Sling Basics: How to Setup Your Two Point Sling

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Last Updated on June 10, 2021.

Writer for Minuteman Review, handgun aficionado and artisan firearms reviewer. 

Sling Basics How to Setup Your Two Point Sling

The rifle sling is an essential accessory for your combat or hunting weapon. It allows you to carry your rifle and steady it for accurate shooting. However, there are different ways to set up a rifle sling — including the popular two-point variety.


Rifle Slings

The most common use for the rifle sling is to carry and retain your weapon. As a carrying strap, a sling allows you to more comfortably carry your rifle for protracted periods, reducing fatigue in the field or on the range. It can also enable you, depending on the position, to use both hands. For retention, if you need to release your rifle to transition to your sidearm or to perform another action, your rifle will remain securely fastened to your body. 

However, the sling can also serve another important purpose: steadying the rifle for more accurate shooting. There are a variety of ways in which you can use a shooting sling. 

Traditional shooting slings — encompassing the hasty sling, military loop sling, and hybrid Ching sling — are designed to bind the rifle to your support arm. This binding can be highly beneficial when shooting from a supported position, such as kneeling or lying prone. 

However, a tactical two-point sling requires a different approach. The two-point sling is one of the most versatile sling types available, providing more stability than the single-point sling and a less complicated design than the three-point.


How to Attach a Two-Point Sling to AR-15

The two-point sling attaches to your rifle or shotgun at two points — fore and aft. Traditionally, this would mean attaching the sling to two sling swivels — one on the fore-end and another on the toe of the stock. The farther apart the attachment points, the more stable the rifle is to carry. 

At the same time, the closer the forward end of the sling is to you, the more maneuverable the barrel in close quarters. As with everything, this is a balancing act, requiring that you prioritize the elements of your sling setup that are most important for your intended application. 

If you want to know how to attach a two-point sling to an AR-15, you have various options. You’re not limited to the front and rear sling swivels. These include quick-detach (QD) mounts, paraclips, and other attachment points, which allow you to carry your rifle in multiple ways, increasing the versatility of your setup. 

For example, you can attach a QD mount directly to the short or full-length Picatinny rail on the handguard and clip the sling to the rear mount or slot in the buttstock. Alternatively, you can install a receiver extension end plate as a substitute attachment point. What works for you is ultimately best. 

The widespread availability of handguards featuring quad-rails and the new M-LOK and KeyMod rail-interface systems means that you have considerable rail space at your disposal. 

A two-point sling increases the stability of your rifle, more evenly distributing the weight of the weapon and causing less sway during movement. While some shooters may prefer a single-point sling for increased access, this method renders the weapon less convenient to carry while running. You have to keep at least one hand on the rifle at all times fosr best results. 

If you’re carrying your rifle in a law-enforcement or private-security role, where maneuverability may be less critical on a day-to-day basis, a single-point sling may be adequate. 

Test With Your Equipment

Before you determine the length and tension of the rifle sling you need, wear the equipment that you’ll be wearing when you carry your long gun afield or on the range. If that means a load-bearing vest, plate carrier, body armor, or backpack, your sling should be able to accommodate this gear.


Sling Positions

The question of how to attach a two-point sling to your AR-15 is only part of the problem. Once you’ve learned how to fasten your sling to your rifle adequately, you’ll need to determine the most efficient method for carrying your rifle. Not every sling position or design is suitable for everyone under all circumstances. Some experimentation may be necessary on your part. 

While there are several ways of carrying a rifle using a two-point sling, the following are among the most popular options:

Strong side

The first carry method is with the part of the sling attached to the butt traversing your right shoulder and connecting to the fore-end under your left arm. In this configuration, the muzzle will be pointed toward the ground. If you prefer to have your rifle slung in front, this increases your accessibility to the weapon for rapid deployment. Unlike a single-point system, the sling wraps around your torso so you can fasten it snugly against your body.

With your support hand, in this configuration, you can pull the free end of the sling on the left side to tighten the system against your body for increased tension. This position also increases your access to your sidearm, as the rifle cants away from your strong side. 

Weak side

The second position is where the part of the sling strap that attaches to the butt traverses your left shoulder as a right-handed shooter. In this configuration, the sling attaches to the fore-end under your right arm

The primary advantages of this system are that it keeps the muzzle pointed in a safe direction consistently and allows you to keep the rifle at low ready with less muscular effort. With the butt pressed against the pocket of your right shoulder, the sling, properly tensioned, supports the weight.


The Bottom Line

The two-point sling is a highly versatile system for carrying and retaining your competition, self-defense, or hunting rifle. When you need it to be available to you instantly, you can mount the weapon effectively. However, when you need maneuverability and for your rifle to be secure, the two-point sling excels compared with the single-point option. Unlike a three-point sling, the two-point option is simple to apply and remove.