It’s easy to get excited about the selection in accessories for firearms, but one ingenious accessory that’s been in use since 1930, is the bipod. This is an essential tool to stabilize a rifle in action. Bipods have been used extensively for such a long time because they work.
But, there’s a bit more to a bipod than simply attaching it to a rifle and putting it on the ground. It’s important to choose the correct surface and position for better shooting. Having a hard surface does not mean it’s stable. On a hard top, the rifle can hop or twist when firing so finding a softer dirt surface can help entrench the bipod for better stability. Another aspect with using a bipod is learning to apply the right amount of pressure with the firing shoulder. Too much pressure could push the bipod forward and too little gives too much slack.
A bipod is not just a convenient and comfortable accessory but rather a necessity when you’re behind a high-powered weapon. So, if you’re in the market for bipods, the following information covers the key factors to consider when buying a new rifle bipod. It has become a mandatory device for a precision rifle and some bipods have quality characteristics that assist in steadying the shooter from various positions. Skilled shooters have evolved the bipod into a purposeful device to help the shooter’s accuracy.
First off, your budget determines which range of bipods to explore. Popular high-end bipod brands include the Harris bipods (one of the most popular used worldwide), Atlas bipods, LRA tactical bipods, and the Versa-Pod bipods. For those on a tight budget, the budget brands, NcStar/UTG that are made in China are suitable for novice or casual shooters and the bipods can mount to most type of rifles.
Typically, you get two types of bipods. The Rail bipod is mounted to the Picatinny rails, and the Sling Swivel Mount attaches to the sling swivel studs. One is not more superior to the other and its possible to get different adapters that allow you to use different bipods with different rifles. But, correct installation of the adapter is critical as it will affect the accuracy of the shooting if not attached properly. While both are equally stable, the sling swivel is a more popular option among shooters. If you’re unsure which will work for you, experiment with different options at the rifle range.
Bipods also come in different extendable lengths. Height is a factor because it enables you to make adjustments for stability depending on the ground surface. Like the 6-9-inch bipod that offers several height settings and the Harris S-BRM Hinged Base 6”- 9” bipod is a good model in this range.
Other height ranges are available like the 9 to 13-inch bipod with 4 height settings and the 13-24-inch bipod, which is much longer with varying heights. These bipods are suitable for snow shooters or very tall guys! Adjustable height settings offer flexibility and accuracy from different sitting/standing positions. Preferably, you must be able to shoot comfortably with a bipod from the lowest prone position possible. If you experience any discomfort, it makes the shooting precarious.
Your shooting purpose is a big deciding factor; whether you’re in law enforcement, the army, a hunter or weekend shooter, if you use a precision rifle, then a high-end (more expensive) bipod like the Atlas Accu-Shot has some of the best features on tight tolerances and reliability.
If you have an AR-15, the recommended bipod is the CVLIFE 9-13 inches and for a Remington 700, the UTG Tactical OP bipod is cost-effective and robust.
Harris bipods, particularly the S-BRM series, are big favorites in the military for snipers and marksmen because of their light weight and ease of usability. The Harris swivel-model bipods also have a unique accessory that adjusts the Harris swivel perfectly. Superseding the knurled nut on the Harris S-type bipod (which often needed manual adjustments), the KMW Pod-Loc is a basic lever-locking device. It secures the swivel action into position with an easy movement to release the lever. With all the right tools, it won’t take more than 10 minutes to install the Pod-Loc.
The reason the Harris bipods are favored over the Atlas bipods is because they deploy quickly from a folded position.
At the end of the day, you want a good bipod that’s durable with useful attributes. Bipods manufactured from light materials like aluminum last much longer than those made from cheaper plastics and they are easier to carry over long distances.
Another nifty feature is buying a bipod that includes a sling to carry your rifle in a way that reduces potential damage to both the rifle and the bipod. Harris bipods attach to a sling swivel mount and have an additional sling mount so you can use the sling while the bipod is on the rifle.
Proper installation of the bipod is very important to get the right stability and accuracy. Even if shooters have the best bipods, it often happens that they not installed correctly or tightened enough, and it affects everything. Any error can obstruct the performance of your shooting, which is why it is so important to have it installed properly.
Shooting straight from a flat surface is one thing, but when you add different positions, and angles, you need to control and stabilize the rifle. Solid and reliable bipods let you make the necessary adjustments to suit the environment and conditions that you’re shooting in.
Once you’ve invested in your bipod, remember to maintain and service it to last for many years. It’s important to always clean the bipod correctly with the right materials. This removes any dirt trapped in between the movable parts that could later cause damage.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and know the limits of your bipod. After every use, do an inspection to ensure all parts are functioning properly, like the lock/unlock action and height adjustments. This will guarantee your bipod is ready for your next shoot.