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MRT Leather Slings?

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Old March 15th, 2012, 11:06 AM   #1
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Question MRT Leather Slings?

Were these USGI NM slings? I keep seeing them in pictures like on Ted Brown's LRB rifle. I have seen them at the gunshow with just MRT and no date stamp. Those looked cheap compaired to the one on Ted's rifle.

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Old March 15th, 2012, 12:08 PM   #2
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Military issue M1907 slings will have both MRT and a date the treatment was applied. After market slings only have the MRT marking, but some may have been made by the same companies that did the originals. I used to buy a lot of these slings and I couldn't find any signifiacnt difference.

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Old March 15th, 2012, 04:57 PM   #3
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I've got one on a National Match parts gun from individual seller. Receiver date 1999. Marked MRT only, no date. Looks to be well used & well taken care of.

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Old March 15th, 2012, 05:31 PM   #4
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MRT only means "mildew resistant treatment". Has nothing to do with being a national match sling. MRT markings started back in late WW2 on ALL kinds of equipment.
I stand corrected, MRT started 1947 as per Bill Ricca.Found this in "ask Bill" :
Bill Ricca
R T Delta


MRT is Mildew Resistant Treatment and the first found was 1947. It was in an SA report in 1945, but nothing from that period has been seen.

Before MRT there was a variety of other markings.

I will be doing an article in the GCA on the history of the markings.


Last edited by m1sniper; March 16th, 2012 at 03:36 AM.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 07:33 PM   #5
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USGI MRT M1907 slings are not official NM M1907 sling. The commercial national Match slings are a ticker grade of leather and are sometime longer.

Some new old stock M1907 slings are real stiff and dry. You should put a nice coat of Neat's Foot Oil on them first, gently flex and move around by hand before using. Otherwise the dry leather can get surface cracks and eventually tear ... which is not desirable.

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Old March 16th, 2012, 03:28 AM   #6
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There is a new Gov contract for M1907 slings. NSN 1005-00-714-1245, MRT dated. They are not dyed, seen a few at the shows.

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Old March 16th, 2012, 08:34 AM   #7
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In the 1970's and very early 80's, I did a lot of custom leather reproductions of Revolutionary War through Civil War slings, cartridge boxes, cap boxes, bayonet and sword scabbards, slings for bayonets and swords, etc., etc. etc. In some cases like the Civil War stuff, I actually bought DUG relic brass parts and remanufactured them to use them again on reproductions because no one was makng the reproductions. I also made some quality accurate copies of M907 slings, so I know what it takes to make such a sling.

There are a host of MRT marked slings on the market and they range from almost pure junk to at the most "acceptable." There are also some semi custom or custom makers who are making TRUE copies of the M1907 sling.

Here are some of the problem areas you run into with MRT slings commonly found at cheap prices.

1. Quality of Leather. Man are some of the cheap copies made from the WORST CRAP LEATHER they could possibly find. I'm refering to improperly or poorly tanned leather. I'm also referring to the parts of the hide the slings are made from. The best quality leather comes from the back and sides of a cow hide. The cheap copies often are made of the softer belly leather and they will quickly STRETCH and GROSSLY MISHAPE in actual use because of it and turn the sling into useless for anything but a "tote rope" for the rifle.

2. Finish of the Leather. The cheapest MRT slings have little or NO finish applied to the leather. This also causes them to wear out and mishape much sooner than they should. Of course, the owner of even a QUALITY leather sling needs to take care of and clean and condition their sling from time to time as well.

3. The shape of the holes in the sling for the sling hooks. Most folks have NO IDEA how important this is. ROUND holes are CRAP and are NOT an accurate copy of the M1907 sling. The sling hooks quickly wear out round holes and become loose in the holes. There is no good and economical way to repair this. The M1907 sling was known for having oblong holes where the sides of the holes were flat and the ends rounded. THAT is the way to do it properly so the sling holes last the longest.

4. Sewing of the "slides" or "loops." The cheapest MRT slings will use rivets to hold the slides or loops together. This will not keep the loops tight in actual use very long. A MUCH better sling loop is made by machine sewing the loops and will last a whole lot longer. Actually, this is one area it really is best if the loops are HAND SEWN as they last the longest that way.

5. Quality of the Hooks. This is not nearly so much of an issue with Cheap MRT slings as it once was BUT some are still being made with too thin of brass or other Non Ferrous Metal. In the 70's and early 80's, I used to go around salvaging worn out M1907 slings or parts of slings to get the quality metal hooks from them. In more recent years, quality reproductions of both parkerized steel and brass hooks have become available and even SOME of the cheap slings have good quality metal hooks on them.

There are two makers I know who make M1907 slings that really are quality slings. They are Turner Saddlery http://www.turnersling.com/ and Les Tam http://www.lestam.com/ though Les Tam has a lower output than Richard Turner. BOTH of these men are gentlemen to deal with. (Please understand I do not and can not know everyone and anyone who makes a quality M1907 sling, so my apology for leaving any other quality maker out.)

Of the two, I personally knew Richard Turner when he was still a Marine SSgt. and an active duty MP and JUST beginning his business making a few slings in his off duty hours at a time. I don't remember how we met on Camp Pendleton, but it was through mutual acquaintances. He and I were kindred spirits in the quest for making an accurate and QUALITY M1907 sling. I will NEVER forget when he found original NOS M1907 handsewn slide loops for pennies on the dollar at a Surplus Store not far from the Pomona Fairgrounds where they used to hold the Great Western Gun Show. Richard told me he found them there and they were SO cheap I bought a bunch of them out of my pocket for my Rifle Team's use. However, when he went back asking if they had any kind of a quantity price, they showed him the 55 gallon drum that was almost full and asked how many he wanted. Talk about a kid in a candy store!! He bought the entire drum and I don't think he stopped dancing for at least a week. GRIN. Richard actually put me out of business on making M1907 slings, but that was fine as I was not making much money on them at all and only did it because good slings were not available.

Oh, and so I don't forget ...... YES a quality sling will not only work better but will so far outlast the cheap MRT slings that you will come out far ahead in the long run by buying the more expensive QUALITY sling.

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Old March 16th, 2012, 08:51 AM   #8
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Ok Gus,,while you're on the line,,what product do you recommend for use on original MINTY WW2 era leather slings that will NOT discolor (darken) the leather??

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Old March 16th, 2012, 10:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m1sniper View Post
Ok Gus,,while you're on the line,,what product do you recommend for use on original MINTY WW2 era leather slings that will NOT discolor (darken) the leather??
Oooh, that's a bit of a problem as every conditioner I know of will darken most new leather a little and even old leather a tiny bit. The best stuff I know of and use as my primary conditioner on both new and old leather is Pecard's leather dressing. I just looked up their website and they have some stuff especially for antique leather they call "Pecard Antique Leather Care."
Now I realize a WWII sling is NOT an antique, but it may be better to treat it that way for collector value. Actually, I would contact them and ask them what they consider the best product for your needs.

http://www.pecard.com/mm5/merchant.m...y_Code=antique

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Old March 16th, 2012, 10:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus Fisher View Post
Oooh, that's a bit of a problem as every conditioner I know of will darken most new leather a little and even old leather a tiny bit. The best stuff I know of and use as my primary conditioner on both new and old leather is Pecard's leather dressing. I just looked up their website and they have some stuff especially for antique leather they call "Pecard Antique Leather Care."
Now I realize a WWII sling is NOT an antique, but it may be better to treat it that way for collector value. Actually, I would contact them and ask them what they consider the best product for your needs.

http://www.pecard.com/mm5/merchant.m...y_Code=antique
Thank you.

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