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It's a, it's a Lateeego
By Joseph D'Alessandro Editor | RealGuns.Com

I can always tell when I get a gun and all of its ancillary equipment just right. The parts all fit and look right together, and the result is a good looking functional piece of equipment, not unlike most of us...just prior to high school graduation.

There are lots of slings on the market; leather and synthetic, thick and narrow, carry and shooting. After a great deal of analysis and use, I have arrived at  the conclusion I will only put leather slings on my guns. Why? - Because they look good, they age well and they are durable when maintained. 

When the Model Seven, hereafter known as "the 7",  was picked up, a Bianchi cobra style sling was purchased in its honor. Unfortunately, this very nice piece of harness leather weighed more than the gun, and it's missing utility as a shooting sling was unacceptable.

I had recently installed a competition shooting sling on a Weatherby Ultralight, and I've become very fond of that set up. Unfortunately, this specific type of sling was too large and elaborate for this short action Remington. I dug around on the Brownells site and found what I thought would be an excellent solution, the Latigo. Billed as a quick-Set sling, the Latigo can be adjusted from taut for carry, to slack for sling assisted shooting, with a quick tug. The price of admission is about $45.

Latigo Installation

The first thing noticeable when equipping a rifle of this type with a sling is the very short distance between front and rear swivels, about 22.5". Almost all full size sporters, including the very long Weatherby cannons, are 26" between swivels. As a result, most popular slings will be way too long for the 7, and will require major modifications to be made workable. Fortunately, the Latigo sling offers a greater range of adjustment and adaptability than most others.

After tipping both swivels in toward the trigger guard, I measured 22.5" between the two. Then I following the instructions and rounded this measurement down to an even 22". The tail end of the sling has holes labeled from 23 - 40. The instructions state to round down to find the hole number, add 3/4" padding, then cut off the excess. The "1" in the picture above is the correct hole, #23, because there is no 22". All the leather curled up to the left of the "1" is scrap.

Scissors are not a workable tool here, not even Super Scissors. A straight edge and a carton cutter make for a cleaner and more accurate trim. It's a good idea to have something backing the blade so you don't cut your kitchen table in half. The excess leather, folded under the trim line, works fine for this purpose.

Straight blades usually cut straight lines and angles, which will look relative homely if left unfinished, causing even friends and family members to ridicule you in public. The easiest way to finish the cut end, and to avoid this dilemma, is to approximate the finished shape, cut, and then use a little garnet paper to form the shape the rest of the way.

The rest of this installation is a lot like tying a tie. Top left, through the rear swivel and through the fixed retainer.

Top right, add the slip in retainer and pull it through the front sling.

Bottom left, pull the strap just pulled through the front sling and run it through the open buckle on the rear portion of the sling.

Bottom right, the part that became the middle strap pulling up from the rear swivel is pulled even until the two sets of hole numbers match, and the brass hardware is used to anchor the outside strap to the middle strap. I personally wouldn't know, but I been told if you anchor the wrong two straps, middle and closest to the stock, you'll tug on that sling like there is no tomorrow without any meaningful effect. Then you'll sit there and scratch your head for 15 minutes until the "duh" awareness factor sets in.

The sling is pulled up, when not in field use, as tight as a drum. By simply pulling on the middle and front strap, the sling opens up wide for shooting hold use. I tried working through all of the traditional sling holds, and didn't run into a problem that losing 20 lbs or so wouldn't solve.

The Latigo is a very good quality sling, very useful in design and very much appropriate for a small handy rifle like the Model Seven. It can be a great help in getting the most out of your rifle in field use.

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