ar 15 sling styles

AR-15 Sling Styles

Each time you buy a new firearm, there are additional accessories that you need to get to go with that firearm. 

If you buy an AR-15 rifle or carbine, you’ll also need to invest in ammunition, spare magazines, a rifle case, and possibly a flashlight. 

One more accessory that you would be wise to invest in as well is a good sling. 

In this article, we’ll dive into the primary reasons you should get a sling for your AR-15, and then we’ll dive into the primary types of AR-15 slings and the pros and cons of each one. 

Does Your AR-15 Really Need A Sling?

ar 15 sling shooting

Only you can answer this question for yourself. You may tell yourself that you’ll never use a sling on your AR and that buying one will be an unnecessary expense. 

That being said, anyone who has any experience with running an AR will likely be quick to tell you that there are many advantages to having one. 

That’s because a sling does a lot more than simply allow you to hoist your rifle over your shoulder. The real purpose of a sling is threefold:

  1. To keep your rifle secured to your body so you don’t lose it; in other words, you can keep your AR on you while your hands are tending to other tasks, instead of having to put the rifle on the ground.
  1. To allow you to quickly transition between your rifle and your handgun if needed.
  1. To properly disperse the weight of your rifle between your arms and your torso, thus reducing the fatigue that your arms are likely to experience. 

A good way to think of a rifle sling is that it’s analogous to a rifle as a holster is to a pistol. The primary purpose of a holster is to keep a handgun secured to your body, and this is the same primary purpose a sling has for you as well. 

The Top AR-15 Sling Styles 

Here are the primary types of slings that are available for AR-15s today:

One Point Slings

single sling ar 15

The first common type of sling for an AR-15 is the one point sling. Also known as a single point sling, a one point sling attaches to your AR-15 at one point (usually near the buffer tube at the rear of the receiver). 

One point slings permit the fastest transition between your shoulders as well as maximum range of movement, but they also make your AR more loose and less stable and retained. While running without your hands on the rifle, for instance, a one point sling will allow your AR to move around and hit your body. 

Two Point Slings

double sling ar 15

Like the name suggests, two point slings attach to your AR at two points (one point at the front near the end of the barrel, and another in the rear around the buffer tube or on the stock). Two point slings offer much greater stability than one point slings do, and also enable better support while holding your rifle in many different positions, including while standing, kneeling, or staying prone.

They also offer excellent retention of the AR, especially when the sling has been tightened, and allow you to quickly raise your rifle to your shoulder while keeping the rifle retained. However, transitioning your rifle between shoulders with a two point sling is more difficult. 

Cuff Sling

ar 15 cuff sling

A cuff sling is a variant of the two point sling that allows the shooter to loop part of the sling material over their upper arm.

This increases tension on the rifle to stabilize your shooting, and without any other straps that could hinder you or get in the way. 

Three Point Slings

three point sling ar 15

Three point slings are like two point slings, but they come with an additional strap that wraps around your body. This offers even superior retention and stability than a two point sling, but at the expense of being slower to adjust, especially while shooting between different positions. 

Ching Sling 

ar 15 ching sling

You may have heard the phrase ‘ching sling’ before. This is a variation of the three point sling where one point on the sling connects to the stock of the rifle with two more points near the barrel on the handguards. 

This allows you to pull the AR-15 tighter to your shoulder by placing an arm through the loop created by the two forward points. This in turn allows you to hold onto your rifle tighter, but at the expense of it being tougher to adjust.

Sling Mounts 

In addition to the sling itself, you also need to think about the kind of sling mounts you get for your AR-15 as well. The mounts determine how the sling is held to your rifle regardless of which type of sling you go with.

The two most common types of sling mounts are:

Sling Swivels 

ar 15 d ring

Sling swivels are the most common type of sling mount for any rifle, period. 

These are simply O-shaped or D-shaped rings that are attached to your rifle. You can then thread the material of your straps through the rings and adjust them. 

On most AR-15s, the sling swivels are located on the rear of the stock or on the rear of the receiver near the buffer tube for the rear swivel, and underneath the barrels towards the front of the rifle for the forward swivel. 

Quick Disconnect 

ar 15 swivel mount

A more modern type of sling mount that have been increasingly common on AR-15s are quick disconnect (QD) sling mounts.

These mounts use push button swivels that allow you to quickly connect or disconnect the sling from your rifle. These have become the go-to standard for most military and law enforcement units around the world, because they allow the user to quickly disconnect the rifle sling in the event it becomes snagged. 


Again, it’s up to you to decide if you want a sling for your AR-15, but most people will tell you it’s a good idea. 

If you value maximum range of movement with minimal retention of the rifle to your body, go with a one point sling. 

If you want your rifle to be held as securely to your body as possible and with superior tension while you shoot it (which should theoretically lend itself to better accuracy), the three point sling is a better choice. 

A two-point sling, meanwhile, offers a good compromise between the two. 

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