Larry Vickers is one of the premier firearms instructors we have today. His long career as a member of Delta Force gave him massive amounts of experience and training he now passes on in a variety of ways. One such way was designing the Vickers Combat Application Sling, or simply the Vickers sling. Blue Force Gear produces the sling and it’s gained a monumental following. So today we are going to focus on why the Vickers sling is so universally approved of.
What Makes it Different?
In the mid to early 2000s two types of slings seemed to rule the tactical world, the 3 Point and the single point. The standard two point was looked at as a parade sling and past its prime in the tactical world. Like many things, what old is new again. The Vickers sling is a two-point sling that has slowly become the standard across the tactical realm.
Unlike previous two point slings the Vickers was designed around wearing modern body armor and tactical gear. The Vickers sling featured a forward tab that when pulled allowed the user to instantly tighten, or loosen the sling. This made it ideal for the dynamic situations modern Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors were finding themselves in.
Who Uses it
Every branch of the Armed services issues the Vickers sling. This is impressive. In fact, the Blue Force Gear Vickers sling has become the Standard Issue sling of the United States Marine Corps. The sling is also in use by hundreds of police forces on patrol rifles, and likely hundreds of thousands of regular citizen shooters. The sling is popular for a reason.
As a heavy user of the Vickers sling as both a Marine and now a civilian, I like the ability to nearly instantly tighten my sling to manage tasks like climbing ladders, doing buddy carries, fast roping, and more. I could instantly pull the tab, loosen the sling and get back to the mission at hand. As a Marine, this certainly mattered a bit more. However, now as a hunter I still find myself climbing ladders, moving through thick brush, and trying to manage my rifle around gear.
While the Vickers sling is designed for tactical and combat operations it’s still a good enough for a hunting rifle. I’ve used the same Vickers sling for almost 5 years now, both in and out of the Marine Corps. Same sling, different tasks and it performs them admirably.
The sling hasn’t even frayed around the edges, it’s still rock solid after years and years of abuse. It’s been through a half dozen countries, countless training ops, through rain, desert, and up and down mountains. It’s been exposed to salt water, fresh water, and it’s been put away without much care given to its needs.
It’s the little things that count too. The sling when tightened down nice and tight its supportive while shooting, especially at odd angles. This really comes into play when leaning around barriers, and shooting in awkward positions. It’s also supportive and comfortable while carrying your rifle for long periods of time. It doesn’t dig in, chafe, or rub you wrong.
The pull tab, which is easily to most critical portion of the sling, is both durable, and reliable. Remember this sling has been through hell and back, and the pull tab still moves back and forth without an issue. It’s just as easy to slide the tab on year 5 as it was on day 1. The entire sling is highly adjustable and you can shrink and grow it with ease.
This sling is really designed around the AR platform, but works with almost any rifle. Blue Force Gear also produces a wide variety of different sling hardware to make the sling compatible with with nearly any rifle or submachine gun. This includes HKs, AKs, bolt action rifles, and shotguns.
I personally use the U Loops quite a bit, and the Push Button QD Sling swivel. These make the slings adaptive, and easy to use with almost any platform. If you can’t tell I’m a big fan of the Blue Force Gear Vickers sling, so much so, I own more than one.
The Different Models
The BFG Vickers sling should really be plural, as in slings. Blue Force gear has modified and adapted the sling to fit more specialized weapons, like the M240 Medium machine gun and the M249 light machine gun. That doesn’t affect most of us, but Blue Force Gear didn’t stop with machineguns.
They produce a padded variant of the standard sling for heavier rifles, as well as the Vickers One, and the Vickers AK sling. I just so happen to have a Vickers AK sling and a Vickers one sling, and I’ll touch on the differences a bit.
The Vickers One sling is designed expressly for submachine guns and pistol caliber carbines. These small guns with typically be equipped with smaller sling points, and are often lighter in weight. The Vickers One sling features 1 inch webbing that fits smaller sling loops, and reduces the overall weight and profile of the sling. Since PCCs and SMGs are lighter than rifle the extra quarter inch of webbing isn’t needed to comfortably carry the gun.
Here’s mine, seen rocking and rolling on the CZ Scorpion EVO.
The AK Sling
Probably the second most popular Vickers sling is their AK standard. The AK is very similar to the AR sling in terms of length and size. The main differences being the included Universal Wire loop. The rear of the sling has the capability to be wrapped around the rear of a wood AK stock if you lack a sling option.
Here’s mine with my SIG 556R. (Note this is a Special Edition and features a leather tab instead of nylon.)
The Sling of the Future
Rumors are spreading that BFG is working on a new, and improved version of the Vickers sling that’s supposed to be out this year, so we can only speculate what the future holds. However, each and every edition of the Vickers sling has met quite a bit of fanfare. These are some of the best slings on the market, and it’s good to see BFG constantly innovate and build on an already great product. If you are looking for something a little new for your rifle you can’t go wrong with a Blue Force gear Vickers Sling.