Saturday, 17 March 2012

Dankung Jungle Hunter II Slingshot Review

Key Info
  • Part of Dankung's “Western” range of slingshots – larger handle and bands, more suited to the western (American, European) shooting style.
  • Accepts tubular bands – just loop around the “ears” – no fancy attachments.
  • Loose band attachment – bands last longer than fixed attachments.
  • Adjustable power by means of adding or removing bands.
  • Very strong 7mm thick stainless steel construction – frame won't snap and injure you.
  • Very simple design – will last years. 

Like all Dankung slingshots, the Jungle Hunter II is dead simple and very well made. The Jungle Hunter II is part of Dankung's 'Western” range, meaning that it has a larger handle, which better suits the “Western” (American/European) shooting style. It is constructed from 7mm thick stainless steel, and has a handle made from paracord, which, if unwound a bit, can double as a lanyard. The Jungle Hunter also has loose band attachments, which greatly prolong the life of the bands when compared to fixed attachments. The band attachments themselves are also very simple – the bands just “click” in to little grooves in the “ears”, making for very easy band swapping. The Jungle Hunter will accept bands of any thickness and length, and so can be tailored to your shooting preference.  

Why Dankung?
Firstly, it should be noted that Dankung slingshots are available in two types. The “Traditional” Chinese type, which have very small handles and short bands, to accommodate the Chinese shooting style, and the “Western” type, which have longer handles and longer bands, to allow for the “Western” (American/European) shooting style.

Dankung slingshots are fairly unique. Most slingshots are mass-produced in factories, have fixed band attachments, which can eat their way through bands at quite an alarming rate, and are considerably more fragile than Dankung slingshots. In extreme cases, their fragility can be such that the frame can break and cause serious injury (particularly watch out for "Dankung clones" sold online, as these can be very dangerous when made from Mazac or similar cheap alloy instead of stainless steel). Dankung slingshots don't suffer from any of these problems. The band attachments are loose, which means that the band is allowed to move naturally when it is released, greatly prolonging its life, and also aiding in easy replacement when they do eventually fail, with the bands just “clicking” into slots in the “ears”. The frame is made from 7mm stainless steel, which is very strong, and will not fail under normal use. The paracord handle, which can be unwound to double as a lanyard, is easily removable, should you prefer the plain steel look. 

The bands are very easy to replace, as mentioned above, and can be bought as raw materials, so they can be made up yourself, which is cheap, easy, and allows for the desired power and band-length to be achieved by adjusting the length and amount of bands that you cut. The bands supplied are apparently made especially for slingshots, not from standard surgical tubing like many manufacturers, though I'm not sure what difference this makes exactly. One thing I have noticed about the bands is that after a year or so of sitting around, the natural rubber starts to revert back to its liquid form, meaning that the bands can unexpectedly tear in just a few stretches, so it's worth replacing them periodically to avoid any nasty surprises! The power-adjustment provided by the customisability of the bands means that the Jungle Hunter II can be a very powerful slingshot. One set of bands is perfect for plinking, and everyday use, and two sets of bands, which are considerably more powerful are perfect for longer-range applications. When firing 6mm steel ball bearings with one set of bands, the ball easily passes through both sides of a drinks can, and with two sets of bands, the energy upon impact is quite surprising, especially with heavier ammo. Slingshots are generally more powerful than air guns, as they fire heavy projectiles, and it is possible to achieve energy levels in excess of 50 joules or more when using the right bands. 

The Dankung Jungle Hunter II is an excellent slingshot, and is in my opinion, far nicer than a mass-produced modern slingshot. Not only is it simple and highly functional, but it is a piece of craftsmanship that will last a great many years. If you're after a decent slingshot, then I'd highly recommend you try a Dankung - I don't think you'll ever look back. 

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