Duncan Larsen submitted this article.
Tactical Link Convertible Slings and Mounts
I have been running different two (2) point slings for a few years now, and I wanted to compare the Tactical Link line. Since 2005, I have maintained a great relationship with Tactical Link. This relationship started when members of my department’s firearms instructor unit and SWAT team started to T&E some Tactical Link slings and mounts, some of which are still in active use today. As a result, I have been lucky enough to own some very exclusive Tactical Link slings that have been produced for specific military and law enforcement units.
Since I have real-world experience using their slings in various law enforcement encounters, Tactical Link trusts me to give a no B.S. review of their equipment. In talking with my contact at Tactical Link, Brian Esch of Product Development, I explained that I was looking at their two (2) point slings, and that I consider two (2) point slings to be the best all-around sling option for most shooters. Brian suggested trying their new Convertible Slings. The Convertible Slings have the ability to quickly convert from a two (2) point configuration to a one (1) point configuration. This is an advantage over the adjustable slings as they do not have a one (1) point capability.
Tactical Link sent me some Convertible Slings with all necessary mounts.
What I received from Tactical Link included: a FDE bungee Convertible Sling with heavy-duty 1.25″ QD swivel connectors, an OD Convertible Sling with heavy-duty 1.25″ QD swivel connectors, a Gen2 Z-360 single point mount, and a Picatinny Rail Mount (PRM).
From my conversations with Tactical Link over the years, I have always known of their commitment to manufacturing the best, most reliable and effective slings for law enforcement, military operators, and anyone else that puts themselves in harm’s way. Tactical Link slings and mounts have been used in combat overseas and by law enforcement officers for years. I had no doubt the slings I would receive from Tactical Link would be high-quality products. As expected, when looking over the equipment, I found the slings, mounts, and connectors to be very well made. The slings themselves are very robust, made with the finest material and high-quality stitching.
As I have used Tactical Link products in the past (i.e. single point slings and Gen1 Z-360 mounts), I noticed differences with the new Gen2 Z-360 mount. The Gen2 Z-360 mount is constructed of polymer and lighter than the aluminum Gen1 mount. After getting everything attached, configured, and using the slings and mounts for several weeks, I prefer the Gen1 Z-360 over the polymer construction of the Gen2 Z-360 mount. This is a personal preference, as the mounts work exactly the same, and I see no problems with the Gen2 polymer version. I just prefer the Gen1 aluminum version due to it matching the PRM mount. Also matching mounts takes care of all of us who are OCD and need everything to match.
While Tactical Link does not suggest using mounts from other manufactures with their heavy-duty 1.25″ QD swivel connectors, Tactical Link QD swivels appear to be the same as those from other high-quality manufactures. Tactical Link advised that the multiple law enforcement agencies, military units, and consumers worldwide who use their slings and QD swivels have never reported any compatibility issues when using Tactical equipment with products from other manufacturers. With the Tactical Link sling mounts you have stainless steel connection points/sockets. To my knowledge, Tactical Link is the only manufacturer offering sling mounts with stainless steel connection points/sockets. If by chance you are running a rifle/rail system with manufactured QD points in the rifle/rail system, you can replace the Tactical Link sling QD swivel connectors with those specific to your rifle/rail system. Though, I do not see this as being a significant issue for anyone.
When you are a law enforcement officer or military operator, operational necessity or environment dictates your choice of sling, typically between a one (1) or two (2) point sling. This is where Tactical Link Convertible Slings really shine. Tactical Link’s Convertible Slings have the ability to quickly transition from a two (2) point to a one (1) point configuration and vice versa. This gives the Convertible Sling an advantage over your typical two (2) point adjustable sling, as such slings are typically not capable of a one (1) point configuration.
I ran the Tactical Link Convertible Slings through several drills, transitioning the slings back and forth from a two (2) point to a one (1) point configuration while on the move. It was not only fast but very easy to do.
Tactical Link Convertible Slings will also enable you to get your rifle out of the way when going hands-on with a subject. In a situation where you have to secure someone, the Convertible Sling is designed so that you can quickly configure the sling for hands on situations. If your sling is in a two (2) point configuration, your rifle might get in the way as you search or handcuff a subject. Quickly transitioning the sling from a two (2) point configuration to a one (1) point provides you the ability to rotate your rifle to your back and enables you to search or handcuff a subject without your rifle obstructing your movement.
As you can see the use of Tactical Link’s Convertible Slings offer big advantages to law enforcement officers and/or military operators. The Weekend-Plinker may not benefit as much from these types of slings and mounts, unless of course, they are serious about training and using superior equipment.
I would have loved to have used a Tactical Link Convertible Sling years ago as a law enforcement officer. In my opinion, a two (2) point sling is more comfortable and secure for standing on a perimeter for long hours or searching for a suspect over long distances on foot and through rough terrain. However, if part of an entry team or conducting an emergency entry into a building, a one (1) point sling allows for easier dominant-to-support hand transitions. A Tactical Link Convertible Sling allows you to do all of this in just a few seconds by releasing the forward QD point from the PRM and locking it into the sling’s rear QD Triglide mount. I recommend keeping the sling configured as a two (2) point sling in a patrol unit/at-the-ready. Upon exiting, and determining the need to make entry, you can quickly adjust the sling from a two (2) point to a one (1) point configuration while on the move. Also, there is a quick release buckle in case you have to ditch your rifle for some reason.
While the slings alone are great, in conjunction with the mounts from Tactical Link, it is a “total package” product. With all gear, the equipment has to work together for the best results, and in my opinion, Tactical Link has nailed it with its Convertible Slings. Those interested in technical data, such as tensile strength and durability can easily locate such information on Tactical Link’s website, www.tacticallink.com. From my experience with Tactical Link, I know they listen to the law enforcement and military community. Tactical Link works closely with those using their gear to better understand what does and does not work in the real world.
In Part 2 of my review we will discuss the performance of the Convertible Slings at the range, with and without load bearing gear, and there effects on transitions and movements.