This week I had the opportunity to test a really nifty product for an extremely small niche in the firearms accessory market. There is a specific type of rear sling loop made for the AR-15 A2 type buttstock. It is steel, and bolts on at a specific angle. And because the loop is fairly rugged, an extremely inventive gun nut came up with the idea to make it a mounting point for a rear stabilizing monopod. Packaged in a nice hard plastic case, at $109 it isn’t an inexpensive new toy, but for the guy who has everything… including an A2 buttstock, the AR Monopod might just be the right thing.
Mounting the monopod is easy. The housing has a steel ear that slips inside the mil-spec ring (mil-spec means they are all the same). You secure the monopod to the rifle with an included and attached Velcro strap. The monopod ball screws into the mount, and that is pretty much it. It works as designed, and the monopod is stable enough to make a difference in your shooting.
The problem with AR-15 rifles is that they are so light. You have probably seen in most of our testing that we use a Caldwell Lead-Sled to stabilize all of our rifles on the bench. I was not able to match the Caldwell groups with the monopod, using an Atlas Bipod on the front, but compared to the bipod alone I felt it was easier to shoot more consistently. Some match competitions allow monopods, so, with practice using the monopod, there is a good chance it would increase your scores.
The only real issue with the product is that the ring is very easy to bend once you have the mounting unit attached. It acts as a lever, so even leaning into your shots will bend it. What was once a tight Velcro strap becomes a loose Velcro strap, which you have to cinch up again. You can of course just use the same lever to bend the steel ring back, but eventually that is going to metal fatigue it and break it off. They are however easily replaceable. You can get the standard part at Brownells and most places that stock AR parts.
Some collapsible stock ARs come with a steel ring like the A2, but be careful and make sure that it is steel. I broke a plastic ring off on one of my Diamondback rifles that had a lookalike ring in a Tapco stock.
My take on the AR Monopod is that it a pretty good product that does what it is supposed to do. Is it worth the money? You decide, and please comment below.