With the introduction of my quick adjust two point sling design by Blue Force Gear, I felt it was time to share my thoughts on carbine slings. For those who have had my carbine classes this will be old news but those who haven’t may enjoy reading this.
1) Single Point Slings – As many of you know I am not a fan of this design. In my opinion it has far too many negatives for very few positives. The one big plus of the single point design is it is very easy to switch from shoulder to shoulder for weak side barricade shooting. It is a big advantage in that situation. However I honestly cannot think of another attribute it has; everything else in my opinion is negative. It tends to make the rifle dangle and hang off of you like a dead cocker spaniel. When you are shooting on the move after a transition it tends to interfere with your movement as the carbine wants to hang in front of your body. It also likes to hang up on kit as it is tight around your upper torso. When you take a knee it is guaranteed you will muzzle strike the ground unless you control it. Also if you are trying to climb anything it wants to hang in front of your body and prevent you from climbing efficiently. Single point slings are great if you are static at the 7 yd line and play bullet hose but other than that, in my humble opinion, they suck. As far as I am concerned all the negatives greatly outweigh the sole positive feature.
2) Three Point Slings – I very rarely see these in classes anymore as I think everyone has gotten the word on them. With an AR style carbine they are about the worst possible choice. They offer none of the advantages of an adjustable two point with almost every negative in the book. They tend to hang up on kit big time. For a right hander they can interfere with controls and for a left hander they interfere with ejection. If you are standing around with no body armor on they may be cool (I don’t think so) but with any gear on shooters quickly figure out they are lame beyond belief. Like I said fortunately most people have gotten the word on three point slings so they are scarce in the circles I run in.
3) Two Point Slings – Non adjustable two point slings like a standard USGI M16 sling offer real advantages in the ability to transition easily and keep the sling from hanging up on kit but suffer from the fact they are rarely the ideal length for any given task. They are generally too long or too short depending on a shooters position. Enter the quick adjust two point sling; in my opinion the best all around choice for a carbine sling and the overwhelming favorite in the Spec Ops circles I run in. It offers the best features, all things considered, with one negative vs. a single point design. Most of the time you will have to unsling one shoulder to do weak side barricade shooting. This of course depends on how you wear it and the kit you have on at the time. I used a two point quick adjust sling for nearly two decades with excellent results.
In later years I realized the sling I used was in serious need of updating, so I set about refining the design, all the while searching for a vendor to make my idea of the best two point quick adjust sling available. Luckily for me, I had Ashley Burnsed of Blue Force Gear in a recent carbine/pistol class. I was impressed with not only his open-minded attitude, but the superb quality of his products. We put our heads together, and after a short time, the Vickers Tactical Combat Applications Sling was the result. In my obviously biased opinion, it is the best adjustable two point design to date. Ashley did a great job turning my ideas into hardware. Initial feedback from some very experienced end users has been overwhelmingly positive. The VCAS has been a runaway success beyond our own high expectations. Needless to say, we are both very excited about this project.
A version with a wider padded strap for heavier rifles is now available. For added strength, we developed the VCAS Cobra with the Cobra quick release buckle and all metal hardware. We have also developed a version for the SAW and M240. Soon we are going to put our heads together to design a purpose built special cutaway version. Stand by for updates.
In closing, I recommend you try a quick adjust two point sling; if not mine then another vendor’s design. I think eventually you will agree with me in it is the best choice given all the factors involved.