The Skinny on the Bipods
Bipods basically come it two flavors. They’re either small, tactical ones, and big, “take-the-place of shooting sticks” bipods. When it comes to the small size, I have one clear favorite. I have been using the Accu-Tac SR-5 Quick Detach for six months now, and I love it.
My first question while testing bipods is always how durable are they? A few years ago at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge, I watched my squad break more expensive bipods. They were dropping like flies, much to the chagrin of the owners. Price does not always mean quality. So as soon as I got my Accu-Tac’s, I immediately began abusing them. I am happy to report, they have stood every test I have thrown them. I have broken just about everything on Earth you shouldn’t, including a kettlebell and two Glocks. These things are tough.
For tips and training tactics of how to load the bipod — check out our video.
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- Type: SR-5 Quick Detach
- Material: Aircraft Aluminum
- Finish: Flat black hard-coat anodized
- Height: 6.25 in. – 9.75 in.
- Stance: 11 in. – 13 in.
- Weight: 20.3 oz.
- MSRP: $276
- Manufacturer: Accu-Tac
I met the owner of Accu-Tac at SHOT show, and he is a man committed to building a quality product. The SR-5 is cut from billet aircraft grade aluminum and features a wide stance for stability. It looks chunky, but in reality, weighs almost nothing. The legs independently ratchet, offering a wide range of options. The fact that the bipod will lock in 180 degrees has really grown on me. It presents options not found in contenders. The same bipod will suffice for prone, a reverse load or the legs forward press into a barrier. The legs extend and lock with a simple pull, offering a height range from 6 inches to 10 inches. The press of a button retracts them with a spring loaded action, making one-handed operation a breeze. The quick detach lever is simple and secure, with a cam over the lock to ensure your bipods stay put. The QD is a godsend if you swap them between rifles as often as I do. AccuTac makes the best bipod on the market today for tactical applications.
I have never been much of a user of tall bipods or shooting sticks, mostly because of my hobbies and my job. My war was mostly Urban Combat or desert, so not a huge need for tall bipods there. And when I lived back East, I didn’t do much hunting. I can see, however, the need for such a thing. Even in the sagebrush which inhabits everything where I live, short bipods often aren’t enough. I have used shooting sticks before, and the learning curve can be steep. Last week, I was introduced to a product that works much better. Enter, the Swagger Bipod system.
- Type: Field Model
- Height: 6.75 in. – 29 in.
- Weight: 23.9 oz.
- MSRP: $200
- Manufacturer: Swagger Bipods
- Type: Tree Stand/Blind Model
- Height: 9.75 in. – 41.25 in.
- Weight: 25.78 oz.
- MSRP: $220
- Manufacturer: Swagger Bipods
The Swagger models are absolutely massive, but they pack a lot of punch. The Field model extends to 29 ¼ inches, while the treestand model extends to an insane 41 ¼ inches. The legs lock with twist locks, similar to what you might find on a camera tripod. This offers limitless variation in the adjustable height. The internals include bungee cord to help keep tension and coil springs where the bipods lock-in.
The springs offer a fantastic balance of tension, with the ability to move. Swagger calls this Crazy Legs technology, and it works. While the Swagger does not offer the stability of a prone, traditional bipod, neither does anything else. The Swagger blows the doors off any shooting sticks I have ever seen, and is simple to use. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about your position collapsing under recoil. I was initially skeptical of the Swagger, but in use, I found it very stable. It is a fantastic balance of rigidity and movement. You can hold a support hand on the base of the bipod, and you are steady enough for a difficult shot. Release, and you can easily track targets at a high rate of speed. Swagger says they expand your shooting zone, and that is absolutely true. Even without external support, folding the bipod legs into your torso makes a standing shot much more likely to connect.
Bipods are tools, and tools have different applications. Both of these options have a place, and it is worth your time to check them out.
For more information about Swagger bipods, click here.
For more information about AccuTac bipods, click here.
To purchase bipods, bipod feet and bases, click here.