Hey guys, this is NUSensei. Today, we are taking a look at the Pocket Shot. The Pocket Shot, is a circular hand-held slingshot designed several years ago. Originally, the Pocket Shot was designed to shoot steel ball bearings as typical of a slingshot. The designers later added a whisker biscuit for use with arrows and in the 3.0 version of the Pocket Shot they came up with a specialised pouch for shooting arrows. As a disclaimer to this video, the footage was filmed several months ago. Since then, there have been changes and improvements to the Pocket Shot and the packages sold. The kit I bought, came with all the pouches and for the most part, the pouches were pretty useless to me, since I don’t intend to shoot with ball bearings. The site now offers a different arrow-only kit, so what you see in this review, will be slightly different to what you can get now. The basic Pocket Shot comes in a very handy container. The default configuration uses the regular black pouch. The blue pouch, is the pro pouch, which is meant to be stronger than the regular black pouch. The regular Pocket Shot is meant for ball bearings or other small ammunition to be inserted and shot. To use an arrow, the whisker biscuit is required. To install the whisker biscuit, simply screw the biscuit on to the Pocket Shot, where the cap normally go. This is, in fact how the original Pocket Shot marketed it’s ability to shoot arrows. However, as you can see, the length that you can pull it back to is very, very limited. Giving it a low velocity. And so, the arrow pouch was created. The arrow pouch is much longer, allowing for a draw of up to 30 inches, which is what you would expect from a bow. To change the pouch, you need to loosen the Pocket Shot case. This can be done, by using the reverse side of the cap. Turning it, until the Pocket Shot opens up. This then allows you to peel the latex pouch off. Take the replacement pouch and roll it over the lips of the Pocket Shot. Then tighten back, to it’s original position. The arrow nocks will pierce the latex pouch so these rubber nock caps are needed. These go over the nock and also provide a place to grip. While you can use any arrow with the Pocket Shot, the site recommends it’s customised arrows. At the time of my purchase, these arrows were not available and the site instead sold the Victory Ares fibreglass youth arrows. Since then, those arrows have been taken off the shop and the product page now specifically recommends that you avoid plastic or rubber fletchings. From experience, these vanes can cause damage to the pouch, drastically reducing it’s lifespan. The Pocket Shot arrows, use feathers and have a slightly different profile to most arrows used with bows. The way to use the Pocket Shot is to hold it from the front like this and pinch the end of the pouch. Normally, you would have the arrow and the nock inside here, so you pinch that and you pull. So, it looks basically like this. It’s not particularly hard, but there are a few nuances. When you first use the latex pouch, it can be quite stiff and it can be quite slippery as well, making it very hard to grip and you will see quite a few reviewers on YouTube. They tend to pull it back to around here and they shoot from here. This is partially because, I am assuming, it’s brand new so it hasn’t stretched out. The pouch will eventually become easier to pull back after some repeated usage. The latex does become a lot easier to pull back. Additionally, as you pull back, the end of the pouch does become a little more grittier from your hand and dirt on your fingers. So it becomes, actually, easier to hold, so rather than slipping, you will find it easier to pull back. You might be tempted to hold the thing the other way, this is not very effective, the reason being that the hand actually bends backwards when you do this. It’s not really made to do that. So whilst it might seem a bit more aggressive and accurate, it’s not actually very biomechanic. The correct way to hold this, is this. Same as for a rifle, you hold it like this for a reason. You actually push out and it follows the bone structure in your arm a lot more. The other thing is that a lot of people you may find attempting to pull back like this and in fairness, being a slingshot, you aim to pull back using your arm like that. But, being an archer, I tend to use my back muscles more. So what I tend to do, I tend to hold straight and push out with the front shoulder, while pulling back with the rear. That allows me to perform the draw a lot easier which is something a lot of people can’t really accomplish. While this isn’t a very strong pouch, it doesn’t feel more than, say, 20 lbs just the fact that it is a little more awkward, means you do have to apply some principles of archery to get it right. That said, there are some downsides. There are no sights – it’s a slingshot. It’s very hard to aim with this thing, there is no reference point. You could use your hand, or part of the grip as a reference point, but honestly, you will basically be instinctive most of the time. The second thing which I tend to do – especially once it is stretched out – is I tend to anchor. And this is something which is the archer in me, coming out. I pull back and touch something. Now I do a couple of variations. I might sometimes do it this way and anchor using my cheek. I might also use an inverted grip like a compound back tension release and pull it this way and it’s sometimes easier to get a reference point like this. So from the front. This is what it looks like. A couple of things too, which make it hard, it’s still a lot of left/right variation. So you will find that this, as a right-handed shooter, I will tend to drift towards the left because I’m not actually anchored straight under my jaw, I am more towards the right side of my face. Additionally, it is very easy to torque the front of this pouch. So, you may find that the arrows will not go where you think they are and it might be because of your lack of anchor, or it might be because of the fact that you are not pointing the right way. So, let’s do a few shots. As I don’t have a proper set of feathered arrows, I will be using my Easton ACEs. Which are quite excessive for what I am doing here. This first sequence is with a brand new pouch, so it does take a while to get the pouch in to a comfortable full draw. I am also holding my spare arrows with my gripping hand for speed loading since you are probably not going to be using a quiver for the Pocket Shot. So, does it work? Yes, you definitely saw me hitting the target most of the time, some of the time. But, yes, the Pocket Shot works. It does function as advertised, so, no complaints there. It’s very hard to shoot accurately as you can see even though I am aiming for a fairly large target at a relatively short distance. I’m not that bad of a shot, really I’m not, but it’s kind of hard to aim. Again, there is no real aiming method and I have been trying to figure one out over the last couple of weeks but haven’t managed to do something. It’s mostly instinctive and I guess, if you practice enough with it, especially with a reliable instinctive method, then you could, presumably, get a relatively good grouping, assuming all things come to place. That said, it is just too easy to torque this thing and it doesn’t come out the way you expect it to fly. It’s definitely not a bow. When you use this and you use a bow, you appreciate how much more stable a bow is, it really is a huge difference. So, there really shouldn’t be anything that should ruin the flight of the arrow, but it doesn’t come out as cleanly and this is again partially because of the way it is pulled back. Also, the way you might twist the front of the Pocket Shot as it doesn’t come out as clean as what you think you are. So, apart from the erratic shooting, again, with practice you could tighten it, but I don’t find it that reliable. The penetration or the power of this Pocket Shot again isn’t that great, some of the shots bounce off. Now this particular target at our club, is a little soft in the centre so the plastic inside tends to rebound arrows from arrows shot from bows, that are under 20 lbs. With a 40 lb plus or a 30 lb plus, this will go right in to it so, it doesn’t have that much power behind it if you are actually trying to use the hut for something you might find it is too weak for that sort of thing. The only other, I guess downside, is that it is not that durable, I’m a bit disappointed. The two things which go wrong, firstly the rubber nocks. This one, I didn’t show on camera, but the end has split so the nock itself has cut through the rubber. It’s still usable, but the pointy bits would jut out through the end of the nock, which means it might damage the latex pouch. Which is the second point of weakness. I just wasn’t really happy with the first pouch only lasting about an hour. That one, I don’t know what happened, whether the nock scratched it or by pulling it back it tore a hole in it I am not sure what happened, but, the short lifespan of a pouch does make it less viable for continual use. I would expect something like this to last for hundreds of shots if not thousands of shots. That might be ambitious, but if you are paying money, I mean getting shipped from America, then you would expect this to last. The fact that the extra pouches, like you get three pouches which is good, but the fact that you need three pouches is a little worrying. I imagine if you are only getting this for the ball bearings and the small pouches it’s not as bad, but with something that requires this much pull or this length to pull back, I think that might be pushing the design of the Pocket Shot. Overall, the Pocket Shot is fun to use, I will give it that. It’s something which I might keep in my bag, or in my car and occasionally pull out to shoot for fun in the shed with the club guys. Will I win any tournaments with it, well, no, definitely not. But it’s a fun little, well I would say it’s a toy. I mean, things like bows and slingshots aren’t necessarily toys but, this feels like a toy and for me as an archer I would probably keep it as a toy, I might hand it to somebody else to have some fun with it but not shoot seriously. Is it practical? And a lot of people that do this are outdoors people in my opinion, I don’t think it is practical. It’s something which you can just put in your pocket, even if you don’t carry the box, or the tube around you can just put it in your pocket and it is really convenient. You can take it out and use. But, I don’t think it’s that useful. Just the lack of any way to aim it, makes it a very short range tool and if you are actually using this for survival situation I think you may be better off with other options. It’s probably better than nothing, but I might consider carrying a survival bow rather than a Pocket Shot. But, it has it’s appeal. I’m not an outdoors guy so I can’t say that this doesn’t work outdoors. I am sure that somebody else will chime in and vouch for it, or against it. But, I don’t feel that this is reliable enough or durable enough, for use in the field. As a footnote, if you do want to bring that with you in the field for hunting or survival you really have to practice with it. I’ve only shot it for a week, or two weeks So, I’m not thoroughly impressed, but, I haven’t trained with it. I guess if you practice with it consistently and you know how it works, then it could be used viably, as a tool for the outdoors. But, I’m not too sure, if the thing doesn’t break on you then I guess you can practice with it, but I’m just not sold on the flexibility, the durability of this particular item. It’s worth mentioning that Pocket Shot have recently released the hammer grip. Which gives the Pocket Shot more of a conventional slingshot grip. This will probably give it a lot more stability and accuracy, than holding it by the circular frame. My overall opinion? It’s gimmicky, it can be fun to use, but not the most useful item but if you are curious, it’s worth a shot. Anyway, this is NUSensei, thanks for watching and I will see you next time.