If you run your rifle without a bipod, you’re missing out big time.
At DeerHuntingField, we believe that one attachment that no one should be without is a good bipod. When deployed, the bipod gives you a more stable platform to shoot from.
And as you already know, stability is conducive to accuracy. The more stable your rifle is, the better your grouping is going to be.
Better accuracy isn’t the only thing that a bipod can do for you, though. Your arms and joints won’t have a good time cradling a 6-pound rifle unsupported.
So, if you’re planning on getting yourself and your rifle one, here are all of the things to take into consideration.
This is the very first (and probably the most obvious) thing to take into consideration. Your budget decides the range and brand of bipods you can set out to explore.
On the tip-top of the bipod market are brands like Harris, Atlas, Ckye-Pod, LRA, among others.
Harris, in particular, is the most popular. The brand’s bipods are used and trusted by most professional hunters and sharpshooters. You can also find Harris-branded bipods on rifles used by law enforcement and military, as well.
Though they are a bit more expensive, their reliability and durability are worth the investment.
But that doesn’t mean you cannot get good bipods for cheap. If you’re a novice shooter or you don’t have a big budget to spend on a high-end bipod, fortunately, there are more than a few “affordable” brands out there.
For example, this NcSTAR bipod is $40. Meanwhile, even the cheapest Harris bipod will run you $75.
If you want to go even cheaper, CVLIFE is a decent brand. This CVLIFE 6-9 inches bipod ($24) offering is quite popular and has fairly decent ratings.
Note that most of these cheap bipods are made in China. If you want US-made products, you will have to go for the more expensive options.
But Chinese-made isn’t exactly bad, mind you. They do work and the aforementioned brands do have a relatively solid track record. However, these cheap bipods won’t be as durable in the long term as the more expensive models.
Different Types of Bipods
This is the most popular type and is generally what comes to most people’s mind when “rifle bipod” is mentioned.
A traditional bipod refers to the simple two-legged stand that keeps your rifle aloft. When it is not in use, the bipod can be folded down for easier transportation.
Most traditional bipods these days have rubberized feet for greater traction against shooting surfaces. They also have adjustable heights, giving you the ability to shoot from a variety of positions.
Grip pods are most commonly found in the LE/Mil community.
Grip pods are basically a hybrid between a foregrip and a bipod. You can hold onto the foregrip section while you’re on the move. Then, when you have to hunker down and get into shooting position, there is a small bipod at the bottom of the grip to keep your rifle stable.
This design allows the shooter to transition extremely quickly between a static shooting position (proning) to mobile.
A good example of a grip pod is the Grip Pod System (GPS) 02, which we highly recommend if you have an AR-15 platform.
Because the biggest advantage of having a grip pod is the ability to go from static to mobile in seconds, grip pods are usually attached to home-defence weapons.
Monopods aren’t very popular since they don’t offer a lot of support compared to a bipod or even a grip pod.
A rifle monopod is basically a walking stick that you can mount your rifle on.
And no, we’re not kidding. It can actually be used as a walking stick while it’s not in use. Unlike a foldable bipod, a monopod isn’t bolted to your rifle, so you have to carry it separately. When you sight the target, place the rifle on top of the monopod and you’re ready to pull the trigger.
The advantage to a monopod is that it is very quick and maneuverable. Much more than a bipod. However, in return, it doesn’t offer a lot of stability for an accurate shot.
Different Bipod Mount Types
Picatinny Rail-mounted Bipod
A rail bipod is mounted to your system through Picatinny rail.
Since its conception, it has become the go-to type of bipod for many shooters since it is more durable and stable than the old-fashioned sling stud type.
A rail bipod typically has two stud holes (some even have three). In contrast, a sling stud only has one. This is the reason why a rail bipod can withstand much more abuse than a sling stud.
Additionally, a rail bipod also grips onto the mounting surfaces on either side of your rail. This doesn’t just improve durability alone. You will also be able to limitedly adjust the bipod along the length of the rail when you have to.
For both of these reasons, rail bipods are used extensively in the law enforcement and military scenes.
Most rifles with the AR-15 form factor have Pic rails out of the box. Because of this, if you read the best AR15 bipod reviews, most of them will be rail bipods.
The only drawback is that not every rifle has Pic rails. Fortunately, you can use a “sling stud-to-Picatinny adapter” if your rifle doesn’t support rail bipod as it is.
Sling Stud-mounted Bipod
Sling stud is the most popular since it is compatible with virtually every single rifle on the market. It is very easy to install. All you have to do is to bolt it to the stock through the singular stud hole.
Of course, like we mentioned earlier, a sling stud bipod isn’t very durable. As it only has one stud, it is very easy to dislocate the stud if you’re too heavy-handed with it.
ARCA Rail-mounted Bipod
ARCA rail is quite rare and is only available on a select number of firearms. But if your rifle supports full ARCA rail, you will get to enjoy a lot of benefits that other shooters won’t.
Durability-wise, an ARCA rail bipod typically has several mounting points, so it is very durable. If you set it up correctly, your ARCA rail bipod will be even stronger than a rail bipod.
Virtually every ARCA rail bipod supports quick attachment and disconnection right from out of the box. In comparison, some rail bipods have this feature, but not all. If you want this feature from a rail bipod, you will have to purchase a special QD bipod.
Similar to rail bipods, you can adjust the position of the bipod on the ARCA rail by sliding it up and down. However, while Pic rail bipods are only limitedly adjustable, an ARCA rail bipod is infinitely adjustable. If you’re a fan of flexibility, you’ll love it.
Last but not least, if you don’t shoot while proning and require better stability, you can mount an ARCA bipod onto a tripod ball head.
Besides the fact that it’s rare to find a rifle that has an ARCA rail out of the box and you will likely need an adapter, ARCA bipods are usually more expensive.
After you have decided on a budget and the mounting mechanism, let’s discuss height.
You probably already know that most rifle bipods are adjustable. The adjustable height will allow you to be more flexible and adjust your shooting platform on the fly depending on the terrain.
A good range to go for is the 6/9-inch, which will work for most cases and most people. The Harris S-BR hinged base 6/9-inch bipod is a good example.
If you need something a little bit taller, you can choose between a 9/13-inch or 13/24-inch bipod.
These bipods are great if you like to shoot from a seating position or are shooting in the snow (which makes going prone a bit uncomfortable). We also recommend using a taller bipod if you’re a tall person.
A good trick to try when you test out a rifle bipod is to try and take aim while in a prone position. The bipod should support the rifle solidly and maintain stability while also keeping you comfortable. A good bipod’s height should never tire you out quickly.
Take purpose into consideration. If you are a novice hunter or you don’t require pinpoint accuracy all the time, it’s okay to go for low-end to mid-end bipods.
They may not be as stable or accurate as the higher-end stuff, but they are enough. Save the extra money for other things, like ammo.
On the other hand, if you are a pro-shooter or you’re in law enforcement or the military where absolute precision is important, go straight for the higher-ends.
They’re expensive, but a quality bipod is a major deciding factor between a successful or failed hunting trip. And if you’re reading this guide hoping to find a good bipod for your service rifle, a quality bipod could even decide life and death.
The Harris S-BRM series bipods are very popular among the LE/Mil crowds due to its lightweight, ease of use, and stability.
Keep these in mind and you will be able to find a good rifle bipod to buy in no time! We hope you like this short guide from DeerHuntingField. If you have any questions you would like to ask, don’t hesitate to contact us via our email.
In the meantime, if you would like to read reviews on some top-rated bipods, browse through our site and try a few of our best AR15 bipod reviews!