Life Without Bipods

Crews

Sergeant
May 11, 2017
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#1
I am interested in gathering thoughts from the great collective here at the Hide.

I am interested in longer distance shooting solely in the context of training for making hits in hunting scenarios. No competitions, would love to get involved but just don't have the time or money in the immediate future. Sure, I enjoy banging steel in the summer months, but the focus is always on being a more proficient hunter. As such, I really do most of my shooting from 400-800 yards. I have come to the realization that the only time I EVER use a bipod is when I'm at a square range. For the type of hunting I do (not mountains), the bipod never gets used... it's just cumbersome extra weight mounted to the rifle. As such, I have been thinking about getting away from a lighter permanently mounted Atlas type bipod and moving to a larger more stable unit that's kept in the pack and only deployed for those few times it's needed. For instance, Elite Iron Revolution looks like the ticket, but man that's a big investment.

A few months ago I got the short Pig tripod. It's got an Abel Table on the top. Coupled with a mini fortune cookie, I've been practicing my seated and kneeling shots and gaining proficiency. It can even go low enough to be used in the prone position instead of a bipod. It's shaping up to be a much more versatile piece of equipment for my needs. I don't have any problems making the commitment to always have it on my pack when I'm in the field.

With all that being said, here is my question: Am I selling myself short by just not owning a bipod at all? My focus is on training myself to be better at the fundamentals; will I be handicapping myself by not being a proficient shooter off a bipod? I've always considered it an absolutely essential piece of gear, but as i really slow down and think about when I use one, it's only at the range and it'll never mimic a shot I'm taking in the real world.
 
Nov 5, 2013
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#2
same where im at...its so flat and so brushy in south tx, unless brush clearing/mowing is kept up, prone is hardly ever an option...even on square ranges you usually need a tower or some structure to get up off the ground high enough for prone to work

my main piece of gear is my RRS tripod, with the anvil30 head...i can shoot off of it seated, kneeling, or standing and be as solid as i need to be to comfortably take any shot within my working range...seated is as stable as prone so prone is never even needed

it strapped to my pack and i dont have to worry about carrying any heavy bags or extra gear...theres a mounting plate attached to my rifle, and thats it
 

mcameron

Sergeant of the Hide
Nov 17, 2011
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#3
if you arent planning on ever shooting from a bipod.....i wouldnt feel the need to rush out and buy one.

sure its good to learn to shoot from different supports.....but if its something you are learning just for the sake of learning it...and not because you are ever going to use it....i would focus my efforts on learning to shoot the best from what i actually plan on using.

personally i would put some effort into learning to shoot from a sling, in the standing, sitting, kneeling, and prone positions......as that will be MUCH more useful to you than shooting from a bipod would be ( in your situation)

personally i feel a slung position is more stable than a bipod is anyways
 
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j-huskey

Jafo / Instigator !
Jul 27, 2001
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#4
Somewhere theres a pic of grandpa hunting the hills, rifle slung, walking with a tall walking stick.
Stick parted the grass to remove unwanted critters, stick helped on uneven terrain, and stick got used for rifle rest at needed heights.
Terrain dictated the need, old school walking stick worked for a lot of things.

Stick and string helped make the poncho shelter when it rained, stick knocked plums and persimmons off the limbs to tease the deer, like free bait,

Bipod not quite as useful. Old school.
 

CuTm

New Hide Member
Jul 17, 2018
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#8
If you have two sets of primos trigger sticks you can literally make a bench in the field. One in the back one in the front . If you’re hunting with two people , each person can carry one not a big deal.
 
Aug 21, 2007
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#10
Somewhere theres a pic of grandpa hunting the hills, rifle slung, walking with a tall walking stick.
Stick parted the grass to remove unwanted critters, stick helped on uneven terrain, and stick got used for rifle rest at needed heights.
Terrain dictated the need, old school walking stick worked for a lot of things.

Stick and string helped make the poncho shelter when it rained, stick knocked plums and persimmons off the limbs to tease the deer, like free bait,

Bipod not quite as useful. Old school.

This.
 
Feb 21, 2017
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#11
I’m in the same boat but always have a bipod in my kit. Look at the Hatch bipod. It’s on the Miley Crazy sight. I’ve used it for a few hunts and is extends out long enough to actually be useable in most hunting situations and can be used while sitting to clear grass and brush or take shots uphill. I’ve used lots of bipod over the years and for hunting this seems to work the best for me so far.
 

Crews

Sergeant
May 11, 2017
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#12
My only reservation is that I can’t seem to see my impacts in the scope shooting off a tripod. The only chance I have to accomplish that is if I’m on a bipod.

Is it possible that I’ll be able to accomplish this at some point with more practice and focus on the fundamentals?
 

Crews

Sergeant
May 11, 2017
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#14
I have in the past, and find that the table with the bag is just as stable and a little faster/easier to get set up and adjust for different targets.
 

Tapp111

Sergeant of the Hide
Feb 25, 2017
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#15
The extra weight of the pig and tripod helps keep the gun from jumping as much. I’m able to see my own hits better. But that’s elk hunting by myself. At Range I prefer bag as well
 
Likes: hereinaz
Mar 7, 2018
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Arizona
#16
There are techniques to shooting off a tripod that you can spot your shots better, and shoot better. Spotting shots will have a lot to do with the caliber and rifle you are shooting. As to fundamentals, I improved my groups by shooting several hundred rounds through my .22 off a tripod one day. I just got the feel for it after shooting at several targets at different ranges. For field shooting, I don't think there is a better tool if you become proficient with a tripod, assuming you have time to set up for the shot. I am assuming you are not ripping off a shot at ranges that a stick is all you need. If so, the Primos sticks are very good. If you learn to use the tripod at all different heights, you can go as low as you can to become more stable. Stability is a big part of spotting shots as well. Competition shooting in PRS has made me a MUCH better shooter because I am learning to apply the fundamentals in awkward positions. I have learned to shoot targets the size of deer vitals off a barricade, wobbly spool, barrels, etc. at 400 and 500 yards confidently. Tripods aren't much different, and I'd say are easier because you choose your height. Depending on the situation, even in the field, I could build a super stable position with my tripod in a sitting, kneeling, modified prone, with my backpack or natural objects. A favorite is sitting with my back against a tree, rock, log and my rifle in the tripod.

If needed, I could use one leg off my tripod with for a shorter shot. Some camera tripods actually come with one removable leg for camera work. My carbon fiber one does, not that it would be fast to pull off or put on necessarily, but it is something you could look into.

If you haven't seen this one, this is a pretty good thread. I think there are others as well.

http://forum.snipershide.com/thread...-shooting-from-a-tripod.6893436/#post-7132741
 
Mar 7, 2018
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Arizona
#17
If you are in Texas, or would travel there, I recommend training with Paul Butler of Rauch Precision. I did a long range training course with him and Evolved Ballistics and he gave me my first real taste about the possibilities with a tripod.

https://www.rauchprecision.com/hog-saddle-course

He is a trainer for Hog Saddle and they produce an arial sniper rig that he patented and the military is using. He was in charge of teaching military marksman and snipers in urban and arial sniper courses. He is a great guy.
 

Max

Descendant of John Adams
#18
I run a harris bipod for Hunting but also carry Luckett sticks. http://www.luckettsticks.com/ . I have made 450 yard hits on Antelope of them. They are super light to carry. This year I ordered a spare carbon fiber leg. This I take into my left hand and clamp to the front or back with my hand then straight to the ground, when on target. This this give me a rock solid platform and I can bang steel at 650 yards. Great for me because my non-prone game sucks.

There are a couple of tricks to deploying them in the field but once you get those down they are light versatile and solid.....
 

jbailey

Gunny Sergeant
Jul 27, 2010
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#19
It sounds like you have answered your own question, especially with your discussion on the tripod: "It's [the tripod] shaping up to be a much more versatile piece of equipment for my needs."

I'm in the same camp. With a good tripod and the skills to use it, I have found bipod isn't necessary for most field shooting. Do I still have one? Absolutely. But it can stay home for most situations. If you are going to shoot ELR, a very stable bipod still the best choice, but for nearly everything else in the field (non-square range), rock your tripod!
 

supercorndogs

Professor Dickweed
Feb 17, 2014
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#20
IMG_0063.JPG IMG_0062.JPG

425y off my shooting sticks. I picked up a 13-23 because I always have to raise my atlas to 13 to get above the grass. I still find most of the time, there is no way to get prone for the shot you need to take. It doest weigh much and is invaluable if you can use it.
 

Crews

Sergeant
May 11, 2017
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#21
So my next thought regarding using the tripod for front support in the prone position instead of a bipod....

I have an XLR Evo with a round rail. As mentioned, I’m using an Abel table with a bag on top. Last time I shot at longer range, I was having some issues with canting the rifle. I don’t think having a round rail on a bag is making that any easier to control. While the bag on table is really versatile and nice for setting up quick, it’s not allowing me to lock the rifle in level like I could with a bipod.

I am wondering if a leveling base and a direct mounted rifle would be a worth the loss in versatility. The rifle could be locked in to minimize canting issues. But I hate to just jump straight to a hardware fix if it’s really a software problem. Is my current hardware setting me up for failure, or am I just lacking in fundamentals?
 

j-huskey

Jafo / Instigator !
Jul 27, 2001
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#22
Paraphrasing with no offense intended.

"Needs locked in to a mechanical device to minimize "issues", "

Proper use of a mechanical device as an "assistance" to fundamentals enhances results.

Required use of a mechanical device to produce results, crutch, crutching, results in less than optimal performance when the crutch cant be used or is absent.

It's all on the shooter to master and use fundamentals. Using a mechanical tool can then be an assistance, where being dependent on the wrong tool will be unsat.

Sometimes, the wrong stock on the rifle is the problem.
Sometimes the right stock, but too long-too short, is the problem.
Sometimes too heavy a rifle is the problem (stock, barrel, scope).
Sometimes too heavy a barrel is the problem.
Sometimes too long a barrel is the problem (cant make it balance).
Sometimes too much scope is the problem.
Sometimes too light a trigger is the problem.

With those issues being the problem, the only way those rifles can be shot well is with a mechanical rest.

Your fundamentals could be perfect in those cases, but the "tool" doesnt really fit the job.

Lots to consider.
 

j-huskey

Jafo / Instigator !
Jul 27, 2001
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#23
So, we have these moving targets that need hitting very badly....
And we have big green shooting platforms that move about, and periodically cause the target to move.
Platforms:
20181010_085005.jpg
20181010_084937.jpg

Targets:
IMG952236.jpg
The little fuckers....

No bipod, tripod, stick, or overly long or heavy rifle is going to work.

It's all on the shooter being able to fit the rifle safely in the platform, being able to safely move it into a shooting position out the platform door, and with two hands, hold, present, and manipulate the rifle, and correctly apply the fundamentals to kill the little moving target as it flees the field.
Ymmv. 😎
 

JFord

New Hide Member
Jul 21, 2018
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#24
It sounds like you have answered your own question, especially with your discussion on the tripod: "It's [the tripod] shaping up to be a much more versatile piece of equipment for my needs."

I'm in the same camp. With a good tripod and the skills to use it, I have found bipod isn't necessary for most field shooting. Do I still have one? Absolutely. But it can stay home for most situations. If you are going to shoot ELR, a very stable bipod still the best choice, but for nearly everything else in the field (non-square range), rock your tripod!
 
Likes: j-huskey

JFord

New Hide Member
Jul 21, 2018
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#25
I hunt in the brush in Colorado for Elk. The only bipod that I carry is the Harris that extends all the way out to 27 inches. I find that I can shoot really well from a sitting position over the brush. As you are saying there is only an occasional opportunity to shoot prone out there. I also carry a set of shooting sticks which I find more useful than the bipod out there most of the time.
 

Crews

Sergeant
May 11, 2017
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#28
Not sure how tractors, feral hogs, or our brave soldiers fighting in wars overseas have any relevance to the conversation at hand. Thanks for taking the time to post all those cool pictures ( I guess? )
 

j-huskey

Jafo / Instigator !
Jul 27, 2001
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#29
Not sure how tractors, feral hogs, or our brave soldiers fighting in wars overseas have any relevance to the conversation at hand. Thanks for taking the time to post all those cool pictures ( I guess? )
Pretty simple.
Shooting positions showing where bipods and tripods arent feasible, and emphasizing the need for shooting skills and use of fundamentals to make those hits you want to make.
I kill between 150 and 300 pest game animals a year and maybe 10-15 off bipod or tripod. The rest off a hasty rest or old fashioned two hands and me. Out to 800 yards with a 338 lapua, to 500 with a 300wm, to 300 with a 16" 308.
Relevant to the topic ? I thought the comments attached to the pictures were clear enough.
I'm not real big on the over emphasized crutch use of bipods and such.
Not that it matters at this point, but I was a rated instructor for 35 years, and trained a few people who asked the same question you asked here, they got the same answer I give now.
 
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Crews

Sergeant
May 11, 2017
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#30
Okay, thanks for the insight. We’re all entitled to our own opinions, and I hope this doesnt come across as an attack on your credibility. I have been taking unsupported shots my entire life, understand the limitations, and will continue to do so as the situation dictates. But I’m not here to talk about unsupported shots. If given the choice, I don’t know any sane person in the world that wouldn’t choose to take advantage of additional mechanical support in the field if the situation allows.
 
Mar 26, 2006
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#31
A lot depends where and what you hunt. Where I live, it's a lot of flatter open fields and the majority of my shots are off a bipod. Just came back from WY, shot 1 animal off a bipod and another offhand. Last year took my elk in the mountains of MT at 730 yards from a bipod.

I feel a bipod is worth the weight for the situations I hunt. For longer range shots, it's simply the only thing stable enough.

Having a bipod is no substitute for practicing and mastering the fundamentals. Most people would be further ahead to spend LESS time on the bipod at the range. I competed in 3-position for years, I can hold my own when the bipod is impractical to deploy.
 
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Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
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Arizona, good place for me...
#32
I own and use a primitive Yucca Pole (Genuine Tombstone Mercantile) walking stick, and my Sitting, Kneeling, and Prone positions are a lot more like the ones we were taught in Boot at PI, and ITR at Camp Geiger. Positions are chosen on the fly to match the intervening terrain/foliage, using the lowest possible one that provides a clear line of sight. My most commonly used position is Kneeling. For me, bipods are a square range tool, being bulky, weighty, cumbersome, and fraught with issues like loading and body position. The sling works, and generally resolves any issues related to shoulder pressure, being slung tight enough that the rifle butt literally needs to be physically stuffed into the shoulder pocket.

My experience in the 90's shooting N/M Highpower demonstrated at the time that my Slung Prone was at least as steady and more reliably accurate (for me) than anything I could manage with a bipod. IMHO, the main advantage was the elimination of loading/shoulder pressure issues.

I admit freely to being a Neanderthal, and hedge my comments with the admission that my experience since then has been confined to hunting small-medium game, and that my participation in that has waned greatly as I passed 70 Y/O; my 70th Birthday party was the day before our departure from NY to AZ.

Between 'Nam and my civilian hunting days, I have never encountered a shot (hasty or methodical) where the basic positions were inadequate. Practice has made them instinctive and quick to employ. I guess, in the end, it's that old muscle memory doing the driving.

The basics work. They have their drawbacks, but in terms of quick deployment and shot release, I think they're at least equal to the more modern dependence on specialized shooting aids. The primary overhead is up front; all about getting the basics ingrained on the instinctive level. Additionally, there is less weight to carry, gear to learn, and time to employ that the basic marksman simply detours.

I'm too old, blind, and feeble currently to put my money where my mouth is anymore, but in the day, I held my own pretty well.

YMMV

Greg
 
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