On our second patrol, Thump and I practiced the African Carry method as well as the Bail Out Bag weight carry method I have been working on. As always there have been lessons learned and ideas created.
Generally I do not like to have my rifle slung on my body in any way. At awkward angles and ad hoc shots the sling can get in the way of a full range of movement especially when you are bound up by thick brush and obstacles.
However a sling can come in handy when scrambling up very steep slopes or carrying something or someone, perhaps a wounded comrade, a heavy box of ammo, or materials for a shelter.
This afternoon I practiced using a cheap sling I had laying around in the African Carry method. We walked up the same logging road as during the Scout 1.
20’s F degrees
With the African Carry method the rifle is slung over the non-shooting shoulder, upside down, with the bolt facing outward. This causes the barrel of the rifle to extend somewhat forward of the body.
I found this relatively comfortable and with a couple advantages over slinging the rifle barrel upwards as is often seen. First of all the rifle is very easy to bring into position for a quick shot (I will do a post about that). In addition, there is less likelihood of twigs, leaves, and drops of water falling into the barrel of the rifle as it is pointed downward.
One disadvantage of the African Carry is that I have to be careful not to stub the rifle barrel into the ground, fallen rotten logs, etc while bending, kneeling, and clambering. To help mitigate the barrel from being clogged with debris I can use the rifle barrel condoms.
The rifle sling I put on Thump is something I had laying around but serves well enough for testing purposes.
In an earlier post before the arrival of Thump I was using a chest rig to carry extra rifle magazines but found that for me the rig was often hanging up the rifle stock as I brought it to shoulder.
An idea I’ve been toying with is using what is often called a Bail Out Bag carried over the shoulder to not only hold rifle magazines but also take much of the rifle weight off my arms.
This is the 5.11 Bail Out Bag which is very comfortable to carry by itself. However, with weight in the 5.11 Bailout Bag plus the eight pound rifle makes for a lopsided carry of 12-pounds on one side of the body. This is not ergonomic. After several miles of walking it became uncomfortable. I am going to experiment some more on this concept and post my findings at a later date.
As darkness began to descend the temperature was dropping quickly. I snapped this photo of Thump and I with a slope of Mt. Garfield and The Nubble behind me, with the partially logged off forest. Note how most of the weight of the rifle is resting on the Bailout Bag.
And a view of The Nubble, which I call “Masada”.
Another good afternoon spent in the Great North Woods and mountains I call home.