11 AR Slings That Don’t Suck
Certified Armorer & Instructor
Licensed Concealed Carry Holder
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If you ask us, there are probably too many AR-15 slings on the market. Sure, we all need a comfortable way to haul our rifle into the woods, or quickly switch between a rifle and sidearm – but which slings are ideal? What makes them easy to adjust?
How the heck do you decide which one?
We’ll break down the different kinds of slings, their use, nuances in material, and hopefully help you grab the best one for your specific purpose.
In this review, we’re going to walk through the following types of slings: Single Point Rifle Slings, 2 Point Slings, & 3 Point Slings.
We won’t be covering specialty items like should slings, cuff clings, or ching slings but look for them in another guide.
In This Article
AR Sling Recommendations
Below is my list of the AR sling recommendations. I list the best choices in terms of value, performance, design, and cost.
Click on the name to head to the product page, read reviews and check prices or skip ahead to the list of slings.
Best Quick-Adjust Sling
Best Combat Sling
Ambi Sling Pick
Top Combat Three-Point
Best QD Single Point
Top Bungee Pick
Two-Point AR Slings
The oldest sling type and most popular these days is the two-point sling.
These attach at the toe of the buttstock and along the handguard about 1/3rd of the way up the barrel from the muzzle, about at the same point as the gas block on an AR.
1. Best Overall: Allen Rifle Two-Point Sling
A high-quality sling, the Allen Rifle Sling offers a cleated tread grip on a wide padded sling, which provides solid traction against the body and makes carrying your rifle virtually silent.
All hardware is metal (both the sling swivels and length adjustment), and it’s inexpensive enough to outfit a few rifles with it.
The 1″ nylon sling webbing on this two-point sling makes for a comfortable fit, and it’s easy enough to use – wearing well on longer treks or short hops with a variety of firearms. The Allen Rifle Sling is also long enough to fit a variety of body types & sizes, even over with winter layers.
- Leather face with accent stitching
- Cleated tread slip gripper back eliminates sling related noise
- Metal swivels tested to 300 pounds
- One hand, quick adjusting
- Heavy-duty 1-inch sling webbing
2. Best Paracord Sling: Ten Point Gear Two-Point Sling
This 2-point paracord sling comes in various color options, which are all adjustable from 33″ to 44″.
The paracord has hundreds of survival uses – making this sling multi-functional – and it works for rifles, shotguns, or crossbows. It can be worn for a long time without irritation thanks to its stretchy interior paracord.
This sling contains four strands of paracord – 2 of each color – with roughly 42′ of cord in total. They perform very well for this price point, and the length works well for various heights and body sizes. The swivels are universal and will work on almost any mounting stud.
- Adjustable from 33″ to 44″Universal swivels fit any standard mountGreat for rifles, shotguns, and crossbowsMultiple color options are available
- Adjustable from 33″ to 44″
- Universal swivels fit any standard mount
- Great for rifles, shotguns, and crossbows
- Multiple color options are available
3. Best Quick-Adjust Sling: Magpul Two-Point Sling
- 6.0 oz weight
- 48-60 in. length
- 10 in. Slider Adjustment Range
- Webbing width: 1.25″
- Pad width: 1.85″
The MS1 is considered one of the most versatile Magpul slings with many people giving this the designation of the “best single point sling” on name recognition alone. It’s called the “MS1” because it’s the one sling that can transform into every other sling in the Magpul catalog with the addition of adapters.
This two-point AR-15 sling uses the MS1 slider, which is engineered to make quick adjustments a breeze – and lock them in with no slipping once in place.
The MS1 also has no excessive length to avoid snag hazards. Quick shoulder transitions and rapid adjustability are simple, allowing for hands-free rifle carry or shooting support from your choice of position.
The MS1 system has been tested to survive tens of thousands of cycles in all kinds of conditions – wet, dry, humid, salt, or sand. Static load tests showed no slippage after 72 hours, and the sling survived weighted six-foot drop tests.
This thing is made to last – as it has been swum, jumped, hunted, hiked, and shot with it in a variety of rugged field tests. The MS1 is USA-made and Berry Amendment compliant – so if it’s good enough for the DOD, it should be good enough for you and me.
4. Best Padded Sling: Viking Tactics Two-Point Sling
The Viking Tactics Wide (Padded) Quick Adjust Upgrade sling has an easy-to-use textured rubber pull tab, which allows for quick sling adjustments with a single hand (even when we tested with gloves on.)
The shoulder pad gives a great feel and makes even long treks much easier on the neck and shoulder.
All metal hardware and elastic stow bands make for easy mounting and adjustment, and the metal hardware will take a licking for years to come. They are also made in the USA.
5. Best 2-Point Combat Sling: Blue Force Gear
The Blue Force Gear Vickers Sling was engineered from combat experience, so it’s designed to be practical and durable – and adjustable with just a single tab.
The length is manageable, like the Magpul, but you might look elsewhere if you’re much over 6 feet tall, use longer shotguns, or tend to wear a lot of gear on your hunts. If you’re looking for a Vickers sling with a little more padding the Blue Force Gear Vickers padded sling gives you the same great product with excellent padding.
Three-Point AR Slings
Interestingly, 3-point slings are more akin to single-point slings than 2-pointers, and if you’re moving hands-free, they can offer more control than a single-point sling.
They tend to keep your rifle closer to your body, preventing unintended contact with it (e.g., knocking into your knees on the run.)
6. Best Three-Point Sling: Specter Gear
Solid 3-pointer with a dual universal quick disconnect set-up for existing front and rear QD sling swivel sockets. It comes with front and rear heavy-duty quick-disconnect swivels.
It offers lots of room to wear your long gun in all the critical carry positions and rapid transition to a pistol from your long gun.
- Nice and wide 1.25″ webbing
- Emergency Release Buckle (ERB)
- Front and rear heavy-duty QD swivels
7. Best Three-Point Ambi Sling: Specter Gear
This is designated as a fully ambidextrous carry sling that will work with any existing side-mounted front and rear QD swivel sockets. In addition to the quick transition to a pistol, this sling is also fully ambidextrous – so you lefty’s will feel right at home.
- 1.25″ wide webbing
- Emergency Release Buckle (ERB)
- Supplied with a matte finish steel side front sling mount plate and a rear slider that interfaces with the sling loop on the Magpul SGA stock
8. Best Combat Three-Point Sling: Tac-Shield
Tac-Shield’s combat sling is designed for M16 and AR15 applications – complete with 1.5″ Mil-Spec webbing.
This 3-Point Universal system also comes with an emergency release buckle (ERB) system so you can drop it like it’s hot in a hurry.
They also have engineered what they call a Fast Adjust Cam Lock, which makes cross-shoulder transitions quick and easy – flip the cam lock open, free the sling to extend, and slide your rifle to the opposite shoulder. Excellent product.
- 1.5″ Mil-Spec Webbing
- Universal Attachment System
- Fast Adjust Cam Lock (Cross Shoulder Mounting)
- ERB release buckle (Weapon Release)
Single-Point AR Slings
Certainly a popular sling type at my local range, these attach to your weapon with a single QD or hook clip and encircle your body. They’re incredibly useful in urban environments and when moving to and from vehicles.
9. Best Single Point Sling: Tac-Shield
Another battle sling – the CQB offers all the necessities you’d want for versatile weapon carrying and quick transitions.
We really liked the wide 1.5″ webbing, which is more comfortable on the shoulder and seems to offer some additional durability.
The QCB has a nice feature called a hook silencer sleeve that keeps weapon movement silent as you’re moving. Nice for hunting or recon.
- Mil-Spec Webbing
- HK Snap Hook
- Hook Silencer Sleeve
- Single Quick Release Buckle
10. Best QD Single Point Sling: Blue Force Gear
The Blue Force Gear sling is a combat-tested product engineered for mobility – specifically vehicle combat or urban fighting (where a 1-point sling can shine).
This sling uses Blue Force Gear’s new polymer Burnsed Socket and RED (Rapid Emergency Detachment) Swivel, which offers the awesome feature of being able to switch from 2-point to 1-point mode by pulling on the RED quick detach swivel knob and reinserting it into the Burnsed Socket at the rear of the receiver.
Out tests showed this was super easy. The design of the RED swivel makes it nearly impossible to get stuck or catch on things – but it only takes about 7lbs of force to disengage the ball bearings – so it’s quick and easy but designed to prevent unintended detachments.
11. Best Bungee Single Point Sling: Grovetec
We really liked how this bungee sling works as intended to reduce “dead weight” via double shock cordage reduces shoulder jarring from the rifle.
It was also easy on the neck and traps in carry and fire testing. The Grovetec sling has dual, 1-1/4″ bungee cords that absorb impact from fast movement, which work marvelously.
The Tactical Bungee Sling wraps the bungees in nylon webbing, providing tension to minimize bounce and silencing the sling while on the move.
Who should consider these recommendations?
Hunters or anyone who carries their weapon over distance. Rifles slings are a must-have if you’re hunting or trekking into the woods over a distance with a long gun.
Your rifle will get heavy unless you do the right thing and offload its weight to your back and shoulders.
You want to conserve your energy for when you’re engaging your target rather than expending it getting to the hunting spot.
A rifle sling will improve any hunt.
Shooters who want to improve their accuracy. Slings are great for enabling shooters to improve their accuracy by providing a point of tension against which they can secure and stabilize their weapon.
They also free up your hands to transition to a pistol when needed. Target and recreational shooters will find that with consistent use, they will get on-target faster, shoot longer, and have more mobility using a sling.
AR Sling Benefits
Retaining control of your firearm
Simply put, one of the better reasons to get a sling for your AR, or any other rifle, shotgun, or even AR pistol, is pretty simple: you don’t want to drop your firearm. First and foremost, a sling is a strap by which you can carry a gun on your back so that you don’t have to hold it in your hands while you’re walking around or doing something else, like dragging a friend out of harm’s way in a firefight.
Additionally, when you’re using a firearm in a dynamic situation, a sling is an excellent means to retain the weapon.
A portable shooting aid
With a little bit of thinking and some practice, slings are excellent shooting aids. While this is primarily true of both the three and two-point rifle sling, most slings can be set up to add some tension and stability to you as a shooting platform, turning most into tactical slings of sort.
In fact, many national-match styles of competition, as well as military training, heavily emphasize the use of a sling in aiding shooters to make more accurate and consistent shots from standing, kneeling, and prone.
All in all, slings are an excellent tool, and we consider one as necessary to any longarm. What makes for the best rifle sling is largely a function of personal preference and use case, which I detail below.
There are three general types of sling, categorized by the number of attachment points they have to the gun, and each of these types has its benefits and drawbacks.
Single Point Slings
Single-point slings (or “one-point slings”) usually attach with a special castle nut that has either a loop or a quick-detach sling mounting point. These slings are meant chiefly for weapon retention, and they’re just a loop, so attach and detach quickly using a QD or hook loop.
The simple loop design doesn’t offer much stability as an aiming aid, and the fact there is only a single point connecting the firearm to the user means it must have a strong, durable connection. Take, for example, the practice that folks developed for using slings with sub-guns (like the MP5K), which involves pushing forward on a tight sling to give it some tension (granted, that’s a pretty specialized application).
Single-point slings are great for users who often set their rifles down, such as a hunter in a blind or someone entering & exiting vehicles frequently. They also allow the user to keep the sling on and disconnect their rifle without removing the sling from their person.
Also, single-point slings allow a user to quickly switch between strong and weak-side shooting, which is critical in urban combat scenarios where things like walls or cars can require weak-side shooting. But the upside isn’t limited to combat — hunters can also benefit. When a deer or elk approaches a tree stand from your strong side, it can be a real challenge to reposition for a strong-side shot. With a single-point sling, you can just switch shoulders to your weak side for a better shot.
The main shortcomings of a single-point sling are the lack of muzzle control with hands-free carry and a muzzle-down-only orientation.
They are worn crossbody, like a bandolier, and loop around your torso. This ensures the firearm won’t slide off our shoulder even when pulled, which frees up both hands, but without at least one hand on the rifle, the muzzle will swing as you walk.
Also, if you’re walking through water, high grass, or other situation in which muzzle-down carry isn’t ideal, a single-point sling doesn’t allow you to reorient the rifle to point the muzzle skyward.
The most common and arguably most versatile gun sling — a two-point sling allows for both strong and weak side use, gives you quick access to the firearm with very little material to get in the way, and provides an additional advantage of front or rear hands-free carry (with which it provides better control of the rifle than one-point slings).
Two-point slings attach at, as you’d guess, two points on the firearm. Commonly, these points are a sling loop on the bottom of most AR front posts, but people have been experimenting with attaching the front point to sling swivels on the handguard for years.
Traditionally, the rear mount is at the end of the buttstock using a sling loop, though it is common for folks to use a castle nut with a sling loop as well.
A two-point sling allows for quick transitions and is used mainly to carry and retain the firearm, assuming they’re not too stretchy, and can also be used as a solid shooting aid or a more tactical sling.
Tactical two-point slings tend to add a pull tab (ala Magpul’s MS1) which enables quick length adjustments and can aid in spinning out enough material for improved weak-side shooting.
You’ll often see the rear mounting position of a two-point sling shifted up to the receiver buttplate rather than at the buttstock, which gives the user the flexibility of a one-point sling but the stability of a two-point sling. They are also popular with hunters who have to trek into the backcountry carrying a long gun, as the shoulder strap keeps the rifle in place even when climbing hillsides.
Experiment and find the right placement for you!
More of a harness than a sling as we think of these days, three-point slings are the least common, but they can be handy bits of kit in the right hands.
These slings attach at the front and back of the AR and have a loop of material that runs along the length of the gun and around the user, creating a triangle (hence “three-point”), which — much like a three-legged stool — adds stability.
They can be adjusted on the fly to transition between a carry strap and a shooting aid but are generally not quick-release due to their more involved installation process and additional attachment points on the firearm.
In fact, once attached, many three points slings are never removed from the rifle.
While they’ve fallen out of favor in part because there’s a lot more material involved than other slings, which can increase snagging, and the additional attachment points can complicate maintenance.
They also require a bit of practice to master, but transitions can be done smoothly with a thee-point, and they provide the most stable hands-free carry of any type of sling.
A Word On Paracord
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that slings are sometimes made out of another material, with paracord becoming a popular option. These can be reasonably good single and two-point slings, but paracord might not be the most comfortable option if you intend to carry the rifle long distances.
It is nice to have several dozen yards of extra paracord, though, so there are tradeoffs to be considered.
What about cuff slings & ching slings?
A cuff sling is a specialized sling, consisting of a two-point sling and a separate cuff, which is worn on the weak-side arm. These are generally associated with ghillie-suit clad snipers with very specific needs, so we omitted them from this guide.
Ching slings are popular with anyone who pays attention to the world of Jeff Cooper — which you should. The problem is they’re a bit of a niche product with limited availability, so we focused on the much more popular types of slings.
Essential AR Sling Features
Carry Style Fit
When considering a new sling, the first thing that I think about is the carry method. Though it’s possible to kind of use some two-point slings as a one-point sling, each carry method comes with different lengths of material, buckle setups, and so on.
It makes your life a lot easier to start with a sling that you plan to use as intended, rather than trying to rig up something that the designer of a sling may not have intended in the first palace.
There are two primary mounting options for most slings. Slot or swivel mounts will mount to standard rings by swiveling open, then closed and locked with a sliding pin.
Traditionally on an AR, you’ll find swivel mounts at the rear end of the buttstock and up front under the gas block, but a number of aftermarket options can be found for adding mounting points along the handguard and rail.
The second type of mount is the popular quick-release style that uses either a push-button Quick Detach (QD) or provides a ring for attaching a hook clip.
Quick-release mounts are universal and often included with tactical or AR-specific slings, but there is also a huge aftermarket for these guys, so you can really customize sling placement with a QD.
Often positioned at the rear of the receiver, you’ll also find QD holes on receiver end plates and many times buttstock with at least one or two QD holes.
Top rails and handguards are also often configured for multiple QD placements, so the sky is the limit with QD sling configurations.
When it comes to gun slings, you generally have two options: a nylon sling or leather sling. Every shooter has their take on the best sling material – rooted in shooting style, personal preference, and often what someone has used throughout their shooting life.
In general, flexible and stretchy materials make it a little more comfortable to carry a gun in the short term. Still, the bouncing can get annoying, and stretchy fabric is not great for two-point slings you want to use as a shooting aid.
Generally, I recommend people go for an elastic material for single-point slings, but more rigid and stiff materials for two and three-point slings, though, again, people’s personal preferences vary pretty widely on the matter, and it’s up to you. You’ll often find 1 to 2-inch sling width, but it varies from manufacturers and styles, with some offering even more if a wide padded sling is your thing.
I know I used a leather shooting sling early because my father had one. It’s what I knew, and there’s no right answer to what comprises a “good sling” at the end of the day.
Advantages of Nylon Slings
- Much lighter than leather
- No stretch
- Waterproof – nylon won’t soak up water or change feel due to humidity
- Inorganic – will not house bacteria
Advantageous of Leather Slings
- Slight elastic, softer feel than nylon
- Personalizable – many people create heirloom straps
- Ages beautifully
- Classic look & feel – especially with hunting rifles
Finally, the purpose of the gun, in our mind, should determine the kind of sling that you get. For example, a single-point sling is excellent for an AR pistol you want to use in self-defense since they’re so fast to put on and mainly serve to help you retain the gun.
On the other hand, a two or three-point sling is the way to go on a hunting or tactical rifle that you’re taking into the field since the main purpose here will be to carry the gun on your back or shoulder.
As always, I think that the functionality of a firearm should determine most of your accessory choices.
How to use Slings
Outside of sharpshooting-specific applications, there are three major types of gun slings: single-point, two-point, and three-point slings. Most shooters use a 2-point sling, so we’ll dive deep into those before detailing single and 3-point slings.
We’ll list out our recommendations for each type of sling in the sections below and include an explanation of the sling type and the pros and cons of each.
- American style – muzzle facing up, over the back shoulder
- European carry – muzzle facing up, over the front shoulder (against the chest)
- African style – muzzle down, over the back shoulder
An African carry is popular because it makes it easier to move from carrying to aim – but if you squat down often, you can clog your muzzle with dirt by knocking it against the ground. Your mileage may vary.
African carry with a 2-point sling
These slings can also be used to create tension & stabilize your weapon when firing with what’s called a Hasty Sling method.
Hasty sling method with 2-point sling
In an emergency, a 2-point sling can slow the retrieval of your weapon (especially when it’s on your back) and side-to-side transitions can be difficult if the sling is too taught.
But all-in-all for most users a 2-point sling will do the trick 99% of the time.
March 13, 2023 — After reassessing the information in this guide, we continue to stand by our sling picks. We’ve updated images and links where appropriate.
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