These days, most rifles come from the factory with swivel studs mounted. Owners of older guns who wish to enjoy the convenience and safety of a rifle sling need only add a rifle swivel stud at each end of their rifle. Once the rifle swivels are attached, adding a sling takes only seconds, yet makes the weapon infinitely easier to carry. The procedure requires only a few simple tools and a swivel stud kit.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Set of drill bits
- Masking tape
- Linseed oil
- Clean rag
- Tape measure
- Swivel stud kit
Lay a towel into the open jaws of your vice. Invert your unloaded rifle and place the butt stock into the vice. The butt stock is the end of the wooden section of the rifle farthest from the end of the barrel.
Hold the rifle so that about an inch of the butt stock's bottom edge stands proud of the vice jaws. Tighten the vice jaws enough to hold the rifle firmly, but not so tight the wood stock is crushed.
Locate the point on the butt stock's bottom edge 3 inches from the end and mark it using the pencil.
Consult your swivel stud kit to determine the proper size drill bit. If your kit does not specify a size, select a bit that is just smaller than the diameter of the threads on the swivel stud in the kit.
Measure the length of the threaded portion of the swivel stud using the tape measure. Make note of the length. Using the tape measure, measure from the tip of the drill bit down the shank to the length of the swivel stud threads and mark the distance by wrapping several thicknesses of masking tape around the drill bit.
Mount the drill bit into the drill and bore straight down into the stock on the mark until the masking tape touches the wood. Reverse the drill bit out of the hole.
Wipe the hole with a rag wet with linseed oil. This will seal the exposed wood from moisture.
Thread the swivel stud into the hole by hand as far as possible. Slip a drill bit of appropriate diameter into the hole in the stud. Using the drill bit for leverage, turn the stud the rest of the way into the stock, stopping when the drill bit is perpendicular to the bottom edge of the butt stock, ensuring the hole in the stud is oriented properly for receiving a sling swivel.
Tips and warnings
- Repeat the procedure on the fore end of the rifle before mounting a sling.
- Firearms of all kinds are inherently dangerous. Use extreme safety when handling any firearm. Treat every gun as if it is loaded.
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