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Adding Sling Swivels to a Long Arm
by Roy Seifert

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Disclaimer:  This article is for entertainment only and is not to be used in lieu of a qualified gunsmith.  Please defer all firearms work to a qualified gunsmith.  Any loads mentioned in this article are my loads for my guns and have been carefully worked up using established guidelines and special tools.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for use of these loads, or use or misuse of this article.  Please note that I am not a professional gunsmith, just a shooting enthusiast and hobbyist, as well as a tinkerer.  This article explains work that I performed to my guns without the assistance of a qualified gunsmith.  Some procedures described in this article require special tools and cannot/should not be performed without them.

Warning:  Disassembling and tinkering with your firearm may void the warranty.  I claim no responsibility for use or misuse of this article.  Again, this article is for entertainment purposes only!

Tools and firearms are the trademark/service mark or registered trademark of their respective manufacturers.

A sling is a very convenient method for carrying a rifle or shotgun through the woods or in a tactical situation.  For hunting the sling allows you to carry the firearm over your shoulder keeping your hands free as you move to your favorite hunting spot.  Slings have been used to carry long arms since the long arm was invented and consisted of everything from strips of leather or cloth tied around the barrel and stock, to modern synthetic webbing and quick-disconnect sling swivels.  Personally I prefer the quick-disconnect models made by Uncle Mikeís because it is easier to remove the sling for cleaning and storage, you can purchase them almost anywhere, and they make styles for almost any model of rifle or shotgun.


There are a number of methods for attaching sling swivels to a long arm.  Uncle Mikeís makes a set that attaches to the magazine tube and butt stock for lever-action rifles.  They also make a set that installs to the front barrel band and butt stock of a lever-action rifle.


They also make a set for rifles with wood stocks.  Both studs have wood-screw type threads for threading into a wooden stock.  The shorter stud goes into the fore end, the longer one goes into the butt stock.


A long time ago I purchased a Winchester 1300 12-gauge shotgun that I wanted to use for turkey hunting.  I wanted to have the gun camouflaged, but before sending it out to have that work done, I wanted to add sling swivels so I could install a sling.  The sling swivel studs would then be camouflaged to match the rest of the gun.


Uncle Mikeís makes quick-disconnect sling swivels for a number of different shotgun models, including the Winchester 1300.  It consists of a new magazine cap with a sling swivel stud installed and a second sling swivel that is installed in the bottom edge of the butt stock.  Installing the new magazine cap was a simple matter of unscrewing the factory cap and screwing on the new cap.


I knew I would be cutting about two inches off of the stock to adjust the length of pull for me, so I positioned my homemade centering tool four inches up from the rear of the butt stock, leveled the block, then struck the center punch with a mallet.  That left a perfectly centered mark on the bottom edge of the butt stock.


Uncle Mikeís makes a set of bits to properly drill the correct holes and counter-sinks, but I donít really install sling swivel studs often enough to purchase them, so I decided to use a wood screw bit.


I put the stock in my machinist vise with the bottom edge up and leveled.  I adjusted the depth of a #10 wood screw bit to the length of the threads in the stud.  I chucked the bit into my mill/drill and drilled the hole.  I stopped just when the countersink started to bite into the wood.  The hole was just a bit too small for the threaded stud so I drilled out the hole with a #18 drill bit.  I stopped drilling when the bit reached the bottom of the hole.


I applied some soap to the stud threads and used a crescent wrench to turn the stud into the hole.  I stopped turning when the stud was just below the surface of the stock and the holes were aligned properly.  The stud is nice and tight and ready to accept the sling swivel.  The stud came with a white ring that I decided not to use since I planned to have the gun camouflaged.



   © Copyright 2014 Roy Seifert.