Bipod 101: Everything You Wanted To Know About It!
The rise of the popularity of the bipods has been witnessed over the past decades. Today it’s impossible to find an experienced shooter who does not have this gun accessory in their shooting kits.
It has just become a vital asset that every hunter uses to obtain a comfortable shooting position and make consistently accurate shots.
The use of bipods has not started today:
There’s some interesting history behind it.
In this bipods 101 article, we’re going to inform you on how the bipods come to be. In addition to this, we’re also going to inform you of the most important information you need to know about all the bipods exist today.
Ready to learn everything there is to know about bipods?
Great! Here we go:
What Is A Bipod and Why You Need One?
In simple words, a bipod is a two-legged stand that is attached to the barrel of a rifle or any other heavy weapon. The main work of the bipod is to steady the weapon resting on it and hence facilitate a balanced firing.
Usually, the bipod allows you to fire in a comfortable position.
Do you already have a bipod for your rifle?
Here’s why you need to acquire one ASAP…
A bipod permits you to rest your weapon on any object, e.g. ground or wall. It reduces the chances of being fatigued while at the same time increases your accuracy and stability.
Bipods also allow you to aim accurately at your target before firing. This is made possible by the fact that most bipods have adjustable legs which you can adjust to obtain a proper shooting position.
Most bipods also allow you o tilt and rotate your gun from left to right to improve your accuracy.
The History of Bipods: Who, When and How Was the First Bipod Invented?
The word bipod comes from Greek and Latin words “bi” and “pod.” Bi means two while pod refers to the foot/feet. The first firearm bipod was used around 1938. Before that, bipods were only used for cameras. They allowed the photographers to take high-quality close-up terrestrial which could be used to make maps and drawing scales.
The year 1938 coincides with the Second World War era. It means that the use of bipods started in this period. They were utilized in the form of sticks tied together to give soldiers a simple platform to rest their heavy weapons. The bipods enabled them to take more accurate shots while at the same time helping avoid fatigue.
What are Some Popular Bipod Brands?
The use of bipods is on the rise- from the military to law enforcement, hunters, snipers, and all the other shooters are using them. The market has, in turn, responded swiftly to this demand.
That’s why you’ll find that all types of bipods populate the market. However, there are some top brands that rule the market with their high-end bipods.
These brands are:
1. Harris Engineering Bipods: this is one of the most popular bipods in the market. The bipods are made in the USA and enjoy wide usage across the world due to their outstanding features. The primary benefits of Harris bipods are that they’re easy to install, fast to deploy, lightweight, and relatively inexpensive compared to other brands.
While still at it, it’s important to note that there are Made in China and the Real/Genuine Harris bipods. Needless to say, the ones made in China are of poor quality. It’s, therefore, important to be very careful when shopping for a Harris bipod to avoid landing on the poor quality ones.
2. Atlas Bipods: Also manufactured in the USA. The manufacturers of this bipods claim to offer unique features in their products that put them in a category of their own. One of these unique features is legs that move independently.
3. NcStar/UTG Bipods: These bipods brands are made in China. They’re offered at extremely low prices, making them affordable for on the budget shooters. They’re also very effective when put to use.
4. LRA bipod: LRA bipods have the best tactical bipods you’ll ever come across. Period. They’re sufficiently sturdy, comes with notched legs design, and a panning t allow you to track your target easily.
5. Versa-Pod Bipod: This bipod is popular among tactical shooters. It is made in such a way that it steadies your gun to allow you to make the most precise shots. It’s made in the USA using heavy duty metals to improve its durability.
Types of Bipod and Their Usage
Different types of bipods can be classified depending on how far their leg lengths can be extended. Why does the bipod height matter?
Simply because different height adjustments allow you to come up with more stable and accurate shooting positions from the ground you’re working on. For example, you cannot use a 9 leg-length bipod while you’re shooting from an 18-inch vegetation.
Types of Bipods According to Leg Length
1. 6-9 inches bipod: bipods in this category extend from 6 to 9 inches. This means that they offer you 5 height settings to choose from. The bipods are highly recommended for off the bench shooting. Pistol shooters also highly depend on them.
A good example of such bipods is the Harris S-BRM Hinged Base 6”- 9” bipod.
2. 9- 13 inches bipod: this category comprises of bipods that extend from 9 to 13 inches. As such, you’ll be able to enjoy up to 4 height settings when using bipods that fall into this category. The bipods work best when used for prone and off the bench shooting.
The overall best bipod in this category is the Harris Hinged base 9”-13” bipod.
3. 13-24 inches bipod: these bipods are a bit taller than all the other bipods we’ve discussed above. They extend from 13 to 24 inches, offering you as many shooting heights to choose from. If you’re an unusually heavy or tall shooter, you’ll find these bipods of worth. If your shooting activities are mainly restricted to snow areas, these bipods will be of great service to you.
Overall best bipod in this category is Harris S25C Hinged base 13.5”- 25” bipod.
4. 25- 62 Inches bipod: here, you’ll find the longest of all bipods. Their leg length can be extended all the way to 62 inches. That translates to about 5 feet! Now, if you prefer to shoot while sitting or kneeling, this bipod will give you a comfortable position to do so.
The overall best bipod in this category is Primos Pole Cat 25” -62” Tall Monopod.
Note that you can also use this monopod as a walking stick if the terrain you’re walking on becomes unbearable.
How to Determine Whether You Need A Bipod Or Not?
If you’re like many other shooters, you might have been carried by the bipods storm. Everyone is talking bipods. And now you’re not sure whether you should buy one or simply forget them. The market has many of them on different models and prices. How do you cope up with this storm?
The only way to go through this is to think carefully about it- do you really need a bipod? Here are some top questions to guide you through:
Do you have better means of supporting your rifle while shooting?
If the answer to the above question is NO, then you desperately need a bipod in your life. The accessory is solely made to give your gun a stable, non-wobbling support.
Do you always find it difficult to confirm zero in the absence of a bench rest?
If yes, a bipod can be your best companion in this.
Do you always dream of shooting accurately on the uneven terrains?
Yes? Boy, you need to secure a bipod ASAP! It’s a true accuracy enhancing tool that lets you shoot like a pro.
Things to Look For Before Buying a Bipod
To ensure that you end up with a good bipod, there are some important features and options that you should away be on the lookout. This ensures that you don’t buy a low-quality bipod that makes you regret for the rest of your life.
The most important features to look for when purchasing a bipod are:
1. Adjustable Height
One of the top factors you should always look for in any bipod you intend to buy is the adjustable legs feature. A bipod whose legs are extendable allows you to use it in different situations.
In other words, the feature makes the bipod flexible. You can therefore conveniently use to shoot accurately and comfortably from either prone or sitting positions.
Always go for a bipod that gives you a wide range of steady height settings to choose from. It ensures that you can use the bipod at any needed height.
What materials are used to construct the bipod?
Always ask yourself this question before buying a bipod. For the best deal, always go for bipods that have been made from durable and lightweight materials such as aluminum.
Such bipods have proved to last for many years of use in the fields compared to the cheap plastic bipods.
3. Rotating/Swivel Feature
Does the bipod you’re eying house a rotating or swivel stud feature?
If no, that’s a red flag. Avoid that bipod by all means. Why is this important? A rotating rifle bipod enables you to gain a stable shooting position, even when you’re working from a restrictive ground.
As such, you can easily level the cross hairs of your scope and get the best accuracy.
4. Lightweight Construction
Sometimes, you might need to carry your bipod for long distances- especially if you’re a hunter, or you’re occupied with tactical shooting activities.
Going for a lightweight bipod that is easy to carry is, therefore, important. Remember that each additional pound will count during the long days you spent in the fields.
But again, ensure that the lightweight bipod is made from durable materials.
5. Rifle Sling Compatibility
If you buy a bipod that allows you to attach a sling to your firearm, carrying the rifle becomes extremely easy. Also, this reduced potential damage to you bipod or rifle.
For example, Harris bipods, which attaches to a sling swivel mount, come with an extra sling mount that enables you to use the sling when the bipod is attached to the rifle.
How to Install A Bipod On Your Rifle?
The way in which you install a bipod to your rifle is very important. It determines if you’ll get the stability you’re looking for. It also determines whether you’ll shoot your target accurately.
Some bipods that you buy will come with a user manual that guides you into how to fix the Bipod to your rifle. Others do not have the user guides.
At times, you might find the user guides to be less helpful to you given that the manufacturer didn’t put your specific rifle needs into account when writing them.
So, how do you install a bipod on your rifle?
TO help you out, we have come up with a step by step guide on how to do this.
Do you have your bipod and rifle beside you?
Great! Lest start out:
Pause a moment!
As you know, there are different types of bipods in the market right now. Some attach to a swivel stud on your rifle (Harris Bipods are a good example); others only work in the presence of a picatinny rail: while others attach directly to the stock of your rifle.
Regardless of the bipod you’re using, however, the following guide help to you understand how you can fix it on your gun.
Let’s see how you can attach each to your rifle successfully:
1. Start by removing the sling swivel from your rifle. Most sling swivels are simply removed by pressing one side of the swivel to unlock the retention pin. This enables you to remove the sling from the stud.
NOTE: if you rifle stock does not come with a pre-installed stud feature, you have two options to make. One, you can opt to install one or attach a high quality stud adapter (readily available in the market) to your rifle.
2. Now that you have the stud ready in your bipod, turn to your bipod. Loosen the screw on your bipod’s bottom part. This helps release the tension from the bipod’s clamp.
3. it’s time to mate the stud and the clamp! Place the clamp on your weapon’s stud. For this to be successful and perfect, the retention pins suited in the clamp’s interior must insert into the two sides of the stud opening.
4. Next, tighten the screw on the bottom part of the bipod. This enables the bipod’s clamp to secure properly to your rifle stud.
5. The final step in installing the bipod on your rifle involves placing the sling swivel that you removed at the beginning of the installation process. Place the sling on the under part of your bipod. Keep in mind that this step allows you to continue using your weapon’s sling even with a bipod in place.
You’re good to go! You have just fixed a bipod on your rifle successfully. It’s that easy. Now make a few adjustments to help you aim at your target accurately and ultimately fire a perfect shot.
Bipod Shooting Tips: How to Use It Properly?
In this section, we’re going to share some shooting tips to help you shoot wisely. If you follow these tips religiously, you’ll never have to blame your bipod again for not performing properly.
Ready to learn bipod shooting to help you never miss that deer again? Great! Here we go:
Start by Getting Solid
How on earth do you get solid?
One of the most frequent errors 90% s shooters make when using a bipod is not steadying themselves. This is the best way to miss your target.
When you’re steady, your gun also becomes steady. Otherwise, your gun will wobble and help you shoot miserably.
While there’s no top formula for getting yourself steady, there are many ways to do so. Even if it means supporting yourself on a rock, tree or lying on the ground- do everything you can to get a sturdy rest.
Practice Practice Makes Perfect
If you only pull out your bipod when you’re going on a hunting spree, shooting competition or any tactical operation, you might not become a pro in the use of bipod for accuracy any time soon. This is simply because you don’t spend time with the accessory to understand how it works.
Like any another shooting accessory, a bipod requires you to practice using it regularly. As such, you’ll familiarize yourself with the tool thoroughly, and get to know you can get the most out of it.
Make ONLY the necessary adjustments
After all, what’s the importance of a bipod?
It is simply a tool to help you shoot precisely. It does this by allowing you to make adjustments that match the environment you’re shooting from. It helps compensate for the unfair uneven terrains and vegetations.
If you make the necessary adjustments that help you overcome poor shooting environments or help you shoot in the most stable position, you’ll definitely hit the bull’s eye!
Resist the Impulse to Settle the Bipod on Hard Surfaces
Another grave error that many shooters make is here. It is placing the bipod legs on flat rock surfaces as it seems more promising in terms of delivering nice shots.
But this is completely false. If you want to get the best out of your bipod, always place it patch of soft dirt or make your own (as the experienced shooters do). Doing this helps you flex the bipod as you wish, make finer adjustments, and eventually shoot like a pro.
Additional tips to keep your game-high when using bipods include setting your bipod legs as low to the ground as possible (helps improve stability), leaning slightly on the rifle to pre-stress the bipod legs and firm them, and using a consistent grip on your rifle.
A bipod is an accuracy enhancing tool that does so correctly when used properly. Follow the above steps and start experiencing successful shooting sessions.
Bipod Maintaining Tips: How To Take Care of it?
If you want your bipod to serve you for a long time, then you have to make this possible by taking good care of it. Follow the tips outlined below to help take good care of your bipod:
Always clean your bipod after use
There are many cleaning materials for this task and you can easily find one at the local store. Cleaning your bipod is highly recommended as it helps removes particles that might have entered between the movable parts such as sand, small rocks and so on. If you don’t remove this debris, it might pose a challenge to you whenever you try to move the movable parts to suit your needs.
Do you dry your bipod after use?
If not, you need to start doing from today. It’s common to encounter wet situations when you’re shooting in the fields. If this water enters in your bipod and you don’t dry it, it might cause rusting of the springs, screws, and other mobile parts. The end result is that the bipod efficiency will reduce.
The best way to dry-clean your bipod is with the help of dry cleaning solvents.
Grease Your Bipod Often
Before you set out to mount the bipod on your rifle, ensure that it’s sufficiently lubricated. Grease is an excellent lubricant that has been used to lubricate bipods for years. A lubricated bipod is very easy to use.
Extending the legs, locking and unlocking the bipod, etc are some the tasks that you’ll be able to carry out easily with an oiled bipod
Follow the Manufacturer Instructions
Always operate the bipod as per the manufacturer rules. If there’s something the manufacturer limits you to do with the bipod, don’t let you curiosity lead you to trying it. You might end up damaging the bipod and encounter losses in the process.
The Final Tip
After each use, always take time to inspect whether you bipod is still healthy. The best way to do this is to check its functionality, locking/unlocking action, legs extend properly, etc. if you do this always, you’ll take an appropriate action in time and set the bipod ready for the next task.
How To Make Your Own Bipod? (DIY)
If you’re a handy guy who likes experimenting different things, we have come up with a DIY guide to help you find a bipod of your own.
Keep in mind that the bipod we’re going to do works just like the modern bipods. It helps minimizes the movements of your rifle so that you can make more precise and accurate alignments of your scope cross hairs.
Above all, a homemade is economical!
Here’s how to come up with your own bipod that works like a Harris:
Things you’ll need –
- Fine tooth saw
- Drill and bit
- 1/4-inch bolt
- 1 nut
- 3 washers
- Two lengths of wood (3/4 inch square and 38”-40” long)
- Hot glue gun
- Sandpaper (medium and fine grit)
- Rubber furniture tips
- One wing nut
- Two leather strips (1/2” wide, 6”-8” long)
1. Place the two lengths of wood on a sturdy work surface (ensure that the two wood lengths are straight, have no cracks and knots that could weaken the wood).
With the help of fine tooth saw, cut the woods to the length of the bipod you want to come up with.
2. Suing both medium and fine grit sandpapers, sand the two wood lengths, paying particular attention to their edges. Ensure you remove all the rough areas along the entire lengths of both kinds of wood that might cause splinters.
3. With the aid of a pencil and tape measure, mark a point that lies between 5 and 6 inches from the ends of both kinds of wood. Drill a hole using the 3/8-inch bit through the lengths of both kinds of wood at the marked points.
4. Place a washer on the ¼-inch bolt and insert the bolt through one of the woods. Place a washer on the bolt and gently carefully slide it next to your wooden length. The washer acts as a pivot point for both sticks. Attach the other wooden length by inserting the bolt via the drilled hole.
5. Place a washer on the bolt, followed by a nut, to put the two sticks together. Use a wing nut to lock against the nuts by threading it on the end of the bolt after the nut. This helps secure the two sticks together during use.
6. Now place the bipod in such a position that the short end of the X shape (or the shooting support end) faces upwards. Apply a thin bead of the hot glue on this platform. Place a leather strip on the glue and press into place. Repeat this process for the other end of X.
7. Finally, position the bipod such that the large end of X is up. Place the rubber furniture tips on the base of each stick to offering protection to the wood as well as improve the bipod’s stability.
That’s it! You now have a homemade bipod.
Bipod vs. Shooting sticks
A bipod or a shooting stick… which one should you use while shooting? Both accessories work exemplary well, BUT in specific situations.
A shooting stick is widely preferred since you can attach and detach your gun instantly. It also fits well in your bag, making it easy to carry.
However, a shooting stick has some disadvantages. It’s less stable compared to the bipods and cannot be deployed for prone shooting positions.
A bipod, on the other hand, is more stable, suitable for long range shooting, and is the most appropriate for prone shooting positions.
Some people, however, find bipods to be cumbersome.
Bipod vs. Sandbags
And now to the bipods vs. sandbags: which one is more suitable for your shooting activity? As an expert shooter will admit, both tools are ideal for your shooting activities. However, the level of stability offered by a bipod when compared to that of a sandbag is far and beyond.
In general, if you’re shooting groups off the bench/ or you’re working on a ground with short vegetation, sandbags are highly recommended.
If the vegetation proves too tall, however, a bipod will do the job well. On top of this, it works well for prone and long range shooting.
FAQ About Bipods
1. What bipod does the US military use?
Ans. Us army highly values the Harris bipods. It is due to their highly level of flexibility, durability.
2. What bipod should I buy for my AR-15?
Ans. The best bipod for your AR-15 rifle is CVLIFE 9-13 inches Rifle Bipod. It comes with a professional design that stabilizes your AR-15 rifle for more accurate shots.
3. What Bipod Should I Buy for Remington 700?
Ans. The best bipod for your Remington 700 is UTG Tactical OP Bipod. It’s a durable and affordable bipod that fits perfectly well with your Remington 700 rifle.
That’s everything you need to know about bipods. This post gives straight answers to all queries you might have about bipods. From their history, types, buying guides, how to make you own bipod, frequently asked questions and so much more.
Great write-up on bipods. It helped me make a decision on 6-9″ 0r 9-13″. Cheers.