Blue Force Gear recently released a new item in to the shooting and tactical community called the RED Swivel. RED stands for Rapid Emergency Detachment. The folks at Blue Force Gear (BFG) saw a need to be able to quickly detach your sling from your rifle or other shoulder fired weapon systems in the event that that you got hung up on something or went overboard and needed to quickly lighten the load. They also saw that the already available quick detach sling swivels on the market were working well as long as you could perform a fine motor skill. Blue Force Gear felt they could improve upon the idea of the quick detach sling swivel and make its use a gross motor skill. To analogize: In the tactical world, you release the slide on your pistol by grasping the slide, pulling it fully to the rear, and letting it go. That would be a gross motor skill. Using your thumb to depress the slide stop lever would be considered a fine motor skill. What Blue Force Gear has done with the RED Swivel is in essence, put an emergency rip cord on your sling swivel.
The construction of the RED Swivel is as would be expected from Blue Force Gear, rock solid and fit for duty. There are two models, one is a 1” model and fits slings up to 1.25” wide. The other is 1.25” and fits slings up to 1.50” wide. The swivel is phosphate coated, machined steel with a 300 pound breaking weight. The sphereo-conical shaped pull knob is polymer and connected to the swivel by a dual crimped, coated, seven strand, stainless steel cable. The spring inside and ball bearings are also stainless steel. Seven pounds of pull releases the RED Swivel from the socket.
When I first looked at the RED Swivel I must admit that I was taken aback by it’s bulbous appearance and I thought it looked funny. Sometimes it’s good to remember that function trumps form. It also appeared to me that the knob would get hooked on kit and detach your sling unintentionally. I have not had this occur and it’s prevented partially because the knob needs to be pulled within 10 degrees of center to be activated. If you pull it to the side, it won’t work.
Install a Burnsed Socket on your sling and it allows you to use your sling as either a two point or a single point sling. On my rifle I have a BFG Vickers Combat Applications Sling (VCAS) with a BFG Burnsed Socket. At the other end is the RED Swivel. I can have the RED swivel attached to the sling swivel socket on my rails or the Burnsed Socket on the sling. The Burnsed Socket and VCAS are sold separately.
For those that may not know, there is a good reason for being able to use your sling as either a two or single point sling. Single point slings don’t hang up on kit as easily as two points when shouldering your weapon and you can switch from shooting strong side to support side much easier. Two points provide greater control over the rifle when it’s slung and you’re not physically holding on to the gun. This is good when searching people or negotiating obstacles.
Blue Force Gear has given you a way to have the benefits of both the single and two point sling with the RED Swivel. I am running it on my patrol rifle and really like how easy it is to switch the configuration of my sling.
Here are three videos produced by Blue Force Gear showing how the RED Swivel works: