Although not considered a must-have for most shooters, bipods can be a crucial component for long-range precision rifle marksmen and hunters. In general, these simple accessories offer enhanced stability and can allow for quick recovery shots thanks to their ability to divert recoil and harmonic wave distribution. While sandbags are probably the best at mitigating these factors, it’s hard to beat the versatility and sheer convenience of a bipod. Portable ground mounts have been used for decades, including variants like shooting sticks, tripods, and monopods.
Nevertheless, bipods only gained popularity in the years leading up to World War II. Since then, the technology has advanced exponentially, which makes finding the right one more complicated than you might’ve originally thought. In other words, not all bipods are created equally.
For starters, it’s important to determine its flexibility and adjustable height options. Likewise, most modern bipods should have a decent rotating and swiveling abilities, otherwise, it’s probably a waste of your time and money. This allows shooters to maintain stability on restrictive surfaces and makes it easier to track down moving targets. Lastly, try to find one that is made from highly durable yet lightweight materials. Now that we’ve covered the basics of bipods, it’s time that we get down to business and reveal our picks for the best of the best on the market.
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Harris Engineering is by far the most popular bipod manufacturer and for good reason. These American-made accessories are rated extremely highly, primarily due to their exceptional user-friendliness. These guys are surprisingly lightweight, made from high-strength aluminum alloy with some steel parts, and feature an all-weather black anodized finish. To make things even better, Harris gave their bipods sling swivel capabilities and 6” and 9” adjustability. Similarly, they’ve also got hinged bases which help shooters adjust to tension to properly meet different surfaces. While nearly all of Harris’ American-made models are great, it’s hard to beat the S-BRM.
Atlas is responsible for some of the highest-quality bipods out there and their price certainly reflects that. Their V8 collection is the epitome of premium quality rifle accessories and includes a nearly endless list of features. The V8 Atlas attaches to any 1913 style Picatinny rail and offers users 5 leg positions. Additionally, these bipods were crafted with heat-treated high-grade aluminum and Mil-Spec Type III hard coat anodized. Likewise, 30° of cant adjustment makes aligning your crosshairs and tracking your targets faster and smoother than ever. One of the most special features on the V8 bipods is their interchangeable feet, including spiked cleat, ski, spike, and cleat options.
Swagger has made it its mission to revolutionize the bipod industry and they’ve done a pretty decent job so far. Their novelty comes from what they call the “Crazy Legs Technology”, which essentially maximize user maneuverability. In other words, Swagger offers shooters the stability of traditional bipods while also providing them with unparalleled flexibility and freedom from the restrictive designs of the past. As an “all-terrain bipod”, Swagger claims to be the ultimate shooting accessory for all positions, terrains, and purposes. Furthermore, it’s quiet, easy to transport, has an adjustable chassis, independently adjustable and retractable legs, is easy to mount, and is ultra-durable. The Swagger Field Model is clearly the bipod of the future.
Unlike the previous manufacturers, these bipods are made in China, which is definitely reflected in their low price-tags. Even though they are incredibly inexpensive, these should not be considered cheap pieces of junk. In fact, UTG is surprisingly highly-rated and works fine for most shooters. In addition to their interesting dual mounting construction, they actually include some pretty sweet options. For example, the UTG Tactical OP Bipod has a quick retraction button, decently strong aluminum design, and Foldable arms with spring tension control.
Caldwell bipods are arguably the best bang for your buck on the market. These attachments are truly affordable yet provide shooters with enhanced accuracy and a plethora of premium features. You’re probably going to want to opt for the pivot model which allows shooters to compensate for uneven ground and moving targets at the blink of an eye. Like any good bipod, Caldwells are lightweight yet durable and attach quickly to your rifle’s sling swivel studs.
Likewise, they’re outfitted soft rubber feet and adjustable legs that spring out at the touch of a button. Keep in mind that Caldwell is a subsidiary of Battenfeld, one of the premier manufacturers of gunsmithing, reloading, and gun cleaning supplies. Besides for Caldwell, they also own Lockdown Vault Accessories, Wheeler Engineering Fine Gunsmithing Supplies, and Smith & Wesson Accessories.
All in all, there’s no shortage of high-quality bipods out there. Fortunately, this is one of a few accessories that doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to get a worthwhile product. Although bipods seem like simple accessories that wouldn’t have much variety, it’s clear now that there’s a lot more than meets the eye. For instance, I was very impressed by Swagger’s innovative designs and pretty surprised that Caldwell is basically the only company that offers a pivoting model.