Czech Sling Overview
Information and pictures courtesy of T.P. Hern, John Wall, and Robert Lukes
Three scarce slings used on various
Czech made rifles. (1) Austro-Hungarian M95 sling or early Czech copy. Found on
Czech VZ23 rifle. Reqired large, oversized rear sling swivel typical of Austrian
and Czech weapons. (2)Czech VZ24 sling from a Bolivian contract rifle. This is
the Czech modification of the A.H. M95 sling seen above. Has Imperial German
style, removable buckle on end opposite that with the small, tongued buckle.
(3)Czech sling with German style large buckle for adjustment and button on
oppsite end for attaching to the sling swivel.
Buckles on three slings. The two on the
left are for fixing the sling to the rifle and the one on the right is the
German sliding adjustment buckle.
(1) Buckle detail, Austro-Hungarian M95
sling. You can plainly see the taper described in the text for #7 below.
(1) Austro-Hungarian M95 sling (or Czech
copy), from vz23 rifle. This probably the earliest of the three slings and
features a "standing" or fixed leather loop on the wide end for
adjustment as opposed to the iron, removeable frame buckle on the other two. The
loop had to be tight for the sling to hold it's adjustment - something that
didn't last long. With use, especially under wet conditions, the standing loop
would stretch and shortening the sling would become problematic due to the loose
fit that would develop. Still, a very wide (almost 1 and 1/2 inches) and
comfortable sling that did it's job well!
A good if slightly out of focus WW1
photograph of Austrian soldiers carrying M95 Steyr rifles with slings like No.1
above and the reproduction below.
(2) Czech sling on Bolivian contract
VZ24 - buckle detail.
(2) VZ24 sling on Bolivian contract
rifle. This is perhaps an earlier sling than #3, having the removeable German
style buckle and the earlier style slling attachment of the Austro-Hungarian M95
sling seen in #1. This sling tapers at the end with the smaller, tongued buckle
so that the sling can turn back on itself for fixing to the rifle.
(3) VZ24 with basketweave imbossing on
leather. Buckle detail.
(3) VZ24 sling (#3), German style
basketweave embossed, straight sided heavy leather. As you can see, the button
(left end in the photo) is a football shape and and allows the attachment of the
sling to the lower sling swivel. The frame buckle (on the right) is detacheable
from the sling by the football shaped stud fixed to it's back and allows the
sling to be shortened or lengthend by sliding as with a normal frame buckle. As
an interesting observation, this sling could be used on the bottom or side sling
swivels of the Czech made rifles. #2 and #1 could only be used on the bottom set
due to the fact that the permanently attached small buckle of the others would
only fit through the deep rear sling swivel fond on the bottom set. The side set
has normal if somewhat wider sling swivels.
The VZ24 sling from the collection of
Robert Lukes. It is straight sided with the detacheable buckle shown seperate.
This is a combination of Austro-Hungarian and Imperial German sling features and
probably more durable than the A.-H. sling shown above due to the strength of
the steel buckle as opposed to the standing leather loop with it's propencity to
streatch and loosen with use.
Ends and detachable buckle of the
regimentaly marked Czech sling. (Robert Lukes collection)
VZ24 sling with regimental markings of the 2nd Border Regt. Such markings seem to have faded from use in the 1930s. (Robert Lukes collection)
Czech soldiers with VZ24 rifles in 1937. The slings can be seen clearly, however, the bottom or buckle end is not very distinct. (Robert Lukes collection)
Export sling for VZ33. Unlike the other
slings on this site, this is a "standard" Mauser style sling made of
heavy bridle leather and embossed with German style crosshatch pattern. (Robert
Comments, corrections, questions, or if you have a rifle sling you would like to share with the world:
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