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.
Rifle slings are perfect for ensuring a steady and accurate shot, which is why they’re a favorite among many sharpshooters.
Did you know that slings aren’t only useful for conveniently carrying your weapon? They are also ideal for hunting and target shooting.
But there’s a bazillion of them out there.
Read on to see the differences between the various styles and how to choose the best one for your specific purpose.
And if you can’t wait, here’s our top selections for each type of sling:
- Single Point: Magpul MS4
- Two Point: VTAC Wide Sling
- Three Point: Specter Sling
- Ching Sling: Andy’s Leather
- Cuff Sling: Tactical Intervention
Choosing the Right Material
Gun slings are typically made from one of the two fabrics: 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.
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.
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 sharp shooting.
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.
As you may have guessed, two-point slings are named because they are attached to the gun with two connection points.
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.
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.
The Cuff sling is a shooting sling designed to help marksmen get an accurate shot without the use of a bipod.
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.
What makes the single-point sling a favorite among tactical shooters is that it makes dropping and picking up your weapon simple.
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.
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 in scenarios where you need quick access to your gun.
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 with a loose two point sling but you can imagine it with merely one.
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.
Best Single Point Sling
If you’re looking for a single-point sling that’s comfortable, durable, and easy to adjust, try the Magpul MS4 Sling ($56).
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.
Two Point Slings
The two-point sling is one of the most commonly-used gun slings and sometimes known as a carrying strap.
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.
Not only are two-point slings great for carrying your weapon, they can even be used to improve your aim.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Best Two Point Slings
The Viking Tactics (~$45) is a popular two-point sling that’s designed to boost comfort and freedom of movement. The upgraded version is wider and with stronger hardware. Used by tons of US troops.
You really can’t go wrong with either of those or even the Magpul MS4 Sling ($56) that’s convertible.
Three Point Slings
When it comes to the three-point sling, I find that people either love it or hate it.
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.
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.
Best Three Point Slings
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.
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.
The 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.
Andy’s Leather Ching Sling ($50) is a great version of this iconic sling that’s easy to adjust and doesn’t cause discomfort.
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.
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.
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.
The forward attachment might need something that goes on the rails if you don’t already have a sling swivel on your front sight block such as this Troy Rail Mount ($33).
Lastly, if you have something that needs a quick disconnect, you can go with the Magpul RSA QD ($28) for rails.
Magpul RSA QD
Prices accurate at time of writing
Or a BCM QD End Plate ($17) for the rear (perfect for single point slings).
When buying a new gun sling, the first thing you should do is practice getting used to using here. 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.
What sling did you end up getting?