Right, Ive been meaning to post this for a while!
What follows is a step-by-step guide of how to make the most stable shooting sticks you will ever use for about £10 !!
Firstly, get down to a DIY type garden centre and purchase 4 of their 1.8m plastic coated garden canes (which are actually metal tubes). They cost about £2.50 each.
1. Select 2 of them which we will then shorten by 2-4" depending upon your height. You should see a small ridge at about 1cm from the flat top end of the stick which is where the blanking plug meets the metal tube. Cut gently around this with a stanley knife and remove the plug with a pair of pliers or grips.
2. Next, mark a line around the tube where you will then cut with a hacksaw. I remove 4" and I'm about 5' 10". If you are taller, you should remove 2" and see how they fit. You can actually get canes longer than 1.8m if you are VERY tall! Refit plug and glue it in or use tape as shown. You should now have 2 longer and 2 shorter ones:
3. Next, we need to secure the poles together in pairs as shown below. You can do this with any stretchy type material which will last. I have used some fairly thin Bungy cord on these with a simple clove hitch and reef knot with a 'glob' of gorilla glue in the reef knot to stop it coming undone. I have also used car inner tube cut into strips, exhaust support rubber, large 'O' rings/Grommets and 'Martingale' rubber rings which you can get from horse tack shops. Any method will work, but dont do it too tight or you'll not be able to open them!
4. Next you need to orientate the sticks to suit whether you are left or right handed. Shown below is for right handed - so that the shorter stick is where your face will be when in the aim. We did this to both so that they will always be this way whichever way around you have the sticks!
5. You now need to secure the bottom ends of the sticks together by the same method. (Note - you are now joining the two pairs together and not tying the same stick together at both top and bottom!)
6. You are now ready to mount your rifle onto them and work out the best distance to have them set apart. Once you have discovered what suits you best, place a length of cord over the longer uprights so that your sticks will then open to this distance every time. The wider you can get them the better really as it will provide more stability. As a guide, I find that just inside the front and rear sling studs is about right.
You now have a set of very practical sticks!
They can also be opened and used as a normal 'twin stick' bipod for close or hurried shots. They are light to carry and also serve as a single stick when bunched together for steadying binos. For kneeling or sitting shots, simply open the bottom ends wider and you have height adjustment!
You may find them slightly awkward to begin with, but a bit of practice with a rimfire after bunnies or similar and you will never want to use anything else!
Because both the back and front of the stock are supported, you will find that you can shoot as good from these as you can from the prone position! They can only really move fore-and-aft so you should keep your feet in more of a fore-and-aft position to aid stability also. Better still if you can get you back against a tree or similar. These are great for stalking in flat open countryside as a standing shot gives more look-down angle for safety than sitting or kneeling. However, you will find that they are so solid from the standing position that you will never need to kneel or sit again! I can easily group 1" off these at 100m!