Friday, March 9, 2012

AR-15 Slings...Which Style Is Best For Me?

If you spend any time carrying or holding your weapon, it won’t be long until you decide that a sling is a must have item for your AR-15.  In this post, we will discuss the different types of slings and the various ways to attach them to your rifle.

Single point slings are designed to be worn over your support hand shoulder, and they hold the weapon in a muzzle down position. They are very quick to move into a firing position, but because they only attach in one place on the weapon, the weapon can tend to move around quite a bit when you are moving.  This almost necessitates placing a hand on the weapon to brace it when you move.  On an AR-15, these are typically attached to the weapon with a single point sling adapter that replaces the receiver end plate or at an attachment point on the stock or lower receiver.

Two point slings typically attach near the stock and at a point near the end of the handguards. Some manufacturers make slings that can be converted from single point to two point as application requires. The Magpul MS2 sling is of this design.  The newer MS3 sling has the same benefits with an improved and more comfortable web material and width. Two point slings offer a much more secure "carry" when you are required to move.  Magpul also makes a rail mount sling attachment for this style of sling to attach to a rail section at the forward attachment point.  Older, “standard” two point slings are typically designed to be carried around a shoulder with the muzzle up and the weapon behind the shoulder/arm. These attach to the sling swivels on the stock and under the front sight base.  More modern two point slings are designed for muzzle down carry and are also very “quick to shoulder”.

Three point slings attach at two points on the weapon, but also have an additional strap the runs between the two attachment points.  These are very secure when movement is required and are designed for muzzle down carry.  Some AR-15 owners do not like this style because the strap running between the attachment points can cover the bolt catch, but this is a matter of personal preference more than anything...the bolt catch is still easy to manipulate with this style.  Three point slings often have nylon webbing with a greater width that can provide more comfort if the weapon is carried for a longer period of time.  Most modern slings in all three styles come with a quick release feature should the need arise to have the weapon completely unencumbered by the sling. 

Because sling choice can be a matter of personal preference and to prevent you from owning several before you find the one that serves your application, it’s a good idea to ask other AR owners what works for them and why.  Researching opinions on the internet or reading reviews on retailer websites can help you focus in on the design that will help you enjoy your AR-15 even more.  Thanks for reading our blog; if you have any questions about slings or anything related to the AR-15, please contact us!

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