Don't Let Swivels Get in the Way - Here's How to Put a Sling on a Rifle

Ready to take your shooting skills to the next level? Check out our article on how to put a sling on a rifle without swivel. Discover the easy and safe way to put a sling with our comprehensive guide to elevate your shooting experience.

A rifle sling is an essential accessory for any firearm enthusiast or hunter, acting as a comfortable shoulder strap allowing for hands-free weapon carrying conveniently and comfortably. Typically, these slings are attached to two swivels – one in the gun's stock and one at the top of the barrel.

However, what if your shotgun or rifle doesn't come with sling swivels? It’s possible to attach them without these components as well. Putting a sling on your rifle without swivels can be tricky, but fear not; we've got you covered.

So please read this blog post to learn how to do it correctly!

Understanding the Basics

A sling is essential for any shooter, as it helps distribute the rifle's weight evenly and provides additional support when shooting. On the other hand, swivels are small metal attachment points that allow the sling to rotate and pivot, making it easier to carry the rifle.

Rifle bodies and butts are typically equipped with swivels, and certain models of rifles may feature an extra attachment point near the magazine tube.

However, not all rifles come with swivels, or you may prefer not to use them. Mostly these are lightweight and streamlined rifles preferred by precision shooters. However, this limits the flexibility in how you can carry the rifle.

Whether you currently have quick detach swivels or not, if hunting is your passion, then a gun sling should be at the top of your must-have list.

Whether you're hauling your firearm up your treestand or having to traverse miles with all your hunting gear in pursuit of the game, strapping on a sling is essential to carry your gun securely without being uncomfortable. So, knowing how to attach slings to these rifles is crucial.

Preparation for Putting a Sling on a Rifle Without Swivels

required tools and drill bits
Tools and materials needed

Tools and materials needed

Before you start, you must have the right tools and materials. This includes:



-High-tensile strength nylon webbing


-Paracord or other strong cord

-Heavy-duty grommets

-Plastic or metal washers

-Tape measure

Tools (if you want to drill a and fix  swivels first)

-Drill and drill bits



-Needle-nose pliers

-Cordless drill

-Hole saw

-Utility knife

Blast away dirt and grime from your firearms with the best ultrasonic cleaners

Safety precautions to be taken

Choose a clean workbench before you dive in. When working with any firearms-related equipment, specific safety considerations must be followed.

Always handle the rifle securely and keep it pointed safely away from people or animals. Wear protective gear such as eyewear and gloves when necessary. Never leave the rifle unattended during your project.

Guide to Putting the Sling

There are several ways you can attach a sling to your rifle without using swivels; the most common three methods are:

Looping it around the barrel, Threading it through the running slot, or Attaching a QD Swivel to your gun stock or barrel band and then fixing the sling with it. Choose one that works best for your situation based on your available supplies and the type of weapon you are dealing with.

Looping Around the Barrel

You have just got some new (or vintage) lever action rifles and don't want to drill holes in them immediately to customize your setup. If this sounds like you, this method is for you. It requires you to create two loops with the sling and then use one loop to pull it through itself and attach it.

If you don't have an extra long rifle sling like the Ultimate Firearm Sling with Extension, you can use a paracord to create loops and attach your sling with a paracord sling loop knot to fix with the gun barrel.

Begin by making a large loop of equal size and position the rifle on your shoulder in front of you so the barrel rests in the top loop.

Then, pull out enough slack from the bottom of the sling loop to be used as an attachment point, and secure it around the buttstock or handguard below.

This is the most common way of putting a leather lever action sling, shotgun ammo sling, or no-drill drill harnessed sling. You can also use this method to attach most single-point slings. Most customized leather no drill harnessed slings are designed to be attached using this method.

However, if you want to attach a sling for a pistol grip shotgun or have a heavy-duty shotgun sling with shell holder (like this Remington 870 shotgun sling from Ace Case), this method is not the best.

custom leather sling looped around the buttstock of a rifle
A custom sling looped around the buttstock of a rifle.

Threaded Through Running Slot

This method involves threading one end of the sling through a small slot cut into either side of a gun’s buttstock and body. If you have a shorter sling or a shotgun tactical sling, this will be the preferred method.

Position your rifle so you can access both sides and begin threading one end of the sling through the slot until it has emerged at its exit point on the opposite side.

Then you can secure this end with additional cordages or a tie-off point, such as a carabiner or hook system attachment point, before doing likewise with other ends. If you can't find an anchor point on the front part, loop it around the barrel on the other end.

This method is most popular among users of AR-15-style rifles, but sometimes it can be used (though rarely) to attach a handgun sling or a revolver sling. Be careful while threading; this method can be tricky if you use a heavily padded rifle sling.

Attached With Attachment Point

Henry rifle sling kitThis requires more specialized metal hardware than the previous two options but may offer more excellent stability, comfort, and convenience depending on individual setup and preferences. Old-school hunters often prefer this method of attaching shotgun slings.

Have you ever been fortunate enough to see a classic Remington model with its original wooden stock, graciously handed down for generations? Suppose you have one or any other old gun, mainly with wood stock, without a factory-installed sling mount, or they have already been used, or you got yourself some Henry rifle sling kit, then you should try this method.

In that case, you must drill a hole through your rifle stock and manually attach a sling swivel first, similar to what you did while attaching bipods. This is often a standard method for attaching a two-point sling, preferred by hunters who like to customize their setup.

Check out this video on Ruger 10/22 sling no drill method:

Here's a step-by-step guide to attaching a quick-detach (QD) swivel stud to an old wood stock rifle:

  1. Gather your tools: drill, drill bits, screws, screwdriver, and QD swivel stud.
  2. Determine the desired location for the QD swivel stud on the rifle stock.
  3. Mark the location with a pencil or marker.
  4. Select the appropriate size drill bit for the screws with the QD swivel stud.
  5. Use the drill to create a pilot hole at the marked location on the stock.
  6. Insert the screw into the QD swivel stud and attach it to the stock by screwing it into the pilot hole.
  7. Repeat the process for any additional QD swivel studs you want to attach.
  8. Tighten the screws securely with a screwdriver.
  9. Attach each end of your chosen sling to the QD swivel studs, and you're all set.
  10. Test the attachment by attaching and detaching the sling to the sling mounts to ensure they are secure and function properly.

Attaching a Barrel Band

Attaching a barrel band to your rifle is an easy and cost-effective way to add a sling to your firearm. This is especially useful if you have a rifle with heavy recoil and prefer a no-drill sling to protect your rifle stock.

Barrel bands are available in single and double-barrel configurations, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

To attach a barrel band, you will need a few tools and supplies, such as a drill, screwdriver, sandpaper, and the appropriate size of barrel band for your gun.

A barrel band with sling attachment
A barrel band with sling attachment

For single-barrel guns,

If you need to attach a no-drill sling to your classic Winchester 37 or similar guns, remove the existing forend from the gun.

Next, use sandpaper to smooth out the inside of the barrel band before sliding it onto the gun's barrel.

Securely tighten the screws on either side of the band using a screwdriver or drill.

Finally, attach your sling to the swivel studs on either side of the band.

For double-barrel guns,

If you need to attach a no-drill Rossi 92 sling (or similar guns) begin by loosening but not removing all the grub screws in the factory barrel band.

Slide off this existing band and replace it with your new one-piece or two-piece barrel band.

Use sandpaper to smooth rough edges before attaching it to your gun's barrels.

Once secured tightly with screws or bolts (depending on which type of band you have), attach your sling using swivel studs on either side of the band.

Following these simple steps, you can easily attach a rifle sling without swivel onto your firearm using a barrel band!

Check out the video below on attaching a Mossberg 590 sling mount:

Also check out our article on the Best Soft Rifle Cases

How to adjust the sling to fit comfortably

Adjusting your sling to fit comfortably is essential for comfortable and safe shooting. Here's how you can do it:

  1. Start by loosening the two side straps until their maximum length. This will give you the room to adjust the sling around your body.
  2. While still wearing your rifle, place the front sling strap across your back and chest. Ensure the rifle is secure against your body without any slack in the sling.
  3. Pull on each arm of the sling until it feels in an ideal position to shoot accurately and comfortably – make sure there is no slack in the strap when pulling on it!
  4. Finally, once you've got everything in place, tighten both sides straps until it fits perfectly with no wiggle or movement when you move around with it on.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Attaching rifle slings to guns without swivels can be tricky, as some rifles don't have the necessary components for proper attachment. Here are some of the common issues to look out for when attempting this task:

  1. Poor Fit – If the material used in the sling is of poor quality or too tight, it won't be easy to attach securely and comfortably. Make sure that you get a sling with enough material so that you can fit it correctly around your body and firearm.
  2. Not Secure – When attaching a rifle sling to a gun without swivels, use high-quality straps and secure them tightly around your gun. Otherwise, there could be excess wiggle room which could compromise accuracy when shooting.
  3. Too Much Slack – Too much slack in the strap can cause difficulty when aiming/firing because it will not remain as tight against your body throughout the movement. To avoid this issue, adjust the strap until it fits snugly but allows comfortable mobility while carrying your firearm.
  4. Damage to stock while drilling -  Drilling holes in your stock can cause damage if you are not careful. Take your time and use the right drill bit size for the job. It's also good to practice on an old piece of wood or similar material before attempting this on your gun's stock.
  5. Uneven drilling - Clean your gun barrel thoroughly with a gun cleaning solvent or a vinegar solution. The dirt and debris can cause the drill bit to become uneven and cause damage to your gun.
  6. Finally, ensure all screws are securely tightened with a screwdriver to avoid slipping or loosening while carrying it in the field.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still unsure how to attach slings to your rifle without drilling holes? Don't worry! Our FAQ section is here to answer your most common questions.

Is it difficult to attach a rifle sling without a swivel?

The short answer is yes. Attaching a rifle sling without a swivel can be challenging since most slings are designed to use swivels in mind. Moreover, it can be dangerous if done incorrectly.

Mounting a sling without one requires some customization or technical know-how that can make the process more complicated than attaching one with a swivel. And if done incorrectly, the weapon's weight will cause it to shift unexpectedly, potentially leading to an injury or even worse.

However, it isn't impossible! Using the right tools and following our instructions, you can easily create a compelling and secure rifle sling without buying additional hardware like swivels. 

The upside of this approach is that you have complete control over where the strap sits on your gun – plus, these types of slings tend to be lighter than those that include metal pieces like buckles or clips.

What are some options for attaching a rifle sling to a Marlin Model 60 without swivels?

If you're looking for a no-drill solution to attaching a rifle sling to your Marlin Model 60, your best bet may be simple nylon slings (like Butler Creek Slings). Attaching these slings is easy as you can loop them around your rifle for a secure fit, but they might not be the most comfortable option.

You might consider getting a padded sling or customized leather sling for something more comfortable.

A custom built leather rifle sling for Henry Big Boy
A custom-built leather rifle sling for Henry Big Boy

Is it possible to attach a sling to a Henry Big Boy without swivels?

Yes, it is possible to attach a sling to your Henry Big Boy rifle without the use of swivels. The easiest no-drill henry big boy sling attachment method is to use a two-point sling and barrel band method.

This will allow you to carry the rifle around your body, providing added stability and balance when shooting or hiking for miles carrying a heavy load. If you use a universal rifle sling hook for backpacks during your hunting trips, you'll find this method to provide you with maximum stability.

But if you're a collector and don't move around much with your firearms, using a custom build leather sling that loops around the buttstock is a great option too. Whichever method you choose, make sure that your sling is securely fastened and adjusted for comfortable wear.

What are the advantages of using Uncle Mike's sling for attaching a rifle sling without swivels?

Uncle Mike's slings are popular for attaching a rifle sling without swivels and are known for their durability and versatility. They are designed to attach to various points on a rifle, including the barrel and stock. With their sturdy construction, Uncle Mike's slings provide a reliable attachment for your rifle sling.

These slings are made from heavy-duty nylon webbing that is strong and long-lasting.

Uncle Mike's slings also offer flexibility in terms of size adjustment. Some models come with buckles that can be adjusted quickly to fit different body sizes or provide extra tension when needed.

Finally, another big advantage is cost savings since Uncle Mike's Slings generally run cheaper than other brands on the market today - an important factor if you're shopping on a budget but still want quality equipment that performs well in situations where reliability matters most!

How can I attach a sling to my Winchester 30-30 without drilling into the stock?

To attach a no-drill Winchester 30-30 sling, you can easily loop it around your rifle's forend and buttstock. These will allow you to attach your sling without any modifications to the stock securely.

What is the best sling for a Ruger American Rifle?

The best sling for Ruger American Rifle depends on your preferences and intended use. Two-point slings are the most preferred slings, and some options ideal for a Ruger are Ruger Mesa Sling from Allen Company or their own Ruger Padded Leather sling.

What should I choose among single-point slings, two-point slings, and three point slings for my rifles?

Choosing the best rifle sling heavily depends on personal preference and the type of activity you will do with your firearm.

A Single point sling is ideal for sports shooting or competitions because it provides quick transitions between targets and easy access to the rifle while carrying it.

On the other hand, two point slings are designed to distribute weight more evenly across both shoulders, making them ideal for long-distance activities such as hunting or observation posts.

Lastly, three-point slings allow even greater freedom of movement than two-point slings while still providing excellent support during the active operation of a firearm, making them ideal for tactical purposes.

So when considering which type of sling is right for you and your rifle, consider what activity you will engage in and choose accordingly. And if you are not sure about the suitable sling, you can pick an adjustable sling like the Tactical Intervention Specialists sling. This rifle sling can be adjusted for various scenarios according to your needs.

Can I use a Henry Axe sling on other rifles?

Yes, a Henry Axe sling can be used on other rifles if the sling's attachment points are compatible with your firearm. Ensure that the sling can be securely fastened and adequately support your rifle.

Final Thoughts

We hope this article has helped you understand how to attach a rifle sling to your gun without swivels. With these tips and tricks, you should be able to make sure that your firearm is securely attached with no wiggle or movement while carrying it in the field.

And when you're in the market for a new sling, tap the button below and check out our article on the best hunting rifle slings to find the perfect one.

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced shooter, we have something that suits your style.

Check Out The Best Hunting Rifle Slings
A man carrying his riflein a sling bag

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