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Aug 5th, 2016
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Joined: Apr 2021
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I'm attracted to these large sling eyes for their simplicity and their old fashioned look. I've seen them on a lot of vintage guns:
[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]
[img][img]https://i.ibb.co/K0Rspvr/Sling-eye-2.jpg[/img][/img]

I'm considering the large eyes versus the standard swivel bases designed to accept quick detach sling swivels [img][img]https://i.ibb.co/4FVSSKG/Quick-detach-style-bases.jpg[/img][/img]

I'd love to hear if anyone has experience with the large eyes and any preferences between the two. These will go on a custom bolt action rifle. On all my prior rifles I've used the quick detach swivels and bases, but I'm thinking of trying something a little different.

Hallowell (http://www.hallowellco.com/sling_eye.htm) and Trader Keith (http://www.traderkeith.com/tradersecrets.html) both describe how the large eyes work. Any input is appreciated.

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Reading through the links you provided gave me better understanding of what the large original sling eyes were designed for ............. a sling strap with heavy leather thongs on the end. I Always thought they were designed for the steel hooks, and always wondered why anyone would use something like them that would sooner or later mar the wood around the eye.

The English style sling pictured was enlightening.

Thanks, earlyriser.


May God bless America and those who defend her.
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The Hook type swivel with the large eye bolt in the stock was just an early Quick Take-Down sling attachment.
They do have a rather classic look. They do rattle alot. They do mar the wood as the hook can rotate to nearly any position.

The 'Quick' in quick-take-down doesn't always apply either.
Getting the Hook out of the Eye bolt is not always a simple, easy operation. The hook is generally quite robust, you want it to be so it doesn't bend or break.
It should be spring tempered so it snaps into and back out of the eye bolt again.
Not all of the ones made today have those features matching up to allow a simple mounting and dismounting of the hook from the eye.

But I still like the looks..

I must admit I have never seen the use of the leather only attachment to the eye.
Seems like a 3/16" piece of rawhide lace looped through the stock 'eye' front and back is quite small to depend on carrying the weight of your prize rifle through the field.
As long as the rawhide is knotted and drawn tight so it doesn't come undone as the article says to do it fitting it up,,it's not a QTD system anymore.
Just put regular, small non-QTD swivels on the rifle and a leather sling and be done with it. At least this can be taken off if you really need to or wanted to.
It doesn't have to be a bulky Military type setup.

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In regard to Kutter's excellent post above (I like the way he says "But I still like the looks"), for the last double rifle I built I made bespoke large ring "eyes" for the butt stock and the barrel to be used exclusively with a leather carry sling/strap that has about 1/4" wide leather strips at each end of the strap to attach to these rings. The advantage of this method of attaching the strap to the double rifle is complete silence (no swivel rattle) and no damage to the wood or barrels during the use of the strap. Of course there is the disadvantage of slow removal of the sling/strap

The leather strap was bespoke made by a oak/leather case maker friend of mine and it's 1/4 inch wide end strips were made long enough for a proper 4-5 loop wrap knot and strong enough for no worry on my part in strap detaching from the rings, made to the exact length I specified without any buckles. I first bought one of the Trade Keith's leather slings but found it to be bulky, cumbersome, too wide and generally unsuitable.

If someone wants to see how the strap appears and the large eyes and how it is attached to the large eyes, you can send me a PM and include your email address--I will then take some photos email them to you and you can post them to this discussion.

Kindest Regards;
Stephen Howell

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Here are some very good photos by bushveld that show how his sling eyes are made and attached, and of the sling itself. Very high quality stuff, as we would expect from Steve.

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]


May God bless America and those who defend her.
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The eye that is screwed into the bottom rib of the barrels is screwed into a unseen barrel attachment.

The photos of the sling illustrates than one end has a section of black lambskin attached to it. This end attaches to the barrels and the lambskin is there for comfort against the shoulder.

Slings are OK for non-dangerous game shooting, but one should not attach a sling to a double rifle that is used for dangerous game.

For these photos I only looped the leather 3 times; in actual use looping 5 times is prudent.

Stephen Howell

Last edited by bushveld; 01/16/23 10:56 PM.
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I personally like the Winchester hooks, and wrap them in tape to keep them quiet if I am hunting lions. They should probably be wrapped all the time to eliminate scratches.

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I appreciate everyone's responses here. This forum is such a great learning resource. Kutter, I would have never thought about the hooks being spring tempered so they snap into place. I can imagine the additional skill needed to prepare them for that (shaping plus tempering). Stephen, the photos and description you provided are excellent (thanks to Stan for posting them)! I also found this example on the internet, another way to deal with concerns about scratching the gunstock:

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

Here is the webpage I found it at: https://www.internetgunclub.com/archived-forum/posts.php?topicid=878

I'm feeling pretty inclined to use this type of sling eye on my project, and probably attach a simple leather sling with 1/4" rawhide. If I do, I'll post the results here. Thanks everyone!


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