I think a lot of people confuse the purpose of 2 or 1 point slings and think that they can be used in exchange for the other. In my mind slings break down into two types. Weapons retention and weapons carriage. A weapon retention sling will never be able to fulfill a weapon carriage slings role properly. Ever. So when I get asked the question “2 point or 1 point” I think it’s slightly misleading. I will always advocate for 2 point slings but that doesn’t mean I don’t use or like 1 point slings.
1 point slings retain a weapon for the user and usually enable a wider degree of retention with out adjustment. By that I mean a 1 point sling will usually have a wider radius of movement prior to the user needing to actually tug, move or pull the sling into a new position. The other benefit of a 1 point sling is a level of concealability when in use with small carbines or PDW style weapons. Having only one attachement point allows the user to keep the weapon at his side, potentially underneath a coat since the sling wraps around the upper chest in most cases and not over the shoulder and around the arm like a two point sling would.
1 point slings require no adjustment before shouldering your weapon and firing at nearly any angle. Unfortunately if you have your two point sling cinched to your body some degree of adjustment will be needed before you will be able to access full range of motion with your weapon.Even with out adjustment, the two point sling will slide around on your body, which I personally find annoying.
2 point slings offer hasty supported firing positions as well as an ability to actually carry your weapon hands free via adjustment. Being able to “Chow Sling” your weapon or simply sling it behind your back during prisoner capture/transfer is pretty invaluable. 1 point slings usually have such range of motion at all times the only thing they are doing is RETAINING the weapon from falling away from you. The 1 point sling will not secure your weapon to your body. I learned this the hard way during a TIC while carrying a casualty away from harm. My weapon, currently riding on a 1 point sling flopped around and beat the shit out of my legs. I didn’t adjust it because the welfare of my knees weren’t more important than getting to the MEDEVAC point. I still learned my lesson however.
Clearing obstacles or jumping natural obstacles is another reason why you shouldn’t run a 1 point as a primary method of weapons retention. It’s much easier to scale a wall with out having to hold onto your bungee corded weapon.
My suggestion to the end user would be to experiment and find out what works for him. I’d caution that most competent shooters eventually end back up on the 2-point sling eventually. I’d suggest keeping 1-point slings in your kit bag simply as an alternative for extremely specific mission parameters but I’d give a word on over specialization until you felt comfortable with having multiple choices. A lot of users find running one sling all the time to be a more simple and easy solution.
During hi-viz operations I became entangled in my sling at one point and ended up cutting myself free. Naturally this meant during the rest of the mission I was holding my weapon the entire time with no support. Moving forward from that I started running a low profile clip-in point on my body armour in conjunction with a 2 point sling. It was light enough to where I didn’t feel bothered by the extra accessory. During raids in urban areas I could switch to the 1 point clip in and switch off to a 2 point at will. A potentially easier solution would be to run one of those hybrid slings that can be converted to a 1-point on the fly.
I personally think the future of weapons carriage and retention is a mixture of weapons catches and active/passive retention systems. 2 point slings will never go away however. The simplicity and ease of use is timeless.