Today we are going to focus on a major element of the equipment: the tactical strap Too often considered as “negligible quantity”, the strap nevertheless conditions the handling of the main weapon and the performance when firing.
In the following article we have tried to provide you with as many elements as possible to allow you to make a wise and informed choice.
In an ideal world what to expect from a strap?
- It should be comfortable to wear
- It must allow wearing over long periods of time
- The strap must be in symbiosis with the rest of the equipment
- It must correspond to your main armament (weight / dimensions / use / missions)
- It must allow quick and safe shoulder changes
- It must adapt to wearing both on the face and on the back
- It must allow quick and fluid transitions with the secondary weapon
- It must be able to free both hands of the operator
- Among all the strap models, it is possible to distinguish 4 large “families”.
- Each of them has its advantages but also its limiting points.
- It is therefore important, before acquisition, to set your priorities.
- Knowing that as often what goes to “Paul” does not automatically go to “Pierre”!
Nota Bene – specific assault rifle straps
Some assault rifle models use specific strap systems!
For example: the 2000 and P.90 from the Belgian manufacturer F.N. HERSTAL, the FAMAS… Due to their construction, these guns require their own systems. What follows is not necessarily suitable for them
“1 point” straps or “teardrop” straps
- They allow a good mobility of the gun with in particular easy and fluid changes of shoulder
- It is necessary to favor models that are equipped with a shock absorber system (1 or 2 elastic bands depending on the model). The shock absorber will attenuate the shocks and jolts of the gun, thus sparing the shoulders and neck of the wearer
- It is recommended to opt for a model equipped with an intermediate staple system. The clip makes it possible to separate the weapon from the carrier without having to remove the strap
- This strap must find a fixing point located imperatively on the rear part of the weapon, by favoring in particular a clip at the level of the base of the butt tube.
- An attachment point at the level of the butt, especially if it is placed too close to the heel and therefore the shoulder, risks positioning the weapon vertically too low on the user
- In the case of a long weapon, the barrel risks hitting the wearer’s knees or shins, especially when the weapon is carried in a vertical position.
- The passage in dorsal can be complicated, the strap coming to hang on the equipment already present on the vest or the plate carrier
- This type of strap is not suitable for collective weapons
Nota Bene :
In the field of “1 point” slings, special attention should be paid to models that are equipped with a strand end attachment allowing you to switch in “the blink of an eye” to the “2 point” version!
Such a device makes it possible to combine:
- The high carry of the rifle
- To have a choice of a horizontal or vertical port
- Easy shoulder changes in “1 point” configuration
- Easy transitions
- hands free
- Easy access to all equipment
- Easier transition to dorsal mode in the “2-point” configuration
“2 point” straps
- In horizontal port the weight is ideally distributed on the shoulders. The cervical are thus spared
- Perfectly adapted to operators carrying a heavy weapon such as a support weapon
- Perfectly adapted to long trips, and for periods of waiting in static
- Easy dorsal transition
- Ideally the fixing is done on the front at the level of the handguard, and on the part tube of stock / stock
- They can complicate shoulder changes
- When the weapon is worn against the user’s chest, access to pockets or equipment positioned ventral or on the chest will be clearly impacted.
“3 point” straps
- The “3-point” straps incorporate the advantages of the two “families” already reviewed at the beginning of the article
- The concept being, by means of a clip or a sliding system, to be able to switch almost instantly from a “2-point” attachment strap to a “1-point” attachment strap!
- Like the “2-point” slings, the attachment is made on the front handguard and on the stock part
The limiting point:
- Shoulder change operations can be complicated
Indeed the different strands composing the strap risk to exert a tension which will limit the amplitude of the movements of the shooter.
Vest attachment straps
- The mass of the weapon is perfectly absorbed being distributed at the level of the bust by the vest of intervention.
- Shoulder change operations are easy
- To be reserved for weapons equipped with a clip at the butt tube level (see “1 point” strap)
- The passage of the weapon in dorsal is impossible
- It is recommended to opt for a model equipped with an intermediate staple system. The clip makes it possible to separate the weapon from the vest without having to completely disassemble the strap
Conclusion on the choice of straps
After reading you may look at your current strap or your future strap with another eye!
Like many pieces of equipment, the choice of straps and suspenders must be made carefully.
A good strap is a strap that we forget in the action, because it allows a maximum of options while reserving a minimum of constraints.