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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.


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. 

Check out our other articles on AR-15:


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.

Timothy Chandler

Timothy Chandler is a long-time outdoor enthusiast and shooting range regular who decided to put his passion into words. Having tried an immeasurable number of firearms during his hunting trips across Texas and several other states, Timothy has accumulated a knowledge base worthy of sharing. The possible blanks in the expertise he compensates with the help of his numerous shooting buddies. Timothy is set on a seemingly impossible mission to try it all in the realm of firearms. Follow him on his never-ending journey through the gun world.

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