A rifle expert knows the value of an accurate shot. An accurate shot is valued as much as the Olympic Gold medal. Achieving accurate shot is not only necessary in Olympic Games, but it also values a lot in war, safeguarding a country and hence, it is of utmost importance. A lot of research has been going on to prevent shaking of hands and to achieve ultimate accuracy while shooting. Many of us might have seen in an army training or army videos, soldiers lying on the ground with a gun in hand. But he does not keep his rifle, machine gun in his hand, rather this gun, machine gun or any other gun rests on a stand. However, many of us do not know what this stand is called and its importance, its history, its types and everything we should be aware of.
Details of Rifle Bipod
Well, first of all, this position is called BIPOD. Bipod, when we bifurcate this word, we get bi which means two and pod which means legs. Hence BIPOD means two feet. The word Bipod was derived from Latin and Greek words.
A Bipod is an attachment that is usually used to attach weapons for accurate shooting. It provides support and keeps the gun steady. It provides stability along two axes of motion, up and down and side to side.
Over the past few years, the world has witnessed the rising popularity of Bipods. Today almost all experienced shooters prefer its usage, and it has almost become next to impossible to find a shooter who doesn’t use this accessory.
A sniper prefers this asset not just because of steadiness and accurateness it provides, but also because it provides a comfortable shooting position. Bipods are not today's assets; these were discovered long ago and have been in use since then.
It is attached to the barrel of a rifle or machine guns or any other heavy weapon. The gun is attached to bipod, and this provides steadiness due to weapon resting on it, and hence balanced firing is obtained. It provides a comfortable position to the shooter.
A Bipod helps you to rest our weapon on ground, wall or any other surface. It increases accuracy and stability while firing. At the same time, it also reduces the chances of a soldier, shooter being fatigued due to the heavy weight of the weapon, recoil jerk of the arm. It also allows aiming accurately at the target before firing.
A bipod has two legs that rest on the ground. Adjusting these legs make it possible for a shooter to change weapons according to their position, height, and other factors and aim accurately at the target before firing. These Bipods provide forward rest and also reduce motion.
These Bipods are of many different types depending on the usage and conditions where they are used. They can be fixed, adjusted, tilted, rotated and folded according to our convenience.
History of Bipods
As described above, Bipod word is derived from Greek and Latin words Bi meaning Two and Pod meaning legs/ foot/ feet.
It’s hard to predict when the first Bipod was used and for what purpose it was used. However, history informs that they were first used in the 12th century. Early European handguns, which was the very first black powder operated hand held a firearm, are seen as original cast iron barrels laid on an angle over short poles in Chinese designs.
The introduction and improvement in rifles and barrels brought development; however, they also possessed a need for an asset to support long, heavy barrels. It was also hard to prove that this improved accuracy since these primitive weapons were mostly used for volley fire.
The two legged support started to appear in use in rifles in the mid 19th century. The first firearm Bipod was used around 1938. Before that, they were mostly used for cameras. Bipods helped photographers to take close up of high-quality terrestrial areas which contributed to making maps and drawing scales.
In the mid 19th century, improvised two legged supports appeared on rifles. These were introduced mainly to benefit frontiers persons who relied on precise accuracy while hunting buffalo and other wild animals. Howard Terpning painted The Long Shot in which he showed Native American hunters resting their rifles on crossed arrows.
The year 1938 was the year of World War II, and hence the use of Bipods in Firearms was first observed during this period. During this time, Bipods were just sticks tied together to give soldiers a platform to rest their heavy weapons. This platform made from sticks helped them to target more accurately while avoiding fatigue.
However, using such Bipods made of sticks or crossed arrows lacked accuracy due to a small range of movement. It was in the 20th century that Bipods that we are familiar with came into full use on both automatic rifles and bolt action. At this time, only hinged legs were bolted onto barrels. Slowly with the expansion of technology, Bipods came up with extending legs, allowing the shooter to adjust the position of the Bipod on uneven surfaces. This made rifle stable on such surfaces and picked up and move the gun and stand with ease.
One of the first companies to manufacture Bipods in bulk as a market product was Harris. Their initial design remained unchanged for over six decades. Later, the introduction of lightweight materials to make Bipods made it lighter. Slowly Weaver and Picatinny rails made Bipods easily attachable and detachable. However, these ultimately added weights to Bipod and bulk to the front of rifles.
The pinnacle of this process is the latest BLK LBL Bipod, integrating lightweight material and a unique barrel through design, making it a revolutionary step in the development of Bipods.
Some Popular Bipod Brands
Since its invention, Bipods have been heavily used by everyone ranging from military to hunters, snipers, all other shooters in games, law enforcement, etc. With growing interest of people in this section, the demand of Bipods has also increased over time.
Many companies develop many models with different price tags and quality standards. However, few have ruled the market for many years. A few amongst them are:
Harris Engineering was founded on 7/11/1979 by Gerald Harris and Susan Wilkerson in Barlow Kentucky. Harris Engineering is one of the most popular Bipod brands. The company makes Bipods in the USA, but people all over the world enjoy its outstanding features. The primary reason why Harris Bipods are shooters choice is its ease of instalment. Many other features include lightweight, easy and fast to deploy, relatively less expensive than other brands, etc. However, while purchasing, one must be careful that whether he has picked Made in China product or Made in USA product. The ones that are made in China are relatively poor quality and are cheaper; therefore it is always advised to shop for USA one.
A survey reported that over 75% shooters used Harris Bipod.
While most of the shooters prefer Harris Bipods, there are a few comparatively that use Atlas Bipods. However, Atlas is the second most preferred brand for Bipods. In a test, amongst 100 shooters, 11 shooters who placed in top 50 preferred Atlas Bipods.
Heading towards the company's past, Atlas Bipods are made by B&T Industries LLC. B&T Industries LLC was founded and first introduced Accushot monopod after facing many trials and challenges in testing prototyping and modelling. The company added Bipod later in 2010 with several patent features.
The company is an American based company. The company claims to have some unique features like new multiple positioning legs, Pan and Cant in a light weight durable package, etc. to stand them out amongst others in the category.
NcStar was founded in 1997 in Southern California. NcStar aims to provide superior quality sporting accessories and optics at affordable prices. NcStar was established in 2010 to create a new brand of products with high-end features and innovation for its customer desires along with high standard customer service and warranty.
UTG held by Leapers, Inc. develops, manufactures and distributes a broad range of innovative and technologically advanced hunting and shooting products which include: tactical bipods, tactical vest, spotting scope, rails, rifle scope rings, and many more. With hard work and good quality products worldwide, UTG has expanded over three different areas in last two decades. UTG is supporting brand which depicts that the products made are in the USA. The company owns a manufacturing plant in the USA and a distribution center in Germany for European sale.
Leapers started UTG pro line of Made in USA products in 2009.
Both NcStar and UTG brand the products manufactured their products in China earlier. They distribute their products at meager rate comparatively, making it affordable for many shooters worldwide.
LRA stands for Long Range Accuracy. They have the best tactical bipods currently. Their Bipods are Herculean, the means massive built comes with a notched leg design and a panning that allows shooters to track the target easily.
Dave Kohnow found LRA. He was inspired to make a better bipod that can withstand more than 14000 ft/lbs of expelled energy by a .50BMG caliber rifle. Not only this, but he also wanted to design bipod such that they can rotate around the barrel axis. They even competed and succeeded in the world's most advanced bipod design.
Versa-Pod Manufacturing is a unit of Keng's Firearms Speciality (KFS Industries) Inc. David Keng established KFS in August 1985 in Georgia. Presently, Versa-Pod holds the original KFS building and manufactures tests, does research and development, assembles, distributes from this location.
Versa-Pod Manufacturers Bipods and other shooting rests for those who demand precision in designs, product integrity and build quality. The company has introduced numerous new bipod models over the past dozen years.
Mostly, tactical shooters prefer Versa-Pod Bipods. Its design and stabilization are made such that it stabilizes gun at the extreme to allow shooters to make most accurate shots. To improve its durability, the company makes use of heavy duty metals in its manufacturing.
Types of Bipods
Bipods are of different kinds and can be classified depending on how far their leg lengths can be extended, which gun they are used on and some other factors.
Well everyone might be thinking what factor does the height play in a Bipod?
Well, it's quite simple. Different height adjustments allow one to come up with more stable and accurate position on various surfaces, whether they are even or uneven. For example, it is not a proper situation for a shooter to shoot with a 6-9 inches bipod on a surface with 19-inch vegetation.
Types of Bipod according to Length
As the name indicates, bipods that come in leg length of 6-9 inches fall under this category. Such Bipods offer five range sizes to choose from and are highly preferred for off the bench shooting. Pistol shooters also prefer these Bipods. One of the most used bipods from this range is Harris S-BRM Hinged Base 6 inch to 9 inch Bipod.
Similar to above bipods, this category consists of bipods that extend from 9 inches to 13 inches. Such Bipods mostly includes four adjustable height settings. These types of bipods are preferred for prone and off the bench shooting. The most used bipod in this category is Harris Hinged Base 9-13 inch Bipod.
These bipods are tall but accurate. Although they are not as tall as bipods used by the cameraman, they are a little bit taller than the bipods that fall in categories as mentioned earlier. As the range indicates, 13 to 24 inches bipods fall under this category and offer many adjustable shooting heights to choose from. Mostly, unusually thick and tall shooters prefer these range bipods. Such bipods are a great help while shooting in snow, hilly areas. The most preferred and recommended bipod in this category is Harris S25C Hinged base 13.5 inches to 25 inch Bipod.
These are the tallest bipods amongst all. The Bipods which fall under this category, their legs can be extended all the way to 62 inches in heights which are equivalent to 5 feet. These bipods are recommended and preferred by those shooters who like to shoot in a sitting or kneeling position.
When do you need a Bipod?
Unlike many shooters, most of the people who love sport related to the shooting are carried away by Bipods. Everyone would like to try it once and once they try it, they are used to its ease. There are many options available nowadays as per ones need. Therefore, it has become quite tough to choose from all available options.
Anyways below we will assist you in all the key factors that one must check before purchasing a Bipod.
If you are a professional shooter and are thinking whether you need to buy a Bipod or not? Well to get the answer, consider yourself whether you have any better options available in the market to support your rifle while shooting.
No! Well, then you surely need to own it. The accessory is designed solely to provide rest to your gun so that while shooting, it does not wobble and remains stable.
Is it always difficult to confirm zero in the absence of a bench rest? Yes! Well, then the Bipod will be your best companion.
Do you find it difficult to shoot accurately on uneven terrains? Yes! Dude, what are you waiting for?? You need to own a Bipod as soon as possible.
The accessory is nothing but just an answer to all above-mentioned problems. It is designed to support shooters on uneven terrains and keep your rifle straight, stable without wobbling and shoot accurately.
Key Factors to consider while Purchasing a Bipod
Everyone thinks a lot before investing money, and when it comes to buying an accessory, interest gets deeper. However if one is new to some section, it becomes a lot difficult to purchase since we are not familiar with the product and its key factors.
To get out of a store with one of the best Bipod to enhance your shooting skills and experience, one must keep few important features and options in mind. If you keep these points in mind while buying a new Bipod, I am sure you won't be disappointed.
One of the most important features that most of the people ignore while purchasing a Bipod is its material. Never ignore it.
During purchasing, always check the material Bipod is made of. For the best deals and comfort, always opt for a light weight material. A Bipod made of durable and light weight material like aluminium is always helpful since they are durable as well as light weight, hence, easy to carry.
Another top factor to consider is the height. Always ensure that the Bipod you are purchasing has adjustable legs. Such bipods allow us to use them on different terrains. All these Bipods are flexible and therefore can be used conveniently. Such Bipods help us to shoot accurately and comfortably without wobbling and adjusting gun or ourselves in different positions like sitting, kneeling, lying, etc.
It is advised to always opt for a bipod that gives a wide range of height adjustment settings as they guarantee to provide comfort at any needed height and terrain.
There are chances that you might need to carry your bipod over your shoulders for a long distance (while shooting in a jungle, tactical shooting). In such situations, a light weight Bipod may be a huge relief for you.
Each pound of weight counts when you travel a long distance on a long trip. Hence a light weight Bipod is always beneficial.
However, do not forget the first factor while opting for a lightweight Bipod. There may be chances that the light weight material is not durable, e.g. plastic. Hence the Bipod is advised to be Durable as well as light weight.
A Bipod without rotating or swivel feature may be disappointing in most of the cases. Such Bipods shall be avoided.
A Bipod that has rotating/swivel feature helps you to obtain a proper shooting position, irrespective of the ground/terrain.
Such Bipods help you to aim accurately at different locations and in different terrain and different areas.
A Bipod that is compatible with a sling is more ease. Not only it helps to attach a sling to the firearm and helps you in carrying, but also it reduces potential damage to the weapon as well as Bipod.
Installing a Bipod on your gun
Installing a Bipod on your gun, especially a rifle can enhance your shooting skills considerably since the rifle will be steady, which is a challenge when you grab it in your hands. Even a small movement while shooting may decrease your shot accuracy.
With Bipod assembled with shooters gun, the gun remains stable, increasing shooters ability to keep it steady. Modern Bipods come with sling swivel stud on the stock, and their height can also be adjusted.
Now, many of us might be thinking it is easy to install a Bipod by ourselves, and there is no need for any instructions for doing so. Let me inform you that the way in which one introduces a Bipod to their rifle determines whether they will be getting the necessary stability. Thus it is of utmost importance. Many Bipods even come without a user guide. Even with those that come with a user guide, many times these user guides are less helpful as they are not based on the rifle you are going to use your Bipod with.
First of all, there are three types of Bipod available in the market. Some come with a swivel stud that can be attached to the rifle, for example, Harris Bipods. Some work in the absence of a Pica-tinny Rail while the rest connect directly to the stock of the gun.
How to attach your rifle to the Bipod
First of all, make sure that your gun is unloaded.
Note that the below-mentioned process will help you to install your Bipod to your rifle regardless of the Bipod and Rifle types.
Next, remove the sling swivel from the front stud affixed in stock. In most of the Bipods with sling swivels, sling swivels can be eliminated by just pressing one side of the swivel. Pressing the side of swivel will unlock its retention pin and allow one to remove it from the stud. For those whose rifle comes without a stud, either install one or attach a stud adapter to your weapon.
Next step, is to loosen the screw on the bottom side of the bipod. It will release tension from the Bipod's clamp.
Now place the clamp on the stud. The retention pins located in the clamps interior should insert into both the sides of the hole.
Now tighten the screw on the bottom of the Bipod. It will cause the clamp to secure on the stud.
Once the screw is tightened, place the sling swivel that you removed earlier. Place this sling swivel onto the stud located on the underside of the Bipod. Doing so will allow the rifle sling to work.
That's it! You have completed the mission to affix your Bipod to your Rifle.
Using a Bipod: Tips and Techniques
As discussed a couple of times earlier, a steady rest can produce an accurate rifle shot. A Bipod is an accessory that creates this regular rest and can be helpful if the shooter keeps one important fact in mind: If a Rifle is placed in contact with a hard object and allowed to recoil freely on the shot, it will shoot away from that object.
Attaching a Bipod to the Rifle's fore end makes it a part of a gun. If the Bipod is placed on a hard object and allowed to recoil freely, the results will be different from those in which fore end itself was touching this hard object.
The tip to success lies here, to achieve consistent stability and accurateness, do not place a bipod on a hard surface. Keep the legs as low to the ground as possible. It will minimize their flex while the bullet is still in the barrel. Now lean slightly into the rifle to pre-stress the Bipod legs and firm their setting.
Although finding a soft surface is not always easy, it’s possible. Do not always aim to place a Bipod on a flat rock; rather look for a patch of soft dirt, mud. In case you cannot find one, make one. Making your soft trench to place the Bipod will also make it easier to lean into the rifle to set the Bipod legs by providing an edge to push against and flex it without selling the gun.
Get yourself in a stable position
One of the most frequent blunders that most of the shooters make while using a Bipod is keeping themselves loose. If you are not steady, how can your gun be, even if it is fixed to a Bipod? Make yourself stable. This will resist your arm from shaking.
Practice is the key to success
With the lack of practice of using Bipod, one cannot become a pro and shoot with accuracy. Unlike other shooting accessories, practicing shooting with Bipod attached will make you perfect and perform better in hunting, shooting competitions and other tactical operations.
Avoid Unnecessary Adjustments
Bipod itself is manufactured to make changes the nearby environment cannot support. It helps to get rid of uneven terrains and vegetations.
In such conditions, making necessary adjustments might help in shooting. However, making unnecessary body changes may hinder the target and make your shot inaccurate.
Cleaning and Maintaining Your Bipod
A good care of your Bipod will help it to serve you for a longer period. Below mentioned are few tips on cleaning and steps to take so that your Bipod serves you longer.
Keep your Bipod clean
The user must make sure that their Bipod is always kept clean. Never forget to clean it after usage. Many cleaning materials can be used and are available in local stores.
Cleaning is strongly recommended as Bipods are made of movable parts, legs. There is high chance that small particles such as sand, dust, small rocks, etc. enter these parts. If you don't remove this debris, it might slowly get blocked and hence barricade you in future to move parts.
Drying is necessary
Drying is another recommended tip. There are many chances that your Bipod faces wet situations while shooting in fields or wet terrains. In such cases, if these water droplets remain on Bipod parts, it may cause rusting. Rusting on movable parts such as screws, springs may reduce Bipod efficiency.
Therefore if you haven't dried it yet, better start it from today itself. Drying can be done with the help of dry cleaning solvents.
Lubrication is the healing to every movable part. Lube makes it easy to use. The absence of sufficient lubrication may result in jamming loose parts such as extending legs, locking and unlocking Bipods, etc. Grease is an excellent lubricant which has been used for many years.
Always follow the manufacturer rules while using a Bipod. If manufacturer rules state or recommends not to do something, do not take any action opposing it. In such cases, it is always better to calm down your curiosity or else you may lose your Bipod.
Not to mention that after every time you use your Bipod, do not forget to scrutinize every part of Bipod. Check its locking and unlocking action, expand-ability of legs and functionality before packing it.
Taking a proper inspection and following all tips as mentioned earlier will keep your Bipod healthy and give it a longer life.
Fabricating a Bipod
Making a shooting stick Bipod is a way to customize it as per our own needs. If you are a person, who loves to experiment different things, making your own Bipod will be fun as well as economical. These self-made Bipods work in the same manner and provides the same accuracy, just all you need is practice.
Here's the list of items that we need if we are manufacturing our own Bipod.
Woods that are ¾ square inch and 38 to 40 inches long
Sharp tooth saw
A bit and a drill
Nut and Bolt of ¼ inches
One wing nut
2 Leather strips: ½ inch wide and 6-8 inches long
Hot glue gun
Rubber furniture tips
To make your own Bipod, start with two blocks of wood of ¾ inches. Place these two kinds of wood on a solid, flat work surface. Please ensure that these woods are straight and have minimum knots, cracks as these can weaken the wood. Determine the length of the legs of wood according to your usage. Usually, the starting point is around 38 inches. Trim your wood with the help of tooth saw.
Next step is to sand the length of the wood with medium and fine sandpaper. Pay particular attention to the edges while rubbing with sandpaper. Rub sandpaper along the entire wood length to remove any rough areas that may cause splinters.
Mark a point 5-6 inches from the end of both lengths of wood with the help of a tape and pencil. Drill a hole with 3/8 inch bit through both lengths of wood at the marked point.
Place a washer on a ¼ inch bolt and insert the bolt through one stick. Put a washer on the bolt and slide it next to the wooden length.
Insert this, both into another wood through the hole.
Fix both the wood by placing the washer and adjust the nut. Tighten the nut and then put a wing nut at the end to lock the nut. This wing nut acts as a lock against the nut and prevents it from sliding during use.
Spread the longer side of the legs apart and place the shorter X right in front of you. This will be the shooting support end. Apply a thin bead of hot glue to the inner side of X where the gun shall rest. Place a leather strip on this glue and press it to stick it at the correct place.
Repeat for the other side of the X where the gun rests while shooting.
Now turn the stick Bipod so that the larger X is up. Place small furniture tips on the end of each wood to protect the wood and increase stability.
Bipod vs. Shooting Sticks
A bipod or a shooting stick? This is the most confusing question as many of us feel that both work the same. Well, both the accessories work exemplary well. However, both have their advantages and disadvantages in certain situations.
On one hand, where, shooting sticks are easy to attach and detach on guns and fits well in small bag space, it has some disadvantages too. These include greater disability as compared to Bipods. Moreover, they cannot be even deployed for prone shooting positions.
On the other hand, a Bipod is more stable and suitable for long range shooting. Moreover, a Bipod is the most appropriate accessory for prone shooting positions.
However, some people find bipods unwieldy.
Bipods vs. Sandbags
Similarly, when we compare a Bipod and a Sandbag, different experts have different thoughts. Some people prefer Bipods, and some opt for Sandbags, whereas there are some who say that both tools are ideal as per shooting areas, activities.
Anyways, they also prefer Bipod when stability is concerned. Some experts informed that the level of confidence that a Bipod offers is far and beyond the stability provided by a sandbag.
A sandbag is preferred in regions with short vegetations, especially if one is shooting off the bench or on the ground.
But when it comes to tall plants, a Bipod is the first choice. Not only this, a Bipod is even preferable for prone and long range shooting regions.