A few Good Men


January 23, 2008, 07:42 AM
Actually looking for a DI that can describe exactly the proper use of the rifle sling when in a standing position.

Just how should the sling be wrapped around the elbow, and should the right elbow be parallel with the ground, at a 45 degree angle? How about posture, slight lean forward with most weight on front foot. I know the posture/position is different for different weapons, so I'm concerned with a 40" long barrel rifle.


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Steve in PA
January 23, 2008, 08:15 AM
Not a DI, but I've had a lot of experience with them, and shooting.

When I was in the USMC the sling is NOT used in the standing position during qualifications.

The following is from the USMC Rifle Marksmanship Manual MCRP 3-1A which seems to include the sling. The manual is dated 23 Feb 1999, so maybe they allow it now.

5008. Standing Position
a. Description. The standing position is the quickest position to assume and the easiest to maneuver from. It allows greater mobility than other positions. The standing position is often used for immediate combat engagement. The standing position is supported by the shooter's legs and feet and provides a small area of contact with the ground. In addition, the body's center of
gravity is high above the ground. Therefore, maintaining balance is critical in this position.

b. Standing Position with the Hasty Sling. Apply the seven factors to this position (paragraph 5003c). To assume the standing position with the hasty sling (see figure 5-40):

Figure 5-40. Standing Position with Hasty Sling.

* Square your body to the target.
* Spread your feet apart to a comfortable distance with the left foot slightly in front of the right foot. This distance may be wider than shoulder width.
* Distribute your weight evenly over both feet and hips. Your legs should be slightly bent for balance. Balance will shift forward slightly to decrease recovery time and increase the stability of the hold.
* Place your left hand under the handguard.
* Grasp the pistol grip with your right hand and pull back to place the rifle butt in your right shoulder pocket. Apply rearward pressure with your right hand to hold the rifle butt in your shoulder.
* Hold your right elbow in a natural position.
* Bring the rifle sights up to eye level instead of lowering your head to the sights and place your cheek firmly against the stock. Ensure your head is erect so the aiming eye can look through the rear sight aperture.
* Move your left hand to a location under the handguard which allows the sling to support the weapon and the front sight to be centered in the rear sight aperture. To adjust for elevation:
* Move the left hand rearward or forward on the handguards (moving the hand rearward elevates the muzzle).
* Open or close the V of the left hand for small adjustments (closing the V elevates the muzzle).
* To adjust for a cant in the rifle, rotate the handguard left or right in the V formed by the thumb and forefinger.
* Adjust your position to adjust sling tension. Moving your left elbow out tightens the sling.

January 23, 2008, 08:30 AM
There is your problem.....looking for a DI when you should be looking for someone from the Marksmanship Unit.... or a plain Jane NRA or CMP rifle instructor, type civilian, one each.

Basically the use fo the hasty sling in the standing position has been found not as effective as once thought and the only real advantage may be that it ties up the sling to keep it from swinging.

Looped Slings are great for prone Kneeling or sitting (maybe even the unofficial but popular "rice paddy prone" or squat), but the hasty sling even has problems there.

WHen using a sling such as a loop sling from the prone the rifle should lay directly over the non firing wrist AND elbow. How far forward or back the non firing hand needs to be is a matter of what works for you, your sling and your rifle.

The firing elbow is another item of prefernce from the stand. Some find that for them elbow tucked all the way down agaisnt the ribs works best WHile others mount with the elbow as high as posible and everything in between.

Many vary the firing elbow higth in the stand to fit the type of weapon forinstance when shooting a .22 Rimfire (KKW) they may use an exagerated high elbow, but for more powerful rifes use a much lower elbow.

As always, taking a simple NRA 12 hour basic rifle course would answer most of your questions.....take one.

-Bob Hollingsworth

January 23, 2008, 08:53 AM
Thanks Bob, I like it... straight forward advice that is useful.. Since NRA HQ is just down the block from me I'll stop in and sign up for the next course.


January 23, 2008, 09:10 AM
Since NRA HQ is just down the block from me I'll stop in and sign up for the next course.

Most (all?) NRA instructors operate independently. HQ may be able to give you a list of instructors and possibly even courses in your area (that would surprise me). You'll then have to contact that instructor to sign up.

The Basic Rifle course at its most core level really doesn't get into slings and their proper use...it is lightly covered but not detailed. Since I believe in the sling, I emphasize it more...that's up to the specific instructor. THe Basic Course, while good, is really set up for the person who has litte/no rifle experience.

Another EXCELLENT way to get good instruction on the proper use of slings and iron sights is to attend an Appleseed event. I learned more at the 2 Appleseeds I've been to than any other venue.

January 23, 2008, 09:19 AM
You should also look into the Appleseed Project. (http://www.appleseedinfo.org/) They host two-day rifle training seminars for an extremely modest cost. The instructors are all top-notch, and the course is designed for everyone from beginners to experienced riflemen. The training you get in two days is worth far more than what you pay.

January 23, 2008, 10:47 AM
Another variation, tuck your left elbow into the side of your chest with your palm up to make a rest for your rifle. If this is comfortable it adds the support of your body to the arm.

Semper Fi.

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