Michelle Cerino explains the sling thing — and why you need to add this skill to your shooting repertoire.
“A sling is to a long gun what a holster is to a pistol.” We make that statement during every rifle class we teach. The saying evokes a mental image, to which many students nod in agreement.
A sling is more than just to a device to help carry a long gun; it also offers stability in a variety of unsupported positions, such as standing, kneeling and sitting.
Slings are used in a variety of shooting disciplines. While hunting, a sling frees your hands to drag game out of the woods or offer support for your rifle. Some shooting competitions require participants to sling their long gun during a stage while they are shooting another firearm. Knowing how to sling the long gun in a stored position, and then being able to deploy it at the right time, takes training and practice. Some slings are meant for carrying a gun; others are for storage and quick retrieval. Still others are designed for shooting support. The best slings have multiple uses and can be sized for each individual shooter.
Galco Gunleather, the sponsor of my column, is mostly known for its finely made leather holsters. However, did you know the company also makes a variety of really great slings?
Safari Ching Sling
I was fortunate to have Galco send me the Safari Ching Sling to field test for this article. Created by the late Eric Ching, it is a speed sling, allowing quick transitions to and from shoulder carry, but it also provides true shooting support. For those who carry heavy rifles, its extra wide width distributes your rifle’s weight on your shoulder for a more comfortable carry. An important feature in any sling is the ability to adjust its length to fit different-size shooters and guns. A Galco innovation, the Keyhole Lock, makes adjusting the sling secure and tool-free.
Attaching the Safari Ching Sling to my Savage .22 was a piece of cake. It easily fit into my 1-inch sling mounts. Once I slung it over my shoulder, I was able to adjust it to a comfortable fit for carrying and shooting in no time.
With the guidance of the small booklet of diagrams and directions that came with the sling, I quickly learned how to properly take advantage of the Safari Ching Sling’s features. The elbow strap made it easy to obtain sling tension when I went into different shooting platforms. It also functions as a thumb loop while shoulder-carrying muzzle-up, which keeps the rifle from sagging. The sling fits long guns with two 1-inch swivels.
The Safari Ching Sling is available in dark Havana brown or black. MSRP: $79.95
Braided Cobra Sling
Many people carry ornate, well-crafted, expensive long guns into the field—perhaps even family heirlooms that have been used and passed on for generations. The stunning Braided Cobra Sling is the perfect addition to this investment. The classic-patterned, hand-braided, premium Latigo leather is a fine work of art. The sling easily fits 1-inch swivels.
The Braided Cobra Sling is available in dark Havana brown. MSRP: $142.95
Tapered Rifle Sling
Modestly priced, the Tapered Rifle Sling is made of fine-quality leather that comes in three color choices. It fits 1-inch swivels.
The Tapered Rifle Sling is available in tan rough-out, cordovan top grain, and black shrunken grain. MSRP: $45.95
For those who need a basic tactical sling, Galco carries the Simple Lanyard and Carrying (SLC) Strap. There are 2 carry positions that can be used with this sling. First is the 2-point carry position, which allows for over-the-shoulder and across-the-back carry, with the muzzle either up or down. The second position is for those who want a single-point sling, leaving it in a muzzle-down position. An HK-style snap hook makes transitioning between the 2 carry positions quick and easy.
The SLC Strap is available in black or foliage green nylon. MSRP: $25.95
Regardless of the sling you choose or what you’ll be using it for, be sure to practice with an unloaded gun before you start shooting with it. This will allow you to get the sling adjusted just right and learn how to quickly get in and out of it with ease. Then head to the range for some live-fire practice. Be sure to move into the various shooting positions you may encounter. Get used to the new tool you’ve added to your firearm, and become comfortable with it. As always, time on task will make those skills easier to apply in the field.
Michelle Cerino, aka Princess Gunslinger, is the managing and social media editor at The WON. Michelle is the president of Cerino Consulting and Training Group, LLC, a firearms training company she built with her husband Chris in 2011. Her path in the firearms and outdoors industries is ever progressing. She is writing, hunting, competing and doing contract work for major manufacturers. View all posts by Michelle Cerino