Every once in a while we see an item and say ‘Why didn’t I think of that’? The Pod-Loc from KMW is one of those items. The Pod-Loc is a simple lever-locking device that replaces the “knurled nut” on a Harris S type bipod, FIRMLY locking the swivel action in place yet easily releasing it with just the movement of the lever. When Terry Cross, the owner of KMW, contacted me about the Pod-Loc I had several questions related to construction, durability and the like. Terry simply sent me one and said “Try it.” Once I had the tools together to install the Pod-Loc it took me all of 10 minutes – maybe – to complete the installation. Terry provides VERY clear concise installation instructions even this old Sarge could follow. The best way for me to tell you more about the Pod-Loc is to show the installation instructions below:
Quick adjust swivel lock for Harris “S” style bipods.
This kit contains two pieces:
Clamp lever assembly.
Tools needed: *1/4″ socket bit and driver.
*Note to Military and Police: Should the Pod-Loc assembly become damaged or unserviceable after initial installation, no tools are needed to change out the Pod-Loc with a new kit.
1. It is recommended that the kit be installed with the bipod removed from the rifle stock. Locate the keeper nut on the pivot rod of the bipod. This nut is inside the knurled lockdown nut on the pivot rod. Use your 1/4″ socket tool to reach into the hub of the lockdown nut. Making sure that you have fully engaged the keeper nut, loosen and remove it from the threaded pivot rod.
2. Before removing the knurled lockdown nut, invert the body of the bipod and locate the pivot retainer. This is a cross pin that keeps the threaded pivot rod from rotating. During steps 3, 4 and 5, you will need to hold the pivot rod and cross pin in place with your finger to keep it from backing out and falling out of position.
3. Remove the knurled lockdown nut. This nut is threaded onto the same piece as the keeper nut, but should not require tools to remove. (Picture at right shows both parts removed and the threaded pivot rod exposed.)
4. The Pod-Loc spacer is recessed on both ends. You will see that one end of the spacer has a larger recess than the other end. Place the spacer over the threaded pivot rod with the large recess facing the bipod. (left picture shows the Pod-Loc spacer and clamp lever ready for installation.) The spacer should slide freely down the pivot rod and cover most of a large hex nut (right picture). *Note: If you experience any resistance or interference while positioning the Pod-Loc spacer, STOP! Review steps 1 – 5 and if you are still having problems, cease assembly before you damage the threaded pivot rod! Contact KMW for assistance.
5. Make sure the threads of the pivot rod are clean and free of any grit or damage. A high grade Moly grease has been applied to the threads of the Pod-Loc lever so no lubrication is necessary. Start the lever assembly onto the pivot rod. Do not to cross-thread the lever. Continue to turn until the clamp lever firms up against the spacer. You can now remove your pressure from the cross pin and pivot rod!
6. Before fully tightening the assembly, check the cross pin and pivot rod on the reverse side of the bipod. Confirm that they are seated into their original positions. If not, loosen the lever assembly until you can rotate and push the cross pin into its original seat. Tighten the lever assembly until it is firmly locking the swivel action of the bipod.
7. Check the spacer for clearance. There should be a small space between the bipod body and the spacer. There should also be a small clearance between the synthetic body of the clamping lever and the spacer. The photo at right is an example of proper clearance on an installed kit.
8. The clamp lever can be “parked” without affecting the pivot tension by pulling the clamp lever directly back from the bipod and rotating it to the desired position. It is spring loaded and will re-engage the lock when released. Position the clamp lever downward between the bipod legs before mounting the bipod to your rifle. A screw head is visible on the lever assembly. DO NOT attempt to adjust this screw! This screw holds the parts of the lever assembly together and is not adjustable. When properly installed, the Pod-Loc kit can be fully tightened and adjusted without tools.
9. With the bipod mounted to your rifle, the swivel action can be locked and unlocked by moving the clamp lever through a small arc. With the bipod deployed on your rifle, tighten the Pod-Loc until the swivel action is locked to your taste. Disengage the clamp lever by pulling away from the bipod and park it toward the left side. This will allow you to loosen the swivel by swinging through a small arc to the right, level your rifle and retighten with an equally small arc to the left. After initial use, you will find which positions work best for you and your equipment.
Now one of my biggest concerns was whether the lever would “catch ” on anything as the weapon was being used/abused in its normal fashion. The answer is a resounding NO! The bipod itself hangs further below the weapon than the locking lever so this becomes a non-problem.
OK, OK here is the bottom line, I’ve now used the Pod-Loc on my 700 VS .308 for several weeks and several hundred rounds and the only time it ever loosened up was WHEN I WANTED IT TO!! Once it is locked it stays that way, but again a simple movement of the locking lever releases the swivel to do its job. If durability is a concern don’t let it be, the medical community has been using this same style of lock to hold attachments to operating room table for years! I’ve never seen one fail yet! But don’t take just my word for it. Terry tells me he’s having trouble keeping up with production as the US Military has kept him busy with a VERY large order!
Terry not only makes the Pod-Loc but is also a gunsmith and does some pretty good work on bolt guns and AR’s from what I hear.
Current retail price is $21.50 plus shipping.
Kits can be ordered from KMW direct for $18.90