Factory to Table: Part – 5 ESD Sling

Time to build a sling for the MiniFix…

It is time for another installment of the Factory to Table Series.  In Part 5 we will be making a trip to another corner of New Hampshire to visit Edgar, of Edgar Sherman Design.  He will walk me through making one of his ESD Slings.  But before we get there, lets take a step back in case you missed anything.

I started this Factory to Table Series after thinking to myself about all of the different components and pieces required for me to go out shooting or hunting.  So many pieces of gear had to come together in order to make it happen.  From the gun, to the ammunition, to all of the periphery gear.  I also got to thinking about what would make a great short range hunting gun for where I live in the Pacific North West.

The MiniFix and Trash Panda Silencer by Q LLC, testing subsonic 300 Blackout ammo with Discreet Ballistics.

With all of this in mind I set out on my Factory to Table adventure.  Heading out to Portsmouth, New Hampshire and building a MiniFix pistol in 300 Blackout with Q LLC, along with a .30 Caliber silencer, their Trash Panda.  I then headed up north to build some expanding subsonic 300 Blackout ammunition with David from Discreet Ballistics.  My next stop took me to Cole-Tac where Dustin led me through making a custom suppressor cover.  And now here I am with Edgar…

I originally met Edgar a year or so ago when a friend of mine had mentioned his initial impression with the ESD (Edgar Sherman Design) Sling.  Since that time I’ve been running one of his slings on a number of guns.  I’ve even reviewed one in the past.  But when it comes to ordering something online, versus having a hand in building it, that is a cool experience.  So I headed out to the Eastern corner of New Hampshire and met up with Edgar.

Edgar’s workspace is full of all kinds of gear and weapons which he is continually testing out new designs on.

The basement of his house has been converted into a workspace.  The table in the center overflowed with different pieces of tactical gear and rifles.  All manner of things which serve to inspire design or test out new prototypes on.  Back against the far wall is where the work happens.  Everything Edgar makes is sewn by hand on a Yuki Sewing Machine.

Our first order of business was to find some colors for the sling.  While he has a whole huge variety of webbing with all of the standard fare from Flat Dark Earth and Black, all the way to MultiCam Alpine, he suggested Olive Drab webbing with Black Hardware.  Seeing the subtle grey tones of the MiniFix, I immediately agreed, they compliment it nicely.

With my webbing in hand, it was time to get the hardware together.

With hardware and webbing in hand, I got to work.  He gave me a quick and dirty rundown on how to operate the sewing machine and gave me some scrap webbing to try a few stitches on.  With me crash course complete, it was time to get started for reals.  

One of the first steps was to secure one of the tri-glides onto the end of the sling.  This required a method of bartacing.  Think about stitching a big Z or X pattern inside of a box.  It is a way of effectively securing webbing, or any sewn materiel for that matter, so that the thread won’t come out.  I will say, the automatic Bartac machine I used at Cole-Tac was definitely easier, dare I say foolproof.  But under Edgar’s gaze and with some guidance I sewed it up.

While there are a lot of slings on the market and a lot of people making soft goods, one thing that continually strikes me about Edgar and his work, is the thought he gives it as an Industrial Designer.  How will this piece of gear interact with the end user?  That is the question he continually asks himself.  To that end, I appreciated the details the explained along the way.

Using a Bartac Machine is one thing, sewing a bartac is another.

While sewing a number of pieces, he pointed out here and there how and why to sew in a certain place or pattern.  Explaining how running the webbing a certain way and sewing from one side versus the other creates a smoother edge.  This in turn translates into more comfort for the user as well as the ability of the sling to slide freely across clothing and gear while transitioning or shifting positions.

Another simple yet amazing feature I sewed together was a elastic band.  I know, ground braking right?  But the band, when sewn in place, does double duty.  On the one hand it routes the webbing through the tri-glide, ensuring the webbing doesn’t become tangled while adjusting it, and secondly it allows for the storage of the sling.  The sling when not in use can be doubled back on itself and secured inside the elastic band.  Really handy for storage during transportation, in a vehicle or even a gun safe.

It took some doing, but it came out pretty awesome in the end.

Getting to the end of the process, I opted for sewn loops.  His slings are offered in a few varieties.  With sewn in QD Swivels, loose ends where you can attach the webbing to your choice of hardware, or sewn ends.  I opted for sewn ends.  This allows me to attach the sling using lengths of paracord.  This for me is the most practical.  The MiniFix doesn’t boast traditional sling studs, so by using paracord loops, I can easily affix the sling to the forend and rear brace.

While I did the lion’s share of the sewing, I will say I had some professional help.  After making it through the entire sling, the last thing I wanted to do was screw it up attaching the label.  So after Edgar wrote a quick note on the back of his label, he sewed it up, effectively making this sling a collaboration.  

Edgar even signed the back of the tag, making it truly custom and adding a personal touch.

After attaching the new sling to the MiniFix, it did exactly what was expected.  A incredibly lightweight and easy to use sling.  Allowing me to quickly transition from keeping the gun stowed for hiking and travel in the back country, to immediately adjusting the the length to create a solid shooting position.  Excellent!

With that, the 5th step in my Factory to Table series is complete.  While I now have a gun, the MiniFix by Q, as well as a silencer, some custom subsonic ammunition for it, a silencer cover and now a sling…   It is about time to get an optic on this.  So the next stop will be to visit Phil from Scalarworks in Pennsylvania in order to build a scope mount.

You can see the video I created of the experience below.

About the author: Ivan Loomis has spent a lot of time outdoors, backpacking and camping as well as extensive international travel. Eventually, he landed in the Marine Corps in the late 90’s. After a hiatus from the service to race the Baja 1000 a couple times, he reenlisted with the Air Force. Departing that he wound up in a large metropolitan Police Department for a spell before landing in the Security Contracting world.One constant through these experiences was gear and weapons. Having spent time in a lot of environments and with the opportunity to field a lot of equipment, he’s grown fond of well-made gear.He now shares those experiences, adventures, and knowledge through contributing articles and videos to various publications, including his own site: www.kitbadger.com

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • AK June 17, 2019, 2:14 pm

    I’m in the same boat… ordered sometime in Nov I think, got an email confirmation right away haven’t heard anything since. I sent a polite email asking the status a month or so ago with my order# and got nothing. 🙁

    • AK June 17, 2019, 2:22 pm

      Actually I ordered Sept 29th!!!!

  • D Scott June 17, 2019, 8:07 am

    This is Jun 19, I have had an order in since Nov 18. Edgar answered an email or two early on and assured me my sling would be ready soon. The last email or two I’ve sent went unanswered. So…,7 mos and counting. Good luck getting your order.

    • Edgar Sherman Design June 17, 2019, 11:21 pm

      Hi Mr Scott,

      I’m terribly sorry for my lack of communication and the significant delay. After my father recently passed I missed a lot of emails and have been trying to make up for it. You’ll receive tracking via email within the next 12 hours. Thank you for your patience and again, my deepest apologies for the delay. I hope that your sling serves you well and was worth the wait.

      Best,

      -Edgar

    • D Scott June 18, 2019, 11:37 am

      Edgar, thank you…I received the tracking. Sorry to hear of your father’s passing, Hope you and your family are doing well now.

  • Luap June 17, 2019, 12:34 am

    I post a negative comment pertaining to what is ready or available for purchase and it is censored. These slings are never available. I have been watching out for black slings for atleast 6months yet nothing. That is why only multi cam is available. There was 2 kinds of multi cam available for months and months, but now only regular multi cam.

  • Luap June 15, 2019, 10:35 pm

    Good luck trying to order a black sling on their website… I have been trying to order one for 6months. All they have currently is multi cam. There was 2 different multi cam available for months, but now, only one multi cam. Hurray!

    • Edgar Sherman Design June 17, 2019, 11:13 pm

      Hi Luap,

      I’m terribly sorry you haven’t been able to get a sling in black. I’ve had a few small restocks in this time period however they sell out really fast. I have been working tirelessly and figuring out logistics and am working on a sustainable solution. To help ensure you don’t miss product restocks I recommend you become a website member as I am sending out email notifications on releases there. Thanks for your patience, I hope to get everything squared away soon so that you can use my work! Best,

      -Edgar

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