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Some tips for use gun slings
Apr 16, 2018

Some tips for use gun slings


For as long as rifles have been around we’ve had slings to help carry them. Whether you’re out deer hunting in the forest or taking an advanced carbine class at a firearms training facility it’s very helpful to be able to retain control of your rifle without having to hold it in your hands all the time, and also to distribute the weight more evenly over your body.

All rifle slings will allow you to accomplish this task but simply using slings to help carry your rifle doesn’t allow you to take full advantage of them. A good sling should also be able to serve as an effective shooting support. While this may not seem essential for those of us who mainly shoot from the bench or a bipod it is worth noting that this extra utility is essentially free since a shooting sling is not necessarily heavier, bulkier, or even more costly than a traditional carry strap.

Today we’re looking at the most popular and useful types of rifle slings in order to build an understanding of which one is right for your particular needs. We’re also going to briefly cover some of the different techniques for using slings as shooting supports so you’ll know a how to use a rifle sling a multitude of different ways.

The carry strap

This is by far the most common type of sling. It consists of a simple strap that attaches to the front and rear of the rifle on the underside of the stock. The carry strap sling may also have a padded section to help ease the discomfort that comes with carrying a rifle over long periods of time.

If all you need to do is occasionally toss your rifle or shotgun over one shoulder then this may be the best option for you. You’ve got some flexibility with how you carry your rifle with a carry strap as well, such as muzzle up or muzzle down, and whether you wish to carry on your strong side, support side, or across your back.

Typically carry straps don’t adjust easily though, so it’s best to pick one style of carry and leave the sling adjusted for the appropriate length.




Even though it is not necessarily intended to be used as a shooting aid, the carry strap may be wrapped around the support arm to provide a small amount of stability. This technique is known as the “hasty sling.” Different shooters will likely experiences different levels of confidence in this technique, but in my experience the added stability is very slight due to the fact that most of the tension merely serves to pull the rifle sideways rather than deep into the shoulder.


Kinds of Gun Slings

There are several slings that fit into this category such as the Cotton webbing sling, the leather sling, and the Canvas and PU sling. All of these slings functions just fine as carry straps but have the added advantage of allowing you to steady your aim significantly by anchoring the rifle more securely to your body by means of a loop around the supporting arm. So what is the best rifle sling to buy for a hunting rifle? First, buy a material that you like that is durable. Make certain there is an adjustment device on the sling for making it shorter or longer, ideally with an easy-slide buckle.

For me, neaprenne slings have worked the best. They stretch juct enough to make them comfortable to carry a heavy rifle while walking or climbing into a hunting stand. The neoprence is easy to grasp, and it repels bad weather without damage.



When you carry your rifle in the field, periodically check the sling swivels to make sure they are fully engaged in the studs and screwed down tight if they are of that type. As you carry your rifle, use one hand to hold onto the sling for further security from it slipping off the shoulder. That way you can avoid ending up with your rifle barrel stuck in the mud.


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