There are several “experts” out there that will tell you what type of rifle sling you should put on your carbine. Some claim that the one-point sling is best, while others will try to tell you than nothing is better than an old school two-point sling. Then there is the three-point sling camp who will try to convince you that combat operations need their choice. Then there is the thought that perhaps each sling type has a purpose and you should pick what fits your needs and style of operation. That’s what we will look at today: how to decide for you what sling to run with. Or, in the case of shooters like me, how many different slings you are going to have to buy.
Let’s start old school: The two-point sling.
This is the one grandpa has on his old hunting rifle. Two point slings have been around ever since soldiers realized a need to be able to carry a rifle hands free. They are functional and reliable, as evidenced by how long they have been used in the field by militaries, sportsman, and everyone else. They also have one big advantage over the other two-sling options: The hasty sling firing position. By wrapping the support hand through the sling before placing the palm on the rifle, you create a more stable shooting platform. The big drawback though is that if you have to transition from your rifle to sidearm for any reason, it is not as simple as just letting go of the carbine as the sling is not around the torso.
One-point slings seemed to be all the rage with close quarters combat operators for some time, making their way to the general population as the cool “high speed, low drag” option. This sling clips on to a single point on the rifle and loops around the torso going over the strong shoulder and under the weak arm pit. Unlike the two point sling, you can simply let go of the rifle to transition to a sidearm. It may dangle a bit in the way, but at least you can get to a functioning weapon in a hurry if the need comes up. The other big advantage of these slings is that if you have a proper weapon’s catch on your belt line to hold the rifle steady, walking, getting in and out of vehicles, and other dynamic tasks are easier without having to hold the rifle or sling. The downside to this set up is that inability to use a hasty sling for a more stable firing platform. Without a weapon’s catch however, walking without holding the weapon is not really possible as the gun just dangles in front of you, beating your knees and shins to a pulp.
Then we have the three-point sling. This one is a bit more complicated than the other two. A strap wraps around the buttstock and which allows for a second strap to go from the Buttstock to the front sling point. This forward running strap then has an additional strap attached to it in the form of a loop. The loop is wrapped around the shooter’s torso, crossing from strong shoulder to weak underarm. A snap or button of some sort will hold the looped section against the strap that runs along the rifle. By doing this, your rifle can be tight against your chest and you can move hands free. When the rifle is needed, you simply grab it and quickly bring it up to the shoulder, allowing the motion to unsnap the button. This sling will let you do a hasty sling, though not as easily as a two-point will. You can also let go of the rifle to transition like you would with a one-point sling. The problem with this system though is that there is a lot of webbing that can get caught up on optics, magazines, or gear on a chest rig.
And then there is the sling that I came across while writing this article, which means I have another sling to buy now. It converts from a one-point sling to a two point sling. This is nice because it will allow you to run CQB environments well and then immediately switch to a two point sling that is more suited to being in open areas with the ability to use that hasty sling.
Anyway, back on task. As you can see, all three (now four) slings have their rightful place in the gear bag. It is up to you to decide what you need and when you will need it so you can get the most out of your rifle carrying options.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.