In a world that appears to have moved on from the concept of single point slings towards their two point successors, is there a need for the single point in today’s shooting world?
Well, quite possibly yes. But the answer isn’t clear cut and as usually is the case, depends on your requirements and an understanding of what works for you and your weapon of choice.
Single point slings are thought of as a relatively modern concept although they’ve been around for longer than you’d think, I’ve not delved deep into the lore of who came up with the idea and the first weapon it was designed for, it could have been some ally Rifleman 200 years ago with his Baker Rifle, it could have even been the day after the first Arquebus was made…
But the first time I saw a weapon secured by a single point sling, was when Kyle Reece secured his Ithaca 37 shotgun to his arm using a bit of old string in the movie The Terminator, so he could hide it securely under his jacket.
Specific problems often require specific solutions, and hence why the single point still has a valid role in certain situations. But the biggest question I have today is, does the single point Slingster fit a modern day niche? Or is it 15 years too late to the sling game?
Before we begin, a bit of disclosure… Tactical Kit sent the sling for review at no charge, but this (as always) didn’t come with the expectation of a positively biased review. Indeed, this should hopefully read as a rather balanced review and given the rather unusual step Ferro have taken in releasing a single point when the world is fully embracing two point slings, it has its work cut out to convince even the most loyal of Ferro fans.
The sling I’ll inevitably end up comparing it to is the “standard” two point Slingster (reviewed here) which has over the last year become my two point sling of choice, gradually replacing my other slings across the board.
It’s not just me that’s hopped on the Slingster train… It has it’s fans across the world over with several people who are prominent in the shooting world such as Garand Thumb and Lucas Botkin choosing the Slingster for a considerable share of their rifles.
However, there is always a situation where a two point isn’t always the best option. When it comes to SMGs and PDWs, even the most low profile of two point slings can still be a little cumbersome, maybe this could be what I’ve been waiting all this time for.
Ferro Concepts appear to have addressed a requirement that a certain few people might have for a single point sling for their compact weapons, whilst preferring to use a modern design with features more akin to what is commonly seen on a modern two point sling.
The below picture from @slayderaider highlights the type of niche that this sling excels in, sub compact “PDW” type builds that warrant a sling with almost zero bulk and weight whilst offering comfort and adaptability.
Ferro Concepts have effectively taken their fantastic Slingster and have adapted it to work in a dedicated single point configuration, although it’s worth pointing out that the original can be tweaked to work in a similar fashion and indeed if you absolutely had to, this can be jury rigged to work as a makeshift two point sling (albeit with a steel loop a third of the way up its length).
The pad is shorted and thinner than the standard Slingster, coming in at a mere 45mm in width by 520mm long, this being compared to the original Slingster at 52mm in width by 580 in length.
It’s also still removable should you want an ultra minimalist “Slingster lite” set up, although the benefits of the pad are arguably enough to warrant it staying on in the majority of cases.
The same length adjustment used on the current generation of Slingster’s is also used, the new pull tab design (reviewed here) being used in favour of the older ITW Orbit ring pull tab design.
Other changes include the overall length of the sling, being shorter in its total length due to its design but also having a considerable degree of adjustment built it.
A welded steel ring forms the centre point of the sling, with both ends attached to it. A second section of webbing forms the open “tail” end for you to use your weapon attachment method of choice.
The open end (or tail) is left free for your ow. Choice of weapon attachment, I personally prefer the simplicity of attaching it to the weapon directly.
The quality is as good as you’d expect with a Ferro Concepts product, virtually identical in its construction to the standard Slingster but with the aforementioned changes to accommodate its use in a single point manner.
In use, I quickly adapted to having the sling across on my weak side with the adjustment open. This allowed almost limitless weapon manipulation whilst allowing me to drop the weapon to my side if needed. Cinching the adjustment tight, I could keep the weapon snug against my body and despite only being held by one point it did prevent a fair amount of movement from the weapon itself once held firm.
Despite not having a “drop slider” element such as found on Patrol Incident Gear’s single point, I found that clearing the weapon to the side wasn’t difficult at all. The sling seemingly disappeared whilst shooting and even the often tangle inducing reloading of my gun wasn’t impeded whatsoever by having a sling attached.
One area I would like to see improved in the future is in Ferro’s own product launch marketing, whilst in some areas Ferro Concepts can appear way ahead of the curve and incredibly stylish in their marketing, in other areas they can be a little ambiguous in who they are actually targeting and why.
If this same product had been released by Haley Strategic or T.Rex Arms, we’d have a video (probably more than one) showing the sling in action and a thorough breakdown of why it was developed and the ways it solved issues. Ferro haven’t even told us which end is which, I’ve had to try it on both ways (adjustment tab front and rear) and see what works best for me.
Will this lack of a targeted pitch cost them sales? Possibly, although I’m sure it’ll sell enough to become a relatively common sight on the range and Airsoft field. The militaries appear to be glued to their two point slings (and for a good many reasons) but this might be what more than a few police departments are looking for.
I think if you’re making a product that initially appears out dated then it’s doubly important that you ensure your audience is fully aware of why it’s coming to market and what your product offers that the others don’t, but I’d also advise against writing this sling off as a pure dalliance into the almost forgotten fashion of single points.
But in their defence, I would say that the product does fit a niche and fits it very well… the niche is also one they need to market effectively if it’s going to remain a profitable endeavour.
Whilst I wouldn’t use this on a full sized rifle that I planned on carrying around over rough terrain all day, it is almost unrivalled by other slings (singlepoint or otherwise) once you’ve put it on a short barrelled weapon such as an MP7 or MP5 for close up shooting and moving.
No one else is actively marketing a new single point sling at the moment, this leaves potential buyers with a choice of older designs or this one new kid on the block. Sure, there’s choice and more than a few “tried and tested” designs, but there’s little ingenuity in these often outdated designs… Ferro have brought a touch of modernisation to an old classic.
Would I recommend it to a friend? Yes, but only if their needs matched what this single point delivers upon. It’s still in my opinion that most people will benefit from having the regular two point Slingster, some however will gain a great deal more from adding this single point Slingster to their set up.
The single point Slingster is a well thought out and highly capable sling, a fantastic option if used for the task it’s designed for.