The problem with attaching bipods on stalking rifles

caberslash

Well-Known Member
Quick SD vent/rant.

The average riflestock is not designed for the use of a bipod. Be it Harris, Atlas, Spartan, whatever.

All of the above, irrespective of brand are only as good as their weakest link, which is how they attach to the stock.

The Harris bipod is a sturdy and ultimately good design (they have been around since 1979!) but the genius of it's universal system of attachment via sling swivel studs is also a bad idea when the stock is not up to task.

First of all, the average sling swivel stud is designed to be removable, usually screwed into the stock. Some (mostly aftermarket) stocks reinforce the front sling swivel stud by embedding an aluminum or similar block into the stock where it screws in but the average factory rifle usually has some form of nut and washer arrangement or even nothing at all to hold it in.

So, attaching a 500g+ bipod to a wee stud which screws in and out isn't the best idea, as you can twist it off without trying very hard.

Furthermore, the positioning of the front sling swivel stud, usually near the end of the fore-end of the stock, means you can induce a reasonable amount of flex into the stock if you attempt to induce 'pre-load' (forcing some of your bodyweight against the butt pad to put the bipod under tension).

Some stocks are designed with this in mind, but most are not. By doing what they have seen on a Youtube video, most people who attempt this technique make their rifle shoot worse, or at least inconsistently.

Nathan Foster has developed a bit of a reputation after his 'Hold that forend article' Hold that Forend!

I agree with some of his points, but feel that he skirts around the above issue a little. Once users have acquired a better stock and upgraded their attachment system to a picatinny rail/Arca Swiss then the bipod really comes into it's own for prone shooting.

Another point is having a suitable comb height built up on the stock to match the scope. The fashion of mounting the scope as low as possible on a rifle is not only antiquated but often misguided thinking. However, I'll leave slaughtering that sacred cow for another day :stir:

The trouble is that bipods are at their best when the legs are short (and hence stiff), not too high off the ground so you can compliment it with a rear bag, making a very 'rigid' system with little to no lateral play. More often than not, there is too much ground cover or obstacles for these systems to be useful when hunting/stalking, apart from very open/flat terrain.

Anyway, hope this helps some people. Think twice before you blame the bipod!
 

LeftHandGuy

Well-Known Member
Another point is having a suitable comb height built up on the stock to match the scope. The fashion of mounting the scope as low as possible on a rifle is not only antiquated but often misguided thinking. However, I'll leave slaughtering that sacred cow for another day :stir:
I agree with you that in general a bipod is rarely much of an asset whilst stalking. Although I did once get set up on a cull stag whilst using it. That was the only time!

However I am confused by your sub-clause. Why isn’t it a good idea to mount the scope as low to the bore as you can? I always try to stay low. What am I risking?
 

brows_16

Member
I have been pondering over which bipod to get for my new rifle. It has a small picatinny rail under the forend, would this provide a stronger bipod attachment point than removing the rail and securing bipod using one of the adaptors over the existing QD studs point? Your post reads to me like the better (more stable) bipod fixing would be to a adaptor on a picatinny rail, rather than an adapter over a QD stud?
 

nick.308

Well-Known Member
dont know what the rant is about? the majority of my shooting is off bipods and when your trying to shoot in deep foliage the longer the better. I can always leave it folded up if not needed but I think its far quicker to deploy a bipod than find a grassy knoll thats clear of grass in front of the barrel. Its one of my obsessions is clearing foliage in front of the barrel
 

bogtrotter

Well-Known Member
I was in this game before the use of bipods were common place have shot off my elbows using rolled up jackets, binoculars, telescope case and dozens of other things to try and get above the heather.
The bipod was a revelation so much so that I'm no longer comfortable taking a shot without one.
Sticks are useful in woodland but as much use on the hill as a chocolate fireguard thats when the bipod comes into its
own.
 

caberslash

Well-Known Member
Buy a set of quad sticks, only use a bipod to stand the rifle on the ground, stops it falling over

+1

I'm happy shooting out to 300 odd meters on my quad sticks. Invaluable tool. Adding a 5th leg to them is an odd idea and makes no sense.
 

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
Use of Bipod is very much a personal thing and very much depends on you, your rifle, what else you carry and most importantly nature of the ground and distance over which you shoot. I have used them quite a bit over the years, but for most of my current stalking they are surplus to requirements.

If I shoot prone I use a tussock or some other ground feature or my pack, or my binoculars. But If I can I more comfortable taking a longer shot from a supported sitting position.
 

Dalua

Well-Known Member
I use a bipod quite often when on the hill - but I never 'load' it - you can't really rely on having the ground underneath to to support that kind of (mis)use.
I just hold the rifle the same as I would off elbows alone, or off elbows with left wrist/hand supported on a coat, bag, knoll etc., and use the bipod just enough to get the extra steadiness needed.

IMO folk should not be bipod-addicted - i.e. should be capable of shooting prone off other things as above - for there will be invariably be times when nature has placed a suitable rest on which the bipod will be either superfluous, or a hindrance.
 

caberslash

Well-Known Member
However I am confused by your sub-clause. Why isn’t it a good idea to mount the scope as low to the bore as you can? I always try to stay low. What am I risking?

I can't say that it is wrong to mount the scope as close to the barrel as possible on every rifle (I can see how a lever action would benefit from low scope mounting), but for the average UK stalker who does not shoot offhand, uses a 50mm+objective scope and sound moderator, it really does not apply.

Unless of course you like to have a poorly fitting and handling rifle with the scope image partially obscured and shimmering from heat haze after the first shot.
 

caberslash

Well-Known Member
I have been pondering over which bipod to get for my new rifle. It has a small picatinny rail under the forend, would this provide a stronger bipod attachment point than removing the rail and securing bipod using one of the adaptors over the existing QD studs point? Your post reads to me like the better (more stable) bipod fixing would be to a adaptor on a picatinny rail, rather than an adapter over a QD stud?

Picatinny and Arca Swiss rails only work when both screwed and epoxy bedded into the stock.

I've seen some adaptors which are supposed to convert the bipod stud into a picatinny rail. I bought one and they don't work, at best they will damage your rifle stock!
 

caberslash

Well-Known Member
Amusing how 'the problem of attaching bipods...' becomes 'the problem of bipods' in a matter of a few posts :rofl:
 
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