Slings – What I use and why

For a while now I have wanted to do a short post about the slings that I primarily use. You might have noticed that I have a certain trend with slings on my replicas; two-point. There are a few reasons why I use two point slings. I have tried one-point and three-point slings as well in the past, but I have found that they do not suit my needs. Let me explain why.

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Really way back, we’re talking around 10 years, when I got back into airsoft after a short few year break, I bought a three-point sling for my replica. Back then it was advertised to have the functions of two-point and one-point slings, providing quick shoulder transition and swap from the desired type to another in a few seconds. I bought a sling intended for real-steel firearm use, just because I have found that they usually work the way they are supposed to and do not break in use that easily.

For a while, the sling seemed as the pinnacle of evolution for me. I did notice quite soon that it was not necessarily so. The strap that was covering the receiver on my body side got in the way and transitioning from one shoulder to another by first changing the sling to one-point configuration was not something that worked that well for me. Of course, this might work for some but it did not make it easier for me. Usually if I need to transition to my weaker side, I just take my left arm under the sling so that the replica is hanging by my neck. This allows me to shoot from my weaker side quickly and transitioning back to patrol carry (with this I mean weapon at the ready in front, not slung on my back) is easy and quick. So with these in mind, I decided to try out one-point slings, since they allow even faster transitioning. For some reason at that point transitioning from one shoulder to another was a big thing for me.

With the one-point sling, transitions were quick and easy, but right off the bat I found out that when you need to change to your sidearm, your main hangs loose and in a worst case scenario, hits you in the legs making movement difficult. With this I mean that the weapon hangs loosely in front, flopping around mindlessly when walking or running. On the other hand, I can see the strengths of this sling in a CQB environment, but still, it has way too many problems for me to make use of it.

There is one sling, 1-point that is, that I have been using for a while and it seems to make for a good choice if I will ever use one of these slings. The sling is from Cold Steel Tactical and I was asked to try it out by the owner of the company. These slings are hand made and feature some really nice and worthwhile modifications to the usual 1-point slings out in the market now-a-days. I will go more in depth about this sling in a post dedicated just for that sling.

With all these behind me, I went for a two-point sling. I got one of the green nylon old-school M16 slings and modified it to suit my needs (mainly using paracord as attachment points on my replica, and the front attachment being at the back of the front sights). For me, the two-point sling is a thing made in heaven, so to speak. It works extremely well while patrolling, allowing you to have your weapon at ready in all scenarios and taking a shot with your strong side is quick and easy. Transitioning to your weaker side is quick as well with practice and I have noticed that transitioning is not done that often anyway (at least, I do not have to) so it is not that big of a deal. When you need to swap to your sidearm, you can sling your main to your back easily, where it is out of the way. This also works well if you need both of your hands free when doing something.

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Lately I have changed my slings from the OD Nylon slings to the black ones, that only have the most basic kind of attachment points. The sling basically just loops and that’s it. I use paracord for attachment on my replicas, because it is the most silent way from what I have found and it also allows the sling to “move more freely” while still being very secure.

On two of my slings I also have a handy modification that was done using the lower part of a ALICE rucksack shoulder strap. This modification allows me to quickly lengthen or shorten my sling, depending on the situation. I copied this idea from an article I read from Soldier Systems (Larry Vickers 2013). In the article, Larry Vickers mentions an adjustable 2-point sling that he used during his time in Delta Force. I have not found any images of the said sling, so I made one myself with what I had. Larry Vickers is currently making slings like this with Blue Force Gear as well. I have not tried those out yet but they are on my shopping list. The basic idea is that you can, with a pull of a strap, change the length of the sling. This helps in many scenarios, where you need to quickly change shoulders or do transitions. I have also used a rubber band cut from the inner tire of a bicycle to keep the loose strap in place and prevent it from getting caught on gear and anything else for that matter. For me, this sling works the best and I see me not going back to anything else in a long time. I have not regretted going the two-point way.

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Again, I stress that these are my ideas and I am not trying to enforce a certain way of doing things. I respect that there are many opinions out there and something that works for me, does not necessarily work for you. I do hope that this text gave you some ideas though.

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