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Stance/grip with slings

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by tower59, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. tower59


    Feb 24, 2007
    Hey, gang! Magpul teaches to hold your arms in tight to your body core when gripping the AR, specifically avoiding extending your trigger finger side elbow out (aka "chicken-winging). However, if you use a two point sling and "sling-up," you can extend your non-trigger elbow out to engage the sling, stabilizing your weapon and tightening your groups. Costa & Haley both recommend a single point sling. Many others recommend a two-point sling.

    I am a novice AR shooter (and shoot lefty) and am trying to learn. I think I'm sold on a two-point sling due to its better ability to keep the weapon close and not interfere while running or doing other things with both hands. So, if I'm to use a two point sling, what's the best way to learn to grip and stand with the rifle? Sling up to stabilize the shot, or keep the elbows in tight to avoid "chicken-winging?" Thanks for the suggestions!
  2. Great topic. Hope someone has some good youtube links, too :)

  3. WayaX

    WayaX Lifetime Member

    Feb 27, 2007
    I'll start by saying single point slings have their place. A two-point quick-adjust (like a VTAC or VCAS) is a more general purpose sling. I use both, but I use the two-point more.

    The Magpul run-your-hand-out-as-far-as-you-can method works well, but it takes some time getting used to, and increases fatigue when compared to the traditional grip. Don't chicken wing. Chicken winging is for hunters (where it has a purpose). I strongly recommend buying "Green Eyes, Black Rifles" by Kyle Lamb. He explains stance very well. As for "practicing", it's simple.

    Unload the rifle, double check that the rifle is unloaded, point it in a safe direction, mount the rifle, hold it as long as you can. Vary this up with practice mounting the rifle and dry firing (posting a target on the wall is helpful). It's all about muscle memory. The more you do it, the better you'll get.
  4. PBR Sailor

    PBR Sailor

    Dec 4, 2004
    I like to use a HK93 sling on my carbines. I keep my elbows in for stability when shooting a pistol grip equipped rifle. Keeping your elbows tucked in is best for CQB in tight places and you can still get good hits at distance with proper use of the sling.
  5. What is the purpose of it?

    Seems as though I've seen images of marines chicken winging, but that might just be Hollywood or ceremony. Maybe they don't actually do it.

    Chicken wing to me means the trigger arm is parallel to the ground.
  6. PBR Sailor

    PBR Sailor

    Dec 4, 2004
    Right elbow out with a M-14 gives stability when shooting offhand. Elbows tucked in works best with pistol grip rifles.
  7. WoodenPlank

    WoodenPlank Who?

    May 15, 2010
    NW Florida
    Firing arm sticking out and support arm elbow tucked into the hip is a better offhand shooting position for precision shooting while standing. It's great for weapon stability, but sucks if you need to move quickly. It also tends to make you a larger target. If you're wearing body armor, it also exposes the weaker sections of your armor to potential hits.

    In short, it's great for punching paper when you need precision, but sucks for combat/defensive style shooting.
  8. mjkeat


    Jun 17, 2009
    Magpul Dynamics didn't invent the thumb-over squared up isosceles stance.

    I find the thumb-over to be very very comfortable. At first, 2 range trips, it sucked. My lower back hurt as well as my support side shoulder. It's been my choice for the last 5-6 years. So much better than the magwell grip.


    All top shooters. Notice their grip?
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  9. Been doing a lot of shooting lately for work quals. Been trying to get used to the Magpul style with support hand out as far as I can get and have finally got it down. It has given me some amazing shot group, control, and speed improvements. I am now a big believer!

    As for chick wing vs. no chicken wing, I never chicken wing. It makes me a bigger target. I know this to be true because I get shot more with sim rounds when I have been sloppy and chicken winged and shot less when held my strong arm in close. It also, as someone has pointed out, keeps me from exposing week points in my armor. I think that an additional benefit is that it helps me stabalize my weapons platform when I shoot, be it stationary or even more so when moving and shooting.

    I use a VTAC 2 pt. sling and try to run it so that when I bring is up to fire the sling only has enough slack to get me into firing position. Once the weapon is up and in place it is tight and I have found that I can flex my back out just a bit to tighten my body up in the sling and lock the entire platform up nice and tight.

    Just some things that seem to work for me.
  10. WoodenPlank

    WoodenPlank Who?

    May 15, 2010
    NW Florida
    I do the same thing. I've also discovered that I can hook my sling under my left elbow and crank down on it a bit more (VTAC padded), and really get some extra tension between my upper body and the sling to help stabilize the rifle a bit more. Having your sling mount farther forward on the rifle helps this, too.

    What expat describes above is a VERY solid method of using a 2-point on an AR. There are others, but this is a great tip.
  11. You described EXACTLY what I do with my elbow against my sling.
  12. mjkeat


    Jun 17, 2009
    The only issue w/ having your sling tight when you bring it up is that the sling is often to tight to perform a proper mag change from your "work space".

    There needs to be enough slack so you can tuck that weapon in the arm w/ muzzle up while performing a mag change.

    Don't forget about going prone. Often times you'll need a little more sling when in the prone.

    Also Ive found a little more sling is needed when going through SBU shooting positions.

    I do like to use my support forearm to tighten the sling to add a little stability. I also like my rifle to ride higher when hanging. I like the stock in the shoulder while it hangs.
  13. That is what I use my elbow for. It takes up what slack may be in the sling. When I do a mag change, I obviously have to move my support arm and, voila, instant slack. If going prone I just avoid the sling with my elbow, drop mag straight to the ground and go for it. Works perfect!
  14. PBR Sailor

    PBR Sailor

    Dec 4, 2004
    Elbows out for target shooting and elbows in for combat shooting.
  15. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Jan 16, 2001
    Buried in the X-files
    Speaking from experience (watching one of my troops do it, not me......) ramming your chicken wing elbow into a door frame at high speed while doing an entry really sucks.
  16. surf


    Jul 7, 2010
    A lot of good points and PBR sums it up nicely. If I am target shooting or even competition type shooting if you extend both elbows outward you muzzle stays much flatter when doing target transitions or tracking targets. Think skeet or some 3 gunner types. You get less of a curve or bowing movement of the forend of the weapon. Not the ideal body position for defensive or critical use.

    As for the extended grip on the forend with the support hand, I am a big fan of it, but I am definitely not as extended as Haley, Costa or Steve in the above video. I do use a thumb over "C" clamp however, but I keep a bit of bend in my support elbow as it is more conducive to a faster transition where your targets are more spread apart. Of course you must learn good technique, but IMO there is nothing out there currently that provides for more muzzle control and allows for extremely fast and accurate follow up shots as this type of grip / stance. I did a video also about 6 months or so prior to the one Steve shot for Gun Websites where I explain the grip and how Magpul was far from the inventors of it. I used to shoot and train with an ex Magpul guy long before Magpul was around. We toyed with a lot of stuff back in those days. Much of those things are now commonplace money makers.

    With that I go to the sling. One points are are not my preference. They have a very limited roll IMO. However there are times that I do like a one point. Therefore, yes a two to one point convertible sling. And yes we were making our own before Magpul existed. And yes they are pretty common now. So I like a two point configuration about 90% of the time and I go with a an adjustable VCAS and I still make all my own conversions. Of course everyone has their own preference on how to run a two point or any sling, but I prefer a bit of slack as when I am in gear and doing a lot of moving or improvised positions or need to drop an arm out etc, running it too tight is not as conducive to the environment / situations that I normally work in. I find that if I need more support, time, distance and / or cover is generally on my side and I can cinch up the sling.

    Of course this is only my preference and everyone's MMV so to speak.
  17. mjkeat


    Jun 17, 2009
  18. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    I find elbow tucked to be uncomfortable because its harder to find the sweet spot for the shoulder pocket.

    Hickok45 likes chicken wings

    [ame=""]AR15 - A2 - YouTube[/ame]
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  19. TangoFoxtrot

    TangoFoxtrot OIF 04-05

    Sep 10, 2008
    Nowhereville, USA
    Some excellent points.
  20. Matthew Courtney

    Matthew Courtney Instructor #298

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lake Charles
    I delineate things similarly to Col. Jeff Cooper. Col. Cooper made a distinction between a sling and a carry strap. Slings aid marksmanship as well as assist in carrying the rifle. Carry straps merely aid in carrying the rifle.

    At CQB distances, speed is crucial and a well practiced rifleman should not need a sling to aid his aim. Elbows in, leaning slightly forward in a free arm standing/squared up walking position gets done what one needs done. One point and two point fast adjust carry straps shine in CQB.

    At longer distances an aid to marksmanship such as a hasty sling or a loop sling can be a tremendous aid. Also, the chicken wing associated with the free arm standing position will not announce that you are about to come around the corner, because you will have your feet planted, be kneeling, prone, or in an improvised supported position.

    By the time one has mastered basic marksmanship and is beginning to dip their toes into the CQB arena, one may be well served by purchasing some straping and hardware from the local true value and making various set ups until they hit upon what works for them. The strapping is 40-50 cents per foot and the hardware 49-99 cents per piece.