Hunting With Your Rifle On a Sling


January 11, 2003, 05:53 PM
I have been doing a lot of walking around the Rockies this year with a Savage .17 or with an AR15 on occasion.

How do you sling your rifle? Muzzle Up? Muzzle Down?

Do you use a standard forearm to lower butt stock sling or somthing different?

Do you walk around with a chambered round?

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January 11, 2003, 05:58 PM
Muzzle up, gun behind me. Loaded and chambered, safety on.

Art Eatman
January 11, 2003, 07:35 PM
Like Marshall, although my Weatherby's bolt-sliding is stiff enough that I commonly leave the bolt-handle up. Closing the bolt is quiet, and I don't have to worry about the safety. My other pets, loaded with safety on.

If I sorta get "that feeling", I'll carry in either a relaxed sort of Port Arms, or sorta balanced on my right forearm.


January 11, 2003, 08:42 PM

The forearm think is a favorite of mine when stalk/still hunting. When moving ever so slow it is very comfortable position.

January 11, 2003, 10:45 PM
When I go into the woods the rifle I'm using has a sling but I never sling my rifle. The only reason I have a sling on is because I use those butler creek slings that hold 4 extra rounds, that way I dont have to fumble around if I need to reload.

I always carry(well, atleast 90%) with a round in the chamber. You never know when a big furry critter with teethe is gonna surprise you.

January 12, 2003, 12:44 PM
Padded portion (if exisiting) of sling near stock. During lots of walking, I most often carry on left shoulder, muzzle down and constantly controlled (slightly forward) with left hand on forearm. After years of doing so, rifle (or shotgun) can be brought up, rolled counterclockwise 180 degrees and mounted on right shoulder surprisingly quickly. (One reason I favor carbines and shorter barrel shotguns.) If looking to try it, do so at least initially with unloaded guns only. YMMV

January 13, 2003, 05:41 AM
When I have a silencer attached I carry it behind my back muzzle down. Because the damn silencer makes so much noise when it hits tree branches, its like a little bell :D It also prevents snow seeking its way to the muzzle. At this time no round in the chamber.

When stalking I carry it like Art mentioned and round in the chamber. When carrying like this I also have control over the silencer so it does not hit anything and cause noise.

BTW does anybody know how to reduce the silencer *cling* ??

Art Eatman
January 13, 2003, 07:06 AM
Sal, using some cloth and tape is a tried and true way of "silencing" metal parts and pieces. Heck, take an old sock; slip it over the muzzle and fold it back and then put a wrap of tape around it...

Lots of folks put a piece of tape over a gun muzzle to keep rain, snow or dirt out. It won't affect accuracy.

:), Art

January 13, 2003, 10:54 AM
My prefered carry in the woods is with my arm wrapped in the sling in port arms position (I was taught to shoot rifle with sling way back in boy scout summer camp). This allows me to bear more of the weight with either arm and I'm always ready to fire by just raising butt to my shoulder and lifting my left (off) elbow.

I have sometimes placed a condom (or balloon) over muzzle to keep moisture/dirt outa bore. Got the tip from my uncle the green beret.

January 13, 2003, 11:17 AM
I don't have a "sling" on my deer rifle, I have a "carrying strap" that happens to be wide and padded. I only have a real sling on my highpower rifle. I carry my rifle while hunting, usually at port arms, muzzle down (shotgun style) or in a carbine carry of sorts. I only sling the rifle when I am leaving the woods. I carry all of my rifles loaded with the safety on.

January 13, 2003, 01:55 PM
I carry and employ my rifle exactly like Greybeard described.

My preferred slings are 1907 and Ching slings. But hopefully I'll be able to get my hands on one of Eric Ching's new Safari slings soon...

January 13, 2003, 11:43 PM
Thanks for all the replies.

I asked because I carry my rifles muzzle down with the padded portion of the sling at the butt of the stock like Greybeard describes and I did not know if this was a common practice or not.

Once I am in hunting territory I carry chambered and safety on too.

I have devised a little leather strap that affirmatively holds the bolt down as I have had a couple of times of traversing rough territory where the damm bolt came open and tossed a round or was about too. Flicks right off with my safety finger so it does not interfere with a second shot too much.

If anyone wants to post some pictures of using a ching sling or a tactical sling for an AR I would love to see em. I can not visualize how one is used when I look at a picture of a sling by itself.

It would be nice to find a sling that accomodates a muzzle down carry while allowing a quick shouldering too.

January 14, 2003, 12:26 AM
When I carry the muzzle up I do so because where I hunt there is as much debri to navigate thru as there is tree limbs and many times these things are worse than the tree branches. I simply rotate the stock forward a little to where the bbl misses the limbs. I also am not fond of possibly packing the muzzel with mud if I happen to slip or having it beat to heck on a rocky surface.

January 14, 2003, 09:24 AM
A couple of things that I might mention.

The American carry system is strong side shoulder, muzzle up.
The African carry system is weak side shoulder, muzzle down.

In the art of the rifle by Jeff Cooper there are great photos and illustrations of how to un- sling your rifle.There is also a great section on sling selection and the differences in a sling and a carry strap.

And to the guy who has a carry strap with extra rounds on it I would suggest you not weigh down your carry strap and substitute a butt cuff on your stock. Weighing down the carry strap can throw the rifles balance off and cause a shot to go wild.

Good luck!

Art Eatman
January 14, 2003, 02:30 PM
Let's don't get hung up on nomenclature. That strap on an M1 or M2 Carbine, according to the military's manuals, is spelled S-L-I-N-G. That equivalent dealie on a Springfield or a Garand is also spelled S-L-I-N-G. I think it's obvious that the latter sling is useful for more stuff than is the former.

Don't forget there is a useful system called the "hasty sling".

:D, Art

January 14, 2003, 04:27 PM
Yeah, but with a 2-3" wide padded, bulky leather carrying strap, "hasty sling" ain't very hasty :D

January 14, 2003, 05:29 PM
all things ching:

tactical sling:

January 14, 2003, 08:01 PM

Since when did the military ever use jargon that made sense?:)

A sling is a device that attaches to the rifle for use as a shooting aid.

A carry strap is a device that attaches to the rifle for use of transporting a gun over long distances over your shoulder.


January 14, 2003, 10:32 PM
Speaking of "nomenclature", some drug stores carry what I think are called "finger cots". They look like minature condoms and cost around about a dime a copy. Like balloons or tape mentioned before, they work great for keeping mud, snow, little critters and such out of muzzle. Best part tho is, when done with one, flipping it to a teenager and saying "Here. Hang on to this. It's probably about your size." ;)

January 15, 2003, 12:32 AM
One of the other reasons I was asking about this is that I noticed as I was walking along that unless I was paying constant attention that the muzzle would occasionally point at my foot of calf. The issue of stuffing the muzzle full of mud or dirt also crossed my mind a time or two.

The thought of an accident in the wilderness really bothered me.

So after looking at the tactical sling I am going to get one for my AR. There is some side attach hardware that will make that a worthwhile purchase.

But I also ran down to REI tonight and bought 9 dollars worth of 2 inch webbing, a buckle and four triglide keepers.

My Savage .17 now has a new sling. I relocated the swivel studs to the side and center of the stock and the side and center of the fore arm and mounted a sling that allows me to carry it pointed down, in front of me, with the muzzle always pointed in a safe (ie never at me) direction, I can turn loose of the rifle if I need both hands and shouldering it is just a matter of bringing it up. The bolt and safety are also carried away from my body so there is no issue with opening the bolt or inadvertently knocking the safety off.

My hats off to gun-fucious as this is exactly what I needed:D

January 15, 2003, 01:11 AM
Muzzle UP! with nothing chambered and no safety.

Just Rack the bolt and go! Must ALWAYS be certain that you in fact don't! chamber round #1 doing this. I learned to do this with an Arisaka Based sporter!

Arisaka = CRAPPY Safety!

Art Eatman
January 15, 2003, 08:03 AM
Seems to me that circumstances and type of rifle affect how one carries. Once again, there ain't no one-size-fits-all deal. At one time or another I guess I've tried 'em all. Heck, in a multi-mile walking hunt I'll use 'em all! (Dunno why the Army thought my right shoulder was indestructible!)

Poodleshooter, when Ol' Bucky jumps and runs, the last thing I'm thinking of is a sling. Bolt closed, crosshairs, lead, Bang!, flop.


January 16, 2003, 04:24 PM
Ok when I did some hunting with a rifle I used what Art described as a sling, a non -padded leather one. Muzzle up , round chambered, safety on. I too would change to 'port' or heck have that sucker ready to shoulder. Yes I was taught to use sling with left forearm to steady...but I knew my range limits...I wasnt going for style points/braggin' rights...I was going for meat.:D

Muzzle protected by electrical tape, handy, cheap...'sides found this to be good afield for broken stocks, first aid., general repair...just kept a roll in field pack, still do.

January 17, 2003, 08:44 PM
African carry, weak side, left hand making sure the muzzle is pointed safely. As Greybeard said, its a fast mount to your shoulder if you practice.

However, MOST times when I'm in the woods the rifle is in my hands. I've carried it in left or right, or cradled in the crook of my arm. Why is this? The FIRST time you see a running buck your rifle will be, no doubt, slung over your shoulder.

Course I've been known to carry it across my shoulders MG-style just to let my arms relax a little.

I use a real leather GI sniper sling, and I mount it "hasty sling" style when antelope hunting. Truthfully, while elk hunting you rarely have time to get fancy in heavy timber.. but its nice to know how to use a sling when overlooking a hidden meadow or "private park"

January 17, 2003, 09:35 PM
Hunting in Northern Maine involves crossing a lot of thickets, rocks, broken ground, and fences. I only sling my rifle when I need 2 hands to traverse terrain. When I do, it's muzzle up if things are clear, and muzzle down if it's raining/snowing. I do use the sling to steady the rifle when taking a shot.

January 25, 2003, 10:58 AM
Most of my hunting is for groundhogs in clear walking areas. Because I am constantly using my binoculars carrying with a sling is a must. I usually us the African carry, weak side, muzzle down. It is amazingly quick to get the gun to shoulder. But when in the woods deer hunting I us the American carry, strong side, muzzle up. It isn't as quick to shoulder but much less prone to get mud, snow or sticks in your barrel.

Johnny Guest
January 29, 2003, 04:55 PM
I like to use a shooting sling of some kind. I've become very fond of the Ching sling on my Savage Scout.

Usually do the "African Carry," other things being equal. But I go muzzle up when carrying on right side. I learned about traversing steep slopes, with or without trails, some time ago: Carry rifle on downslope side. That way, if you begin to fall, your unemcumbered side is nearer the hill. You can put out your empty hand without rifle crashing into the slope. (If there is ONE rock or stone on an otherwise leafy mountainside, my scope will seek it out!!!)

I do believe the rifle carried in the two hands, or in the crook of the arm, is the way to be ready for a quick shot. But, in open country, I spend a lot of time using binoculars, and it is handy to sling the rifle while doing so.


January 30, 2003, 01:52 PM
I usually carry my rifle in my hands sans sling in the hunting grounds with a sling in my pack. When I'm just travelling I carry the rifle slung over my strong shoulder muzzle up.

I also have an orginal safari sling that works real good and I'll use it ocasionally while hunting non dangerous game.

On dangerous game I always take the sling off the rifle when there is any chance of action. I just feel that it's just one more get killed switch that someone doesn't need hanging off their rifle and snaging on some piece of brush or stick or rock or whatever.

I always carry chambered with a safety on but only if it is a mauser type action with a sear block or some other type sear blocking action. NEVER NEVER NEVER carry a modern Remington chambered. And never allow people around you to do so with said rifle. The only thing between you and the great beyond is about .002 engagment on the trigger and sear with any trigger block safety.

I just won't trust them and have seen them misfire on safety release on two occasions.

January 30, 2003, 03:17 PM
Rifle with plain sling. Stock of the rifle has one of those strap-on cheek-rests with cartridge loops and a zippered pocket. Extra rounds in the cartridge loops, and also extra rounds in a ziplock bag in the zippered pocket. In the rifle magazine, there are 4 additional rounds, and one is in the chamber, with the safety on. Thats about 15 rounds or so. Over the muzzle is a small balloon, just in case something wants to crawl into or seep into the barrel during the rain.

Rifle is at 'port arms' when doing most of the walking on level ground. Its slung when climbing or walking down and I might need my hands to balance or reach up.

Hmm.... safety on a Rem700 is not that good, eh? Might need to rethink my routine here.

Art Eatman
January 30, 2003, 04:57 PM
From early years, I was raised to not trust the safety on any weapon. So, I mostly keep the bolt-handle up and a round in the chamber--particularly if I'm sitting or carrying the rifle in my hands. On many rifles, it's quieter to gently close the bolt than to have the safety go "snick".

Now, on some rifles, the bolt is just too smoothly finished, and walking with the muzzle up and the bolt-handle up means a lost cartridge. These, I tend to use the safety.

There ain't no "always".


Vern Humphrey
January 30, 2003, 05:37 PM
I put a piece of plastic electrician's tape over the muzzle to keep snow and mud out (I keep a roll in each rifle case.)

For just hiking, I sling on the shoulder, butt down. If I sling the rifle while actually hunting, I sling it from the left shoulder, horizontal to the ground, muzzle forward, hand on the forearm.

Many times I hunt where you need both hands to get up or down a steep place -- then I sling the rifle across my back.

I like a sling with a suede patch, or I put dots of "shoe goo" on the sling -- to keep it from slipping while on the shoulder.

February 9, 2003, 06:39 PM
when stalking, or still hunting, I tighten up the sling, and carry thie rifle in my right hand, or across my left forearm. If going from point A to point B, especially if it is before light, or at dusk, and the hunting is either not started or over, then the rifle is unloaded, slung behind my right shoulder , muzzle up. If I am up in a tree stand, the sling is off the QD Swivels, and laying on the ground or in a gear sack slung from a limb.

If you enjoyed reading about "Hunting With Your Rifle On a Sling" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!