Best Rifle Sling For Your AR-15 & Precision Rifle [2019]

Are you looking for a way to comfortably carry your firearm & can help you quickly switch between a rifle and sidearm?

If so…you need a good ‘ole rifle sling.

VTAC Wide Hybrid Sling
VTAC Wide Hybrid Sling

Rifle slings are perfect for ensuring a steady and accurate shot, which is why they’re a favorite among many sharpshooters.

But there’s a bazillion of them out there.  

I’ll go over choosing the right material, type of sling, and sling mounting systems.  Oh…and of course some specific models.

Choosing the Right Material

Gun slings are typically made from one of two options: leather or nylon.

There is no clear-cut answer when it comes to which sling material is better.  

Some people believe that nylon slings are better because they’re not as heavy, while others prefer leather because they feel it gives a slight elastic feel that nylon doesn’t.  

I personally go with the nylon slings.

Mossberg M500SP
Mossberg M500SP

If you are someone who prefers the traction and style that comes with a leather sling, it’s important to note that they can stretch over the years.  

Leather Sling, Levergun Leather Works
Leather Sling, Levergun Leather Works

Types of Gun Slings

There are three main types of gun slings: single-point, two-point, and three-point slings.  Then some more specific ones applicable for sharpshooting.

I’ll give a brief explanation of each type first then list the pros and cons of each type of sling so that you can get an idea of which type suits your specific needs.

The single-point sling receives its name because it uses one connection point to attach to the gun.

Magpul MS4 Sling in Single Point Configuration
Magpul MS4 Sling in Single Point Configuration

As you may have guessed, two-point slings are named because they are attached to the gun with two connection points.

Vickers Sling by Blue Force Gear
Vickers Sling by Blue Force Gear

The three-point sling also connects to the front and back of the firearm like its two-point counterpart.  However, the three-point sling differs in that it has an additional loop that goes around your torso.

Specter 3 Point Sling
Specter 3 Point Sling

The Ching sling is a special shooting sling that incorporates principles of the “hasty sling” and two-point slings.  It requires three connection points and can be used for carrying and aiming.

Ching Sling Attached to a Steyr Scout
Ching Sling Attached to a Steyr Scout

The Cuff sling is a shooting sling designed to help marksmen get an accurate shot without the use of a bipod.

Tactical Intervention Slip Cuff Quick Release Slign
Tactical Intervention Slip Cuff Quick Release Sling

Best Rifle Slings (For the AR-15 And More)

Two Point Slings

The two-point sling is one of the most commonly-used gun slings and sometimes known as a carrying strap.

I’m starting with these since they are my favorite and the most versatile for the AR-15 and other rifles.

VTAC and Vickers Slings
VTAC and Vickers Slings

This sling connects to the rear and front of the firearm, on the bottom of the stock.  It’s perfect for carrying a long gun over the shoulder during long hunting treks.

Pros

Not only are two-point slings great for carrying your weapon, they can even be used to improve your aim.

M16 with 2 Point Sling
M16 with 2 Point Sling

There are three ways to carry a gun using the two-point sling:

  • American carry – slung over back of the shoulder, muzzle up.
  • European carry – slung over the front of the shoulder, muzzle up.
  • African carry – slung over the back of the shoulder, muzzle down.

Some people prefer the African carry because they feel it makes it easier to grab and aim your weapon.  The downside to the African carry is that you risk clogging your muzzle with dirt and debris as you walk.

African Carry, Gunsite
African Carry, Gunsite

Remember when I said it can improve your aim?

Simply loop the sling around your non-dominant arm and use the tension to keep your weapon stable.  This is called the “hasty sling” method.

Hasty Sling Method, NSSF
Hasty Sling Method, NSSF

Another type of shooting modification that can be used with the two-point sling is the “loop sling.”

This is achieved by disconnecting the rear portion of the sling and pulling a loop through the adjustment slide.  Then, slide your arm through the loop and pull tightly:

This will help stabilize your long gun and provide you with the opportunity to shoot more accurately.  This tactic is referred to as the “USGI sling.”

Cons

The downside of the two-point sling is that it can be difficult to retrieve your gun in a situation where time is of the essence.

It’s also a little harder to transition from side to side unless you leave some extra length to free up your neck area.

Two Point Sling Transition, On Target Training
Two Point Sling Transition, On Target Training

1. VTAC Sling

VTAC Wide Hybrid Sling
VTAC Wide Hybrid Sling

The Viking Tactics is a popular two-point sling that’s designed to boost comfort and freedom of movement.  

The upgrade/hybrid version has stronger hardware and feels lighter.  Used by tons of US troops.

Best Two-Point Sling
43
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

One common complaint is that it is built for an 8 foot monster.  However…that’s because the extra length is set for people wearing armor or using it on a long shotgun.

I follow Kyle Lamb’s advice and use some duct tape to tape off the excess…never know when it might come in handy.

VTAC Extra Length
VTAC Extra Length

One thing that sets it apart from other slings is that it feels light but still super strong.  Also, there’s two pull tabs you use to adjust the length…one to cinch it and one to let it go.

VTAC Sling Two Pull Tabs
VTAC Sling Two Pull Tabs

Highly recommend watching this video of Kyle Lamb for install and use.  Just disregard the TERRIBLE BEARD of the host.

And also highly recommend going with at least something padded if you’re going to be standing around for a few hours on patrol (or even a class).

VTAC Wide Pad
VTAC Wide Pad

The VTAC’s padding is thin but makes a world of difference.

My specific version that I use is the padded upgraded/hybrid multicam.

VTAC Wide Hybrid Sling
VTAC Multicam Wide Hybrid/Upgraded Sling
Best Two-Point Sling
43
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

2. Blue Force Gear Vickers Sling

Another used by tons of US troops is the Vickers Sling by Blue Force Gear.

Blue Force Gear Vickers Padded Sling
Blue Force Gear Vickers Padded Sling

There’s also a padded version ($55) for enhanced comfort.

45
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Check it out in action…

Note that it only has one tab to deal with…

Vickers Sling Pull Tab
Vickers Sling Pull Tab

The length is also more manageable…no duct tape needed but you might not be able to put it on very long shotguns (or if you’re huge and/or wearing a lot of gear).

The padding is also a little thicker than the VTAC.

Vickers Padded Sling
Vickers Padded Sling

But the nylon of the sling itself feels stiffer and is definitely thicker.  And given the choice between padded and not padded versions…definitely go with padded.

Vickers Padded vs Not
Vickers Padded vs Not
45
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

What’s your take on the Vickers?

Readers' Ratings

4.96/5 (217)

Your Rating?

Single-Point Slings

The single-point sling is a favorite for a lot of gun enthusiasts.

The sling wraps around the user’s body while the point attaches to the rear or the weapon.  

Pros

What makes the single-point sling a favorite among tactical shooters is that it makes dropping and picking up your weapon simple.

Single Point Sling, On Target Training
Single Point Sling, On Target Training

The beauty of the single-point sling is that it always sits directly in front of you (and most likely pointing in a safe direction down).

This makes it ideal for situations where you need to go quickly hands-free, but also must have the ability to quickly grab your weapon at a moment’s notice.

Another benefit of using the single-point sling is that it allows you to perform a wide-range of movement such as transitions due to a barrier.

Single Point Sling Transitions, On Target Training
Single Point Sling Transitions, On Target Training

Additionally, your gun doesn’t have to be in front of you with a single-point sling.  You can also wear it in a way that keeps your weapon at your side or on your back.  However, those options aren’t ideal for scenarios where you need quick access to your gun.

Cons

Despite the convenience and easy accessibility that comes with single-point slings, they aren’t without their drawbacks.

For starters, single-point slings provide little shooting support…your aim with a single-point sling won’t be much better than it would be with no sling at all.

Another con of the single-point sling is your gun will sway a lot when you’re not holding it.  

For some people, moving hands-free with a single-point sling can be especially annoying because they constantly get knocked in the groin or knees with their gun.  

Here’s an example of a loose two point sling but you can imagine it with merely one.

Sling Groin Smash, On Target Training
Sling Groin Smash, On Target Training

Once you find the proper tightness adjustment for your body, your single-point sling shouldn’t move as much.  And overall, it’s a great tactical piece of anyone who’s not in situations that require a lot of running.

3. Magpul MS4

If you’re looking for a single-point sling that’s comfortable, durable, and easy to adjust, try the Magpul MS4 Sling ($56).

Best Single-Point Sling
56
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Its 1.25” wide nylon material is strong enough to resist wear-and-tear from constant use but soft enough to prevent chaffing and discomfort.  

Additionally, it can be converted to a two-point sling and has quick disconnect features.

Three Point Slings

When it comes to the three-point sling, I find that people either love it or hate it.

Three Point Slings by Specter
Three Point Slings by Specter

Pros

Overall, I think it’s a good sling that keeps your gun within reach, just like its single-point counterpart.

In addition, the three-point sling has more control than the single-point sling when you’re moving hands-free.  That means you don’t have to worry about having your gun bang up your shin or groin area as you move.

Have a look at this video to see how the three-point sling works:

The biggest benefit of the three-point sling is that you can easily transition from a rifle to a sidearm without having to fumble between guns.

Cons

However, the three-point sling doesn’t come without its own set of cons. Some shooters complain that three-point slings tend to get caught on bolt release mechanisms and block ejection ports of rifles.

Also, this…

Rifle Slings - 1 Point? 2 Point? 3 Point?
A Major Reason Why Not to Use a 3-Point Sling, source InRangeTV

In case you’re wondering…yes that rifle was loaded…and no this was not a drill/test/skit. This is, in all its glory, the three-point sling in the field.

4. Specter Three Point Sling

When it comes to three-point slings, comfort is key.

You don’t want to have something strapped to your body that feels excessively tight or restricts your movement more than it should.  Many people prefer Specter Three Point Slings ($30) because they’re less likely to cause chafing or affect the wearer’s range of motion.

Best Three-Point Sling
29
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Shooting Slings

Along with tactical straps designed to help you carry your long gun in a variety of ways, there are also different types of shooting slings for your long gun.

5. Ching Sling

It is made up of two straps, a standard two-point sling and an additional smaller strap connected to the gun’s center stud.

Think of the Ching sling as a two-point sling that was optimized for the “hasty sling” method of shooting.

When carrying a rifle with the Ching sling, the small strap can be slid up and out of the way.  When it comes time to shoot, simply loop your arm through the first loop, between the first and center studs, to get a steadier aim.

Looping Up with Ching Sling
Looping Up with Ching Sling

Andy’s Leather Ching Sling ($50) is a great version of this iconic sling that’s easy to adjust and doesn’t cause discomfort.

50
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

6. Cuff Slings

Cuff sling variations are a favorite among sharpshooters because they allow you to get a stable and accurate shot without the use of a bipod.  They’re easier to set up than loop sling methods like the “USGI sling” and are an excellent way to improve your aim.

Tactical Intervention Slip Cuff Quick Release Slign
Tactical Intervention Slip Cuff Quick Release Sling

The Tactical Intervention ($54) is a popular cuff sling that’s developed with military-grade nylon and is able to withstand regular wear-and-tear.

54
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Sling Mounts and Hardware

Once you’ve got the sling, you’ve got to make sure you can attach it to your rifle.

Almost all of the slings mentioned will hook into your butt stock without any additional hardware…whether into the slits or using a QD (quick disconnect) mount.

Buttstock Sling Attachment
Buttstock Sling Attachment

If you don’t have that…or like having a connection on your end place…check out the BCM QD End Plate (perfect for single point slings).

17
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

You might need something for your handguard if it doesn’t already come with QD holes…however I found the factory ones are either too forward (gets in the way of lights) or too rear (too short for slinging on your back).

In that case you’ll need something like a Troy Rail Mount ($33).

33
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

However, my current favorite is the Magpul RSA QD ($28) since it is adjustable and keeps the sling on one specific side.  My loadout below gives me space to activate my light.

VTAC Extra Length
Magpul RSA QD

It also has anti-rotation so your sling doesn’t get jumbled up

29
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

And for actual QD mounts and swivel combos…

Magpul RSA and QD Sling Swivels, Flush vs Exposed
Magpul RSA and QD Sling Swivels, Flush vs Exposed

We go with Magpul QD Slings (exposed) or the Midwest Industries (flush).

My preference is the flush model since I don’t take on/off my slings that much…and having something accidentally disconnect your sling would suck.

Conclusion

VTAC and Vickers Slings
VTAC and Vickers Slings

For almost all users…you’re probably good to go with a two point sling.  Our favorites are the…

VTAC Sling: great for lots of adjustment, thinner straps, and two pull tabs

Best Two-Point Sling
43
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Vickers Sling: great for regular-length guns/gear/dudes, thicker straps, and one pull tab

45
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

And…here are some tips that can improve your experience:

  • When using a leather shooting strap, mark the notch that is the most comfortable for you. That way, you don’t lose that perfect adjustment point.
  • Don’t over-tighten your sling when using a “cuff” or “loop sling.” If you can’t slip two or three fingers in the cuff, it’s too tight.
  • Practice makes perfect, especially when wearing a new sling.  Practice raising your gun quickly into firing position until you feel comfortable with your sling.

Remember, a good gun sling can work wonders by increasing your accuracy or helping quickly switch between your long gun and sidearm.  Check out more of our essential gear and guns such as Best Weapon Lights or Best Scopes/Optics.

What sling did you end up getting? How do you like it? Let me know in the comments! 

21 Leave a Reply

  • Justin Salmon

    You forgot one of the best slings out right now, the survivor sling by cold steel tactical. Its a paracord wrapped bunjee cored single or 2 point convertible.... I've never seen another sling like it, hell Ted Nugent even swears by the thing.

    1 second ago
  • Craig CHILDRE

    Sheriff of Baghdad.... my favorite slings...

    5 hours ago
  • Dustin

    Ferro Concepts Slingster should definitely be added here.

    1 day ago
  • Stan Phillips

    Very good article! Only thought is the article is presented from a warm weather point of view. If you wear a nylon jacket, and have a nylon sling, dry- the interface is very slippery. If it's near, or below freezing, nylon gets incredibly slick, losing almost all of it's surface friction. With anything but cotton, or canvas, a nylon two point sling won't even stay on the shoulder. Leather retains the surface friction under all conditions.

    1 day ago
  • David Schlegel

    I bought the Proctor sling. Feels good. Works well. I modified it with qd attachments. So far I’m happy with the arrangement.

    1 day ago
  • Mike Moser

    Good info. just came across a Fal rifle with a Magpul PRS -2 stoc and DSA picatinny dust cover .The rifle is quite heavy so Im looking for a sturdt two point sling.Any suggestions.

    1 day ago
  • Stoner

    No love for the savvy sniper slings?

    2 days ago
  • Wzrd

    I like the MS4 for pistols/sbrs, 10.5” or less. Lack of padding hasn’t been an issue but I’m not carrying for hours on duty. I usually use a QD end plate for this. Also like that they can be used in 2 point configuration as well. 10.5”+ I tend to use 2 points with one end on far side of stock & other ~5” in front of upper on hg. Either MS4 or VTAC. I have found a comfortable, quality, inexpensive sling that I really like is the Strike Industries/J-Tech S3. QD snaps & quick adjustment. Newest version is padded, can be 1 or 2 points, & can store a TQ. They can be found for ~$20. May not hold up to military type use though. Honorable mention for Battle Steel slings that can be found at Botach.

    2 days ago
  • John Connor

    Excellent article! Very helpful.

    2 days ago
    • Eric Hung

      Thanks John!

      2 days ago
  • JttK

    Love my VTAC wide sling. Have ran lots of carbine courses, practice drills and even some SUT patrolling tests deep in the woods for long distances. Very comfortable, very durable, easy to adjust. One caveat: I wear a battle belt with mags in the 9-10 position (right handed) and when my rifle is slung in the low ready, the metal adjustment slider knocks into the magazines and creates unwanted noise. Enough so that I'm going to get some stretchy neoprene to cover that buckle. I wish VTAC would have provided some silence material or a rubberized coating on the metal hardware. Other than that, rock solid, comfortable sling but do a noise test with all your gear on if you're into that type of stuff.

    6 months ago
  • TimH

    I'm a big fan of the Vickers Sling. I really like the fast adjustment capability. I don't leave home without it when I go pig hunting. It works great during each type of activity I might find myself doing: walking long distances, keeping my rifle ready when carrying other gear, sitting in treestands or box blinds, climbing ladders or running a 4wheeler. Wearing a t-shirt one day and a raid vest over a sweatshirt the next? No problem with the one hand rapid adjustment on the Vickers rig. As far as other types of slings go, I sometimes use a single point sling on some of my compact, light carbines. They are also good when it's time to go hands on I don't use or own any 3 point rigs. If you want to get experience on single point slings or 2 point set-ups, buy yourself a 3 point sling and after you get disgusted with it and throw it in the trash, your experience with single point and/or 2 point rigs will then begin. As a police officer, I was issued a 3 point set-up and, after giving it a fair try, ended up disliking it intensely. (Enough that I got my own 2 point rig.) It was soft nylon and pretty wide, so it was comfortable enough but it blocked access to some of my AR controls and always seemed to hang up when you needed to get it on and go. How a le ft handed guy used a 3 point on an AR15 without creating malfunctions is anyboby's guess. Admin types who like the lower cost but never have to put their genius recommendations to use are responsible for inflicting the 3 point pestilence on cops. Those of you who can buy what you want should learn from the pain of others: skip the 3 point rigs and save the hassle.

    11 months ago
  • Robert S.

    Good article. I tried a VTAC,sling, and it's definitely a well made sling - I've just prefer the BFG Vickers.. On a couple of my SBR's I've got a Vickers with a burnsed socket ($13 bucks at BFG) that allows me to convert my 2 point to a single point.in about 2 seconds. If I'm running CQ drills, I like the single point, but in any other case, I prefer the 2 point. The difference in the Vickers and VTAC is the thickness of the sling, and also I had a hard time dealing with all the extra sling on the VTAC after I got it adjusted to my size (6'3", 230) I didn't want to lop it off. The VCAS doesn't have all that slack. But good job on the article. I think you did show the most important carry for the 2 point in Kyle's video.

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Thanks, Robert!!

      1 year ago
  • Brent

    This was a very informative article however I feel that they did not do the 2 point justice. There is a reason why most “tactical types” use a 2 point. It’s because of the not motioned 4th way to carry a two point sling, the “Post 1998 method”. It is demonstrated in the photo at the top of this article. Muzzle down with gun resting in front just like a single point and the quick adjusting sling slightly tightened. This allows for quick access but provides more stability when running and moving.

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Thanks for that, Brent!

      1 year ago
  • Wzrd

    MS4 is my go-to. I prefer the QD mount method for slings & having one sling that can easily switch between 1 & 2 point configuration is great. It’s a do-all. Only thing I’d change is to add some padding. It’s not cheap but considering the quality & inclusion of 2 QD swivels it’s well worth it.

    1 year ago
  • RCEME

    Some of these rigs along with the well done and useful commentaries would of been handy to know the last time I was in the desert with my unit. Thanks to PEW PEW for all the great stuff! Really enjoy the channel.

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Thanks so much for the kind words!!

      1 year ago
  • Adam

    Thanks Brandon, great article and great timing as I'm getting ready to buy a sling for my new AR. What do you think of slings with bungee in them like the ones by Armageddon Gear?

    2 years ago
    • TimH

      Adam, I've always been a fan of some stretch in a single point sling. It makes your piece ride softer when running, taking the stairs or walking fast. Also, it's great when you need to "muzzle thump" somebody. (The worst time to find out you have your sling a bit too tight is at that moment.) Finally, in a crowded environment, and when getting in and out of vehicles, the inevitable snags and hang-ups go a bit smoother with some elastic in the picture..

      11 months ago
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