< 1999
By Scott Powers

The Versa-pod is a bipod based on the Parker-Hale design often seen on higher end sniper systems. Made of aircraft aluminum it is sturdy, stable and compact. For the tactical environment one would choose the nine to thirteen inch model. There is also a 13 to 23 inch model that should serve the varmint shooter well. The system is painted a flat crinkle-black which blends well with today's high-tech composite stocks.

The Versa-pod comes with two main components. The bi-pod legs and a Moulded handstop. The feet are available with two types contact points; either non-skid rubber feet or metal plates similar to the Parker-Hale. The leg height is adjusted via a series of notches spaced about 1/4 inch apart on each leg. The legs are not spring loads for retraction. You set the height by pulling out the leg to the desired notch and the spring-loaded catch locks the leg in place. To retract the leg you must press the catch and push the inner leg back up into outer tube. It takes less time to do it then to describe it.

The legs are brought into the storage or carry position by simply squeezing them together and rotating them forward. They are held in place by spring tension exerted against the swivel block. Simple and clean with no projecting springs, plates or projections.

The handstop serves as the mounting interface with the rifle. A delightfully simple set-up involving attaching the stop to a sling swivel stud and finger tightening a knurled screw. A new sling swivel is provided beneath the handstop. There is a prong protruding from the front of the handstop to which the bi-pod legs attach and swivel. A locking lever on the bi-pod's swivel block allows the easy removal of the legs for storage, leaving the handstop attached to the rifle stock. This also allows the user to replace the short legs with the long set with minimal time or fuss.

In use, the versa-pod allows the rifleman to pan left, right, up or down smoothly and without the necessity of repositioning the legs. There are no external, separate parts for leg extensions as in the B-square and no unsightly snag-um springs as on the Harris system. The Versa-pod is a well thought out design, very stable in action and affordable in price. Listed at a surprising $54.95 in the larger shooting supply houses it is well worth the money. When compared to the similar Parker-Hale system at $215 one can instantly see the value provided by the Versa-pod.

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