Nieload Drakensberg Carbon Hunting Tripod
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- Last updated: 06/12/2023
A steady rest in the field is an essential accessory to any shooter’s arsenal; I use bipods and sticks when stalking but sometimes a rock-steady tripod mount can be beneficial. This type of ‘camera’ rest with a soft claw clamp for the rifle is becoming more popular. Nieload offers a quality item, a collaboration with special forces sniper units resulting in a carbon fibre tripod offering great stability.
The Drakensberg Carbon Hunting Tripod is made from hard anodised A7075 aluminium and carbon fibre. It is the sort of tripod one would use for a camera or video but with specific applications for the shooting world, such as lightweight components and removable head sections to clamp, and clip, quickly to any rifle. It can be manipulated to lay completely flat, so that you can use it as a bipod, and it includes a quick-release weapon mount to prevent scratches. The head of the product can be replaced with other items from Nieload, such as the shooting stick head with Picatinny profile at the bottom and ARCA Swiss at the top.
The legs are in four sections, with graduated diameter carbon fibre stems that slide within each other to collapse the unit. Unextended, it measures 60cm, and the max height is 160cm. It is adjusted by easy-to-use twist and lock rubber collars at each leg’s base, allowing any position for any type of uneven terrain.
The rubber tactile feet are very stable and grippy, and the tops of the upper legs have a soft neoprene covering. This means that when a sling is attached via the clip, your shoulders are not bruised.
There are three locking positions via a sprung clip on the top leg-to-head arrangement, but the legs are stiff enough to position at any angle. The head is fluid, with a side-mounted tightening knob that applies pressure to the mounting ball via the adjustment tensioner. The 55mm ball head with flow control has a 3/8-UNF thread that attaches to the aluminium rifle clamp. The inner surfaces are ribbed rubber to grip, but not damage, the rifle when clamped tightly. The clamp is 4” long with a minimum clamp space of 1.5”.
It’s very lightweight at 1.8kg and easy to deploy from a sitting or prone position, offering an incredibly steady rest. I personally would not use it for stalking in the extended position, but when sitting or standing from a hide or static position, it is very viable.
Beautifully made and very lightweight, it offers as steady a rest as one could want. It does tame recoil, but make sure the clamp does not pinch or change the barrel harmonics when shot with some flimsy stock designs and tight barrel channels. It’s pricey at £598 with a clamp head, but for those wanting the ultimate shooting rest, it is hard not to be impressed.