While hunting we would normally have our favorite muzzleloader in hand and at the ready for that moment when the perfect shot presents itself. Once the shot has been taken and the deed been done, suddenly our favorite rifle becomes just so much dead, awkward weight during the ordeal of getting our prize back to camp.
Of course modern rifles wear slings that make the job of toting it and freeing up your hands a piece of cake. Not so with muzzleloading rifles - unless, of course, you hunt with martial arms which normally would have a sling. However, sporting arms of the flint and percussion period usually didn't wear slings and finding attachment hardware is really a challenge if you want it to look at least somewhat right and be functional.
Allan Foundry & Manufacturing (you probably remember them from our Annual Underhammer Action Round-up - now in the Archives) now offers a complete kit to outfit your favorite underhammer rifle or other muzzleloader with sling rings and hooks.
The kits consists of two 3/8" "double wedding band" ramrod ferrules with integral hook rings, two sling hooks and a stock screw with the hook ring. While the photo shows the hooks polished and heat blued, the pieces are sold "as cast" and must be filed, polished and finished (heat-blued hooks look great) before installation.
Obviously, you file the sling hook ring off of one of the two ramrod ferrules. This provides you with two matching ferrules. While intended for half-stock designs where the ferrule can be dovetailed into the rib, the dovetail could act as a tab that could be drilled through in the same manner as any other ferrule would be and the ferrule then pinned into a full-stock rifle as well.
While intended for later percussion sporting rifles, these hooks are also appropriate for cartridge guns all the way up to the early 1900s and in fact look very similar to the old and now rare Winchester sling hooks.
The kit is a real bargain at $34.95 postpaid and is available by sending a check or postal money order to Allan Foundry & Manufacturing, 2784 Highway 23, Brook Park, Minnesota 55007. Allow lots of time for delivery as Pete is usually up to his armpits in alligators in trying to fill orders.
Be sure to tell him that you read about it on The Underhammer Society site.