Rifle Slings

Rifle slings are not really a necessity when hunting in the African bush. However, they are useful on occasions when you are walking very long distances and carrying your rifle without a sling may overtire your arms. If you do need to shoot with tired arm muscles, it may cause shaking when it comes to aiming.

  • The way you sling your rifle depends on whether you have an intention of shooting anything at the time and how adept you are at getting from the carry position and into the firing position. Practice makes perfect, as always.
  • A carrying strap or sling can be used to carry the rifle over either shoulder, muzzle up or muzzle down. This frees the hunter's hands for using binoculars, climbing, crawling, holding branches out of the way etc.
  • In the rain it is handy to sling the rifle muzzle down over the off shoulder. This keeps the rifle as dry as possible, particularly the inside of the barrel. Another advantage of this barrel down position is that the rifle may be brought up to shooting position quickly.
  • Rifles with very long barrels should not be carried muzzle down if there is danger of pushing the muzzle into the ground and plugging the barrel. This is particularly worth noting when walking down hill.
  • A properly used sling can be an aid to shooting steadiness. Read the African Hunter Magazine article 'Taking A Rest' by Ganyana.

Rifle Slings When Hunting Dangerous Game

  • Preferably do not use a rifle sling at all - keep it in your pocket.
  • If you have to shoot quickly and accurately under pressure, you can easily become tangled up in the strap and lose time trying to detach your quick detachable swivels when all your fingers have turned into thumbs.
  • Never use a rifle sling in a wounded dandgerous game follow-up.

Choosing A Rifle Sling

Rifle slings usually come in widths from 1 inch to 2 inches and are adjustable for length. The heavier the rifle, the wider the sling should be for comfort. They are usually made of leather, synthetic webbing material such as nylon or closely-woven canvas.

If you buy a new leather rifle sling, break it in like your hunting boots, so it is comfortable before arriving on safari.

(Click on images for full details & colour options)

This Leatherman Universal Rifle Sling is made of leather. The end straps fasten to any rifle or shotgun without using swivels. One end slides over the butt of the stock and attaches around the wrist of the gun like a slip knot. The other end grips the muzzle and doesn't interfere with the use of sights. Buy Now


You'll tire less and hunt better when you carry your rifle with a Safari Sling. The 2" wide strap enhances comfort and hands-free carry. The sling allows you to shoot directly from the carry position. It is made of strong 100% synthetic webbing and adjusts easily with one hand. Buy Now


Fitting & Using A Safari Sling

This Hunter Company rifle sling is in the 'cobra' style and made of buffalo leather with heavy duty stitching. Fits 1" swivels. Buy Now

This Vero Vellini rifle sling has a slip-proof finish on the contact patch of the sling. It is available in camo, green and black in durable nylon for maximum wear. Buy Now

This padded rifle sling is super-comfortable and allows rapid, one-handed adjustment to extend, shorten or set into place. There are no buckles, hooks or fasteners. Comes fully assembled with detachable, quick-release swivels. Buy Now

Rifle Slings Recommended Reading

Leather Sling And Shooting Positions

Leather Sling And Shooting Positions by James Owens (1996) imparts valuable and effective knowledge on how to master the essential shooting positions and sling usage. Follow a four-step program to shooting positions, the likes of which you have never seen before. Learn to assemble and adjust the leather sling in the same method taught by the Marine Corps Team. As an added bonus, receive a five-step theory that could increase your off-hand three to ten points. 2014 Kindle Version

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