By George T. Williams
A Comfortable and Useful Sling for All-Day Use
I’ve been a single-point carbine sling guy since I began shooting with equipment on my belt and a plate carrier. Frankly, I got tired of my two-point sling hanging up on my gear in what could someday be a life-threatening snag. A single-point system solved some problems for me: a quick response without hanging up on gear, the ability to easily move the weapon on and off the shoulder and to crawl over and through obstacles, switching shoulders, different positions, etc. Not so great is what to do with the weapon when you need your hands free, whether it’s to assist in cuffing a suspect or for some other task. Also, having to prevent the rifle from bouncing around into your knees and private parts while walking around in “safe and hang mode” can get old.
A new, 100-percent USA made, patent-pending product from Sly Tactical solves a lot of problems for the professional who operates with his/her carbine in the field. It easily and securely transitions from hands-free, two-point carry to tactical single-point use, then to a secure and highly stable two-point, distance-shooting mode very quickly. Available in black or coyote brown, the “Quick Conversion Sling” (QCS) is the best thought-out, most practical sling I’ve used to date. With the optional added components of their machined Front Sling Attachment and Rear Sling Attachment to maximize the benefits of both the single and the two-point sling, using a sling has never been easier or more efficient.
Quick Conversion Sling. This is the most comfortable sling I’ve ever used. Period. The strap is padded, encased by a 2-inch-wide Mil-Spec nylon strapping that protects the neck and spreads the weight of the weapon over a larger surface. In fact, everything about the sling is Mil-Spec, right down to the USA-made thread used to ensure the sling is securely stitched.
The sling is adjustable two ways: Gross fit and situational fit. The sling has a series of adjustments permitting you to adjust the sling to fit your body. A unique “T-handle” adjustment tool provides for quick and easy adjustment for the situation in which you find yourself. Unlike any sling adjustment I’ve ever tried, the T-handle glides easily fore or aft, lengthening or shortening the sling as necessary. When the T-handle is forward near your weapon’s forend, you have more slack; moving it back toward your body tightens it.
A proprietary, patent-pending thumb tab on HK-style snap hooks and a custom aluminum, hard-anodized single-point buckle make the transitions simple. Hooking into the single-point buckle when transitioning to a single-point sling was a bit difficult until it was pointed out that if you move the weapon forward a bit (pulling the sling with it), the single-point buckle moves as well and is easier to snap to. A smart system can’t cure stupid, but I finally proved able to learn and now there’s no hitch at all when transitioning back and forth between the two configurations. That thumb tab, by the way, keeps your gloved hand or fingers out of the hook’s gate and provides a quick tactile reference to the hook in darkened conditions with less fumbling than other styles of snap hooks.
The beauty of this system is that after 10 or so minutes of trying it out, adjusting here and there, I was able to transition quickly to an extremely useful single-point sling, then to a two-point sling that permitted me to shoulder the weapon into a rock-solid sling hold for distance shots. When I needed more slack for different positions, the T-handle instantly and easily gave it to me. Did I say easy? It was easy.
Wearing the weapon slung almost all day for several days did not cause the usual chafing on my neck and the inevitable aching neck and shoulder was dramatically lessened. For all but some cops or infantry military personnel who are forced to sling a shoulder weapon for extended periods, the typical hour or two of wearing the slung weapon in the field has, at most, minimal residual felt effects. Additionally, there is a Mil-Spec quick-release buckle letting you separate the weapon system while keeping the sling in place. If in a vehicle or undercover/plainclothes, this permits a rapid sling-up when you need to while deploying from the car or van.
Attachments. Sly Tactical’s Front and Rear Sling Attachments are without peer. Both are precision machined from T6 aluminum. The Front Sling Attachment secures to your rails. As a right-handed shooter, I chose to put it on the left side at the very front of my quad-rail. This configuration permits me to rapidly attach (into a two-point configuration) or remove the sling (transitioning to a single-point carry) with little or no twisting of my weapon while attempting to align the hook. It is designed to facilitate the carry of the weapon and there is just not the usual twisting of the sling that most sling attachments cause. The Sly Tactical ergonomically improved snap hooks make this easy.
The Rear Sling. Attachment bolts on securely immediately to the rear of the receiver extension nut. Adding only 0.5 ounces to your weapon, its large attachment loop is vertical and quiet, with no moving ring to disturb your noise discipline while moving. With the quick-release heavy-duty buckle, there is really no reason to be detaching the sling from the weapon. This is a click-it-and-forget-it feature that is extremely convenient.
Customer Service. The guys at Sly Tactical stand by their products. Retired armed professionals themselves, they understand the needs of those who carry and employ firearms for a living. You’re a big man and need a sling commensurate with your size? It’ll be in the mail to you. Have a question? Give them a call. This is a company that asks for all of your feedback and suggestions because they are dedicated to keeping you functional in the fight.
Downsides. I don’t like writing product reviews that have no critical comments. But frankly, if you need a sling and attachment system, I’ve found no downside with Sly Tactical’s offerings.
Perhaps the only negative might be the perception of its cost. With the Quick Conversion Sling’s MSRP listed at $89.95, the Rear Sling Attachment at $74.95, and the Front Sling Attachment at $47.95, some might gulp at the price. The QCS absolutely will work with your existing attachments, but the Sly Tactical Attachments really optimize the system. While it is not always true that you get what you pay for, and that is far too common with rifle slings if that box full of old, less-than-useful slings in my basement is any indicator. In this case, the cost is off-set by the utility, efficiency of use, and the comfort of the sling. Each of these products is extremely well finished using only the best materials and craftsmanship and will stand up to extreme use. Sly Tactical offers law enforcement and military discounts.
This is a sling I can confidently recommend. Heck, it’s even convinced me of the need, convenience, and advantage for a two-point sling, at least sometimes. And that’s saying something. Add to this the comfort and built-in efficiency, and I may never own another brand’s sling again. PM
George T. Williams is the Director of Training for Cutting Edge Training in Bellingham, Wash. He has been a Police Training Specialist for more than three decades, as well as an expert witness in federal and state courts nationwide and a widely published author for more than two decades. Mr. Williams develops and presents revolutionary concepts within integrated force training solutions through a problem-solving format, functionalizing police skills and tactical training. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. The author using the Sly Tactical QCS sling while teaching at the IALEFI Regional Training Conference in Bend, Ore., 2014. Note the wide padding of the sling at the shoulder and base of the neck.
2. Master Trainer Thomas V. Benge using a Sly Tactical QCS sling in a two-point configuration teaching at the IALEFI Regional Training Conference in Bend, Ore., 2014.
3. The author using a Sly Tactical QCS sling in a single-point configuration teaching at the IALEFI Regional Training Conference in Bend, Ore., 2014.
4. The Sly Tactical Rear Sling Attachment with the vertical ring bolted immediately to the rear of the receiver extension nut with the snap hook and sling attached.
5. The Sly Tactical Front Sling Attachment with the snap hook and thumb attachment connected.
6. The Sly Tactical Front Sling Attachment attaches to the forearm quad-rails for proper two-point sling positioning.
7. The Sly Tactical Rear Sling Attachment with the vertical ring bolted immediately to the rear of the receiver extension nut.
8. The Sly Tactical QCS sling attached to a weapon in a two-point configuration.
9. The Sly Tactical QCS sling attached to a weapon in a single-point configuration.
10. The ease of access of the Single Point Attachment Buckle facilitates the rapid transition of the QCS sling from the two-point sling configuration into the single-point arrangement for tactical situations.