTest software copyright David Anderson