RRS Leveling heads- RRS TVC-33 & Feisol 3372 + Anvil 30 comment

Feb 7, 2013
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#1
My intent here, is to add a few images comparing the setup of the RRS TVC-33 with the TA-3 to the TA-3 used on the 3372 and add a couple of comments about the TA-UL on the 3372 and 3342. Plus a quick note after a ton of time on the RRS Anvil 30, list the my overview on the different RRS head options.

First let me toss of the difference in stability between the RRS head offerings BH55, TA-UL-LC, ANVIL 30 and TA-3. I am comparing the best of the best for shooting, so the negative comments are splitting hairs amongst the some very best devices we have to shoot from in this category. Here are my antidotal takeaways after way more shots than I'd like to admit to.

BH55:
Very easy to use and ideal if one really needed to "pan". Provide the most articulation. Unfortunately, it is super heavy, expensive and maybe in a tie stability wise for last place with the TA-UL-LC.​
TA-UL-LC:
Inexpensive way to bring utility to any tripod regardless of brand. It good but you will not get the best of anything between these 4 offerings. If you already own a tripod this might be the best way to get into the direct attachment game.​
TA-3:
Super fast entry/attachment for a dove tail device. It ties for the lightest solution with the Anvil 30, but is the most solid platform available. If tiny groups are you thing, or your shooting in high winds, you will notice the stability difference over the other offerings. This is especially true if you tighten the internal tension nut. It also seems to hold tension and manage tension a bit better with the larger bowl than the Anvil 30... The three downsides to the newer Anvil 30 are, extreme angles mandates leg adjustments, it is not pic/dovetail dual purpose and it does not pack as small.​
ANVIL 30:
In a nutshell, it is kinda sexy. It makes the tripod much easier to transport and bring dual attachment possibilities with more angle adjustability than the TA-3. Stability wise, especially in 15-20mhp winds, you will find that it is less stable than the TA-3. It falls in between the BH55 and the TA-3. One real positive is for positional shooting where you use the tripod "leg" as a rear support. The narrower footprint because of the Apex of the Anvil 30 is easier to maneuver when deployed.​
Pet peeves are, that unlike the center handle that gives the shooter a solid purchase, solid lockup and easy tension; the lever on the Anvil 30 just doesn't offer the same ergonomics. On a rifle with real recoil, you'll notice the time between shoots is generally longer than with the TA-3. Also the UNLOCKING lever is dangerously close to the tension lever. I noticed this mostly hunting at night...Don't get me wrong the Anvil 30 is an amazing offering.. but it does come at a price.​

Bellow are images that show the stance differences bett the apex of the Anvil 30 and the TA-3 leveling base at the same standing height.​
A28A229D-45EB-41FB-B5CE-C761613E2CF5.jpeg
48153FC1-5B6A-489A-8052-E102057B680D.jpeg
0C557A0D-55F8-4624-8130-CA1C14C86E5E.jpeg

It should go without saying, that as far as the "system goes" the more stable the better, but for some, weight can be a huge issue and compromises need to be made. At $1 -$5 plus a round, it might make sense for people NOT to skimp so much on rifle tripods.

As examples of legs:​
My Gitzo 5 series carbon was stable but really expensive and super heavy at about 8 lbs.. 2x heaver than the Feisol 3372 and TVC-33, a deal breaker for me.​
My Manfroto is light enough but way to flexi in comparison to the new crop of offerings and still is in use with a geared head for a spotter. It is so because it just doesn't allow me to hold the group size I want.​

The RRS TVC-33 with TA-3 on the left, Feisol 3372 with the RRS TA-UL middle and the Feisol 3342 with hog on the right.


I can not tell the difference with the TA-UL on either of the two tripods on the left. Honestly, I find the 3372, legs a bit faster and easier to use. However, the TA-UL does flex 2x more than the TA-3 on either set of legs. However, this movement is very small. At 600y you can "force flex" or "intentionally move" while locked, a bit more than a doorway, were as the TA-3 is about half. It important to note that the flex difference is not in either of the legs, but in the leveling heads.

Here are the two leveling heads. The RRS TA-UL on the left already spun down onto the Feisol 3372's Apex top plate with groves for the locking set screws.


The Feisol 3372 is 1.5mm or so wider than the TVC-33; but it will install and is stable in the Feisol 3372 (best with a tiny shim from a soda can).

RRS TVC-33

Feisol 3372


The Apex on the RRS TVC 33 is way more complex than the Feisol. The leg connections are obvious, but look inside the RRS's retention system might really make sense as to why your paying more[- an expansion lock ring very secure!


RRS TA-3 installed in Feisol 3372.. very solid.


Here is were you would think about shimming the Feisol ( or maybe spent the extra coin) - legs shown are actually RRS


For comparison the uber light Feisol 3342 next to the RRS TVC-33. The more Flexi, 3342 is 1.4LBS lighter than the RRS TVC-33, when both are set up as shown. In fairness, RRS has the TVC-23 that weight wise, is between the two shown. NOTE: That with 10 round mags and high angle shooting (up only) the mag can contact the Apex limiting the travel if you have the gun pushed forward in the QR on the TA-3. The TA-UL actually is a bit more forging in that area. That said, it simple to mount the rifle correctly to avoid the contact. Just pointing it out.



Notice on the lower weight class tripods you do give up some size that ends us resulting in a bit more twist with the rifle. Light weight 3342 on the right.


Edited to add images of TA-3 2.5" handle verse 4.5". It might be worth noting that handle swaps are fast and easy. Just loosen until it unscrews and replace.


The 4.5's hook can be unscrewed providing a net difference of 1". The 4.5, does provide a touch more leverage to make smooth moves when on the rifle and feels more comfortable...


Note that with the 4.5 you can get very stable prone even if the leg is not locked, or you can clearance a tiny bit of dirt if you think you need it locked. Image shown just short of full lock (but stable anyway)


Below 4.5 with hook removed it is as low as most bipods.

Here is the 2.5 with legs locked. The 4.5 again will do the same if you make clearance.


The Feisol lacks horizontal lockout so it is a bit higher unless you disengage a leg or two.

I could not illustrate the reversed leg position on the concrete (used to better to show the leveling bases). Here is a photo showing the one reversed non-locked leg position needed on the Feisol, to get as low as the leveling base on the RRS TV-33 legs. But you have to be honest with yourself, why wouldn't you just use your bipod? Just saying...


Manfroto- now with a geared head relegated to spotting. The geared heads with helps with spotting scopes when you want to put the reticle on the same call as the shooter and with the small movement needed for ELR. If it is windy, this comes off and I need to use the carbon tripods as the old aluminum sticks, just shake too much.

FWIW the Hog with adding flex from the rubber, adds a lot of flexibility.


BTW you can always "lower or extend" a leg with a leveling base and gain a similar angle as shown, even without the hog.



Below is the Anvil 30. Note the two levers on the same side and a bit obscured by the mag. It might be important to not this is the left or week side position. Right hand shooters would have the adjustment lever on the other side.
43843355764_8d7d07a6fd_k.jpg

And ya I get it a ball head pans better.. but weighs more and ads flex. My 338 on a ball head..


Just my personal experience, that a true pan for a mover might be well served with a BH-55 ball head. But hunting you don't really get the time to set up 100% true to the way the game is moving, nor it is often predictable. So is the extra weight and flex worth it? In the end we need to make the compromises that best fits our needs.

Hope this helps add to the original info.
 
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Aug 11, 2010
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#2
Thank you for the very informative post. Can you elaborate a bit on using the TA-3 with the Feisol Tripod? I didn't realize that could be done. How secure is shimming it? Any less secure / stable than using it with the RRS Tripod?

Also, how do you like the 3442? How stable is it compared to other two? Any use with a lighter weight rifle in that one? The weight savings is tempting for hunting applications.
 
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ZY100

Sergeant
Oct 13, 2007
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#3
"Thank you for the very informative post. Can you elaborate a bit on using the TA-3 with the Feisol Tripod? I didn't realize that could be done. How secure is shimming it? Any less secure / stable than using it with the RRS Tripod?"

Yes please....specifically the 3342.

thx
ZY
 
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Feb 7, 2013
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#4
"Thank you for the very informative post. Can you elaborate a bit on using the TA-3 with the Feisol Tripod? I didn't realize that could be done. How secure is shimming it? Any less secure / stable than using it with the RRS Tripod?"

Yes please....specifically the 3342.

thx
ZY
The TA-3 will drop into the Feisol CT-3372 and it feels crazy secure. I'd still use a piece of aluminum can and it will be almost a press fit ;) the Feisol 3372s are very solid and I can not tell the difference in the RRS TVC-33, but at some point the cost delta is small.. so get what you really want :)

You'll give up a bunch of stability going down a weight class and using the RRS or Feisol in the 3342 size and weight class. I use this class for hunting as the 2.5lbs is amazingly light and were I might engage in shorter ranges and pack for extended periods.

While the length is similar, the smaller legs and Apex make a huge difference. See the Feisol 3342 on the side of the pack.


You can NOT use the TA-3 on the 3342. You must use the universal TA-UL or possibly the TA-2. But the majority of flex will come from the Apex and Legs before any benefit of the TA-2 over the TA-UL could materialize, so I have not tried the TA -2. The TA-2, is also similar to the TA-UL, in that it adjust above the Apex, not compact like the TA-3.

These are are superior to the old gold standard as is the 260 or 6.5 to the 308.. with practice everything can work, but with practice and better tools better results are to be expected.

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SScott

Gunny Sergeant
#6
Diver,
Thank you for your work on explaining the differences on the tripods and heads, I have a set of Series 3 RRS legs headed my way and I need to decide on the head and mounting system. I'm prepared to pull the trigger on the TA-3 leveling head but I was interested to know what mounting plate you used on your AICS stock in the first picture of this thread?
Thanks, Scott
 

B-P-UU

Full Member
Feb 13, 2017
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#11
Great info here... thank you.

having never handled any of the above, can you explain how the TA-3 locks or engages in the 3372? Are there set screws or something?
 
Feb 7, 2013
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#12
Great info here... thank you.

having never handled any of the above, can you explain how the TA-3 locks or engages in the 3372? Are there set screws or something?
Yes nearly all the higher end tripods have an Apex with a removable center for use with video balls etc.

The RRS is about 70mm with the 3372 being 71.5mm (as shown in the images for the original post)..

Three evenly spaced set screws lock in the video balls, leveling heads etc.

On the 3372 if you wanted a more secure fit you could shim this interface.

If you are dead set on using a 3342 (smaller Feisol) then you have to machine the APEX about 3mm larger.. to me, the risk of failure would be to high with a "loaded" rifle and the large lever arm it creates.

Images below showing the Feisol 3342 with RRS-TA-ul
Hog on top of RRS TA-UL. Note that the base does not have the groves and is top mounted via a 3/8 screw to the tripods Apex..Then a lock set screw secures it

This is the removable tops most higher end tripods have.. Note that there are many "standard" size video bowls for larger cameras.. the TA-3 is built around the 75mm video ball format.

The locking set screws for video bowls are generally on three opposing faces


Note the opening is to small for the RRS T-3 (see original post)


If using the 3372 a shim between the interface below is were you'd place it.


Also edited original post to show the inside of the RRS TVC-33 Apex. Their locking mechanism is not just 3 set screws like on the Feisol, but a expansion ring that mates with an enlarge grove on the leveling head.. top notch stuff.


Sent from my iPhone
 
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Crews

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May 11, 2017
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#13
I would like to thank you for the time you have spent putting this info together, it's the first tripod thread that has made any sense to this tripod-ignorant reader.


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B-P-UU

Full Member
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#15
Thanks for the additional info.
sounds like the 3372 and TA-3 is the ticket if a guy doesn't want to pay the premium for RRS legs.
 
Feb 7, 2013
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#16
Thanks for the additional info.
sounds like the 3372 and TA-3 is the ticket if a guy doesn't want to pay the premium for RRS legs.
Well, they both shoot flipping amazing - They are in another class than most other tripods setups being tossed around here. It does make a difference when looking for sub-MOA.

I've shot way to many setups to list from, two tripod systems, sticks / tripod combos, tripods with center columns, and without. Unfortunately, just like with my media business and experience with camera supports, noting that these are relatively low cost options in that arena; there just isn't a free lunch if one is seeking LR, sub-MOA performance.

If I could save someone the expense and money I've wasted, the typing would be worth it. However, with everything as mentioned in the OP, it is all about what the shooter wants to compromise.

Something for us all to think about in the delta between RRS TVC-33 and Feisol 3372, especially if your the kinda person who might, later, second guess yourself..

The $400 delta provides a few extra things:
An apex with a MUCH better retention system, with the ability to mount FLUSH CUPS so that you can use your own sling to carry the tripod and quickly disconnect or use to your belt for extra stability if you wish, better low level performance (again, not something I personally care about), a more robust leg connection to the Apex and one I really love, the large solid ROCK CLAW FEET!

The feet are hard SS and the same size as the lower leg, they clean up perfectly, but can eat your bag or other gear in transport if you're not careful.[IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"https:\/\/uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com\/20170822\/7f6d80e63958643a07ab7a7ed850e62e.jpg"}[/IMG2]
Very cool integrated flush cup option so you can use your standard rifle slings and carry your fully sized tripod without having to break it down into a small bag.[IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"https:\/\/uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com\/20170824\/d3304a517206e20b63a40699db842d4b.jpg"}[/IMG2][IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"https:\/\/uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com\/20170824\/64ce3495f7a3d083c2f0dda073137599.jpg"}[/IMG2][IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"https:\/\/uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com\/20170824\/6bc9873821f6b1935124eb77872ceead.jpg"}[/IMG2][IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"https:\/\/uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com\/20170824\/1076a9566f024fa2ad0127f9a92b5fbf.jpg"}[/IMG2]

My intent is to point out the differences, not to recommend one over the other.. To give Hiders the info to make up their own mind.

But, if you think about how much time, barrel wear and the cost per round, against what the the delta is, it really doesn't take many shots to make the extra $ go away. 64 shots of high end factory 338, or 128 reloads with Solids (more like 28 if I count my time and reloading gear) or maybe around 320 rounds of 6.5 Prime..

Personally:
I guess it is also worth mentioning the CS is really valuable to me. RRS is very accessible, phone and email.

RRS TVC-33 and TA-3 is my favorite larger combo. It wins out for the Apex features and option with the feet mentioned above and shown in the OP. But for extended packing and shorter shooting distances, were every once matters, the much cheaper, smaller and lighter Feisol 3342 with RRS TA-UL is my choice.

The RRS TVC-33 is point and hit, but it stays home mostly for Varmint duty. I do use the lighter one the most and that's only because I have to. It takes way, way, more practice.. and even then, I can not shoot it as well as the other.

Last thing to consider is the RRS TA-UL is a excellent option if you want to have multiple sticks, maybe an Uber light setup for pack hunting, a heaver setup for matches or an entry level as a starter kit. One head that can migrate thru multiple iterations.

RRS Flush cups http://soar.reallyrightstuff.com/RRS-Pod-QD-Collar
RRS Spiked feet http://soar.reallyrightstuff.com/soa...nd-accessories


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Dec 23, 2008
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#17
diver..this thread is awesome and super appreciated. i am in this very debate right now as to get the rrs or feisol. i really want to just go leveling base and no ball head since i have the arca cuts in my chassis. does the ta-ul lock up as well as the ta-3? if you only bought one which set up would you go with knowing all you know now? thanks again
 
Feb 7, 2013
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#19
diver..this thread is awesome and super appreciated. i am in this very debate right now as to get the rrs or feisol. i really want to just go leveling base and no ball head since i have the arca cuts in my chassis. does the ta-ul lock up as well as the ta-3? if you only bought one which set up would you go with knowing all you know now? thanks again
Yes, it locks up, but it flexs more than the TA-3. It is much easier to shoot nicer groups with TA-3.

FWIW: I hear lots of people saying that can hold better groups than I can, or have witnessed them actual do with shaky gear.

I've shot with some great guys but they all also shoot better with better gear. Hope that makes sense. Seems some people never count their misses ;)

The TA-3 really is good. I'd stay with the TA-3 over the UL every time.

The only reason I use the UL is because I have it on 2.5lbs sticks and it takes a lot of practice. But the other is soooo much better/easier, I might be rethinking my willingness to pack the heavier setup.


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Likes: photorestore
Feb 10, 2017
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www.reallyrightstuff.com
#22
Just thought I'd toss out more leveling head info.





Diver,
Great thread on your uses and insights on tripod shooting! I love all the increased attention tripods have been getting for the past 2 years.

I just wanted to add a few points in on my end.

As Shanerbanner10 said we have and will continue to tell people that the TA-3 series of leveling bases will not work with the Feisol tripods as they are now. Sorry for steering you wrong dude, I wasn't trying to dup you. The initial reason I started saying this is we new they didn't have an interior locking ring and knew the set screws will dent/damage/deform the interior ring on the TA-3. Now I am saying it doesn't work because you would have to perfectly shim the tripod apex for the TA-3 for it to have an equal engagement as our locking ring.

With a heavy recoil system or with an unexpected tip over and for some reason one of the screws isn't as tight as the others the TA-3 can come out of the modified Apex. Ask me how I know...Customer tried to get me to pay for his scope when his shimmed TA-3 fell out of another companies apex while he was hunting.

This is something that could void the warranty if you use it differently than it is designed for. Not trying to be a dick at all, I have just received some leveling bases back for a fix that have a solid deep gouge all the way around the ring because the user has screwed the threads in so deep and used his 4 foot long rifle/lever to pan to the right when the leveling base wasn't totally unlocked.


Diver160651 ,
Also I would be interested to see your take on your lightweight setup with a TA-U-LC, and our 1 and 2 series models which are smaller than the 3 Series, with a TA-2-LC or TA-U-LC. Hit me up on PM and if you want you can test out some gear since you obviously give back good range reports.


Killswitch Engage I know you said you found it but we just switched over to our new website so here you go if you need:
http://soar.reallyrightstuff.com/soar-more/slings-qd


Thanks guys, keep up the thread!
Michael
 

MDM

Sergeant
Jan 26, 2009
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#23
Diver, I just got the 3372 and RRS Ta-3 today. This is what I did for shimming the RRS head... I cut a length of 12 gauge copper wire to wrap in the groove on the RRS head. Its not quite a press fit into the Feisol bowl, 10 gauge might be. The copper wire protects from any screw damage to the base and it lock up tight as hell.

EDIT: The copper wire worked great, but I've since machined an aluminum bushing that is a press fit on the RRS head, and a press fit in the Feisol bowl. Rock solid.
 
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afd77

Sergeant
May 29, 2008
419
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#24
Diver thanks a ton for the great write up. I’m completely new to tripods and this explained everything very well. I ended up with a Feisol 3372 and RRS TA-U-LC. I just put them together today and it seems like a very stable set up. I wanted the RRS legs, but I just can’t swing it right now. Hopefully I’’ll be able to upgrade at some point down the road. Thanks again.
 
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Feb 7, 2013
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#26
I ended up with a Feisol 3372 and RRS TA-U-LC. I just put them together today and it seems like a very stable set up. I wanted the RRS legs, but I just can’t swing it right now. Hopefully I’’ll be able to upgrade at some point down the road. Thanks again.
Diver, I just got the 3372 and RRS Ta-3 today.
If either of you guys.. the first one that PMs me that wants a brand new set of the spiked feet for the 3372, let me know via PM and I'll send them your way no $$
 
Feb 19, 2017
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#27
Went the route you discussed with the 3372 and the Ta-3. A shim stack made of four strips of aluminum can worked geat to tighten up the head. Going to look for a copper wire and try that method out too.
 
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Nov 5, 2009
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#29
Went the route you discussed with the 3372 and the Ta-3. A shim stack made of four strips of aluminum can worked geat to tighten up the head. Going to look for a copper wire and try that method out too.
Just got my 3372 and TA-3. Great setup. I used a length of 14 gauge insulated copper wire wrapped in the groove of the TA-3. It fits nice and snug. No wobble at all.
 
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#30
Just got my 3372 and TA-3. Great setup. I used a length of 14 gauge insulated copper wire wrapped in the groove of the TA-3. It fits nice and snug. No wobble at all.
Copper is kinda soft and you need to make sure your not keeping the set screws from locking into the grove of the head. See the images with the Fesiol Camo plate in the thread above. You can see were the set-screws have been seated into the locking ring, it is key that the set screws are locking into the Head's ring. If you are going thought route, I'd think about replacing the set screws with something much longer too.

Again, make sure your getting enough engagement into the retaining groove of the TA-3 by the screws, as they will be the only "captured" parts holding the Apex to the center ring of the TA-3.

The RRS retainer clip is captured in the Apex and then also captured in the TA-3, so it forms a solid lock.
 
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Frog05

KeepItSimpleStupid
Feb 15, 2017
139
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#32
Diver, thank you for all the time you put into this thread. I went with the 3372 and ta-3 and I couldn't be happier.

FWIW: if anyone is thinking about rattle canning your 3372's for hunting purposes make sure you go easy with the paint. I guess I painted mine a little thick and the compression rings inside the legs grab onto the paint and it will bind your legs up and strip your paint job. You will have to disassemble your legs and clean all the scraped off paint out


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Feb 7, 2013
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#35
A lot of guys on here really know how to shoot off tripods, for them the info below will not be interesting.

But there is always a few people with questions about the precision you could expect from the RRS setup, so I thought I toss this in.

Without a question it is harder than shooting prone, but I have to admit this is one of those rare times that you can actually buy relative accuracy & precision. Sure, with skill on a lesser setup, a few guys can still rip, but it takes a LOT of rounds and experimenting.. At a $1.50 a round; these lighter, stronger and more stable systems aren't hard to monetize.

Of course, not over driving the tripod and making sure that the legs are set to help manage the recoil so you can spot your own shots will help one find more success with this level of equipment.

Not meant as a tutorial in anyway, but for those just starting out, with the RRS level of tripods, I like having one of the legs pointed back towards me to help with the recoil, not with what seems to be obvious, Ie, both rear legs perpendicular to your chest with the front pointed downrange inline with the barrel. You can shoot it that way, but I find I need to drive it harder in order to compensate for the recoil and thus introduce more shake. ..

I shoot left-handed so for me, that means the left rear leg about the 7 o’clock position, right hand on the lever or right leg... Of course, a right-hand person would reverse it. Either way, it is a personal choice to be sure, but this RRS stuff is light years ahead of the old stuff.. again, just make sure you're not over driving it. I also have the tripod a bit lower than some guys and bend at the waist, with right hand pushing more downward than forward. (Image below is a bit deceiving) photo75452.jpg
I had 11 rounds left today, so thought I'd go the the 100yd line (actually 98) and shoot just a couple Prone vrs RRS TVC-33 legs topped with TA-33. While I am used to the tripods smacking steel and hunting, I don’'t normally shoot paper with the tripod and I took my time. (Image Below)
photo75770.jpg
Prone Left Upper .3
TVC-33/TA-3 Left Lower .5
Hog on top of TA-UAL Upper Right (only 3 rounds) .7

Note: I ran the windage to have an uninterrupted aiming point. I did run the hog a bit too loose I think, plus needed to drop one extra in the chamber, not sure how well I actually shot the 11th round (3 for the Hog)., but the Hog was still sub-moa @.7"-CC

Edited to add: I know, too few rounds, but that is what I had left and it isn't meant to be anything more than the relive size between the three items. I am not claiming the 4 rounds of the first two and 3 for the Hog, are "groups" - or "I can all day"... this is just what came out for direct comparison.

Hope this helps answer questions~ To me, these tripods are worth every penny. photo75770.jpg
 
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atxhorn4425

Tactical Keyboard Operator
Apr 5, 2017
169
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Austin, Texas
#36
Diver - Thanks for this thread, it's been really helpful.

I've got a RRS TA-UL leveling head and am trying to figure out what tripod to mount it on. I'm very new to precision shooting and have shot off a tripod exactly once (Slik DX Pro 700 with the RRS head) and thought it was hard as hell. The RRS legs are out of my price range right now (can't see stretching past the Feisol 3372), but I could probably get some down the road. I'm leaning more towards getting a lighter tripod and saving up for a proper RRS setup down the road but I'm open to my options. The three tripods I'm looking at the hardest are the Feisol 3342 and 3442 and the PRST tripod sold by the Hog Saddle guys. This tripod will mostly be used for shooting a 12+ lb precision rifle, but will occasionally be used with ARs for hunting.

My questions are:
  • How much more stability do you get from the 3-section legs on the 3342 vs the 4-section legs on the 3442?
  • How does the PRST tripod stack up with the Feisol options? It's heavier which should add stability, but also has a center column and 4-section legs. I've heard very good things about it, but would be interested to hear from someone that's used both. Does it split the difference between the 3342 and 3372?
  • Am I really screwing up by looking at a lighter tripod instead of the 3372?
Thanks in advance to anyone that chimes in. I'll hang up and listen.
 
Feb 7, 2013
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#38
Diver - Thanks for this thread, it's been really helpful.

I've got a RRS TA-UL leveling head and am trying to figure out what tripod to mount it on. I'm very new to precision shooting and have shot off a tripod exactly once (Slik DX Pro 700 with the RRS head) and thought it was hard as hell. The RRS legs are out of my price range right now (can't see stretching past the Feisol 3372), but I could probably get some down the road. I'm leaning more towards getting a lighter tripod and saving up for a proper RRS setup down the road but I'm open to my options. The three tripods I'm looking at the hardest are the Feisol 3342 and 3442 and the PRST tripod sold by the Hog Saddle guys. This tripod will mostly be used for shooting a 12+ lb precision rifle, but will occasionally be used with ARs for hunting.

My questions are:
  • How much more stability do you get from the 3-section legs on the 3342 vs the 4-section legs on the 3442?
  • How does the PRST tripod stack up with the Feisol options? It's heavier which should add stability, but also has a center column and 4-section legs. I've heard very good things about it, but would be interested to hear from someone that's used both. Does it split the difference between the 3342 and 3372?
  • Am I really screwing up by looking at a lighter tripod instead of the 3372?
Thanks in advance to anyone that chimes in. I'll hang up and listen.
In general, center columns really hurts the level of precision one can achieve. The main practical use for a center column is speed in elevation for a mil application when fine height adjustments are mandated, not so much for height as most good tripods discussed in this thread offer enough elevation.

I don't have the new branded version of the Silk, but have used the brand and it is similar to the Manfrotos that have been used in the past. While they are cheap, I can't manage anywhere near the same sized groups or near the range I can with the TVC-33.

The main difference between the 3372 or TVC-33 vrs the 3342 or TVC-23, is the Apex size is much smaller with a bit lower weight. If your primary hunting and packing where every once matters and pack width is critical, then the trade off in stability might be worth it.

I am hoping to get my hands on a TVC-23 to report back-

At this point, I can only comment on the 3342. The main difference in shooting is the Apex and legs twist under load and do not load as solidly as the larger offerings. You'll self-spot and shoot better with the large bodied offerings. It is important to note that it really isn't the weight of the tripod that makes self-spotting and better precision possible, but the stiffness in the system, mainly the apex to legs, legs to the ground, leveling head and head to rifle interfaces.

Edited to add:: I agree with Sheldon N based on your occasionally hunting, in that the bigger ones are really not that much heavier - larger yes..
 
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Feb 19, 2017
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#40
Thanks for the tip about leg positioning and not over driving the rifle. Do you have an issue with follow up shots? Tripod shooting techniques might make a decent thread on its own.
 
Feb 13, 2017
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#41
This is a fantastic thread, thank you for the great info. I hope perhaps you can help me decide what to put on my 3342. Torn between machining the apex 2-3mm to fit a TA-3 or using a TA-U-LB as is. Thoughts?

Looking to shoot and spot off tripod. So far have only shot to 600yds with it using a Game Changer and sling. Planning to use an Arca-swiss rail on my Manners t4 when I can find ine long enough to fit the forend. Unfortunately RRS only has a 6" plate.

thank you for any input
 
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#42
Thanks for the tip about leg positioning and not over driving the rifle. Do you have an issue with follow up shots? Tripod shooting techniques might make a decent thread on its own.
I can self-spot with the RRS TVC-33 and TA-3 on steel. But there are so many variables as to what that means to each of us. No problem with follow up shots, but it is slower than prone. My "fast" follow up shots may be someone else's, slow or the opposite.

So for comparison what I see from a fairly heavy 6.5:

Prone: With the correct low level light from behind and light wind I often see my own trace at 25x, but usually shoot around 15x. Follow-ups can be fasts as the re-sets are very small.

RRS TVC-33 and TA-3: Can't see trace but don't have to reacquire the plate to see impact, but I shoot at around 15x. Setting the head resistance helps; but for the smallest targets, while the reset is small, the final adjustment is a a bit slower than prone. If the plate is a fairly large size, the speed difference is remarkably small.

With a really light weight, larger caliber hunting gun.. by about 400 the targets are staying in the sight picture, but honestly, on the same rifle prone is tough.

Lastly, when you say follow up, I am assuming you mean the "same target".. but the same holds true for several targets going from distance to distance, the tripod is slower and MORE complex than prone. That means more is going on in your head, so NPA, load, trigger, sight picture mistakes or wrong mechanical settings can sneak in when trying to go fast when setting the tripod or prone for that matter.

Hell, I missed the first 4 of 6 targets 650-800y on the last and easiest stage :( after shooting many harder stages well on a match Sunday. I was just trying to go too fast and not thinking clearly. Wind was 10ish@80° (right to left) and I missed "way right" and into the wind. Rather than slowing down, I assumed I just went nuts on the squeeze. Next shot and next distance, same right miss.. Of course, I didn't adjust, looking at the wind I still could not believe the bullet - ya I know right? By the last two, my POA was way off the targets WITH the wind (not indexed into the wind). Of course, the other shooters in my group were also wondering what the hell the wind was doing; looking one way and suddenly running me in the opposite direction... After I was off the line, someone said, "Hey, did you check your windage turret?" No, I never ever move it, I replied.. light bulb moment! .. I walked over to the rifle, ya, I rolled almost 2 mils while hiking to the stage.

Point being, speed is relative and always carries a price if you go too fast for your own box.

Sorry for the late response - hopes that info helps put it into perspective.
 
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Feb 7, 2013
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#43
This is a fantastic thread, thank you for the great info. I hope perhaps you can help me decide what to put on my 3342. Torn between machining the apex 2-3mm to fit a TA-3 or using a TA-U-LB as is. Thoughts?

Looking to shoot and spot off tripod. So far have only shot to 600yds with it using a Game Changer and sling. Planning to use an Arca-swiss rail on my Manners t4 when I can find ine long enough to fit the forend. Unfortunately RRS only has a 6" plate.

thank you for any input
Jafo,

You only have one choice with the 3342. The Apex is to small so you must use the TA-UL.

The 3342 is similar in size to the RRS TVC-23, not the larger TVC-33. One huge advantage of the TA-UL, is that you can use it on smaller lighter legs were space is an issue like hunting, but also repurpose it later if you decided to upgrade to larger legs in the future.

While you really will NOT find a lot of uses for mounting the rifle to your Tripod much forward than the center point of the chassis, you might want to run the bipod anywhere along it. You can with the new RRS bipod conversion for the Harris HC-Pro or Atlas BTC-Pro.

You can do this by running a long section of pic rail butted up to the bipod plate. You can run the tripod here it balances the gun and still use the bipod anywhere along the forend including the RRS 1.5" dovetail (Arca Swiss style plate).

For the Atlas BTC-Pro is here http://soar.reallyrightstuff.com/BTC...or-Atlas-Bipod
For the Harris HC-Pro http://soar.reallyrightstuff.com/HC-Pro-Clamp-for-Harris-Bipod

On my AX chassis, I had to do the same, but before the BTC-PRO, I could not use the RRS dovetail section and pic rail. Unfortunately, the two pieces vary in height, but that does'€™t really seem to be an issue.

[IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"https:\/\/uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com\/20171026\/1ec7840ef2ed45fc649c5edf2a01dca2.jpg"}[/IMG2]

Bipod on RRS Dovetail (tripod plate) [IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"https:\/\/uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com\/20171026\/618e085d705d7e9a64431740a294b90f.jpg"}[/IMG2]






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Last edited:
Feb 19, 2017
159
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USA
#44
I can self-spot with the RRS TVC-33 and TA-3 on steel. But there are so many variables as to what that means to each of us. No problem with follow up shots, but it is slower than prone. My "fast" follow up shots may be someone else's, slow or the opposite.

So for comparison what I see from a fairly heavy 6.5:

Prone: With the correct low level light from behind and light wind I often see my own trace at 25x, but usually shoot around 15x. Follow-ups can be fasts as the re-sets are very small.

RRS TVC-33 and TA-3: Can't see trace but don't have to reacquire the plate to see impact, but I shoot at around 15x. Setting the head resistance helps; but for the smallest targets, while the reset is small, the final adjustment is a a bit slower than prone. If the plate is a fairly large size, the speed difference is remarkably small.

With a really light weight, larger caliber hunting gun.. by about 400 the targets are staying in the sight picture, but honestly, on the same rifle prone is tough.

Lastly, when you say follow up, I am assuming you mean the "same target".. but the same holds true for several targets going from distance to distance, the tripod is slower and MORE complex than prone. That means more is going on in your head, so NPA, load, trigger, sight picture mistakes or wrong mechanical settings can sneak in when trying to go fast when setting the tripod or prone for that matter.

Hell, I missed the first 4 of 6 targets 650-800y on the last and easiest stage :( after shooting many harder stages well on a match Sunday. I was just trying to go too fast and not thinking clearly. Wind was 10ish@80° (right to left) and I missed "way right" and into the wind. Rather than slowing down, I assumed I just went nuts on the squeeze. Next shot and next distance, same right miss.. Of course, I didn't adjust, looking at the wind I still could not believe the bullet - ya I know right? By the last two, my POA was way off the targets WITH the wind (not indexed into the wind). Of course, the other shooters in my group were also wondering what the hell the wind was doing; looking one way and suddenly running me in the opposite direction... After I was off the line, someone said, "Hey, did you check your windage turret?" No, I never ever move it, I replied.. light bulb moment! .. I walked over to the rifle, ya, I rolled almost 2 mils while hiking to the stage.

Point being, speed is relative and always carries a price if you go too fast for your own box.

Sorry for the late response - hopes that info helps put it into perspective.

Not a problem at all, that was helpful. My prior experience was shooting with a cheap manfrotto tripod in a military school. Shooting E type targets in an urban hide is different than using them for more precise shots at long range. We also used the sling wrapped around one of the legs with downward pressure to stabilize the rifle. Shooting off of my feisol and rrs leveling base combo, I found that I had about 2 moa of vertical stringing and almost no left to right. I was clamping the head below the POA and loading the reticle up into the proper slight picture slightly. I think this may have had something to do with it, but I'm not sure what a better strategy is.

I personally shoot at steel quite a bit but I've started shooting paper more off of barricades, in speed drills prone and off the tripod in order to try and measure my performance a little more.
 
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Apr 24, 2014
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#45
Hey Gents, just wanted to give props to Diver. I picked up an RRS 33 series tripod w/ leveling base (which I detailed in a separate thread). Struggled a bit with it at first shooting roughly 1.5 moa. Based on his advice, I implemented the following:

Two legs facing forward, single leg facing shooter
Bottom legs retracted halfway (me leaning over more & driving the rifle)
RRS claw feet instead of polymer tips
TAB PRS sling attached to rifle & carabiner off my belt & cinched up tight

This technique is very steady compared to when I was first playing around with it. I've had multiple sub moa groups - even with my hunting rifle in the VYCE setup! The sling makes a big difference for me.

Here is what I did this morning - 5 shot groups at 200 yards. Still not as tight as the bipod (and not expecting it to ever be), but very happy with the tripod results now. I did notice a slight POI shift to the left. Logic would dictate that is being caused by the sling on the left side?





Hopefully some of my trial & error can help somebody out there...
 
Likes: Diver160651
Feb 7, 2013
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#46
Hey Gents, just wanted to give props to Diver. I picked up an RRS 33 series tripod w/ leveling base (which I detailed in a separate thread). Struggled a bit with it at first shooting roughly 1.5 moa. Based on his advice, I implemented the following:

Two legs facing forward, single leg facing shooter
Bottom legs retracted halfway (me leaning over more & driving the rifle)
RRS claw feet instead of polymer tips
TAB PRS sling attached to rifle & carabiner off my belt & cinched up tight

This technique is very steady compared to when I was first playing around with it. I've had multiple sub moa groups - even with my hunting rifle in the VYCE setup! The sling makes a big difference for me.

Here is what I did this morning - 5 shot groups at 200 yards. Still not as tight as the bipod (and not expecting it to ever be), but very happy with the tripod results now. I did notice a slight POI shift to the left. Logic would dictate that is being caused by the sling on the left side?

[IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"http:\/\/i64.tinypic.com\/r1z869.jpg"}[/IMG2]

[IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"http:\/\/i63.tinypic.com\/1ynvrq.jpg"}[/IMG2]

Hopefully some of my trial & error can help somebody out there...

Again, thatÂ’s really some shooting!! Great job. Thanks for the images and the post, they show there is more than one way to run the legs.



BTW POI group shifts: At short range (were environmental conditions are out of play) POI vrs POA shifts are almost parallax scope errors. At longer ranges we can completely miss due to them.

We can see them even in a bench even on a 100y zero (as time goes by and then we reshoot days weeks later and find a POI shift); But it is really more an issue in positional shooting, where being behind the gun the same exact way is not possible.

I know the parallax thing sounds weird, especially if one just adjusted it for the same distance. A good indication if this is happening is by pulling back and looking back thru the scope. Shading needs to be absolutely perfect and the same in each position; if itÂ’s not, it is certainly going to introduce a POI shift.

Either way, whatever gets in your strata line is going to be in-trouble with those groups, tripod or not!




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arm017

Sergeant
Jun 5, 2017
581
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#47
Again, thatÂ’s really some shooting!! Great job. Thanks for the images and the post, they show there is more than one way to run the legs.



BTW POI group shifts: At short range (were environmental conditions are out of play) POI vrs POA shifts are almost parallax scope errors. At longer ranges we can completely miss due to them.

We can see them even in a bench even on a 100y zero (as time goes by and then we reshoot days weeks later and find a POI shift); But it is really more an issue in positional shooting, where being behind the gun the same exact way is not possible.

I know the parallax thing sounds weird, especially if one just adjusted it for the same distance. A good indication if this is happening is by pulling back and looking back thru the scope. Shading needs to be absolutely perfect and the same in each position; if itÂ’s not, it is certainly going to introduce a POI shift.

Either way, whatever gets in your strata line is going to be in-trouble with those groups, tripod or not!




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Diver,
Are you able to lock out the legs on a Feisol 3372 with the TA3 leveling base w/ the 2.5 " knob in the lowest (prone) position like you showed with the TVC33? Thanks for the solid advice here dude.
 
Likes: Diver160651
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#48
Diver,
Are you able to lock out the legs on a Feisol 3372 with the TA3 leveling base w/ the 2.5 " knob in the lowest (prone) position like you showed with the TVC33? Thanks for the solid advice here dude.
No - on the Fesiol you will need to run one leg unlocked and make it work a bit like a Bipod. That’s another are the RRS works better.


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jbailey

Gunny Sergeant
Jul 27, 2010
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#50
I want to add my thanks to Diver160651 and all the others contributing to this thread. I just went the Fesiol tripod, RRS leveling base route.

My contribution: for guys looking to run this tripod in a 'scabbard' or 'bag' on their ruck (a key requirement for me, I want all my shooting gear to be mobile via my Kifaru Xray)... check out Sunrise Tactical:

http://sunrisetacticalgear.com/main.sc

They are making high quality, customized tripod 'scabbards' and 'bags' ... get them at the exact size you need, etc.

I'm loving my new setup. Thanks again Hide.
 
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