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How to Choose the Best Sling Mount for Your AR-15

A gun sling has ​almost become an integral part​ of the iconic AR-15 image. ​This accessory, though pretty simple, offers utility​ that is too good to refuse. ​But rare are the cases when ​buying only a sling is sufficient. Being a piece of fabric or ​leather, a sling has a hard time attaching to a rifle. This is where a sling mount comes into play. It​ is thanks to them that slings can be securely mounted. Sling​ mounts are abundant and​ it might be hard to choose among all of them. In this guide, we’ll take a look at both​ slings and sling mounts, with a stronger​ focus on the latter. 

Table of Contents

best ar 15 slings

Understanding the Basics​ of AR-15 Slings

Before getting to​ sling mounts themselves, it ​might be useful to learn ​what exactly they mount. A sling is essentially the ​AR-15 equivalent of a​ guitar strap, made ​from durable material like nylon or leather, used to carry ​and handle the rifle. ​It secures the firearm to your ​body, allowing you to move freely while​ keeping your hands ​available for other tasks. A true asset in ​tactical situations and a pleasant​ accessory during other​ scenarios. 

Now, why is a sling so​ important for handling an AR-15 rifle? Well, there are​ several reasons:

  1. Weapon Retention: A sling helps​ keep your AR-15​ attached (in a way) to​ your body. It is indispensable if you need to use your hands​ for something other than​ holding​ a gun, and, to be honest, there are plenty of ​things you need ​them for. In addition to that, it won’t​ fall ​to the ground or into the​ wrong hands should you accidentally​ ​lose grip on ​it.
  2. Improved Mobility: With a sling, ​you can ​carry your AR-15​ hands-free which helps immensely with maneuverability. This is ​​especially useful when ​navigating difficult terrain or performing multi-task operations. You can climb, ​un, or even drive​ without having to put down your rifle.
  3. Shooting Stability: Believe it or not, ​a sling ​can actually help you​ shoot more accurately. You can do a trick and have a sling create ​tension ​​between your body ​and the rifle, which will provide additional stability ​when aiming​ and ​shooting.
  4. Quick Transition: In situations where​ you need to​ switch from your AR-15 to​ a secondary weapon (like a sidearm), a sling enables ​the transition​ to be fast and smooth. ​You can simply let go of your rifle, and it will stay secured to​ your body ​while you draw your ​secondary weapon.

best ar slings

A Deeper Dive into AR-15 Slings

Now ​then, there are three major types of ​slings ​sold on the market. They are ​not fundamentally different​ but still boast some distinctions. ​To choose​ the most suitable type of​ mount, you need to know what your sling type is, as it will ​determine​ a number of defining ​characteristics.

One-Point Slings

One-point​ slings, as the name suggests, ​attach​ to your AR-15 at a ​single point, ​typically at the base of the​ stock or the buffer tube. The ​greatest​ advantage of ​these slings is ​their simplicity. They enable​ swift transitions between ​shooting​ and carrying ​positions, which makes them particularly ​suitable for close-quarters ​combat​ scenarios.

However, ​this mobility comes with a ​trade-off. ​Because it’s only ​attached at ​one point, the rifle will likely ​swing around quite a bit when​ you’re​ on the move, so some ​banging​ against your knees or ​other parts of the body is ​inevitable. ​That is, unless you use ​one ​hand to keep it from swaying. ​This lack of stability can ​make ​one-point slings less ideal for​ ​long-distance treks or situations ​where you need​ both ​hands ​​free.

Two-Point Slings

Two-point ​slings are the most ​traditional type​ of sling that attaches to ​your​ AR-15 at two points, usually at ​the stock and just past​ the ​handguard. These slings offer ​superb​ stability compared to one-point ​slings and can even be​ used as a​ makeshift shooting aid by ​​creating tension against your ​shoulder.

Two-point slings​ are ​versatile and work well for​ a variety of activities, from​ ​hunting to tactical use. The ​downside? ​They take more time to don​ and may not allow for as ​​quick a transition between ​carrying and ​shooting positions as ​one-point ​​slings.

Three-Point Slings

Three-point​ slings are the most complex of the​ bunch. They secure​ ​your AR-15 at two points, like a two-point​ sling, but also feature an additional​ loop that goes ​​around your torso. This design offers ​excellent stability and keeps your ​rifle close to your ​body, even​ when your hands are off the ​weapon.

On the flip ​side, three-point slings have more ​​straps and buckles, ​which ​makes it more likely to interfere with​ other gear you wear or even you​ handling your rifle. ​They​ are also more challenging to​ adjust and may get tangled if not​​ used​ correctly.

Introduction to Sling Mounts

Slings would ​have been utterly useless without​ something that ​could​ properly fix them to a firearm. Coiling​ them around the upper and ​stock would cause ​them ​to bring more inconvenience ​than use. That’s where sling ​mounts came in. ​They are ​what keeps your AR-15 securely attached​ to its sling. They are the ​critical link that ​should be ​chosen with utmost prudence.

Sling mounts come​ in a variety of forms and are​ typically made of ​durable materials like steel or aluminum. They can​ be located in various places​ on your AR-15, such​ as at the base of the stock, on the ​handguard, closer to the tip of the ​gun or even replacing ​the standard end plate of the rifle.

What do they do? In​ short, they connect. The ​primary function of a sling​ mount is to provide a sturdy and reliable ​point of attachment for your​ sling. It’s up to the mount​ to ensure that the sling doesn’t detach ​when you’re moving around.

Sling mounts also​ enable you to position your ​rifle the way you see fit. For​ instance, a sling mount located ​towards the rear of your AR-15 ​lets you carry your rifle over​ your shoulder, while a mount towards​ the front allows for ​across-the-chest ​carry.

Some types of sling​ mounts, known as ​quick-detach (QD) mounts, ​are designed for swift and easy attachment or ​detachment of the sling. ​This can be particularly ​useful in situations where you need to quickly ​switch between carrying​ and shooting ​positions.

sling mounts

Comprehensive Guide to Sling Mount Varieties

We’ve scratched ​the surface of what a sling​ mount is, now it’s time to​ go for a deeper cut. There are two main types​ of sling mounts: ​quick-detach and regular mounts. ​The difference between the two is pretty ​apparent, but we’ll elaborate​ on both those types​ nonetheless.

Let’s start with​ quick-detach mounts. These​ are designed for easy​ attachment and detachment, ​as the name suggests. They ​usually come with​ a push-button design that allows you to quickly ​release or attach the sling. If you​ can imagine ​yourself in a situation where you need to rapidly ​detach your sling, this is the most suitable ​type.

However, ​quick-detach mounts do have some ​drawbacks. For one, they fetch a higher price than regular​ mounts. Additionally, like any ​other mechanism,​ the quick-release might accidentally ​engage if not properly ​maintained or handled. These​ potential drawbacks don’t prevent users​ from using them, though, for the ​convenience ​such mounts offer is too good to pass.

Moving on​ to regular sling mounts. These have ​been around for quite a while and managed to develop a ​variety of styles including fixed loops, ​swivel loops, ​end plate loops and clips.

Fixed ​loop mounts are not as much mounts ​as they are parts ​of the rifle. They provide the most secure​ and sturdy mounting point for your​ sling but lack the​ flexibility of other mount types. The sling ​can’t rotate, which might limit your ​movement in certain situations.

Swivel ​loop mounts offer more flexibility than fixed​ loops. Most of​ them allow the sling to rotate freely, but​ not all. They might be noisy when moving, ​which can ​hardly be an advantage.

End plate loops are another type of regular sling​ mount. They are​ typically installed at the rear of the rifle ​over the buffer tube or replacing the ​standard end plate. ​This type of mount is ideal for single-point​ slings and provides a low-profile, ​ambidextrous ​mounting point.

Lastly, we ​have clips. These are versatile ​carabiner-style hooks​ that can be attached to various points on your​ rifle. They offer a good balance​ between fixed and ​swivel loops, providing both security and ​flexibility. Clips are also quick and​ easy to remove. ​However, they might not be as durable or ​sturdy as other​ mount types.​

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Sling Mount

A sling mount​ may look like a trifle, a piece​ of equipment that doesn’t ​really require much time to choose. But it ​should never be about picking​ the first one you see. ​There are several factors that should inform ​your decision so that you could​ make the best choice for​ your needs. Let’s dive into some of ​these factors:

Type of ​Sling: The first thing to consider ​is the type of sling you’re ​using. Different sling types may require different mounts. For instance, ​a single-point sling typically​ requires an end plate loop, while fixed or swivel loops would be a​ better fit for a two-point ​sling.

Material and Build Quality: The durability of your​ sling mount is ​crucial. A single failure to retain the ​sling could cost you a lot, depending on ​what situation you’ll​ find yourself in when that happens. ​Look for mounts made from high-quality​ materials like steel ​or aircraft-grade aluminum. ​These are sure to withstand heavy ​use and harsh ​conditions.

Ease of ​Installation: Some sling mounts, ​especially quick-detach ​ones, can be easily installed ​without the need for a gunsmith. ​Others might require professional​ assistance. If you want to do​ it all yourself, look for a mount ​that comes with clear installation​ instructions.

Quick-Detach​ vs Regular: Quick-detach ​mounts offer convenience and ​speed, but they tend to be more ​expensive. Regular mounts are ​just as reliable and usually more​ affordable. Decide which features​ are most important to you.

Flexibility and​ Mobility: Consider how much​ movement​ and flexibility you need. If you switch shooting ​hands often or move around a ​lot, a swivel ​mount might be more beneficial. If you prefer stability​ over flexibility, an AR-15 ​with a fixed loop might ​be a better choice.

Noise Level: ​Some sling mounts, especially​ swivel types, can produce​ noise when moving. This could be a​ factor to consider if you’re ​using your rifle for hunting or any​ activity where silence is critical.

Price: Lastly, ​consider your budget. While​ it’s important to invest in a ​high-quality sling mount, there’s no need​ to break the bank. There are ​plenty of affordable options​ available that don’t compromise on ​quality.

sling mounting

Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Mount a Sling

Whereas each​ type of mount would require​ its own instruction, it is ​nonetheless possible to draw up a generalized​ guide to mounting a sling. ​In addition to your rifle, sling​ and sling mount you might need ​additional mounting hardware ​and some tools like a wrench ​or a screwdriver.

Step 1: Identify Mounting Points

The process ​starts with you identifying where​ you’ll attach the sling on your​ rifle. For a two-point sling, you’ll ​need two mounting points. One is​ usually near the buttstock, and​ the other is near the handguard​ or barrel. The exact locations ​can vary depending on your ​preferences and the specific design​ of your rifle.

Step 2: Attach the Rear Mount

Start by attaching​ the rear mount near the ​buttstock. Depending on the type​ of mount, this could involve screwing it​ into place, sliding it onto ​a rail, or replacing the existing ​end plate with one that has a loop. ​Make sure the mount is securely​ fastened and oriented ​correctly for the sling to clip or loop ​onto.

Step 4: Attach the Front Mount

If it’s the two-point​ sling you plan to use, repeat​ the process with the front​​ mount near the handguard or ​barrel. Again, ensure that it’s ​securely attached and ​properly oriented.

Step 5: Attach​ the Sling to the Mounts

Now you can ​attach the sling to the mounts. ​How you do this depends on ​the design of your sling and mounts​. Some slings clip onto the ​mounts, while others loop ​through them. Make sure the ​sling is not twisted and that it hangs at a​ comfortable length when ​the rifle is slung over your ​shoulder.

Step 6: Adjust the Sling

​Finally, adjust the sling as necessary for ​comfort and functionality. Most ​two-point slings are adjustable, ​allowing you to change the ​length of the sling depending on ​your needs. You might want the sling tighter for more stability ​while shooting, or looser for more​ mobility while carrying. You can ​always adjust it later, so it’s an​ optional​ step.

Conclusion

Having a sling​ mounted to your AR is a​ great way to increase your gun’s​ utility. It spares you the need to constantly​ carry your firearm and​ can even provide some minor ​benefits while shooting. But slings are only ​as good as their mounts​ are. Without a proper foundation, ​no sling will be as useful as it could. Don’t​ skimp on a sling ​mount, and you’ll get a reliable ​accessory that will serve you long and ​faithfully. 

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FAQs

What are the different types of sling mounts for an AR-15?

There are ​several types of sling mounts for ​an AR-15, including quick detach ​mounts, fixed and swivel loop ​mounts, end plate loops and clips.

What should I look for in terms of material and build quality when choosing a sling mount?

Look for a sling ​mount made from durable​ materials like steel or reinforced​ polymer. It should be sturdy and ​well-constructed, with no loose​ parts or sharp edges. The finish should​ resist rust and corrosion.

What’s the difference between quick-detach and regular sling mounts for an AR-15?

Quick-detach​ (QD) mounts allow ​you to easily remove​ or attach the sling​ without the need ​for additional ​tools. Regular mounts, ​on the other hand, typically​ require tools to ​attach or detach ​the sling. QD mounts​ provide more flexibility but ​may be less secure than ​regular mounts.

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