Let’s face it—a rifle is a pain it the butt to carry in the field.
Without a sling, it’s an unwieldy distraction, occupying one or both hands to keep it ready, unclogged and undamaged from banging against rocks, trees, etc. This demands a sizeable portion of your attention instead of watching what’s happening around you.
A sling or carry strap is an improvement, but now you face a bit of a dilemma. Should you cross-sling the rifle, which keeps it secure against your back? That makes it slow and awkward to bring into firing position—and of course, no back pack with hydration reservoir or other essential gear.
If I sling the rifle on my shoulder, it is easier to bring it into action, but it constantly tries to slip off unless I hold it in place, which is yet another minor annoyance.
Fortunately, Mitchell Ray, owner of Stratus Support Systems LLC, offers an innovative answer to this problem. His patented design consists of a receiver plate on your hunting belt or MOLLE gear. This engages a “knuckle” attached to a Velcro wrap that fits onto your gunstock.
Used with a rifle sling, it keeps your rifle snug and comfortable near your hip pocket and reduces fatigue by transferring the weight from your shoulder to your hips. When you unsling the rifle, it rotates naturally muzzle-down, still secure against your body. When it comes time to shoot, the unit quickly disengages as you bring the rifle into shooting position.
If you shoot an AR-15, you can install a modified buffer endplate with an attached knuckle that adapts your rifle for the Stratus Support system. It is ambidextrous, allowing you to install the knuckle on either the left or right side of your AR-15. Being a southpaw, I need this option.
My only problem is I have several AR-15s and only one Stratus endplate. I will need a few more right soon.
This is an ingenious device that is lightweight, durable and darned near foolproof. I like it better each time I use it. Check it out at www.stratussupportsystems.com.
Story by Stan Skinner