Across-the front carry, cnt.


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Cosmoline
June 10, 2003, 01:46 PM
I've continued to use and refine the across-the-front carry. I posted on this a while back, but thought I would update. My idea came from old pictures of German soldiers during WWI carrying their long Mausers barrel-up across the front. The weight distribution is great with this method, but it's tough to get it up to the shoulder very quickly.

My idea is to flip the rifle around, muzzle down, and hook the front end of the strap to a lock-jaw snap like this one:

http://www.huntsmart.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/displayleaf/sid/101231232423726442907/lh/h-0,c-24,s-143,s-262,l-424/pos/5

The back end of the strap is fixed to the rifle and acts as a lanyard when the front is unhooked. The method is natural for older C&R rifles with side-mounted slings. With more modern rifles I use a combination of leather straps and brass rings to allow for a side mount.

The method works well with all but the longest rifles. The buttplate should come up to just beneath and to the right of the chin, and the muzzle should be pointing down and off to the left side (or right, if left-handed rifle is used). The action is right in front of you. To release you simply click the lock jaw snap with your left hand, at the same time chambering a round with your right. The rifle is under a bit of tension, and will spring up when released. Your left hand then brings it up, and it should shoulder without further adjustment. It's by far the fastest "draw" of any rifle setup, esp. since you chamber as you pull the rifle up, not in a second action once the rifle is up. It's even faster than a pistol in a standard holster, and has the advantage of always keeping the rifle between you and what you're dealing with. As a side benefit, the buttplate makes a natural rest for binoculars.

I've taken a variety of rifles on fairly long hikes up mountains and through rough country. The only big problem has come with rifles that have complex front sights, since these can catch on branches. The perceived weight is easily half what it is when the rifle is riding on the shoulder or even in a backpack.

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