I tried really, really hard not to buy this sling but I just couldn’t resist.
It looked fairly underwhelming in the packaging, but now I’ve had a close look at it it seems pretty decent.
As a primer, you may want to take a look at Travis explaining the D3 sling in this video:
I’ve got to say, he’s an excellent salesman, but there are a few features I want to bring to the fore which aren’t covered sufficiently in the overview video.
It’s not just the big picture which has been thoroughly thought through, it’s the detail of this sling as well.
It’s the kind of product design you don’t normally see in the tactical market, and has more akin to Arc’teryx’s outdoor range.
I ordered the sling from Tactical-Kit and received the usual fantastic service.
The packaging is good. It’s not just a bundle of Cordura in a ziplock bag, with a sticker on it.
Out of the packaging, the sling looks like this:
The first thing you notice, through its absence of bulk, is the shoulder pad. Pic below shows a 20 pence piece, for scale, which is approximately 20mm across:
The next thing you notice is the softshell material it’s made of. The pad is fairly stiff and looks more like part of an Arc’teryx climbing harness. It makes other padded slings seem clumsy.
You sort expect to see The Dead Bird embroidered on it. Instead, it features HSP’s dragonfly.
I’m not going to go into too much detail about functionality in Part 1 of this review. That will come in Part 2. Suffice to say this is a two-to-one point sling.
If I get on with the D3, it’ll replace my VTAC two-point slings. So it has big boots to fill.
I’m not sure if I’ll use it as a one-point, but as a two-point it is adjustable, so can be cinched-in across the body. Same idea as the VTAC in that respect, but with a lot lower bulk and different controls.
The latter will probably make or break it, for me. There’s a balance to be struck between ease of use with gloved hands, ‘tails’ and other adjustment devices.
Now, before I bought this sling I didn’t think I’d use the supplied QDs. I have a set of Blue Force Gear ones, with recessed release buttons, which have been great.
However, this is another area where HSP have been really, really clever. The QDs supplied are are of two different types, with very specific purposes.
One is for the front of the gun, or for the one-point adaptor (which I’ll come to later). The other is for the rear.
The former has a QD button which is proud – for easy release. It has a standard, oblong-ish ring attached.
The latter has a recessed QD – more recessed, in fact, than Blue Force Gear’s version. It also has a D-shaped ring. The D-shaped ring will presumably ensure that the sling sits true, regardless of whether it’s in one or two-point configurations.
Moving onto the one-point adaptor, I was expecting this to be a free-turning QD point, but it isn’t.
It has detentes inside, to stop rotation:
That’s another really interesting detail.
So, I hope with this taster I’ve demonstrated that this sling is a sufficiently different beast.
It’s intelligently designed and seems like the product of a design team which has taken a step back, looked at best practice in other harness markets – particularly rock climbing – and combined that with a bit of Force Recon tactical experience.
Part 2 will follow when I get to try it out.