Tactical sling is one of the most unappreciated elements of our equipment. Not only has it huge influence on our efficiency during actions, long patrols or stops, but people just ignore the moment of buying one – they choose the cheapest and prettiest one, instead of the one that suits their needs (and the market is huge!) After reading this article you’ll know what are the currently available solutions and what are the most important conditions to be aware when making the correct choice. I’ll also tell you about the pros and cons of each one type of the sling and how it suits different situations, terrains and guns.
What are the currently available sling types? Three basic types:
One of the most simple solutions, currently popular in police use and a lot of units that are operating in the MOUT or CQB situations. It’s just a loop that you put trough your head and one arm and then attach the hook to end of the stock or the beginning of it, near the pistol grip. There are no doubts, that this type of sling guarantees an easy access to use both shoulders for shooting in the close quarters, which increases your chances of surviving (it’s simply making you a smaller target) and gives a lot faster time of reaction. It is also very easy to do a transitions between the rifle and pistol, which with the correct training will be a faster move than reloading or fixing the weapon malfunction.
The biggest con is the fact, that the gun/replica is held only on the one point of attachment, so when you’re using this type of sling it’s worth to remember that the gun can’t be too heavy, because it will wobble a lot on your body – which can be quite uncomfortable. Carrying the support weapon with this type of sling, will be an arrow in the knee ;). The other important thing to be considered is the length of our operation – the one-point sling is supposed to be used in quick and dynamic actions, not the long patrols and milsims in the forest type of terrain, because with the longer amount of time, shooter’s hand or back will be exhausted, because of the weight of gun being hanged only on one point.
The biggest classic. Example – the most know in the universe AK sling. As the letters say – there are two point of attachment to the gun, usually on the both ends of it. In case of the non-regulated sling (like the classic AK one), this solution will perform efficiently during patrols or march, or stops. For the firefight purpose it’s needed to take it off from the body to gain the full maneuverability. Because of that – the use of this type of sling in the CQB conditions is worse, than not having any.
It is worth to mention, that the new models of the two point slings are far better projected, because of the simple regulation system based on one loop – in order to tighten or loosen your sling you just simply pull the little loop towards or backwards. During firefight – you’re loosening it. During march, doing gun transitions or patrols – you tight it up (which is, of course, not that dynamic move as the case of one point sling). The two point sling suits practically every type of gun – from the little machine pistol, to the light machine gun (with the comfort pads). Talking about the type of terrain – it suits best the woodland one or more various type of the terrain. The time of operation is just any, but for the short actions I would definitely recommend the one point type of sling. You can always put two hooks in the one point of attachment and voila –have the one-point sling ;).
The construction is very similar to the two-point sling, but now the third point of attachment is the shooter’s body. Because of the three points it gives some stability to the gun on operator’s arm. The biggest con is the fact, that the additional webbing, that can hook on the equipment, making the shooter unable to do the proper shooting stance quickly enough, which can have a drastic results. In case of the AR family guns and being lefty it is nearly impossible or very hard, because of the placement of the shell ejection port. Theoretically, this type of sling is universal, but because of the complicated construction I wouldn’t recommend it – the nowadays two-point slings guarantee bigger comfort and wider range of possibilities of use.
And what kind of sling do you prefer?