Due to the nature of my work I tend to run slings pretty roughly and as a result, I tend to change them out relatively often. When my last sling started showing wear and tear, I patched it up and kept moving with it because I was just not going to spend $40 on another sling. It wasn't until my rifle completely came off the hook and made friends with the dirt that I decided that enough was enough and I needed a new sling. The search began.
Low price; quality; features - everything I came across was lacking in one of these traits and so the only choice left was to make my own. Besides, who knows more about what I want in a sling than me. I did my research, drew up a sketch, and ordered the components.
The result more than exceeded even my expectations! From setup to completion was about four hours, with plenty of learning in-between. I'm pretty confident though, that I could complete another one in under an hour.
Step 1: Nuts & Bolts
• Rotary Cutter (or Scissors)
• Sewing Machine (or Hand Needles)
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• 1.5" MultiCam Webbing - $10
• 1.5" D-Ring - $0.59
• 2 - 1.5" Triglides - $0.98
• 2 - 1.25" MASH Hooks - $6.50
• (optional) Heavy Duty Thread - $8.49
• (optional) Grip Tape - $9.99
Shipping & Handling = $6 (roughly)
Total Cost: $24.07 (or $42.55 w/ optional items)
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I went with plastic hardware but feel free to upgrade to sturdier metal ones.
There are some ways to bring the final price down if you're cost-conscious:
• Find what you can locally and save on shipping
• Use 1" webbing and matching size hardware
• Use webbing of a different color, MultiCam is expensive
• Buy a smaller spool of thread or use what you have lying around
• Instead of fancy grip tape - consider clear tape, or color duct tape
Step 2: Conception
Don't worry, I've taken care of the hard part for you! My measurements are ideal whether you're 100 lbs or 230 lbs wearing a plate carrier.
When I was drawing it up, I wanted it to be able to transform from a one-point (my favorite!) to a two-point (for slinging across the back) quickly and securely. I've used everything from webbing attachments to HK hooks, and I find MASH hooks to be the most ideal in terms of security, quality and price.
Step 3: Cutting & Playing With Fire
We will be cutting two sections of webbing. The first section will be 9.5 inches long and this will be used for the first loop. The second section will be 53 inches long and this makes up the rest of the sling; the second loop.
Once cut, melt all the rough edges of the webbing with a lighter so that they don't fray. Run it across the edges for a few seconds at a time.
Step 4: The First Loop
Loop the small piece of webbing around one of the MASH hooks and through the D-Ring. Overlap the edges and ensure it is 1.5 inches from edge to edge. Staple over the overlapped pieces.
Hint: Staple close to the center so that later on when we begin to stitch around the edges, there won't be a lull due to having to stop and remove the staples.
Step 5: Starting the Second Loop
Begin the second loop by wrapping the large piece of webbing around the center of one of the triglides and pulling it through about two inches. Staple.
Grab the long end and run it through the D-Ring of the first loop.
Step 6: The Triglides
Run the long piece of webbing through the ends of the triglide we attached at the prior step.
Hint: Ensure there are no twists in the webbing. If there are, go back through the D-Ring and consider how it must go through so that it flows freely.
Next, we will continue running the webbing through the ends of a second triglide.
Step 7: Closing the Second Loop
Run the webbing through a second MASH hook and then through the center of the second triglide. Pull it through about two inches and staple it.
Now that the final piece is stapled, you can play with the sling and ensure that everything looks and functions how it should. Feel free to contact me if you run into any issues.
Step 8: Stitching
We will be stitching a box with an X in the center anywhere where we've stapled fabric.
First, stitch four lines touching, creating the shape of a box. Then, remove the staples and stitch two more lines in the center in the shape of an X.
You should have three boxes.
Hint: For added security, stitch each line forward, then stitch in reverse all the way to the beginning, and finally stitch forward again.
Step 9: Completion
One final piece of advice: MASH hooks might damage the finish on your rifle with the constant metal-on-metal banging. You can prevent this by wrapping the MASH hooks with tape. Personally, I like to use grip tape.
When you've made your own, please feel free to share with me!