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Brian in MN December 14, 2003 16:20

Is this a Belgian sling?
1 Attachment(s)
It looks very much like a typical Enfield sling: brass fittings and copper rivets. the marking reads:

A.B.L. over J. D. and it is dated 1952

Bought it off an Enfield at a show. The ABL marking has me wondering if it was Belgian military property.

Tex December 14, 2003 17:44

I think it may be.
I have one like it that is new in the wrap that came with my type 2 Comp.

NZ L1A1 Collector December 14, 2003 21:01

Yes those slings are Belguim slings A.B.L. 1952 is the give away.

The same slings are currently being sold on eBay

The Dutch used P37, P44 and their own versions of the same webbing including the slings.

I guess I should of brought one of those slings....... now they have just trippled in price :rolleyes:

vmtz December 14, 2003 21:58

Anyone got a picture of how one goes on. Looks similar to a Brit sling, assume both go on the same.


Brian in MN December 14, 2003 22:02

What are they asking for them, Kevin. I was pretty sure I was buying an FAL sling so I offered the guy ten bucks. It was on a $170 No I Mk 3* from 1942. He was happy to get his ten bucks. The sling was unissued but has shrunk a bit.

R4 fan December 14, 2003 22:27

Hmmm... those are Belgian slings? I have an unmarked green enfield-type sling with brass ends and white metal rivets. The complete metal ends/hooks are covered in a bright green protective coating (looks like paint). I thought those were the original belgian slings? Any idea?

Falcon December 14, 2003 22:38

I have a copy of a Belgian FAL manual and it depicts that style of sling. I'll scan it and post it tomorrow if you're interested.Shows a few other accessories too.

R4 fan December 14, 2003 22:45

You mean my sling? I was under the assumption that the belgian slings had the green coating on the brass. The coating looks like it was applied before the brass was added to the sling, and before the rivits went through (no green stuff on the rivets).

I'm interested in any photos. :biggrin: I'd take some photos of my sling, but our work camera is broken so I'm out of luck for now. :(

NZ L1A1 Collector December 15, 2003 06:47

the last one went for $23

Original British Enfield Sling 1952 NEW!!!!!

Brian what is the o/l length of the sling (excluding the hooks)? in inches please.

R4: Does your sling look like this?
FAL L1A1 & Enfield Mint OD Canvas Sling,new

Same question for you too...... what is the o/l length of the sling (excluding the hooks)? in inches please.

And is it possible for you to post an image of the metal fittings and 'hooks' please.

I have an idea of who the sling belongs to and your answers will either confirm my theory or trash it :D

Brian in MN December 15, 2003 09:26

37.5 inches from rivet to rivet. It's really too short for proper use on an Enfield or FAL. I think time has probably caused the cotton to shrink.

Falcon December 15, 2003 09:35

1 Attachment(s)
No, just referring to the sling type in general. Here is a the scan...

cookie December 15, 2003 11:52

What years would this style sling have been in use?

NZ L1A1 Collector December 15, 2003 18:40

Brian, Thanx...... so to the end of the brass fitting (not including the hooks) the o/l length would be approx. 39.5 inches. This is the same length as the South African FAL web type sling (looks like this type).

I would guess (Goose52 are you listening?) I would guess that these slings would of been used with the SAFN49 as the distance between sling swivels is about 3 inches shorter then on a FAL so it might work quiet well.

Cookie, these slings would of been used throughout the 50's and probably later too. An Army will not throw away good serviceable equipment that can still be used. It's possible the slings were used on other weapons later on and the sling for the FAL was standardised to something else or to a longer version? Unfortunately I don't have enough information to give you a more defined answer.

Falcon, what's the date of the book that has that picture in it and does the description say how long the sling is?

Goose52 December 15, 2003 19:23

The same design sling is illustrated in a Belgian military tech manual for the FN-49 - dated 1962. I have no data that would indicate when this sling was adopted for use on the FN-49. It could have been later on to standardize with the FAL I guess. The Belgian FN-49s were produced in 1951 and 1952, so the ABL-1952 marking on the sling puts it right at where Belgium had the FN-49s on-hand so who knows !


Steelcore_7.62 December 15, 2003 20:53

I can give you the date of the manual that Falcon's illustration came from since it is a copy I gave him from my Belgian Armorer's Manual. It is dated May 82 and revised Oct 93. I could find no reference to the length of the sling, though my Dutch is admittedly lousy.

I can verify two types of Belgian Army sling though, they came from a couple of logistical packs I was able to find while I was in Belgium. Each pack consisted of a bayonet/sheath, mag, sling, mag charger, gas wrench, buttstock tool, front sight tool, extractor tool, oiler, pull through with brush, chamber brush, and a cleaning kit case. Included in each pack was a paper "Schedule" listing in Dutch, French, and English the nomenclature and NSN for each item. I got two types of slings: one was the 40.5" Enfield type OD green sling with brass hardware and copper rivets, the other is 44.5" and khaki color with 5, 5/8" OD green cleats of sling material every 1.5" on each end of the sling. The sling with the "cleats" is actually pictured on the picture page of the nomenclature paperwork with each kit. Hope this info helps.


Brian in MN December 15, 2003 21:52


Originally posted by NZ L1A1 Collector
Brian, Thanx...... so to the end of the brass fitting (not including the hooks) the o/l length would be approx. 39.5 inches. This is the same length as the South African FAL web type sling (looks like this type).

I would guess (Goose52 are you listening?) I would guess that these slings would of been used with the SAFN49 as the distance between sling swivels is about 3 inches shorter then on a FAL so it might work quiet well.

Correct, it is about 39.75 inches from outside end of brass fitting to outside end. I thought that you wanted the inside to inside measurement.

I had wondered about the FN 49 length being shorter.

Actually, I think my particular sling was made for one of those prototype FAL's in 7mm that were a bit smaller than the 7.62 version. :biggrin:

Brian in MN December 15, 2003 21:57

Darrell, I don't suppose that you can post a pic of the sling with cleats as I have no idea what you are talking about. Are the "cleats" like the dimples of webbing material for inserting hooks as found on pattern 37 pistol belts?

NZ L1A1 Collector December 16, 2003 01:56

1 Attachment(s)
Here's the pic

Brian in MN December 16, 2003 09:55

What purpose does the extra material serve?

R4 fan December 16, 2003 13:33

NZ L1A1 Collector,

My sling looks exactly like the one in the auction (and all the other slings pictured here), but doesn't have black enameled metal/hooks. My sling has brass ends and brass hooks with white metal rivets (not copper). It's approximately 44 to 44 1/4 inches long from the end of one metal end to the other (excluding the hooks). The brass hooks and metal ends appear to have been coated with translucent bright green coating (probably as a corrosion preventative). It also appears to have been coated before the sling was assembled, as there is no green coating on the rivets, or any overspray on the sling material itself (if the brass was coated after the sling was assembled).

The sling material is as green or maybe a little darker green than Brian's A.B.L. sling (the sling pictured in the first photo). Looking extremely close at the sling, the numerous stitching in between the main green material of the sling is black. Also on one of the sides of the sling (on the outermost edge) from one end of the metal to the other, there is a line of stitching (like the black stitching) only it is a dark (but bright) green thread. The green material of the sling itself is a cloth-type material instead of nylon.

I'd love to post photos, but the camera at work broke, and I don't have access to one. I might be able to post photos after Christmas, as I think my buddy is getting his wife a camera. ;)

NZ L1A1 Collector December 16, 2003 18:01

1 Attachment(s)
Brian.......... my guess would be the extra material acts as 'stop' to stop the hooks sliding along the sling under heavy load. I could be wrong but that is my best semi-educated guess.

R4........ The blackened fittings, copper riveted arrangement is not 'common' it is found on the late British made nylon slings, prior to theses slings (made in the late 80's early 90's) the fittings were brass with the white rivets with the material being either green or khaki webbing.

The only exception to this rule could be the Imbel slings. Unfortunately I don't have an Imbel sling to do a detail comparison with the British and Australian type slings.

The translucent bright green coating isn't a protective finish..... this isn't a requirement for brass fittings. It's to aid in stopping 'glare' from the shiny brass fittings. The only slings I have found with this type of finish have been Australian made slings, I have examples that are 57 in. and 59 inches long.

Australian slings have a slightly different style of hook, in which the ends are angled slightly outwards to help hooking them over the sides of the sling. (makes it far easier then the British slings).

Check out this pic of the different styles of sling fittings: -

R4 fan December 16, 2003 19:36

NZ L1A1 Collector,

You are a wealth of knowledge! :biggrin: My sling has the angled hooks, exactly like the Australian slings. I even compared it to one of my British nylon slings (which are a pain to install). So I guess my sling is Australian... so what rifle did it actually belong on?

At least now I know that the green coating is a paint finish to reduce glare. Now I have to get a Belgian sling for my rifle. :D

NZ L1A1 Collector December 16, 2003 20:01

Glad to be of help :)

If you find another sling the same length/type as yours could you get it for me. Like I said I haven't got that 44 inch version.

Since the sling is 44 inches long, the material is green I'm guessing these are the early Mk. 2 slings.

The Mark 1 being the Khaki slings, (Gunthings is selling these at the moment and are the version shown in my pic above). from around 1960's?

The Mark 2's that I have seen are bright brass fittings with a medium colour green webbing like Sniper40 is selling and are from around the 80's?

Your one seems to be an intermediate version and could be a result of experience in Vietnam with the need to dull the brass. so I would guess it' dates from around 1966 - 1973?

splattermatic December 16, 2003 21:45

okay kevin,
since we asking questions on slings,,
i have 2 green ones black ends with copper rivets..
printed on one side of the sling is:

sling small arms 1322529

the other one is still sealed in the plastic bag..
the card inside says:

sling rfl
qty 1
dec 1992 14mu
d of q 01

then in real small print:

car pkg f 022

what are they for ?
length from end of metel,(not including hooks) to end of metal is aprox., 45 and 3/4 inches

lemme know what i got please..


NZ L1A1 Collector December 16, 2003 22:34

splattermatic, Your slings are the standard late issue 46 inch British Nylon Sling. Your very lucky to be able to read "sling small arms 1322529" as the ink tends not to stay put on this type of sling.

As to a complete break-down of the label a lot of it I'm unable to decipher but is the typical Ordnance stores markings in which they are like a doctors scribble only other in the same profession can understand it.

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