…Your weapon that is. When I first started carrying a long rifle for extended periods of time it was in the Army using a webbing 2-point that wasn’t exactly the most comfortable, nor the most efficient. All it essentially did was catch on things or get in the way since we were never really allowed to sling our weapons anyways unless it was for drill and ceremonies which the Army almost never does. When I deployed to Afghanistan in 2005 cool-guy slings were starting to appear but they were ridiculously priced and, to the uninitiated, complicated. The cheapest/easiest thing for most of us was to simply attach the butt of the rifle to our chest-rigs with a D-ring.
A lot has changed since then in the industry and now there are many options which, like everything else in the industry, all have claims as to why their product is the best. “Best” really comes down to what you need which I feel is comprised of a few factors:
-How much does your rifle weigh? This is important to consider and factor in breadth and type of material, as well as stitching patterns. There are plenty of great slings meant for an AR that will fail you is burdened with a heavier rifle.
-Why are you slinging it? Extended trekking through the woods on a hunt? To fire from a supported position? To be tacticool? For a competition that requires it? Or are you a Soldier/Marine looking for something to make that next deployment a little more comfortable?
-Will you be firing with it slung? This is a little deeper than first glance; it includes the question if you will need to rapidly grab the rifle while slung and fire, and the secondary question is what do you need the sling to do for you when that moment arises?
Most of what was just described directs you to the single-point Vs 2-point sling debate. Single points are tacticool and, on shorter rifles, a great way to still have your hands free and a rifle at the ready when needed, but they offer little support in the firing position. The classic 2-point is sort of the opposite. I like the idea of some sort of elastic or bungee in a sling because it permits you to have the rifle slung tighter for movement, but then give a little and provide tension for a good slung shooting position.
Trenton Tactical recently provided me with a couple slings for evaluation. The first of which was from Raine. Their Heavy Weapons Sling is an excellent blend of many characteristics. This truly is the sling I wish I had when I was carrying an M203 up and down the mountains of Afghanistan. Take a look at the video to hear my thoughts on it and see the features it includes. Please let me know what you use and what you think of this sling either on the channel page or here on the blog.