If you own a rifle, you know that carrying it safely and with a tight grip is very important. That’s why we’re sure you understand the importance of a sling, especially if you’re in the woods, moving around and trying to find your prey’s tracks.
Today we’re going to cover a step-by-step tutorial on how to make a paracord rifle sling. Why paracord and not regular, store-bought? Well, first of all paracord can be used to something else in case of emergency. Second of all, paracord is great when it comes to grip and it doesn’t break that easy. And, third of all, it can be quite fun to learn how to make your own rifle sling.
If you don’t know it yet, high-quality paracord, or parachute cord is also called 550 cord (which stands for the number of kgs it can hold). Basically paracord is a nylon rope used initially in the parachuting industry. With time it has been adopted by military and civilians and it reached even the depths of space, proving to be a resistant and versatile piece of equipment.
How to Make A Rifle Sling Out of Paracord
There are many techniques you can use, but it also depends on your skills. We’ll start with basic models and move on to more complex ones.
What do you need?
Before starting the project, make sure you have all the necessary equipment prepared so your job will work out smoothly. Below we listed the tools you have to prepare for the whole project so take a look and check your inventory.
Paracord is the top of the list. You can get it from mostly any supply store around or even order it online. The main thing here is that you have to measure it quite exactly because nothing is worse than almost finishing the project. You have to use about 2 feet of paracord for every 3 inches of sling, so measure it very carefully to get the correct amount of cord.
Tip: if you already have clips attached to the sling you just have to run the Paracord through one end to another. Next, sling the paracord on your back to see how much you’re going to need. Next, you just have to do the math according to the proportions mentioned before.
Other things that should be on your working desk:
- Adjustable sling that you should also try on while only wearing a light T-shirt. The sling should feel comfortable on your casual setting.
- needle nose pliers, but forceps work too
- one wood board and some flat washers
- stiff wire
- a tough knife to cut with
- some screws
- do not forget the swivels off your gun to check your work
Check out our review of the best EDC knife to help you in your project.
The Cobra stitch pattern
As mentioned, we’ll start off with a design that’s easy to implement.
You can make it in a few hours if you follow the steps below carefully.
First of all you will want to place the adjustable sling on a solid surface, preferably on the wood piece you’ve got. Make it look pretty by adding a little bit of leather at the end of the sling and trimming the corners of the pieces.
Now use your nail and place the leather in the middle of your sling. Create two holes making sure they pass through both the leather and the nylon surface. These are the holes where the screws come later on.
TIP: Use a lighter to melt the loose strands around the screws; it will make it look clean and professional.
Secure the leather with the ring you prepared. It should be placed between the two screws. Make sure the gun sling is placed onto a hard, flat surface. Finishing this step, you have to tether the sling to something heavy to keep the tension on for the following process.
This is where you prove your skills: the knots. To start off, you need to grab both ends of the paracord and pull them apart so you can find the center. Once you did that, you will form a loop in the middle and slide it trough one end of the clip.
Now you are holding the middle with one hand and the rest with the other. What you need to do is pass the hand holding the rest of the string through the loop a little bit and then pull the string until you reach the end. Now you just have to pull it tight.
Now that you’ve got the first knot on the first clip, you will just start off with one side of the string. Take the right one, for example, and you pull it over making another loop. Next, take the left side and slide it across the one you’ve already pulled over.
Go below it through the new circle you made and pull it all the way trough, being careful with the amount of string so you don’t mess it up. Once you finished this knot, secure it by pulling it really tight. It looks like a little pretzel, right? Now that you have done this part, it’s going to be really easy because you just have to repeat this step until the end.
The next stitches are going to start locking your paracord. Have in mind that you will always start with the side of the string that is pointing downwards. It’s the same step with the one above, just a different side. Continue weaving this step all the way until the end
As you reach the end, cut the extra cord and tighten it under a weave of your pattern. At this stage weaves will be slightly loose and likely more manageable, so you can do so without much effort. Now, it’s time to burn the cord’s ends to make sure it won’t unravel without your will.
You can either seal them on top of the sling, or try to pull them below the weave and thus hiding the finishing touch below the pattern. It’s all up to what you want.
If you need a more detailed tutorial you can watch a video on making the sling here:
Now, if you are already an expert in weaving paracord, there are more complex models you can try. Below you’ll find a pattern that also uses the Cobra stitch knots, but it also has its own interesting design.
For more information on the different types of outdoor ropes, see our article on this topic.
The Solomon’s Dragon Paracord sling
This is a very interesting design that will catch all the eyes. You can experiment with different color combinations but you should pay attention that the pattern looks a little bit like a chain of little eyes so you can play with that and make it look similar to actual dragon’s eyes. Sounds pretty cool, right?
You need to start with measurements, exactly like with the model before. This time you will need 3 strings, of the same length. Whatever is left unused, you can just cut off and re-use them for other projects.
For this one, you need to pick a base color that is attached to the clip like in the first pattern. The only difference here is that this string has to be exactly the length of the riffle sling. Once you measured it, you have to fix both ends on the two clips that are steady and tight, to ease the following process.
This step is pretty much the same as the one described with the model above. You will form a loop in the middle of the main string and slide it trough one end of the clip. Next, pass the hand holding the string through the loop and pool. Make sure everything is tight.
We’re going to start up top and put the middle point of your second string right behind the core. Start off with a single Cobra knot. To make it, start with the right side over the core, left over that, and do the same with the other side. Push it up and pull it tight.
After the first Cobra knot, you have to incorporate a different string. This should be the accent color, to stand out on your model. Try to go with one end trough the middle and over the left coat strand and put the rest of it out of the way.
Afterwards you’re just going to tie your next Cobra knot, similar to the way German pretzels are made. After the second knot you have to push everything up a little more in order to have a pretty start. For the rest of the sling you will just have to copy these two knots.
Now, from here just keep track of which side the accent cord went over. Let’s say that first we went over the left side; now you’re going to pass the cord trough the middle side again to cover the right cord string. Once you’ve put it there, leave the rest out of the way and keep on with the Cobra knots.
Continue weaving and finish this up until the end. When you reached the finish, don’t cut off the excess yet. Now it’s time to do the stitching part. For this, you’ll need a micro cord stitch and some micro cord. Starting with this step, you are going to do two passes, going from the bottom of the sling all the way through.
Start off at the bottom with a side stitch of the main color. Follow along at the next knot at the bottom and go through to the other side. Make sure to pull this all the way. You want this line to sit at the bottom of the accent string, looking like a contour.
Next, draw a line between the next knots, covering the following “eye of the dragon” and pull everything through. After you’ve finished a side, you have to go back the other way doing everything you did before, in reverse. Just go to the side knots and make contours for the accent colored string.
If you want extra safety you can tuck the starting point under the last knot. You are now almost at the end of your stitching so you have to pull everything a little bit, in order to have a nice, firm sling. Tuck the ends under the edge knot and burn the extras.
Attach the sling to the clips and there you have it, you are finished! You officially have a stitched Solomon’s dragon sling rifle which is a really cool design.
We really hope you enjoyed these tutorials and we’re waiting for your comments and question on the matter. Also, if you use other knots and techniques with your rifle slings, we’re eager to know what they are.
See our article on how to choose the best paracord knots to help you with other options.