A few months ago I found myself looking for a new sling that I could put on an AR-15, but since I have a bad habit of switching guns around, I wanted something that I could use on almost any long gun from AR-15’s to shotguns to whatever else might suit my fancy that day. You don’t have to look too hard to find a long list of slings to put on your AR-15. It seems like almost everyone has their own version of either a two-point or one-point sling, or in some cases, a sling that can do both.
The Proctor sling was just another one on the list, but it had some features that made it particularly appealing to me. It is designed by former Special Forces operator and USPSA GM Frank Proctor and manufactured by Troy Industries. The intent behind the sling was to make something that is as minimalist as possible, yet still functional and durable. To that end, instead of using the typical Quick Disconnect mounts or some sort of clip to attach the sling to the firearm, it uses 550 cord loops on either end that are looped through the stock or over the rail system and cinch down on themselves. I have seen the same technique used as a field expedient fix for a broken sling or attachment point, but this is executed at a higher level. The cord loops reduce weight and bulk, but they also make the sling easily adaptable to most long guns, which to me is what makes the sling worthwhile. The one unfortunate side effect of using cord loops and having that versatility to be attached to nearly any long gun is that the sling cannot be quickly removed from whatever it is attached to. Some might find that to be a turn off, for me personally the versatility outweighs the drawback.
As with many two point slings, there are two adjustment points on the Proctor sling. There is a fixed adjustment point towards the rear of the sling that should be set and generally left alone. This is the adjustment point that you use to get the sling adjustment “roughed in”, or if you wanted to ditch the cord loop in the rear and attach the sling directly to a sling swivel, this allows you to do that. Then there is a second adjustment towards the front of the sling that is used to cinch or loosen the sling while it is in use. This adjustment allows slack to be added to the sling for shoulder transitions if necessary or to secure the rifle tightly against the shooter’s body to free up the hands for other tasks. On some two-point slings the forward adjustment can be difficult to reach and on top of that difficult to adjust on the fly. There are not any tabs to pull or complex processes for cinching or loosening the sling. Just grab the slider and move it whichever direction is appropriate. I found the slider on the Proctor sling to be very well placed for accessibility and exceptionally easy to adjust when needed. The sling also stores back onto itself so there is not a loose “tail” of additional sling material when the sling is tightened up. It makes for a very low profile sling.
Initial Impression & On the Range
Initially I was skeptical of the mounting method with the cord loops and how secure and durable it would be under hard use conditions. One of my primary concerns being whether the cord loops used for attaching the sling to the gun could take the heat if positioned directly over the gas block on an AR-15. For the $30 price tag I thought I would give it a chance and just be sure to run it through the wringer before really trusting it. So what was the first thing I did after getting the sling in the mail? I positioned the cord loop directly over the gas block on my AR-15 and ran as much ammo through the gun in as short a time period as possible to see what would happen. A few hundred rounds later and the rail was hot enough I couldn’t hold on to it with a bare hand, and the cord loop didn’t seem too fazed by the heat. That satisfied me enough to keep using the sling for the time being. Several months later and the sling is still going strong. I think the sling proved its point, the durability is there.
The other concern I had was whether or not the cord loops would stay in place, or over time come loose and move around on the rail system, or whatever else I might have it mounted to. It has been through many long days on the range doing long gun to handgun transitions, getting slung around my back to free up my hands and slung back to the front to start shooting again and whatever other administrative task I might have done while using the sling. Not at any time have the cord loops started to come loose and slip. I used the sling for a week long carbine course on top of all the “normal” shooting that I do and did not have any issues there either. I have run the gun as hard as I can for several months and despite my best efforts, the cord loops which I thought might have been the weak link in the sling design, have held up to the abuse quite well and stayed in place.
Even with my initial reservations about the durability of the Proctor sling, I have ended up being quite pleased with it. I am confident that the sling is durable enough for my purposes, and the versatility cannot be beat. Since I purchased this sling, a newer version with QD swivels has become available, in addition to the standard version with cord loops. Even knowing that, if I were to buy another one, I would stick with the cord loops because they quite simply work. I have had this sling attached to a handful of different AR-15’s, a few shotguns, and a couple random rifles just to see if it could be done. That versatility is what drew me to this sling initially, but the overall functionality of the sling, how low profile it is and how easily it adjusts has really won me over.