Here’s a topic I’m not crazy about. Some people love it, swear by it, and use it all the time. I just don’t quite get it. I’ve used it and liked it, but at this point I think it’s limiting, and generally works against good form. Now I have you in suspense, at the tip of your seat, wondering what this thing is. It’s the hasty sling (I know someone must have found the hidden clue and figured it out).
The hasty sling is an attempt to use the rifle sling as a shooting aid to enhance precision, similar in principle to the loop sling. The difference is that it’s faster to get into than a loop, and offers a different kind of support. People use this in all kinds of positions, but it’s mostly associated with offhand or standing, where it has the potential to be of the most use.
To get into the hasty sling from a standing position, with offhand as the goal…
I know that you actually take me more seriously because of the scary Halloween mask because you understand that although I may be putting all my substantial credibility on the line, I'm willing to do it to make a serious artistic statement. Or my sense of humor is a little "off".
Reach your support arm all the way through the sling:
Reaching the arm in... and I want your brain!
Wrap the support hand around the outside of the sling, just like the loop sling:
Assume the offhand position:
If you think I can actually see anything with this damn mask on, you'd be wrong.
The sling should ride snugly across the top of your chest. This supports a good deal of the rifle’s weight. If your rifle weighs a ton, this might be nice for you. If you plan on using this, you may consider giving the rear sling swivel the same half twist you'd put into a loop sling when installing it on the stud. This will make the front of the sling ride better on your hand. I didn't do that here, and didn't really notice the difference.
Using the hasty sling seems to settle a lot of the movement down as compared to offhand without using the sling. I say “seems”, and I mean “seems”. It settles the initial movement for me, where I’m still settling in. It locks you to where your NPA is, which is helpful, especially if you aren’t very clear on where it is.
What I find is that without the sling in offhand, yes, there will be a moment of big movement as I settle in. Then everything becomes quite still for a moment for just enough time to theoretically break the shot. Using the hasty sling, there is a constant, albeit small (8-10 MOA), and consistent box-like pattern of movement that just won't go away. I know that in dry fire, I feel a lot more relaxed and in control without the sling. It took a lot of practice to get to that point. In live fire it’s honestly a wash.
Another reason that I don’t favor using this technique is that it goes against the principles of relaxing and using bone support. Why would I want to introduce tension into the structure? You could say that the loop sling induces tension as well, but the difference is it's tightening up the structure of the position rather than inducing pure muscle tension. The only good reason I can think of for using the tension offered by the hasty sling is if it were a little windy out, it would stiffen you up a bit. If it’s a lot windy out, you need to be in a more stable position.
My final reason for generally disliking the hasty sling is that, although “hasty”, it’s a little slow for most of the time that offhand would likely be employed. This is because the #1 reason for using offhand is speed. Greazy, lightin’ fast, snapshootin’ speed, Rock. Offhand is not optimized for target shooting, and even if it were I still wouldn't use the hasty sling. I can’t say it any plainer than that.
There is a second variation of the hasty sling, for those of you who choose to use it. It’s a faster version of the hasty. Appleseed calls it the “Hasty Hasty”. Marketing is not their strong point. They should call it something flashier, like the “Super Ultra Improved Faster-than-Ever Speedy Hasty Sling™”.
Here’s how to get into the 'Super Ultra Improved Faster-than-Ever Speedy Hasty Sling™":
From the starting position:
Without letting go of anything, thrust your support elbow inside the sling’s comfort zone:
Now bring the rifle up while pushing the support elbow down, causing isometric tension:
That’s it. Have fun, sucker!!! Just kidding. Actually that was very mean and I’m sorry. But not really.