When it counts, a user’s primary weapon has to be utterly reliable. But if it can’t be easily accessed, or if it gets in the way when both hands are required, it isn’t as effective in the field as it should be.
The myriad options available out there to sling your weapon are a mind-bending jungle of nylon straps, clips, swivels and attachment points. Obviously, the type of weapon and the duty it will serve are the primary considerations. Then it’s time to find a sling that matches.
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For some, a classic two-point sling will do. For others who have to spend long hours on foot with a weapon ready, a harness system is a better fit. But there’s a lot of middle ground as well as a need for versatility.
Here are some new slings and harnesses for ARs, carbines, submachine guns and shotguns that are solidly built and serve a variety of functions in the field.
BlackHawk Storm Sling
This unique single-point sling is constructed of high-strength, 1.25-inch-wide nylon webbing with an elliptical bungee for comfort and support. The bungee allows for up to 4 inches of flex for weapon agility and CBQ tactics. The sling adjusts from 46 inches to 64 inches in diameter to fit a wide variety of body sizes and around body armor and tactical vests. An elastic-encased MASH clip gives quick, positive firearm attachment. The heavy-duty triglide buckle, metal oval ring and single, 300-pound-test, side-release buckle allow for quick sling attachment and removal. Its MSRP is $34. (blackhawk.com; 800-694-5263)
Blue Force Gear SOC-C Sling
If a user’s loadout constantly changes based on the mission at hand, the SOC-C is a perfect sling choice. It converts easily to single-, two- and three-point configurations without changing hardware or removing the sling from the user’s body. Made of 1.25-inch, Invista-solution-dyed Cordura webbing, the sling is available with HK hooks and push buttons and converts using machined-aluminum triglides. It also features a dynamic adjuster, making it a truly all-purpose sling. It’s available in black, coyote brown, foliage green and MultiCam. The SOC-C’s MSRP is $68. (blueforcegear.com; 877-430-2583)
DeSantis Gunhide DSD Rig
For a more secure carry option for concealed carry, the DSD Rig allows security personnel and undercover users to discreetly carry a submachine gun and two full-sized magazines (on the opposite side). The weapon can be fired quickly from a tether, and a quick-detach system allows for rapid disengagement of the weapon from the rig for extended engagements. The DSD Rig is made from mil-spec nylon webbing and includes pouches for 9mm and 5.56mm magazines. Available for right- or left-side carry, it’s concealable under a windbreaker or mid-length jacket. Its MSRP is $176. (desantisholster.com; 800-424-1236)
Galco SLC STRAP
Galco’s Simple Lanyard and Carrying (SLC) strap features a steel, HK-style snap hook for quick and effortless transitions from a conventional two-point sling to a single-point sling position that keeps your tactical rifle or shotgun in front of you for easy cross-shoulder transitions. The conventional, two-point sling position allows for muzzle-up or muzzle-down carry over the shoulder or across the back. Polycarbonate clasps make it easy to adjust the sling to fit any shooter. The SLC is made from durable, 1-inch-wide, nylon webbing for maximum strength and a long service life, and its ambidextrous design accommodates right- and left-handed shooters. Its MSRP is $26. (galcogunleather.com; 800-874-2526)
Hard Point OSS
The Over-Shoulder Sling (OSS) from Hard Point attaches directly to any armor plate carrier system with MOLLE webbing on the back panel, and it runs over both shoulders for users who prefer a single-point attachment in the center of the chest. With clips made of powder-coated stainless steel, this is a piece of gear that will stand up to long hours of hard use. Made from oversized, heavy-duty bungee material that won’t bounce but will absorb shock and provide necessary give, the ambidextrous OSS also provides a buttstock catch-point to help support a proper stock weld. It can also be used without armor. Its MSRP is $50. (hrdpnt.com; 208-457-2010)
Jersey Tactical Chalker Sling
Originally developed by retired U.S. Navy SEAL Command Master Chief Dennis “The Snake” Chalker, the second generation of the H-harness “Chalker Sling” is more versatile than ever. A centered single-point attachment for use with any weapon platform (crossbows, too!) and even shields, allows the user to move the slung weapon across the body without obstructing their vision. A red-strapped quick-release shackle allows the Chalker to be worn over utilities or a vest, or covertly beneath a shirt with the attachment point protruding between buttons when needed. Its MSRP is $99. (jerseytactical.com; 908-995-2700)
LaRue Tactical Padded Sling
Simple and effective, LaRue’s padded two-point sling is comfortable for drills and at the range wearing just a T-shirt, and it’s versatile over cumbersome chest gear and helmets. Quick-detach swivels at each end allow for easy removal, and the length can easily be shortened and lengthened with just one hand by pulling the strap. The lightweight aluminum and steel adjustment cam that holds the length in place is the same ALICE style used by the military for years. The padded shoulder area section is made of closed-cell foam, and the sling’s length adjusts from 45 to 58 inches with 18 inches of take-up travel with the adjustment strap. LaRue Tactical’s Padded Sling has an MSRP of $70. (larue.com; 512-259-1585)
Magpul MS3 GEN2 Sling
Another solid two-to-one convertible sling, the Magpul MS3 Gen2 tactical sling is made of high-end materials with steel and high-strength polymer hardware, as one would expect from Magpul. This is one sling that is actually comfortable for transitioning your weapon to your back while making it easily accessible for the reverse transition. Made from custom nylon webbing chosen for its comfort and strength, and now featuring Magpul’s MS1 slider, the MS3 Gen2 sling is easily adjustable for shooter size and preference. It also features a lightweight, heavy-duty, polymer and steel paraclip to allow for easy manipulations in emergency situations. (magpul.com; 303-828-3460)
Simple Single Tactical Tether
A minimalist sling solution for users wearing a vest or armor with MOLLE webbing, the Tactical Tether affixes to the armor beginning on the lower back and going over the shoulder. This configuration prevents sagging that often occurs with tethers affixed only to the shoulder, allowing the weight to be distributed across the shoulder and back. It also comes with an epaulet to keep it in place in case a user’s vest doesn’t have one. Available in black or OD green, its MSRP is $24. (simplesinglesling.com)
Spec-Ops Patrol Sling
Single-point slings are certainly versatile and nimble, but for some, they can be clumsy and feel sloppy in some situations. The Patrol Sling provides the best of both worlds, letting users transition from single-point carry to the stability of a two-point sling in a second, without removing the sling from the body. The sling features quick-release Battle-Buckles hardware and is ambidextrous. Its tubular webbing is strong as well as twist and tangle free. The Patrol Sling’s MSRP is $30. (specopsbrand.com; 866-773-2677)
Vickers Combat Applications Sling
Developed by firearms expert and former Delta Force operator Larry Vickers, the Vickers Combat Applications Sling (VCAS) incorporates key features from real-world experience that make the sling effective and durable. The VCAS makes it easy to quickly transition from having your rifle slung over your shoulder to combat ready; the patent-pending Quick Adjuster has bridged the gap between the two primary uses of weapon slings—from transporting to fighting. All VCAS slings are built with precision and pride in the U.S.A. Its MSRP is $56. (vickerstactical.com; bravocompanyusa.com)
Yankee Hill Machine 9753
These slings attach to Yankee Hill Machine (YHM) rear sling adapters via a threaded “C-Lock” that is covered in nylon to prevent reflection. Built into the sling is a bungee design that returns the firearm to the user when released. YHM’s 9753 single-point sling is made in the U.S.A. from tough, 1.5-inch-wide nylon webbing. Available in black, green digital camo and brown digital camo, its MSRP is $64. (yhm.net; 877-892-6533)
Zahal Shoulder Harness Sling
The ultimate option for security personnel or others who carry a concealed submachine gun or a pistol with a stock, the Shoulder Harness Sling from Zahal Israeli Tactical Gear is a solid solution. Wide straps and a spine pad allow for comfortable, long-term wear, and a stout bungee with a single-point attachment keeps a user’s weapon concealed under a jacket or coat and immediately ready for use. Its MSRP is $33. (zahal.org)