Stone River Adjustable Paracord Rifle Sling
Before we go into the details of our review of this new sling, we would like to provide a bit of history on rifle slings. We admit it was more interesting than we had imagined.
Rifle slings, in one form or another, have been around since the origin of muskets. The original slings were probably not more than a length of rope to permit an individual to carry their musket and have their hands free.
As the European powers began to equip their armies with large numbers of musket carrying infantrymen, they also issued a canvas webbing sling that was adjustable to make it easier and more convenient to carry the weapon. From then on, the history books (and military manuals) described the musket and rifle slings issued to soldiers from Washington to Wellington.
The first U.S. military issue leather sling was the Model 1887 for the Krag-Jorgensen bolt action rifle. This sling, nicknamed the Long Tom, was a long piece of leather a bit over 68 inches in length. With the adoption of the '03 Springfield rifle by the military in 1903, the sling became designated the Model 1903.
Modifications were made a year later to include metal claws for easier adjustment. The modifications became permanent and the new sling, easily adapted to both carrying and for use as a shooting support, was designated the Model 1907.
With multiple slight modifications, the 1907 sling remained in use through WWII and into Korea. The military did develop a new sling, designated as the Webbing M1 in 1942, made from a single canvas strap and weighing a mere four ounces. The problem with this sling was that it would stretch under tension, not good if you tried to use it as a shooting sling to steady your aim, as the military taught soldiers to do. (Back then we were "A Nation of Riflemen" and shooting slings were widely understood and used. - Editor.) Which brings us to modern times.
The current sling issued by the military was designated "Sling: Small Arms" in 1963 and was designed for the M-16 series of rifles. With the introduction of this device, the sling lost its shooting function and was once again relegated to being nothing more than a strap for carrying the rifle, either in front or over the back.
Pricing for military-style slings today ranges from $45 to $90, depending on the manufacturer and whether there are any added features. However, they are all essentially the same.
The Stone River Gear Paracord sling has all of the capabilities of the military "Sling: Small Arms" and more. The Paracord sling comes with a set of detachable-type swivels and allows for single-point or two-point carry, depending upon your preference. There are two keepers and a "Monkey ball" to insure a solid, non-slip adjustment. Most importantly, it is constructed from a dozen six foot strands of 550 weighted, woven paracord.
The paracord weave is tight, yet flexible enough for comfortable carry. It also allows the sling to be quickly wrapped around the arm for what old time shooters like Jim call a "hasty sling" to steady the rifle's aim. While most military and sportsmen do not know how to shoot that way anymore, the option is there. (A shooting sling not only steadies the rife in unsupported positions, it also allows the weak arm to absorb a considerable amount of recoil, diminishing the blow on the strong shoulder. - Editor.)
There you have it, an incredibly strong, yet flexible sling for any rifle in your collection. If you add the capability of unraveling the sling in an emergency situation to provide 72 feet of 550 pound strength paracord, you have the best of all worlds. A versatile sling for hunting that is also a survival tool.
There are two colors available, the SRG1SRSB Black Sling or the SRG1SRSO Coyote Sling. With a 2014 MSRP of $59.95, the Stone River Paracord Sling is priced competitively with other slings. It can be ordered directly from the Stone River website at http://www.stoneriveroutdoors.com
The only problem is that we only ordered one sling for testing and there are four of us in the family. You have three guesses to figure out who got it and the first two don't count.
Note: The authors would like to thank Mr. Hap Rocketto for the historical information on musket and rifle slings.
Copyright 2014 by Jim Clary and/or chuckhawks.com. All rights reserved.