In Part 1, (Tactical Link convertible slings & mounts, Part-1) we covered the basics of Tactical Link Convertible Slings and Mounts. Specifically, we discussed a Standard OD Convertible Sling and a FDE Convertible Bungee Sling. Here in Part 2, we will review sling performance during transitions and movements with and without load bearing gear. For this part of the review, I used the slings in different shooting sessions with and without gear to cover different shooter needs.
Without Load Bearing Gear:
My first session involved using the Convertible Slings without wearing load bearing gear. I only wore equipment typically used at a patrol officer/instructor range day. For example, a Safariland duty belt with magazine pouches and a drop-leg holster. I used the slings while performing basic patrol rifle shooting, using techniques a patrol officer or a savvy armed citizen might employ.
Using the Convertible Slings in a two (2) point configuration, I aggressively and quickly shifted between multiple shooting positions. The high quality Tactical Link Convertible Slings performed as expected and allowed for fast and smooth movements.
The one (1) point configuration allowed for smoother dominant-to-support hand transitions and the employment of more advanced and complex shooting positions (versus those performed while in the two (2) point configuration). The ability to rapidly change the sling between one (1) and two (2) point configurations demonstrated the versatility of the Convertible Slings, as well as allowed me to make better use of available cover and limit my body’s exposure to threats.
While running the two (2) slings in what I considered to be a typical training day environment for a patrol officer or savvy armed citizen, I found that I preferred the Standard Convertible Sling over the Convertible Bungee Sling. The Convertible Bungee Sling is longer in length than the Standard Convertible Sling. I am 5′ 10″ about 165 lbs, and even after adjusting the Convertible Bungee Sling all the way down, it was still longer than where I had adjusted the Standard Convertible Sling. The Convertible Bungee Sling was approximately six (6) to seven (7) inches longer than the Standard Convertible Sling. The Convertible Bungee Sling simply hung lower on my body than I preferred, making the bungee feature cumbersome.
Wearing bulky upper torso equipment, such as a tactical vest, plate carrier, body armor, or similar items will also affect individual sling sizing. For example, even when wearing level IIIA body armor, that most police officers wear, the Convertible Bungee Sling may still prove to be too long and cumbersome for smaller individuals. Furthermore, it is important to keep in mind; these are my personal preferences, as other individuals (i.e. taller/larger) may feel differently.
With Load Bearing Gear:
My next session focused on using the Convertible Slings while wearing load bearing gear. In the two (2) point configuration, the Convertible Slings allowed for better rifle control and wear comfort.
In my opinion, the two (2) point configuration is the most comfortable setup for patrolling, and it is the best configuration for rifle control, retention, or performing dynamic movements with gear. Furthermore, the two (2) point configuration is better suited for movement across open areas, conducting searches, or handling/moving equipment. Not to mention, situations where one hand is controlling the rifle while the other hand is being used to complete other tasks. Having the sling in the two (2) point configuration also allows you to transition to your sidearm by dropping your rifle, immediately drawing your sidearm, and avoiding the classic barrel smack to the nuts/knees you get from a one (1) point sling.
As previously discussed in Part 1 with searching and handcuffing, the one (1) point configuration has advantages as well. Having the ability to rotate the rifle to your back allows for transition to your sidearm without your rifle obstructing your movement.
As previously discussed, the ability to quickly reconfigure the sling from a one (1) point configuration to a two (2) point configuration makes the Convertible Slings adaptable to specific environments and/or missions. This capability offers many advantages and benefits and allows one to adjust rapidly to developing situations.
The one (1) point configuration minimized sling/gear entanglements, enabled better dominant-to-support hand transitions, and increased rifle readiness during scenarios involving vehicles and buildings.
I found it easy to move my rifle back and forth between my dominant and support hands during building entries or when approaching obstacles from different angles.
For vehicle movements, I used a 2011 Ford Taurus (depicts the size/space of current patrol cars in use today). I had no problem sitting in the passenger seats, exiting the vehicle, or engaging threats from both right and left sides of the vehicle. It is important to note the ability to rapidly exit a vehicle depends on the rifle system and vehicle being used. I find that is much easier to use a short barrel rifle with patrol cars but it can be done with a longer patrol rifle.
Tactical Link’s main focus with product development is to engineer equipment to stand up to the harshest combat environments, to exceed user performance expectations, and to minimize user safety concerns. Having used Tactical Link products for almost a decade in real-world encounters as a Law Enforcement Officer, as well as a Civilian Shooter, the Tactical Link Convertible Slings are at the top of the list for me.
While testing and evaluating the Convertible Slings, I discovered my personal choice between the two (2) slings provided to Loose Rounds was the Standard Convertible Sling. In my opinion, the Standard Convertible Sling provides the best all-around options for the average Patrol Officer/Civilian Shooter.
Although individual size considerations always exist, I recommend the Convertible Bungee Sling for use by Military or Law Enforcement SWAT/Specialty Units that wear heavy and bulky upper torso gear.
Having a sling that is only capable of either a one (1) or two (2) point configuration limits user options. Tactical Link Convertible Slings and Mounts allow users to take advantage of the benefits of both a one (1) point sling and a two (2) point sling at the same time, providing Military/Law Enforcement Professionals and Civilian Shooters with the best all-around option out there.
Going forward, I will be using Tactical Link Convertible Slings and Mounts with several of my rifles.