AR15 / “Assault Rifle” Tip: 3 Reasons You NEED A Sling On Your AR15!

Jeff Anderson

When you think about customizing your AR15, the first thing you think of is probably not the sling.

But your choice of sling makes a difference…

…Especially when it comes to home defense, because you might have to be opening doors, carrying your kid, bringing Poopsie the Poodle with you, or whatever.

No matter the situation, at some point your hands are going to be occupied.

You’re going to have to let go of the weapon and then very quickly bring it back up to reengage.

I see guys down at the local range who look like they just stepped off of a Black Hawk helicopter.

They’ve got these high speed, low drag slings.

Is that really what you need?

Do you need a sling at all?

I spoke with my friend Ox about this, and here is a run-down of what he told me.

3 Reasons You NEED A Sling On Your AR15!

AR15 / Assault Rifle Tip: 3 Reasons You Need A Sling On Your Rifle
Ox

A lot of the gear you see people using on the range is something they’ve seen on television, in movies, and in magazines.

These setups are mission-specific.

Unless your mission is the same as the mission of the guy in the picture or in the movie, his setup may not work for you.

That’s something you need to consider.

You, do however, need a sling on your rifle, regardless of what you end up choosing.

Here are three reasons why:

#1: It’s A Holster

With a pistol, when you’re not using the pistol you can put it back in the holster.

With a carbine, you don’t want to lay it on the ground.

So your sling acts as a holster.

That could be if you’re rendering first aid to someone or you just need to use your hands for something.

Because of that I’m a big fan of a two point sling.

Two point slings let you quickly adjust the sling from being cinched up against your body tight enough that you can jump and climb and do whatever, to being loose enough that you can switch from shooting right-handed to left-handed without having to put the sling over your head and switch sides.

One modification that you can make to it is to put a Magpul quick release clip on the front attachment point.

What that will allow you to do is, within a second or two, switch from having it be a two point sling to a one point sling.

It gives you the best of both worlds.

#2: It Aids In Retention

A second reason a sling is so vital is for retention.

If you’ve got your carbine slung and somebody tries to grab it from you, it’s not like snatching a pistol from your hands.

It’s wrapped around your body.

You’ve got a couple hundred pounds of mass attached to that gun.

Your attacker has to figure out how to overcome that in order to get control of your weapon.

That’s a huge safety issue.

This is especially true in a home-defense scenario.

A sling makes it harder for the invader to take your weapon and use it against you.

#3: For Long-Range Precision

The third reason a sling is important is that it can be used for long-range precision.

(You may have seen pictures of people doing this.)

You can loop the sling around your arm and up tight against you to create an extra point of contact.

This allows you to brace the weapon against your body for better long-range accuracy.

This isn’t something you’d typically need for home-defense.

In any situation where you’ve got to make a difficult shot, though, a sling will help you do so more accurately.

For these three reasons, you NEED to have a sling on your AR15.

In fact, you really can’t afford not to.

What Type Of Sling Do You Run On Your Rifle? What Other Accessories Do You Have?

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AR15 “Assault Rifle” Tip: Should You Make Your AR More “Tactical”?

Jeff Anderson

Have you customized your AR15 to make it more “tactical”?

It’s tempting to change out all kinds of accessories and parts.

The market for AR15 components is pretty big, and everybody’s pushing some special new aftermarket modification.

One thing you may or may not have considered is the charging handle.

When I carried an M16 in the infantry, I didn’t stop to think about that charging handle much.

It was just… there, you know?

But there are all kinds of fancy charging handles you could put on it.

I spoke with my friend Ox about this, and here is a brief summary of what he told me.

Should You Change Your AR15 Charging Handle To Be More “Tactical”?

AR15 Assault Rifle Tip: Should You Change Your Charging Handle To Be More “Tactical”?
Ox

Picture the charging handle on an AR15.

It’s basically a plunger that you grab with your fingers.

When you grab it and run it back and let it go forward, you’re chambering a round, right?

There are aftermarket charging handles that change the size and shape of what you grab to chamber that first round.

So ask yourself: Is there any reason that I should be swapping out what came with the gun for something else?

The Answer: It Depends

The first answer is that, yes, there is value in changing out the charging handle…

…but it depends on the situation.

For example, if you want to have a gun mounted but still run the charging handle, you could install a left-side charging handle that sits farther forward than the bolt carrier grip release.

Outside of malfunctions, there’s not a ton of application for it.

When it is useful, however, it’s useful.

Everyone’s setup is going to be a little different.

Consider, then, if there’s any situation in which changing out that handle might be of benefit to you.

If You Do, Mind Your Optics

Another reason you might change the charging handle is for compatibility with certain optics.

Say you have an optic that comes very far back.

It could interfere with the stock charging handle, in some cases.

It will be hard to get your finger in between the mount for the optic and the charging handle.

You can fix that problem by installing an oversized charging handle.

(Extending the charging handle makes more sense in that type of scenario, in other words.)

But as we’ve just said, that’s situation dependent.

If you don’t have an optic that does that, there’s no problem and thus nothing to fix.

Even the fix just makes it a little easier to use.

Remember To Consider Gas Blowback

Finally, something to consider is gas blowback.

This is really more of an issue for those few of us out there running suppressed AR15s.

A charging handle that limits gas blowback — and they’re out there — helps prevent you from breathing in too many fumes.

That aside, though, for  most people, you won’t need to change to an oversized charging handle.

The stock handle will be fine unless it starts giving you problems in training.

If you find, in your dry fire and live fire practice, that you’re not able to get your finger on the charging handle for whatever reason, that is when you should consider changing it.

But you’ve got to change to something that will work better, not just something looks “cooler.”

The stock charging handle has served many people for decades.

It will be fine for most of us.

What Type Of Charging Handle Do You Have On Your AR15? What Other Accessories Do You Have?

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Home Defense Carbine Rifle: To Sling, Or Not To Sling?

Jeff Anderson
Jeff Anderson, Editor

I was at the outdoor range the other day and I saw a lot of guys rocking single point slings for their assault rifles.

A sling helps us to feel all “operator” and can be of benefit in certain scenarios.

But would it shock you if I told you… you don’t always need it?

Specifically, that sling could just get in the way when you are using your carbine for home defense!

I spoke with firearms expert Rich Nance about this issue not long ago.

Here is a summary of what he had to tell me.

The Home Defense Carbine Rifle: To Sling, Or Not To Sling?

Home Defense Carbine Rifle: To Sling Or Not To Sling?
Home Defense Carbine Rifle: To Sling Or Not To Sling?
Rich Nance | Tactical Firearms Instructor
Rich Nance

Generally speaking, the sling is the second of two essentials for the home-defense carbine rifle, where the first one is that white light.

A sling is important when you’re “operating” because without it, there’s no way to “holster” the rifle.

You can’t put it down or otherwise keep it on you but not hold it if you don’t have a sling.

But a sling might also be a liability for home defense!

Here are three reasons why that might be true.

1. A Sling Is A Liability When Exiting A Vehicle

A lot of people carry a rifle in a vehicle because it’s not convenient to carry one around any other way.

You can’t just walk down the street with it over your shoulder, after all.

Police officers carry rifles or shotguns in their cruisers for this very reason.

The problem, though, is that when you go to get that weapon from your vehicle, a sling could become a problem.

If it snags or hangs up on something in the vehicle, it could slow you down while you try to get it into action.

This is especially true of real-life shooting scenarios because you’ll be under adrenaline and your fine motor skills will go to hell.

For that reason you might want to consider removing the sling from a rifle typically carried in a vehicle.

2. A Sling Is A Liability When Deploying The Weapon

A sling might also catch on other items that are, say, in your gun safe.

Picture it: There’s a bump in the night.

You go to grab your trusty home defense rifle from the safe…

…only you get it caught on one of the other rifles in there, and you lose valuable seconds trying to get it untangled.

Do you want to be behind the curve when responding to a home invader?

That’s a good reason not to have a sling on a weapon kept at the ready for home defense.

3. A Sling Is A Liability When Clearing The Home

Finally, you may not want to have a sling on your rifle when clearing your home.

Clearing your own house is incredibly dangerous and should be a tactic of last resort.

If you do have to do it, however — because, say, a family member is in danger — a sling could be a problem as you move around the tight confines of your house.

You don’t want the sling getting snagged on objects around the house, or perhaps even knocking something over and tipping off the invader as to your location.

For home defense carbines, therefore, a sling isn’t necessary and could possibly be a hindrance.

Honestly, though, for home defense, you don’t need to waste time worrying about the sling.

Just hold the carbine as it’s meant to be held.

Either hunker down and defend your location, or start moving through your home to locate the bad guy if the situation dictates.

That’s all you’ve got to do…

…and it just might save your life while protecting your family.

Do You Run A Sling On Your Rifle? What Kind?

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