The use of the Model of 1907 sling.
(a.) Place the rifle butt on your right hip and cradle the rifle on the inside of your right forearm, sights to the right (Figure 1).
Both of your hands are now free to adjust the sling. Loosen the sling, then unhook the lower hook and rehook it down near the butt swivel (Figure 1, note 1).
(b.) The loop to be placed on your arm is formed by that part of the long strap between the D-ring and the lower keeper. For the average sling adjustment, unhook the upper hook and engage it four to six holes from the end of the long strap (Figure 1, note 2). To shorten or lengthen the sling to conform with your body and arms, make the adjustment by moving the upper hook. Push the lower keeper up (Figure 2, note 3); the loop now formed is the loop for your left arm (Figure 2, note 4).
Straighten out the sling so that it lies flat, then give it a half turn to the left (Figure 2, note 5). Insert your left arm through the loop until the loop is high on the upper arm, above the biceps (Figure 2, note 6). Now, using both hands, left hand on the outside strap, right hand on the inside, rotate the sling through the upper swivel, moving the lower keeper and upper hook downward to your arm (Figure 3, note 7).
This tightens the loop on your arm. Now, to keep the loop from slipping, pull the upper keeper down tight against the upper hook, locking it in place (Figure 3, note 8). The feed end of the sling is left hanging downward. Do not roll it up between the keepers as this will stretch them.
(c.) For the average soldier, the adjustment of the loop sling in the kneeling, squatting, and sitting positions is about two holes shorter than that for the prone position.
(d.) After the sling has been adusted on the upper arm, grasp the rifle so that the hand is against the stock ferrule swivel (Figure 4, note 9) and the sling lies flat against the back of the left hand (Figure 4, note 10).
(e.) Before taking your position, place your left hand so that the rifle lies in the center of the V formed by your thumb and first finger.
(f.) Some leeway in the position of the loop on the arm is permitted. In general, the loop should be above the biceps; however, experience has shown that many men get good results with the sling somewhat lower. It is important that daylight be visible between the sling and the crook of the arm formed at the elbow.
(g.) Be sure the sling is doing its share of the work in giving your rifle full support. The tendency of most men is to use a sling adjustment which is too long (loose). A properly adujsted sling means a steady rifle (Figure 5).
Figure 5: A Properly Adjusted Sling!
Simple, isn't it?
This simple strap can be a hunter's best friend.
by David E. Petzal ( FIELD & STREAM MAGAZINE)
Smooth Move: (enlarge picture at right) A left-hand shooter would carry the rifle slung muzzle down (a) on his right shoulder. To shoot, the right hand lifts the fore-end (b) as the sling remains above the elbow. Bring the rifle to shoulder (c) so that the sling wraps tightly around the right bicep (d), creating a support. Right-handers would reverse sides.
If my own experience is any indicator, rifle slings have saved the lives of more critters than PETA. Used incorrectly, a sling (or more properly, a carrying strap) can place your rifle out of reach for more than enough time for a deer to bolt and die of old age.
Sling misuse can have even more serious consequences. Many years ago, I was on the trail of a highly irritated lion in the Kalahari Desert of Botswana, .375 slung over my shoulder. Ian Manning, the professional hunter whose job it was to keep me from becoming lion poop, said, â€śDavid, do you really think the bloody lion is going to wait for you to unsling your bloody rifle before he bites you in your bloody a--e?â€?I had offered to fight Manning the day before when he said my rifle looked like it belonged to a French nobleman, but there was no doubt he was making sense about the sling.
KEEP IT IN YOUR POCKET
There are a number of things you will discover if you hunt long enough. First, youâ€™ll learn that when things happen, they usually happen fast, and that the hunter who punches his tag is the hunter who is ready to shoot. If your rifle is slung over your shoulderâ€”or worse, across your backâ€”you are going to dance the Funky Chicken getting it into firing position, and this will alert whatever you are intending to shoot that it should leave. It will also give the critter the time to do so.
The only situations in which your rifle should be slung is when you have no intention of shooting anything, or when you have to use both hands for something. I have crawled up mountains on my hands and knees, clutching at roots and saplings with both hands, and there was no way I was going to hold my rifle, too. (Hint: If youâ€™re going to do this sort of stuff, sling your firearm across your back, not over your shoulder; the latter is not very secure.)
And do not sling your rifle as youâ€™re getting into a tree stand. You can fall and land on the gun, which neither of you will appreciate. There is only one way to get a firearm up into your tree stand: Check to see that itâ€™s unloaded, open the action, tie a cord around the sling, climb into the stand, and haul the rifle up after you.
THE UPSIDE-DOWN CARRY
There is, however, a way to sling a rifle that allows you to bring it into action quickly and use the sling as a shooting support at the same time. In the past when I have recommended this technique, I set all the Safety Nazis who read the magazine in a frenzy. To them I say: One hand is always on the rifle and has it under constant control. Itâ€™s not as though the gun is swinging freely, doing whatever it pleases. I learned how to do this in 1958 from a gun writer named Francis E. Sell, who had probably used it for 50 years at that point. I have been using it for 46 years. Sell did not shoot himself in all that time, and neither have I, so spare me.
It works like this: Assuming you have a smooth rifle sling and not one of the grabby kind that wonâ€™t slip off your shoulder, and assuming youâ€™re right-handed, you sling the rifle over your left shoulder, muzzle down, trigger guard forward. Your left hand should be on the fore-end to control the gun.
When it comes time to shoot, you simply haul the rifle up and put the butt in your right shoulder. The sling remains looped around the upper part of your left arm as a brace. This can be done in one motion with a minimum of movement and is very fast. And as the signs correctly say, speed kills.
A Super Strap
There is no shortage of good slings on the market, but the best one Iâ€™ve used is the A-1 Murray Quick-Set Rifle Sling ($50; 817-441-7480; www.murraycustomleather.com). Made from premium saddle leather, it comes with Uncle Mikeâ€™s swivels installed, canâ€™t scratch your rifle, and will probably outlive you. If you get it wet, let it dry and rub in a couple of drops of vegetable cooking oil to keep it supple.