by Rob Kay and RN Price
The sling is essential to a tactical shooter, but visit any range and you’ll note hardly any operators using them. The upshot is that too few people understand the benefits of using a sling. There are several varieties available but in our opinion, a 2-point sling, offers an excellent combination of carry and comfort.
Depending on how you configure your sling to your rifle, you can carry it in just about any conceivable position, from the low ready, to slung over your back. For us, the sling is more important as a method to stabilize your shot.
There are a plethora of manufacturers but we decided to check out the 2-point Blackhawk Dieter CQD Sling. Blackhawk has an impeccable reputation when it comes to designing gear for the tactical shooter. (You can read about the history of the company by in our previous review of the Blackhawk Drag Bag).The Dieter CQD Sling was designed for Blackhawk by famed tactical guru, Duane Dieter, who founded the CQD (Close Quarters Defense) training organization. Dieter has trained special operations teams such as the Navy SEALs, Special Boat Teams, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Army Special Forces, Army Rangers, Air Force Special Tactics Teams, SWAT teams and many other orgs. Has been featured on “Special Operations: America’s Secret Soldiers”, a documentary written and directed by Gorden Forbes III.
Using the Sling
The the CQD sling is a very sturdy item, constructed with 1.25” T-13 webbing, which is wider and more comfortable than standard fare. This sling is designed to either carry your rifle over the shoulder in a muzzle-up carry or muzzle down carry. In the rain it’s handy to sling the rifle muzzle down, over the off shoulder.
This keeps the inside of the barrel as dry as possible. Another advantage of the barrel down position is that it can be brought up quickly to shooting position. You can also use it in an over the shoulder carry so that your hands are completely free to do other tasks.
The Blackhawk Dieter CQD Sling differs from the standard AR slings because it uses “HK style” gated snaphooks. The spring loaded snaphook is made with heavy gauge metal and although it does take some dexterity to attach or remove, it’s very, very secure.
Once it’s part of your rifle, it’s not going anywhere.
To attach this sling to an AR you’re going to need rail mount sling adapter (Blackhawk makes a dandy one for about $25) or, consider a set of the smaller gauge push button swivels. These have a metal loop which is narrower than the standard heavy duty swivels and will fit perfectly in the jaws of the CDQ sling’s snaphook.
As we alluded to earlier, many operators don’t realize how valuable the sling is to a shot. When it comes to accuracy the sling becomes your best friend.
There are a couple of ways to do it.
You can go the “military route” where you fashion a loop in the lower part of the sling that is pulled tight above the biceps of the left arm (if you’re a right handed shooter). The left hand is then moved tight against the sling swivel at the front of the forearm. When correctly adjusted the sling should be tight when the left hand is in place against the forward sling swivel and the buttstock is pressed tightly against the shoulder. (This is where a collapsible stock comes in handy).
What we usually use is the “hasty” sling, which serves a similar purpose, but perhaps less ably. It’s the quick and dirty method which can be done expeditiously if you’re hunting.
If you’re a right handed shooter the left arm is simply snaked twice between the sling and the rifle from left to right until the sling is snug above the biceps. You then grip the rail. (Of course you’ll have to properly adjust the sling for length). With the Dieter sling the webbing is flexible which gives the shooter some latitude in making a comfortable fit.
The Blackhawk Dieter CQD Sling can be used on many varieties of rifles including the MP5, M4 and the SCAR. MSRP is around $44 but you can get them for as little as $34.66 on Amazon which includes shipping. It’s not the least expensive but as they say, you get what you pay for.
All photos by On Target Hawaii Staff.
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