A sling for a rifle is just as important as a holster for a gun. It’s definitely something you should have in your kit. In simple terms, a sling allows you to carry a long gun such as a shotgun, submachine gun, or rifle safely and stabilize your firearm.
There are different types of slings available, each with its own pros and cons. The two most common are the single point sling and the dual point sling.
Here’s a rundown of each type of sling and how they work.
Single Point Sling
As the name suggests, a single-point sling attaches to the firearm at one point, with a strap that loops over the body. You wear the sling by putting your head and dominant arm through the loop. The single-point sling is popular with those wanting a quick and less bulky way to attach a firearm. The majority of single points feature a quick detach mechanism or disengagement clip which leaves the sling on your body while you free the weapon.
The single point attaches near the back of the firearm with a bungee sling to ensure it falls muzzle down when dropped. It’s also popular for carrying pump-action shotguns as it doesn’t get in the way of the arm you use for the pump action. If you’re expecting to be in a close-quarters situation, then it is by far the best option.
While speed and simplicity are on the side of the single-point sling, there are some disadvantages too.
If you’re carrying a particularly long firearm, a single point of attachment can cause you to feel unbalanced and less stable. It’s also not great for moving quickly with your hands-free as a longer barrel may repeatedly bounce off your legs and cause injury.
Dual Point Sling
This is one of the most popular ways to carry firearms. It attaches at two points on your firearm to allow greater stability when not being helpful.
The best slings allow you to adjust the tightness so that you can get the perfect fit for your build, clothing, and other firearms. The stability allows for greater comfort and ease of movement.
Unlike a single point bungee sling, when you let go of the firearm, it stays oriented upright assuming your sling attaches on the top of the firearm. Many also have the option of attachment on the side but this puts it at a very awkward angle when let go.
Depending on the type of sling you use, you can quickly detach it at the push of a button. Others are tied through the connectors on the barrel and aren’t as easy to maneuver.
A sling isn’t only for carrying your firearm, it should also be used as stabilization and shooting support. A dual sling can be used to wrap around your supporting arm to stabilize yourself.
Using a sling in this way is becoming increasingly popular. If you have to take aim quickly or are on uneven terrain, there’s no time to get your other equipment out or get your bag under the stock. When speed is of the essence then becoming proficient in using your sling for stabilization is a game-changer and some people never go back.
When it comes to which type of sling to use for stabilization, then the dual point has a lot of advantages, but it’s not impossible with a single point sling, you’ll just need to practice.
There’s more to the single point/dual point debate than which one is the best. The fact is that it depends on a lot of different variables. Single point bungee slings are great for speed and clearing the area quickly when you need to access another firearm or piece of equipment and are hands down, the best when it comes to close-quarters situations.
Smaller rifles are better suited to the single-point sling. With longer firearms, when not being held, you can find the rifle swinging against your leg. Not ideal for long journies on foot or if you have to run.
If you’re looking for comfort and stability, then a dual point sling is the way to go. When you’re moving about, you can secure the rifle close to your body by adjusting the tightness on the strap. The dual point is also favored by those carrying long rifles.
As with all equipment, there are various makes and specs depending on your budget and your needs. It’s often just a case of finding what works for you.