To put it simply: the one-point sling is not versatile enough. It’s really good at a specific role, and that is accommodating a direct action based use of the weapon. It is extremely good in this capacity but because it is such a specialized piece of kit, it lacks the versatility of the two-point. I am fully aware that they make hybrid slings that can be configured for both set-ups — honestly this is a good option. But in my mind, the two-point is the appropriate choice when options are limited.
The one-point lends itself incredibly well to CQB (close quarters battle) because the shooter can fluidly change shoulders with the rifle and manipulate it more freely. This shines through during reloads and malfunction corrections because the weapon is able to rotate on a single (flexible) axis point; physically speaking, this is less restrictive, hence the term “one-point sling.” It works well for restrictive spaces and close engagements and that’s why it is also applicable to close protection roles such as executive protection and mobile security details. The only real downside is that it drops between your legs and center line when it hangs freely. This can be restrictive to movement and limit access to equipment at your front.
The two-point sling is a classic set-up made modern by rapid adjustability. It is diverse and restrictive all at once. A loose setup grants a greater range of weapon manipulation but lacks the support that a tighter set-up will have. This is where adjustment systems come into play and give the two-point a slight edge in my mind. The two-point also can be easily slung on the back or pushed out of the user’s center line. Its cross body design gives added comfort for long patrols or extended durations of carrying the weapon.
I choose the two-point sling because I am an individual and I will be avoiding CQB at all costs, should the need to pick up a rifle arise. If for some unfathomable reason I should be forced to do CQB, I will simply unsling my rifle or throw it around my neck for added maneuverability and (albeit limited) basic retention. Should a real world scenario arise where I actually be forced to pick up a rifle, it will probably involve a lot of walking. As foreign military volunteer and US Marine, all my operational duties required a lot of walking and limited amounts of CQB in between.
For me, the two-point sling makes the most sense — it’s my preferred set-up so that’s what I train with and employ. However, everyone is different and should evaluate their personal circumstances to determine what sling type is most appropriate for them. Regardless of the chosen method or tool, get out and train to be safe and proficient with it.
Featured image courtesy of the USMC.