Do we really 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 being savvy with the latest technology toys in the market, you are bombarded with questions about these attachments from those who believe you to be an expert. Whether or not they are worth buying, if you are a passionate hunter the answer is absolute!
Attaching this accessory to the front of your firearm makes it a part of it. When you place it on a hard surface and allow to recoil freely, the results will be little different than if the front end of your firearm was touching that hard surface. The rifle will send the shots high. The key to achieving consistent accuracy, however, is not to place it on a hard surface. Keep the legs set as low to the ground as possible to minimize their flex while the bullet is still in the barrel. Lean slightly into the firearm to "pre-stress" the legs and firm up their set and use a consistent grip on the firearm. Finding such a soft surface isn't always easy, but not impossible. Resist the impulse to place the legs on a convenient flat rock. Instead, look for a patch of soft dirt, or create your own. Many experienced shooters will scrape out a shallow depression in hardened surface dirt to reach softer soil below. Placing the legs in that shallow trench also makes it easier to lean into the weapon to set the legs by providing an edge to push against and flex without pushing the gun away.
You need to select your attachment carefully. 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. The firearm 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 issue effectively. Choosing the right make and type is not rocket science. Some may be huge and goofy, others perhaps lighter and compact but pick what works best for you and not against you.
A bipod is a great tool, but like any other, it has to be used correctly.