Most readers of Sniper Country's bulletin board page "The Duty Roster" are very familiar with this particular piece of kit to steal a British phrase. Mike Miller of Tactical Intervention Specialists has developed one of the very best slings out there, if not the very finest.
With my somewhat limited knowledge and a couple months of field use, I gave it a Tango-India-Tango-Sierra rating, not a small thing, nor something given away to casually "plug" a product - it is that damn good. I would rate it better than either the Giles, or Ching slings (as have many others) and light years above the generic chain store nylon straps.
Here is a bit of information
passed along from Mike that gives the historical evolution of the TIS sling:
"Pete, it started in 1983 when I became involved with PD Sniping. I noticed that the only thing out there was either a Comp Cuff Sling or a Military sling. Both worked but neither was perfect. I decided if I could get the stability of a cuff sling with the carry options of a military sling I would have something. I came up with a detachable cuff arm band and a Military sling with a buckle in the middle. The product eventually turned to nylon because of strength and more adjustability. I have used Leather, Poly Webbing, and have settled with the nylon as the way to go. My current slings are about ten or twelve design changes from the original. The whole thing is a marriage from Comp and sniper shooting." Mike
I have one of the early hand sewn 1st generation slings (basic black), and a 2nd generation Military sling (brown) that I obtained from Mike when they reached production status.
Many of my concerns with nylon type slings have been addressed and solved with the TIS production models. First the grade of quality of nylon webbing used is quite good, being rated in the thousands of pounds breaking strength.
This should alleviate the "stretching" problem found with econo type web slings while not being too rigid and inflexible. The Quick-Cuff sling width at 1 1/2" is more than enough to allow for comfortable carry of even a "heavy" rifle without digging into your shoulder or back. This also increases the surface area when using the sling as a positional support for the rifle and will allow for a longer period of comfort while shooting.
The ends have been heat sealed and are tucked underneath before they are stitched. This triple reinforces the joint strength and the point at which the Quick-Cuff attaches consists of FIVE layers of webbing locked in a square pattern with additional central lock stitching.
The Quick-Cuff itself is made to the same standards, and my only inconsequential whine is that they are black only and should be matched to the sling coloration. I would not be the least bit surprised if Mike Miller had already resolved this and I am just "behind the times".
The Quick-Cuff sling "hardware" consists of ITW-Nexus "FasTex" brand 1 1/2" synthetic buckles and sliders and Michaels of Oregon QD Super Swivels. The quality of these components is, again, second to none.
Additional touches appreciated in the field are the elastic band keepers and 550 cord pulls for adjustments. No flopping, looping, or snaking ends to get caught while crawling around in the brush and briars adds more security to this sling.
If you are of any unusual proportion (e.g. 20"+ biceps) Mike will work with you to get the dimensions just right. He is dead serious about producing the finest sling for the money for each user.
One if not the most innovative additions to this sling is the Quick-Cuff. The TIS sling has a Fastex buckle located approximately 1/4 of the way from the front. Squeezing the center of this "breaks" the sling into two pieces and allows for a cuff type option to be used.
1st generation Quick-Cuff slings will separate into two pieces at this point, later versions are held together with a piece of elastic "bungee cuff" and the most recent variations use a piece of nylon webbing in place of the elastic. This is a very good evolutionary growth and is done through real-time feedback from the users in the real world.
The owner has the choice of either permanently/temporarily affixing the Quick-Cuff to his jacket, or carrying one separately, and then "looping up" as needed. I usually have one attached to my M-65 field jacket, and the other is kept around the closed Harris Bipod on my Remington 700 Police DM.
I can go from the conventional carry, to a cuff type sling locked into place in the amount of time it takes many shooters just to get into a sitting position and begin to set their leather sling and start to make a 1 1/2 wrap, and this is REAL important, then get out of it, and ready to quickly move with the release of one buckle. BadaBoom!-BadaBing!
The ability to go from a standing "cuffed" position to an arms cross-over knees sitting and control the rifle is awful good for me. Conventional shooting positions are equally easy to get in and out of if you are in halfway decent shape and practice.
The Quick-Cuff can also be used in a muzzle up or down backpack carry leaving hands free for a close action weapon (CAR-15, M-4, MP-5, handgun) climbing, etc. etc. Again exceptional forethought during the design stages.
I also think the Quick-Cuff would work quite well on a Tactical Shooting jacket such as Creedmore Armory's SWAT short coat with its integral brachial pulse pad and I will most definitely pursue testing this early in the year 2000.
The same holds true of conventional Bullseye shooting jackets. The Quick-Cuff may just end up making the same jump as the "Mouse Gun" did once formally introduced to the Highpower competition crowd.
Setting up the sling on the rifle is simple, and if one should have problems The Tactical Intervention Specialist web page extensively covers the subject with exceptionally clear photographs. In fact, whether you are seriously interested, or not, check it out.
Summation: Many shooters are extremely parsimonious with their funds. A good sling is a vital piece of tactical/field equipment for real world sharpshooting, and can "save yo ass" under less than ideal situations, or conditions.
The one normal complaint heard from those not having owned, or handled, a TIS sling is the price.
The benchmark for comparison is the M1907 sling, in leather, from Brownells, Turner Saddlery, or one of the other leading manufacturers, which will cost about the same money, and won't have the longevity of the TIS sling. Guys (and Gals) break down and get one, you will not be sorry, and Mike offers a money back guarantee on them.
Match that anywhere...................
Lastly, Tactical Intervention Specialists was a VERY proud sponsor of the Carlos N. Hathcock II Memorial Sniper Shoot and donated a number of their slings to the event when the others were not around.