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Bipods and tripods, rests and vises

There is more variety of styles and designs of gun bipods, monopods, tripods, gun rests, and gun cleaning / gunsmithing bench vises than ever before. Our selection includes choices from UTG, John T Masen Co., Harris Bipods, Shooters Ridge Bipods, Command Arms Accessories, Tipton, Global Military Gear, and special gun bipod adapters from ARMS, Harris, Shooters Ridge. Be sure to check out the bipod mounting advice at the bottom of this page.
ARMS bipod adapter ARMS: Quick detach bipod adapter for Picatinny rails.
Command Arms picatinny rail bipod Command Arms bipods: Bipods for Picatinny rails.
GMG bipod GMG: Bipods for Picatinny rails.
Harris bipod Harris: Best quality bipods on the market.
JTM Black Warrior bipod JTM: Clamp-to-barrel, plastic bipod.
Shooters Ridge rest Shooters Ridge: offers bipods, monopods, shooting vises, and rests
Tipton gun vise Tipton: Gun vises for cleaning and tinkering purposes
UTG tactical bipod UTG bipods: include an adapter so they can be attached to either Picatinny rails or swivel studs.

How to mount a bipod on a rifle

Bipodsoffer additional stability in making a shot. They can be mounted sothat a sling can also be attached. Due to the use of lightweightmaterials, like plastic and aluminum, most bipods won't add a lot of weight.While a sling offers a quick form of good stability, a bipod offers alevel of stability far greater than that of a sling. Adding a bipod toyour favorite big game rifle, varmint rifle, benchrest plinker, or highperformance tackdriver might be what you need to help improveconfidence and accuracy.

There are many ways of mounting a bipod on a rifle (or even a precisionhandgun).  Sometimes, a bipod may even be mounted on a shotgun ifa person needs the stability, such as if a physical handicap preventssteadiness without it. In this short article, we're going to show a fewmethods for mounting that apply to certain rifles, but can be appliedjust as easily to many handguns and shotguns.

1. The Harris type mount - mounting to a sling swivel stud

Without a doubt, this is the most popular bipod mounting style. HarrisEngineering is credited as the inventor. This type of bipod has legsthat fold up 90 degrees, so they are out of the way when not in use.Harris bipods have a very simple attachment method. Two small"pinchers" are opened by pressing on their ends with the thumb andforefinger. Each pincher grabs one side of the stud and locks into thestud's hole. Tightening a thumb screw locks the bipod in place byretracting the pinchers downward until rubber padded metal secures thepod in place. Harris type bipods have a swivel stud so you canre-attach a sling swivel to the bipod. If you havea sling swivel stud on the forearm of your rifle (or handgun, orshotgun), and a Harris type bipod, you have all you need for a stableshot.

The Harris bipod design has been the one most copied. It is lightweight,yet rugged. Simple, yet effective. Most hunting guns and many target,sniper, police, and match grade guns have studs, so the design is verywidely used (and copied!). Shooters Ridge makes their copies in Chinafor about half the cost of the American made Harris bipods. There areother foreign competitors, also.

Some firearms (like the Savage to the left) now come standard with TWO swivel studs. The stud closestto the shooter is for a sling, while the one farthest away is for aHarris-type bipod.

Depending on the model you get, a Harris type bipod can have theseoptional features: 1) length adjustment via legs with notches in oneinch increments, 2) length adjustment by extending

Sometimes a sling swivel stud isn't available. If so, there are oftenadapters available. Popular guns, like the Ruger Mini 14, havegun-model-specific adapters, but generic adapters are made that providea stud. Here are some adapter examples.



Ruger Mini-14 and variantsthat have a factory issued sling swivel below the gas block assemblycan use this adapter. The hooks at the bottom left grab that swivel. Alarge, steel set screw is tightened to lock the adapter in place. Themetal loop at the bottom right is a loop for attaching a sling. TheHarris type bipod clamps to the stud a the bottom middle. For moredetails, check our Mini 14 adapter info.

AR15 and variants withround handguards can use this Harris AR15/M16 adapter. It fits inside ahandguard vent hole of your choosing. The top and bottom of it sandwichthe bottom handguard. This adapter comes with a detachable slingswivel. Remove the swivel to attach the Harris bipod.

Ageneric stud can beinstalled on a gun having a wooden forearm. Notice the long, T-shapedattachment plate? Although a sling swivel stud can do the same job,this "adapter" from Harris is designed for extra strength. Drill a holein theforearm,  inlet the stock to allow room for the backer plate,sandwich the forearm between the stud and the backer plate. Lastly,attach the Harris bipod. The photo below shows a slug shotgun, whichcan benefit from the use of a bipod.

Just like the previousexample, a generic stud can be installed on a synthetic stocked rifle.This Harris "#2 adapter" installs in synthetic stocks having a"hollow" forearm (synthetic stocks are almost always hollow on theinside at the barrel channel). Drill a hole in the forearm, sandwichthe adapter between the inside and outside, and attach a Harris bipodto the stud.

Harris' "universal #4"adapter can clamp to a barrel or a Parker-Hale-type bipod spigot (which it wasn't designed to do, but it works perfectly).Tighten the 4 clamp screws, adjust the cant of the stud with the sideset screws, and attach a Harris bipod to the stud.

Picatinny rails can be"adapted" by use of an adapter that slides on the rail. Attach the adapter to the Picatinny rail, theHarris bipod to the stud, and you're ready to go!


Bipod adapter, for AR15/M16 round handguard, Sh. Ridge

No photo available.

2. The Picatinny rail mount

ThePicatinny rail mount bipods are similar to Harris type bipods, butattach to a special kind of rail widely found on U.S. military riflestoday. Leg designs are usually folding and adjustable for length, justlike the Harris. However, there are far fewer Picatinny mount bipods onthe market. They also tend to cost more than Harris brand and Harristype bipods (typically starting at $100 and going up to $200 or more).They are just as steady and well designed as Harris type bipods.Although companies like Harris and Shooters Ridge make Picatinny toHarris (stud) adapters, there are no adapters to make Picatinny bipodsfit on sling swivel studs.

3. The barrel mount

Depending on the design, the barrel mountedbipod can be as steady as a forearm mounted counterpart. A simplespring mechanism clamps the bipod to the barrel, but normal handpressure is all that is needed to squeeze the legs together so itreleases from the gun barrel. You'll find barrel mounted bipods madefrom steel, aluminum, or any number of synthetic materials. The original, Vietnam era bipod for the M16 rifle was made from metal and clamped directly to the barrel. It was steady, but metal scratches metal, and you can tell in an instant if an M16 has been used with such a bipod because of the rings left where the bipod wore away the parkerized finish.

The best non-scratch version is a glass filled nylon bipod by John Masen Company (shown to the left). Although we haven't tested thisbipod extensively through the years, it is the least prone to mar a gun's finish. Wecannot guarantee that it won't, given a lot of hard use. It has definite advantages, however. This bipod is extremely light at only 3 ounces. Its legs can be locked in the closed position, making for compact carry in a day pack. It is strong, low cost, and easilyattached and detached at a moment's notice. On the down side, this bipod is not a permanently mounted one, so it is not as ridgid as most bipods.

Barrel harmonics (and thus point of impact and group size) can change when a barrel mounted bipod is installed. Whether it changes for thebetter or the worse depends on a lot of factors. We can't offer you any advice on this topic.

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