September 04, 2012
Notes on Rifle Slings
By David E. Petzal
Now that hunting season is approaching, it’s time to think about slings. This is not half so entertaining as thinking about Ms. Elisha Cuthbert, but since I doubt Ms. Cuthbert is willing to carry your rifle around for you, it’s more practical.
There are plenty of slings around, and most of them are cheesy, worthless, and silly. They don’t last; they get in your way; they slide off your shoulder; and they contain absurd gimmicks which are so many pains in the ass.
The best sling I know of is the Murray A-1 Quick Set Rifle Sling, made by Murray Custom Leather in Texas. It’s dead simple, does everything a sling (or more properly, a carrying strap) should do, and lasts forever. I have a couple of them that have been in use for close to 30 years, and they show no signs of weakening. I learned about Murray slings from Kenny Jarrett, who includes them with his rifles as standard equipment. Kenny also gave me this tip:
At the beginning of the season, you get a bottle of Crisco vegetable oil, fill its cap, dip a fingertip in the oil and spread it on the sling. If the sling gets wet when you hunt, let it dry out thoroughly and repeat the oil treatment before you put it away.
You can get the details on these slings from murraycustomleather.com. You have a choice of russet or black, and you can get mil-spec swivels for $10 extra, which I strongly recommend. If you like cobra-style slings, Murray sells them, too, because people like them. I do not. Get the plain strap.
And for what it’s worth, I’ve known Dick Murray for a lot of years, and he is one of the nicer guys in this business.