PRO TIPS with USAMU - Using the Sling

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Using the Sling


The leather sling is a very important piece of equipment. When used properly it can be very effective in increasing your overall performance, and score on the range. The problem is that many competitors do not use a sling, or they use it incorrectly. Today, I am going to show you how to get the most out of your sling. 



First, we’re going to discuss the four major components of the sling. You have a long strap, a short strap, and two sling keepers. The sling must first be properly assembled in order to work right. The easiest and least confusing way to put a sling together is to put all the components on a table, and make sure that the rough sides of the straps are facing towards the sky. 




Taking the long strap tapered end first, run it through one of the sling keepers until it reaches the brass claws. You will run the long strap, tapered end first through the metal band that is fixed to the short strap, then back through the sling keeper.

At this point, the sling should be doubled up on to itself with two pieces of leather running through the keeper.


I’ll take my second keeper, slide it over the sling, and then pass it back through for a second time. I’ll attach my claws to the desired set of holes, and now I have successfully assembled my sling. 




Now, it’s time to attach the sling to the rifle. Before I attach the sling to the rifle, I must first unhook the claws, and pull the sling back through the sling keeper. Now, I’m going to feed the strap through the sling swivel, located on the front of the rifle, pass the strap back through the sling keeper, and attaching the brass claws in the desired set of holes, depending on the position I’ll be shooting from. I’ll take the short strap, and run it through the swivel, located on the butt of the rifle, and then attach the sling back on to itself. 



This is how the sling should look attached to the rifle. 




The next step is attaching the sling to your arm. Attaching the sling to your arm is simply done by creating slack in the sling, turning the sling a quarter turn clockwise if you’re a right handed shooter, or a quarter turn counter clockwise if you’re a lefty. You know that your sling is set to the proper length when you can easily and comfortably get into position, when you can take your firing hand off the rifle, and the rifle remains in your shoulder. To get the most of your sling, setting it to its proper length, and where you place it on your arm is critical. There are some general rules to follow when setting up your sling. You want it tight enough that it’s providing maximum support, but not so tight that you have to fight to get it into position. This is always best to sort out before going to the range. 



Sling placement on your arm is also critical. In the sitting position, you want to place the sling toward the inside of the arm. Place the sling to far to the outside, and it will likely introduce pulse into your position. 

It’s not uncommon to have to adjust the length of the sling for different firing positions. For example, Sgt. Green has lengthened his sling an inch or two to go from the sitting to the prone position. 

While using the sling in the prone position, you should place the sling in the outside of the arm. Placing the sling too far towards the inside will reduce the sling’s effectiveness and likely generate pulse. 


Try these techniques the next time you’re on the rifle range. Proper use of the leather sling will definitely increase you scores, and decrease the amount of perceived movement when looking through the sights. Until next time, good shooting, and stay Army strong.



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