Spend enough time with people of the gun, and the topic of shooting with the aid of a sling will inevitably bubble up. I was indoctrinated early by virtue of knowing Mr. Leghorn, an accomplished Olympic smallbore shooter, who spoke highly of the leather slings being turned out by the fine folks at Turner Saddlery. I bought one, and fell in love with the added stability. The downside, and one you can see if you ever get to watch Nick get into his zen place, is that it takes quite a bit of time to get in (and out) of a “traditional” sling with a cuff. Enter the Short Action Precision Positional Rifle Sling….
A true positional sling — one that helps you in the four core shooting positions — includes some sort of cuff that goes over the bicep of the support arm. The support arm is then positioned in such a way that the sling runs to the inside while the hand makes contact with the fore-end of the rifle.
The length of sling required to accomplish this changes based on the position. I’ve found that I require a bit more sling length in prone than I do in seated. With a fixed sling, you’ll always have a bit too much or a bit too little length. This can absolutely be addressed, but the process isn’t quick, especially under the stress of competition.
As the team at SAP is heavily focused on precision rifle competition, speed is off the essence. As such, their sling includes a robust metal friction lock that allows you to let out or take up as much slack as necessary to get comfortable. The clamp is spring loaded, so all you need to do is pull the keeper to release the mechanism and then let it go when you’ve reached the desired level of tension.
Where they really set themselves apart is with their buckled cuff. Anyone who has gotten into a positional sling will tell you that getting out is half the fun. Good shooting form with a sling essentially dictates that your cuff becomes akin to the tourniquet that you likely carry in your shooting bag. Releasing that tension, especially with layers of fabric in the way can be an exercise in frustration. The SAP buckle allows you to snap out of the sling with speed unlike anything else out there.
Getting into the cuff is just as easy. Simply slide the male end of the buckle as far down the strap as it can go, get in the cuff, cinch it down tight, and adjust the buckle to fine tune the length necessary for a stable position. Once you’re done shooting, pop the buckle, sling your weapon however you like, tighten the buckle and get on down the road.
I called SAP to get one of these slings in advance of my second year running the Pecos Run ‘n Gun. The first year, knowing that one of the stages would have me shooting at a quarter mile from whatever position I could put together, I elected to use the sling that had helped me shoot best in the past, the aforementioned Turner sling. Several problems presented themselves almost immediately.
First, the Turner is made of leather, something the elements in Pecos, Texas did their best to ruin. Second, the cuff was damn hard to get in and out of. Since the scoring is based on total run time and shooting time, those precious minutes goofing around with the sling mattered. Third — and the biggest problem — was that the Turner wasn’t quickly adjustable. Where this manifested itself most was during the
run walk between stages. My gun bounced around sloppily and there was nothing I could do about it.
On paper, the SAP sling seemed to resolve these issues as it’s made of something other than dead cow, was easy to get in and out of, and could be adjusted quite a bit so I could strap the gun tightly to my body for
running walking. The gun you see me modeling is fairly close to what I ran at this year’s competition with the exception of the Magpul PRS buttstock. What I found in my four-mile jaunt through the desert was that the SAP sling did everything asked of it and nothing much more.
The one area where the SAP falls down a touch is that the buckle hardware inevitably ends up being where your support hand is. Note the gouge marks in my hand above. Those are from a few moments of being properly slung for a photo. This can be mitigated somewhat by attaching the sling to the bottom of the forend, unlike the side mount pictured.
Unfortunately, I’ve found that going to a bottom mount makes the rifle a bit unstable (read: floppy) when it’s laid across my back. I’d much rather trade a bit of momentary pain for a great deal more stability while the gun is slung across my back and I’m on the move. Overall, it’s a minor gripe, and I think fixing that would remove some of the utility of the SAP sling.
Specifications: Short Action Precision Positional Rifle Sling
- Country of Origin: USA
- Materials: Nylon webbing, plastic keepers and cuff buckle, metal adjustment buckle and QD swivels
- Colors: Black, OD Green, Coyote
- Attachment: Flush Cups, Sling Swivels, HK Hooks
- Price: $90
Ratings (out of five stars):
Fit, Finish, Build Quality * * * * *
I expect American made products to be of high quality and SAP did not disappoint. The stitching on the sling was fantastic with nary a thread out of place. The metal hardware was well finished and stood up to an incredible amount of wear and tear from yours truly.
Overall * * * *
Slings are a highly personal item, and like most things, my answer to, “Is this for me?” is, “It depends.” This is an excellent positional sling full stop. If you’re looking for a positional sling you can spend hours in, the adjustment buckle’s position is probably going to nag you a bit. But if you need to get slung up quickly and out of your sling just as fast, this is a highly effective solution. SAP includes the necessary hardware and enough extra nylon to ensure that your sling will fit anything from short ARs all the way up to the twenty six inch barreled monstrosities that dominate the PRS circuit.