Gear Review: Blue Force Gear Vickers Slings

Blue force gear Vickers sling courtesy Tatiana B thetruthaboutguns.com

Slings serve four purposes: they stabilize your rifle when shooting, retain it when you need to punch someone in the face go “hands-on” or transition to your pistol, and help you carry it comfortably. A few months ago, Blue Force Gear sent me the Vickers Combat Application Sling in black and coyote, the same sling with a shoulder pad, and the Vickers 221 Sling in multicam. Missions accomplished?

blue force gear vickers sling all courtesy thetruthaboutguns.com

I started with the Vickers 221 sling, mounting it on the PWS MK1 Mod II rifle‘s built-in QD (quick detach) mounts.

Some people like to attach their sling to their rifle’s lower receiver or in a single point configuration (a good idea for sub-guns). To convert the 221, you simply attach the front QD mount to the sling’s rear mounted socket.

blue force gear vickers sling padded front courtesy thetruthaboutguns.com

I prefer to attach my sling to the rifle’s buttstock and hand guard. It prevents entanglement and puts the rifle in an advantageous position for quick and efficient transition to pistol work or hands-on close-quarters combat.

blue force gear vickers sling padding courtesy thetruthaboutguns.com

To mount the Vickers Combat Application slings I pulled-out my old school 14.5″ pinned AR15 with its stock metal mounting loops on the butt stock and front sight post.

blue force gear vickers sling front mount courtesy thetruthaboutguns.com

To attach the sling, I removed the strap from its adjustment triglide, strung it through the mount and and looped it back through the loop.

blue force gear vickers sling rear mount courtesy thetruthaboutguns.com

On the back end, I had to remove the triglide, pull the strap through and then thread it back through the triglide. (You can easily attach QD mounts to the ends of the sling for rifles that contain QD sockets.)

blue force gear vickers sling padded black courtesy thetruthaboutguns.com

The black version of the Vickers Combat Application sling has a 2″ wide shoulder pad made from tubular webbing with closed cell foam padding.

Initially, I didn’t feel the difference between the padded and unpadded slings. After several hours of shooting and carrying the rifle around the range, the extra shoulder cushion was much appreciated. I could see it being very useful in longer applications.

All three slings are 1.25 inches wide and made from “Invista solution dyed CORDURA® webbing.” All three feature the “Patented Quick Adjuster with Contrasting Pull Tab.”

The pull tab was easy to adjust and moved smoothly. The only feature missing: a loop design tab to make it easier to hook and adjust the sling with a thumb.

blue force gear vickers sling adjustment courtesy thetruthaboutguns.com

The Combat Application Sling unpadded and padded are 54” with the Adjuster tightened / 64” fully extended and 57” with the Adjuster tightened / 67” fully extended, respectively.

blue force gear vickers sling tab courtesy thetruthaboutguns.com

To test adjustability, I ran a V-Tac barricade drill, constantly switching to support side as well as shooting from odd positions.

All three slings were very easy to adjust, tighten and switch from dominant to support side. The adjustment tab came in extra handy in stabilization when shooting from an odd position, especially through the narrow and horizontal slits of the barricade.

blue force gear vickers sling back courtesy thetruthaboutguns.com

On transition drills from pistol to rifle, when the slings were in the tightened position (where they should be when you are shooting), they helped the rifle stay out of the way.

I repeated the drills in single point configuration with the Vickers 221 sling on the full size PWS MK1 MOD 2. As expected the rifle went into a place I’d rather not mention here.

The Blue Force Gear Vickers slings accomplished their four tasks and then some. The Vickers 221 was my favorite due to its QD mounting system, which made it extremely easy to configure and move between platforms.

Specifications: Blue Force Gear Vickers Slings – Vickers Combat Application and Vickers 221

Material: Invista solution dyed CORDURA® webbing
Hardware: glass reinforced DuPont Zytel® Nylon – with an option for metal hardware
MSRP:

  • Combat Application unpadded – $45
  • Combat Application padded – $55
  • Vickers 221 – $83

Ratings (out of five stars):

Reliability * * * * *
No issues with adjustment or mounting.

Comfort * * * * *
The padded option adds comfort over an extended period of time.

Aesthetics * * * * *
The slings come in multiple colors to match your rifle and gear.

Ergonomics * * * * 
The adjustment tab allows for easy adjustment but an open loop would have allowed for adjustment with the thumb.

Overall * * * * *
The Vickers 221 sling was my favorite due to its easy mounting and configuring, but all slings preformed as advertised.

comments

  1. avatar Steve says:

    I have a Vicker’s sling and while it’s not my favorite sling… I do like it. That being said, I feel like the star ratings are a little skewed. 5 star reliability compared to other slings? There’s no way a sling with a ton of nylon sliders and buckles is more reliable than a single 2 point strap. It’s also not nearly as comfortable as slings that use wider padding or slick seat belt nylon around the neck area.

    I know getting below a 4 star rating on anything is pretty uncommon on TTAG, but there aren’t many slings I’d give this high of a rating to… ALL of them have downsides. Just my two cents – it could very well be the perfect sling for you, and if so, the ratings make sense!

  2. avatar David Walters says:

    I have a Vickers sling on both my and my wife’s AR-15. They’re good slings…but…

    …it took seemingly forever to get them adjusted so that they could be used with two points of contact (vs. one with the other point of contact a tight loop to the bicep of the support arm) to stabilize the weapons in shooting positions. A simple manual on the slings best use in shooting positions would have been enormously useful.

    And, I agree that a thumb loop to adjust the sling quickly would be helpful too.

    All that said, I like the sling but wish I’d saved a few bucks and simply bought the standard canvas G.I. slings instead. The Vickers slings aren’t as much of an improvement on the G.I. sling as I’d hoped when I bought them.

  3. avatar ATFAgentBob says:

    It’s a strap that holds your gun to your body… I think reliability will either be 5 star or no star. If it adjusts and holds the weapon 5 stars, if it loses adjustment or drops the weapon 0 stars. Everything else is just a bonus. Color options are a moot point as any woman can tell you black goes with everything. Ergos hey long as the adjusters are accessible and don’t cut up my hands, rifle, or clothes it’s as ergonomic as it can be.

    1. avatar Steve says:

      I’d take potential failure points and materials account for reliability… speaking generally about slings here (and this is my personal opinion from using quite a few), anything that uses a QD release (be it a nylon release buckle or actual QD mount) would definitely lose a few points, and anything that uses a MASH hook gets tossed right in the trash. MASH hooks in particular are just garbage… the hook won’t fail, but they’re machined so sharp that over time, it will eat right through just about any mount. This is particularly bad on things like the SCAR that use aluminum mounts that are an integral part of the receiver.

      HK hooks with a *properly sized* mounting eye or looping the sling back through a buckle (like the Vickers) are definitely the way to go.

      I don’t honestly know if I’d even give slings a 5-star rating from what I’ve used… more like a GO or NO-GO though I could certainly point out details of why. Anyone who thinks they like the Vickers or VTAC should really give the S&S adjustable a try with a SlingClip. Retained as a 2-point when you need it to be and you’ll probably forget you’re even wearing a sling when you snap it free as a single-point.

  4. avatar mrbadnews says:

    I use these and the Ares Husky deal. Same Function but the adjuster is different. I find them most useful on hunting rifles. I like pulling the rifle in close and tight when riding the ATV, climbing through or over fencing and such and climbing up and down ladders stands. It’s convenient to not take the rifle off my body and keep my hands free for taking a wizz (whiz?) or walking and glassing with binos or whatever. The slings I have are padded and comfy. I can walk all day with it on if I feel like hunting that long. Much better that a strap.

  5. avatar strych9 says:

    So… basically, with the exception of the 2-to-1, it’s a Viking Tactics VTAC with a mount change for the stock for $6-$10 more than the VTAC…?

    That’s what I got out of this.

    1. avatar Steve says:

      I’ve got a VTAC – the Vickers feels like it has less loose webbing dangling about, but the webbing is more abrasive. I prefer the nylon slider on the Vickers as it doesn’t bang around on the gun as bad as the metal VTAC slider.

      …but yeah, same thing in a different package.

  6. avatar Tile Floor says:

    I never had been fancy with slings, using a simple two point in the .mil and an overly elaborate single point one for PD (neither one I really had a say in). I had always thought a sling was a sling until I spent 25 bucks on a promag one. Holy crap it was terrible. Uncomfortable, difficult to adjust, it just felt cheap. It went back and I spent a little extra and got something that would last.

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