Sling Systems Page 1 Page 2


EMDOM USA/MM Universal Rig Strap (URS) Sling

10/4/06 - Earlier this year, Ken from EMDOM USA asked me if I had any ideas for a sling. I told him that other than my simple 'MM strap' (see pic on the left) that I'd been using for a couple of years, I hadn't really given it much thought, as there were already excellent single point, two point and three point slings on the market. "Well, what about your strap?" he said. "This old thing?" I replied. "Why not? Update the design exactly as you'd want it to be," he said. So the URS (Universal Rig Strap) Sling was born as a collaborative effort between us. It's 'Universal' as it can be attached to a number of different rigs, but obviously the rig must have some features to attach the URS to, and be stable enough to support the weight of the weapon when needed.

As most people know, there is no ONE perfect sling for all setups and uses. That's why there are so many different configurations. After using my MM strap for a while and the URS prototypes, I found that I preferred it over a conventional single point sling when wearing a rig because there's no loop to put my head through or twist or get tangled in my gear, there's nothing rubbing on my neck, there's no loop to get in the way of chest pouches, when mounted to the weak shoulder, the weapon hangs on the weak side instead of in the middle. It also rides higher than with a sling. It's quick detachable, and the URS can be left attached to the rig and another weapon used with a connector installed. It's just simpler, and quicker to adjust. The URS also won't interfere with the emergency release of a plate carrier or vest - something an over-the-shoulder sling might cause to hang up.
The URS is not for users who prefer two or three point slings - it just gives single point sling users who wear rigs another option for carrying their weapon. Jason at Gear Sector also offers his ASP-V sling, reviewed in a writeup below, which is a different execution of the same concept.

The URS can also be used to sling a shotgun, or as a secondary like a breaching shotgun, when used in conjunction with a weapon catch.

Note: This isn't a review by the way - I'm obviously biased, since EMDOM made the URS exactly the way I wanted it to fit my needs and purposes, so of course it works best for me, but hopefully the information presented here will help users with similar needs make an informed decision and also help new URS users set up their slings.

The URS is also instantly adjustable for length. Cinch it up, or lengthen it in less time than it takes to read this sentence. Here's a summary of the main features:

  • Mil-Spec 1" webbing Rig Strap - Since the URS connects the weapon directly to a rig, and doesn't go round your body or neck, there's no need for it to be wide or heavy. The 1" Mil-spec webbing is more than strong enough, and easy to adjust. It's available in black, coyote, sewer green and foliage green. The Rig Strap is 23" long - it can be cut by the end user or any extra length tucked away.
  • ITW Fastex Ghillietex plastic and metal hardware - I wanted to use the metal sliders instead of plastic triglides as the metal sliders provide strength with the minimum of bulk. The metal sliders have good 'bite' on the webbing as well, and won't allow the webbing to come loose accidentally.
  • Z-Pull - I wanted to provide a 'stop' at the end of the Rig Strap, to prevent the hand from slipping off when pulling on the end to shorten the strap. We went through a few iterations - loops, webbing doubled over etc, and I discovered that the webbing bartacked in a 'Z' shape provided good purchase on the end of the strap, no matter which way it was facing, as they're gripped by the whole hand.
  • Universal Weapon Connector - By sewing the metal slider into the loop that secures the female SR buckle, it enabled the shortest QD connector possible. The loop is double bartacked, and a web keeper is provided.

Original MM strap

URS in different colours

Anatomy of the URS


Connector details

Attaching the connector to the rifle - The connector will work with all receiver end plates on M4s or any suitable weapon with 1" or 1.25" DQ sling swivels, and 1" HK-style snap hooks. Here's how to connect it to the receiver end plate:

  1. Slip the end of the connector strap through the receiver plate.
  2. Thread it through the keeper, and the metal slider.
  3. Thread it back through the slider and through the keeper, and you're done.



3 - done!

Compatability with different mounts

Attached to Rem 870

Attaching the Rig Strap to a rig - The URS is only as good for support as what you attach it to. It doesn't work well with flimsy or thin shoulder straps. It can be attached to D-rings, MOLLE webbing, around a shoulder strap. As mentioned above, the Rig Strap is 23" long, which should be adequate for all but the most unusual needs. It's long enough for the strap to go around a shoulder strap of body armour, instead of attaching to a D-ring. The shoulder strap needs to be sufficiently stiff to support it though.

Note that the URS is not a 'Wolf hook' that attaches to the strong side shoulder. The URS is intended to be attached to the WEAK shoulder. Why? For one, it will interfere less with the buttstock. Also, when the weapon is dropped, it hangs by your weak side, allowing unrestricted access to the secondary weapon. How the end user sets up his URS is ultimately dependant on personal preference; but refer to the photos below, which illustrate how the URS was intended to be set up, as a starting point.

  1. The Z-Pull end is meant to hang down, not up, hence the strap looks like it's installed upside down. This is to keep the Z-pull from flopping around above the strap and makes for a more natural pull angle. The metal slider also looks like it's on the wrong side. There's a reason for this.
  2. Thread the end of the Rig Strap through the D-ring (or whatever attach point you're using), and back through the metal slider. How long to make the Rig Strap? See below.
  3. Thread the end back through the slider as shown and tuck the loose end away. That's why the metal slider is on the inside - so the loose end ends up on the inside, not the outside
  4. When set up as intended, it should look like this. The Z-Pull is on the bottom (hangs down) of the Rig Strap.

The photo on the far right shows it connected around the Crye chassis shoulder. The same method can be applied to most armoured carriers.

1 - D-ring attachment



4 - done

On Crye chassis

Adjusting the initial length - Ride height and stability are dependant on the rig the URS is attached to. Some rigs might have higher or lower D-rings or neck lines than the STRIKE rig shown here. What I recommend for setting up the initial length is to set it at the longest you'd need the strap for (firing from the strong shoulder or prone, in most cases), with a little slack. Connect the Rig Strap to the Connector on the weapon, with the male buckle moved out to the end right at the Z-Pull and test it out. With the adjustment all the way out to the Z-Pull initally, this will minimize the length of excess Z-Pull end. Shorten or lengthen the Rig Strap attachment at the rig interface. You should be able to now use the URS in all firing positions and shorten it when you want with the Z-Pull.

Hanging on weak side

Strong shoulder

Weak shoulder

Shortening the URS is accomplished by a sideways/outwards tug on the Z-Pull end while moving the weapons back towards you until the desired length is achieved. When under tension, the Rig Strap will not slip through the quick release buckle. Lengthening the URS requires just a tilt of the angle of the buckle; enough for the webbing to slide through the ladder lock on the buckle. Press down with your thumb while holding the buckle and pull the weapon away from you. Release it to lock.

The URS can also be used for attaching to a pack, to help take some weight off the arms. It works better when attached to the strong shoulder of the pack. I recommend using it with a pack that has a frame and waist belt for the best support like the Kifaru Express pictured below. The 'high ride' is just to get the rifle up and out of the way.

Again, the URS sling won't meet all users needs, but for those of you who can use a set up like this, EMDOM has done a great job in bringing my updated old strap sling to production.

Shortening strap

Pull on the Z

Lengthening the strap

Strong shoulder on a pack

Ready, and high ride

From standard ride height

10/10/06 - Update - The URS is now available in a 32" long length for attaching to the rear of a rig and running it over the shoulder. Email EMDOMUSA to inquire about availability. I've got it attached to a SOTECH armour carrier. The end of the rig strap runs through the PALS in the rear and is attached to a suitable row and routed over the shoulder.

Front view of long URS

Attached to rear PALS

EMDOM USA/MM Gunslinger Sling (discontinued)

8/3/08 - Ever since EMDOM USA and I introduced the URS (Universal Rig Strap) Sling two years ago, I've had numerous requests and inquiries from URS Sling users for a single or two-point sling that was compatible with the connector that the URS uses. The connector attaches to the receiver end plate, or to a swivel at the rear of the stock, and uses a female SR buckle. As far as I know, it's not compatible with any other sling. URS users wanted a sling that could be attached to the URS connector for stand-alone use, when not using a rig. In response to those requests, EMDOM is now offering a sling that URS users can use without having to remove the connector from their weapon. It's called the Gunslinger Sling.

This project actually started a year and a half ago, but was put on the back burner to concentrate on other projects. At that time, I had requests for both single and two-point slings. I wanted to figure out a design that would do both.

Development - If I wasn't using my URS Sling on a vest or rig, but wanted a stand-along sling, I was using either the LaRue/VTAC or BlueForceGear VCAS two-point slings. Both are excellent, and set the standard for two-point slings which were gaining favour over single-point slings. So, the EMDOM sling would be a two-point, foremost. I preferred the execution of the VCAS, as it didn't have a loose end (but, the VCAS has less adjustment). I wanted our sling to have a good range of quick adjustment, but without having to come up with a custom slider like the VCAS, and utilize only off-the-shelf hardware.
I'll readily admit that when it came to designing a two-point sling, it was hard to come up with something different from the VCAS sling. It's a logical and effective design. I did try my best to start from scratch and come up with something radically different (I do not like to copy other designs - I'd rather urge people to buy them instead), but the logical solution for the adjustment portion ended up being very similar to the VCAS (it is executed slightly differently though).

I also wanted a wider section for comfort, but the problem was how to ensure the adjustability needed to accomodate a wide range of people and equipment, since a wider or padded section is 'fixed' and doesn't allow adjustability. We ended up selecting 1.8" wide seatbelt-type military webbing, which is supple for comfort yet strong and softens up with use. The rest of the Gunslinger utilizes mil-spec 1" webbing. The Gunslinger Sling is not bulky and can be kept in a pouch or pocket for stand-alone use if you're taking off your rig and not using the URS.

Description - The Gunslinger can be divided up into 4 main sections - the Rear Connector, the Shoulder Section, the Fixed Length Adjustment, and the Quick Length Adjustment sections.

Rear Connector - The Rear Connector is a male ITW side-release buckle, which connects directly to the URS sling connector attached to the rifle. There is also a metal D-ring provided that the front of the sling can be connected to for single-point mode. The sling connector can be attached to receiver end plates or sling loops on the rear of a stock, or to QD swivels. It retains the side-release buckle for emergency release.

Shoulder Section - The transition from the 1" to 1.8" wide section is covered in nylon to prevent any fraying. The wide portion is 18" long. Creating a 'neat' transition between the narrower and wider webbing was quite a challenge, as just folding over the seat belt webbing to prevent fraying and sewing it created sharp corners. We went through numerous iterations before EMDOM finally worked it out.

Fixed Length Adjustment - This is the part you adjust initially, then leave alone. This section uses an ITW metal bar slider, and can be adjusted from 2" to 16" which should accomodate most size ranges that people will need, with no loose ends! The secret is that the loose end is rolled/folded inside the loop, which is kept tidy with an elastic keeper.

Quick Length Adjustment - This portion allows the length of the sling to be adjusted instantly. There is a shortened version of the URS 'Z-pull' sewn to a plastic slider. The Z-pull is pulled forward to shorten the sling and rearwards to lengthen it. Finding hardware that would work required a lot of searching. The VCAS uses a custom made aluminum slider which works very well. But it's not cheap to produce and accounts for a good portion of the VCAS cost. After going through a lot of different samples, I was able to find a particular model of tension lock that would work for my purpose, with 1" webbing. It's easy to lengthen the sling but keeps the webbing from slipping under tension.

The front of the sling has a metal slider and can be attached to all common sling attachments like loops, HK snap hooks, ITW MASH hooks, or QD sling swivels (not included). Make sure that the webbing is routed through the metal slider as shown in the photos, to prevent any slippage of the webbing through the hardware. The Gunslinger is available in black, tan, foliage green and sewer green (the same OD green Shoulder section is used for the sewer green and foliage green slings).

Rear connector and Shoulder section (sewer green)

Fixed adjustment (shortened)

Fixed adjustment (extended)

Quick length adjustment

Common attachments

Attaching the sling to the rifle - The Gunslinger is universal and can be attached to just about any weapon. The front connects to whatever mount you have at the front. I prefer to use an ITW MASH hook or HK snap hook in the front, as it allows me to quickly change from a two-point to single-point configuration by unsnapping it from the front of the rifle and snapping it to the D-ring at the rear of the sling. I run the rear of the sling on the receiver end plate, and the front of the sling connected at the rear of the rail/handguard. Make sure to attach the sling using the photos as a reference, to ensure that it is assembled correctly and securely with the supplied hardware.

Single-point mode - This works best when the connector is attached to a receiver end plate, not the rear of the stock. From two-point to single-point, simply unhook the front of the sling from its mount (snap hook or MASH hooks work best), and attach it to the D-ring near the rear connector.

Receiver end plate and front snap hook (tan)

QD swivels on rear of stock and rail

QD swivel on front of stock and rail (foliage)

Single point mode

Over the past year and a half, I've been using the prototypes of the Gunslinger, and they've worked quite well and as designed. It's now a simple matter to switch from the URS attached to a rig to the Gunslinger for stand-alone use. As always, EMDOM did a great job during the collaborative and development period to come up with effective solutions to challenges. So, if you have a URS sling and wanted something compatible, here it is.


Two-point mode

Rear view

Single-point mode

Quick length adjustment


10/15/09 - The URS and Gunslinger are now available in Crye Multicam webbing, with tan ITW Ghillietex hardware.

Gunslinger and URS

Long URS

9/1/11 - We've halted new production of the Gunslinger to make some design changes. This was brought about by Larry Vickers noticing the Gunslinger's slider adjustment, which was first seen in the VCAS. He had not seen the Gunslinger until just recently. When we first proceeded with the Gunslinger, I had spoken to Stephen at Blue Force Gear about it, and got a verbal 'okay' to continue with the project (something Larry was not aware of). Regardless of that, if Larry' was still not happy about it, then we're not happy. So I spoke to Ken, and EMDOM immediately stopped all new sling orders - only current backorders would be fulfilled. While the VCAS design is still patent pending, and there is no legal reason to stop production until the patent is approved, we wanted to do the 'gentlemanly' thing. So, we're going with a different adjustment for the new Gunslinger - probably the same type as the URS with a Z-pull.



Gunslinger - 2 point mode

Gunslinger - 1 point mode

Noveske Rifleworks QD End Plate

6/24/09 - The QD End Plate from Noveske Rifleworks is one of those 'why didn't someone do this a long time ago?' products. It's a direct replacement for the stock receiver end plate on an AR-15 or M4 that allows a QD sling swivel to attach to the rear of the receiver, right below the buffer tube. It's fully ambidextrous, and is the lowest profile QD mounting available.

The Noveske QD end plate is made of steel which allows for proper staking, and has a parkerized finish with a small Noveske iron cross logo. It's basically a standard plate with a hole in it, with a sleeve that accepts the standard QD swivel stud. The stud is retained when the ball bearings engage the internal groove inside the sleeve. The ball bearings retract when the center button is pushed to remove the stud.

The Noveske QD end plate replaces the stock end plate, and is compatible with all mil-spec lower receivers. Installation requires removal of the buffer tube. There are some that might not have the proper size or depth hole at the rear of the receiver, and the Noveske plate might not fit on these. I tried several different QD swivels I had on hand and they all worked with the Noveske plate.

Mounting the QD swivel in the center of the receiver allows fully ambidextrous operation of a sling attached there. I'm a lefty, and have my slings mounted on the right side of the receiver. With a two-point sling, whenever I transition the rifle from the left shoulder to the right, the sling rides under the buffer tube and essentially 'shortens', so I have to make sure that I have enough length to accommodate that. With the sling attached in the center with the QD swivel, the sling switches over to the right side or left with equal ease.

I've shown it below in the photos with a small button 1" loop QD sling swivel and the more common large button 1.25" loop QD sling swivel. The only caveat is that when some stocks are fully collapsed, they will engage the button and push it in (see the photo below on the far right). If you pull on the sling swivel from this position while the stock is fully collapsed, then extend the stock, the QD may release. Just be aware of that and make sure that when extending the stock from the fully collapsed position to allow the sling some slack and not put tension on it.

There are other sling adapters that provide center mounting of QD swivels on the receiver, but none are as low profile as the Noveske, and allow collapsible stocks to collapse fully. It's simple, inexpensive and it works.


QD End Plate

1" QD sling swivel

Large button sling swivel

CrossTac Ambi Sling Connector

10/07/07 - The ASC (Ambi Sling Connector) from CrossTac is a simple, compact design that adds an ambidextrous connection point for any sling using a HK-style, MASH hook or other similar connector. The ASC replaces the standard carbine receiver end plate and places a steel eyelet right below the buffer tube. The eyelet is fixed; it does not swivel or rotate.

Note that the eyelet might prevent some stocks from collapsing completely. Vltor stocks cannot close completely and will go to the first position (shown below). A small notch can be made in the Vltor stock to provide clearance for the eyelet - a 5 minute job with a dremel. The Crane stock will close completely.

With the sling connected in the center, it facilitates left-right shoulder transitions better than a side-mounted sling. The sling stays out of the way and does not intefere whatsoever with the position or access of the hand on the pistol grip. I tried it out with my own two-point sling design and found that it works very well.

Ambi Sling Connector

Vltor E-MOD stock at first position

HK-style hook

MASH hook


Midwest Industries Front Sling Adaptors

8/30/06 - Midwest Industries, Inc. offers quite a few different sling mounting solutions for the AR platform, and shown here are some of their front sling adaptors. They're manufactured out of 6061aluminum and hard-coat anodized black.
The renewed interest in two-point slings with the introduction of BFG's VCAS (below) has added to the demand for rail-mounted sling adapters. I've always preferred a side-rail mounted adapter instead of the front sight mounted sling swivel (either on the side or at the bottom), as a forward attach point for a 3 point or 2 point sling. For one, the sling doesn't need to be as long. Additionally, I find it easier to manipulate and manoeuvre the rifle when the forward portion of the sling is attached to the rear or middle of the rail. All the MI adaptors attach to the rail with an allen-head screw (blue loctite recommended).

The MCTAR-08 provides a QD swivel loop attach point for any standard QD sling loop (1.25" loop included). The loop is released by pressing the button in the middle of the loop. Personally, I prefer a non-rotating sling loop, as it's less likely to get the sling twisted around.

The MCTAR-06 provides a sling swivel for a 1.25" wide sling. The steel loop is nylon coated. This is the adaptor I'm using for the M4 and Para FAL in the VCAS writeup below.

The M15-MCTAR-TS is for HK-style snap hooks, or the new 'mash hook' that BFG might be using. I'm not a big fan of HK hooks. They've been known to unsnap themselves and they just eat up the finish on the area around their attach point.

Whatever your sling setup, you should be able to find something to fit your needs from MI's selection of adapters (not all shown here).

QR, loop and HK hook adaptors

MCTAR-08 with QR loop removed




6/20/07 - Midwest Industries, Inc. has introduced their MCTAR-08HD (Heavy Duty) version of the MCTAR-08, their rail-mounted front sling adaptor for a QD sling swivel. The MCTAR-08HD is a beefier platform that engages more rail than the MCTAR-08. The best thing about it is that it limits the rotation of the QD sling swivel. The QD sling swivel will only turn about 20° after insertion. This prevents the sling from twisting around. Any QD sling swivel will work with the MCTAR-08HD. It's shown here with the 1-1/4" HD swivel.

MCTAR-08HD with 114HDS


Installed on rail

With swivel


2/28/07 - The MASH (Metal All-purpose Snap Hook) gateless snap hook from ITW Military Products (ITW Waterbury, who make the metal products) offers an alternative to the HK-style snap hooks in common use for sling systems. The one potential problem with the HK-style snap hook is that under certain circumstances, the snap hook can release accidentally. All it takes is for the sling and snap hook to be twisted on the rifle a certain way, and when it's pulled, the gate opens and the snap hook releases. I did a short demo clip to illustrate this. Note that I am not touching the HK snap hook at all, only holding onto the sling. I could not get the MASH to release by twisting and pulling on the sling.

The MASH is constructed from stainless steel and comes in sizes for 1" and 1.25" wide webbing. Pressing on the thumb tabs in the middle separates the two rings, allowing the MASH to be slipped into any loop attach point. It's simple to use and more secure than the HK-style. The only drawback is that it's a bit wider, and not as low profile. It's illustrated below with an elastic cover which I took off another sling. Contact sales@itwmilitaryproducts.com from more information.

1" and 1.25" MASH hooks

Squeeze to open

With elastic cover

Vltor Ambidextrous Sling Endplates

7/22/06 - Vltor Weapon Systems has introduced their Single Attachment Sling Endplates. Constructed out of steel and available in two models: SASE-1 to fit slings up to 1.25" wide, and SASE-2 for HK-style snap hooks, the Vltor SASEs are compact and well designed - something I've come to expect from Eric at Vltor. What sets Vltor's endplates apart from the competition is that they're ambidextrous without having loops on either side. Eric designed them to be reversible (yes, the attractive logo is on both sides) with a removable stud, which installs on either side of the plate. This stud interfaces with the corresponding hole in the rear of the AR receiver. Each SASE comes with a plate, stud, screw and 3/32 hex wrench. Installation requires the castle nut be loosened and the buffer tube removed. It only takes a few minutes for someone familiar with the process. Smart idea and nicely done.

HK (L) and sling loop (R) styles

Ambidextrous stud

Stud and receiver

HK endplate

HK snap hook installed

1" webbing through sling plate

BlueForceGear Vickers Combat Application Sling

6/20/06 - BlueForceGear has teamed up with Larry Vickers to produce his VCAS (Vickers Combat Applications Sling). I've been through a lot of slings over the years (as evidenced by those featured here on this page), and finally ditched all of them in favour of my home-made strap when using a rig as there was no sling to get in the way. Maybe part of the problem is that there are many slings out there to meet different needs, but my particular needs as a civilian shooter are pretty basic. Nothing high speed, no life-or-death situations. Just plinking on a range or going through drills. So for the most part, I've turned down most sling reviews that have come my way, simply because I didn't think they were different enough from what I already had on the site, or I wasn't going to use them in the way intended (so I wouldn't be able to write much of a review).

However, the introduction of the VCAS caused quite a buzz in the shooting circles, partly due to Larry's respected reputation, and the common knowledge that BlueForceGear offers quality and innovative sling systems. I felt that it was different enough from other 2-point slings that it merited examination. None of the 2-pt slings I'd used had quick-adjust capability. Larry explains his reasons for a 2-pt sling here on his website.

BFG slings look and feel like cotton webbing as they don't have the 'shine' that some webbing has, but they're actually made from 1.25" wide nylon webbing. Quality and construction is top notch, as expected. The feature that sets the VCAS apart from other 2-pt slings is the ability to adjust the length of the sling with a simple pull on a tab, sewn to an aluminum slider. One of the advantages of a 2-pt sling over a single point is that you have more control over the end of the weapon when it's hanging down at your side - it doesn't swing around like a pendulum when transitioning to the secondary weapon on the move.

The photos below show four different ways of setting up the VCAS, using a rail-mounted front swivel. In (1) the sling can be attached at the front of the rail, or side of the front sight base (if you have a side sling swivel there), and the rear of the sling attached through the slot in the butt. In (2), the rear of the sling is attached to the receiver end plate. In (3), the rail swivel has been moved to the rear of the rail, near the delta ring using a Midwest Industries rail sling mount. In (4), the rear of the sling is attached to the buttstock. The BFG website shows the carbine set up with configuration (1), and some photos on Larry's site shows him using configuration (4). I tried it all 4 ways and ended up preferring configuration (3). When the rear of the sling is attached to the buttstock, I found it more difficult to transition the stock to the weak shoulder, even with the sling length adjusted all the way out. With the front of the sling attached to the rear of the rail, it doesn't come across and interfere with my support hand. This setup is surprisingly similar to my MMSM 3-pt sling setup that I came up with 3 years ago (lower down on this page). Attaching the rear of the sling to the receiver instead of the buttstock also makes tucking the buttstock under the arm for reloads possible without letting out some slack, if that's what you like to do. That's more difficult with it attached to the buttstock. Configuration (3) was the best balance between the manouverability of a single-point and the control of a two-point for me, personally (basically a minimally trained, unprofessional shooter).

I've had difficulty finding the right sling for my Para FAL (below, right pic). The front sling swivel on the barrel is just too far forward for me. Being a lefty, the rear sling swivel is on the wrong side, so I've used double plastic ties around the rear of the receiver to attach a single point sling to the right side. However, the FAL is so heavy it doesn't work well with my rig-mounted strap. I found that the VCAS works very well on the Para, using the same Midwest Industries sling mount at the rear of the DSA handguard.

Butt stock and forward swivel

Receiver plate and forward swivel

Receiver plate and mid swivel

Butt stock and mid swivel

Close-up of tab and slider

On Para FAL

The VCAS can be setup with or without the emergency side-release buckle in front if it's not needed. I discovered that it worked equally well mounted at the back, instead of the front, as in configuration (3), and in the photos below. The added benefit of installing the buckle at the rear is that the length adjustment tab can now be moved as far forward as it'll go. It makes grabbing the tab and pulling it backwards to lengthen the sling easier as you don't have to pull back as far as before.

In the photos below, I've set it up in configuration (3). I'm a lefty, obviously. The other two photos show how easily the tab is grabbed and moved back to lengthen the sling for a transition to the weak shoulder. It literally takes about a second or two. The aluminum slider stays where you position it without slipping. While it's still not as convenient to transition to the weak shoulder as a single point sling, it's not difficult with practice, so the user has to weigh that against having control over the muzzle end when it's hanging. If I'm not wearing a rig and need a sling, the VCAS would definitely be one of my top choices, against the single point slings. No worries, though, as BFG also offers just about every other sling imaginable.

Different slings will suit different shooters, their needs and skill levels. There's no one perfect sling that does everything, which is why the user has to determine what his needs are and find the one that suits those needs most closely. If you use a 2-pt sling, though, the BlueForceGear VCAS is the one to get.

Configuration (3), for a lefty.

Grabbing the tab

Pulling the tab back and lengthening the sling


BlueForceGear Padded VCAS Sling

5/25/08 - BlueForceGear has introduced a padded version of their VCAS (Vickers Combat Application Sling) featured in the writeup above. The padded version of the VCAS has the addition of a 22" length of 2" closed cell foam pad inside 2" tubular webbing which helps distribute the load over a wider area with increased comfort.

The padded VCAS has all the same features of the original VCAS; constructed of the same 1.25" nylon webbing with quick-adjust metal pull slider and tab for shortening or lengthening the sling on the fly.

One difference I found is that the 22" of padded section limits how short the sling can be adjusted, and how the loose end is dealt with. I've pretty much adjusted it as short as it'll go, leaving a long length of excess webbing just forward of the padded section. Instead of cutting it off, I decided to keep it, as I switch it between weapons and might need to lengthen it. All I did was use a length of tubular elastic webbing, folded the loose end over and tucked it under the elastic (see the pics below, mounted on the weapons). Tape can also be used, but I don't like the sticky residue. What'd be perfect would be a small pocket on the padded section to stow the loose end.

The padded VCAS I got did not have the ERB (emergency release buckle), but one can certainly be added if needed. It does not come with QD swivels or hooks, and is ready to mount on your sling swivels of choice - I used both QD sling swivels and ITW MASH hooks.

The padding is definitely welcome when using it with heavier weapons like the M1A shown below - I'd almost say it's a 'must have'. However, it's just as welcome with the lighter rifles like the M4. While the VCAS is comfortable; (its webbing is non-abrasive nor does it cut into your neck) the padded version is even more so.


Padded VCAS sling


Mounted on M4

On M1A, rear attached to receiver swivel

Rear attached to stock

BlueForceGear Camouflage VCAS Padded Double A Sling

10/31/08 - BlueForceGear has introduced a new verison of their padded VCAS (Vickers Combat Application Sling) utilizing printed camouflage webbing and a new acetal adjuster (AA - double 'A'). It's called the VCAS Padded Double A Model.

The Padded Double A model is identical to the padded VCAS reviewed above except that it utilizes a high strength Acetal Quick Adjuster molded in Ghillie-tex resin, instead of the aluminum pull slider for shortening or lengthening the sling on the fly. It is supplied without the ERB (Emergency Release Buckle), or mounting hardware. This brings down the price and gives the user the option of using their own attach hardware, such as MASH hooks etc.

The other new (and novel) feature is that the AA sling is available in printed webbing - Crye MultiCam and Army UCP (Universal Camo Pattern). Does it really make a difference if the sling is camo, when it's such a small surface area? Well, as long as the sling isn't a contrasting colour, like black or darker OD against a tan or UCP uniform, it might not make that much of a difference. But, it sure doesn't hurt to have a sling blend into your gear better, instead of having a diagnonal band of a lighter or darker colour that goes across your back that stands out from the rest.

Both the 1.25" strap and 2" tubular webbing is printed with the camo patterns. The UCP is an exact match for the L5 UCP soft shell I have. The Crye MultiCam is a bit more 'vibrant' or 'saturated' than the Crye camo garments, but the webbing manufacturer is still tweaking the shades just a bit to match the slightly faded look of MultiCam. The MultiCam sling has coyote hardware and the UCP one has foliage green hardware. The pull tabs are of contrasting webbing.

The acetal adjuster slides on the webbing with a touch less resistance than the metal adjuster, which has a little more 'bite'. The other thing I noticed was that the acetal adjuster is quieter, and doesn't have as distinct of a 'clink' against my receiver when it knocks against it.

As shown in the pics below, the camo slings practically disappear against their backgrounds. If you were waiting for a MultiCam or UCP sling to match the rest of your gear, BFG has it.


Crye MultiCam AA sling

UCP sling


Acetal quick adjusters

Rear of MultiCam


Gear Sector SPRE Sling Mount

4/30/06 - The SPRE sling mount (SPRE-L for left hand use shown here, but also available in a right-hand version) from Gear Sector (formerly TAG Industries) is pretty much the lowest profile sling plate you can get at the time of this writing. Machined out of 6061 T6 aluminum and finished with type III mil-spec hard anodizing, all edges have been rounded off to prevent wear to the webbing or scrapes to the user. The slot is designed to be used with Gear Sector's ASP slings, which use 1" wide webbing. Installation was a snap - took a few minutes to replace the DD ambi sling plate I had on there. Important for a lefty is the clearance to the forward assist. The slot is positioned as low as possible to minimize interference with the forward assist. I don't use slings of any kind anymore, but my own strap that connects to my rig. The weapon-side connector is a simple loop of webbing that goes through the sling plate. Since the SPRE-L was designed for a single thickness of webbing, I had a tough time getting my own connector through, which was a double thickness, but most people won't have that problem. I was able to get it through, though, and make it work. I prefer it to the ambi Daniel Defense plate that I had on there, as it's lower profile and I don't have the uneeded loop on the left side of the receiver sticking out when I sweep the charging handle tac-latch with the knife-edge of my hand.


Installed on M4 buffer tube

Right side view

Left side view

My connector installed

Gear Sector ASP-V™ Sling

7/24/06 - The ASP-V sling from Gear Sector is a strap that attaches directly to a rig, eliminating the single-point sling loop that goes over your head and around your torso. Gear Sector makes excellent single point slings out of 1" tubular webbing, and this new ASP-V is constructed in the same bomb-proof manner. I've been using my home-made designed sling of this style for a while and prefer it over conventional single point slings because it doesn't get in the way of access to pouches, there's no loop around the torso to contend with, get twisted or rub your neck. I also prefer the weight distribution of a rig-mounted strap vs. a single point around the body. The ASP-V is compatible with all of Gear Sectors auxiliary stubs, which connect the sling to the weapon. The stub has a male fastex buckle, and is installed on the receiver sling loop. The attachment loop attaches to your rig - it can be to a D-ring, or looped around the shoulder strap. Ride height of the weapon will vary depending on the attach point on the rig. I attached the ASP-V to the D-ring on my BH STRIKE rig - still my favourite, non-armoured range rig. Installation took less than a minute.
The ASP-V has a 'rip-cord', which is the end of the strap which ends in a D-ring. Shortening the strap is accomplished by pulling on the rip cord while offloading the weight of the weapon. Lengthening it is done simply by pushing the weapon away from the body while tipping the ladder loc with a finger. The weapon can be quickly disconnected from the rig by releasing the SR buckle.


Stub installed on SPRE-L

Attached to STRIKE rig

I attached the ASP-V to my weak side shoulder (I'm left handed). I've found that attached to the weak side, it's less often in the way, and enables the weapon to hang on the weak side for access to the secondary weapon on the strong side. I adjust the length of the strap so that it's the shortest length that will work for all firing positions and transitions, with a bit of slack thrown in. My only small gripe with the ASP-V was that I couldn't make it as short as I wanted to. This is because all the connections and stitching adds to the length of the setup. Ride height is a function of the mounting point on a rig is, and personal preference. That being said, the ASP-V should work well for most, and I think I'm the only one who brought that up out of the two batches of test-subjects. The ASP-V will work with any weapon set up fomr single-point sling use, including shotguns.

I found the ASP-V simple to use and adjust. As mentioned above, shortening or lengthening the strap takes but a second, and with practice, is almost second nature. When adjusted to the right length from the beginning, however, frequent adjustments aren't really necessary. The rip cord can be installed coming out on top of, or below the ladder loc. I chose to install it coming out below, as I found it stays out of the way better. It's all up to the user. It's a well-made and designed product that I'm predicting a lot of single-point sling users will like.

Hanging at weak side

Strong shoulder

Weak shoulder

Shortening sling

Lengthening sling

TangoDown PR-4 Single Point Sling mount

9/6/05 - Just like their PR-16 single point sling mount for fixed-stock M16s, TangoDown LLC also offers the PR-4 for collapsible-stock M4s and other variants. It's designed to be a user-installed item (as opposed to an armorer), requiring no alteration nor disassembly of the weapon. It will work with both Mil-spec (Colt, LMT, Vltor) buffer tubes and aftermarket ones (most others). It consists of upper and lower halves, which clamp to the front portion of the M4 buffer tube behind the castle nut via 4 bolts. It goes on in about 2 minutes. The PR-4 provides attach points for a QD sling swivel (included) on each side, and also one in the center (if you use both shoulders to shoot), allowing a sling to be attached and detached quickly. Like the PR-16, its low profile ensures that it does not interfere with the users hand, nor manipulation nor access to controls. It comes with everything needed for installation, which can be performed by the soldier himself. Note that the stock cannot be closed completely, and goes to the next position.

Production PR-4 kit

Installed on M4 buffer tube

Top view

Swivel mounted on the side

Swivel mounted at the bottom

TangoDown PR-16 Single Point Sling mount

12/19/04 - In response to the increased use of single-point slings in a MOUT environment by our troops overseas, TangoDown LLC has introduced their PR-16, a single point sling mount for fixed-stock M16 variants. It was designed to be a user-installed item (as opposed to an armorer), which requires no alteration nor disassembly of the weapon. It will work with both A1 and A2 stocks. It consists of upper and lower halves, made out of aluminum with mil-spec anodizing, which clamp to the front portion of an M16 stock via 4 bolts. Note that the first photos shows the current production version, with black bolts. The other photos show a pre-production version which had unfinished stainless bolts. All current hardware is black. The PR-16 provides an attach point for a QD sling swivel (included), allowing a sling to be attached and detached quickly. Its low profile ensures that it does not interfere with the users hand, nor manipulation or access to controls. It comes with everything needed for installation, which can be performed by the soldier himself. No straps, buckles or velcro to contend with. Another well-designed and quality product from the TD guys.

Production PR-16 kit

Attached to A2 stock

Side and top views

Access to forward assist

Charging handle clearance

With QD sling attached

Practical Tactical Frankensling

2/10/05 - When Tim Weaver at PracticalTactical.net told me last year that he had come up with a single point sling, I thought to myself (same thing when anyone comes to me with a sling) "ok, another sling? How many variations of sling can people come up with?" A lot, apparently. I wasn't too excited about another sling, as I've switched to using my home made 'wolf hook' on my gear, so it wasn't until this year's '05 SHOT show that Tim handed me one to check out. He calls it the 'Frankensling', as it's 'pieced together', as he described it.
When I got home and took it out of the bag, I was pleasantly surprised. The subtle differences are enough from the common single point sling to set it apart, and it's quickly becoming a favourite of mine. It's actually very close to the wolf hook setup I use in the sense that it has a 'pigtail' going from the rifle to the sling loop. By snugging the sling around my body, and letting the weapon pivot around the pigtail, I find it easier to contend with than a loop, as the take-off point is mid-chest instead of off the strong shoulder.
The pigtail is a 1" wide length of webbing with a loop at the end, which loops around itself and attaches to any single point loop on the receiver. If you have an HK-style hook or 1" QD swivel, those will work as well. It attaches to the main loop via an SR buckle, which also allows you to adjust the length of the pigtail. It will also loop around some buttstocks where they narrow and attach to the back of the receiver (like AKs).
The main sling loop itself is an adjustable 2" wide Israeli sling with 2" to 1" reducers on each end. A 1" SR buckle is attached to one end and a 1" wide length of webbing is attached to the other. The female end of the pigtail SR buckle is affixed to the 1" webbing. The 2" wide webbing is first adjusted to the most comfortable length. The size of the entire loop can then be adjusted with the 1" webbing by pulling down through the SR buckle. Very simple and fast, and I prefer it to adjusting the length with a triglide. The rifle is then snapped to the pigtail and the length adjusted. The rifle can be detached from the sling using the pigtail's SR buckle, or the rifle and sling can be released from the shooter with the 1" SR buckle on the end of the 2" wide sling.
The 2" wide webbing is soft and comfortable on the shoulder, without adding bulk. The pigtail does not hamper transitions from strong to weak shoulder. Because the pigtail take-off point a center of the sternum, it still provides some support in the patrol carry. Other than that, operation is basically the same as most single point slings. To sum it up, I like the way it attaches to the weapon without marring the finish, the ability to quickly adjust both the size of the loop and the length of the pigtail, and the choice to detach the rifle from the sling or the entire setup. Very versatile.
I have one complaint for Tim, which I hope he'll remedy soon - the sling doesn't come in coyote...yet. Hurry up, Tim.


Troy Industries CQB Sling

6/19/04 - Troy Industries (who makes the MFR on the previous page) also offers their own sling for their CQB carbines. It's called the CQBSPS (Close Quarter Battle Single Point Sling) and like other single point slings, it's a essentially a single loop of webbing attached to the rifle at a single point. The CQBSPS offers a couple of unique features - a short adjustable strap that allows the position of the rifle on the chest to be determined, and a non-slip shoulder pad. The sling is attached to the rifle by a HK-style snap hook, and needs a recevier plate (either for the snap hook or a sling loop). It works with both my GG&G and Daniel Defense plates. The snap hook is covered by black elastic to minimze scratching of the rifle. The attach point, however, will get the finish worn off with use. If you're a stickler about that, make a double loop of 550 cord on the recevier loop and attach the snap hook to that instead. The webbing used is heavy, 1.5" wide, and the sling is available in black, tan and OD. The 2.5" wide shoulder pad has a rubbery, non-slip material on its underside, to ensure that the sling does not move on the shoulder. The webbing is not free to slide inside the pad, as the length adjustment triglide is captured in a slot on the pad. The loose and of the webbing is folded back and tucked inside the pad.

The sling can be worn two ways (like any other single point sling) - with the pad on the strong or weak shoulder. I'm left handed, so righties will reverse the setup shown in the pics. The Troy instructions recommend wearing it with the pad on the weak shoulder (shown below). The short strap is adjusted to position the rifle at the height on the chest desired, and when there is need to clear the weapon for transition, the tab is pulled downwards, allowing the rifle to slide down the sling. I found that the strap was difficult to pull when there was tension on the sling, and that it was easier to rotate the whole sling and pad forwards to allow the weapon to hang at the side. Worn on the weak shoulder (offside carry), however, clearing the weapon to the side could cause interference with the sidearm during a transition. It's probably better to let it hang in the vertical position from the middle of the chest in this case.

Worn with the pad on the strong shoulder (strongside carry), clearing the weapon to the side puts it on the opposite side of the secondary weapon, and out of the way. This is usually how I wear my single point slings. The only issue with wearing it this way is that the pad can sometimes interfere with the butt of the rifle (right pic). Again, I find it easier to rotate the whole sling around my body instead of pulling on the short strap to clear the weapon down and to the side.

The sling is overbuilt to last, and the shoulder pads makes a difference in comfort. I'm undecided on whether to wear it over the strong or weak shoulder, so I'll experiment more with that. I usually wear single point slings over the weak shoulder to allow the rifle to hang on my weak side. Used either way, it's a comfortable and sturdy sling platform. Personally, I'd like to see a couple of options added to future Troy CQBSPS offerings - an ERB (emergency release buckle), and the option to use attachments other than the HK-style snap hook. The HK hook is not the quickest to release in an emergency, and next to impossible if the weapon is being pulled away from you if snagged. An ERB is one of those 'good to have and not need' vs. 'need and not have' things. A 1.25" wide strap with triglide instead of the sewn-in HK hook will be more universal and allow the use of the HK hook, QD swivels, or just direct attachment to a receiver sling loop. Troy Industries makes good products and they're expanding their product line rapidly - stuff to look forward to.
6/27/04 - I've removed the short strap from the sling to use it that way, and it works fine without it. I'm using it slung over the strong shoulder.





©opyright by MilitaryMorons.com. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction, Duplication, Distribution Strictly Prohibited.

Unless mentioned otherwise, content and images are the property of militarymorons.com and are not in the public domain.
They are not to be used without permission. Please Contact me for permission to use any images or content herein.