April 17, 2006
It’s the Real Sling, Baby
By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily
While looking over the photos of the Marine Corps M40A3 sniper rifle, I was horrified to see that the sling swivels were attached to the side of the stock, rather than the bottom, and assumed that the Corps had now relegated the Model 1907 shooting sling to use merely as a carrying strap. Teach your grandmother to suck eggs! A Marine sniper rifle without a real, working sling is unthinkable.
Closer inspection revealed that it can be mounted on the side of the rifle as a carrying strap, but lurking demurely on the bottom of the McMillan A4 stock was a pair of swivels, one for the issue Harris bipod, and the other for the old M1907. Right where it should be.
Civilians, especially hunters, now tend to ignore the old three-piece M1907. It’s heavy, slow to use unless you practice with it, and far more than you need as a carrying strap. But these slings were once common, and I recall that a lot of hunting rifles came with M1907 slings as standard equipment.
The secret to using one successfully is simple: Get it tight enough so that your left hand goes from red to blue to purple. Then you go through purple to sort of an indigo black, and you’re just about right.