The Art of Slinging Up: Using the USGI Web Sling to its Max Potential

We all know about slinging up, but doing it right is always a question for those who are not well versed in its application or use. Let’s take a look at traditional sling positions, and then we can explore another method of slinging up which gives even greater stability to the tried and true USGI web sling.

LooseRoundsSling
In this animation, Shawn demonstrates application of the sling and a quick demo of several shooting positions: Kneeling, Crossed leg Sitting, and Prone.

The proper steps to sling up are thus:

  • Cradle the rifle in the arm and detach the rear of sling from the rifle
  • Make a loop by pulling the sling through the middle of the slider buckle and put your arm through the loop
  • Slide the loop above the bicep, and tighten the loop
  • Unlock the keeper and pull the sling strap until you have removed the slack and close the keeper
  • Bring your hand to the forearm, coming from above the sling. It should wrap around the back of your hand as shown above
  • The sling should feel tight everywhere, if it feels loose… take up more sling slack and settle back into position

There is a clockwise twist to the sling that is done before you loop it over the arm. The strap should smoothly transition from your arm, over the back of the hand, and on to the swivel. If its twisted over somewhat, its not correct.

Once slung up, you will feel a constricting pressure above the bicep and your arm veins may bulge. You may feel your pulse in the bicep. These are signs of proper sling tension. Yup, it’s that tight. Properly applying the sling gives you a stable shooting platform for whatever reason you might need to steady the shot.

Slinging Up Ver 2.0

If we explore the sling further, we can make some changes to our setup that puts the sling in a much better position than with a stock A2. Moving a sling swivel down the forearm gives us two new advantages: 1) the sling swivel will act as a natural hand stop and 2) the angle of our arm increases to reduce sling slippage.

Sling Position
Sling Swivel Midway Down the Forearm

Now keep in mind that everyone’s arm length is different. What works for me might not work for you. About midway down the hand guard, I could mount the sling swivel to act as a hand stop which bends my elbow closer to 90 degrees. This 90 degree bend keeps the loop up on the arm and prevents slippage. If I were to put my hand at the sling swivel on the USGI A2 swivel… the angle would be great and the sling creeps down towards the elbow. That’s due to my arms being too short for the length of the stock sling swivel setup.

Sling Swivel Hand Stop 3

Getting closer to that 90 degree angle and keeping my hand in place with a hand-stop locks me into the sling hard. What’s nice is with carbines, is that your stock sling swivel might be set up in a good spot to act as a hand stop and give you that 90 degree elbow bend… no changes necessary.

Modern Shooting Slings

SAP SLING slung up
Since this photo, I have added a QD swivel midway down the forearm of the rifle

There are a few products which make things *even better*… More better you say? Yes I did. I use a Short Action Precision Positional sling, which is something I recently purchased. It is a modern shooting sling, and it has all the benefits of a traditional shooting sling, but it is both faster and easier to use. Setup like this, I can lock myself into the gun quickly, and get out of the sling quickly as well. There are a few other products out there as well, such as the Armageddon PRS, the TAB gear shooting sling and a few others, so do some research.

Adding and using a traditional or even a modern shooting sling to your equipment lineup is a great way to get more mileage from a sling than simply a means to carry the rifle.

-TheNewRifleman