Spartan 300 Bipod
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- Last updated: 19/02/2019
Spartan Precision Equipment is not a company that stand still, constantly improving their products, to stay at the top of their chosen field. Their Spartan 300 bipod is an item that has had more than one makeover and here, on test, is the very latest version.
Weighing in at just 160-grams, it is a truly ‘ultralight’ bipod; in fact, the very nice protective box it comes in seems to weigh more than the bipod itself! Both the bipod and the adaptor required to fit it to the rifle come in great quality protective cases; the plastic boxes are foamlined with cut-outs to hold and protect all the contents and even the supplied Allen screws have their own individual spot in the box. With an expensive item like this, it is good to have a decent quality storage box to protect it when not in use and hold all the smaller accessories that can easily be lost.
The body of the bipod is aluminium, with stainless steel fittings and carbon fibre legs; so, nothing is going to rust if it gets wet and it also has the usual detachable rubber boots over tungsten carbide tipped feet, for extra grip if needed. The legs extend from 15cm to 23cm, so a good height range and they stay in place well once fully opened, giving a good solid base. This new version is very streamlined, there are no thumb nuts sticking out, and this snagfree design means that the bipod can be left on the gun when it is being transported and more easily slid in and out of a bag.
There are different adaptors available to fit the bipod to various rifles and, although they do seem rather expensive, they are of the same very high-quality as the bipod itself. One of the options is a magnetic attachment system, which allows the bipod to be fitted or removed in an instant, while still providing a very stable shooting platform. For this review, the rifle used had an existing swivel stud, so Spartan’s ‘quick-fit adaptor’ was required and this fits over the stud, to provide an anchor point for the bipod. The bipod plugs into the adaptor and fitting or removing it takes just seconds. Again, the result is a very strong and stable platform with a very secure fit between rifle and bipod. This adaptor is supplied with a set of different profile gaskets to suit the forend profiles of a variety of rifles and fitting it only takes a few minutes. Fitting one of these adaptors does not alter the rifle, so they can easily be removed without leaving any trace. The fitting of the adaptor is best done at the workbench, rather than out in the field, to avoid losing any of the small parts. The adaptor also has an attachment point for a sling; so, although the existing stud is no longer visible, you still have this facility on the adaptor.
The bipod is designed to allow both rotation and cant of the rifle, making it superb for getting on the target no matter where it presents itself, so great for hunting applications as well as target work. This latest model also has a new lock, to stop the rifle banking more than 15-degrees, which is a great addition, as it prevents a heavy rifle from leaning too far and falling over while still attached to the bipod. Another great feature is that the bipod can be folded up, either forward or rearward, and in the rearward position, along the underside of the forend, there is still room for your hand to grip the rifle and shoot. When in the foldedup position, the legs lock in place and a small button pops out of the body of the bipod. To release the legs, you simply press the button back in, pull the legs down and rotate them into position, all with one hand. In use, this fold-away feature was a great advantage, making the rifle easy to carry and snag free, but allowing the bipod to be deployed very quickly with one hand. The design of this bipod is very well thought out, resulting in a very practical and useful bit of kit.
The bipod was first fitted to a .308 rifle and, during test firing, it performed extremely well. Even using heavy loads there was no ‘bounce’ through the bipod under recoil and it held up very well; its light weight has not been achieved at the cost of strength or rigidity. With the bipod folded up and under the forend, it was still possible to fire the gun unhindered and it stayed in place during firing, so the retaining mechanism did its job, even under heavy recoil. Fitted to a relatively short barrelled .357 calibre under lever gun, it also performed well, the lightweight gun still behaving itself with no additional jump or bounce through the bipod. The additional weight is almost unnoticeable, particularly on a heavy gun and, when the bipod is stowed in the up and back position, you almost forget it is there.
There is no getting away from the fact that this is an expensive piece of kit, but to put it into perspective, on a £1500 gun, with a £1000 scope, sat in £240 rings, is it really too much? Having seen the very high quality of both the bipod and the accessories, I would have to answer no, it isn’t too much. It is obviously aimed at the shooter who uses equipment at the high end of the price range but, in that market, it is a reasonable price for a very good item. You are buying very high quality, well designed and well built, functional gear. Spartan have done their homework and this latest model is certainly their best yet. It will be interesting to see where they take the design next, just how good will their products get?