November 29, 2023
Bipods, some scoff, aren’t necessary. They’re a fad, like long-range shooting.
They’d be wrong.
The origin of bipods is rooted in the crossed shooting sticks used by buffalo hunters of the American West, which enabled hunters equipped with heavy-caliber big-bores to reach across hundreds of yards and put bullets through vitals. Those evolved into sticks attached to rifles, and eventually, into the adaptable, configurable, lightweight precision shooting rests bipods are today.
No modern precision shooter is complete without a good bipod. However, not all bipods are equal, nor should they be. The best of the type are both task-specific and versatile.
Following are three vastly different bipods, each incredibly innovative in its own realm. There’s one for precision hunting, where light weight coupled with stability is paramount. There’s one for hunting where shots are fast-paced and unpredictable and where rapidly evolving situations demand a flexible, adaptable bipod. And there’s one for competitive precision rifle shooting, where weight is no issue and where achieving absolute, immovable stability can be the difference between winning or losing.
This bipod is light, versatile, and beautifully made. It’s just 12 ounces, making it ideal for packing in rigorous mountain country. Where it really shines is in its extreme height adjustment; it can be set from 5 inches to 19 inches tall. The legs each have one twist-lock extension, plus one spring-loaded extension that shoots out when a button is pressed, enabling fast, precise, on-the-spot adjustments.
Also unique and advantageous is the quick-detach head, which enables fast installation and removal on any forend equipped with a section of Picatinny rail.
Legs splay wide for maximum stability when in a low, ground-hugging position, and pinch close together to maximize height when shooting over tall grass or short shrubs. The bipod head allows plentiful tilt, for shooting on uneven terrain.
When folded up close to the barrel, the bipod legs are nicely out of the way, yet can be instantly deployed by just pulling them down into position. Once vertical, the legs lock, so you won’t inadvertently fold them and dump your muzzle into the dirt.
Elevate bipods are made of premium carbon fiber and machined aluminum, and aren’t inexpensive. Retail price is $395. Is the bipod worth the dollars? You bet your boots it is. www.gunwerks.com
This is a solution for bipod users who need flexibility more than absolute stability. The 22-inch legs are joined by a flexible spring-steel head enclosed in a silicon body, and may be spread wide for deep prone shooting or extended to 38.5 inches for sitting-height positions. “The Springbok just springs into life,” states Spartan founder and designer Rob Gearing, “It adapts almost automatically to whatever shooting position you need.”
Attachment to your rifle is achieved via a “Magnaswitch” male/female socket arrangement fit with ultra-powerful rare earth magnets. It’s the fastest and most secure system I’ve used—and I’ve tried them all. A shooter can literally install a Springbok bipod in less than a half-second, and remove it just as quickly.
Each leg has a twist-lock extension that nearly doubles its length. Cupped spike-like feet are made of carbide, and have removable climbing-rubber boots, so the shooter can adapt to any shooting surface from ice to granite to a rain-slick truck hood.
This isn’t a bipod you can “load” by leaning into it. It’s not a bipod you’ll use to win F-Class competitions. This is the product that will enable you to make the most of brief, rapidly evolving opportunities inside traditional shooting distances. It’s ideal for predator hunters, big-woods deer stalkers, and hunting in areas of hip-tall grasses and brush. Weight is just 10 ounces, so it won’t slow you down, whatever the terrain you tackle. Retail price: $199. www.javelinbipod.com
Here’s the bipod you use to win matches. Whether competing in fast-paced PRS competition or F-Class “belly benchrest,” MDT’s CKYE-POD Gen. 2 will provide the rock-solid stability you need.
Bipod heads attach to your choice of an ARCA Swiss rail or to a 1913-spec Picatinny rail, and have lockable pan and cant tension adjustment. If you’ve got a full-length ARCA rail, you can slide the bipod forward or rearward to find that sweet spot, whether it’s dictated by rifle balance point or a barrier position or the angle of the landscape at your shooting position.
Legs feature multiple locking positions, ranging from stowed to 45 degrees to vertical. Reverse the bipod, and you can run the legs rearward-facing. All this adjustment is achievable via single-hand operation, so you can work on the fly while controlling your rifle with your shooting hand.
Multiple different leg heights and feet types are available, so you can purchase your CKYE-POD to fit your needs. Legs spread wide to enable a low prone position, and pinch close together to provide maximum height. Weight of the short-legged version is 21 ounces; heft increases with longer legs. This is a professional-grade bipod, and the retail price reflects that: $599 to $799 depending on configuration. www.mdttac.com