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Some thoughts on single point slings.
Should I use a single point sling, or not?
This question is often asked, and in my opinion you are best to use a single
Full bore is steeped in tradition, and in some things this is good. But to
dismiss an idea without finding out is virtually hiding your head in the sand.
Over the years there has been many a Queens won by shooters using a two
point sling, that is for sure, and often the shooters follow along behind the
current leaders in the game just purely because they shot like this.
Even when I started out in rifle shooting in the 1950´s my sling system was a
double, over the top of the woodwork on my walnut .303. I used this like that
because even then I wanted a position where the forward hand was located
consistently. In those days, compared to now, I had very little idea of why I
went that way apart from my coach telling me to do it that way! Did it work?
Yes it did as my left thumb was comfortable laying up the twist in the leather
sling. There are still shooters using them like this.
Why did I move to the single point then? Well, this was really initiated when I
went small bore shooting in a big way and the rules stipulated I had to.
Over my years of working up to a very high standard in my small bore, I came
to analyse, and really assess what the single point sling system actually did.
I came to understand why I arrived at the opinion they are better.
Even though my work with a small bore rifle saw the evolution of the single
point sling analysis dependent on the fact that with a .22 there is very little, in
fact NO recoil to contend with, when I came back to full bore I persisted with
the single point sling system as a matter of course.
Recently, I have helped a good friend, and incredible rifle shot to convert to
the single, and his opinion, without prompting, has moved into alignment with
The main thing (I think) is the complete utter repeatability of the position
assembly and the recovery speed of the position after recoil.
There are a number of things that dictate this though, and the most important
is the equality of pressures on the two straps of the sling around the upper
arm, and the method of locking the sling onto the shooting coat.
Both sides of the sling strap should be equal in pressure, and settled directly
over the centre of the arm.
It is also extremely important to ensure the arm blood flow can function
correctly. There is very little use for a sling position that is so tight around the
biceps/triceps muscles that it cuts the blood flow. (The Russians worked with
this years ago.) (Probably why they have a really good pistol team!)
The sling should be held at the back of the arm just on the top of the Triceps
muscle with a sling keeper system of your choice. Some have buttons sewn
into the leather to hold the sling; some have extremely complicated adjustable
systems, while others have a purely fundamental piece of shaped aluminium
bolted into sleeve of the coat. What ever turns you on is the rule here. My
own has the adjustable clip that came with my Stenvaag jacket which I have
never been able to improve on.
The sling material itself is of paramount importance, and I can tell you leather
slings went out with button up boots! The modern single point sling is of
composite materials, and even if you still want to use a double point sling
there are units out there that are far superior to leather. Leather stretches, is
subject to atmospheric conditions, and climate change. In fact, even if you
still want to use a double point sling, I have no idea why anyone would choose
to go with leather. The small bore slings have not used leather since 1969.
The best commercial sling available is the Thune sling, made by Kurt Thune
in Finland. Why? It is minutely adjustable with 5mm increments, is an
extremely sturdy composite material, and has a non slip fully shaped upper
Tom Lowndes of Gnome accessories has both single and double point slings
in his range, in composite materials. Give leather the complete flick!
The old days of having the sling over the barrel is no longer there due
to the modern developments of the rifles, but it is pretty good proof when you
see the likes of some of our finest rifle shooters develop a double point sling
that echoes the configurations of the single sling system.
The biggest difference in the comparison is the recoil characteristics,
and the speed of resettle in the position with the single point, and even though
I arrived at my own techniques with my work with a small bore rifle, I was
astounded at the recoil factor consistency with my .22 attributable to the
single point sling. Under final aim with a 20 power Lyman telescopic sight, my
rifle did not lose the ten ring under recoil factors in small bore.
With the 155.308´s of the fullbore, the recoil strike goes directly up to one
o´clock (which I suspect is due to the mounds we shoot on) and returns to a
twelve o´clock bull on rifle resettle. There are many out there using the double
point sling that have the rifle recoil over to the top of the number on the next
Think about it.
Last Modified - 12:11 8 Feb 2008