At this point, Magpul really needs no introduction. The Texas-based company has long provided the tactical, competitive and civilian markets with popular, high-quality gear that’s mission-designed from the get-go. That being said, you may be unfamiliar with one of their more inexpensive products—the MS1 sling.
Even though the price is low enough to conceivably equip nearly every rifle in your armory with one, the MS1 is definitely not a sling with budget features.
Scalable Sling System
All of Magpul’s different sling products are now based on the MS1; the enhanced models (MS3 series and MS4) simply include different specialized hardware options. Do you want a sling with clip attachments, or QD swivels? Perhaps a mixture of both? Magpul has a solution for you.
Additionally, all of these hardware options can be purchased separately (for very reasonable prices), and integrated directly into the MS1 base model to get exactly what you want, and at the price you’re comfortable paying.
Just a few short years ago, Magpul only offered a couple of different sling choices. It’s safe to say that things are different now.
Simplicity in Action
Because the Magpul MS1 is the bare-bones foundation to the company’s entire sling system, it’s very affordable without giving up any basic functionality or quality. With the MS1, you aren’t paying for hardware you don’t need. As it comes, it’s ready to install on any standard 1.25-inch sling swivel hardware.
Of course, it won’t have the capability to swap from two points to a single point when set up this way. But if you’re not interested in a single-point option or the ability to quickly detach the sling, it doesn’t matter. It works very well as a two-point tactical sling when carried across the body.
Previous generations of Magpul slings utilized a narrow 1-inch tubular webbing that tended to twist and bunch up as it ran through the adjustment hardware. The MS1 features a wider, enhanced material (1.25 inches) that stays flat. It’s a big improvement in functionality, while staying fairly soft and very comfortable.
As a nice touch, the ends of the webbing have been heat sealed to promote durability and prevent the webbing from unraveling during heavy use.
The special sauce in the Magpul MS1 lies within its proprietary adjustment mechanism. In its most basic “tactical” carry configuration, both ends of the sling are firmly attached to either end of the rifle (preferably with side-mounted hardware).
Carried across the chest, this places the adjustment buckle between your body and the forward attachment point. This positioning is nearly ideal for fast adjustments in the heat of competition or duty.
The actual buckle itself is phenomenally well designed. It’s fast and easy to adjust the length of the sling, without searching for webbing loops or any of that nonsense. Yet it instantly locks in place when placed under a load, and works equally well with gloved or bare hands.
MS1 Sling in Use
Given the easily adjustable nature of the MS1 sling, it’s a no-brainer to use in situations where you might have to switch shooting shoulders in a hurry. The MS1 does a great job of keeping track of the rifle if you have to transition quickly to your handgun.
Using the sling as a traditional hasty shooting support while retaining its tactical carry mode isn’t really practical. For the sling to be tightened enough to be used to steady your shot, it’s really too short at that point to also put around your body while keeping the rifle at the ready.
However, simply bringing the rifle up from that ready position and then taking all the slack out of the sling does a great job of taking out the wobble in the rifle, especially in the offhand position. So, it is possible to use the MS1 to stabilize a shot, at least in a limited capacity. But that’s not really how the sling is intended to be used.
It’s pretty safe to say that the MS1 is now my go-to sling any time I need a simple, highly effective means of carry and retention.
Simple is Good
Not everybody needs the latest and greatest quick-detach, KeyMod-festooned gear and carry system. A properly set up sling that’s been intelligently designed from the get-go can go a long way towards improving your comfort while increasing inherent versatility.
I’d say the Magpul MS1 embodies those concepts perfectly. When you factor in the idea that it’s infinitely upgradable with the company’s different hardware choices, there’s no reason at all not to go with the MS1 as your primary carbine or rifle sling.
What’s your favorite way to carry an AR-15 at-the-ready for long periods of time? Do you have any unique methods for rigging your MS1 sling? Let us know in the comments.