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  1. #1

    Default South African Handguard-Mounted FAL Sling Swivel

    I bought this a number of months ago. I've not seen one for sale in the U.S. before or since. In fact, I've never seen or heard of one here, period. The only other one that I've seen was in a picture Peter Wells posted on another forum, which is how I found out they existed.

    Anyone have more info on their usage and development? Any pictures in service? All I know is that they are intended to facilitate using a sling as a shooting aid on the FAL (which is how I use it, plus it works better with my light when using a tactical sling) by minimizing the degree to which the tension results in a POI shift (which is substantial with the swivel mounted to the barrel directly).

    It fits just right on a set of South African plastic handguards I have but require relieving a small amount of material on my IMBEL fibreglass handguards. The dimensions don't work especially well with handguards with bipod recesses. Tried it on both an IMBEL fibreglass set and a DSA set.

    Do these ever pop up for sale in South Africa? I'd definitely be interested in acquiring at least one more.








  2. #2

    Default Re: South African Handguard-Mounted FAL Sling Swivel

    FUCK.

    ME.

    See PM sent.

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
    Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit: occidentis telum est.

    Seneca (4 BC - 65 AD)

  3. #3
    Moderator Skaaphaas's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderin' Zero View Post
    FUCK.

    ME.

    See PM sent.

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
    Okay colour me intrigued. Please elaborate?
    - GAMER -

  4. #4

    Default Re: South African Handguard-Mounted FAL Sling Swivel

    There are probably only a handful of people in this world that would recognise that for what it is, myself, Peter Wells, Vince Phipson and maybe two or three others.

    Its an original R1 Gen 1 (or 2, depending upon how you choose to classify) sling swivel. They are designed to fit through the holes in the handguard but are largely useless for normal/ normal military use as they eventually cause the handguard to start to crack. Even on the sniper rifle, they are not permanently fitted but are left off the rifle while it is in its storage case. They are fitted before use and then removed when packing the rifle away again.

    Only a few such rifles were made and only a single unit survives - in my collection and ex- Peter Wells. That rifle lost its sling attachment some years ago (how remains a mystery) and because we thought we would never see one again, we asked Vince to make up some sort of a replica based upon some poor pictures.

    Lo and behold... You can imagine my total astonishment.

    It's not impossible that somewhere else in the world something similar was made and that that is in fact not the correct South African. But if so, I don't know about it and it sure looks the part based upon the pics above. Dimension of max width strap / sling it can accomodate might help corroborate or exclude it as genuine ex-SA.


    Edit: R1 Gen 1 should read R1 Gen 1 SNIPER. Crikey - me...
    Last edited by Wanderin' Zero; 16-09-2018 at 16:33.
    Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit: occidentis telum est.

    Seneca (4 BC - 65 AD)

  5. #5
    Moderator Skaaphaas's Avatar
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    Default Re: South African Handguard-Mounted FAL Sling Swivel

    Thanks, that’s very interesting. I suppose that’s where collecting becomes really rewarding.
    - GAMER -

  6. #6

    Default Re: South African Handguard-Mounted FAL Sling Swivel

    I measured the swivel and it's about 36.5mm or 1 7/16". I could probably squeeze a 1.5" strap through there.

    So far no issues with cracking. I've walked miles with the rifle slung and also shot at the range, done dry fire practice, etc. with it slung (using a tactical sling), and also slung up with a sling as a shooting aid a number of times. The swivel's almost always mounted. But the fibreglass handguards like the one to which it's mounted seem to be stronger than the later plastic handguards.

    Harrington & Richardson came up with something conceptually similar for the FAL in the 1950s, but it used a metal band that wrapped around the handguards (wooden type) for support.

    The main reason I had been looking for one is that I was trying to find a good way to set up the FAL to use a sling as a shooting aid without having to have something developed. I happened across this in an ad. As soon as I saw the picture I knew what it was. I then looked for a description and it was just listed as a South African sling swivel. I didn't have any money to spare at the time, but to my surprise, given how many collectors and the like there are where the ad was posted (and how frequently they check the marketplace), after a couple of weeks no one had bought it. As soon as I had the money I snatched it up. My goal is to have a copy or something based off of this that is oriented around QD swivels made so that I can take this off of my rifle (which seems even more imperative given the even greater rarity than I had supposed). I wanted it for examination more than anything.

    I'm curious to know more about the R1 sniper rifles. I did not know that there were multiple generations. Internet searches certainly bring up very little information and no photographs of any variant. I'm also curious as to what sling would have been used with this swivel. The Lee-Enfield style web slings aren't the best for this purpose.

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