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Barrel Band Sling-Swivels and Point of Impact

This is a discussion on Barrel Band Sling-Swivels and Point of Impact within the Firearms & Ammunition forums, part of the HUNTING EQUIPMENT, FIREARMS & AMMUNITION category; I've always been curious about the advantage of a barrel band sling swivel as opposed to one on the stock. ...

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    Default Barrel Band Sling-Swivels and Point of Impact

    I've always been curious about the advantage of a barrel band sling swivel as opposed to one on the stock. It appears questionable to me, it seems that whenever a sling is slung around the left arm to stabilize the rifle, it would put pressure on the barrel, acting like a contact point. Wouldn't this affect acoustics and potentially change the rifle's point of impact?

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    Barrel band sling swivels are traditional. Certain classic look/style rifles must have them otherwise they do not conform to "the look". You are entirely right about the way they mess up the accuracy and harmonics. It depends on which is more important to the owner: Practicality or how it looks.

    Both are valid and fits a need.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThreeEyedCubanWalkingMushroom View Post
    I've always been curious about the advantage of a barrel band sling swivel as opposed to one on the stock. It appears questionable to me, it seems that whenever a sling is slung around the left arm to stabilize the rifle, it would put pressure on the barrel, acting like a contact point. Wouldn't this affect acoustics and potentially change the rifle's point of impact?
    In a word, yes. But the question then becomes "will sling placement / tension affect the intended shot?"

    Whether one likes the aesthetics or not, sling attachments were and are put on the barrels (in front of the stock) to protect your off-hand from being impacted by them under recoil. It's that simple, that's why you see them on many big-bore custom "safari express" rifles. These rifles are designed to be fired primarily off-hand at shorter ranges. Using a quick-sling to help stabilize these shots won't affect the point-of-impact (POI) enough to matter at these ranges, especially with their big, thick barrels.

    Putting the studs on the stock can also be detrimental to accuracy when firing with the tight or quick-sling methods (one of my favorites) if the stock touches the barrel at all, or if the stock is too flexible. This new crop of factory plastic stocks exacerbates these ills, they are so soft and flexible as to be useless for such holds, and the sling becomes nothing more than a way to carry the rifle. Even attaching a bipod on them can be an issue POI-wise, especially with heavier (varmint) tubes.

    The best stocks for using tight slings are dense, straight walnut, laminated hardwood and hand-layup fiberglass.
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    One more note, we always recommend anyone purchasing a stock with screw-in studs to epoxy the studs in place. They can and do pull out, unscrew and otherwise fail. Can be very embarrassing when it happens on a horse, atv, shooting stand or under heavy recoil, etc.

    This is another great reason to use a barrel band and would be the reason Winchester hung their stud off a machined barrel "band", through the stock on their pre-64 70's.
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    I have a different view/understanding of barrel band sling swivels.

    1) I never have a sling on when stalking. It can tangle in brush, gear etc. when trying to take a shot. This goes back to my military service where we were not allowed to sling rifles when 'tactical'. It is therefore never going to put pressure on a barrel or be an aid for shooting offhand especially in thick bush. I don't want to risk not successfully running though thick cover or taking a running shot with a sling swinging free to catch on something. Probably not a problem if you are in the back of a truck.

    2) If my forward hand is hit by a recoiling sling stud then the rifle is too big for me and I did not have control of it.

    3) I have been lead to believe that the original purpose of a barrel band sling swivel was to lower the muzzle height when the rifle is slung over a shoulder. A lot of early century open sighted rifles had long barrels to increase the sight plane and a barrel band kept the muzzle lower.
    a) to clear bush when bending over and not get caught.
    b) to keep the muzzle below the level of a wide brimmed hat.
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    The main use for a barrel band, usually only found on the big thumpers, is to avoid having the web of your hand being chewed up by a stock swivel under recoil. I never have a sling on my 375 or 404 when the hunt is on. I do, however, carry a broad sling on QR clips for when I know that there could be a long walk... after Eland for example. A sling tends to mess up snap shots and also gets messy off the sticks.

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    I really appreciate that it keeps the rifles muzzle bellow my head and any branches and brush.
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    The muzzle must be kept low, the swivel must not damage the fore-end hand, the sling must not pull on the barrel or the stock and there must be a place to mount the bi-pod without changing point of impact.

    All this is solved when the rifle is carried butt up and the front swivel stud is mounted on the front action screw or on the stock just in front of the bottom metal.

    Carrying the rifle on the left shoulder with the muzzle forwards and down (for right handers), with the left hand on the fore-end, controlling the muzzle direction, allows the right hand to be free. It is faster to shoulder the rifle from there as well. In the photo above, picture the man with the AK carrying it over the left shoulder, upside down. Then figure the time and the moves to get shooting compared to the man with the double, regardless of on which shoulder the double is carried.

    Carrying the rifle muzzle down also prevents water or dirt from falling down the bore and, mounting a bipod just ahead of the action or on the front action screw, makes a bipod more versatile.
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    I believe Code 4 has a better handle of the barrel mounted sling eye or swivel than many of the posts above.

    I wrote the following as part of an article I had published some time back and feel it bears a repeat airing here.

    A barrel of about twenty five inches with a fore arm that was under eight inches long in front of the receiver ring, including a very short ebony tip and a barrel band sling swivel stud. It is interesting to note how many supossedly knowledgable writers continue to perpetuate the fallacy that this stud is barrel mounted because if it was mounted on the fore arm it might dig into the leading hand during recoil.They have not recognised that the design of these rifles negated the ability to mount the stud on the fore arm as this was usually very short in front of the receiver ring and left insufficient room for this purpose. Besides which the recoil of most of the rifles they were used on was, and is really quite easily handled. When it first came into practice it hadn't been too many years since military rifles from which all sporting rifles were developed, had extremely long barrels and the rear sling stud was mounted in the front of the trigger guard. It was to have the slung rifle sit lower on the shoulder and bring the weight down making it more portable, controllable, and practical to carry. When rifle developement mooved toward the sporting requirements these lessons were kept in mind. The fore arm was shortened to be just enough to hold onto as the weight of the former military arms was such thar no-one wanted to carry that much when it was not necessary, besides the rifle was not likely to be needed as a club that the military action sometimes necessitated. However the barrels were still longer than is now the norm and up to thirty inches was not uncommon so that keeping the weight lower when the rifle was slung was still desirable. It was when factory hunting rifles which usually had fuller and longer fore arms became cost efective for the average man with their forearm mounted sling stud,(because this is a cheaper option) that the confusion started. While most who aspire to :safari" will be unable to afford the cost they still want their rifles to look as if they were about to go and the barrel mounted sling stud is a factory offering to pander to this desire, even when a ten inch or longer for end negates the need. As many of the factory stocks were improperly shaped to help with recoil the transition to recoil being the reason for barrel mounting the sling stud began. This is a manufactured reason as any rifleman who has used the heavier calibers will tell you it takes very few shots from a propperly shaped stock to accustom yourself to this factor. If it can not be handled then the rifleman ( or woman) needs to reconsider whether he really needs this level of power.

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    Von Gruff i am in agreement with Doc on this subject ,as my first .416 rigby was just a rechambered Brno which had the swivel stud mounted on the forend, and when i shot a lion in tanzania with it i didnt give a sh-t what the lion was up to after the 1st shot, as the quick detachable sling swivel had bent itself so much on the 1st finger of my left hand it had fallen out of the mount and i was more interested to see if my finger was still there , let alone in one piece than what the lion was up to!! that was the last time i had a sling on a hunting rifle (or the stud mount not on the barrel) as i find them a pain any way. and before anyone tells me i wasnt in control of the rifle it wasnt the 1st time i had shot it but it was the only time that happened, but also it depends on what posture your body is in when you take the shot as your hold can be different. all i know is i wouldnt want to have to think about where my hand was just in case it had slid too far forward due to me being in the less than normal stance. i can tell you it took ones mind off the circumstances at hand, which when people are telling you to shoot again and you are jumping around holding your hand and telling them to f--k off probably isnt the best.....

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    "More important is that the forward sling-swivel stud on a heavy-recoiling rifle (lets say above .375) must be barrel-mounted ahead of the fore-end. My right index finger (remember, I'm a lefty) has the scars from a stock-mounted swivel to prove this!"

    Boddington, Craig (2013-03-19). SAFARI RIFLES II (Kindle Locations 4693-4695). Safari Press. Kindle Edition. "
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    I can see both sides of the story on the history of the barrel mounted stud. It seems to me that preventing hand injury is more of a second reason for it that came after the initial reason, initial reason being barrel and stock lengths. But the consesus seems to be that it does in fact effect point of impact to degree, especially at longer ranges, though this change is neglagible at shorter ranges?
    In my experience, off hand shots- slung or unslung- are ALWAYS short range propositions.
    If I'm on the right track, then it certainly seems to be a very sensible feature on a larger bore rifle or a firearm intended for brushy country with a low canopy and short visibility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spike.t View Post
    and before anyone tells me i wasnt in control of the rifle it wasnt the 1st time i had shot it but it was the only time that happened, but also it depends on what posture your body is in when you take the shot as your hold can be different. all i know is i wouldnt want to have to think about where my hand was just in case it had slid too far forward due to me being in the less than normal stance. i can tell you it took ones mind off the circumstances at hand, which when people are telling you to shoot again and you are jumping around holding your hand and telling them to f--k off probably isnt the best.....
    That put a smile on my face this morning. I had a mental picture of a pain crazed Pom swearing and leaping around with a bloody hand. I will admit I don't like recoil and sold my .416 Rigby (with stock mounted sling swivel) because it had far too much recoil for me. Never got 'bitten' by it though. I now drill neat holes through game with a 7x57 and 175 grainers.

    The point about different stances in the field is well made.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Von Gruff View Post
    It is interesting to note how many supossedly knowledgable writers continue to perpetuate the fallacy that this stud is barrel mounted because if it was mounted on the fore arm it might dig into the leading hand during recoil.
    ..love you too, Garry..

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    I stand by my statments but will add that if a stock mounted swivel stud is desired then the forearm design needs to take this into account if recoil is going to cause a shift of the leading hand.

    Here are a couple of solutions





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    Well after reading spike t's post I'll have to be damn sure where my leading hand is on the next big bore I shoot. I never thought it would be problem, because if it was why do they still build them that way, but I can picture Mike's face after shooting that lion and I would not want my fingers mangled.

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