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Is there a consensus on which is the better sling?  I've been using a VCAS for about 8 years now and while I like it, mostly, there is one issue I have with it.  The length adjustment is and has always been stiff/difficult.  I have no experience with the VTAC but in nearly all of the videos I've seen of it in use, the adjustment slider looks really easy to use.  Almost to the point that it may be too easy to change lengths.  Is there any truth to that impression or is the VTAC GTG?

Original Post

I always liked the VCAS in that it wouldn't easily move without deliberate effort.  I once bought a padded model shortly before deployment, because the local ATS was out of non-padded models.  I was surprised how much I appreciated that padding with just an M4 when the sling starts rubbing on your sweaty neck on a long hump.

I always thought the VTAC felt like it could break.

I guess I need to check out the Magpul.

Tankersteve

Since I've had decent slings -- whatever piece of junk came with the ban-era rifle I had and divested, or the USGI web slings when  I was a cadet notwithstanding -- I've used the padded VCAS sling. I'm also giving the medic sling a shot for general use.
I think the padded would do well if you knew you were going to be humping the rifle for some time, but for other times, the unpadded version is fine. I look forward to comparing the medic sling to the padded slings sometime soon once I find a round tuit 

My favorite sling of all time is still the VTAC. The padded versions are good, and they have a velcro loop that keeps the free running end secured but still allow it to slide freely. I love the folks at BFG and am huge fans of everything they make except the VCAS. I think they missed the boat on that sling and had always wondered why people would use a sling that was so hard to adjust rapidly. When I was on AD, I was using some variation of the VTAC type sling from about E-4 or E-5 through my retirement, and they all came from the same place before VTAC started selling them. 

If I ever decide to switch from a VTAC sling it'll be for an SOB "B" sling. The SOB slings are awesome and rank right up there with anything else on the market. 

You can tell that my sling choices all revolve around the original design from the same group of folks who perfected the adjustable 2-points many years ago. The closer a sling stays to the original design, the better the sling tends to be for me. I spent a lot of time carrying around a gun that I needed to be able to cinch tight to my body so I could do other stuff with my hands. None of the slings that venture further from the original 2-point designs have the easy range of adjustability that the VTAC and SOB slings have, from my experience. 

I have the VTAC, the VCAS, and the MS1 all unpadded.  I prefer the VCAS on my main AR, never had any issue adjusting it, of course it was well broken in...picked it up from the bargain bin at a surplus store for 2 bucks!  The VTAC is softer materiel, and easy to adjust.  I liked the speed, but found it difficult to find the release sometimes with gloves in a PC.  The tab of the VCAS was easier for me too grab and run, and was contrasting color while my VTAC is all black.  I put the Magpul MS1 on my trunk gun (870)  I didn't want a running tail potentially getting tangled with a pump gun, the MS1 is the widest of all 3, easy to adjust, and doesn't get in the way.  I like the slider for the shotgun, but prefer the VCAS pull tab for my AR....no real reasoning, just comfort from my own experience.  Haven't tried swapping either out yet, maybe I'll give that a shot some rainy day.  Still threading through loops like its 2001, haven't gone full QD yet.

 

I'm a huge fan of the VTAC - I make my own these days from 1" tubular webbing or regular mil-spec webbing and the ALICE pack adjusters. I've made them with plastic tri-glides for comfort, those have held up well to range use and I know a few have been overseas multiple trips. It's just a solid, simple, and good design.

I do want to try the SOB sling, it's on the 'nice to try' list.

A loooong asss time ago I tried  a bunch of different slings on my ARs, everything from 3 Point octopuses to single point dick knockers, all unpadded.  over the years I couldn't find anything I liked or felt comfortable to wear for a long amount of time.  I just  assumed slings were a dead end when it came to being improved on.  A wise sage directed me to a VTac and VCAS. and everything in my AR world was GTG.  VTAC is good but VCAS is my favorite but the tail does need to be a bit  shorter. My fix is I use some velcro straps and contain it so all good. Oh and every sling I have is padded lines too short to be uncomfortable.  Recently, I'm  working with a lot of different platforms  (AUG, FAL, M1A, AK,MINI) and wanted to standardize on slings and went with the VCAS on them although not without a lot of trial and error re length and how much to shorten.  

I used the VCAS for my departments 40 hr rifle course but switched to the VTAC for the last 2 days. The VCAS was definitely stiffer but I liked the adjustment more. The VTAC the dept gave me was a padded version and felt nice after 3 days of the unpadded VCAS. I too did not like the VTAC tail hanging out and ended up buying a different sling than that one. 

The one I ended up sticking with was the ferro concepts slingster. The adjustment is similar to the VCAS but with softness of the VTAC. Plus its has metal hardware. I dumped the pull tab thing they put on it for a small piece of paracord.

Last edited by Community Member

I’ve had the VCAS and VTAC. Quickly went away from the VTAC as I didn’t like the tail. VCAS was stiff for a bit but after using it as long as I have it’s “broken in” and is much less rigid then one of my new VCAS is making it very comfortable. My padded one that I’ve had the longest is definitely my go to for anything military related, there is some shortcomings for LE use in that I can’t as easily manage the sling when in a vehicle. Thus I’m picking up the Centrifuge sling to give a try.

Another good option is the Sierra Tac sling. Similar function to the VCAS but a metal slider and softer lighter material. It’s comfy. 

BFG’s M240, and M249 VCAS are also legit, and have NSN if I’m not mistaken, any of you .Mil cats reading this, but the bug in supply’s ear.

runningwolf posted:

 

BFG’s M240, and M249 VCAS are also legit, and have NSN if I’m not mistaken, any of you .Mil cats reading this, but the bug in supply’s ear.

Good call, I forgot I ran a BFG VCAS M240 sling on my SAW overseas and it was a little bulky but comfy as fuck, plus having a Nomex front portion kept it from melting off when contacting the barrel after lots of belt fed fun (or learning the hard way that tracers work both ways).

So from my experience/ knowledge, the VCAS, Sierra Tac, and Centrifuge are all basically identical in function. 

VCAS: Bomb proof, thing is well built and will last. Has a bit of a “break in” period.

Sierra Tac: lighter materials and “softer” out of the box. Metal slider.

Centrifuge: No first hand knowledge but from buddies telling me it’s a good sling. Has built in feature that allows the sling to be cinched down tightly to the rifle to secure it while in a vehicle.

I have a VCAS on my work gun and a Magpul MS series sling on my personal gun. I greatly prefer the Magpul. I'm thinking about trying a Haley Strategic sling too just to try something new. The wider Magpul sling is a definite improvement over the VCAS for me, I've honestly never tried a padded sling though so maybe that would be even more comfortable? I'd just be worried about bulk.

Longeye posted:

I am a huge fan of the VTAC in both padded and unpadded version, depending on the firearm.
I will have a VTAC on my 6.8 at the LF  hog hunt if you want to mess with it.

I use VTAC on my SBR, sniper rifle, patrol rifle, 6.8 AR, M70 hunting rifle, shotgun, .22 rifle, etc. Most are padded.

I will give it the once over. Thanks. 

I don’t recall if we’re hunting the same night. I’m Saturday.  

For you guys that are having issues with the VTAC tail, I just tuck it in under the Velcro tab leaving a 1/2 size “loop” tail. It won’t come undone and if it hooks on anything it’ll come right out. Been doing this for years in the brush and never had any issues. Their padded versions are on all my rifles and that’s what’s provided on the majority of rifles at work. 

I should add that I did have the tail on the older version VTAC  get caught between the charging handle and upper receiver years ago during a shooting class.

Only time it ever happened but it wa enough to lock the gun up. Had to mortar the gun to break the charging handle free.

I used to prefer the padded VTAC with one of the Larue versions being my go-to for many years until I started spending more time wearing plate carriers.  I suspect the additional surface area and thickness made it more likely to catch on things.  Since then I’ve migrated toward more minimalist slings.

I think the only VTAC I have left is a newer bungee sling with the keeper and rubber pull tab.  

There was a guy on ARFCOM with a WTB ad for mk1 VTAC, sold 3 of them for $150.  They were definitely well used with the faint odor of sweat, bug spray and sunscreen 😆

 

Much like some of you, I got tired of shopping around and never finding the sling I wanted. Most were too narrow and dug into my neck/shoulders. I wound up making my own out of several slings. Now I have a 2" wide multicam webbing that can convert from a single point to a two point with a clip, and it's adjustable. No padding because it always seemed to get hung up. The wide strap makes a big difference. 

It’s simple.  If you need to do things like climb, handle and search people, or use it both with and without armor to do those two things, only the VTAC gets the weapon secure enough by getting it tight to the body where it doesn’t move at all or can’t be grabbed.  The VCAS has limited adjustment.  For most people getting it tight enough to do the above two tasks means you have had to shorten it so much it’s not usable for stabilized shooting solutions.   If you don’t need to do any of those things then either will be fine.  There is a great visual explanation on IG @oakcitytactics showing this.

I just got my new Centrifuge training sling figured out on my rifle to give that a go. I bought it to test out how it secures to itself for storage inside vehicle gun racks. But it does fall into that category of not being able to adjust tight enough to the body. The VTAC was the one sling that got close enough to the body. But at least the sling doesn't come lose from the elastic bungee I was using to secure the sling. 

fmfbest posted:

It’s simple.  If you need to do things like climb, handle and search people, or use it both with and without armor to do those two things, only the VTAC gets the weapon secure enough by getting it tight to the body where it doesn’t move at all or can’t be grabbed.  The VCAS has limited adjustment.  For most people getting it tight enough to do the above two tasks means you have had to shorten it so much it’s not usable for stabilized shooting solutions.   If you don’t need to do any of those things then either will be fine.  There is a great visual explanation on IG @oakcitytactics showing this.

FMF, 

Would you say this is the case when wearing body armor and kit?  I never had a problem securing an M4 tightly with a VCAS, but that was with ESAPI plates front and rear, water on back and single mag depth additional on front.  I can imagine running out of adjustability when not wearing any gear.

Tankersteve

Work gun being a 14.5 with 13 inch rail I keep rear of sling on back of stock and front attachment at the end of rail. I’ve had no issues with retention slick, duty setup, or either or my plate carriers. My Army gun is set up similar concept, the two points as far apart as possible. In kit it’s not as tight as my work gun when cinched down but it’s never been a issue.

Also when I sling my rifle I don’t keep it on my front. I tighten it the rotate it down and around onto my back so that the muzzle is at my left shoulder and stock by my right hip. This completely clears it from my front and I can climb or do any other task I need. If I need it the adjustment tab is sitting right at my left shoulder so I just grab it with my left hand and grab the stock with my right and simultaneously pull the adjustment tab down and pull the stock up. This brings the rifle into my firing shoulder. I learned this from Pat McNamara so y’all can probably find some videos of him slinging his rifle like this for reference.

hile posted:

Just realizing I never got back to Mark. My padded VCAS slings are Ranger/foliage green. The Black one I gave my brother 2 christmases ago was the only black one I had.

Not to worry.  I’m making do with one VCAS (coyote) that I’m having do double duty on my 5.56 and .308 guns. I’ve got the same QD set ups on both guns so it’s an easy swap. I’m pretty sure I’m just going to go with a black VCAS here pretty soon.  Lots of good info and suggestions here. Thanks to all for chiming in. If I don’t go VCAS I might give the SOB a shot.  

I have a good mix of both VTAC and Vickers, almost 50/50.  Have some padded and some non-padded of both.  Also have an SOB-B sling, a Proctor sling, a Ferro Concepts, and one or two others around. 

Been using the VTAC since 2004 or so, and have no doubt it is the better of the two for my needs, based on experience.  Both have positives and negatives.  Geronimo nailed it with the common origin of the two big players, and there has been heated discussion over the years on whose was first.  My understanding is neither KL or LV originated the design, although their execution of it might be specifically unique.

The VTAC is a more fluid sling in every way.  It is more flexible, easier to adjust, more adjustable, easier to adapt to fit a variety of weapons and mounts, tends to find a nook to ride in on your body or gear so it stays in place, and easier to move around when handling the weapon.  Downside is it tends to flip or twist during off-body handling, so it can take a second to sort out.  I guess I prefer the 1" webbing to the 1.25" of the VCAS, but it may just be that I prefer the webbing type.  VTAC is a higher denier nylon, while the VCAS seems more like cotton and has a lower denier.  I'm sure it will soften with use and age, but I never did use one long enough before switching back to a VTAC.  Webbing downsides for VTAC are that, while softer initially, it can dig into the neck because of the webbing "edge" and narrow width.  VCAS will absolutely abraid your neck because it is stiffer, wider, and less likely to ride in a body/overgarment/gear nook.

VTAC's adjustment method is simple and reliable.  However, the ALICE pack strap adjuster can be damaged with abuse or jam with gunk.  I've not had one fail, however.  I don't like that it is metal (some newer slings have a plastic adjuster option) as it can bang into stuff and the weight of it adds to the tendency of the sling to twist.  Still, it is the better and easier to use of the two, IMO.  as mentioned, the VCAS has less range of adjustment and is harder to lengthen.  This is significant to me, because the advantages of a quick-adjust, 2-point sling are versatility offered by range and ease of adjustment.  I'll add that a VCAS gets pretty bulky at the attachment points.

While both designers were SFOD and saw combat (some we all know about and lots more we don't), I *think* - strong emphasis on this being an assumption, not a judgment - that KL served during higher tempo periods, in more urban areas, using relatively more modern gear, and with TTPs more familiar to today's shooters.  I can see the difference in the slings and think the VTAC is more suited to an assaulter who is adjusting the sling more often while clearing obstacles, shooting from both shoulders, going hands-on with injured folks and bad guys, doing SSE tasks, breaching, etc.  The VCAS strikes me as more idiot proof in use and easier to train on, as well as having a better aesthetic for traditional infantry roles with less frequent performance of the above tasks.  Basically, its adjustment works well for users who adjust it less often.  And it looks nicer...less like a rigger's custom work.

I know the VTAC tail is an issue for some.  I don't like it but I understand the reason it's there and accept it.  I have had a couple of issues with it getting jammed into a mag pouch, but no issues with it interfering in any significant way.  I have however had issues where I struggled to adjust the VCAS to accommodate a shooting position, especially with a plate carrier and other gear on.  I also agree on the SOB-B sling being an excellent alternative, and perhaps the overall cleanest execution of the basic idea.  I really like mine for ease of use, decent adjustment, simplicity, and being lightweight.  The Proctor sling is simpler still, but probably too simple.

Please, I'm not calling anyone out on this opinion, nor am I trying to be an internet commando.  I have used the VTAC on numerous call-outs and patrol responses and at multiple classes.  I see the advantages of both.  If I was to pick one, it's simply the VTAC, in part becasue KL has provided training to my (former) agency multiple times and is someone I like and trust.  In any case, find one you like and put it to use.  Reality is that most shooter will probably be fine with any of them and use them far less than the originators ever did.  The likelihood of the average civilian adjusting it often anywhere but a carbine class is low, IMO.

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