I showed you the “most normal” way to attach your 1907 sling in part 1 of this series. In part 2, I got a little more “out there” but the technique still had some bona fides to back it up. I came up with a new way to configure my 1907 sling that seemed to make sense to me. I later discovered that I was not the first to do this with my 1907. Ray Brandes, whose credentials ready thusly: “Distinguised, Presidents 100, High Master” also configures his sling this way, although his shooting needs differ a bit from mine, and he uses it with an emphasis on stability rather than speed. I suggest that you take a look at his document because although his sling is put together like mine is, his technique is a bit different (and I don’t have cool credentials like that).
Here’s how I ended up with this configuration. I was thinking that there’s no reason that the 1907 sling can’t be as fast to loop up with as the TAB. The TAB has a loop that is left open, and the 1907 can be configured with the loop open. The TAB has a keeper ready just above the open loop. The 1907 has two keepers, so obviously at least one of them can be made ready just above the loop. I was gazing lovingly at my rifle, which was wearing a 1907 in what I call the USMC configuration, and saw that I could just use the loop and a keeper without assembling “the unit”. I tried it without adjusting anything. Guess what, it worked!
The next thing I noticed was that the metal frogs were facing my stock. I don’t like that. My stock is gradually getting dinged up from all the metal hardware on the USGI web sling and the 1907 sling. So I detached the swivels from the studs, turned the sling around, and reattached it. Guess what, it still worked.
Here’s what happened next (this must really be a nail-biter, huh?). I detached the rear portion of the sling and gave it a half clockwise twist (if you are left handed you’d twist it counterclockwise). I did this so I could use the hasty sling (still haven’t given up on it) and the sling would pass properly over my support hand. What this also does is place the shooting loop open at the perfect angle so it doesn’t need to be twisted prior to inserting the support arm.
Let’s take a look:
Here’s the overall view of the sling. Notice the important, easily identifiable points. The frogs are facing away from the walnut stock, and the keepers are both below the frog. In Mr. Brandes’ instructions, he warned you to never run three lengths of sling through a keeper. It was too late for me. I also was given food after midnight and turned into a mischievous, destructive gremlin. Maybe if he explained why not to do it, I would offer that reason so you could make an informed decision as to whether or not to follow the following instructions. On my sling, one of the keepers is even larger than the other, and the large keeper was just begging me to pass it over all 3 lengths. If my instructions cause you to stretch a keeper and by extension tear the fabric of the universe apart, causing all matter to be destroyed, I guess I will wish I had followed his advice. If that doesn’t happen, keepers aren’t that expensive.
The reason I passed the keeper of these three lengths of sling is simple, to keep the extra length in the center portion under control. Notice that the lower keeper is pressed right up to the center portion. This makes for a small loop that must be enlarged prior to looping up. What needs to be done to make the sling more practical is to trim away about 3” of that extra length off with an x-acto knife. I’ve already trimmed the sling, and it looks quite nice. Scribe a radius (so it will be shaped like the end of a tongue after you are done) on the part of the sling you wish to trim and just keep working at it until it’s done. This would make it nice and tidy, and fast to loop up with, somewhere in the neighborhood of 6-7 seconds (5 or under if you practiced).
Notice that the frog for the short section of the sling is attached at the loop. It makes a little more sense to attach it to the lower section, that way the hooks won’t be trying to hook to your arm.
Notice that the sling is twisted already because I put a half twist in prior to attaching the rear swivel to the stud. The rigidity of the leather holds the twist in place, keeping the loop ready for the arm. Also note that I have already taken the center length of the upper portion of the sling out of the way to simulate what it would be like if it were trimmed. Because the sling is already twisted, I don’t have to reach to the outside of the loop to bring it to the pistol grip. Just get a hold of it with your finger.
Bring the loop to the pistol grip:
Shove the support arm in:
Work the sling up over the bicep:
Tighten the keeper on the bicep:
Bring the support and around:
It should be trapped between the sling and forend:
Ready to shoot:
I haven’t rated the 1907 sling yet, so here goes: I’d give it a 9.3 out of 10. Here’s why: It looks classy and classic. Leather is the most comfortable material I’ve used on a sling. It’s easy to adjust for shooting length or for carry length- probably easier than anything out there with the exception of the USGI web sling adjustment for overall length. It’s just as fast as the TAB sling. The leather is rigid, so it holds the half twist in position, and the rear portion can be used as support, just like the TAB. It’s also over 100 years old, just like the Mauser 98, the Springfield 1903, the 1911, etc. The important thing is that the technology predates the 1947 Roswell incident which gave rise to space technology, Hillary Clinton, and a rising, creeping socialism that threatens to end our way of life. I guess I might have been redundant with the last two items in that sentence.
Why not a 10 out of 10? Leather is a little more high maintenance than nylon, which can make it more rewarding, but its life may be reduced under hard use. I didn’t deduct any points for leather being leather, because it’s more comfortable than nylon, and that’s the trade-off. The major problem with the sling is that the adjustment holes start out stiff like the buttons in a new pair of Levi’s. After a long time, the holes get loose and the frog hooks start to slip out unexpectedly. The leather and the keepers will also stretch. Note that the Biothane 1907 slings will not have any of these problems. I have heard that the Biothane keepers are especially nice, even if you can’t stand to switch the whole sling over from leather. Biothane does not feel as nice as leather, and does not predate the Roswell crash (I really hope you caught that I was joking).