There are three common kinds of rifle slings to consider when making a decision for purchase. Single-point, two-point, and three-point. We will be discussing which one will best serve your needs. I will tell you which one I prefer, market trends, and current commonality.
Now, let’s talk about the pros and cons for each type of rifle slings first.
One-point rifle sling – Transition from your shoulder easily.
One-point slings, also known as single-point sling, is known for their convenience for shoulder transitioning. When we are working movement, shoulder transitions can minimize your exposure to a threat making you a hard target. Below are the pros and cons of utilizing a one-point sling.
Pros of single-point slings
Not long ago, single-point slings were the hot ticket that everyone wanted a piece of. Special Operations forces were utilizing them for their ease of manipulation in a CQB environment, leading to a surge in popularity.
The name, single point, simply refers to the sling’s attachment point to the rifle being met in a single location towards the rear of the rifle. From there, the rifle is slung around your body in a loop independently from your rifle. The single attachment point coupled with the bungee material typically utilized at the attachment point makes for an extremely effective tool in terms of pure dexterity when manipulating the weapon. For this reason, you will often see SWAT officers donning this sling. Lastly, if you lack rail space, these slings are an excellent option as they require no secondary attachment point forward of the rifle’s rear.
Cons of single-point slings
Unfortunately, these slings do come with some notable drawbacks. If you carry your rifle on a regular basis, you will at times have to relinquish your grasp of the weapon. Your rifle will have sloppy body retention and dangle and bounce around. These slings are notorious for slapping you in the junk as the rifle’s natural point of rest is in line with the center of your body with no point of contact at the front of the rifle.
Secondly, this type of sling is less than ideal when conducting movement over longer distances. The sling offers poor weight distribution and is relatively uncomfortable to carry for extended periods.
If you have a longer rifle, bending down can be an issue. These slings will drive your muzzle into the dirt if you do not remain cognizant of this. I believe single-point slings will best serve you on shorter weapons such as AR pistols, SBRs, or PDWs.
Two-point rifle Sling – Sturdy and convenient.
The Two-point sling. Crème de la Crème. At least in my opinion. Early in my Marine Corps service, we switched from a 3-point setup to a 2-point. It was not only more straightforward but more effective. That consensus was close to unanimous for those who had any experience running the three-point setups in the past. So, what does the two-point sling offer exactly?
Pros of two-point slings
Unlike the single point, the two-point sling includes two points of contact with your rifle. One point of contact at the rear of the rifle (typically the buttstock) and one point of contact toward the front of the rifle on the rail.
Modern two points usually offer a quick adjustment feature that allows you to quickly control the amount of tension needed, making for a very versatile system. When shooting from unsupported positions, this tension control can be beneficial and stable for conducting well-aimed shots as the sling acts as a brace. The adjustability of the sling also allows for the quick relinquishment of tension when shoulder transitions and general free handling weapon manipulation is needed. If a sling you want does not have a quick-adjust feature, that is ok, but if this is the case, the sling should have some bungee material to allow the shooter some give.
I would not recommend a 2-point sling with neither a quick-adjust feature nor a bungee retention system. The 2-point also affords the user multiple different ways of keeping your rifle comfortably attached and out of the way. This sling can easily be slung around your back or side, creating unobstructed hands-on capabilities. Extremely useful in day-to-day activities. The Tacticon 2 Point Rifle Sling is a great (and affordable) option the will fit any rifle.
Cons of two-point slings
So what are the cons? There aren’t many, but you will have to swim out of your sling to have full manipulation capabilities such as conducting shoulder transitions. It’s easy and fast, but we are still counting it as a con as it is an extra step that you need take. Some slings that incorporate a bungee system have nearly eliminated the need for this as they give the sling will allow for more manipulation capabilities, something to consider if this is a concern for you.
Three-point rifle sling – Secured your firearms.
You would think the name of the 3-point would follow suit of the previous two slings and feature a third point of contact with the rifle, but this is not the case. Instead, the 3-point also has two points of contact with the rifle. One strap will go around your torso while the other two attach to your rifle’s front and rear. Now, let’s discuss further the pros and cons.
Pros of three-point slings
The benefit of this sling is it keeps the rifle even more secure to your body than the other slings we have mentioned.
Cons of three-point slings
Unfortunately, that is about as far as I am willing to go in promoting this sling. It is a complicated sling that tends to get caught on gear and tangle very easily. In addition, having to manipulate your weapon in any fashion other than an introductory presentation of your rifle is a chore. These slings, at one point, were widely used. Nowadays, they are a rare sight for a good reason.
If you like being penetrated while tied up, a BDSM type of individual, this might be the sling for you.
3 Reasons why you need a rifle sling
Just as holsters are a critical part of carrying a pistol, slings are a critical part of carrying a rifle. Without it, you will not be able to use your hands effectively while carrying your rifle. Prolonged use will be much more uncomfortable.
Weapon retention is also valuable and can even prevent a would-be surprise attacker from snatching your rifle (see page 08252020, Kenosha, Wisconsin).
Weapon transitions are another consideration. For example, if you lack a sling, you will have to completely discard your rifle to conduct an effective transition which is NOT a good practice.
When purchasing a rifle, there are generally three things you want to outfit your rifle with first: a rifle light, optic, and SLING. So don’t neglect it. Purchase one and run it for a few months. Then, see for yourself why the sling is one of the most recommended items for rifle use.
How to install sling on rifle?
The Single point sling is the easiest to attach and detach due to its single point of contact. On AR-15s, these are most often mounted in the QD slot found below the castle nut. Simply plug in a QD swivel or use a clip if your rifle has a metal loop in this area.
You want your attachment points to be on opposite sides for the two-point. If you are right-handed, the forward attachment point will be on the left side of your rail. The rear attachment point will ideally be on the right side of your buttstock. This affords you the least amount of sling interference and keeps the rifle tight to your body.
I like running the sling further down the rail as this allows you to use the sling as a stabilizing brace when taking well-aimed shots. This is ineffective if you have your sling mounted in a shallow rail area. There are quite a few different mounting options for slings. Pay attention to what rail you have to avoid ordering the wrong attachment for your rifle. The most common mounting solution today, which is the one I use as well, are QD sockets that are quickly and easily attached to any point of a keymod, m-lok, or Picatinny rail. Install QD swivels and each end of your rifle sling, and you will have an effective, secure mounting system that is easily disconnected. This will allow you to easily swap between rifles or quickly take them off when you do not want to utilize them.
For the 3-point, you may use the same attachment points as the 2-point sling. Some will have straps that mount directly to the end of the buttstock. In which case, utilize this mounting method for your 3-point.