Having used my share of slings in the over 44-years of shooting, the simple two-point sling continues to be my favorite. I have tried single-point slings, fast-adjusting slings, and three-point slings; none of which has brought any degree of high satisfaction for me.
Before I get into the crux of this article, I would like to state that I have two golden rules (among others); (1) Never fire a handgun that is shorter than my longest finger, and (2) Never carry a long gun that has a muzzle lower than the back of my head when slung over my shoulder. With today’s propensity to owning long guns with short barrels, rule #2 excludes many fine firearms.Lest I digress further, a two-point sling that has garnered my attention in the last year or so has been the sling that came with my first SKS rifle. It was in ragged condition and I ordered a new one to replace it. I liked it so well that I ordered a second to use on a Mossberg 500 12-gauge (Boo Boo) that I had fitted with a Hogue Over-molded stock; the color of the sling and the leather mounting tab looks great on the shotgun. I found appropriate Blackhawk tactical quick-detachable (QD) sling mounts and a magazine tube cap. I soon found out that I could also purchase the sling in black webbing with a black mounting tab. At the time I thought, “Why not try it on a few of my other rifles?” The first experiment was with a Mossberg 500 20-gauge pump (Baa Baa). Again, Blackhawk tactical quick-detachable (QD) sling mounts and a magazine tube cap were ordered for “Baa Baa.” The SKS scaling was perfect for it. That rolled the ball forward and since then the sling has been mounted on numerous rifles and shotguns; the sling just works for me. The NcStar AAKSB Ak/sks Sling – Black (NcStar AAKSB) sling has also found its way onto a Windham Weaponry “SRC” (“Slick”) and the Ruger Gunsite Scout (“Gray Boy”). My sole purpose in sling’n these firearms is to aid in fire control and not carrying. That is not to say; however, that the slings cannot be used in that respect. I will touch on that in a bit. I am far more effective when shooting (offhand) a long gun while using a sling to support the shot(s) than not. Given suitable physical support, I am not bad with a long gun. Without a good physical means of support, I’m getting a little bit shaky in my old age. Having adequate physical support means I can concentrate on sight and trigger control and less on supporting the firearm.
The NcStar AAKSB Ak/sks Sling – Black (NcStar AAKSB) is constructed of heavy webbing and comes with heavy-grade leather tabs on each end of the sling that are looped through the sling swivel. A screw-button provides the means to secure the tabs. The flat-headed screw can be tightened or loosened with an appropriate flat-tip screwdriver or even that piece of change that I might have in my pocket. However, the use of the Blackhawk tactical QD sling mounts mitigates having to use any tools to attach or detach the sling. The exception, of course, is any long gun with non-detachable sling loops – like the SKS, AK, and others.
The sling is easily adjustable and has one conventional adjustment buckle. I normally place the adjustment buckle on the rear of the stock. I simply do not prefer the adjustment buckle near the forearm as it interferes with how I run a sling. You; however, can place the adjustment buckle wherever you want it.I work a sling a little different from the conventional manner. In most cases, the sling is in the “traveling” position. The shooter then transitions the rifle from the carrying to the shooting position. A right handed shooter will work the sling with the left arm while a left-handed shooter, like me, operates the sling with the right hand.
Most shooter simply apply tension to the sling with their upper arm while hold the forearm with the support hand. There is another method where the support arm is inserted inside the sling, the hand and lower arm come around outside of the sling, and the support hand takes up a position in the forearm. My technique adds a little difference.
Rather than just inserting the support arm through the inside of the sling, and then outward around the sling to take up a position on the forearm, I use the same motion but actually press the sling against the forearm using the palm of my hand. By moving my hand forward or backward along the forearm, I can make minor adjustment to the tension of the sling and how much tension is placed on the rifle; move the hand forward to lessen the tension or move the hand rearward to increase the tension. The elbow moves in and out with the hand. This helps me gauge how much I want to pull the rifle into my shoulder for firing or steady the front end for the shot. With this method, I feel that the rifle is more part of my body rather than just being an extension of it. This method also puts stress more to the rear of the rifle rather than sideways using the other method.
On a bolt-action rifle, the support hand simply lets go of the sling to operate the bolt and then returns to the sling with hand over top of the sling to set up for the next shot. I can usually do this while keeping the rifle mounted in the shoulder.
The technique also works on pump shotguns; the support hand is relaxed to work the pump handle and the sling simply slides through the palm of the hand. If I really need to pull the shotgun into my shoulder, I can simply grip the sling near the front sling mount and pull it (and the shogun) toward me.
For semi-automatic firearms (rifle or shogun), using this technique allows me to keep a constant pressure on the sling (and the gun) to stabilize multiple shots. This technique also works with lever-action rifles, as I don’t have to remove the support hand to operate the action.
Note that I have the sling adjusted for using this technique and not for carrying. If I need, for some reason, to “sling” the firearm I can still do so. I don’t casually walk in the forest nor am I stalking prey any more. My long guns are primarily used for sporting or defensive purposes. Again, I use the sling for offhand shooting in any of the four shooting positions where I feel that I need a more stable platform. The exception is usually when I can use a bipod. Pulling back on a sling; however, can enhance shooting with a bipod. A bipod is simply a rest for the front end of the rifle. Why just let the sling hang when you can use it to your advantage? Transitioning the firearm from a carry to a firing position, and vice-versa, is a topic for later discussion.
The AK/SkS sling is perfect for my needs on a firearm that may be used tactically. I have regular hunting slings and quick-adjusting slings on other rifles and the simple two-point sling gets the job done.
Here is some product details:
- NcStar AAKSB Ak/sks Sling – Black
- Metal Length Adjustment Buckle.
- Two Leather Attachment Loops.
- Replica of Original SKS/AK Sling but in Black.
- LENGTH: 44 INCHES
- WIDTH: 1 INCH
- WEIGHT: 4.76 OZ