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Sierra Nevada Sling: Step by Step - Zorro

1) Materials

  • Cord - I use 5mm nylon, but it can be anything else suitable, whether natural or synthetic. 5mm makes a decent pouch; thinner cord will make a slim pouch thus a bit more difficult to load.
  • Clamp - or something to hold cord in place at the beginning, i.e. a clothespin.
  • Thread and Needle - Use a strong thread (i.e.gütermann M1003 100% polyester).
  • Knife - or cutter or scissors whatever you're comfort with.
  • Lighter - to melt the nylon/plastic fibers when trimming the cords of the release cord.


Some of the materials used

Detail of the nylon cord I use

2) Setup

We need three pieces of cord, depending on the material used, thickness, stiffness and length of the sling we want pieces will be shorter or longer, as an orientation, with the cord I'm using you'll need about 3 x 6.5m for a sling of 112cm or 3 x 2.6m for a sling of 46cm (the one in the pics).

Place the three pieces of cord parallel to each other, with ends aligned towards yourself.

Find the middle of the length of cords, and place the clamp.


3) Braid the finger loop

Once you've braid the desired length (nylon braid gets tight with use, so be gentle) unclamp the coords and make a loop joining the free cords.

4) Retention Cord

Now start to braid the retention cord (three strand braid of two cords each strand) to the desired length.

5) Pouch

Now we are going to braid the split pouch, we separate 3 cords each side...

...and we braid 2 separate braids  

Once we have done the split pouch to the desired length we join the six free cords again...

6) Release Cord

...and start to braid the release cord.

While we are braiding we need to trim one of the cords (one of the central strand of two cords) to make the release cord thinner like a whip (latigo) and we melt the cut zone with the lighter so fibers don't get loose.

We continue braiding for some length (three strand braid two of the strands are a couple of cords and one strand is single) and trim again one of the central strand of two cords

We continue braiding (two of the strands are single and one is a couple) and we trim the last couple strand.

We continue braiding the 3 left cords to the desired length of the sling.

note the trim points in the central strand along the release cord of the sling:

and a closer view of the trim points:

7) Sewing

Now here comes the sewing part... 1st we sew the end of the release cord and we leave some free cord for the fluffy tail..

and now we sew the trimmed points to his strand fellow... so it wont unbraid when slinging.

here is the stitches done

8.- and now the fluffy tail... we separate the fibers at the end of the sling release cord...

then we trim some of the fibers to give it a flame form, and here is the sling done.

This is a short sling (46cm) intended for increase accuracy at short/middle ranges, this is about the length I've seen some shepards using here in Sierra Nevada mountains.

- Zorro


© 2007