There are so many different types of slings available for your assault rifle, but before you head out to grab one for yourself, you’ll first need to determine what purpose your rifle serves. Since each sling is adapted and better equipped for different uses, your rifle’s purpose will play a major role in determining the sling that makes the most sense for your specific situation.
1. Military and the Multi-Point Sling
If you’re a veteran, a current military service member, or preparing to join the military, then the classic multi-point sling is definitely something you should keep an eye on. Often referred to as the 3-point sling, this is the sling of choice for those in the military because it’s the most secure among all available options.
The 3-point sling loops around the body and remains securely connected even if a connection point fails. This is the primary reason why most members of the military choose the multi-point sling – because it offers reliability in Close Quarters Battle/Close Quarters Combat.
However, just like any other device, there are some drawbacks of the multi-point sling. In this case, the primary drawback is that there are a lot of straps. For example, the rifle has sling points connecting to it while an inner loop secures and goes around the body. The danger with this type of sling, particularly for military members, is that it will sometimes get “hung” on items due to the large number of loops. This can prove dangerous and fatal during combat.
On the other hand, one of the most popular and encouraging features of the multi-point sling is that many models have the ability to be converted into a 2-point sling, which allows for it to stay out of the way if a soldier needs to convert to using a pistol from an the assault rifle.
2. Military and the Single Point Sling
Although the multi-point sling is preferred by most service members, many soldiers and Marines prefer the single point sling because it’s rare that the sling will ever catch on anything or become “hung”. Additionally, it’s fast, cheap, sturdy, and offers one of the most maneuverable set ups you can ever hope to get from a sling.
The single point sling has a single attachment point on the rifle and provides the flexibility of turning or swirling the rifle to any angle, degree, or way desired. This sling provides maneuverability for a soldier to potentially swirl the rifle around and use it as a combat weapon as opposed to a gun.
However, the reason many service members prefer a multi-point sling over the single point is the single point has a tendency to always cause the rifle to be brought back to the front and between the gunman’s legs, regardless of which way the rifle is turned, swirled or swiveled. As a result, it can cause the rifle to become more of a hindrance than an asset, particularly in combat when the soldier needs the rifle to remain on his back or side as opposed to the front.
3. Competitors and the 2-point Sling
For many competitors, the use of a sling is not common and often forgone. However, in a 3-Gun competition where a sling is needed, a two-point sling is often the sling of choice for a variety of reasons.
A 2-point sling such as the VTAC padded sling is simple and presents the individual with an easy tension adjustment set-up. Additionally, one of the preferred features is the push button detach which allows the rifle to be taken on and off easily with little effort. The 2-point is preferred during a competition as it offers a rifleman the ability change out rifles quickly.
With less straps and less inconvenience than the multi-point sling, the two-point sling will stay secured if a transition to a rifle must be made during a competition. During a 3-Gun competition, speed is of paramount importance. So, during a timed heat when it’s necessary to move from target to target while simultaneously transitioning through various weapons, a gunman will not want for his or her rifle to be swung around unsecured.
Although not the preferred choice for most soldiers, the VTAC Original 2-Point Sling has recently become a favorite for the Special Forces such as the Army Green Berets and Navy Seals due to its versatile and quick abilities.
Considering as assault rifles are not the typical rifle of choice in hunting, the rifle sling you’ll use for competitions or military operations should be the same sling you use for target practice. Your choice ultimately comes down to what makes you comfortable, what will allow you the freedom and flexibility to utilize your weapon in the manner you intend to use it, as well as your desired outcome for your experience in shooting, competitions, or military maneuvers.