Which head for a Manfrotto tripod?

#4
Re: Which head for a Manfrotto tripod?

I use a Manfrotto 498RC2. I like that I can either leave the ball unlocked and pan/tilt freely or lock it down. It is also rated to support up to 17lbs. My AI is 18.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/660311-REG/Manfrotto_498RC2_498RC2_Midi_Ball_Head.html

The Manfrotto 322RC2 is a more popular choice because of the squeeze grip. However it's only rated to 11 lbs.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/303591-REG/Manfrotto_322RC2_322RC2_Grip_Action_Ballhead.html
 

Mike_in_FL

Sergeant of the Hide
Feb 29, 2008
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#7
Re: Which head for a Manfrotto tripod?

They will go by the amount of weight you need to support. I would call the guys at Cameraland. They're one of the vendors here and they'll take care of you. www.cameralandny.com is their site, Doug is a member here.
 

KNIGHT11B4

Core Shooting
Oct 3, 2008
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#8
Re: Which head for a Manfrotto tripod?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: LoneWolfUSMC</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Knight you ever have a problem with the rifle staying put when you go hands free?

I have been looking at changing over to the grip head because it's easier to use with spotting scopes and lighter cameras. </div></div>

None at all. I have used it extensively and a rifle was never an issue. Have used it with PRS and Hog Saddle setups.

edit- Im sure if you used a long, heavy enough rifle you could stress it out. But with normal weight rifles I haven't seen any issue.

In fact the one and only issue I have had was running a USO Field Observation scope with NV rail and PVS-27. The only reason this is an issue is because of the long length of the USO. Add the weight of a PVS-27 to that long body and at certain angles it can be a slight issue.

Shorter body split level spotters with PVS-27 have no issue.
 
Mar 22, 2010
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#10
Re: Which head for a Manfrotto tripod?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Wintermute</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I personally like the horizontal grip action ball head ( http://www.manfrotto.us/horizontal-grip-action-ball-head-with-rc2-rapid-connect)

--Wintermute </div></div>

If you plan to use a Larue mount for your rifle rail, this is the only one from Manfrotto that will work. Its not because of the tripod itself, but the mounting plate on this one is different than the other Monfrotto plates. I learned the hard way. I bought the vertical grip and found out that I had to have horizontal grip as the plates are different and the plate that connects to your rifle from Larue only fits the horizontal grip. I had no issues of my .308AR moving at all and its pretty heavy compared to my .223AR. Just my 2 cents?
 
May 17, 2011
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#12
Re: Which head for a Manfrotto tripod?

I run the M468MGRC2 on my 055CXPRO4
http://www.manfrotto.us/hydrostatic-ball-head-w-rc2-rapid-connect-plate-200pl-14

It is very solid. The friction is selectable and the lock knob really does only need one quarter turn to lock as advertised. I also chose this one over the 'joystick" version because it is so easy to lock one-handed and it doesn't have the joystick there to bang into things.... no plastic to break on the M468 either. That said, it's heavy but, very stable.

The head works great for photo/spotting scope/range finder and is plenty strong for a shooting rest with enough strength to fully support all the weight of your rifle. Larue makes an Manfrotto RC2 adapter for any head that uses RC2 plates mounting to your rail.
http://www.laruetactical.com/larue-tactical-picatinny-rail-adapter


I have a PRS SSP-1 on order to also use as a rest.
http://www.precisionriflesolutions.com/apps/webstore/products/show/838250


 
#14
Re: Which head for a Manfrotto tripod?

The majority of guys using Hog Saddles mount them on some form of ball head.
A few special operations sniper courses advocate not using heads for tripod shooting because they think they are less stable.
To use a head or not is shooter preference. I prefer to use a ball head because it works great for spotting scopes as well.

Below are three ball head models you should consider by Manfrotto.
<span style="font-weight: bold">
486 or 496 Compact Ball Head</span>- this is what i had in the Marines
<span style="font-weight: bold">054 Magnesium Ball Head</span>- this guy is a monster but it can hold a cannon. This is what I currently shoot off of
<span style="font-weight: bold">498 Midi Ball Head</span>- I own one of these too and it holds an 18lbs rifle fine

The 322RC2 grip action heads work well but don't lock down as tight as the three above.

Whether or not to use a quick release plate with your head is also a decision you'll have to make.
QD plates are a little less stable than mounting a Hog Saddle straight to the head. The advantage of the QD plates are if you intend to mount camera or lazer equipment with the same tripod kit.
 

mouse07410

Gunny Sergeant
Jan 5, 2010
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#16
Re: Which head for a Manfrotto tripod?

How inconvenient/difficult would it be to use Hog Saddle without a ball head, mounted just on the tripod?

And what's the cheapest usable tall tripod that could stand to the field use and hold a 17-18 lb rifle (say, in 338 LM)?

Thanks!
 
#17
Re: Which head for a Manfrotto tripod?

Shooting off of a tripod without a head, using a Hog Saddle, is a little more difficult getting scope on target. When shooting movers you will need to utilize ambushing techniques rather than tracking.
The benefits of not using a head are increased stability, reduced weight, and reduced cost of tripod kit.

A moderately priced tall tripod is a <span style="font-weight: bold">Manfrotto 190XPROB</span>.
The "XPROB" means the center column is able to independently rotate side to side. This XPROB feature will act as a head for horizontal adjustment and will also make it easier to position the tripod one leg forward, toward your target.

Here is a photo of a Force Recon Scout Sniper shooting off of a Manfrotto 190XDP without a head. <span style="text-decoration: underline">The 190XDP is the cheapest 190 model available.</span> This tripod doesn't have the XPROB designation so his Hog Saddle doesn't align perfectly with one leg forward. (when the Hog Saddle is fully tightened down to the tripod's 3/8-16 mounting threads.)
Having one tripod leg toward your target is ideal for maximum tripod stability and recoil management.
 

mouse07410

Gunny Sergeant
Jan 5, 2010
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#19
Re: Which head for a Manfrotto tripod?

Great, thanks! Learned a lot here.

Now getting a nice dual-use (rifle and photo shoots
) Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod. QD plates (RC2) should make the transition between components quick and convenient.

I realize QD plates make the platform less stable when used with heavy rifles chambered for like 338LM. But hopefully they're still usable and stable "enough", and aren't likely to break apart after a "season of shooting"?
 
#21
Re: Which head for a Manfrotto tripod?

The stability difference using a QD system is small. You will still have a solid tripod kit. I've never seen a QD plate fail or break apart.
Some guys will replace the standard 1/4-20 mounting bolt with a longer 1/4-20 or larger 3/8-16 bolt from a hardware store. The longer bolt will maximize thread engagement. (A Hog Saddle's mounting threads are a 1/2 inch deep)

Here is a cool QD plate upgrade that uses a brass 3/8-16 mounting bolt.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/55...ck_Release.html
 

JC Steel

Gunny Sergeant
Oct 12, 2008
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#24
Re: Which head for a Manfrotto tripod?

I have a hog saddle and a 054 Mag ball head with the 055 tripod. The thing is rock solid. Adjusts from 6 inches to 5 1/2 feet. Very versatile.
 
May 9, 2007
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SW Oregon
#27
Re: Which head for a Manfrotto tripod?

Great thread w/ a lot of subject meat! As an aside are there any operational benefits or disadvantages to the different materials used in the heads and tripods other than cost and weight? IE one gets brittle or looser in weather extremes(rain,cold,heat) etc?
 
Feb 15, 2009
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#28
Re: Which head for a Manfrotto tripod?

So folks, I just don't get it.

Your spending good bucks for a good tripod and good bucks for a saddle and then your trying to figure out what head to stick between the two. That much I get. But, when one bridges the difference between the tripod and the saddle your adding two more points of disconnect, two more points that need tightening and maintenance. Don't do it, the torque on the whole top assembly with a 18 pound rifle is just too great. Camera mounts are for cameras, not 18 lb rigs that kick. See "Petey's" comments far down this thread.

Rather than all that is above, simplify.

The KZ TSP incorporates a single interface, full faced large area lateral rotation, high degree cant and roll, locks up or loosens with a less than 15 degree twist of a massive billet handle. It is beautifully machined and finished out of the best materials all metal, swaps heads (between a saddle and two (2) sizes of rail clamps). And, importantly, in the saddle allows for "centering" an important consideration if your going to swap out various widths of fore-ends. In other words, one can adjust to insure that the heaviest of rigs are dead to center. As importantly, the functional requirement to separate the tilt/roll lock-up from horizontal pan lock-up is important and intelligently incorporated. Drag can be applied to either and completely adjustable.

The whole adjustable head, including both the saddle and rail bridge costs less that other saddle arrangements mentioned above.

In other words....its all about the head. This is also where somebody says "this guy must work for somebody" I don;t know these folks, never spoke with them, bought it on-line, don;t get paid, rewarded, comped, etc. etc.

Ball: 2.75-Inch 6061 Aluminum, Type II, Class III Hard Coat Anodized With A Special Aerospace Teflon Coating. Special Delrin Sleeve

Body: Solid Billet 6061 Aluminum, Type II, Class III Hard Coat Anodized.

Base: 360 Degrees Panoramic, Solid Bar Alloy Steel With Black Oxide finish With Locking Knob. Standard Size Tripod 3/8-16 Thread

Control Handle: 3-Inches Long, 1.5-Inch Diameter. Controls Tension / Movement Of Ball.











Now, how strong is lock-up? This is at the rail end, barrel is at 6.5 feet in the air.





 
#29
Re: Which head for a Manfrotto tripod?

The Original Post from OP was....
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SPEAK338</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I have used the search function but not finding what I need. I have decided on a Manfrotto 055Xpro and a hog saddle.
Which "head" do I need/ want? </div></div>

I can't think of a reason why a shooter would want to add SIX pounds to their tripod to hold a rifle. That's heavier than most tripods.
There is no advantage using this heavy <span style="text-decoration: underline">KZ/Botach product</span>.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: RollingThunder51</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> But, when one bridges the difference between the tripod and the saddle your adding two more points of disconnect, two more points that need tightening and maintenance. Don't do it, the torque on the whole top assembly with a 18 pound rifle is just too great. Camera mounts are for cameras, not 18 lb rigs that kick. </div></div>

For a fraction of the weight you can use a camera tripod ball head and make first round hits on silhouette targets past 900 yards. Camera tripods/heads have been used by Mil/LE snipers for years, to include war zones.
I have extensive experience shooting off of camera tripods/heads as a Scout Sniper in the Marine Corps.

Where is your evidence of torque being too great on a camera tripod head?
Your post looks like an ad campaign and doesn't contribute to the OP's post at all.
 
#30
Re: Which head for a Manfrotto tripod?

We use the Hog Saddle mounted to a Manfrotto 055PROB tripod.

The Manfrotto Joystick has no problems handling the weight and gives the end users the ability to quickly adjust the angle of the gun with the squeeze of the grip.

I have also found that the Hog Saddle mounted directly to the tripod is a solid all around option. Go old school and use the saddle as a cradle with just enough tension to hold the rifle but still allow for vertical adjustment. Leave the tripod center column loose for panning. This allows for an extremely light weight and solid set up for field carry as well as urban deployment.

We have full time SWAT Snipers using this set up on deployments who couldn't be happier.

Not too mention this product was designed by and is currently being fielded by USMC Scout Snipers!

S/F
 
Feb 15, 2009
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#33
Re: Which head for a Manfrotto tripod?

As you are the maker of a different product, I can appreciate your position. Having said that, as this is a public forum, i was contributing my thoughts on the interface between the tripod and weapon.

I tried to be clear and informative and generous, it takes time to do pics. I probably just should have said <span style="font-weight: bold">"I avoided paying $300 for just the saddle, got a swap system with both a saddle and a choice of quick detach rails, a fully integrated and super strong head assembly with two integrated brakes and fully adjustable drag, eliminated two connection points, allowed for rails and saved 100's of dollars doing it."</span>




 
Aug 24, 2010
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Northeast Wyoming
#34
Re: Which head for a Manfrotto tripod?

I'd rather not give Botach Tactical (KZ's producer) one red cent of my money. Of course I fell for their low prices before I knew any better and was screwed by them for two months of them holding my money, lying to me or otherwise wouldn't take/return my calls and emails. I am far from alone in this opinion and experience. Fuck them.

That and I'm sure not humping that huge and heavy thing into the bush. I use a tripod when I'm shooting at places that requires it. Used to be on the job, now it's when I'm in the mountains or the tall brush. I'm certainly not driving there, I'm rucking and shaving every ounce wherever I can.

Manfrotto, ball head and Hog Saddle. Definitely the best way to go I've ever found and wish I had that same setup back when I was still in the platoon.
 

Petey

Sergeant
Dec 12, 2010
217
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Minnesota
#37
Re: Which head for a Manfrotto tripod?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: LoneWolfUSMC</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Knight you ever have a problem with the rifle staying put when you go hands free?

I have been looking at changing over to the grip head because it's easier to use with spotting scopes and lighter cameras. </div></div>

For what it's worth, my 322RC2 worked ok for a while but would never hold a 17.5 lb AICS-stocked 22" heavy Palma bolt gun static at other than a few select angles. The 322RC2 seems to slip not in the ball joint but rather in the friction collar area; there's only a ring of fiber gasket material present there to prevent the rotation and all the slippage seems to have ruined some of the frictional properties of the gasket over time. Even after adjusting both the tension knob and setscrew on the 322RC2 to as tight as I could go and still be able operate the grip release things didn't improve much.

Maybe I have a dud 322RC2, but I know I'm asking a lot out of a 11lb-rated head especially with the moment arm of the rifle's CG hanging out there. I have a 468MGRC2 head on order now; we'll see if that does the trick.



 
Jul 24, 2007
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Central, NJ
#38
Re: Which head for a Manfrotto tripod?

222 joystick head. While your spotter is on it you can turn it horizontal and rest your rifle on top of it. Its long and wide enough you can put a rear bag on top.
 
Feb 24, 2010
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#39
Re: Which head for a Manfrotto tripod?

@jerseymike

I just started using the 222 for my spotter literally two weeks ago and now have another use for it...sweet!
 
Feb 7, 2010
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#42
I ended up getting a 055, i would recommed the 055-q2. any of the other mounting plates are too large and only allow you to mount the hogsaddle in one position. I wish i would have got the q2 instead of the Q5. I needed to be able to run atleast 2010 and i wasnt going to take the chance of buying a smaller head and it not handling the weight. none of the joystick handles could handle the weight of our bolt guns with suppressors.
 

Papagallos

Gunny Sergeant
Nov 5, 2009
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South Texas, United States
#43
I ended up getting a 055, i would recommed the 055-q2. any of the other mounting plates are too large and only allow you to mount the hogsaddle in one position. I wish i would have got the q2 instead of the Q5. I needed to be able to run atleast 2010 and i wasnt going to take the chance of buying a smaller head and it not handling the weight. none of the joystick handles could handle the weight of our bolt guns with suppressors.
This helps a lot. Thanks.
 
Dec 11, 2011
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#45
I use a gitzo. This thing locks like a champ and is very smooth with fine adjustments. It also is offset so it can get into some funky angles with my spotting scope.
I use this with the hog saddle.

When i bought mine at the camera store the guy said a Denver Swat guy also uses it.

Off Center Heads - Heads - Photo | Gitzo
 

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#46
Re: Which head for a Manfrotto tripod?

We use the Hog Saddle mounted to a Manfrotto 055PROB tripod.

The Manfrotto Joystick has no problems handling the weight and gives the end users the ability to quickly adjust the angle of the gun with the squeeze of the grip.

I have also found that the Hog Saddle mounted directly to the tripod is a solid all around option. Go old school and use the saddle as a cradle with just enough tension to hold the rifle but still allow for vertical adjustment. Leave the tripod center column loose for panning. This allows for an extremely light weight and solid set up for field carry as well as urban deployment.

We have full time SWAT Snipers using this set up on deployments who couldn't be happier.

Not too mention this product was designed by and is currently being fielded by USMC Scout Snipers!

S/F
thanks for the info. I'm new to this forum and I am almost done with a USMC M110 Clone build, trying to match up the correct Mark4 SSOT and Tripod any input on the right direction? thanks Semper Fi.