The Importance of a Rifle Sling - NSSF Let's Go Shooting

The Importance of a Rifle Sling

Just like a holster is critical if you’re shooting a pistol, a sling is really critical when you’re using a rifle.

Let’s talk a little bit about rifle slings, the differences, what you should look for and the importance of a rifle sling. This isn’t an optional piece of equipment. It’s something you really need if you’re going to carry this weapons system. Basically, the sling takes the place of a holster for a pistol and allows us to carry and deploy these things safely.

All slings aren’t created equal there are different types. A single point sling has a single attachment point to the rifle, which can be worn across the strong side shoulder or the shooting side shoulder and you can see when it’s in place you have a lot of mobility to the rifle you could switch shoulders if you want to shoot with the support side whatever you want to do. The disadvantage though is because it only has a single point of attachment, there can also be a lot of unwanted movement of the rifle. If you’re not careful it can start crossing body points.

In this video, Former Army Ranger sniper team leader Ryan Cleckner explains why he likes to use parachute cord instead of traditional metal rifle sling swivels. 

The single attachment is a very viable system. I made my own you don’t have to spend a lot of money on it, I used one-inch climbing webbing, some sliders and buckles. I made a number of these for my son in some of his mates when they were deployed over in Afghanistan with the 173rd Airborne Brigade and they carried them for a four year very successfully while they were deployed.

The other options are the two-point and three-point sling, which are attached to the rifle in two different positions. It can be held over the strong side or shooting side shoulder providing a little bit more stability in the rifle but not as much sweep and swing to it as the single sling.

You can have simple carry slings or commercial sporting type slings to carry the rifles around. There’s any number of designs out there depending on your purpose for carrying and your comfort level. As long as you have something that can secure the firearm.

The rifle sling really is a safety feature. Again this is the equivalent of a holster for your pistol. This is basically the carbines holster. It allows you to know where this weapon is, what its condition is at all times. Allowing you to maintain control, move around and do things without having to lay the weapon down. A sling is much more than just an accessory or a comfort item.

In this video, Gunsite instructor Bob Whaley shows why a sling is a key component of a well-outfitted modern sporting rifle.