Tactical slings 101


The first sling I ever used was a nylon piece of crap with a noisy aluminum buckle that did nothing more than keep an M-16 snuggled to my shoulder when we went on long strolls through the Georgia countryside.

Times have certainly changed, thanks mostly to the tactical shooting explosion.

Like everything tactical, new types of  weapons slings seem to appear almost every day.

one-point sling

For me, a sling on a tactical firearm is as important as the sights.

You need a sling when you transition from carbine to pistol, when you have to put your hands on a bad guy, or during breaks in training.

A good tactical sling keeps the weapon accessible when you let go. Compared to the old nylon M-16 sling, or the leather M1907 model used on the m1903 Springfield and the Garand, they’re magic.

They keep the weapon correctly oriented with little conscious thought.

There are four basic types of tactical slings: one-point, two-point, three-point and new designs that are hybrids of one and two-point models.

The first tactical slings were a two-point model – somewhat longer than the traditional leather shoulder-holder. They were copies of field-expedient slings troopers made by cutting a piece of 550 cord to lengthen the crap they were issued.

two-point sling

Then, HK introduced a three-point sling, which first appeared on the Mp-5. Once shooters figured out how to wear the thing, they were copied by other manufacturers.

Now, anyone taking a carbine class has to “hang” their M4 from a one-point sling or risk ridicule.

Like nearly everything on the tactical market, shooter preference will determine which one works best for you.

I use all four models on different long guns, because different types seem to work better on different guns, given their varied weight and center of balance.

For example, I like a three-point on a fixed-stock carbine,  but a two-point feels better on my under-folder.

Larry Vickers has several designs that truly revolutionized the concept.


three-point sling



About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.

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