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Goliath bites the big one, courtesy of a kid with a sling.

A sling is essentially two strands of rope connected by a pocket. You place a stone or other projectile in the pocket, whip the contraption around, and let go of one end of rope, letting the bullet fly. It’s an easy weapon to make and requires no materials more advanced than cords and a fabric pocket, making this trope at least Older Than Feudalism; given that the story of David and Goliath may date back to around 1000 BCE, it may well be Older Than Dirt, being among the earliest-mentioned projectile weapons (other than thrown objects like stones and sticks) in literature as a whole.

Although slings require considerable training to use effectively, since timing when to let the projectile go is key when it comes to aiming properly, they are quite lethal (just ask Goliath) and have an extremely long range of about 400 meters, which is longer than the vaunted English longbow and only outranged by the very best composite bows, making them inherently Difficult, but Awesome. Much like how bows would be supplanted later on by firearms, slings fell out of use due to the significant training requirements, as many sling-using ancient cultures began training while they were children. The concussive force they imparted certainly would have been more effective than early arrows against armor and shields of the time even if they failed to penetrate, especially in the case of lead bullets, and there's speculation the hard-to-see rounds would have had a unique psychological impact on foes.

Despite all that, slings are generally perceived as a weak weapon in fiction. They are usually given to kids, beginning adventurers, angry peasants, or idiot Mooks, and are very rarely treated as the lethal weapons that they are in real life. This is probably due to confusion with the slingshot, a child's toy that is about as lethal in real life as a sling is in fictionland. Not helping is that the sling is referred to as a "Slingshot" in the United Kingdom. The truth is that the sling transforms your entire body into the weapon, so that, used well, it allows you to throw a brick hundreds of yards and hit a precise target. Hence, it's incredibly lethal and not a child's toy. In a Tabletop RPG it's a starter weapon not because it's useless, but because it's useful and believable for a fresh off the farm beginner to own.

When a sling is used in fiction, the slinger will always whirl it round and round several times before loosing the bullet. This is just for show— in reality, the more (and faster) it's swung, the less accurate the aim — the point of a sling is (basically) to make your arm longer, thus increasing the speed and power of your throw. No more than two rotations are usually required, and even that is as excessive as swinging your arm multiple times to throw a ball.

Compare Brats with Slingshots.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Book of Bantorra: Hamyuts Meseta, uses a sling as her weapon. And she's known as the best "massacre artist" of the world.
  • Goblin Slayer: The Dwarf Shaman uses a sling as his ranged weapon when he's unable to cast spells. Some goblins also use slings, most notably early in the story when one member of the female adventuring party looking to clear an elven fortress was struck in the head with a slung rock. This is later contrasted with Goblin Slayer taking a hit from a similarly slung rock, but since he's wearing a helmet, it bounces off harmlessly. Goblin Slayer himself takes up a sling during the last battle in Water Town to help High Elf Archer Hold the Line against a horde of charging goblins. When it becomes apparent that lower spellcasters are especially in danger the moment their spell slots run out, the Guild starts to train these spellcasters to use other weapons that aren't forbidden by their class, namely slings. Priestess ends up being so crackshot with hers - she kills two out of three yetis terrorizing a rabbit padfoot village as a warning in Volume 9.
  • In Princess Principal, Chise challenges a bully at school to a duel with pistols, only to find that he's sabotaged hers. Fortunately, these old-fashioned dueling pistols shoot lead balls — so Chise takes off her ribbon and uses it to sling a ball at him. She practically takes his arm off.

  • David: The world's most famous slinger is holding his sling casually over his shoulder, preparing to hurl a rock at Goliath's head.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • At the start of Sanctuary The Legend Of Zelda, Malon tries to chase off Gerudo bandits with a slingshot. Sheik offers to teach how to use a more effective bow instead.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Beyond Sherwood Forest, Gareth is an expert with the sling. In his first appearance, he knocks out an armoured rider on horseback with a sling stone.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, Doric, the tiefling druid, wields a slingshot on her wrist, fitting her nature-oriented characterization.
  • Lévy and Goliath: At the end, just as the Big Bad, a menacing punkish drug dealer named Goliath, is about to gut Albert with his switchblade, God appears to Albert's brother Moses (a religion-observant Orthodox Jew) and recites him the part of the Books of Samuel where the biblical David uses his sling to hit the biblical Goliath in the forehead. Moses then instantly uses a makeshift sling to send a sizeable tightening nut right in Goliath's forehead, knocking him out. Then the police bursts in and guns down/arrests Goliath's gang.
  • The Monster Club: Luna explains that the ghouls are experts with using stones to hunt for food. Later one of them kills her with a sling stone to the back of her head.
  • Used by Ewoks in Return of the Jedi. They somehow manage to be effective against stormtroopers in full composite armor. There is also a famous scene where Wicket manages to knock himself out with it.
  • In Swiss Family Robinson, when "Bertie" moves to steal a gun and escape from Fritz and Ernst to return to her grandfather, Ernst distracts her with shots from a sling while Fritz sneaks up on her.

  • David Drake uses slingstaffs in some of his ancient alternate histories, like the Belisarius Series, and the end books of The General Series, where the action shifts to a different planet. They're much easier to learn than plain slings, so slingers can be trained instead of merely recruiting those who've used slings their whole lives. This averts the "multiple swings" trope. They're usually used to throw the primitive grenades that are being introduced ahistorically.
  • The Bible has David's famous defeat of Goliath with a sling. It also mentions what ELSE David has defeated with the sling: lions, wolves, bears, etc.
    • There are several other references to Israelite use of the sling as a weapon of war—for example the "mighty men" who came to David's aid in 1 Chronicles 12, who are described as being skilled in the use of slings alongside other weapons. This subverts the idea of slings being weak weapons used by primitives—these guys were, it would seem, skilled warriors who were as badass as they came.
  • In Clan of the Cave Bear, Ayla's Clan use slings for hunting small game — rabbits and such — but it's considered bush league stuff. "Real" hunters hunt in groups using spears to kill big game. A boy might use a sling, but once one has hunted using a spear he becomes a man. Ayla finds a forgotten sling and secretly practices with it until she is good enough to protect the tribe from a rampaging animal. She even somehow (in total defiance of how slings actually work) invents a way to accurately fire two stones from a sling at the same time. The men of her tribe, one who broke a spear she had cursed as a child with a female's touch, aren't too happy and this is one of the reasons she is banished from the tribe during winter. (Females can't use slings or spears. Ayla has to get special dispensation from the old gods in order to be allowed to use one after she's already taught herself how and can wield it better than any male in the Clan, using a talisman that makes her a little bit male.)
  • Slings are a common (and deadly) weapon in Redwall. Otters in particular favour them, along with javelins, as they aren't damaged by water. Noteworthy in that they are not portrayed as a particularly weak or lower-class weapon; at least one Otter chieftain favors his sling. They are also sometimes used as bludgeoning weapons in close quarters.
  • In the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher, at one point Tavi is cornered by woodcrafting assassins firing arrows. He takes one of them out with a sling to the head, scrambling his brain so bad that he continues to draw and nock the arrow before realizing he's dead and falling over. This is treated as a surprise, however, since most people dismiss a sling as a farmboy's weapon. note 
  • In The Eagle Series, they are rightfully feared for the brutality of the injuries stones can cause on the soldiers. The story doesn't even shy away from telling you how the stones smash a soldier's face or destroys his leg.
  • Need teaches Nyara to make and hunt with a sling in Heralds of Valdemar Winds Of Change over just a few months. In fairness Need is a magic sword who's able to teach complicated things very quickly, since Nyara also ends up able to make and use the bow and arrow and the sword herself in that time.
  • In The Iron Teeth, Blacknail is taught to use one to give him his first ranged capability. He later teaches the skill to a tribe of feral goblins, since he killed their hobgoblin protector.
  • Martín Fierro: At this Narrative Poem, Gauchos (Argentinian Cowboys) and Indians used the "Boleadoras" or “Bolas”, a type of throwing weapon made of weights on the ends of interconnected cords, used to capture animals by entangling their legs and to kill enemies. These are Argentina’s National Weapon.
    • At Song III, Martin Fierro declares that the Indians dominate this weapon so well, they have Improbable Aiming Skills.
    • At the same song III, Martin Fierro uses his own boleadoras to defeat an Indian in battle and says that without them, the Indian would have killed him.
  • Guido in M.Y.T.H Inc in Action discussed low-tech military ranged weapons. Slings were mentioned as the worst one in terms of training: unless you mobilize people already familiar with a weapon, sticking to crossbows is the only option.
  • In The Redemption of Althalus, a large numbers of shepherds are recruited by a mercenary army due to their skill with slings. While the mercenaries were initially skeptical, when they learn one of them took down several warhorses at range, while they were being ridden, they change their tune.
  • In Shannon Hale's River Secrets, this is Razo's preferred weapon, and he's a good enough shot to impress soldiers from both Bayern and Tira, arising from a lifetime of hunting in the forest to supplement his family's diet. He actually carries two different sized slings, one more compact and one for longer ranges, but he repeatedly finds himself having to resort to the distance sling even at shorter ranges, because it's easier to disguise as a belt and so it's often overlooked when weapons are being confiscated.
  • Safehold: Slings and staff-slings are the only missile weapons allowed to Harchongese peasants, which means everyone on both sides of the Jihad starts out underestimating the potential of the Mighty Host of God and the Archangels (which largely consists of drafted peasants and serfs). This changes when one Harchongese general realizes that hand grenades are very close in size to the lead bullets normally used by staff slingers.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire. While in Essos, Tyrion Lannister is shown slings being Tested on Humans (specifically slaves who have tried to escape.) The results are rather nasty, with a detailed description of someone's knee being so badly shattered by a lead projectile that the man's lower leg is simply left hanging and twisting on a scrap of tendon. We never see them being used in Westeros, presumably for the same reasons many medieval European armies didn't use them despite their utility.
  • Michael Curtis Ford's The Ten Thousand (a historical novel about Xenophon's Anabasis, averts the portrayal of slings as weak weapons, where the Rhodians' slings are shown to be extremely effective against both men and horses when they can strike exposed flesh; the missiles themselves are described as "deadly lead 'bees'", as they are inscribed with grooves that create a high-pitched whine as they fly towards the target.
  • Roger Zelazny's This Immortal aka And Call Me Conrad. The titular hero is forced to use a sling in a duel. Being unfamiliar with the weapon he has to practice all night before the duel the next day. By the time of the duel he's hit or miss, but due to his strength what he does hit gets destroyed. This example plays "multiple swings before release" straight.
  • In Time Scout, Corydon, the Greek Hoplite, favors a sling, to great effect.
  • In the Videssos Cycle by Harry Turtledove, the displaced Roman legion includes some slingers from Iberia. (A case of Shown Their Work — Iberians were indeed noted by the Romans for their skill with the sling, remembered in the name of the Balearics ('Isles of the Slingers')).
  • In Warrior Woman by Marion Zimmer Bradley, a mighty warrior with a sword and shield faces off against a small man with a sling and dagger in the gladiatorial arena. The protagonist thinks it's a mismatch. She's right, although she misses her guess on who's going to win; the mighty warrior drops with a hole in his forehead.
  • The main characters in The Wheel of Time start out carrying slings. They never use them against anything bigger than a raven, even after they were told that slings are actually "real weapons".
  • In The White Company, during the big battle against the Spanish army near the end, the archer Johnston is almost instantly killed by a slinger. The Spanish slingers then proceed to rain hell down on the White Company and kill another twenty men in only minutes.
  • Wolfhound plays it dead straight. Two seasoned warriors are chased around an island by a bunch of sling-swinging cannibals.
  • Young Sherlock Holmes: In Red Leech, Sherlock buys a sling to avoid suspicion while pretending to shop. He later uses the sling to win a Traintop Battle; hitting Ives in the forehead with a ball bearing and causing him to fall off the train.

    Live Action TV 
  • Tested repeatedly in Deadliest Warrior - they never really seem to do very well. Curiously, they were given to gladiators as their ranged weapon, when gladiators never used slings.
  • Game of Thrones: During an ambush, a soldier gets his head smashed by a slung rock.
  • Ethan on Lost used one. It was not depicted as weak.
  • The "Scott of the Sahara" sketch in Monty Python's Flying Circus. Lieutenant Scott uses his underwear as an improvised sling to defeat a giant electric penguin.
  • The New Avengers: In "Dirtier by the Dozen", Gambit uses Purdey's bra as an improvised sling to hurl a rock that knocks out a commando.
  • In The Pillars of the Earth, William is hit in the head by a slung stone during an attack on Kingsbridge. It knocks him to the ground with a nasty bruise, which is enough to drive his men off, but does no lasting damage.
  • The French series Thierry la Fronde is about a young French medieval lord and Robin Hood expy who fights the English invaders and French traitors. His weapon of choice is a sling, which is included in his moniker ("fronde" means "sling").
  • Xena: Warrior Princess had an episode about David and Goliath. What makes this one strange is that the writers apparently didn't believe (or thought the viewers wouldn't believe) that a sling was a lethal weapon in its own right, so they had Xena give some exposition about how giants have a weak spot in the middle of their forehead.

    Religion & Mythology 
  • The Bible:
    • The Bible describes the Tribe of Benjamin in Judges 20, who had a far greater proportion of left-handed men than the rest of Israel. When Benjamin was in a dispute with the other eleven tribes and a Civil War broke out, there is an account of a Curb-Stomp Battle where outnumbered Benjamin, with its corps of picked left-handed slingers (numbering no more than 700) took on twenty-two thousand men in battle and slew the lot. The left-handed slings of Benjamin were especially deadly as they could target the un-shielded (and thus less protected) side of an opponent.
    • More famously, of course, David Versus Goliath from the Books of Samuel. Goliath was a huge man covered with armor and carrying a sword and spear while an attendant carries his massive shield, David was just some shepherd guy with a sling (and potentially a lot of practice, from watching his father's sheep and having time on his hands). Goliath never stood a chance; David was able to put a stone straight into his forehead, either knocking him out or outright killing him on the spot (David then cut his head off, so he was dead either way). One theory holds that Goliath suffered from gigantism, which gave him both brittle bones and bad eyesight, contributing to his defeat.
  • The Book of Mormon: Slings appear to have been standard military equipment, alongside bows and swords and clubs, but used with varying degrees of skill.
    • When Nephi breaks his hunting bow, he still has a sling, but doesn't succeed in bringing down any game until he crafts a new bow. As his bow was apparently a fancy one, made of "fine steel,"note  it makes sense that he would have trained more with that and neglected his sling skills.
    • Ammon, on the other hand, faces off singlehandedly against a band of robbers, and proves to be a much better shot, killing six of them without being hit in return. (They respond by closing to melee range, but that ends badly for them too.) The narrative attests that he was being strengthened and protected by God, so this level of skill makes sense.
    • The defence of the city of Noah includes a band of elite warriors guarding the only gate into the city — and notably using swords and slings, rather than the bows or spears that are mentioned elsewhere as standard Nephite weapons. It works, holding back the entire Lamanite army with only fifty Nephites injured and none dead. Notably, this was the first time that the Lamanites made extensive use of armour, so slings would make sense as a weapon against them.
  • Irish Mythology:
    • In the Battle Of Magh Tuireadh, this is how Lugh of the Long Hand kills Balor (specifically he knocks Balor's Magical Eye through the back of his head with a stone.)
    • Cú Chullain's superhuman strength and dexterity made him deadly with all manner of thrown weapons, but especially with a sling. One of his Signature Moves was the "Thunder-Feat", a sling shot which could slay large numbers of opponents at once (up to 500 when performed in his Warp Spasm state), and he was also capable of making warning shots with great precision. Even as a child he is capable of killing sixteen birds with a single stone and slinging stones hard enough to destroy chariots, and he also uses a sling to kill Foill Mac Nechtain (a warrior whose skin is immune to bladed weapons). In The Sickbed of Cú Chullain the hero misses with a sling shot for the first time in his life, when he attempts to shoot down a supernatural bird and it curses him with a wasting sickness.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In Modesty Blaise, Willie Garvin Does Not Like Guns. However, he is a dab hand with a sling and often uses one when a missile weapon is required.
  • Prince Valiant, in an early adventure, met a trickster and thief named Slith, who uses a sling as his primary weapon. At one point, Slith finds himself up against several heavily armed men attacking his love interest, and is able to take out two of them with his sling, whereupon she is able to free herself (though they later need help against the rest of the band). The comic's narration even lampshades the real-life effectiveness of slings by noting that "A sling is a terrible weapon in the hands of an expert - and even in his frantic anger, Slith is still an expert".

    Tabletop Games 
  • Ars Magica has slings that are more or less equivalent in efficacy to the standard bow (though not Longbow or Composite Bows). Specifically, accuracy and damage are slightly lower, but this is arguably nullified by the sling's superior range.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has always considered slings to be a simple, ineffective weapon.
    • In Second Edition, slings do less damage and have a shorter range than longbows, though sling bullets have a longer range than shortbows. More classes can use slings than can use bows or crossbows, suggesting that they are more simple weapons to master. The sling staff does as much as a broadleaf bow arrow, but curiously has a much shorter range than a standard sling.
    • In Third Edition, slings are "Simple" weapons, so there stats are inherently inferior to Martial weapons, such as bows, and they are more available to less combat-trained characters classes. They do 1d4 damage in comparison to the 1d6 and 1d8 of short and longbows. They also have a lower critical multiplier and a shorter range.
  • Exalted has these for its sneakier, less flamboyant Exalts. (Even though there are only about three of these.) The main benefits are that they are easy to hide and that they use the throwing skill but the range increment for bows - meaning that the Solar charm that triples attack distance suddenly goes from providing an extra few meters to an extra few hundred.
  • In GURPS the sling and staff sling are dangerous but inaccurate. They're also the only ranged non-bow weapons that rate as a Hard skill. The staff sling in particular is potentially very powerful, sometimes able to outperform almost any real-world hand weapon short of a revolver.
  • Magic: The Gathering: Any small "pinger" type that does not use a bow, magic, or the nearest goblin as a ranged weapon will probably use a sling. The aforementioned Goblins are common practitioners though hardly to the exclusion of humans.
  • Slings in Mordheim have similar stats to short bows but with a special rule allowing them to be fired twice if the unit wielding it does not move in the same turn. A popular tactic for the Skaven warband is to arm a whole lot of cheap units with slings for a Zerg Rush since ranged attacks were a bit over-powered.
  • Warhammer Fantasy features these for missile troops who are of lower rank than the average archer, like slaves or Halflings. However, they do have the advantage of being able to strike twice at half range.

    Video Games 
  • In ADOM even regular slings are quite decent weapons, and one of the best artifact weapons is a sling.
  • Age of Empires:
    • Age of Empires I: The Rise of Rome Expansion Pack introduces the Slinger as a ranged infantry unit that counters archers. In Age of Empires II, they are replaced by the javelin-throwing skirmishers but return in the Forgotten Empires expansion as a unique unit for the Inca civilization, which deal bonus damage against infantry rather than archers.
    • Age of Mythology: The Egyptian civilization has Slingers. They have the weakest hit points of all range units as well as the shortest range, but they deal significant damage to archers and other human range units (they're part of the counter-unit category).
  • Paulette uses a variant in Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits - her improbable weapon is called a Sling Knife, where she is able to pull her shot (the knife) back to her.
  • In The Banner Saga slings are the only ranged weapon that the dredge are seen using, and they equally as capable with them as human warriors are with bows. To say nothing of their slingers immediately running away from you whenever you hit them to make them Goddamned Bats.
    • The sequel introduced Hurlers, which are similar to Slinger but has a passive ability that not only works like the Slinger's passive ability but also any Hurlers in range of the attacker will retaliate.
  • Battle Brothers has Staff Slings, a variation of the sling that is mounted on the end of a staff, rather like a spear-throwing Atlatl. They require a goodly investment into Ranged Skill to be effective and are stamina-intensive, but head hits from this weapon are guaranteed to leave enemies dazed on impact.
  • Battle for Wesnoth has the Footpad unit, a Fragile Speedster armed with a sling and club. While the Footpad is notably weaker than other level 1 archer units, its upgrades to Outlaw and then Fugitive bring it up to par with the others while still having much better speed and evasion.
  • Craftable in Cataclysm since turn one, as well as its ammunition. It stays useful until the very late game, thanks to its minimum size and the possibility of crafting metal bearings, which pack a lot more punch than pebbles.
  • Chivalry: Medieval Warfare features slings as a weapon choice for the Archer class, alongside bows, crossbows, and javelins. While slings are great for harassment due to their mobility and infinite ammo, they are extremely difficult to use courtesy of their low muzzle velocity, delayed release and body hits deal minor damage. Slings excel at second-line support, as the stones can make enemies flinch and drop their parries.
  • In Civilization VI, sling throwers supplant archers as the first ranged unit that a player can build (with archers now being direct upgrade over slingers).
  • Dominions, has slingers as the cheapest, weakest ranged unit. The C'tissians have a more pumped up version with exploding poisonous bullets for ammo.
  • Available in Dungeon Crawl, where they are reasonable but somewhat niche starting ranged weapons (they do not cross train with any other skill except throwing), as their ammo seems to have less tendency to get lost or break on impact. It's not unknown for enchanted slings to turn up in early floors, which can help support players up until level 10. 0.15 added Fustibalus, which makes slings viable even up to late game.
  • Empire Earth: The second ranged unit (after the rock thrower) in the game is the Slinger, which then upgrades to an archer in the Copper Age. The main difference with the rock thrower is that it can hit targets that are behind a wall.
  • Among the many, many weapons that can be obtained n Enter the Gungeon is the humble Sling, which is a low-grade charged weapon that flings rocks, one at a time. It does at least deal over double damage when used on bosses, though, making it the strongest weapon of its grade when used in that context.
    This is not one of those old, best ways. The lowly sling is barely a gun, even by Gungeon standards. Only recommended as a last resort for serious Gungeoneers.
  • Fate/Grand Order: King David is summonable as an Archer-class Servant, and while he usually attacks with his shepherd's staff, his Noble Phantasm is his sling, and it does tremendous damage to the enemy it hits. The fifth anniversary adds a rank-up quest that increases its damage and gives it double damage against giants.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic: Slings are the weapons used by halflings. The fourth game even gave halflings the ability to deal increased damage to high-tier creatures and added an artifact called David's Sling that gives all of your creatures this effect, in reference to David Versus Goliath.
  • Slings and bullets are a ranged weapon available for use in Icewind Dale.
  • Batgirl's super move in Injustice: Gods Among Us is thus: she attaches a Batsling to her foe, rappels them up some hundred feet, drops them so they slam into the ground as she stabs her knife boots into their back. It's just as deadly as it sounds.
  • In Lunar: The Silver Star and each of its several remakes, one of the early weapons in the game is a sling.
  • Similarly, the Halfling Slingers in Master of Magic were among the most cost-efficient units. Subverting this trope, however, they are an upgrade from Halfling Bowmen.
    • Not just cost-efficient, but potentially one of the most powerful ones in the game! Their high numbers make enchantments 33% more effective, combined with their innate halfling "Lucky" accuracy bonus results in devastating salvoes.
  • NetHack has slings, and sling skills. Lots of ammo around in the form of rocks and worthless glass. Too bad they're useless.
  • These are the primary ranged weapon for Celts in Nethergate. They're not as powerful as Roman javelins, but ammo's plentiful—you can pick up any rock off the ground and use it as a bullet.
  • A sling is Amicia's primary weapon in A Plague Tale: Innocence. It's quite deadly, killing enemies instantly if you hit them in the head, and you can craft different kinds of specialized ammunition for it.
  • Rise of Nations has the Slinger as the starting unit in the Light Infantry tree and serve the same purpose as an archer counter that they were in Age of Empires, and are also replaced by javelin-throwing skirmishers. The Maya civilization have a unique unit, the Balamob Slinger, that replaces the Skirmisher. They generally deal less damage, but are cheap to build, and move and attack very quickly.
  • In Rome: Total War, the player can recruit units of Slingers. They can't shoot over the heads of allied troops and are worse than arrows against armored enemies, but they are much cheaper and good against soft targets. That said, the mercenary Rhodian and Balearic Slingers have better range and damage rate than the basic archer units.
    • In Total War: Rome II, slings are characterized by having the longest range and highest rate of fire of the three missile types, at the cost of raw damage. The famous Balearic Slingers, mentioned in the Real Life folder below, are available as a unit to the Iberian factions and a Roman unit with an Auxiliary Barracks in the right places, or as mercenaries for any factions dropping by the relevant lands where they can be hired.
    • Total War: Attila has slingers as well, which this time around are the middle ground between the short-ranged-yet-always-devastating javelinmen and the longest-ranged archers. Slingers lack the sheer high-impact damage of javelins or the variety of useful ammunition that can be used with bows and entirely lack armor-piercing damage, but the damage they do is significant enough to probably do at least do around half damage even against the heaviest armored units while attacking them from an angle uncovered by the target's shields (swords, by comparison, would probably do closer to a third in such a position) - and they shoot fast. They also cause a -25% speed and charge speed penalty to enemies hit and can easily render units hit by them out of position. Lastly, they tend to have the Precision Shot and/or Rapid Advance abilities to improve their damage further/move to flank the enemy quickly temporarily.
  • Used in Runescape as a new elementary ranged weapon. Subverted in that it is incredibly ineffective, and cannot be used in conjunction with ammo due to not requiring any.
  • Shadowgate has a sling you find early on and need to load separately with a stone, but once you do, it becomes the only weapon capable of dropping a Cyclops you encounter laternote . The game even invokes the David vs. Goliath comparison in the description of your attack.
  • In Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge, Roger has to improvise a sling with his jockstrap in order to knock out a security guard.
    • Additionally, the Pinkos use slings to kill Roger if he fails to save one of them from a trap earlier in the game.
  • The Lobber in the PSP remake of Tactics Ogre Let Us Cling Together is a sling. It is considered a "Thrown weapon" in gameplay purposes, though specialised ammo can fire, allowing even a Squishy Wizard or a Combat Medic to become a surprisingly effective nuker as these shots deal quite the impressive damage, but can only reduce HP to One.
  • Archers in Tales of Maj'Eyal can focus on slings rather than bows—and still be just as dangerous. This is because the main trade-off isn't damage, but rather swapping area-of-effect bow skills for crowd control/status hell sling skills.
    • In the 1.2 version, a new class, Skirmisher, is introduced. The Skirmisher uses a sling, a shield, and tons of mobility to stay away from enemies and deflect attacks. It also introduces some interesting new talents like Kill Shot, which does more damage the further it travels and passes through enemies...basically, a mage/archer killer.
    • In the lore, slings are the favored weapons of halflings. Given that this universe's halflings are some of the finest soldiers in the world, whose military prowess built the first great empire of the Age of Allure, it's safe to say that slings are not a joke in the world of Eyal.
  • Talis in TechnoMage: Return of Eternity mentions that she fights with a sling in her introduction, though she's never seen using it on-screen.
  • The War In Heaven, an Angels Versus Demons first-person Action Game featured a sling as part of the Angel's arsenal.

  • Amira from Merchant Band uses a sling as her weapon, complete with a purse full of rocks.

    Western Animation 
  • The Galaxy Trio episode "Versus Growliath". Meteor Man uses his belt as an improvised sling to hurl a shrinking gas cannister at the enlarged title opponent, bringing him down to size.
  • In ThunderCats Pumyra's weapon was a sling.

    Real Life 
  • The ancient Greeks had the opposite misconception regarding slings; they believed that lead pellets could penetrate armour and even become super heated in the air, and had good reasons to think the former. They liked it so much they developed the Cestrosphendone (a sling-propelled dart) and Fustibalus (staff-sling). The Greeks would emboss taunting messages ("Catch!" "Take this!" "Ouch!") and holy symbols on stones for the benefit of their targets, a practice which is reflected in the modern practice of writing the enemy's name (or a taunt for them) onto missiles and artillery shells.
  • Roman military auxiliaries (particularly men recruited from the Balearic Islands, see below) would use slings with lead bullets which they would cast before a battle. Their usefulness should be readily apparent, seeing as they are harder to use than either bows or javelins, both of which were readily available in that era and no-one would take weak equipment into battle given better alternatives. They, too, placed messages on their ammo, such as "[name of enemy], may this hit you in the dick".
  • The sling was one of the most representative weapons of the ancient Iberian warriors. It is said the sling was the first toy an Iberian child received, and that they passed a Spartan-like training regime in which their food would be hung on high tree branches so they could only eat when they broke the branch with a shot. Slings themselves were tailor made for each warrior in accordance with their weight and arm length, and part of the Iberian standard-issue weaponry for battle was a set of three different-sized slings for different ranges. They also used lead and clay projectiles instead of mere stones. This video demonstrates the classic Balearic-style sling in action. Note the tassel on one end, which will produce a whipcrack when you cast the stone you're using as ammunition.
    • According to some sources the Balearic archipelago (which consists of the islands of Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza, plus some minor islands) takes its name from the supremely skilled slingers it produced: Ba-le-yaroh, Punic for "the ones with the office of throwing stones".
    • It seems they have not forgotten their skill, as a modern Spanish shepherd with a sling managed to hit the rotor of an helicopter and forced the pilot had to make an emergency landing. It was featured in a number of Spanish newspaper articles such as these.
  • Slings still see occasional use in modern times to throw grenades, Molotov Cocktails and the like (as recently as the 2008 riots in Kenya), and of course their traditional role of protecting shepherds in remote locations. Apart from that they're mostly of interest to hobbyists and athletes. They're also popular among survivalists as a hunting weapon, given their extremely simple design and widely available ammunition (rocks).
  • The Aztecs used slings as one of the main ranged weapons of their military. According to Cortés, the dents they left in his soldiers' armor were identical to those left by musket shots.
  • Incans also used slings as well - made with strings of alpaca wool.
  • One period of civil war in French history was called la Fronde (the sling), in reference to the weapons used by the mobs.
  • Police in Great Britain were baffled by acts of vandalism in which car windows were put out apparently by a projectile, although no trace could be found in the debris of rocks, or perhaps bullets. Fortean Times indirectly solved this: it reported on a craze in Canada where slings were used to propel clear boiled sweets with some force against glass windows of all kinds. The small hard candy hit with all the force of a slung stone, and being clear material, its fragments would be indistinguishable from the gravelled debris that a broken car windscreen is designed to become.
  • This is the principal of the toy called the "Foxtail" or the "Comet Ball" - it is a soft ball attached to a "tail" of fabric that is operated like a sling - but it can also be tossed like a simple ball.