Best Gun Slings

Updated January 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

54 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
3 Experts Interviewed
186 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best gun slings

A gun sling is a pretty straightforward item, right? It’s a strap that attaches to your rifle or shotgun so you can carry it easily across your back or over your shoulder, keeping your hands free for lugging other gear or performing different tasks.

Well, yes…and no. Did you know there are five different types of gun sling? And that’s before you get into materials and methods of attachment. When you start looking into which gun sling is the best one to buy, things can quickly get more complicated than you might expect.

BestReviews is here to help unravel the complexities and present you with clear, concise information so you can quickly pick the right gun sling, one that works perfectly with your weapon and the way you use it. Our recommendations cover a number of popular models. They offer excellent value and showcase many of your options. The following gun sling buying guide looks at individual features in more detail.

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Carry your rifle on your back to get to and from the area where you’re hunting but remove it as soon as you get there. You don’t want to be one of those hunters who isn’t able to unsling their gun quickly enough to take the shot!

Key considerations

Gun carry positions

The common image of a two-point gun sling is with the strap over the shoulder and the rifle barrel pointing up behind you. In fact, that’s just one of three possibilities, each with its own term. Why not practice all three and see which one you find most effective?

American carry: This is the classic position: over the right shoulder. It’s comfortable, but it’s slow to move from carry to firing.

African carry: This is the gun slung over the left shoulder with the barrel pointing down. It can be swung forward into the firing position more quickly, but there’s an increased risk of an accident or damage to the gun if you fall.

European carry: This is the gun slung over the left shoulder with the weapon in front of the body and one hand on it. It’s faster to move into the firing position than the American carry, but it can soon become uncomfortable.

Gun sling types

Two-point sling: The classic style of gun sling that’s been around forever has one attachment point on the gunstock and one toward the front of the firearm. Depending on the weapon, it might affix to a sling stud on the forestock, a rail, a barrel guard, and so on.

Single-point sling: This gun sling has a loop that fits around the shooter’s body. It can be around the chest or under one arm and over the opposite shoulder. From this, a strap attaches to a single point on the rifle to position the gun in front of the body. This is most often used for tactical weapons like the AR15. It enables you to go quickly from the carrying to the firing position, and vice versa, if you need to keep your hands free. There are a few models that can convert from single- to two-point gun sling, which is a great value if you have both types of guns.

The drawback is that one hand is always needed to steady the rifle if you need to move quickly. Otherwise, it will swing around and could cause a painful injury.

Three-point sling: This is used for front carry, much like the single-point sling. It has a body strap and two attachment points on the gun. The idea is to keep the gun out of the way when you’re going hands-free.

While this sling keeps the gun out of the way quite successfully, many shooters feel the sling is too complicated, leading to tangles and snags on the bolt release. With a loaded rifle — tactical weapons are frequently carried loaded — there’s the potential for a dangerous accident.

Hasty sling: A hasty sling is a two- or three-point sling that is wrapped around the forearm to give extra support when in the shooting stance. It doesn’t quite give you the stability of a tripod, but with practice, it comes close. This isn’t a different type of sling, just a different way of holding the ones we’ve already spoken about.

Cuff sling: The hasty sling gave rise to the cuff sling, which attaches with a strap around the bicep to a single-point fixing on the rifle. It’s not great for long periods of carry, but it loops easily around the arm in the same manner as a hasty sling, and thus is great for marksmanship.

Ching sling: This is a variation on the two-point sling, with an additional strap that fixes to a central point on the weapon. The resulting front loop allows for quick adoption of the “hasty” position (also called “looping up”). Its use demands a third stud point on the rifle, which isn’t common, though various accessories let you add one. Some people love these slings, but it’s not a type you see often.

Many gun slings can do double-duty as survival tools, and in an emergency, they can be used to attach rescue rope or as a tourniquet.

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Features

Material

The main body of the gun sling is usually made of nylon webbing, paracord, leather, or various combinations of those materials. While leather has a timeless appeal, it does require care, whereas nylon and paracord can withstand more or less anything. Neoprene (synthetic rubber) is sometimes used for shoulder padding.

Size

It’s worth checking both the width and the thickness of the straps, particularly those that go over your shoulder. That’s where the weight will bear on you, so a broad strap, and perhaps one with padding, is going to provide more comfort. It’s something that is perhaps more of an issue with hunters because of the length of time the gun will likely be carried, as opposed to tactical or target users.

Adjustment

The amount of adjustment in the gun sling straps is an important feature when it comes to comfort and fit. A gun sling designed for an adult may not have sufficient adjustment for a teenager.

The type of gun sling has a bearing here, too. Hunters carrying a rifle across their back normally need more length than those carrying in front. With the latter, it’s also important to be able to adjust properly when raising a tactical weapon from rest to firing position.

Fasteners

Type: There are two types of clip: snap clips and swivels. The latter are preferred because they can rotate without the strap getting twisted. The majority of gun slings come with all the necessary clips included, but there are exceptions, so it’s worth checking just to be sure.

Quick-detach: These clips offer convenience and are very useful for cuff and single-point gun slings, allowing immediate release of the firearm if more freedom of movement is required.

Material: On cheap gun slings, the clips and clasps might be plastic even if they look very much like their metal counterparts (check carefully). The durability of the plastic is likely to be an issue over time and if subjected to rough treatment. 

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Did You Know?
A two-point gun sling should support the weapon and leave both hands free. If you need to use one hand to steady your rifle, the sling may not be adjusted properly.
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Gun sling accessories

Rail mount swivel: Axageid Xage QD Sling Swivel Mount
Most gun slings aren’t designed to fit the Picatinny or Weaver rails often found on rifles and shotguns. The simple answer is this swivel mount, which, despite the low cost, is guaranteed for life. There’s just one hex bolt to do up, and it has fast release thanks to a quick-detach button.

Stock adaptor: Depring Tactical Gunstock Adapter
No attachment point on your rifle or shotgun stock? No problem! Made from durable nylon webbing, this 1.25-inch-wide strap fits quickly and easily to any gunstock and provides a secure attachment point for your sling via the metal D-ring loop. There’s even a choice of colors.

If you’re using a cuff sling, be careful you don’t overtighten it and restrict circulation to your forearm and hand. You should be able to get your fingers between the sling and your shirt.

Staff
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Gun sling prices

Inexpensive: You can find a cheap gun sling for around $10 or $15. There’s not a lot wrong with them, though they may not be as comfortable as better models, and the attachment clips are often plastic.

Mid-range: For between $20 and $40, you’ll find well-made versions of all the different types of gun sling. There’s something for just about everyone, from tactical rifle owners to hunting enthusiasts.

Expensive: Gun slings that can be used in either single- or double-point configuration can be $50 or more, as can high-quality specialist cuff slings. Some gear labeled “tactical” or “combat” commands prices close to $100, though you might be paying more for name than functionality.

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Initially, your new gun sling will feel a little unusual, and that might impact your accuracy. Before you go hunting, it’s a good idea to spend some time shooting at targets so you get used to the sling.

FAQ

Q. Is a rifle strap the same as a rifle sling?

A. This is one of those questions that provokes quite a lot of debate! A number of experts separate the two: a strap is used to carry your rifle over your shoulder; a sling helps you reduce movement and thus improve accuracy. Purists argue they are separate items. On the other hand, manufacturers seem to expect their product to do both jobs, and in general, we think the terms have become interchangeable.

Q. Can I use a gun sling for carrying a crossbow?

A. Yes. There are a number of models that can be gun or crossbow slings. It’s particularly valuable if you use both weapons because it’s possible to buy one sling that can be swapped from one to the other. Check the specifications carefully, though. It’s not necessarily a universal feature.

Q. What is paracord?

A. It’s a multi-strand, sheathed nylon cord originally used in parachutes. Some say that’s where the name comes from, others say it’s because it was first used by American paratroopers. There are several types, 550 being the original military standard that is still in use today. The designation comes from the fact it has a weight capacity of 550 pounds.

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