Todd Mulestein recently sent me a new rifle support device called the Muley-Pod. The concept behind the piece is very similar to the Accu-Shot Monopod reviewed here at Sniper Country, the significant differences being in the application and execution of the product.
The Muley-Pod is made from a brightly finished aluminum alloy and uses a larger size "jack screw" to accomplish elevation changes. Bright, shiny objects are the bane of most tactical shooters. Should one decide to obtain a Muley-Pod in its current form, a coat of bake-on type epoxy spray paint would resolve any reflection issues.
Visual examination of the Muley-Pod make it apparent that a lot of forethought went into the product. The head is machined from a billet of aluminum alloy and the sling stud bolster is quite beefy. The retaining screw slot is neatly machined and lightly counter-sunk at both head and thread sides. Care must be taken not to over tighten the screw, as the aluminum threads will strip out if abused. All of the edges are well radiused to preclude snagging on objects or lacerating the hands, and all of the machine work is very well done with only minor blemishes around the sling boss (more on this in a minute).
The elevator shaft is approximately 0.980" in diameter and 5.00" in length, with a band of raised male knurling about 2.59" wide located centrally on the shaft. The knurling is just sharp enough to allow for a firm, positive grasp while making adjustments. For an operational sharpshooter, a glove or some other type of coating would need to be applied for use during inclement weather. Rotating the elevator shaft clockwise raises the butt of the rifle, and rotating counterclockwise lowers the butt.
The one-piece foot of the Muley-Pod is also machined from aluminum alloy and has an integral stud boss for attaching a QD type sling swivel. The lower end of the jack screw is pinned into place and the foot is milled out to allow the foot to neatly fold up against the stock during transport. Affixed to the base is a 1.00" x 2.40" cleated synthetic pad to keep things in place. If you find a surface that it slips on, please let Todd know about it - I couldn't find one.
The 8.25" overall length when collapsed might be a bit too high for those interested in maintaining a LOW profile/signature while in the field. During field use, the mechanism got a bit wobbly once the shafts were extended/rotated out to an overall height of about 10.50". This appears to be caused by a combination of coarse thread pitch and the lengths of the shafts.
A second, more compact variation called the "Muley-Sniper" arrived about three weeks into the evaluation. The height of the unit when collapsed was around 6.00", versus the 8.25" collapsed length of the Muley-Pod. The 2.50" wide knurling band on the Muley-Sniper fit my hand well. The Muley-Sniper's reduced dimensions proved much more practical.
I attached the Muley-Pod to my Remington 700 Police in .300 Win. Mag. for field evaluation. One of the local ranges I use has a standing platform for rifle shooting. Previous shooting sessions at the facility have required that I use a number of sandbags to get the rifle properly positioned on the "bench". The added height of the Muley-Pod proved to be a benefit here, and helped resolve this dilemma. Multiple range test sessions went off without a hitch. The Muley-Pod caused no problems.
If I could find any fault with this product, it would lie in the height of both models. Even the Muley-Sniper version sits prohibitively high from a TACTICAL prone position. A taller pair of cross sticks, extended length bipod, or bench platform would mitigate this easily, however. I also have to allow for the possibility that the height problem I experienced could be due to the fact that I am of small physique. Larger individuals may find that one or both of the pods work perfectly for them.