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I picked up a nice Type 99 recently that came with a canvas sling. The trouble is, I can't remove it because it's as hard as a rock. It's also flaking quite a bit.

Is there anything I can do to
1) soften it enough to safely remove it, and
2) rejuvenate it enough to prevent further degradation?

I don't plan to use it as a sling, but I'd like to preserve it.

Any and all help is appreciated.

3845703


3845704
 

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You can not make it better but you definitely can and will make it worse if you try to “rejuvenate” your sling.

Leave it alone.

Maintain a “safe” environment.

Enjoy your rather nice example of the rubberized Japanese sling. A sling that virtually always suffers the same condition problems as your example, and are often in even worse shape.
 

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What would be a safe environment for a sling like that? I have one in similar condition that I took off my rifle.
 

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What would be a safe environment for a sling like that? I have one in similar condition that I took off my rifle.
Think of Goldilocks. Not too hot, not too cold. Not too humid/damp, not too dry. You want an environment that is just right. Fortunately that just right environment is the same that most of us try to maintain in our homes with our heating and cooling systems.

If you are comfortable in your home, if you don’t feel sticky and miserable when it’s hot and humid outside, most collectibles and artifacts will be safe from corrosion or mold. An occasional wipe down of the metal with virtually any simple oil or rust preventative, in conjunction with low humidity, will keep the rust away.

Conversely, if your skin and nasal passages are dried and cracking, your environment is too dry. Desert-like conditions may have no effect on metal but can be damaging to any organic materials like paper, leather, wood, cloth, and objects like the OP’s sling.

Generally speaking a relative humidity in the 30% to 50% range is that “just right” territory that shouldn’t cause unprotected metal to rust and shouldn’t pull every last bit of moisture out of the materials that require some degree of moisture content.

In addition to maintaining a reasonable humidity and avoiding temperature extremes, it’s important to shield your collectibles from UV light exposure and insects.

Please note that I am greatly (and perhaps unreasonably) summarizing a subject that would be better addressed in a much longer response.
 
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Those rubberized canvas slings turn rock hard and crack off. Solution ! Buy a nice original leather sling, around $250-300. Best environment is on the rifle in a shadow box or in the trash.

The sling is most likely hard, stiff, separating, brittle, and way too fragile to handle due to age. Do not try to remove it because it might become damaged. Do not handle or fire the rifle. Try to take it off, and I bet it will crack at the bends and you will have pieces.
It was a cheep wartime substitute sling. The leather slings held up much better. For these rubberized canvas slings there is no really successful technique to restore or soften the flexibility to the rubber that has oxidized and turned rock hard like old 1930/40 rubber toys. Trying to 'preserve' one is mission impossible, The best idea is the rifle goes into a shadow box so it does not move and no one handles it so the fossilized sling does not move or is handled causing more cracking. Or realistically get can original leather sling as a replacement.
 

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There was a post here a few months back where someone took one of these and re latexed it. The cloth was preserved.
 

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A board search for "latex" turned up this:


(Caveat: I just did a board search. Nothing else.)
 

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If I bought that rifle, I would have bought it (almost) solely due to it having the sling on it.
Personally, I wouldn't do anything to it. Just leave it on the rifle, and be careful with it (because you might do more harm to it by removing it than you'd do by leaving it on). I don't think you bought the rifle to use in competition shooting, war, hunting, everyday shooting, etc. Saying that, I don't think a stiff sling is going to do any harm on a collectible rifle/occasional shooter.

 

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I picked up a nice Type 99 recently that came with a canvas sling. The trouble is, I can't remove it because it's as hard as a rock. It's also flaking quite a bit.

Is there anything I can do to
1) soften it enough to safely remove it, and
2) rejuvenate it enough to prevent further degradation?

I don't plan to use it as a sling, but I'd like to preserve it.

Any and all help is appreciated.

View attachment 3845703

View attachment 3845704
Somewhere on here I remember a thread about this exact subject. There was someone who completely delaminated the entire sling and then put it back together layer by layer. I remember whatever adhesive was used smelled really bad and there were cautions about that.

For a temporary fix (maybe getting it off the rifle) agree you can use a hair dryer to warm it up and make it somewhat pliable. I have a rubberized canvas Nambu Type 14 holster that was out of shape from having something heavy sitting on it for many years. I warmed it up and got it back to the correct shape; but as soon as it cooled off it was hard as a rock again.
Bill
 

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Somewhere on here I remember a thread about this exact subject. There was someone who completely delaminated the entire sling and then put it back together layer by layer. I remember whatever adhesive was used smelled really bad and there were cautions about that.

For a temporary fix (maybe getting it off the rifle) agree you can use a hair dryer to warm it up and make it somewhat pliable. I have a rubberized canvas Nambu Type 14 holster that was out of shape from having something heavy sitting on it for many years. I warmed it up and got it back to the correct shape; but as soon as it cooled off it was hard as a rock again.
Bill
Found it!

Canvas sling restoration
 
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