Looking for a sling for your AR-15 rifle?
A sling is an incredibly useful yet often overlooked AR-15 accessory. And it’s one of the easiest and most affordable upgrades you can make to your AR-15 as well.
So why should you get an AR-15 sling and which one should you choose?
In this guide, we’ll answer those questions and more so you know everything you need to know about AR-15 slings.
Let’s dive right in.
Table Of Contents
- Our Best AR-15 Slings
- What Are AR-15 Slings?
- What Are The Different Types Of AR-15 Slings?
- What Do You Look For In The Best AR-15 Slings?
- Best AR-15 Slings Reviewed
- Final Thoughts On AR-15 Slings
Our Best AR-15 Slings
- Blue Force Gear Vickers Combat Applications Padded Sling (Our Top Pick)
- Accmor 2 Point Rifle Sling (Best Budget)
- Brownells Tactical Rifle Sling (Best High End)
- Magpul MS4 Dual QD Sling GEN2
- Viking Tactics VTAC Wide Padded Sling (Upgrade)
What Are AR-15 Slings?
A gun sling is a strap that attaches to a firearm to allow the gun to be carried hands-free, help provide stability while shooting, or both.
Carrying a gun over long distances or time periods can be tiring. A sling helps reduce fatigue by taking the weight off your arms while the firearm isn’t in use. They also keep your long gun close and accessible while you transition to and use your handgun, making them invaluable for 3Gun and similar shooting competitions, as well as for real tactical operators.
Not all slings, however, are used for this purpose. Instead, they’re intended to help provide stability without the use of the monopod. Virtually all slings can be used to aid with stability, though. How exactly that works varies from sling to sling, but they all involve creating tension in the sling.
Most slings will actually work with just about any long gun as long as the gun has attachment points or you can add them yourself.
What Are The Different Types Of AR-15 Slings?
Sling types are primarily defined by the number of attachment points that connect them to the rifle. Single point and two-point slings are the most popular types of slings, both in general and for the AR-15.
Single Point Slings
As the name suggests, single-point slings (also called one-point slings) have one attachment point, generally located somewhere along with the buttstock of the rifle. The rest of the sling is a loop that’s worn wrapped around your torso.
Single point slings are usually worn over your shooting (or dominant) arm’s shoulder and under the armpit of the other arm. They’re easy to put on and take off: just stick your head and support arm through the loop.
Single point slings are very easy to install, don’t require length adjustment if you adjust your buttstock, and are unlikely to snag on accessories like optics. They also keep your AR-15 positioned very conveniently while you’re using your sidearm, hanging directly in front of your torso, barrel down. While you are using the rifle, single-point slings don’t inhibit your movement at all.
On the other hand, while it’s hanging, it’s free to bounce around. That can be annoying, but it can also be painful, especially with the rifle hanging in front of sensitive places like the groin and knees. Single point slings also don’t do much to provide stability while you’re shooting.
Two Point Slings
Two-point slings are the most popular type of sling overall. This is the more traditional sling style. They have one attachment point on the buttstock and another along with the handguard, with a strap running from one to the other.
Two-point slings allow you to carry your rifle in a variety of different ways, with the most popular being behind your shoulder with the muzzle up (American carry), behind your shoulder with the muzzle down (African carry), and in front of your shoulder with the muzzle up (European carry). Each carry style has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Overall, however, the two-point sling’s primary advantage over the single point is the controlled movement while the rifle isn’t being used. Two-point slings can also be used in a few different ways to help provide stability while you shoot for extra versatility.
The downsides are that your rifle isn’t as quick to access when you need it and that it can inhibit movement.
Other Types Of Slings
There are also other types of slings, like the three-point sling, Ching sling, and cuff sling. They’re not nearly as popular, especially for the AR-15, as one and two-point slings, though, so we’re only mentioning them here.
What Do You Look For In The Best AR-15 Slings?
Aside from the type of sling, as we discussed above, there are a few other things to consider when choosing a high-quality rifle sling.
The material that a sling is made out of is one of the most important factors in both durability and comfort.
Nylon straps are the most common. They’re heavy-duty but lightweight and they’re flexible but won’t stretch out over time. They’re very durable and won’t be affected much by moisture or dirt. And to top it off, they’re also very affordable.
Leather is another fairly common sling material, though less so with AR-15 slings. Leather is more costly than nylon and can stretch out over time. Leather can be sensitive to water as well, though it’s otherwise quite durable. On the other hand, leather also provides more padding than nylon and provides the most support.
Ultimately, leather is best for heavier, higher caliber weapons, though.
There are also braided paracord slings, just like there seems to be braided paracord everything else these days. Paracord is made of nylon, so it provides a lot of the same benefits as nylon straps, though the rounded shape may make it more comfortable on the shoulder. Paracord is a solid option for using with a survival rifle, but for most AR-15 uses, it’s more of a novelty.
Most slings have adjustable length, so this isn’t too big of a concern. However, it’s still worth double-checking to make sure that the length you want is within the sling’s range, especially if you’re especially tall or especially small.
When in doubt, go with a longer sling. They’re less likely to rub unpleasantly on your neck or underarm. They also offer a larger adjustment range. Plus, most slings can be cut down to length or have excess length gathered up, but it’s harder to add additional length if you need it.
Some slings have added shoulder pads made of neoprene or a similar foam. This is good for helping manage the weight of your AR if you’ll be carrying it for a while and preventing the strap from digging into your neck or shoulder. Padding is especially helpful if your AR-15 has added accessories like a bipod, optics, light, etc.
The weight of your AR-15 determines how much padding is really helpful, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to get a padded sling no matter how much your AR-15 weighs.
Best AR-15 Slings Reviewed
And now let’s talk about some of our favorite slings.
Blue Force Gear Vickers Combat Applications Padded Sling (Our Top Pick)
Blue Force Gear provides the US military with slings, so you can feel confident in the quality of the Vickers Padded Sling.
The two-point sling is made with nylon webbing and has glass-reinforced nylon hardware (though there’s also a version with metal hardware). The nylon hardware is used on the slings that BFG provides the military for the M4 carbine, so it’s about as mil-spec as it gets.
This combat sling can be fed through sling swivels or buttstock slots, or used with separate sling attachment hardware.
- Black, Coyote Brown, and Multi Camo color options
- An inline pad that doesn’t move or absorb water
- Quick adjuster with a contrasting pull tab
- Lifetime warranty
- Doesn’t come with attachment hardware
Accmor 2 Point Rifle Sling (Best Budget)
The Accmor 2 Point Sling is great for shooters on more of a budget.
The sling is primarily made of nylon material but with bungee sections at the ends to absorb shock and help with tension when you’re using the sling as a stabilizer. It has metal hardware at the attachment points and polymer adjusters.
This Accmor sling is extra-long and has four adjustment buckles to give you a ton of adjustability. It can be as long as 78.7 inches or as short as 47 inches.
- Can also be used as a shoulder strap
- Black, Green, and Khaki color options
- Also sold in pairs with different color combinations
- No shoulder pad
Brownells Tactical Rifle Sling (Best High End)
The Brownells Tactical Rifle Sling is a two-point rifle sling that looks like a leather sling, but it’s not.
This tactical sling is actually made of urethane-coated nylon webbing that looks and feels like leather but doesn’t require breaking in. It’s also non-slip and weather-resistant, including resistant to water and low temperatures.
The hook adjustment system doesn’t have the infinite adjustability of triglides, but holds in place well.
- Brass rivets, steel hooks, and D-rings
- Black, Brown, and O.D. Green color options
- Looks like leather, but performs better
- Less precisely adjustable than tri-glide adjustment systems
- Doesn’t come with attachment hardware
Magpul MS4 Dual QD Sling GEN2
The Magpul MS4 is a versatile sling that can be used as either a one or two-point sling.
It has wear-resistant, anti-chaff nylon webbing and a steel quick-release D-ring that allows for transitioning between one and two-point styles. It also has push-button quick-detach swivels for fast and easy attachment and detachment to your AR-15.
It also features the Magpul MS1 adjustment system with a quick-adjust slider, which stays in place even if the sling snags. The Magpul MS1 sling is a similar 2-point-only sling, but it can be 2-in-1 as well if you buy an adapter separately.
- Push-button QD swivels
- Ranger Green, Gray, Coyote, Black color options
- Made in the USA
Viking Tactics VTAC Wide Padded Sling (Upgrade)
Last up is another 2 point sling, the Viking VTAC Wide Padded Sling (Upgrade). This is the improved version of the now-discontinued VTAC Wide Padded Sling.
The center of the sling is made from 2-inch wide tubular nylon surrounding closed-cell foam padding. This helps distribute the weight of your AR setup and prevents the strap from digging into you. The ends have 1-inch wide resin-treated nylon. The textured rubber pull tab allows for quick adjustment.
- Black, Coyote, and Highlander Camo color options
- Metal hardware
- Elastic stow bands for excess length
- Doesn’t come with attachment hardware
Final Thoughts On AR-15 Slings
While the Blue Force Gear Vickers Combat Applications Padded Sling is our top pick, each of these slings is a great option. Which one is right for you just depends on your particular needs and preferences.
And most of these slings are also available in slight variations, so if one sounds almost perfect, but not quite, be sure to check to see if the company has a similar sling that checks all of your boxes.
And don’t forget, most of these slings don’t come with attachment hardware, so you may need sling mounts to go with them. There are tons of different styles available and which is best for you depends on your particular AR-15 setup and, like the best sling for you, on your wants and needs.
That said, each of the brands above, plus others like STI, Midwest Industries, and Bravo Company, make great sling attachments, so looking at those companies can help you get started on your search.