Sling Options for the AR-15 and Similar Long Guns
Dr. John Woods 10.05.15
A hunting partner said to me once “There has to be a better way to carry this rifle.” Laughing I asked him if he had ever thought of using a sling. You can imagine what his response was. But, I mean really, why did he think those little studs with cross holes in them were sticking out of the forearm and the butt stock? Duh.
Maybe I partly laughed at him because I had gone full circle with a rifle of my own trying to find the most comfortable way to carry it afield. The rifle was a DSA SA-58 .308 version of the FN-FAL. With a fully loaded 20-round magazine, this is one heavy rifle, especially with a Leupold scope on top. It definitely is a tough carry.
All modern sporting rifles that are really commercialized hunting and shooting versions of military rifles (or heaven forbid “assault” rifles) come equipped with one or more ways to hook up a sling for shoulder carry. The question is, which type of sling offers the best carry?
The Colt ARs always came with a ubiquitous one-inch nylon sling with metal loops for shoulder carry. I never understood how infantry troops could carry one of those rifles very long with that cheap, flimsy sling. When I tried one, within a few minutes that narrow sling was cutting into my shoulder even wearing a coat.
So, in the process of testing and trying out a host of sling candidates over the years, I have just about tried them all. I have carried my MSRs with leather slings, a variety of hunting slings of all kinds, wide nylon “padded” slings, rubberized slings, ones with wool fleece padding, and a dozen other kinds. Few of them were really particularly comfortable for a long period of time.
Then I accidentally ran across a new type of sling by Vero Vellini. This has become my go-to sling for every long gun I use. First of all, the attachment ends of these slings are tough nylon straps sewn into a strong leather covering with leather tips. The body of the sling is a super strong elastic material that yields with a slight bit of stretch at every step when carrying a heavy rifle over the shoulder. These slings have solved the issue of sling options for MSRs and all long guns, at least for me. Give them a look if you’re in the market for a new sling.