Rifle slings are ubiquitous. Many people put a sling on their rifles without ever giving a thought to why a rifle sling is one of the most important accessories they purchase. When putting a sling on an AR-15, it is important to understand the role that a sling plays when using the rifle and not just carrying it around.
Trained marksmen understand the uses of a good sling beyond hanging their rifles from their shoulders. Properly chosen and adjusted sling becomes an extension of the rifle and allows for better accuracy. Choosing the right sling for your refile requires understanding how you will use the sling and what you hope to gain with your selection.
The first challenge in choosing a sling for your AR-15 is to decide what style of sling best fits your needs and expectations. AR-15 slings come in a variety of styles and designs, each with a specific use in mind. Before rushing out to find a sling, take a few moments to think about what you want from a sling and how you expect it to perform.
AR-15 Slings Styles
Ar-15 style rifles generally use one of three styles of rifle slings. The choice of sling for your rifle depends on how you use your rifle and the job you expect it to perform. You should have some knowledge of these sling styles and the jobs they perform best.
Single Point Slings
Single point slings do exactly what the name implies by attaching to your AR-15 at one point on the rifle. Typically, a single-point sling attaches to a mount on the AR-15 just behind the pistol grip. In many cases, the single-point sling attachments are an integral part of the buffer tube spacer at the lower receiver’s rear.
Most shooters wear a single-point sling around their neck and over one shoulder. The strong-side arm passes through the sling, and the sling passes over the week side shoulder. The AR-15 hangs in front of the shooter. Single point slings have some advantages and disadvantages
Advantages to a Single-Point Sling
- Allows quick access to the rifle
- Keeps the rifle in front of the shooter while allowing both hands to be free for other uses
- The rifle can be shifted from one shoulder to the other with relative ease
Disadvantages to a Single-Point Sling
- The rifle tends to bounce and swing as it hangs in front of you
- The rifle muzzle is free to move around
- The muzzle direction aims down at your feet and lower legs
Two Point Slings
You guessed it. Two-point slings attach to the rifle at two attachment points. Typically, one attachment point is near the muzzle and one at the butt end of the stock. On an AR-15, these mounting points can be on the fore handguard or a rail mount. The rear mount is usually integral to the stock.
Two-point slings are incredibly versatile in the methods of carrying a rifle.
- Hunter-style over the shoulder with the muzzle up
- African-style over the shoulder with the muzzle down
- Tactical style with the gun worn diagonally across the body
Both the hunter-style and the African-style of carry with a two-point sling are incredibly safe. The muzzle of the rifle points up into the sky or down into the ground. Controlling the firearm with either of these styles is easy and almost natural.
A tactical style carries the rifle ready in front of the shooter but has some drawbacks. The muzzle points to the side and may sweep anyone standing or walking close on either side. Donning a rifle in the tactical carry position is a bit more awkward and requires two hands.
A three-point sling is a mystery to many shooters and can seem complicated. A three-point sling is a two-point sling with an additional secondary sling that slides up and down the main sling. In many ways, a three-point sling is the most versatile of the types of sling.
A properly adjusted three-point sling functions like either a single point or a two-point sling. The problem is getting the sling adjusted properly. In many cases, shooters find that a properly adjusted three-point sling limits their movement and can feel confining.
The Best Sling for an AR-15
There is no one best solution when choosing a sling for an AR-15. There are too many variables, and no two shooters have the same needs to expectations. When choosing a sling for your AR-15, you should consider several points.
- Is the sling practical and useful, or is it pretty and tacti-cool?
- Does the sling meet your expectations or solve a problem?
- Is the sling well made, durable and comfortable?
With these criteria in mind, let’s look at my choices of the best AR-15 slings in each of our sling categories. I will also look at some specialty slings that don’t fit into one of the three primary styles of rifle slings.
Best Two-Point AR-15 Rifle Sling – Magpul MS1 Two-Point Sling
Personally, I am a fan of two-point slings. Properly adjusted, they are useable to steady your rifle when firing. They are also the most versatile in the many ways you can deploy them to carry your AR-15. Magpul slings are well-designed for these very tasks.
The Magpul MS1 two-point sling has all the quality we have come to expect from Magpul products. Thoughtful design, innovative features, and quality construction are the hallmarks of Magpul equipment. The MS1 sling is no exception.
- Dedicated two-point sling design
- Rapid and easy length adjustment with the Magpul MS1 slider
- No tails or loops to create tangle or snag hazards
- Custom 1 1.4 inches wide nylon material is strong and wear-resistant
- Near IR treatment reduces heat signature when viewed through infrared night vision
- Compatible with a wide array of adapters and quick detach sling mounts
- Polymer reinforced hardware eliminates noise
- Length overall – 60 inches
- Adjustment range – 10 inches
- It comes with an adjustable shoulder pad
Magpul MS1 QDM Two Point Rifle Sling, Black
- Factory-installed Mogul QDMs constructed of Melonie finished steel for strength and extreme…
- Dedicated two-point sling that can be configured for multiple functions with optional adapters
Last update on 2021-06-29 at 14:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The Magpul MS1 sling gives you the versatility to configure the way you carry your AR-15 to suit almost any circumstance. You can shorten the sling and hang your AR-15 diagonally across your chest, carry it over your shoulder, or lengthen the sling to create a hasty sling for more precise shooting.
Runner-up Best Two-Point Sling for your AR-15 – STI Two – Point Rifle Sling
Sear Tactical is well known for producing a limited number of products that are high in quality and reasonable in cost. Together with several others, these attributes get the STI two-point sling the runner-up position on my list of best ar-15 slings in the two-point sling category.
The STI sling is a no-nonsense sling that doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a simple, strong, and affordable rifle sling. The construction is straight forward, and the materials are top-of-the-line. The design meets the needs of the casual shooter or the military operator.
- Fast, on the fly, adjustments without the need to disconnect the sling from the rifle.
- Adjustable up to 55 inches in length to fit the largest shooters
- Compatible with all 1.25-inch multi-use attachment hardware currently in use
- Made from the highest quality tubular webbing
- Box X stitching at all stress points
- High Impact polymer hardware
- 4000-pound test tubular webbing meets military specifications
- STI 100% satisfaction guarantee
Last update on 2021-06-29 at 14:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The simplicity of the STI two-point sling makes it almost elegant. There are no frills, to be sure. However, most of us are much more interested in performance than visual appeal. If you are looking for an efficient and ergonomic sling that will give years of dependable service, the STI two-point sling is a practical choice.
Best Single-Point Sling for an AR-15 – Magpul MS3 Single Point Sling
If your preference is a single-point sling for your AR-15, you won’t do better than the Magpul MS3 single-point sling. I have already discussed the merits of Magpul, so there is no need to revisit those opinions.
I rarely opt for a single-point sling for several reasons. However, when I feel that a single-point sling is the best option, my choice is the Magpul MS3 single-point sling. I like Magpul products and have found that the MS3 sling gives me the best performance and options for situations where a single-point sling is the best solution.
- Made and engineered in the US
- Rapid conversion and easy adjustments for length
- Positive locking hardware for one-handed adjustments
- Easy adjustments allow hassle-free transitions from one shooting position to another
- Low profile quick-adjust sliders
- Polymer hardware for durability and quiet operations
- Lockable paraclips for security and weapon retention capabilities
- 1.25-inch high strength webbing
- It can transition to a two-point sling if needed
- Compatible with a wider array of aftermarket clips and attachments
Versatility is the name of the game when choosing a single-point sling. Magpul has included the features that give their MS3 single-point sling design the versatility to meet multiple tactical sling requirements. Some shooters will be happy that this sling is also good to look at and may enhance your rifle’s overall appearance.
Runner-up Best Single-Point AR-15 Sling – Leapers UTG Single Point Bungee Sling with QD Swivel
Coming in second in the single-point sling category is the Leapers UTG single-point bungee sling. There are different viewpoints on single-point bungee slings. Many shooters prefer the bungee configuration when for the shock-absorbing capacity of the bungee portion of the sling. Others say that the bungee only contributes to the bounce if you carry the rifle by the sling. It is a matter of preference, I suppose.
I have used the Leapers UTG bungee sling several times, and I found it comfortable, especially when I am getting in or out of a vehicle. The bungee tends to keep the slack sling under control and prevents twisting and kinks. Feature-wise, Leapers has hit all the major points.
- 1.5-inch wide polyester webbing for a comfortable ride on the shoulders
- Elastic bungee portions of the sling covered in soft polyester fabric
- Steel push-button quick detach sling swivel
- Long-lasting bungee sections relieve the strain of carrying a loaded AR
- Adjustable up to 58 inches in length
- Weighs only .5 lbs.
- Lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship
Leapers sells a huge array of aftermarket AR-15 accessories. Many shooters overlook UTG products because of their low prices. I think this is a mistake. Leapers has consistently delivered quality products that are durable and serviceable. Don’t discount Leapers when shopping for accessories for your AR-15 or your shooting sport’s needs.
Best Three-Point Sling for your AR-15 – Voodoo Tactical 3-point rifle Sling
You don’t see many AR-15’ssporting a three-point rifle sling. Not that many shooters know how to adjust or use a three-point sling. In my opinion, putting a three-point sling on an AR-15 is a bit of overkill. A good two-point sling is more comfortable and will provide almost the same level of versatility.
However, if you intend to add a three-point sling to your AR, Voodoo Tactical has just the thing to fit your needs and wants. One great thing about the Voodoo Tactical three-point sling is it won’t set your budget back. These slings are surprisingly affordable.
- 1.5” polyester webbing
- Easily adjustable to a wide range of lengths
- Quick-release buckle for rapid removal
- Available in an array of colors
- Simple design
Voodoo Tactical is not as well-known as many other AR-15 accessory manufacturers. However, their products are solid and dependable. The Voodoo Tactical three-point sling is a viable option for anyone wanting the options provided by a three-point sling on their AR platform rifle.
The Best Specialty Sling for an AR-15 – Crosstac V-Point Sling
This unique sling is designed for military and law enforcement operators who work while wearing a body armor vest. Trying to manipulate a single-point or two-point sling over a plate carrier can get complicated. Crosstac has eliminated many of these problems with the V-Point sling.
The V-point sling attaches to the wearer’s plate carrier at the shoulders and places the firearm in front of the shooter at a perfect place for rapid deployment and safe carry. This position transfers the rifle’s weight to the wearer’s shoulders and the back keeping the rifle close to the shooter’s chest, even when both hands are occupied with other tasks.
- Allows the shooter to press the rifle out to a stable shooting position
- Both hands are quickly available for use without losing control of your rifle
- The position of the rifle allows transitions to a secondary weapon.
- Quick-release buckles give many options for secondary carry positions
- Fully adjustable and available with a variety of attachment styles
- Made with Mil-Spec IR coated webbing
- Ambidextrous design
- 100% made in the US
The V-Point sling from Crosstac is an impressive piece of kit. I know many law enforcement officers who choose this sling system as part of the emergency response equipment. I don’t normally wear a plate carrier, but the Crosstac V-Point sling system will be my choice if the need arises.
Making your Choice of a Sling for your AR-15
There are hundreds of choices of slings for an AR-15 on the market. The designs are strikingly similar and the materials much the same as well. Depending on your needs and expectations, choosing the style of sling and the model is a question of what you want from your AR-15 sling.
I hope that this article and list help you better understand what goes into deciding the best AR-15 sling for your situation. If you have ideas, suggestions, or experiences to share, please use the comments section below. We always benefit from everyone’s input into our knowledge base. Stay safe and shoot straight