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Need Help! M1907 Sling Hardware


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#1 Rossignol

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 12:00 AM

Hey Folks! I could use a little help locating hardware. Particularly the parkerized rectangular loops 1 1/4" wide. I'd settle for a matte black if i have to, but I really want the parkerized.

Thank you in advance!
Brad.
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#2 BIGGUNDOCTOR

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 12:26 AM

The 1907 slings I have seen have brass hardware. You may be able to find some rotted slings that you can salvage the hardware from. What era are you looking for?
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#3 Rossignol

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 12:44 AM

You can see in my sig, a sling with the parkerized frogs. Era wise, there doesnt seem to be a given date when brass wasnt used and suddenly parkerized was, and there was def a time when both were in service. So, its the M1907, as it was carried, as far as I know, into VietNam.

I'm trying to get a hold of some old service slings. There are a ton of them in an armory I'm trying to get. Theyre rotting and unable to be used, but the problem is how they have to be discarded. Certain items have to be destroyed. Many parts of service firearms have to be destroyed, and in some cases I know of, the web slings have been included. Theyre difficult to come by as far as I have seen.

Heres another oddity, I can find the mil-spec loops in 1" and 1 1/2", but not in 1 1/4". Even if I could find someone who can parkerize metal, I'd get the material and ship it...
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#4 Lobo

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 12:06 PM

The US M1907 sling was standard for the M1903 Springfield and M1917 US Enfield rifles of WW1. Brass hardware was standard. Makers included Rock Island Arsenal, Boyt, and perhaps a couple of others.

Very little new military equipment was purchased between WW1 and WW2. Early in WW2 orders were placed for M1907 slings, and Boyt made many. Parkerized steel hardware was selected because brass was essential for other things, like cartridge cases.

Shortly after that period, about late 1942 to early 1943, a new cotton canvas rifle sling was adopted. Those units having the earlier M1907 leather slings generally kept those in service, while newly formed units were issued the canvas slings.

During the latter 1950's the military started the Mildrew Resistant Treatment (MRT) for all leather and canvas gear, and both new items as well as existing stocks were so treated and marked "MRT" and a year date.

Original M1907 leather slings of WW1 and WW2 production are in high demand by collectors. Specimens in good original condition will bring $150-plus very easily.

Following WW2 the M1907 leather slings were generally used by military marksmanship training units and competitive rifle teams. Canvas slings remained the standard for most units until the mid-1960's when woven nylon slings came into general issue, at about the time that the M16 rifle was adopted, generally replacing the M14's and M1's.

There are several gunsmithing firms that specialize in restoring US military arms, and can provide the original grey/green military parkerizing process. If you can find a company capable of stamping out the hardware, getting it parkerized should not be a problem. There are also a couple of outfits selling parkerizing kits, and the process is not particularly difficult to perform. The original parkerizing process was a zinc-phosphate oxidation process applied electrically. Only iron-based metals like steel can be parkerized; no other metal will accept that treatment. Like anything else, such production work usually requires large orders to be economical. Making the dies and punches will require some investment, and heavy-duty punch-press equipment is usually found only in well-equipped production shops serving automobile and other production needs.

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#5 Rossignol

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 12:34 PM

Lobo, Thanks for the insight! I didnt know the full history behind it, only that there doesnt seem to be a magical date that slings with either brass or parkerized hardware was taken out of service. I knew roughly when the hardware was longer produced, but that slings with both brass and parkerized hardware still showed up on service rifles for some time.

I always appreciate a little history!!!

Anyhow, my intention is not to make reproduction pieces, but the M1907 sling remains a very useful tool. I'll never claim the slings I make to be reproduction slings, I do however want to produce a functional sling with my own take on it and if I had parkerized hardware it would be that much better... surely there is a supplier out there somewhere because reproduction slings are being made with the parkerized frogs and loops, heck I have the parkerized frogs... just cant locate a manufacturer of those elusive rectangular loops.

Thanks again Lobo!
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#6 BIGGUNDOCTOR

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 09:18 PM

No need to stamp stuff like this nowadays. Find a shop in your area with either a laser cutter, or water Jet. I used to make die sets when I had my machine shop,, and they are labor intensive as well as costly. New technology has brought the cost down for short run items like this. To deburr the edges you can run them through a vibratory tumbler, or the shop cutting them out may have one to do it for you. The repo stuff is coming out of China, and India.

Parkerizing ( originally called Parker Rust Proofing) is a boiling operation, and very easy to do yourself. You can get the chemicals from Brownell's as well as other suppliers. My friend just did an 03 Springfield that was given to him. It had been sporterized, at some point, so no loss in value. All you need is a camp stove, and a stainless bowl, and you are good to go.

You may also contact , I believe they are called, Turner slings to see if they have what you are looking for.


International Military Antiques (IMA) may also be able to get you what you want, as they are one of the companies having reproductions made.
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#7 Rossignol

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 09:31 PM

I'm actually going to have a delrin laser etched makers mark made by Jeff Gosby I think it is of Grey Ghost. On the stamping, more often than not, people ask me to stamp "ST" on the piece somewhere... some have even asked me to burn it on. So I do it! :)

Thank you for the info, I had thought parkerizing was beyond something I would be able to do, I guess the part I'm most unsure of is cleaning the piece first.

I am familiar with Turner and IMA, but hadnt considered asking if they would sell just the hardware, or at least point me towards a supplier I guess.

Thanks again!
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#8 olliesrevenge

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 11:42 AM

I ordered from Brownells a couple months ago, searching their site for "sling hooks" found it for me... (Correct me if I'm wrong , but you are using the terms "loops", "hooks", and "frogs" interchangeably, right? I think I'm addressing the correct item)

http://www.brownells...LUS_SLING_HOOKS

... although I see they are currently out of stock, they might point you to their supplier if you called.

Ohio Travel Bag has sling hooks in their catalog as well, but they are brass colored (not sure if they are real brass), are constructed of lighter gauge metal, and only have two rivet holes.

I can tell by looking at your shotgun butt stock shell carrier (awesome work BTW) , that you will want the heavier Brownells item. They are quite thick and rugged. I would've already used mine to make a 1907 but the sheer number of holes to punch has me procrastinating on that one. I need to make a jig for punching the holes uniformly and then I'll be in business.

Hope this helps,

Lance

Edited by olliesrevenge, 07 December 2010 - 11:50 AM.

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#9 Rossignol

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 12:14 PM

Lance, Thank you I appreciate the compliment on the shell cuff!

I have seen the Brownells hooks, but the rectangular loop that connects the long strap to the short strap is what I'm having a hard time finding. Ideally in the parkerized, but matte black is ok too. I have been able just as of last night to contact someone with the 1 1/4" rectangular loops so I'm ok for a little while I think! :) I may start parkerizing my own loops though! I was told by a guy who makes these straps for National Match, he often uses chain like what you would buy from a hardware store, not chinsy light weight stuff. He'll cut individual links out and then parkerize them.

It is a lot of holes! I have been doing mine by hand, and I have heard some people talk down on others doing it by hand, as if its a half a$$ed job, but its anything but a hack job. It isnt cost effective, but I've become pretty good at doing it quickly. I do holes measured out like that every day, so its not too big a deal for me. If I start doing more of these, I may make a jig though...
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#10 olliesrevenge

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 12:53 PM

...but the rectangular loop that connects the long strap to the short strap is what I'm having a hard time finding. ..


Aha. My problem is that it had been awhile since I studied how this thing was constructed. Watching this video refreshed my memory though -



... and I remembered my initial plan of using a metal roller belt buckle (with the prong removed) for the loop. My plan is to just Duracoat the buckle black since I too am more interested in simply making a functional sling than a historically accurate replica.

Another guy who makes these is in Hawaii, and unlike the Turner site he shows close up pics-

http://www.lestam.com/

Thanks for the refresher!
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#11 Rossignol

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 03:04 PM

Good find on the vid!
Mr Tam is a great guy, and very willing to share his knowledge! I've spoken with him a handful of times, a real easy guy to talk to! However, he doesnt always have hardware available, which has lead to the topic of this thread.

So yeah, we'll get it figured out eventually!
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