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Posted: 3/25/2006 4:58:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/26/2006 5:42:08 PM EDT by NeoWeird]
So I decided to buy a repro sling for my 1903 (it was the test, if it worked good I would get two more for the Garands). As I opened it the CTD feeling rushed over me. You know the one, where you remember you get what you pay for and CTD is no longer a place for great finds/deals. Anyways, I decide to make the most of it and put it on my rifle. It sucked and it worked, but didn't land anywhere solid; it was one or the other other but never just average. So I take it off and decide I need to break in the leather first before it will function properly. After just playing with the leather for a couple minutes (maybe 3-4 tops) it is already starting to show wear, like excessively, and I knew it wouldn't last more that a couple shooting trips in that condition.

So I sit there for a second and figure, screw it, I am going to try and make this work; after all I will either help it, do nothing to it, or ruin a $20 sling. Big deal, the odds are in my favor (but probability is against me!). So since I was feeling sick all day, I didn't want to turn off Band of Brothers or get out of my seat. So looking for anything to help I grab my new bottle of gun oil and go at it on my sling. At first just dots in the bad areas, but by the end I had painted every inche of it with gun oil. It sort of worked; it started to not crack and fray as much as it had, and was even starting to loose its creases and even flatten out. Another great quality the oil added is the color is FAR closer to the color of my 1903 than the original sling color.

So what do you all think? FUBAR'd? Rescue-911'd? I'm not entirely sure what will happen to it because of this in the next couple days, but I will keep you all updated, plus I will be sure to post more pictures when it is finished and when it's on the rifle. For now, a half and half to use as a comparison.



ETA: Oh yeah, the upper belt was the thicker and harder of the two, which is why I started with it. You can see it is laying more neatly on the desk than the softer leather piece with no oil. So far I am pleased with it.

Here is also another picture to show you each against the rifle itself. I know it's washed out with dark and there is a blue tint ( from the monitor), but it was the best one since the flash kept giving it a flash burst in the center.

Link Posted: 3/26/2006 5:37:47 PM EDT
Near 70 views and no reply yet...not sure if that's a bad thing or not.

Anyways, so I let it sit for the night. It's not wet to the touch as you might think, but it does give off a smell ilke oil which I am hoping will slowly dissipate. The sling seems to slide from the shooting position to the carry position easier now (though it's not perfect yet). The color is close to that of the wood, but not perfect to where it seems fake. The hardware on the sling is still new, so I kind of dislike it, but I love the way it looks. Once the brass has had time to get dirtied up, and knicked a bit, I will love it. I think right now it just lacks a little character, but it is on a GREAT path to looking damn near perfect.

So what do you all think?


Link Posted: 3/26/2006 6:00:26 PM EDT
looks good, however i remember somewhere (told or read, can't remember which) that oil and leather are a no-no,


i have several old leather slings on my garands and 03's, and a newer MRT that i use on a match gun,
i touch them up with Pecard's, it really worked wonders on an old dry sling i have,,
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 6:08:05 PM EDT
I was worried about that at first, until I remember little leauge and everyone always suggests to rub oil in your new gloves and put it under your bed with a baseball in it. Like I said though, I didn't care if I ruined it because if I hadn't done something it would have destroyed itself in like 3 range visits.

If anyone knows anything else I can do, or something I can do to further protect the leahter, I am all ears.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 6:23:11 PM EDT
IIRC it was a no-no because it causes stretching, (no-no for a competition sling)
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 6:34:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By rlc:
IIRC it was a no-no because it causes stretching, (no-no for a competition sling)



I didn't even think about that.

Oh well, what's done is done, besides this is just a personal plinker. The Sling will probably rarely be used in a way that would require it to be a certain way. I wonder if I hit it with a hair dryer if it would make it shrink tight.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 5:24:58 PM EDT
scrub it with saddle soap. it'll pull out the bad oil you put into it, and replace it with glycerin (which is good for leather).
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 6:07:58 PM EDT
I just bought 2 of those slings from CTD myself.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 4:42:31 AM EDT
Yup, petroleum based oil is supposed to be bad. It causes the leather to break down. The oil for baseball gloves was neatsfoot oil. It "feeds" the leather (I think that is an overoptimistic statement myself). But even neatsfoot oil will allow stretching which like a previous poster said isn't good for competition use.

The correct way to darken a sling is use and time, nothing more.

I cheated, I was given really old military issue 1903 slings from the '50s and '60s from my dad's gun cabinet. They hold up much better than the piece of crap reproduction I got from Springfield armory inc. Their keepers were lame and came apart early. The ends were butted up to eachother and stitched instead of overlapped and stitched. Butted lasted 3 uses, overlapped lasted ummmm like 50 years of off and on use.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 6:15:55 AM EDT
Adding gun oil to a leather sling is a no no. Only use oil that is designed for leather, and only a little bit at that. Too much oil (either one) will make a sling stretch too much and the holes will also elongate as well. No offense, but those $20 repro or MRT slings aren't much as far as shooting goes. They are too thin and cheaply made and most don't hold up for long anyway.

The best slings are either a Les Tam or Turner or John Weller. These slings are made for shooting. They are copies of 1907 slings but are made with superior materials and care. They do cost, but for *shooting* with a sling, none are better. Les Tam recommends a bit (not too much) neats foot oil on his slings only on occasion. Again, too much oil on any sling will stretch it to the point of being worthless.

Many of the old original USGI 1907 slings you see are dark due to oil, grease, sweat and dirt being ground into them over the years.
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