Re: Outlaw Sling Review By Troy Adams
I'm a cross country skier. I'll be on skis chasing coyotes this winter, at night. A backpack is mandatory for extra clothing, hot coffee, food, etc. My big strong German Shepherd/Rottweiler coyote dog can't hump the rifle for me, as he will be staring down and eventually charging the coyotes when he sees them, taking attention away from me (otherwise, I'd make him carry some load, but he needs his mobility and his constant running around takes attention away from me).
I have an old LL Bean rucksack that they sold as a fishing backpack at least a decade ago. It had side storage to hold fly rod tubes. You can stick a slim stocked rifle muzzle down on either side, and a tall shooting bipod opposite the rifle. Of course, ski poles are the classic bipod for a skiing hunter, or hunting skier as the case may be, so no need for a dedicated bipod unless a nonskier/snowshoer wanted to try this.
While this new sling under consideration will work well for some, skiers with packs need the rifle in the pack, where it can be immediately grabbed. I carry my rifle with the buttstock over my right shoulder. I can take my right hand and grab the buttstock, pull the rifle over my shoulder, grab the forestock with my left hand as the rifle slides over my right shoulder, turn the rifle muzzle forward, load a round, and have the rifle up to shoulder for firing in 3 seconds. Probably faster than this sling under consideration. I can also pop both quick release shoulder buckles and waist buckle and drop the pack immediately, but I usually pop one shoulder buckle and swing off the pack. The waist buckle will already be loosened in the serious hunting zone. The pack also serves as a shooting rest, which the sling under consideration cannot do.
This method is safe if you fall, you will not blow off your head with a chambered round. Could conceivably shoot your leg or foot. I don't normally carry a chambered round. A skier on a hill has advantage over game in deep snow. As long as he can ski downhill, he might be faster. You need a quick drop to knee and grab the rifle and shoot when in range. Like a fighter pilot, an altitude advantage in snow should be exploited as altitude = speed.
As for walking with a heavy rifle, I think the Safari Sling is the best there is. In military rifles it is known as the Patrol Carry sling. Much faster to get off a quick shot that with a rifle slung behind the shoulder. Doesn't matter if you are wearing a pack or not. BUT, it doesn't work with skis if you are using ski poles. Would work great with snowshoes and no poles. Also, it's a good idea to get to a distant location using skis, then use snowshoes for the hunt. This is best in heavily forested areas. I don't pack snowshoes, just shuffle on the skis when walking slow. Western forests are too open to necessitate snowshoes in most cases, and snowshoes are too slow to travel western distances in most cases. But in the east, a Safari Sling and snowshoes would work in the forests. You can respond immediately if attacked by a predator with a Safari Sling, a feature not lost on Afriican hunters and probably why it got its name.