The Australian Army adopted the FN FAL in the late 1950s and production at Lithgow had started by 1959. It was made to the British ‘Imperial’ pattern and was known as a ‘Self Loading Rifle’ or ‘SLR’. Like any weapons system, the SLR needed accessories and these were produced locally in Australia. The sling chosen was broadly similar to that used by the British Army but of a slightly brighter shade of green nylon, measuring 58 inches long:
At both ends of the sling are a pair of brass tips with hooks:
These have a very greenish tinge, possibly from some treatment to prevent corrosion, and this makes an interesting contrast to the blackened fittings on a British made example:
In use, the sling is passed through the rifle’s sling loops, doubled back on itself and secured to itself with the brass hooks and can be pulled taught for parade use, or left loose to allow the rifle to be worn on the shoulder:
The rifle can be seen being carried over the shoulder, on its sling, by this Australian soldier taking part in Operation Crimp in Vietnam:
Although most slings were produced in green for field use, the sling was also produced in white for parade use and examples can be found that have been blackened. Each SLR came with an oil bottle, pull through and sling as standard. With my SLR being Australian in origin, it is nice to have an Australian made sling to go with it and with the Australian made cleaning kit I already had it makes for a nice set.