PRS Match - Is slinging up worth it?

swagner2000

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Most of my past shooting in matches was Service Rifle, where using a sling is an integral part of the positions (except off-hand). Last year I did a couple of PRS matches (Rayner's Range in Ohio) and caught the PRS bug. So, this year I built a practice barricade and have been working on trying to get into positions quickly and trying to get steady. I have been using the Rifles Only bungee sling and also testing out the Vickers sling, using it over the back of the neck and under left arm like Jacob Bynum demonstrates in the videos for the bungee sling.

Trouble is I am not getting the results I think I should be getting at the practice range (not very steady and getting back on target post-recoil slower than I would like) . In fact, today at the range with the barricade, I got frustrated and took the sling off and just tried to get in a relaxed position. I did notice in that some positions if I concentrated on keeping relaxed and focused my breathing, I seemed to be steadier. Granted the steadiness was not for every position and was somewhat fleeting.

So my question is whether trying to use a sling for every position is worth it? Am I better off trying to build my position without the sling and focus on finding positions that work? I am using a Game Changer, Fat Bag, and other support bags. I did notice no one in my squad at last year's matches were using slings. For now, I run a pretty modest rifle - Savage 10 (.308) with Oryx chassis.

Any advice is appreciated by this newbie!
 

Covertnoob5

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Rifle balance point and a building a good position will go a lot further than a sling will help in most situations. There’s a reason you don’t see most shooters using a sling pretty much ever. Don’t need it.
 
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Terry Cross

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Current PRS has evolved a good bit off the trail of practical which was specifically in the original wording outlining the intent of the series.

Early "Tactical" and outlaw field competitions had a good mix of positional (no supports or props to utilize), prone and supported positional while keeping the rounds per stage low and high value to solve the problem. Everything from hunting to Military to L.E. shows that a surprising percentage of shots are taken from a non-supported position because that was all there was available at the moment.

There are several niches of rifle marksmanship training where proper sling use is taught and encouraged to stay proficient on but PRS/NRL is not one of them any longer. 18 to 25# rifles with excessive LOP and really long barrels being the current norm is testament to the evolution path stage designs have chosen.

To answer your question, I would say exactly what Rob01 said but in a way less sexy voice.


./
 

chevy_man

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I use the Armageddon gear with the arm cuff and leave the back disconnected. I haven't found a good way to use it as a bungee, but it works great as more of a single point positional.
 
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LawnMM

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Depends on the stage. If it was pure unsupported position shooting; standing / kneeling / sitting / prone I would use mine.

If I've got other objects to use that make it more of standing supported by whatever or kneeling supported on something, I wouldn't.
 
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Cuda-dude

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I’d say anything that makes you more stable without being a distraction is a positive. If it’s a distraction it’s a negative.
 

Matt_KJ

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IMHO, slings have no place in the PRS/NRL arena. They do, however, have a place in tactical matches or similar style. I say this because of the PAR times and set-up surrounding a single stage in the PRS/NRL Match. As you have seen, you may have to move and build your position 3, 4, and sometime even more times in a single stage. Adding another layer to the already chaotic situation of messing with a sling I don’t think it’s worth it.

I do believe it’s worth training with and being familiar but not proficient in.
 

Covertnoob5

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@Covertnoob5 can you elaborate a little more on finding and using the rifle balance point? Is it making sure the bag is under that balance point when position?

Thanks to Hide members who have responded so far.
Something like below in the pics is a well balanced rifle.
It’ll be much easier to maintain a stable position if you aren’t fighting the balance of the rifle.
All my rifle configurations will sit like that all day with no issues.

eta: the rifle should self balance just in front of the magwell.
B67E74B5-8B1D-4F9B-8E00-101209764A3C.jpeg67CE44D9-EC42-4807-9DAE-507E2F8E116E.jpeg34EF2CB8-3BFA-4C82-8EA5-CBEAFDD73692.jpeg
 

swagner2000

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Something like below in the pics is a well balanced rifle.
It’ll be much easier to maintain a stable position if you aren’t fighting the balance of the rifle.
All my rifle configurations will sit like that all day with no issues.

eta: the rifle should self balance just in front of the magwell.
View attachment 7333962View attachment 7333963View attachment 7333965
Thanks for those pictures. Makes a lot of sense now.

I appreciate the other responses fellow Hide members!
 

ncr92

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18 to 25# rifles with excessive LOP and really long barrels being the current norm is testament to the evolution path stage designs have chosen.
@Terry Cross, if possible can you please expand on your comments on LOP. What LOP do you consider excessive for an average size male and what factors do you think are driving longer LOP in PRS rifles?

I'm experimenting with different LOPs at the moment and am keen to hear informed opinions on the topic.
 

DaveM

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I’ve shot Highpower for a couple of decades and have been shooting some PRS also the last few years.

Don’t waste your time with a sling unless it’s to carry your rifle from stage to stage. The stages where a sling would be helpful are very few and far between.

In your barricade example, the best option is to free recoil. Balance the rifle on a bag and try to touch it as little as possible to break the shot. Recovery with a .308 will admittedly be more difficult than with a 6mm.

I slung in with my T2k one time for an unsupported sitting stage. Everyone was very impressed with how fast I could miss.
 

XTR

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Current PRS has evolved a good bit off the trail of practical which was specifically in the original wording outlining the intent of the series.

Early "Tactical" and outlaw field competitions had a good mix of positional (no supports or props to utilize), prone and supported positional while keeping the rounds per stage low and high value to solve the problem. Everything from hunting to Military to L.E. shows that a surprising percentage of shots are taken from a non-supported position because that was all there was available at the moment.

There are several niches of rifle marksmanship training where proper sling use is taught and encouraged to stay proficient on but PRS/NRL is not one of them any longer. 18 to 25# rifles with excessive LOP and really long barrels being the current norm is testament to the evolution path stage designs have chosen.

To answer your question, I would say exactly what Rob01 said but in a way less sexy voice.


./
[off track ] I’ve been amused by this development for the last few yrs now.
First let me put out there that I really want to find time to dabble in “field shooting” matches, even built a rifle for it, but playing F-TR + life has kept me busy. I’ve been shooting competition for about 10 yrs now and I still recall the general consensus here that 18 lb rifles with long barrels were ”not tactical” (not that anyone ever implied that they were) and you only needed a 308 with an 18” barrel to shoot 1000 yds. Not complaining or finding fault, just noting the changes that I’ve observed in the past few yrs.
 
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Terry Cross

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@Terry Cross, if possible can you please expand on your comments on LOP. What LOP do you consider excessive for an average size male and what factors do you think are driving longer LOP in PRS rifles?

I'm experimenting with different LOPs at the moment and am keen to hear informed opinions on the topic.
If I can find time in the nest few days I will start a separate thread on that. Basically i will layout my thoughts as I present them to students and we can see where the debate leads. Too much typing needed for now and don't want to dilute or derail the OP's current one.

./
 

beetroot

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I shoot with a sling 99% of the time, with practice I find you can build a much more steady position with a sling.
That being said my rifles don't weigh 20+ lbs.

I don't live in the US but shoot matches similar to PRS/NRL.
Most folk I see competing don't use a sling, the few that do know how to use them well and usually score well.
The shoots I do involve a lot of positional shooting (unsupported sitting, knelling, prone etc) or involve shooting from less than ideal "barricades" like cargo nets or dodgy tyre stacks.

I don't like the arm cuff style slings despite having shot TR and smallbore, I like the round the back under the armpit style.
I wouldn't be caught dead without mine in the shoots I do.
 

ManUtdManiac

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shooting with slings is hard. Shooting with slings well is really hard. Easier to go to Bed Bath and Beyond and buy pillows and throws, cover them in cordura and just plump your way through...

j/k... kinda.

The Tab Gear Pinnacle sling is the bomb, just order it without the rear buckle, saves you some chaffin'...
 

McMillan

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100 percent slinging up is worth it if you want to win. If you are just learning it's only a few points in a match so spending time on other skills that will net you a lot more points will be more beneficial but once you are trying to be right at the pointy end then learning to shoot with a sling will gain you a few points and you can't afford to give away any points.
Ps. Free recoil is just a bandaid for poor fundamentals that will gain you a couple of quick points but will hinder you in the long run and making ever winning very unlikely
 
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msstate56

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100 percent slinging up is worth it if you want to win. If you are just learning it's only a few points in a match so spending time on other skills that will net you a lot more points will be more beneficial but once you are trying to be right at the pointy end then learning to shoot with a sling will gain you a few points and you can't afford to give away any points.
Ps. Free recoil is just a bandaid for poor fundamentals that will gain you a couple of quick points but will hinder you in the long run and making ever winning very unlikely
I’ve yet to see anyone in the top 20 of any of the PRS matches I’ve attended ever use a sling on a stage.
 

McMillan

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Its not less steady, with a well balanced rifle, good support bag, and good body mechanics, a sling is gonna waste more time getting in and out of than prove to be useful.
Keep kidding your self. Generally the un supported stages are on pretty huge targets usually at least 3moa and yet people are missing. And yet if you take 3p rifle at the Olympics or 300m rifle people have no issues putting 60 shots under half moa. There is a trade off in accuracy for speed but if your sling is slowing you down by more than a few seconds in a stage then that's because you aren't proficient with the sling.
 
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Rob01

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Its not less steady, with a well balanced rifle, good support bag, and good body mechanics, a sling is gonna waste more time getting in and out of than prove to be useful.
Exactly. You will waste more time fighting the sling then being able to move freely from position to position on obstacles/barricades using a good bag. Rarely see someone using a sling at a match and when I do it's usually a new shooter. They learn. Only place for a sling is in unsupported positions like offhand, kneeling, sitting or prone where no bipod or bag is allowed.
 

McMillan

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Exactly. You will waste more time fighting the sling then being able to move freely from position to position on obstacles/barricades using a good bag. Rarely see someone using a sling at a match and when I do it's usually a new shooter. They learn. Only place for a sling is in unsupported positions like offhand, kneeling, sitting or prone where no bipod or bag is allowed.
Isn't this what ? The whole question was about. Shooting off hand positions. Using a sling on normal stages is just a waste of time
 

Mk32784

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Isn't this what ? The whole question was about. Shooting off hand positions. Using a sling on normal stages is just a waste of time
The last off hand stage I shot at a local match banned the use of slings..... It was a stage where you had to go from prone to off hand to prone back and forth. Evening using 3-4 seconds on a sling would cost you a lot of time.

I can get how a sling would make you more stable in a off hand position, but a lot of people seem to do fine without them. This is strictly in view of PRS, the game is best played this way imho.
 
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Covertnoob5

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Keep kidding your self. Generally the un supported stages are on pretty huge targets usually at least 3moa and yet people are missing. And yet if you take 3p rifle at the Olympics or 300m rifle people have no issues putting 60 shots under half moa. There is a trade off in accuracy for speed but if your sling is slowing you down by more than a few seconds in a stage then that's because you aren't proficient with the sling.
I think you’re finally understanding that we’re talking slings on barricades, props, and other stuff not off hand where I do believe a sling is useful.

if you read the OP he’s trying to use a sling on a barricade.
 

beetroot

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Exactly. You will waste more time fighting the sling then being able to move freely from position to position on obstacles/barricades using a good bag. Rarely see someone using a sling at a match and when I do it's usually a new shooter. They learn. Only place for a sling is in unsupported positions like offhand, kneeling, sitting or prone where no bipod or bag is allowed.
You can certainly get yourself tangled up in a sling if you aren't proficient in its use.
It was only through training I grew to despise arm cuffs slings for this exact reason.

With a heavy(ish) well balanced rifle on a good solid barricade I agree you don't need a sling, in my experience its on less than ideal barricades that they come in handy.

I'll link a couple of videos of the kinda of stages that I find them useful on, they might not be representative of the type of shooting is common in the US but these are situations where I find them handy.
I suppose it due to the obstacles being used are less of a typical barricade and more of something you can use to help build a good position.

 

beetroot

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The last off hand stage I shot at a local match banned the use of slings..... It was a stage where you had to go from prone to off hand to prone back and forth. Evening using 3-4 seconds on a sling would cost you a lot of time.

I can get how a sling would make you more stable in a off hand position, but a lot of people seem to do fine without them. This is strictly in view of PRS, the game is best played this way imho.
In situations like this a sling can be a slight hindrance, with an adjustable sling that can be easily adjusted from a typical shooting position it shouldn't be a problem. Slings with an elasticated section are also great in this situation.

Like with all things you need to train with them, I've always been a sling guy even before I used one as a shooting aid.
I made my own shooting slings before I'd discovered the slings you get from Armageddon, TAB atc.
I use a sling basically every time I train, so am pretty proficient in their use and know when and where they help.

It also helps that I train 75% ish of the time from non-barricade or non-bipod situations, so naturally they make more sense from positional type shooting.

I'm not suggesting everyone should be using slings as its pretty clear the shooting I do is quite different than most folk here.
Just giving an opinion where I think they come in useful.
 

Rob01

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Didn't see a sling on the tank trap but one isn't needed. Shoot those a lot at matches. They are a staple.

Have shot off ropes and similar as the second and a game changer works fine with a slight lean or even a little lean in to the bipod. Looks like the sling is just being used as a little tension and that can be done with other things like the bipod.

Those two stages are nothing out of the ordinary.
 
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Rob01

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I did find a video where I used a sling in a match. LOL 550 yard shot on steel hanging from a swiss seat. But it was back when we used slings to carry our rifles around at matches too. ;)

 

morganlamprecht

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The game changer/fortune cookie and similar barricade type bags killed the sling advantage on those types of props...now peoples actual advice is to balance the rifle on a bag and don’t touch it except for the trigger lol

before those bags, knowing how to sling up and tension into a barricade was like cheating watching everyone try to figure it out

the only time Ive used a sling for the past 2-3 yrs (for other than carrying my rifle from stage to stage) is strictly positional, non supported stages, with few position changes
 
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beetroot

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Didn't see a sling on the tank trap but one isn't needed. Shoot those a lot at matches. They are a staple.

Have shot off ropes and similar as the second and a game changer works fine with a slight lean or even a little lean in to the bipod. Looks like the sling is just being used as a little tension and that can be done with other things like the bipod.

Those two stages are nothing out of the ordinary.
What do you mean by lean into the bipod?
As in use the bipod like a barricade stop?

I know my rifles are generally light weight compared too what most folk here shoot, more like 9-12lbs rather than 20+.
I find in general, the extra tension you can add with a sling helps keep everything more stable.

Perhaps an extra 10-15lbs of weight will achieve the same thing.
 

Rob01

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What do you mean by lean into the bipod?
As in use the bipod like a barricade stop?

I know my rifles are generally light weight compared too what most folk here shoot, more like 9-12lbs rather than 20+.
I find in general, the extra tension you can add with a sling helps keep everything more stable.

Perhaps an extra 10-15lbs of weight will achieve the same thing.
Yup use it as a barricade stop per se. it works pretty good.

My rifles are 15-16 pound area. Don’t have anything Near or over 20 pounds. I like having them in that range as they are heavy enough to be steady but light enough to move easily with them through a stage. I can grab mine by the grip and move after a shot. No need for two hands.

If the sling works for you then use it but it’s very rarely used by shooters here.
 

beetroot

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Yup use it as a barricade stop per se. it works pretty good.
Yeah I do that with my Harris at times, it works well.

I think the biggest difference for my local matches is the lack of gear like the game changer bags.
I've recently bought a bag the similar style and they are indeed a game changer.

I shot in a match where a guy ( who one) didn't even bring a bipod, just used a tab sling and shot of his pack. That was what one me over.
I'm always keen to know why other people do what they do as I may learn something new, or a better way of approaching a situation.
 

McMillan

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I think you’re finally understanding that we’re talking slings on barricades, props, and other stuff not off hand where I do believe a sling is useful.

if you read the OP he’s trying to use a sling on a barricade.
I miss read it then my response was to that one stage that is put in some matches that usually has something like 2 shots from each in supported position. For a new shooter using spending time on being proficient with a sling on this type stage isn't worth the time invested. But for a top level shooter learning to use a sling properly will gain them a couple of points. Often a couple of points can be the difference between winning and loosing. Using a sling on barricades is jist wasting time. I don't think anyone who is even half decent does that anymore