When it comes to issued gear, Marines often have complaints. Lots of complaints. Rarely do you run across a piece of equipment that’s universally adored, but there are a few. One such piece of gear is the Blue Force Gear Vickers sling. The Vickers sling was issued to Marines near the end of my tenure, but I got my hands on one as the enterprising Lance Criminal that I was. The Vicker sling replaced the bevy of single and three-point slings Marines were issued. The Vickers is a two-point sling that’s no parade sling.
The sling was produced by Blue Force Gear and designed by Larry Vickers. Larry Vickers is a former Delta Force operator who has more than a storied career. In his post-military career, he’s become a subject matter expert in firearms, tactical gear, and more and worked with companies like HK, Surefire, and of course, Blue Force Gear. You can tell that the Vickers sling was designed by an expert as testified by both how handy it is and how little your average infantryman complains about it.
The Vickers Sling – What Sets it Apart
The Vickers sling is designed to accommodate a wide variety of weapons, and it fits an M4 or M16 perfectly. The sling is designed to attach to two points on the rifle, and that’s where the name comes from. It connects near the front near the barrel and near the rear on the stock. Sounds a lot like the boot camp special parade sling, right?
Well, what makes the BFG Vickers sling different is the rapid pull tab located near the front of the slide. This pull tab is several inches long and 1.25 inches wide. This pull tab is a quick adjustment device. When the tab is pulled to the front, it instantly tightens the sling. This tightened sling now sits tight against the body and allows the operator to move, climb, or carry things with both hands in use.
On the opposite spectrum, if you pull the tab to the rear, it instantly loosens the sling. This allows you to use the sling with complete mobility as if it was a single point. When run loose, you can maximize your mobility and move the weapon around with ease.
Another big difference is the amount of hardware Blue Force Gear produces to allow the user to attach the sling to their weapon. This includes various hooks, QD attachment points, U-Loops, and more. This makes it easy to attach the sling to multiple weapons or at multiple points on your gun. Why not go big when it comes to modularity?
The BFG Vickers sling has been my favorite sling since I was first issued one. I now own somewhere between eight and ten of them for various rifles and shotguns. The Vickers sling is one I’ve used extensively during my career. I still have my original, which is almost a decade old. I’ve found it to be perfect for various applications, from LARPing as a tactical cool guy to hunting and action shooting.
Being able to rapidly tighten and loosen the sling allows you to instantly swap between shooting and maneuverability to running, jumping, climbing, and more. From climbing through windows in MOUT town to climbing my tree stand, the Vickers sling makes it easy to commit to dynamic movement while keeping your weapon safely slung. It’s completely silent when you adjust the sling, and the slider moves without protest. This makes it smooth and easy to tighten or loosen the sling with minimal effort.
Durability wise the BFG Vickers sling is an absolute beast. My original Vickers sling is still kicking and in use. It’s a constant companion on my primary rifle, and I stay surprised at how well the sling has stayed together. The material hasn’t so much as frayed, and the polymer components have yet to crack or even fade. The slider even still moves with ease.
This is ‘the’ sling I suggest whenever the topic comes up. You need a good sling, and you’re willing to pay a premium for it, then the Blue Force Gear Vickers sling is the best route to take. They produce it in every tactical color and various sizes and options for every user. There are padded variants, thinner variants, and more. The Vickers sling is the go-to option for the United States Marine Corps and has been purchased by every other military branch for their rifles, machine guns, and beyond.
If your average infantry Marine isn’t complaining about a piece of gear, you can assume it’s a rock-solid piece of equipment. The Vickers sling is the best of the best and perfect for your issued rifle, your hunting rifle, or heck, even your airsoft rifle.