When did sling studs come about and what came before them?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Scout21, Sep 28, 2022.

  1. Scout21

    Scout21 Member

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    I'm wondering when sling studs became commonplace on rifles. To be specific I'm talking about the simple and ubiquitous screw-in ones with a hole through the tops(pictured below). They've been around for many, many years and I'm curious when they were invented. I suspect that the inletted types (also pictured below) that are on the Winchester Model 70 Supergrade came before the modern sling stud, but that's just a guess. Anyone have any idea?

    Swivel-Studs-PACK-OF-2.jpg WINCHESTER-PRE-1964-MODEL-70-SUPER-GRADE-FRONT-SWIVEL-010-SM.jpg
     
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  2. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    One example.
    upload_2022-9-28_21-40-59.jpeg
     
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  3. Scout21

    Scout21 Member

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    Didn't even think of military rifles, to be honest, I was thinking more commercial rifles.
     
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  4. courtgreene

    courtgreene Member

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    I don’t know why I never thought to ask but now I’m fascinated. I can’t wait to see the answers.
     
  5. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    I think I recall that Uncle Mike’s invented the type of studs you have in the OP photo. Uncle Mike’s went into business in 1947.
     
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  6. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    Oops​
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2022
  7. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Interesting - I’ve never really thought about this before, but I suppose observationally, I would think it was not so many years ago that rifles simply didn’t come from factory with any sling accommodations. And by “not so many” I mean, Elder Millennials can have bought rifles legally in a time when the majority didn’t come with studs. Kinda on the same stroke as “base model” vehicles coming standard with power windows - sling studs as standard features is kind of a new development. I started apprenticing under a (now passed and no longer local) local gunsmith around 1998/99, and when I moved to college and hung my own shingle, a Kleinendorst drill centering jig was one of my first purchases for my “shop,” because it was so common to have stud installation projects come to the door, and they were fast, easy, made relatively good return ($20 for around 10min of work), and spurred repeat customership for larger work, which would have been late 2002/early ‘03.

    Certainly, many military rifles have had sling accommodations for many, many years; generations even, but for commercial sporting arms, I would venture sometime in the last 20yrs was the tipping point that swivel studs became standard equipment.

    Some sporting arms DID seem to come with fixed sling loops before that era, but I wouldn’t have said they were common.

    So my vote is that “nothing” is the answer to “what came before the swivel stud?”
     
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  8. Mosin77

    Mosin77 Member

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    I’ll just throw in that military arms have had sling attachment points for hundreds of years, and that the Winchester option in the original post is very similar to what became standard in 1870-1945 on many countries’ bolt action military rifles -a nicely milled raised plate held in by screws. The stud is obviously a lot easier to install aftermarket, while the Winchester option requires someone to inlet it so the plate can fit flush with the stock.
     
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  9. David Hoback

    David Hoback member

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    These are the evolution of the detachable sling swivel which was invented by Preston Mckinsie. These later advancements continued the name, and resulting, you no doubt have heard these referred to as “Sling Swivel Studs”. But tracing an inventor or first use of each is about impossible.

    https://patents.google.com/patent/US2480662A/en
     
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  10. lysanderxiii

    lysanderxiii Member

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    The studs came with these.

    16UMIUMCHMKSWVLSPGUA?qlt=70&wid=600&fmt=pjpeg.jpg
     
  11. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    You're probably talking patent search for a solid date, but I can say that the QD-type sling loop appeared before WWI. The Imperial German Gewehr 98 used this one:

    Gewehr98QDSlingSwivel.jpg Gewehr98QDSlingSwivel02.jpg
     
  12. lysanderxiii

    lysanderxiii Member

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    The simple screw-in stud with a cross hole is much cheaper and much faster to assemble onto a stock than the inletted sling swivel shown in the OP. This is the reason it has eclipsed all other sling attachment methods for the most part.

    The "Uncle Mike's" type loop is basically a copy of the German design that goes back to at least 1888 when it shows up on the Commission Rifles.
     
  13. gwpercle

    gwpercle Member

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    After WWII ... Fixed slings and swivels were the norm untill Uncle Mike's started marketing a Quick Detachable sling swivel ... now you could remove the sling and store the rifle without the sling attached . The swivels stayed on the sling and the rifle had the studs . Even this was later improved . Prior to QD sling swivels & studs the sling stayed in place with the rifle ... no quick way to remove it . Uncle Mike's may not have invented the QD sling swivel and studs but they sure did make it popular and affordable for the average every day American hunter .
    The Date of 1947 sounds about right for Uncle Mike's .
    All of the longarms owned by my Father and Grand-Father (pre 1947) not a one had any kind of sling . My first rifle to get a sling and QD mounts was a Ruger 10/22 bought in 1971 and it had no way of mounting a sling ... Uncle Mike made a front and rear QD mount that I installed .
    Gary
     
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  14. 0ne3

    0ne3 Member

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    In 1966, I bought my first rifle. It was a new Remington 700 BDL .243. It had a QD swivels and a sling. Uncle Mike's name is not on the QD swivels.
     
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  15. westernrover

    westernrover Member

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    The pre-64 Model 70's had studs and rings from the factory, even if you look at the pre-war versions. Before that, we did have mostly sporterized or re-purposed military rifles like the Mausers, so it wouldn't be surprising the see slings on those. Go back even farther and we have things like the Model 94 for hunters. That one wasn't a bolt-action, but could be slung with a barrel band and either a leather strap around the buttstock or the sling attached to the trigger guard. Similarly, the Trapdoor Springfield (originating as a military rifle again), could be slung with a barrel band and to a stud on the rear.

    We could also look at early metallic cartridge British and German single and double hunting rifles in Africa and India before the widespread adoption of sporterized Mausers. In this video, a few examples of old 8-bore and 4-bore rifles are shown. Some of them appear to have the same style stud we see today and with a barrel band. Others here appear to have a larger round button stud. A leather strap with a slot in it could be slipped over the button and the leather would pivot on the stud without the need for a ring or other swivel -- very much like a guitar strap. The strap would be fixed length or need an independent length adjustment.



    Slings would be popular for infantry or hunters on foot, but if we go back far enough, hunters were more likely to be on horseback, except in Imperial Africa and India where there were servants to carry the rifles. In America, a Winchester 1873 was more likely to be in a scabbard than over a shoulder. People in the muzzleloader section could probably answer in more detail about how flintlock smoothbores and trade muskets were slung or not.
     
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  16. BushMaster-15

    BushMaster-15 Member

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    Interesting topic : I for one remember seeing a Nitro DBL Rifle in one of the African books ,which had a Barrel clamp swivel do dad and a leather Butt-stock over the end and up part way on left side . There was two point strap ,from the Toe to the barrel . The reason I remember it was it's cartridges were on the side of the butt stock ,similar to today's ammo Bandolier .
    Found this interesting read : https://truewestmagazine.com/article/rifle-packin-in-the-old-west-4/

    A horsebacker also relied on the above methods, especially cradling the gun in his arms. Being mounted gave him an advantage already, so his long rifle often rested between him and the pommel (front fork) of the saddle. A rider who carried a firearm with considerable wear in the fore-end section of the stock had likely logged in many hours in the saddle.

    Evidence of two modes of gun carry by a single individual is provided by an excerpt from the chronicles of 19th-century Westerner William E. Webb. During his 1868 venture across the plains, Webb carried his recently acquired .44 rimfire “New Model Henry” carbine, better known today as the 1866 Model Winchester, by utilizing its shoulder strap and also dropping it across the saddle. He wrote, “I became very fond of a carbine combining the Henry and Kings patents. It weighed but seven and one-half pounds and could be fired rapidly 12 times without replenishing the magazine. Hung by a strap to the shoulder, this weapon can be dropped across the saddle in front and held there very firmly by a slight pressure of the body … and with little practice, the magazine of the gun may be refilled without checking the horse. So light is this Henry and King weapon that I have often held it out with one hand like a pistol and fired.”

    Some fur trappers and early explorers carried their longarms encased in a soft cloth or skin-type covering. These scabbards were often made of deer, elk, moose or some other Western animal’s hide. The skin was tanned soft so that it was flimsy and cloth-like, with the hair usually removed. Then beadwork, colored cloth strips or panels and fringe would be added for decorative purposes. Trade blankets were sometimes sewn into colorful rifle cases, as was almost anything else that would serve the purpose of protecting the gun from the harsh elements of the frontier.

    Slings, which are so common today, surprisingly saw little use in the Old West. Some frontiersmen made homemade versions out of buckskin, strap leather or heavy cloth, which were simply tied around the stock and barrel to form a crude sling. For horseback use, rifles with slings were generally carried in a diagonal position, with the sling passing over one shoulder and under the opposite arm. This allowed the horseman to ride comfortably with the slung rifle or shotgun held securely, but clear of the saddle.

    Few American rifles were made with sling swivels in those days, and most of those were produced for the military. The New Haven Arms Co.’s Henry rifle of the 1860s is one notable exception. Some Henry repeaters were manufactured with sling swivels and were reportedly offered as the firm’s military model. A few surviving Henrys with what appears to be proper period-type slings have been noted, but such leather attachments are quite rare.

    The Spencer seven-shot repeating carbine was produced with a sling swivel in the stock, but oddly, no provision for a sling was added to the fore-end section. This is because the company saved money by using one stock for both its rifles and carbines. The carbines were also fitted with the traditional cavalry-type carbine sling slide and ring, found alongside the gun’s left side of the receiver. Some users rigged up homemade straps for use with these carbines, depending on what models were being turned out by the factory at the time.

    Commercially-made saddle scabbards, which are so commonly associated with the Western horseman both then and now, made their first appearance around the same time as the metallic-cartridge firearms. These longarms were generally shorter, lighter and much easier to handle, and their sleek lines made them more suitable to use in the saddle.

    While some saddle-attached scabbards existed in the pre-Civil War years of the muzzleloader, such scabbards were usually the product of individual efforts. The lore, firearms and equipment of the American frontier reveals little evidence, in the way of existing specimens or photographic or illustrative proof, of their issue before the era of metallic cartridge arms. The few specimens noted were employed by the military during the Civil War, and again, those were homemade saddle scabbards, not commercially-produced models.
     
  17. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Member

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    Winchester did it this way for some time. The following picture is from a 1950's vintage Model 88. My 1964 Model 70 had the same setup:

    thumbnail_IMG_20220930_091328489.jpg

    The part of the swivel that goes into the stock is threaded and is screwed into a nut that fits in a recess inletted on the inside of the stock. If it isn't turned all of the way clockwise, it can spin. Too far in, it will get tight, too far CCW and it falls out of the rifle. I've had the latter happen once, and it is a traumatic experience.
     
  18. BushMaster-15

    BushMaster-15 Member

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    Yep those were known as threadsert * barrel studs or sling studs . External aggressive male wood threads with finer internal female thread so that a swing swivel could be attached to toe and forearm . Does anyone have and old enough gun ,that actually has a barrel band swivel ?. They predated sling or post studs . * Threadserts are frequently used for all manner of joinery ,KD aka knockdown furniture is ripe with them . Other types are common place with regard to fabrication work aka as Nut certs and Rivnut or Rivetnut .
    I'll look at some of My older rifles when I return . Wasn't even aware these were still available .

    https://grovtec.com/products/420-470-diameter-two-piece-band
     
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  19. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    Mossberg used detachable swivels as early as 1936 which are rarely present on used rifles. They were a simple steel raised band like a footman loop with a keyed center that allowed for capture of the sling swivel.

    More fragile than the Uncle Mike’s set up but required no inletting.


    633B455A-0592-4C61-8ECD-D9B3BDD369EB.jpeg


    Hard to recall which rifles I’ve purchased that did not include studs but I do remember fitting my 1993 Marlin with a set and nothing of that vintage I own from 1986 till mid-1990s had provisions for them.

    I used to think the little b&w dot in Marlin stocks was a designated spot for stud placement and that gunsmiths somehow always missed their mark, but discovered later that this was a feature designating a walnut stock. Those dots also helped you pick out the Marlins when staring at a rack full of rifles.
     
  20. Bcwitt

    Bcwitt Member

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    I have one like that made of brass. I did not realize that was how it attached.
     
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  21. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    On sporting rifles, studs or sling mounts were included with some model guns of an upper grade.

    I've seen Marlins from that era with no studs, but still with the bullseye for walnut. Then I've seen others with sling studs like what came with my 39AS (per my records, I bought new on Feb. 4, 1994).

    View attachment 1106416

    I was looking at a 1970s era Glenfield 75 the other day, and it had what appeared to be factory included studs/loops. For an economy line of guns, that's a nice feature.

    An example.
    View attachment 1106417
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2022
  22. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip Member

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    The saddle ring used on cavalry carbines seems to have bee used much like our single point slings today.
    Moon
     
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  23. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Very good question about sling swivels. I know swivel loops have been around since the flintlock era but sling swivels are another animal. Have to look at old books and catalogs and magazines for the answer.

    Checked the Lyman Centennial Book and it's not listed. I'm looking specifically for a sling swivel stud and someone above said Uncle Mike may have invented them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2022
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