I developed this sling because I wanted something that did not yet exist. I decided to bring it to you because I needed a new hobby (not exactly). Actually I saw the opportunity for innovation and entrepreneurship.
I have tried a very wide variety of slings, and have seen and experienced their strengths and weaknesses. I have done a lot of shooting using a loop sling. Some slings are too slow to loop up with. Some slings use inferior materials. Some slings seem to work well but are uncomfortable with actual use. Some slings are overly complex to the end user.
I had a few criteria in mind when I came up with the sling. It had to be as simple as possible to use. I wanted as few buckles, adjusters, and sections necessary to make a functional sling.
I wanted something that could be set up once, left as is, and used in a moment’s notice. Easy adjustability of the loop is nice if you are shooting competition and want everything fine-tuned perfectly, but it’s impractical for a rifle that will be carried and when the time and conditions of the shot are not predictable.
I wanted materials that combined the thickness, stiffness, weight, and texture of cotton webbing with the durability, strength, and resistance to rot of nylon. I wanted to use materials that were strong enough to last a lifetime. I wanted materials that were made in America.
Most of all, I wanted a sling that I could loop up with quickly enough that I could get it set during the time it takes to get into position. What good is a loop if you can’t use it before your target disappears? That has always been the big problem with loop slings, most have been too slow for most practical use.
I didn’t think something up, order some webbing and thread, and sew them up for sale. My thought was that if I’m going to make something that doesn’t exist, something that I think is better than what’s out there, the quality should be first rate. It didn’t take long before I learned I would need to drop a huge amount of money on a sewing machine to do what I needed it to do.
I tried 5 kinds of webbing before finding something that finally satisfied me. Some webbing frays too easily. Some is too thin. 1.5” webbing is popular, and I initially began with the intention of using it. The fact that swivels don’t come in that size has always bothered me a little, but the 1 ¼” webbing and the adjustment hardware is pretty darn hard to find.
It took a lot of trial, error, searching, and dissatisfaction, but I’m very satisfied with what I finally found. I also found that 1 ¼” webbing also seemed to work better for a rifle sling in this application. It’s a bit lighter, and I found that it didn’t cut off my circulation quite so readily as 1.5” webbing, which surprised me. What I finally settled on is 1 ¼” mil-spec nylon webbing that really feels like the real-deal good ol’ USGI cotton webbing.
Old school cotton USGI webbing on the left, the webbing I’m using on the right.
Some of the colors that will be available. For now, only coyote tan, OD Green, and A-Tacs AU (right) will be offered. A-Tacs FG, Multicam, and black will be available later.
I built 5 different prototype slings. I used the first one for almost 2 months and found that I was onto something. By the time I built my 5thversion, I knew I pretty much had it down. After using prototype #5 for a month, I took it to an Appleseed. I was able to score 246 on the full distance AQT without starting any stage looped up (video from that shoot here: “Fastest Hands in the Northwest?” [looping up at 1:10])That showed me that it worked and I found a few improvements I could make to really have a refined product.
During the time I was testing prototypes, I was also taking the time to source materials and components that were made in the US. Chinese parts typically run a fifth to a tenth the cost of “equivalent” US made parts. I could have saved money and cut a few corners by ordering stuff from China, but it wouldn’t be the best, and I don’t trust that they’re our friends. Every piece of webbing, elastic, every adjuster, swivel, the thread, and even the tag were made in the United States. I’ll say it again, THIS IS 100% MADE IN THE USA! More importantly, this stuff is strong and the quality is self-evident.
As for the sling and what sets it apart. Many slings have buckles or hardware inside the shooting loop. I’ve found that this will give you a welt if you’re wearing “normal” clothes and experience recoil. My sling has no hardware in the loop that touches the shooter.
Don’t be afraid. I don’t bite.
The sling’s open loop is very rapid to get into and out of. This design favors practical field shooting. Generally if you’re in the field actually using your rifle for something you won’t be firing a string of 10 rounds at a stationary target with a mandatory reload. Because of this design philosophy, you could say it favors mobility at the very slight expense of stability. It may not stay high on the arm through multiple reloads, such as formal Highpower competition, or if the tension on the loop is released if the gun is taken out of position. If this happens, it can be easily pulled back up the arm, like I did at the Appleseed. Another solution is to install a keeper near the front swivel that can be pulled down if needed.
I’ve never used the blog as a means to make anything for myself. I have just enjoyed writing it and I don’t like the way banner ads clutter blogs. I think I have a good reason to change that now. If I didn’t think that this sling is the best thing going, I wouldn’t put my reputation on the line selling it.
I look forward to slinging all your rifles. If you’d like to get one, please visit the RifleCraft store.
The loop beckons…