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bi pod problem

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by samuelm16, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. samuelm16

    samuelm16 se pdx Well-Known Member

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    mounted a harris bi pod on my ruger m77 and i have to adgust one leg higher than the other to not make the scope look crooked is this normal?
     
  2. jonn5335

    jonn5335 Longview Active Member

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    No this is not normal either your scope, stock or bipod is misaligned
     
  3. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Given that you are certain your scope is in true vertical alignment with your bore (and assuming you are setting the bipod on a flat, level surface), such an angular misalignment of the crosshairs might be caused by irregularities in the shape of the forearm, allowing the bipod cradle (the part that contacts the forearm) to sit at an angle. Another possible (more probable?) cause would be the sling stud being off-center.

    A mild shim on one side of the cradle may serve to make the necessary compensation.

    None of this should be of great issue in a field setting: ground irregularities would need to be adjusted for anyway. Also, a bipod should not be the method by which we benchrest our guns for testing.

    Therefore, I see your problem as a "non-issue" for a hunting rifle: apparent only when setting up on the flat,level surface as initially described (and when do we do that?).
     
  4. Creeper

    Creeper Ravensdale, WA. Member

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    Spitpatch... that was about as thorough a response as Samuel could ask for. Good on 'ya.

    Cheers,
    C
     
  5. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, fellas.

    It was all I could do to not launch into my sermon about my general distaste for attached bipods on hunting rifles.
     
    EMP9596 and (deleted member) like this.
  6. samuelm16

    samuelm16 se pdx Well-Known Member

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    why is that? this will be my first year hunting out east with good chances for shots at 200 plus yards i figured a bi pod or shooting sticks would be a necessity am i missing something?
     
  7. Creeper

    Creeper Ravensdale, WA. Member

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    Do you really think you need a bipod for a 200-300 yd shot? If you're carrying a backpack... you got a rifle rest, simple as that.

    Cheers,
    C
     
  8. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    I have deployed my bipod a heck of allot faster than I have even been able to get my backpack off! Plus all the movement involved......off run the animules..
     
  9. EMP9596

    EMP9596 Two Trees West of Camas, WA. Active Member

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    :thumbup:
     
  10. samuelm16

    samuelm16 se pdx Well-Known Member

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    wow guess my marksmanship skills are horrible since i want to use a bi pod and not a backpack
     
  11. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    I can't think of a better rifle to have a bipod on. I have bench rifles I could use but then there is the whole sandbag thing...
     
  12. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    "i figured a bi pod or shooting sticks would be a necessity"

    You are on the right track, Samuel. But toward your second choice. (And since you asked, everybody gets to suffer. Here ya go:)

    The biggest objection I have toward attached bipods on a big game hunting rifle is what they do to the rifle itself. Modern hunting rifles are engineered and manufactured with a pretty darned good direction toward balance, which cultivates and assists the shooter toward making the shot. A counterweight on the muzzle end of a hunting rifle changes this balance dramatically, and detrimentally, especially for those shots where a rest is not to be had (such as from the standing position in open country). Even the raising of the weapon to the shoulder prior to the shot, along with rapid target acquisition in the sights is significantly hampered by the counterweight.

    Secondly, when carrying the rifle on the shoulder from a sling, an attached bipod adds two more “barrels” upon which a low branch can snag, while the hunter ducks beneath smoothly. Thirdly, while carrying the rifle horizontal in the hand, one not only has 66% more chance of bumping into something, the very arrangement allows for a brush-grabbing V-notch (or two) to snag on hip-high vegetation, where a naturally “nude” rifle would slide through like a fish in the reeds. Also, retention of such snagged vegetation in the bipod mechanism can render it worse than useless when needed.

    Modern hunting rifles are also pretty darned well engineered and manufactured to be relatively light. Claims of “lightweight aluminum design” by bipod manufacturers do nothing for the hunter who knows that covering ground means success, and even a few ounces added to his weapon can seem like tons at the end of a long day. Our rifles are fortunately much less heavy than those carried by our fathers and grandfathers: why add the weight back on?

    As for shooting in situations where a rest CAN be employed, an attached bipod may hamper the achievement of a shot by the very factor that it is ATTACHED. Older models required the hunter faced with a traveling animal (even walking slowly) to do a sort of “bump and shudder” of the bipod legs across the ground in a (usually vain) attempt to keep the animal in the scope. Newer “swivel-head” models have addressed this to some degree, but being still solidly attached to the gun, they still limit totally free movement of the weapon in a range of all directions at any speed. Adjustment of weapon height is not as instant as many claim: either dictated by machined notches, or if those are not preferred, a slow process to select something in-between. Rapid and infinitely variable change is necessary if the animal is going away uphill or downhill, or when the shooter must quickly change positions to retain target view (sitting to kneeling, for instance).

    All of the above advice is from experience of using attached bipods and seeing them used. It can be taken for the value one paid for it. Time in the field nearing 53 years of my life has been spent largely on the open prairie and for my passion of chasing Antelope (“bipod country” and “bipod game” if there ever were such). I have taken probably more than a hundred (some with an attached bipod). I have seen hundreds more taken (many of these also with a bipod).

    Not a long number of years ago, I invited a close friend (along with his two sons) to join me on my annual foray for Pronghorn. His boys arrived outfitted finely with custom rifles of their Dad’s making, one of wildcat caliber. Each was adorned with a (admittedly old-style, not swivel-head) Harris bipod. The boys chose to hunt with me, and since I had already taken my antelope with bow, I was happy to play guide and cinematographer.

    We had three opportunities on nice bucks, during which in each case the boys (although well practiced and familiar) fumbled with the bipods, and then upon finally setting up, did the infamous “bump and shudder” of the bipod legs on the terrain. One opportunity was close enough (120yds or so), that I know either of these good marksmen could have taken the walking buck out of the herd with a ’94 .30-30 (sans bipod, of course).

    After the third opportunity was squandered, I asked each boy for his rifle. Upon relinquishment, I whipped out my Leatherman tool, unscrewed the bipod from the rifle, and tossed the offending gadgetry into the sagebrush. With an advisement to make note of our location, should they choose to recover their property later, I prohibited the bipods from accompanying us for the rest of our hunt.

    Both boys took fine trophy antelope later in the day, and on the way back to camp I assisted them in locating where their jettisoned equipment resided.

    Telling their Dad their hunting stories, of course the “Bipod Incident” figured prominently. The younger (of less diplomacy) advised his Dad to remove the third contribution to the Harris fortune from his rifle. Dad staunchly defended its potential use. A day later, the three of us silently and knowingly noted its absence from Dad’s gun.

    I am a hard proponent (even sometimes to my own demise) of finding a rest to make a shot. I rant and rave at the TV when an “expert” takes a shot using no rest (or a shoddy one), when a good one can be had (and seen!) nearby. I know I have missed opportunities for shots others may have taken as a result of my seeking the best rest I can find.

    It is this and other experiences witnessed (even with swivel-head bipods) that have led me to a decision to employ shooting sticks instead of an attached bipod. A lightweight aluminum affair, constructed of what bowmen would recognize as slender arrow-shaft material, with shock-corded collapsibility (and instant deployment) much like a backpack tent pole. It has a sliding rubber “rest joint” than is infinitely adjustable for altitude of the gun. The sticks carry nearly weightless on the hip belt (or in the day pack when traveling), or in the hand upon the stalk.

    My rifle is unencumbered, retains its natural balance and weight, yet I have a solid rest at the ready that allows complete and free movement of the weapon: adjustable simply by rocking the gun forward or back on the sticks for minor changes necessary in altitude above the ground. Employing the sliding rubber joint for greater range of adjustment, mine works for everything from prone to kneeling. Slightly longer models will accommodate a standing shot. (However, I almost always employ my daypack for a flat-prone shot where set-up time is not an issue: nearly benchrest solid, and the shooter need only avoid contact with the buttpad on the ground to avoid a shot going high as a result of blocked recoil). The sticks also offer instant choice as to where on the forearm the rest makes contact: useful when obstacles in proximity to the shooter dictate position/style change (such as in a boulder or brush pile). Angular issues (keeping the gun and crosshairs in vertical alignment) is a complete non-issue with the sticks: since the gun is not attached, the gun can be placed at any angle at any time (in no time). Uneven terrain is therefore dealt with in an instant.

    These shooting sticks are most normally supplied with the tips of the legs beveled to a mild point in order to engage the earth. Once during a two-day Montana rainstorm, I was sighting on a nice Pronghorn buck, when I noticed the muzzle of my gun slowly losing altitude. The pointy legs of the sticks were penetrating the bottomless adobe! Upon return to camp, I tore into my archery tackle box and retrieved two “rubber blunt” arrow tips and installed them for “shoes” on the arrow-shaft tubing feet of the shooting stick: a proud and useful improvement.

    Shooting sticks can be readily applied as well to steady spotting scopes, cameras and binocs. They can also be instantly loaned to a partner (or kid) that has not learned the trick yet. (Try that with your attached bipod!)

    It is not that I believe attached bipods to be useless: I believe they have strong application in situations where there is infinite time to ready for the shot, and with a weapon toward which the hunter has already relinquished any concerns as to carrying weight, encumberment, and balance for the shot. Most recently, I have found an attached bipod to be just the ticket for my fat-barreled .17HMR. Weight conservation with this gun was never a goal. The rifle will probably never be used for a swinging shot at moving game. Sage rat shooting with this gun most always is done at a stationary target. All-day walks for miles after game with the gun on the shoulder will probably never be done. Snaking through brush on an approach or stalk is likewise pretty much out of the picture. For this firearm, the attached bipod makes perfect sense.

    However, for the big game rifle in the hands of a hunter who covers ground and needs his well-balanced and portable gun to be instantly ready for usage under any situation with the added asset of a good solid rest, Shooting Sticks are a far more convenient, versatile and useable accessory.
     
  13. samuelm16

    samuelm16 se pdx Well-Known Member

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    shooting stick it is thanks for the tips
     
  14. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    Bi-pods/Mono-pods are great for stationary hunts. The extra oz's becomes extra lb's after several hundred yards of climbing a hill. Do yourself a favor and buy/DIY a set of shooting stick(s).

    It is so much faster to drop to a knee and steady your rifle with the shooting stick you already have in hand than to drop prone and deploy and adjust two legs of bi-pod.
     
  15. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget a trip to your local archery shop for "rubber blunts" or "bludgeon tips" so you can land on the moon and not sink in.