Worst. Sling. Design. Ever!

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson
Indian personnel with INSAS Carbines (Indian MoD)

Indian soldiers are complaining about the INSAS rifles they are issued. One of the chief complaints is the poor sling design. It breaks easily and its placement on the rifle obscures the front sight! Times of India reports:

Also, its sling often snaps while firing, making it fall during manoeuvres. The sling also obstructs the rifle’s sight. But most of all, the size of the sling never took into account the bullet proof jacket worn by jawans. As a result, it falls short and is uncomfortable to hold. This hampers quick reaction. Insas also does not have a rapid fire feature; it shoots only three rounds in a single burst

INSAS (left)

Other complaints include loss of zero after cleaning and the barrel overheating when firing.

The INSAS is, I believe, is the standard issue rifle of the Indian Army, although it is one of many rifles used by the Indians. It is loosely based on the AK-47 design and also comes in a 5.45x30mm variant.

Hat Tip: MP.net

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • EzioAltar EzioAltar on Oct 23, 2012

    The picture is of maoists, not professional Indian soldiers.

    The sling is improvised, not the regular army sling. It is just a piece of cloth here.

    Loss of zero happens with every rifle, including the AKM.

    Overheating priblems have been fixed long ago.

    Your words show how little you know of it. Loosely based on AK-47 and also comes in 5.45 variant? It only comes in 5.56, nothing else.

  • MK MK on May 27, 2013


    The INSAS comes only in 5.56 mm NATO. It can fire the rounds
    that M-16 can, but it can also fire more powerful rounds that the M-16 cannot. When those powerful rounds are used, it
    results in a very flat trajectory, and is highly accurate.

    The INSAS comes in two variants, Assault Rifle (AR) and
    Light Machine Gun (LMG). The INSAS LMG is fully automatic capable, while the
    INSAS AR has an automatic capable variant.

    The fact that the regular issue INSAS does not have fully
    automatic capability is a good thing, for the following reasons:

    - Fully automatic AR for such powerful rounds is
    equivalent to wasting bullets.

    - Fully automatic rifles need heavier barrel so
    that it does not overheat, but that will make the rifle heavy.

    - During British-Argentinean War, The Brits has
    semi-automatic FN-FAL while Argentineans had fully-automatic FN-FAL. The
    semi-automatics performed better.

    The Indian Army (apart from COIN forces) focuses on
    marksmanship. Therefore, a semi-automatic is better than a fully-automatic. In
    contrast, the Soviet doctrine in Afghanistan was to suppress the enemy with
    automatic fire while the artillery (be it small mortars or large howitzers) would
    pummel them; and here, fully-automatic capability is preferred.

    In other words, it is wrong to assume that semi-automatic is
    worse than fully-automatic. It can often be the opposite.