What to Take When Deploying To the Middle East
March 30, 2006 9:54 PM   Subscribe

Living and working in the desert. I was reading this interesting article when I came upon this: [more inside]
posted by tellurian (28 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
"I always take a wrist rocket to plink with, the ammo is free and readily available. It has saved my butt more than once allowing me to take small game and in some of the wonderful locations I have had the pleasure of staying, kill a few rats before going to sleep for the night.
On one occasion, it kept approximately 8 Turks from beating my brains in. Getting hit with a projectile launched from one of these little sling shots hurts like hell and would kill a man if it hit him in the right place."

snsranch may have taken this advice. I've never heard of wrist rockets before. Here's one with a laser sight [warning - annoying music, scroll to the bottom of the page to turn it off].
posted by tellurian at 9:54 PM on March 30, 2006

You'll shoot your eye out.
posted by _aa_ at 10:14 PM on March 30, 2006

Too bad he didn't go into detail about the 8 turks and his slingshot.

"wrist rocket"? guh.
posted by stavrogin at 10:21 PM on March 30, 2006

I first read about wrist rockets in Robb White's Deathwatch, which my 7th grade English Teacher had us read. And read to us. Interesting fellow. Really easily distracted by talk about guns and hunting.
posted by weston at 10:40 PM on March 30, 2006

A lot of kids had wrist rockets growing up, and my mom has an SR7; they're pretty neat things indeed. I'm pretty sure mom hasn't scared off any Turks with it, though.

And what the hell does Charlie Brown have to do with a laser-sighted slingshot?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:43 PM on March 30, 2006

Oops! I'd better take it out the tags.
posted by tellurian at 11:06 PM on March 30, 2006

So these wrist rockets, are they somehow different/better than regular 'pro' slingshots I may have broken things with?
posted by MetaMonkey at 12:07 AM on March 31, 2006

MetaMonkey, did you look at the videos on that last link? The guy took out a Turk Coke can at (from memory, the sites down at the moment) 150 feet.
posted by tellurian at 12:39 AM on March 31, 2006

Be careful with these things - they're not toys. They can put a 1-cm lead ball three inches deep into a living tree. They will kill small animals immediately; head or heart shots to medium game and humans will also be fatal.
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:48 AM on March 31, 2006

I can believe you ikkyu2. My searching doesn't find a retail outlet in Australia. I can imagine there would be a outrage in the community if they imported them here. Who are they targeted (no pun intended) at marketing-wise, in the States, kids or adults?
posted by tellurian at 1:39 AM on March 31, 2006

They're targeted at adolescents and eternal adolescents.

My friend had one when he was 16. He (and his surroundings) would've been safer had it been a handgun, because there is a culture built up in America that guns aren't toys and you need to be careful when handling them.
posted by ikkyu2 at 2:47 AM on March 31, 2006

The Wrist Rocket has been around for years. It was originally marketed by Whamo (the Hula Hoop folks) and I got my first one in 1967 or '68 when I was 12-13 years old. We were having serious problems with rabbits, weasels, opossum and other small animals at the time and it proved to be the perfect weapon to earn quite a bit of bounty from my parents. I still use it on rabbits in the garden during the wee hours of the morning when a shot from the .22 would wake up my wife.

The steel shot will penetrate a car fender and the wood shot is excellent for scaring deer out of the garden without causing any injury. The glass shot is used by vandals to break glass without leaving any tell-tale evidence.
posted by buggzzee23 at 3:38 AM on March 31, 2006

Only in America
posted by tellurian at 4:23 AM on March 31, 2006

As I didn't know about "wrist rockets", I turned to Google Image Search for a clue... Really, these things are sold to kids in the US? Even those cute violet ones?

About the article: most of it seemed right out of some bizarro fashion magazine, saps and holsters replacing high heels and leather purses. Dressed to kill, really.
posted by elgilito at 4:28 AM on March 31, 2006

Yes. I should have probably warned of the perils of Googling for 'wrist rockets'.
elgilito, despite your scepticism I think that the article was based on some element of previous experience and qualified in areas where it wasn't sure.
posted by tellurian at 4:42 AM on March 31, 2006

I can't speak for availabilty in other states, but you can't buy a Wrist Rocket in California unless you're 18 years old or older.

They're also available in Canada
posted by buggzzee23 at 4:43 AM on March 31, 2006

buggzzee23, that's interesting. Do you have a link to any legislation? I looked for something in Australia and couldn't find any. It seems to me that this is a lethal weapon that has slipped under the radar.
posted by tellurian at 4:57 AM on March 31, 2006

Reading the anecdote about the 8 turks is unintentionally hilarious if you initially interpret the phrase "wrist rocket" to be a euphemism for masturbation.
posted by thanotopsis at 5:04 AM on March 31, 2006

Oh I'm not skeptical about the content. It's just than when I read things like "Whatever you do, stay away from 100 % cotton" or "I am fond of the reversible fleece jackets" or "In the summer I wear thin leather fingerless gloves" I can't help picturing the guy sashaying down the catwalk at a Survivalist Fashion Show, wearing the latest in "fleece type baklavas" and "silk long johns".
posted by elgilito at 5:04 AM on March 31, 2006

if you initially interpret the phrase "wrist rocket" to be a euphemism for masturbation. See

Survivalist Fashion Show. hee hee
posted by tellurian at 5:30 AM on March 31, 2006

It's just than when I read things like...

Yeah, but the guy's picking the right gear. Cotton does kill, mod the one exception he notes (loose cotton, in dry desert heat, is good.)

Even his comments on a backup weapon are good -- he's picking light over power, which is, for someone who may be spending days on thier feet, the right answer -- and he knows he's going to get grief about picking a .22 pistol, and has the right answer -- "I don't want to get shot by anything, even a .22"

I'd go for a Tilley hat over the Outback, but maybe he hasn't seen them (or discarded it for other reasons.)

His stressing water is exactly right -- and it is true anyway outdoors. It's just easier to resupply in the woods, but without it, you die amazingly quickly, often, because you did something stupid because your brain wasn't working right.

I like this phrase, though. If under attack I do not have to stand around holding my slinky, instead of engaging the enemy.

Hmm. "For fun, it's a wonderful toy!"
posted by eriko at 5:32 AM on March 31, 2006 [1 favorite]

This guy comes across as complete nut.
posted by Mocata at 7:08 AM on March 31, 2006

This guy comes across as complete nut.

I think he comes across as completely rational. He's not giving talks at a suburban development forum or a PTA meeting. He's speaking as a desert combat vetern to combat neophytes about to be deployed into a hostile conflict in the desert. If I was 20 years old, and about to go to Iraq, I would be very, very greatful for his advice and so would my parents.
posted by mrmojoflying at 8:51 AM on March 31, 2006

eriko writes "Even his comments on a backup weapon are good -- he's picking light over power,"

Note that the .22 is his secondary back up. His primary is .38 or .357. And that is in addition to his sidearm and I'm assuming some kind of rifle or carbine.

This guy is a logistical nightmare. He carries four different types of ammunition. At least his .357 is a revolver so he doesn't need mags for that though I'd bet he carries a speedloader or two.
posted by Mitheral at 8:56 AM on March 31, 2006

Oh man, Deathwatch! I really enjoyed that one.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:01 AM on March 31, 2006

Flying - you're right. But if you read it outside that context, statements like 'Anyone entering strange or remote territory should always keep a pocket survival kit on their person at all times. I have two; one in my pocket and one attached to my big knife sheath' make him sound a bit like John Rambo or something.
posted by Mocata at 9:10 AM on March 31, 2006

mrmojoflying, I don't know about you or your parents but I hear where you're coming from. I think that he gives some great advice, that's why I posted it, the wrist rocket was an (albeit fascinating) aside,
posted by tellurian at 9:51 AM on March 31, 2006

I always bring my pocket rocket with me, however it's messy when it goes off unexpectedly.
posted by MotherTucker at 10:13 AM on March 31, 2006

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