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Thread: M1907 or Kerr sling for my M1917?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    M1907 or Kerr sling for my M1917?

    I want to take it back original spec and see both of these slings say they were original on a M1917? I google old photos and see way more 1907 style slings mounted the the M1917. Which one is correct...both? Can I figure out what sling was issued with my rifle by serial number lookup? I see reproductions of both all over the place...are they all created equal?

    What slings are on yours?

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    Tripplebeards,

    By far, the M1907 leather sling was the most common sling issued with the M1903 and M1917 in WWI and for U.S. rifles in WWII. The Field Manuals for the 1903, 1917 and M1 mention the M1907 sling, the Kerr sling and the complex M1923 web sling. Most photos of both wars show the M1907 sling. I use the M1907 exclusively.

    Adam

  3. #3
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    ShooterAZ's Avatar
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    I use the 1907 slings for my US Rifles. Turner Saddlery makes some really nice ones.

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/2490174047

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    After doing some googling this morning There’s someone right here in my city that makes really nice reproduction m1907 slings. I saw he lists them on gunbroker and eBay for sale. I sent him a message through eBay to look at...and of course buy one. I’m sure eBay will have a fit.lol. He has premium leather barrel died slings listed for $25 and others at $20. They’re marked rock island 1918. They look like excellent quality. I see he also offers them with both brass and black colors buckels. Also dark and lighter colored leather. Were the originals offered in both colored buckles? I guess he won’t be available till next week...during the weekdays to check them out. Kind of excited to keep my money hometown for once.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 08-04-2019 at 04:21 PM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Please report back once you have the sling. I am interested.
    Tony

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    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyB View Post
    Please report back once you have the sling. I am interested.
    Tony


    Looks like he offers several different reproduction variations. Unmarked, 1918 Hoyt stamped, and two different rock island 1918 stamped versions with early and later Style buckles...then also buckles painted black instead of brass( I think that’s a WW2 option). Figured I’d ask him which one is would be closest to oem spec on my rifle. I believe they are all original issue variations. My barrel is marked 2-18 so I want to stick to WW1 original specs. He also stated that the buckles on the early version were more straight and came loose easier. I Probably will end up with the higher end 1918 rock island sling with brass buckles I’m guessing.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    If you're talking about Jim Thompson his slings are top quality.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich/WIS View Post
    If you're talking about Jim Thompson his slings are top quality.

    Yes that’s him.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    I use a repro Kerr sling on my Remington 1917. Looks good, surprisingly easy to adjust. Certainly not as good as a 1907 for shooting.
    When I was a kid you could buy real Kerr slings from Numrich and other places for just a couple of dollars, if that. I see real ones now selling for big $$.
    Last edited by fgd135; 08-19-2019 at 04:12 PM.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    On the topic of Kerr slings, anybody have a source for a repro one that is properly LONG ENOUGH for a 1917? I think mine is more properly for a 1903 or even a Thompson SMG.

    The impression I get researching slings is that there was a fair amount of "substitute standard" going around - - ESPECIALLY when it came to WWI. "We're in a war that's consuming massive amounts of equipment that we weren't prepared for to begin with. What the hell do we care if the bloody carrying straps all match or not? You've got some little old lady wants to knit rifle slings? Give that biddy a contract!"

    The Brits certainly went to cotton webbing just about as soon as they learned leather rotted fast in Belgium
    WWJMBD?

    "I'M MELLLLLLLLLLTING!" - Elphaba

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigslug View Post
    On the topic of Kerr slings, anybody have a source for a repro one that is properly LONG ENOUGH for a 1917? I think mine is more properly for a 1903 or even a Thompson SMG.

    The impression I get researching slings is that there was a fair amount of "substitute standard" going around - - ESPECIALLY when it came to WWI. "We're in a war that's consuming massive amounts of equipment that we weren't prepared for to begin with. What the hell do we care if the bloody carrying straps all match or not? You've got some little old lady wants to knit rifle slings? Give that biddy a contract!"

    The Brits certainly went to cotton webbing just about as soon as they learned leather rotted fast in Belgium

    There’s a seller on eBay that lists them for the M1917 and selling at $25.oo


    Was going to buy a Kerr but decided the 1907 was way common to see in most WW1 photos and standard issue. The Kerr imo looks to modern and out of place on the 1917.

    I read the Kerr wasn’t issued till the end of WW2 and really didn’t see any service.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyB View Post
    Please report back once you have the sling. I am interested.
    Tony
    I picked my sling up today. I bought the premium one. They all looked of excellent quality. The premium leather is a hair thicker than the other two so I was told if I plan on using quite a bit this one will last a lifetime and then some. Realistically I would have been extremely happy with any of the three he offers. I'd recommend them to everyone.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Here’s the sling.



    It said in the directions to apply neatsfoot oil before using. It also said that the oil with several coats will darken my sling to look like closer to the old, dark, original weathered looking sling. I did some research and saw several people use extra virgin olive oil instead of neatsfoot since it basically does the exact same thing with similar results.

    Here’s the sling after I rubbed it down with a couple of coats of extra virgin olive oil...





    It matches my gun stock color now.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I decided to try and patina my brass buckles to give them an old look. I steel wooled off the clear coat off the buckles and loop.I poured vinegar into a Tupperware container and added a few tablespoons of salt to it. I then inserted about 3” of the straps across the top of the container so they would not touch the solution but just suspended so the vapors would oxidize the buckles. I left them in for about four hours. I removed them and don’t apply any wax or cleat coat back on them. I’m site they’ll age darken more in the next couple of days. The brass loop I only left in for about an hour and a half. I didn’t want any “blue” oxidation forming from leaving them in too long. At least now it won’t be shiny when I take it hunting and looks old to give it an original look. I might mix some dark brown and black shoe polish with some virgin olive oil to try and darken my sling.





    I used the old Schlitz beer opener’s authentic patina for a reference.


    Here’s how I hung them...

    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 08-15-2019 at 12:44 PM.

  15. #15
    Can I figure out what sling was issued with my rifle by serial number lookup?
    That information is in the same database which provides the name of the soldier originally issued the weapon.

    I see reproductions of both all over the place...are they all created equal?
    My experience is that one gets what one pays for. The excellent Turner sling previously mentioned is appreciably more supple than the lower priced slings. It is meant for practical shooting rather than as a historical reproduction. I paid twice as much for mine as for a Pacific rim reproduction M1907 I find less supple, but useable. I returned my Sportsmans Guide M1907 sling; the leather was practically as thick as my finger, and considerably less flexible.

    Were the originals offered in both colored buckles?
    Yes. The first ones were brass. The later ones were steel.

    I have never shot 'looped up'with a Kerr sling but would worry that their elasticity would make them less stable than a leather sling.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Bibliotecario View Post
    Can I figure out what sling was issued with my rifle by serial number lookup?
    That information is in the same database which provides the name of the soldier originally issued the weapon.

    I see reproductions of both all over the place...are they all created equal?
    My experience is that one gets what one pays for. The excellent Turner sling previously mentioned is appreciably more supple than the lower priced slings. It is meant for practical shooting rather than as a historical reproduction. I paid twice as much for mine as for a Pacific rim reproduction M1907 I find less supple, but useable. I returned my Sportsmans Guide M1907 sling; the leather was practically as thick as my finger, and considerably less flexible.

    Were the originals offered in both colored buckles?
    Yes. The first ones were brass. The later ones were steel.

    I have never shot 'looped up'with a Kerr sling but would worry that their elasticity would make them less stable than a leather sling.

    I PM’d you. My brain hurt looking for the same answers you are. Jim, the person who I bought mine from gave me an education on them. He said all the brass buckles were painted black when first issued and most the paint wore off right away...if I remember correctly. Also the Kerr’s for the M1917’s weren’t issued till the end of WW2 with most of them not seeing service. I was told when the “fabric” Kerr sling got wet and muddy they curled up and were not liked for service work.

    The premium rock island 1918 sling I purchased is pretty flexible and soft compared what I expected it to be. IMO Adding extra virgin olive oil to it I can tell softened it up a little more. I was too cheap to buy a $10 bottle of recommended neatsfoot and had EV olive oil in my cupboard.

    I’d like to know if there’s a way to see if there was a way to see what slings were issued by serial number but never found an answer.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 08-15-2019 at 01:29 PM.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I just put another coat of EV olive oil on my sling again. It really soaked a lot up where I had it in the vinegar salt vapors and turned really dark in that area. Some of the patina oxidation from the buckles came off on my napkin when I was rubbing the oil in and it seemed to mix with the oil making my leather a lot darker. It’s looking better and darker every time I put another deep oil soak in it. Close to looking like a dark colored 100 year old sling.

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy

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    I like your patina trick!

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by El Bibliotecario View Post
    Can I figure out what sling was issued with my rifle by serial number lookup?
    That information is in the same database which provides the name of the soldier originally issued the weapon.
    .
    Sorry-I should have included a winking eye icon. I doubt if such information was ever maintained, as it would serve no purpose. I would speculate that rifles came from the manufacturer sans slings, but I will leave that for collectors to debate.

  20. #20
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    I ogled an "original issue" (Eddystone) 1907 which was in pretty pristine condition last fall (gun show) with a price tag waaay out of my pocketbook. I was interested in its sights and the sling. It wore in fact a 1907 style leather sling. Sadly, I cannot provide this fine old gal's serial number, a photo, etc. -- just a passing want at a gun show. *IF* one believes the seller -- and I have no reason to not -- it was a WWI bring-back from a "great-uncle" who succumbed to gas but a short time of returning home, and was stored "in a closet" ever since... I'm going to same (annual) show tomorrow, and will be curious if vendor still has it -- if so, I'll take and post a photo. The asking price was $2K -- so, it may very well be there.
    geo

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