Do you need a rifle bipod? The thought crosses your mind for two main reasons. If you are a bit of a gear freak when it comes to hunting and shooting equipment and I to be savvy with the latest technology toys in the market or you are bombarded with questions about these accessories from those who consider you to be an expert. The typical questions remain whether they are worth buying, How much to spend on one and what type to buy.
Worth buying? Absolutely.
How much to spend? Well, they are not cheap — at least not the good ones. You wouldn’t find something awesome for less than $200 for sure.
What type to buy? You need to take a good look at a number of features.
Adjustability – It’s a must.
The feet should adjust independently to uneven surfaces, rough terrain, or for shooting downhill.
If the platform is too high when set up, then the stability is compromised. One needs to be able to bring the rest down but at the same time be able to extend it long. Essentially, the height and position of the legs should adjust to make it customizable to your body and situation.
Keeping it steady – It should get firm and level real quick.
The turn of a wingnut should let you adjust the tension. The wingnut should be easily accessible to allow you to make changes while in a natural position. You should also have the provision to make instant changes to the pivot and it should hold super tight. You should be able to get level and set the platform to focus on an animal target or a range target and the scope should remain in level.
Options and extensions – they matter.
The gun rest must offer multiple feet options and other extensions to add such as spikes or claws. Regardless of what extension you choose, they need to lock in good and stiff. If you put a lot of front load or preload on your firearm, it should not collapse on you. Atlas and CVlife are two brands that have addressed this problem effectively.
Easy to deploy – no time to mess around when the target is staring at you.
No matter what adjustments you make while using the rest, they need to be really easy and quick to deploy. Operations such as adjusting leg height, leg position, adding new legs or claws, adjusting the pivot, the tension, and setting the level should be effortless. You should certainly be able to quickly disconnect the bipod from your rifle.
Choosing the right make and type of accessories is not rocket science. Some may be huge and goofy, but they may work best for your purpose. Some may be lighter and more compact to work better a field situation. Pick what works for you, not against you. If it flexes a bit it allows good loading. If there are rubber feet provided, they could grip any surface and provide a soft contact point to ensure there is no hard-to-hard contact between your weapon and the elements to keep the harmonics in check. If there’s adjustable tension it would help manipulate your weapon from the firing position to level it up without violating NPA. Lastly, the versatility in how you can position the legs is without equal.