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  #1  
Old 05-01-2013, 05:38 PM
mjolnir mjolnir is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 220
Default Leather Sling

Need some advice...

was thinking about getting an original leather sling for my 1903. After bidding and winning one that I thought was in good shape, I came to realize that they are cracked, smell, etc. Well, given the age of the leather sling that is period correct, I guess this is to be expected. Fortunately, the seller was terrific and took it back when I was not happy with it.

I then decided that since the web slings are a bit more available, I would test the waters and buy one for my M1D and see how I like it. Managed to find one for $25 and has a MRT 53 black stamp. Yes I know... anyone (Chinese) could have put there MRT stamp on the sling, but for $25 I figured I would take the chance. Well, it was in good shape when received and it smelled musty to boot! From what a noob can tell, looks good to me.

Now the question... should I continue my quest for an original dated sling (decent one goes for $150+) or simply get a Boyt sling for about $45? Does anyone have a new Boyt?
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  #2  
Old 05-01-2013, 07:27 PM
RedSpecial RedSpecial is online now
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: PBC, FL
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Are you using it for decoration or for practical use? I have several original slings that I have (several dated 1918) that I have on there purely for decoration and would never use them for bracing or wrapping my arm around for shooting positions or actually using them to support the weight of the weapon.

For the ones that I want a sling for practical reasons, I just get the new repros.
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  #3  
Old 05-01-2013, 08:20 PM
S99VG S99VG is offline
 
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Location: Northern California
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New Boyt slings are made overseas and frankly are not worth a damn. For the money, I would get a Turner sling - especially is you intend to use it. I can't bring myself to shell out 100+ for any piece of 70-year old hide and expect it to not fall apart.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:26 PM
Premod70 Premod70 is offline
 
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Location: North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S99VG View Post
New Boyt slings are made overseas and frankly are not worth a damn. For the money, I would get a Turner sling - especially is you intend to use it. I can't bring myself to shell out 100+ for any piece of 70-year old hide and expect it to not fall apart.
+1 on that though, you can't beat Turner slings for the money.
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  #5  
Old 05-01-2013, 09:25 PM
pvtragman pvtragman is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
Posts: 112
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The most common area of cracking I have found on the M1907 sling is between the holes where the sling turns at the at the sling swivel near the toe of the stock. I keep spare sling pieces for that reason and surprisingly, my WWI era slings seem to have endured aging better than those of WWII vintage. We used web slings in the Marine Corps for BAR's, Garands and M-14's and they're my personal favorite at the range, as well as being cheaper. CMP was also marketing a version of the M1907 sling that is qualitatively excellent but I don't know if they're still available. I treat the leather periodically and some of my WWI slings are still going strong after nearly a century.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:29 PM
jimthompson502002 jimthompson502002 is offline
 
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Location: La Crosse, Wisconsin
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I sell repros, and use them.

Main thing with real web or M1907's, which I much prefer, is they're valuable and tend to deteriorate quickly, and sometimes, dangerously.

I have had two vintage M1907's break on me, one of them a WWI "M1918" (I've never been sure that's official nomenclature) probably worth $200 today. Those have a third hook.

I cut my forearms (not rifle forearms, MY forearms!!, mainly the left) with web units when I was still capable of decent offhand shooting with a sling wrap.

I soften new ones with neatsfoot, liberally, until they're almost BLACK.

Last edited by jimthompson502002; 05-02-2013 at 10:22 AM. Reason: omission
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  #7  
Old 05-01-2013, 10:30 PM
jimthompson502002 jimthompson502002 is offline
 
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Location: La Crosse, Wisconsin
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Mine are $30, postpaid.
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  #8  
Old 05-02-2013, 08:49 AM
Rick the Librarian Rick the Librarian is offline
 
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Location: NW Washington State
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I like the look of a leather, original sling. I think a new sling on an old rifle just doesn't look right. If you have a rifle that is a shooter, get a modern repro.
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  #9  
Old 05-02-2013, 10:53 AM
ZvenoMan ZvenoMan is offline
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: AL
Posts: 3,720
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A genuine original, dated to be appropriate for the rifle/period of your display may be a nice-to-have. But it may not be the best for shooting (as in it may be weak, or you may damage it thus lowering the collectible value).
Many owners keep an "original" sling (or other accessory) for looks, but use a different one for shooting. Personally I would avoid the uncle mikes and boyt, they don't seem to be good quality to me. Turners have the reputation for quality and also look good. The copies and generic MRT are probably OK for shooting (like RTL I think they look too new, would need to oil them).
Check posts for Mr. Thompsons offerings, there are plenty of testimonials. I have 2; one with steel hooks and one with brass, dated appropriately for the rifles they are on. Construction is high quality, hardware is not cheap, and keepers are stitched as good as any. Not only do they "look" authentic for the dates, they are well above average quality, stand up well to shooting use.

I keep M1 web slings, Turner synthetic, Mr. Thompson's repro slings and even a repro Kerr sling on my rifles. The only one I was dissatisfied with was my uncle mikes crap.
I recently got some of the (Greek?) $2 leather M1 slings from CMP, they will probably work as well as the M1 web slings they copied......

JH
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  #10  
Old 05-02-2013, 02:12 PM
S99VG S99VG is offline
 
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Location: Northern California
Posts: 2,179
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I was told a long time ago that you should use olive oil to condition old slings as other types of oils can cause any cracks to open up and get worse.
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