Sunday, March 11, 2012

My sling set up and why

One of the smarter things I've ever heard is "A sling is a holster for your rifle". Ya gotta have a sling on your carbine, but there are several ways to set 'em up, and there's a plus side and minus side to the various ways to do it. The difference comes down to the intended purpose and the type of use the rifle gets.

To me, there's only one type of sling right now that has the most upside with the least downside, and that's the adjustable two point sling. It can do everything a one point and three point can do, without the downside of those two designs.  My home boy Chris, a 12 year Infantry vet, also made the point that if you have a two point sling, if you get hit and go down, somebody can just throw that rifle on their back and secure it that way. Stuff like the Wolf Hook don't make that possible...and they make your rifle a big pendulum. Trust me, they suck. Don't do that to yourself.

There are a couple ways to set up a sling, with some variations that I find less useful overall but may be driven by necessity. You can attach the sling in close, or as far apart as possible. What's attached to the rail may drive a different method; ya do what ya gotta do.

In close, meaning at the receiver extension side of the rifle, and as close to the barrel nut end of the rail as possible has the advantage of keeping the sling out of the way and has some more flexibility with transitions from shoulder to shoulder. It's a good method for stuff like room clearing or short duration, relatively close shots as a SWAT entry team might encounter. This method makes the two point most like a one point. The downside is that the sling isn't very useful as a shooting aid. This photo belongs to Rob Sloyer. It's amazing how few photos there are of the sling side of Pat's rifle. They're almost all from the right side!

The other method, and the one I settled on after experimenting with every way I could think of, is to sling from the buttstock and as far forward on the rail as possible.

My sling is a two point adjustable from ATS, using Murdock Webbing's Multicam jacquard webbing. We figured this product would be a good test of abrasion resistance for that material. Jacquard is woven in the pattern, the pattern isn't printed on it.

But I regress, or digress, and not progress. The advantage to this method is that the sling can be run all the way out, as it'd usually be done for most uses. The sling can be choked up and used as a shooting aid for long shots, and can be cinched down the rest of the way to pull the rifle to the chest and free the hands for other uses without putting the muzzle in the dirt.

I'm a big fan of Magpul products. However, the one thing I don't like about 'em is that they're designed around the MS sling. While it's convertible from one point to two point, the range of adjustment is very short and it requires slinging off their end plate, the ASAP plate. It's noisy and that irritates me. They make a pretty good adapter for the stock I run, the ACS, which uses a heavy Duty QD sling swivel and screw-on socket.
The downside to that part is that it's not rotation-limited. I've considered a couple different ways to accomplish that, but haven't come up with a really good solution for that yet. The real solution would be for it to come that way from the factory.

My forward sling mount is a 1 1/2 inch Ace rail grabber. I don't have need of a QD swivel there, and it's a lower profile mount than a QD is. If you do need a QD, do yourself a huge favor and make sure it's a rotation limited mount, like the Daniel Defense part.

I haven't gotten around to trimming the sling yet, but I will. I just wrapped the excess with some Velcro wrap stuff from an old 6004 holster. If anything, I have the sling adjusted a bit long now and need to take up a little more slack in the adjustable end.

I've run both VTAC and Blue Force Gear VCAS slings, and like them both. I have a slight preference towards the VTAC as it has a greater range of adjustment and is somewhat easier to adjust...although not enough so that I wouldn't run a VCAS and be perfectly happy with it. VTAC slings are, in my limited experience, easier to adjust when the sling gets dirty, muddy and cruddy.  Padded vs. non-padded comes down to what you're doing with it. If it's going to be run over armor, don't bother with the pad; it's just bulk that doesn't help ya. If you don't usually wear armor, then the padded one is a good choice, although I don't notice enough difference between them to really make it a point to get the padded one. I had a padded VTAC on my rifle before I started testing the current one, but honestly I can't tell much difference between 'em. 

why have a blog if ya don't blog?

I've figured it out. The reason I don't blog more often is that most of the stuff I consider posting on require pictures. I have something against shooting and editing pictures; there's something not fun about it. Probably because my 'puter is slow and those tasks can't be done instantaneously.

Rather than not blogging, though, I'm gonna try to shoot some pics and create some posts. I have a few things that I'm planning comments on: why I set my sling up the way I did, the Safariland ELS belt system and jump holster. Maybe some comments about how much money I have in guns and gear and how I still suck with a gun. We'll see what I can do to show that.

I have a need to practice writing more than I do. Not writing makes me rusty and it takes longer to get what I need from it. I'm hopeful that I can make better use of this place in order to accomplish part of my job more efficiently. 'Course, things could easily keep going along at the snail's pace that they do already, too.