I’m a sling junkie. Saying it ain’t gonna cure it, but it’s the truth. So far, I’ve had the USGI cotton web sling, the regular TAB sling, and the Tactical Intervention Slip Cuff Quick Release on my rifle. Actually I started out with the Brownells Latigo Sling. I might even dig that out and give it a second chance before I’m done with this. But right now, it’s all about the 1907 sling. I get at least one hit on my blog from someone looking for info on the 1907 sling, so here you go.
My 1907 was purchased from Brownells, and has their brand on it. I suspect that Turner Saddlery made it, but I can’t be sure of that. It is of good quality and has held up well. If you decide to get a 1907, I recommend that you splurge and get something nice. If you wanted a piece of junk, you’d get some cheap carrying strap from Cabela’s. If you want a 1907, get a Les Tam Sling (heirloom quality from what I’ve heard) or at least a Turner Saddlery Sling. You don’t want some 1″, thin, ugly piece of junk. If a cheapskate like me is advocating spending extra money on something, it’s at least something to consider.
If you can guess the year that the 1907 sling was adopted by the military, you’ll be smarter than the average bear. At some point, folks found that the use of a shooting sling enhance their ability to hold accurately. The idea is that the sling takes the place of the muscles to hold up the rifle in position. It works well. The idea was good enough to catch on with the military, who still expected people to deliberately aim at and hit a target in those days.
There are a couple different ways I have seen of configuring the 1907. Note that in all of them, the shorter section of sling attached to the rear swivel and then to the long section near the middle of the total sling length. Just forward of the junction of the rear (short) and front (long) portions is the loop. I’m not going to give you explicit instructions on how to put the sling on the rifle. I’m going to assume you can figure it out by the pictures that follow.
There are a few ways of configuring the 1907 sling on your rifle. I will cover three: the standard method, a method used by M/SGT James R. Owens, USMC (Ret.) and the Marine Corps shooting team, and a third method that could be considered a hybrid of the two. There are so many photos that I decided to give each sling configuration its own blog post.
The primary way of configuring the sling is the way whoever designed the sling had in mind. I think of this as the “Army” way, although that is by no means any kind of official designation, or even a common way of referring to this configuration. This method is what you would find if you typed in “1907 rifle sling installation” in your search engine. It’s not a bad choice. It works great for carry and for slinging up. It’s a relatively quick configuration to sling up with, figure about 9-10 seconds. Here’s what the sling in the rifle in that configuration looks like:
Notice the characteristics of this configuration. As for nomenclature, the leather bands that bind the sections of sling together are called “keepers”. The metal hooks are called “frogs”. The ring that hold the front and rear together is called the “D-ring”. Notice that the frogs are on the outside of the sling, away from the rifle. Also notice that the frog on the long section of sling is between the two keepers. On some 1907 slings, one of the keepers will be wider than the other. The wider keeper goes at the top (toward the muzzle).
If the center portion (extra length) were shorter, the loop could be big enough to put the arm in without further adjustment. Consider trimming the sling.
The upper keeper keeps the frog hooks from slipping out
I hear and read a lot that to loop up with this sling in this configuration, you need to loosen the rear portion. This is only the case if you have the sling set up as a parade sling, which is where the sling is as tight as possible. If you have the frog of the short section attached anywhere to the short section (below the “D” ring), the sling will be at a good length both for carry and for slinging up. Just leave it in place.
To begin, reach the firing hand around to the underside of the loop and grasp it with either the index or middle finger:
Bring the firing hand back to the pistol grip while retaining the sling:
Get the extra length out of the way and move the keeper up to make the loop bigger:
Shove the support arm in and work it over the bicep:
Grasp the lower keeper…
…and slide it down tight against the bicep:
Bring the support and around the sling:
The support hand should be trapped between the sling and forend:
You are ready to shoot:
If you have a 1907 sling and have never known how to use it hopefully this has been of help. Tomorrow I’ll go over what I call the USMC method (again, just what I call it, not an official or even common unofficial term). Tune back in, same Bat time, same Bat channel.