Although I was plenty capable of following instructions and setting my sling the normal way, I have a contrarian streak in me. When I came across another set of instructions in Jim Owens’ book, Leather Sling and Shooting Positions, I became curious and decided to try it. I believe his method is in accordance with the USMC shooting team. You can quickly identify this configuration by the frogs on both sections facing the rifle and placing the stock in danger of scratches and dings (those wily Devil Dogs). You’ll also notice that the keepers are both below the frog on the long section.
This sling configuration is well suited to Highpower shooting, or any competition rifle shooting where a service type sling is needed, and a relatively static type of accuracy is needed. The two keepers, being compressed between the “frog” and the arm, cause this loop to be more secure than in the standard configuration. The difference seems to be just on the verge of being significant, but it’s overkill for a quick shot in the field. If you are taking a string on shots on a small stationary target, this is your configuration.
The big compromise with the sling configuration is with the speed that it may be assumed. There are a lot more steps from carry mode to shooting sling mode. If you really practice and get fast, it’s going to take about 15 seconds. There are also a lot of steps, which make it clumsy under stress.
The USMC configuration can be readily identified by several things. First, the keepers are together at the bottom of the long, forward portion of the sling, just above the loop. Second, the keepers are both below the frog, as opposed to the frog being between them as in the standard configuration. Third, the frogs are facing the rifle stock. Fourth, someone at the range will approach to and tell you that your sling is on backwards, and offer to help you do it the “right” way. There is a reason that the frogs face the stock. When we get to that photo I’ll point it out.
Frog on the inside:
Again, frog facing the stock:
If you like to keep the sling in “parade” fashion, there is an easy way to make it snug or loose depending on your needs at the time.
To make it snug, attach the rear frog to the highest set of hooks that it will easily reach. Then pull up on the inside portion and down on the outside portion. This will make your sling so tight you won’t be able to pull the frog out of the hooks.
Too loosen the sling, pull the sling the opposite way:
To sling up with this configuration (this is going to be complicated!!!):
Pull the keepers down together to get them out of the way for the moment:
Now pull the center, extra length of sling out of the way as well:
Pull the outside portion up, and the inside portion down. This will bring the frog to about 1/3 up of the upper length of the sling:
Now we are ready to assemble what is called “the unit”. This is an assembly composed of both keepers compressed against the frog, with the extra length of the sling tucked down against the frog in a “U” shape:
The unit with the loop below it:
Give the entire assembly a half twist (clockwise for right handed shooters, counter clockwise for lefties):
Maintain the unit with the firing hand, and shove the support arm through:
Work the loop and the unit over the bicep:
Make sure the unit’s tight:
Pull the loop as tight as you can get it:
Move the unit to the outside of the arm, somewhere in the neighborhood of 9-10 o’clock, if the top of your bicep is 12 o’clock. Here’s what you should have:
The above photo illustrates why I believe that the frogs are on the inside with this sling configuration. It’s somewhat standard to move the top of the loop to the outside of the arm. The TIS sling I reviewed last month is the only exception I can think of. If the frogs were on the outside, I believe to get the effect of the unit, you’d have to move it to the inside of the arm.
As always, bring the support hand around the sling:
The support hand should be sandwiched in between the sling and forend:
Ready to shoot. Although we did all we could to keep the loop tight, there will still be a gap. This does not compromise the steadiness of the sling:
There you go. I hope that was worth it. This series of articles on the 1907 sling will be concluded tomorrow at approximately the same time.