- By Chris Parkin
- 0 Comments
- Last updated: 24/05/2019
Accu-Tac supply a wide range of bipods to suit various rifle shooting sports formats. I was sent two of the designs, along with required accessories to use on some of the test rifles that flow through my hands, to see how they measure up.
Firstly, all the Accu-Tacs are Picatinny fit, either with thumbscrews or QR levers; so, I was pleased to see that they produce a stud-Picatinny adaptor as a first-rate product, rather than a casual afterthought. Modern rifles with tubular metallic forends are nice but many of us still want stud fitting compatibility that won’t tear it out of the forend. This sling stud adaptor has a large bearing surface, to spread the load into the riflestock’s forend. It hangs on with a stainless-steel pin through the stud with an anti-rotation collar, before being nipped in place with a spanner on the threaded nut. Each QR clamp has an opposing thumbscrew to adjust the tension of the lever.
Accu-Tac supply LR, BR or FC product ranges, whose length specifications can be chosen to suit your rifle’s needs. The LR was supplied in the 7- to 11.5-inches variant, which proved quite long for a Varmint rifle and I may have been better choosing a 6.25- to 9.75-inches variant. Overall height is quite tall, with a base to (cant) pivot dimension of 22.5mm, excluding any adaptor that may be in place. The build is entirely aluminium and steel, with rubber feet to prevent slip and minimise bounce on hardened firing points. The legs pull forward to disengage and then lower 45- or 90-degrees below vertical in either direction for alternate rest or storage placement. Position locks securely into strongly-sprung detents and each leg has a beefy sprung lever at the base to alter the length; similarly aggressive teeth on the inner telescopic extensions provide an extremely solid hold in position.
Those shooters who load their bipods will know full well that weak bipods soon bend, fold or snap from the fatigue stresses present in constant reciprocal loading and the Accu-tac will NOT do any of those things; it is built like a tank! An underside locking knob controls the tension on the 20-degree cant capability to the left or right and, once set, if you want it tight, it will hold the gun as steady if not more so than any other pivoting unit I have encountered. All this stability does come at the price of a 770gr in weight but for a bipod with a 320mm wide stance (underside of rifle 230mm from ground up to 400mm spread when 291mm high), the weight is worth it for a man transportable, heavy precision or varmint rifle. I don’t think it is a realistic proposition on a sporter, as it shows strengths and mass that will overwhelm a light forend. The stops for the cant angle are all machined as part of the base unit and their firm positon means that you can place a heavy rifle, sideways, at rest on a cross slope, without fear of it tipping against springs and toppling over.
The FC model seems more focussed on FTR style shooters, who don’t need a cant capability, yet want that wide stance with a lower vertical profile. Whereas the LR unit has the rifle pivoting on top, the underslung design of the FC unit lowers the centre of gravity of your whole rig. Its 430mm stance at the lowest setting, where the Picatinny base to ground height measures 196mm, extends to a 500mm width with the bipod now standing at 259mm. The ‘detented’ leg extension is again firm but you can guarantee that in precision shooting circles, you need infinite adjustability for perfect levelling up the rifle and reticle to place shots exactly on target and I feel a screw adjuster, or integral cant facility of some kind for fine adjustment would improve matters.
This is not a cheap bipod and I would rather sacrifice weight for that than the lateral panning facility it does exhibit. I’m very wary of panning a bipod laterally for any reason, especially on a target rifle for which I see this product focussed. Feet resting on the ground, in anything other than perpendicular position to the bore line (and position in which the rifle was zeroed) seems to be an unwanted variable? Likewise, is the 45-degree forward and backward shooting position, likely to be used on a target rifle with no cant capability to compensate for anything other than a perfectly level firing points, so unlikely to be found on ranges? Lastly, steel spikes are available as an accessory to screw on in place of the rubber feet if you are on soft firing points with a shooting style suiting them.
These are very solid bipods but be careful to think through your requirements carefully before ordering from the extensive range and remember this kind of durability and solid, stable performance comes with a weight penalty