Clarification sought on Sling Rule please..

Discussion in 'Hunter (HFT) & Field Target (FT)' started by Sundance, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. Sundance

    Sundance Bush Cavity

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    Taken from BFTA
    Main Shoot Rules 2015

    'SHOOTING
    I. Any shooting position is allowed, but some lanes may be designated as ‘standing or ‘kneeling .
    II. Lanes designated kneeling may be shot from the standing position (Both targets must be shot using the same position).
    III. All shots, from whatever shooting position must be made with the rifle s muzzle wholly beyond the firing line and the rifle s trigger wholly behind the firing line.
    IV. Fully adjustable Rifle Stocks are permitted to accommodate various shooting styles and positions with no limitation as to design. Additional attachments are not permitted to be added or removed during the course of the event
    a. The use of a sling, single or double point, for any shot is to be allowed to steady the aim and for carrying a rifle between lanes.'


    I'm testing out some slings and I think I would like to take my testing further. However, I was told today at a WAFTA shoot that the only sling permissible is a double point sling. I was disappointed to hear this as I'm testing some single point slings.

    I've just checked the BFTA Main Shoot Rules section and it seems to me that this 'double point' claim is just plain wrong. It seems pretty clear and straight forward; the rule states that a single point sling is allowed.

    Am I missing or misunderstanding something?

    Does Wafta shoot to BFTA Main Shoot Rules or some other set of rules regarding 'slings'?
     
  2. Shaun

    Shaun Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Sundance

    Single point sling allowed when shooting to BFTA rules.

    Shaun (BFTA comp sec)
     
  3. Sundance

    Sundance Bush Cavity

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    Thanks

    Thanks Shaun.

    As I'm on the topic then perhaps I can pose a further question please?

    I know from the rules that nothing can be added or taken away from the rifle during a competition.

    Would it be permissible to have a single point sling permanently attached to the rifle, but not permanently attached to the shooter?

    I'm thinking about adapting a single point sling so that it remains attached to the rifle but unclips from my upper bicep, leaving a bicep collar around my arm, but not constantly attached to the sling. I would like to be able to unclip myself from the sling in order to move around safely and not be encumbered by having a heavy rifle permanently attached to me.

    Would that arrangement be permissible in a reasonable interpretation of the rules?
     
  4. C.Eaton

    C.Eaton Confirmed Anschutz Nut...

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    This is where the rules get silly.

    If you're allowed to use a single-point sling, then the user should be able to use the sling as intended, i.e. on the shooter's upper arm and only attached to the rifle when needed usually via a claw.

    Having it so that the sling is attached to the front of the rifle just swinging about and getting in the way and requiring the shooter to slip into the cuff for each lane is just plain ridiculous in my opinion.
     
  5. BDL

    BDL Dangerous

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    Single points are allowed but must remain attached through out the shoot. Simon Ayers uses one and between uses hooks it over the rear out of the way.

    Bri
     
  6. Sundance

    Sundance Bush Cavity

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    Clarification

    What I'm considering is adapting a sling I have to make life easier.

    I have no idea if there might be a single point sling that is manufactured already to be quick release from the bicep.

    If anyone knows of one I would be grateful to hear.

    My one can be released from the bicep via a buckle system but as the material is non stretch it is fiddly to do. Perhaps with repeated use and practice it will loosen up and get easier.

    I'm quite happy to have the sling permanently attached to the rifle for all shots, seated, standing and kneeling. I know some just use it for one position only.

    So I'm happy to have it dangling from the rifle. I would just like to put a clip in the end and clip it onto my upper arm instead of fiddling with a double prong buckle that loops around my arm.

    I would like the bicep bit permanently attached to my arm, free to clip to the sling as and when required.

    Difficult to explain perhaps ...

    In these circumstances the sling would be permanently attached to the rifle. I just want to adapt the method of attaching my sling to the upper arm.

    Would this be 'legal'?
     
  7. skires

    skires Well-Known Member

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    Just adding on to Bri's comment about Simon Ayers ...

    I've asked about slings a few times. It's an interesting detail that you ask about re a bicep band that will remain attached to your arm and the single point sling just attaches to that as you take the shots. That's basically what I planned to do. You can get single point slings that have basically a wire on the end and a hook or clip that attaches to a band on the bicep.

    What put me off carrying on down that route ...

    Several of the top FT guys commented that a sling is fine if you are on a range shooting ... say 50m stuff. In that environment the target is always in the same position in relation to the shooter.

    In FT the targets are high and low and at various angles. The terrain is also not always flat, like on a range.

    So the shooter is always having to adapt a position and tweak the body position slightly. So the shooters commented that a sling would be of little advantage, in these circumstances, as the whole idea of the sling relies on the body position being exactly the same every shot.

    I sort of agree that this may be the case if you are using it as you describe with it fixed to a set point on the arm/bicep.

    I'm not 100% in agreement as I think a number of angles can be accommodated whilst leaving the sling position, in relation to the front arm, the same.

    Simon Ayers commented recently that he doesn't have the sling 'attached' to his front arm. He has the sling in a loop and slides the loop over his front arm, but it's not held in a certain place on his bicep by a typical strap etc.. So he can put that loop in slightly different positions on the arm as he adjusts his position for high/low shots etc.

    I was looking to use a sling mainly for kneelers to give stability to the front fore arm. After some practice I found that it does help if you use a 'traditional' kneeling stance with the elbow on, or near, the knee. The sling then takes the weight of the rifle and helps. If you use the more common HFT/FT elbow slid back along the thigh so that the weight is supported by the thigh/forearm/lower leg, the position is far more stable and I found no real help from using the sling ( so far ). I'm actually getting virtually just as stable a hold on kneelers as sitters. That doesn't mean my kneelers are that good ... my sitting still needs plenty of work.

    In the sitting position I use the front hand cupping the front knee method. So the front lower leg takes all the weight via the gloved front hand. So, again, I found no advantage using the sling in the sitting position.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
  8. Sundance

    Sundance Bush Cavity

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    My testing so far

    Thanks for the replies.

    So clearly a single point sling is legal and can be used. Even in a Wafta shoot I presume, despite what I was told yesterday.

    It seems the consensus of the interpretation of the rules, from what I hear so far, is that it must remain attached to the rifle even though that is not how it is intended to be used by the manufacturer. Neither is it the practice of other shooting disciplines I believe.

    It seems to me that there is an argument to be made in relation to the wording of the rule. If the rule states a sling can be 'used' then it should be able to be used as it is intended by the manufacturer...ie. clipped and unclipped from the rifle on each shot.

    Compliance with the wording of the BFTA rule could, it seems to me, be achieved by having it clipped to the rifle at the start of the completion and at the end of it.

    'Use' of the sling during the course of the completion would involve clipping it to and from the rifle.

    Would that be a reasonable interpretation of the rule?
     
  9. Sundance

    Sundance Bush Cavity

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    Additional attachment..

    It would not be an additional attachment if it is attached at the start and end of the competition.

    Use of it, as allowed in the rules, is by clipping and unclipping it to the rifle.

    If it is designed by the manufacturer to be 'used' in that way, and it is the usual and accepted method of use by other disciplines then it seems to me to be a reasonable interpretation of the rule...
     
  10. skires

    skires Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a BFTA rule specialist by any means as I'm fairly new to FT.

    I've read a lot though and asked questions. My understanding is that the sling issue isn't a particular bias against slings or their original intended use. They just get covered by a general umbrella rule, that basically allows any design of stock to be used ... or basically any gadget to be used ... but all things must remain in place, on the rifle, throughout the course and for every shot.

    So, for instance, you can't wander around with a bag full of different hamsters or butthooks and keep changing these, to give an advantage, as you go around the course. People could also add and remove things from the stock to give better/different fit or weight for different positions like standing etc.

    So you can't really get around that by saying that a certain item was on the rifle at the start and the finish ... but not all the time during. It has to be on ... and stay on ... for every shot.

    However, you can adjust things on the stock etc. So people get around some of this by having multi adjustable hamsters etc.
     
  11. Sundance

    Sundance Bush Cavity

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    Silly...

    I agree with Mr Eaton...

    I think the apparent interpretation of this rule in relation to slings is silly.

    Slings have been used on rifles ever since there have been rifles.

    Surely, it is reasonable to formulate and clarify the rules so that it's possible to use a sling for each and any shot in a reasonable, easy and safe manner without having to go through time consuming and fiddly contortions between shots.
     
  12. skires

    skires Well-Known Member

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    The rule regarding slings has probably never really been questioned or pushed into change because of the reasons I gave earlier. Most top shooters don't think it gives a great advantage because of the different angles etc.

    I really wouldn't spend a lot of energy on this. I really don't think it's going to make a great deal of difference to you having the clip on option onto a band on your bicep. If you want to try one then do as Simon Ayers does and have a loop that you can put at different positions on your arm.
     
  13. Sundance

    Sundance Bush Cavity

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    Thanks

    Thanks Mr Skiers

    :)

    I've discovered along my brief FT journey to date that virtually all the questions that present themselves to me have been issues that have arisen to many other shooters before my time. There is a danger that one can give the impression of ignoring sage advice from people who have been there and done it many times before.

    Thank you for your advice, I value and take note of it and it makes sense to me.

    But, sometimes, it seems to me, I have to take that journey myself...even if, as always happens, I end up arriving at the same place I was told I would arrive at by others way more skilled and experienced...

    Taking the journey gives me a better understanding of the issue....


    Perhaps there might be a way of making the thing easily and quickly multi adjustable and compliant with the perverse interpretation of the rule. I do find my kneelers more steady with the sling and I think it's worth pursuing...:)
     
  14. Sundance

    Sundance Bush Cavity

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    loop...

    Will give the loop approach a go...

    :)
     
  15. C.Eaton

    C.Eaton Confirmed Anschutz Nut...

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    I also went down the single-point route as after years in small-bore, a sling to steady the rifle feels natural to me.
    I know the angles argument and to a certain extent it's true, but it's all down to the user and there are ways and means to vary the tension to keep it consistent whatever position you are in.

    In the end I went down the 'ching sling' route which is essentially a normal loop carry sling but with the addition of a third strap which attaches to the rifle just forward of the trigger guard.
    I find this kind of sling almost as steady as a single point but saves all the hassle as it remains attached to the rifle at all times.
     
  16. skires

    skires Well-Known Member

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    It's a lovely comment re taking the journey yourself and most of us will sympathise with that.

    I went down the sling route after reading countless instructionals in books and online re olympic and smallbore shooting. When reading those articles you realise that, to them, using a sling and setting it right and using it correctly is an integral part of their target shoting. If you suggested to them that they shouldn't use a sling they'd think you were crazy. These guys were hitting tiny targets at 50m away.

    So I had 90% of me telling me that when top FT shooters, who have done this longer than me, and do it better than me, are telling me one thing I should listen to them ... but that 10% of me kept looking at those smallbore training manuals and convincing me that a sling had to be an advantage.

    Here's what did it for me ...

    I'd read so much on this site and others about kneeling and all the controversy about bags etc. So I decided to do some testing myself.

    So I went down the woods one day on a very still day. I planned to shoot targets kneeling and try various things and see what advantage, or not, different things gave the position.

    I planned to shoot with no bag and no sling. Then with a bag ... but sort of legally with it just under my instep. Then with the bag sort of 'illegally' supporting my thigh and then maybe my buttocks. Then try with a sling. I could see for myself what advantage different options gave.

    So I put a paper target out at 25 yards in the woods and the first up was a decent pair of boots but with no bag and no sling.

    I concentrated on breathing and trigger control etc. I put 5 pellets in a cloverleaf all inside 15mm. I then put some 1 inch spinners out at 40 yards and couldn't miss the bl**dy things.

    That sort of bu55ered up the afternoon's plans. I had presumed that the first option with no bag and no sling would be the most difficult and the groups would be the poorest. I presumed as I added things in the groups would reduce. I simply wasn't going to beat the groups I was getting with no bag and no sling.

    Now, I'm definitely not saying this for bragging rights. I probably couldn't do that all the time. However, it proved to me that if I got the position and balance right, and executed the shot properly, I could get perfectly good and acceptable results shooting kneeling without the need to have a sling dangling off the front of the rifle, and be trying to get the sling in the right position on the arm for various angles around the course.

    It just seemed a better option and one less thing to be worrying about around the course and whilst taking the shot. So I'd basically quietened that 10% of me that still thought I needed a sling in FT for kneelers.
     
  17. Sundance

    Sundance Bush Cavity

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    Ching Sling..

    Got me checking out Ching Slings now...Thought it was some kind of cocktail...:)
     
  18. Sundance

    Sundance Bush Cavity

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    Ching Sling

    Or a Chinese hammock..
     
  19. Sundance

    Sundance Bush Cavity

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    10%

    Think I'm more than 10% inclined to pursue the sling route....feel good on the kneelers.....just need to work on the usability issues....onwards and upwards...
     
  20. scruff

    scruff Active Member

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    best check with wafta

    totally agree with you shaun....best if shooter checks with wafta...just in case they have a different stance on the use of this type of sling.....perhaps a wafta rep could reply to this thread as well.
     

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