Another silly question..... about carrying

OK, so here goes another silly question that I have been wondering about for a while. What is the correct way to carry (with a strap/sling) a rifle? I’ve seen them facing up, facing down, etc. Does it matter or is it personal preference? I have never carried a rifle with a rifle strap, so I was just wondering the various AND CORRECT ways to carry it. If I wanted it on my back but also be able to swing it around front quickly if I need to shoot, and how to properly carry it in front as well. Or if I am running for my life and need my rifle strapped to me, but don’t want it beating the tar out of me while I run, how should I carry it?
I am right handed and currently don’t even own a rifle sling.
Is there something I should be looking out for when buying one? And are they different for different types of rifles?

14 Likes

It all depends on what you are comfortable with. On my ar pistols(real short) most of them have a single point sling and I carry them with the muzzle down pointing left in the front. On the longer ar pistols(more like a short barreled rifle) I have 2 point t slings and carry them basically the same way. On my longer guns a two point sling and carried around back unless I am expecting to use them soon. When around front muzzle awareness is a must. In you kneel down are you shoving the muzzle into the ground? Usually one hand on the firearm is all it takes to control the muzzle. It’s a lot like handgun holsters. Not every sling set up will work in every situation.

11 Likes

As said by @shooterrex, it’s going to depend on the situation and on you.
It’s kind of a personal preference thing. Single point, two point, or three point slings are all options. You’ll have to experiment with your loadout, gear, and purpose. I prefer a two point sling running either around the back of my neck, or neck and under my support arm with enough slack to raise my rifle and shoot from that position and yet tight enough to keep it from hitting the dirt if I drop it.
Carrying a large pack affects how you sling, just as body armor, or a chest rig or load bearing vest will. Basically find what works for your situation and use it. Muzzle discipline is important when you are handling it as usual.

10 Likes

Not a stupid question at all. You get points for asking it.

I find most rifles (all?) to carry best with the barrel down since that’s generally the heavy end and they just naturally want to end up there. I discovered that in the military when force and speed marching to the ranges at Ft Dix. None of the DIs ever said anything to me, if we’d been on parade no doubt they would have. Carrying muzzle down keeps rain and snow out. Get a glob of ice frozen inside the bore and fire a shot, they’ll be taking you to the emergency room. It also makes one less tall to keep the muzzle from bumping on things at or above normal head level with rifles with normal barrel lengths, much less so with bullpups, SBRs or braced handguns. I carry them all the same way.

For short distances just over the shoulder is fine, but for longer distances and where I need to keep hands free I go cross body, 2 point sling over the left shoulder and neck with the muzzle to the left (Edit: on the chest) . Slung that way I can still rapidly shoulder the rifle and it’s super comfortable and controlled, and it’s going nowhere unless the sling is cut.

But you carry it the way that works best for you, there is no “right way” that works best for everyone so keep an open mind. Don’t be afraid to try things out at home or if you can find a store that’ll allow you to try before buying, I wish I had one of those, it’ll save all sorts of on failed attempts. I have a box of holsters and slings I no longer use and they all cost me .

You’ll also have failures along the way, just know that going in. I tried so hard to like single point carry and I do like some aspects of it, except for the long term carrying aspect. The rifle (SBRs too) just flops around too much for me and I find that I need to control it with one hand, again, I like my hands free at times. Tossing it over the back, again single point carry, helps fix that problem somewhat.

Regarding the issue of making one “less tall”… I think I’ve written this before. A year and a half ago we had a cop killer running around in the thousands of acres behind our back 40 and also on our land. For 4 days I lived with a slung rifle when going out to do chores and such. I’d been carrying muzzle down for decades so I didn’t need to experiment with that. Carrying muzzle up would just make me too tall when going through some doors and I’m not a tall person. I was carrying cross body as described above, muzzle to the left. My first try was my pencil barrel AR with can attached. It was too long even with the muzzle down and it kept banging into doors and such. W/O the can would have been better but still not optimum (I tried it). At the time I had one bullpup, a Keltec RDB. The short length, again slung cross body, muzzle to the left was the answer. That experience sold me on bullpups for use in and around buildings and going through doors. SBRs would also be of value there as would arm braced handguns. I would carry them all the same way, slung cross body, muzzle down and to the left with a 2 point sling. But again, if a single point sling or some other method works for you that’s the right way for you despite what works for me. If I were to ever see you carrying in a way I don’t favor I might ask questions. Not to put you down but for pointers to maybe get a method that didn’t work for me in the past to work. Again, keep your mind open.

But no matter which way you carry as previously mentioned, be mindful of the muzzle. Kneeling, the way I carry, can fill the muzzle with mud or snow, and muzzle up also has it’s problems. Just be aware.

10 Likes

I will point you to one of my 308ar brothers @ThePreppersBunkerOutdoors. He makes and sells slings of different styles and can custom-make one for you. He also has videos on his site showing how they are designed to be used.
https://www.beachintactical.com/

I have several of these but I am not even close to a sling expert.

10 Likes

:sob: All my rifles and slings went down with the boat :boat:

9 Likes

But seriously, I carry my rifles for comfort, and distance being carried. Just always be aware of weather conditions , rain snow. and always keep the muzzle of the barrel clean of debris.

8 Likes

I have QD swivels on all my slings and I carry the rifle on my chest, sometimes with the buttstock under my right arm and sometimes with both arms under the gun. You can see how they are attached, actually the last two pics they are on backwards.I just put em on for a pic when I got em and didn’t pay no attention. but these are all AR’s. If it just has the bottom mount swivels I will usually put the gun on my back and sling over one shoulder.

Picture1129181507_1

11 Likes

Its a good question @RedAngel, sounds to me like the type of mobility you’re looking for is a do all AR-15 rifle sling with the ability to accept multiple attachment point, this one is pretty darn close.
I’ve been using, Magpul Gen2 MS4 dual QD sling, I have nothing negative to say about them, they’re performing exceptionally well for me.
It’s a multitask two point sling with single point capability.



11 Likes

RedAngel,
You didn’t say what kind of rifle you were carrying. I don’t do the AR thing and most of the replies are about them in military fashion. All mine are traditional rifles if there is such a thing, so the slings are just that, a sling. Some of mine carry more comfortably muzzle down, but most with muzzle up. Since thankfully I have only carried them for hunting or shooting I haven’t had a reason to practice quick access so I can either use a simple over one shoulder or put the sling over my head for more secure carry when I am using my hands. I think in a survival situation I would want mine in my hands and not slung. I don’t know if that helps, but you’ll find what works for you.

9 Likes

The muzzle up for the military is tradition, not tactical. And many people carry their tradition after that life.

8 Likes

Thank you everyone. All that really helps a lot. I don’t have a particular rifle in mind as I ask this question, so everyone was very helpful.
I was unsure however, @Belt-Fed when you said it was on backwards in one of the photos. I’m assuming this has to do with some sort of adjustable part? So there is a butt end and front end for the sling?

And I have seen the single point sling on my son’s rifle a long time ago. I can’t say that I would want one of those. It didn’t look very versatile or comfortable.

11 Likes

Yes, I have the adjustable part at the bottom, should be the other end, single point slings are ok on ar pistols and light stuff or if you have heavy clothing or a vest like the military. but in a t shirt they are not comfortable on a heavy gun. I don’t like them either.

Ona non AR gun the sling will be different, most are bottom mounted. best way to determine what works for you is to carry it in different positions and feel which way feels best. I like mine against my chest for hunting cause I can ride my wheeler with both hands on the handlebars… plus it is more comfortable to me too. Any heavy gun is going to get heavy after a while with any sling. 308 AR’s are heavier even on the chest the sling will dig in the shoulder with just a t shirt on after a while.

9 Likes

Great question. I have a two point from Viking Tactical like this for my AR:

http://www.vikingtactics.com/product-p/vtac-mk2-hb.htm

It’s made out of some kind of strong nylon material and works great as a quick way to cinch it down in front or across the back for hands free use (climbing ladders, trees or over fences, for example). I can quickly and easily loosen it and swing it around front or back, but only if I’m not wearing a backpack or anything else on my back. Otherwise, it gets caught. Mine also has the padding, but I noticed that no matter how I have it configured, the padding never rests on my shoulder or upper traps, where the weight is born. So I haven’t yet figured out an advantage of paying extra for the padding.

I have a similar one from Blue Force Gear without the padding but made with strong cotton webbing:

https://www.blueforcegear.com/vickers-sling

That one worked just as well as the Viking Tactical sling. But once the cotton webbing got wet and muddy, the quick-adjustment was ruined. Apparently, the mud and moisture caused the cotton to expand just enough to make it too thick to easily glide the adjustment buckle quickly. I cleaned it and dried it out, but it never worked right after that. For that reason, I would only recommend using it in dry conditions, or at least the one made out of cotton webbing.

For my M1 Garand, I have an old style leather sling, the same kind supposedly used in WWII:

http://thecmp.org/training-tech/armorers-corner/1907-sling-installation/

The competition shooters know how to use that sling by looping part of it around their support arm bicep for added stability. I haven’t learned how to do that, yet, though.

Anyway, post up what you end up getting!

10 Likes

Most of the time my sling is in my pocket I tend to carry a rifle at the
Low ready. When i do use a sling it is a two point slung barrel down so it won’t hang on limbs as much.

9 Likes

I’ll have to keep that in mind about the cotton webbing swelling.

6 Likes

It’s only an issue if you have a sling with a quick adjust sliding mechanism. I have another cotton web sling for my M1 Garand that lacks the quick adjust sliding buckle, so it doesn’t really matter if it gets wet or muddy.

7 Likes

As with many things, I look at the price, then I look to see what components are used and think to myself “What a rip off!! I can make that.”
Same holds true here. I have poly, nylon, and cotton webbing of all different sizes already. Probably don’t have the correct sliders, buckles and rings for this application, but I can get them easy. QD attachments shouldn’t be any problem either.
So adding this to my list of things to make and customize for myself.

8 Likes

I haven’t tried making one, but I remember reading about others online who have for the same reason you mentioned. If you go that route, post pictures!

7 Likes

I will. It will probably be girly lookin though.

6 Likes