There will never be a short supply of rifle/shotgun slings, but one company called, Tactical Universal Clip, has a completely different take on choosing the perfect sling for your gun.
I remember the sling I was issued with my M4 was pretty much just a strap that was connected to the front sling point under my front sight and the rear loop in my stock. For additional security, add some riggers tape, zip ties or 550 and call it good. Pretty simple and pretty basic, but it worked. Nowadays, choosing a sling for your long gun can be anything but simple. What is your mission criteria? Do you want a two point or a one point? Or what about a one point that turns into a two point? How about a three point? Do you want to use HK claw/hooks, MASH hooks, QD swivel connections, button hooks or….? The list can go on and on.
There will never be a short supply of rifle/shotgun slings, but one company called, Tactical Universal Clip, has a completely different take on choosing the perfect sling for your gun. Their solution? Don’t use a sling at all? Huh? They have come up with a unique, two part system called the, Tactical Universal Clip or TUC.
How It Works
The TUC is the brainchild of Officer Nelson. It uses a special pin that once attached to the rifle mates with a clamp that is mounted to the shooters chest. The clamp in housed in a chest plate and is made of Nylon 6/6. This is the same material that is used in ball bearing cages, electro-insulating elements and pipes. The pin is made of 6061-T-6 alloy with an ultimate tensile strength of at lease 42,000psi. The pin is mated with a clamp that attaches to the long gun. This clamp is made from 2024 aluminum alloy. Needless to say, the parts should have no problem holding up to the weight of a firearm.
The product we received was specific for the AR15 series of rifles. The packaging contained the pin, clamp and chest plate. Assembly was pretty straight forward. Fasten the pin/clamp to the AR extension tube. Make sure you have the flat side up. If not, you will not have much success charging your weapon. Also make sure the pin is on the appropriate side. It should be on the left side for right hand shooters and on the right hand side for south-paws. Once installed, function check your gun to make sure you have the proper clearances between the clamp and your charging handle. Next, attached the chest plate to your MOLLE chest rig, plate carrier or tac vest. Once the chest plate is installed, the shooter can simply drop the gun into the chest clamp to free up their hands.
Why lose the sling?
Tactical Universal Clip gives a few examples on their website of why they feel shooters should lose the sling and use the TUC. First, a “rifle sling is cumbersome and awkwardly hangs across the body. Using a sling creates pressure on your shoulder and neck and it’s very uncomfortable to use. [Also] when grabbing the rifle for a quick shot, the rifle can be entangled in the operator’s body or gear, allowing the target to get away. [In addition,] a rifle sling is not practical to use when doing a close quarter search (Commercial or residential buildings, ship or boat, and etc.) [Next, the TUC] allows the operator to carry the rifle in a low ready while inside the vehicle. [Lastly, the TUC] allows the operator to shoot while the rifle is still attached to the system.”
Practical or Not?
If you look at the testimonials on their website, many LEOs are very happy with their TUC. Some commented that they liked the ability to go hands on quickly, rapid deployment, simplicity and that it is comfortable to name a few. During my short time with the product, I did observe the following:
It was fairly comfortable when mated to a Grey Ghost Gear Plate carrier. It was simple to use and it quickly freed up my hands which I liked. I did have a few concerns that should be considered before you go and deep six you box of slings. First, the pin that attaches to the side of the AR is fairly long. Yes, it can be had in small, medium or large sizes, but you still have an object sticking out the side of your rifle. I suppose if you were wearing a chest rig with mag pouches, the pin would allow the firearm to clear said gear. However, the pin could get hung up on clothing, gear etc. Second, slings are invaluable when it comes to climbing over obstacles. The ability to move the rifle to the shooters back to scale a wall is a huge plus in my opinion. The same goes for going hands on. Having the rifle on your chest, while trying to cuff a suspect, or provide medical attention to an injured person would be difficult to say the least. It would be much easier and safer to have the gun moved to the shooters back.
Another concern is retention. If your gun is easily accessed by the you, it will also be easily accessed by others. This is especially important for the LEO who may end up on the ground. A sling would at least keep the gun attached to the officer and would prevent it from being taken away and used against them. Lastly, transitioning from a primary long gun to your secondary side arm could prove problematic depending on how you operate. With practice, the TUC will work assuming you place your gun back in the same place every time prior to deploying your sidearm. For me, I just release my firing hand and use my support hand to guide the rifle behind my left hip while at the same time deploying my pistol with my right hand. This is my personal preference as it keeps the rifle behind my knees which I like because I value my kneecaps and can run without my rifle getting in the way or injuring me. Again, this is my preference and everyone’s tastes will vary. The TUC will position your rifle front and center every time. If this works for you and your line of work allows it, by all means, check out the Tactical Universal Clip, which sells for $80. It’s a unique product that really thinks outside the box.