Single, double, triple, bungee, adjustable, cloth, webbing, etc. With so many different slings on the market it can be difficult to choose what the best style is for your rifle. Slings serve several purposes on a rifle, the least of which is carrying it. A good sling should be easily adjustable, and help the shooter steady the rifle when firing.
Let start with the single point sling:
The single point sling generally attaches at the rear of the lower receiver on an AR pattern rifle, with only one attachment point, hence the “single point” name. There are many different brands of single point slings, but generally they all work the same. A single point sling is good for holding the rifle onto your person while standing still, but when walking and running with the slung rifle, you will find that the rifle will tend to migrate to your center, and if you are a guy, it may find a way to hit you in a sensitive area when running or transitioning from rifle to pistol.
The single point also does not offer much stability when firing the rifle, being that it is attached with only one point on the rifle.
So, while a single point along may be ok if you are standing around without a whole lot of movement, you may find that it does not offer many of the benefits of a 2 point sling.
Two Point Sling:
A good two point sling, with an attachment at the rear, and front of the rifle is invaluable when it comes to accurate shooting from a variety of positions.
There are several types of two point slings, with the most popular for the AR pattern rifles being the Viking Tactics sling, and the Blue Force Gear Vickers Combat Applications Sling or VCAS. These two point slings allow the user to quickly adjust the tension on the sling for different shooting positions with only one hand, while still holding tight for good accuracy.
When transitioning from rifle to pistol with a two point sling, you will find that the rifle is held at an angle to the body, keeping it well away from your sensitive areas. I have also found that running with a rifle slung with a two point is a non-issue, as the rifle is held away from my legs, and allows me maximum range of motion.
The Three Point Sling:
Three point slings are a strange breed. There are many different brands and styles of three point slings, but generally they attach at the front and rear of the rifle like a two point sling, with a third attachment where the sling attaches back to itself. My opinion of the three point sling is that they are a jack of all trades, offering many different carry options (many of which are not viable options), but they do not do anything well.
The three point sling also has a piece of webbing that runs the length of the rifle, that I believe could interfere with the bolt catch on an AR pattern rifle, and if the sling is attached for a left handed shooter, it could interfere with ejection, and the ejection port dust cover.
While the single point sling is very simple, and is generally less expensive than its counterparts, using only one attachment to the rifle makes this sling less versatile than its counterparts. It is also hard to run with a rifle only supported by a single point sling without using at least one hand to steady the rifle.
The three point sling offers some more carry positions than a single or two point, but many of these positions are not viable for serious use. The extra webbing can cause malfunctions with certain rifles, and some of these slings are rather complicated and hard to adjust properly.
The quick adjust two point sling, like the Blue Force Gear/Vickers VCAS, and the Viking Tactics VTAC slings are, in my opinion, the best on the market. I’ve used both of these slings, and they are both fantastic. The VTAC offers a little more adjustment, while the VCAS is a little more simple with only one slider for both tightening and loosening the sling. The two point does require two attachments to the rifle, which can up the cost a little over a single point, however the advantages of being able to use the sling to steady the rifle, as well as carry it negate the higher cost for me.
If you are looking for a sling for your AR15 pattern rifle, I would very much recommend a quality two point sling. The two point does everything that a single point does, and it does it better. A three point may do more than a two point, but it doesn’t do anything as well.