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Thread: Shooting from camera tripods?

  1. #1

    Shooting from camera tripods?

    I've been looking at some of the shooting videos from the US on Youtube, and a few forums too, and have noticed that camera tripods seem to be quite popular among many of the long range shooters and hunters.

    Instead of a camera many of them are using a HOG Saddle (a small clamp or vice designed to hold the rifle), or some equivalent device.

    Has anyone here used anything like this? Is it purely a sniper's or target shooter's thing, or could it have any relevance for hunters in Europe?

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    Image url:

    HOG Saddle website: Hog Saddle‚„Ę by Shadow Tech LLC

    Longish but quite informative video on the types of tripod and how to use them:

  2. #2
    I've used a Manfrotto tripod as a rest while shooting squirrels at a feeder. had my back against a tree and the air rifle on a bar that screws onto the place where the camera goes. Haven't tried it with firearms yet but I don't see a problem.

    It's quite a heavy tripod though, one of their larger models, wouldn't want to be carrying it all day.

  3. #3
    I used a manfrotto for the sitting/kneeling supported sections of the RBL match this year , quite stable and extra stable if you support your strong arm on a rucksac as well
    Right where's those stones , I'll start !

  4. #4
    I would rather put the extra, and get a quad pod, especially the Hammond, not cheap, but sturdy & reliable

  5. #5
    I have been using a Manfrotto tripod for lamping and daytime foxing for a number of years in certain places where I have found it best to sit or stand in ambush. The tripod is one of the larger models so is sturdy enough to use when standing but weighs 7-8 lbs and is difficult to deploy quickly and, therefore, not suited for walk and stalk. I have made a sort of cradle which is quite simple, consisting of two foldable V shaped rests on a length of aluminium tubing with a Manfrotto QD fitting and fits onto the ball head to hold the rifle.
    I don't, however, shoot off the cradle directly, as shown on those UTube videos, but pick up the rifle and rest my hands/arms on the cradle. I do this not only to give more flexibility when aiming but also out of concern that the rifle contacting the rest might cause the POI to change. Having said that, I have not got around to finding out, by testing on a range, if that might be the case.
    I have a number of places where I find it best to sit or stand in ambush so, with this kit, I am hands free to scan with lamp/IR spotter/binoculars. Indeed, on one farm where I only have to walk a short distance to a most useful and convenient ambush point, I even take a chair and sit comfortably whilst waiting for Charlie to put in an appearance. In other places, I take a waterproof cushion and sit on the ground or bank.
    WRT the Hog cradle as shown in those videos, they appear to be very well made but very expensive at $300 which would probably translate into £3-400 this side of the pond. The other, cheaper rest also looks good but I'm not really happy with the design and not prepared to spend, I expect, £200 to find out. I've not given it a lot of thought but it looks as though to duplicate the Hog cradle as a DIY project would be quite difficult and, in Aluminium, expensive. In steel, not so much, but will be very heavy. I'm still concerned, as above, that clamping the rifle in such devices might change the POI - but at those prices I'm not going to try to find out!.
    I have found a tripod and rifle cradle to be a useful addition to my foxing kit for certain situations and wouldn't be without it.

  6. #6
    have you considered a Primos Trigger Bipod?

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    As a cameraman... i can tell you tripod sticks ar'nt great unless your only staying in one place but I imagine ok for target shooting like you said. But for stalking etc they don't extend a fluid as you would like as each leg will need to be adjusted separately. The Primos trigger sticks all work of one trigger, perfect for stalking and target as it takes a hog saddle because it has a thread plate on the top.
    Last edited by 30-06hunter; 06-11-2015 at 10:05.

  7. #7
    There used to be a guy who shot in the BDS and other club events that came down with something that looked like an old fashioned hat stand...........................

    I suppose if it works for you.

    But, by the time you have struggled into the forest with your Bi/tri/quad pod, thermal/night vision scope, custom built wildcat barrel burner, fully activated tick repelling stealth cammo gillie suit and
    custom made ammo from someone else, don't you think your time and money would have been better spent learning how to spot the three deer you bumped crashing down the ride .................

    Just an observation.

  8. #8
    I've sometimes wandered about this idea, using a Benbo for its versatility. Then I thought about what sort of hunter I am, and how ridiculous I'd feel with it clattering about...

    I do like the simplicity of sticks and stability of quad-sticks, though. Good if you've spotted the deer are just waiting for them to present a shot.

  9. #9
    Thanks for the replies.

    BlackWing & Tackb, sounds good. What are you using to support/rest the rifle on?

    Patrickt, I've heard good things about them too.

    .30-06 Hunter, I have tried the Primos as one of my friends had one. I was quite impressed with it initially, but his his broke after about three months use and that has put me off them somewhat.

    PeteL, sounds pretty similar to what I was thinking about. Any chance of a photo of the tripod and the cradle that you made?

    puntgunner, horses for courses. I've got a nice lightweight stutzen for woodland stalking. This idea isn't for use with it, or even that kind of hunting.

  10. #10
    I've used Manfrotto 055XPROB shooting over fields. I extend thicker sections (so 2/3 of full height) and open the tripod when setting out, very easy to carry in left hand (no fatigue, just let it hang horizontally). Center post retracted it's good for high kneeling, center post extended for standing. When I stop for scanning etc. I just let the tripod stand on it's legs.

    I use a regular front bag with an adapter I made. I also have Manfrotto 322RC2 ball head with trigger, but use it only with spotting scope. I don't feel HOG saddle style devices give you much more stability, since the trigger hand elbow is not supported in higher shooting positions. Tried briefly using the 322RC2 and DIY saddle.

    Nice thing about the camera tripod is you can customize the top, I like the front bag and rest the gun just forward of magazine. Can't do this with hunting type sticks/tripods, at least in a convenient way.

    Maybe I try something PeteL described, I'd like to rest trigger hand elbow somewhere...

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