Wicked Rekon Tripod
- By Chris Parkin
- 1 Comments
- Last updated: 31/10/2019
Shooting sticks come in many guises, but there is absolutely no doubt that when you find the right ones for you, it’s impossible to imagine what you ever did before using their empowering shot-making capability. The Rekon sticks from Wicked are a system designed to fully support the rifle hands-off for more sedentary shooting scenarios allowing immediate access to manoeuvring and precise shot placement, with variable clearance above the ground. There is no doubt that when shooting over crops, stubbles and uneven terrain, just a few inches of extra elevation from the ground will give clear passage for your bullet so being able to do so from positions other than just plain standing is a real benefit.
The Rekon CT-1 Carbon Rekon legs weigh 1.84kg yet promise to support a rifle or other accessory up to 16kg. It is supplied in a Cordura case containing a BH-1 fully adjustable ball head with 360-degree rotation and up/downhill and leaning cant capability for shot-making capability far beyond most hunter’s needs. The long centre post offers the ability to extend 277mm above the central yoke with a second shorter post giving just 60mm of extension above but much less below, enabling the unit low to the ground for prone or spotting scope use. Each lag has a sprung thumb catch offering three angular positions for width versus height stability and each three-part leg is telescopic with non-rotating carbon sections that unlock with a quarter turn of their rubberised collars. They will extend under their own weight with maximum height of feet to the base of the head at 1329mm from the ground before the ball head adds another 131mm up to the base of the ‘Pig Saddle’, holding the underside of the stock 1460mm/57.5-inches from the deck. Anywhere below this is possible by shortening the legs themselves but if situation demands, you can extend up to 1745mm/68.75-inches. All threads are modular, and one leg can be unscrewed to have the long or short extension added to it and, hey presto, you now have a monopod system.
The supplied Pig Saddle’s segmented rubber-lined walls are folded steel with a single triangular locking securing the rifle’s forend very firmly. Width spans 35- to 70mm, so will fit most rifles. A Hog Saddle is alternately available at extra cost, made from machined aluminium to save a few grams. The rubber prevents any damage to the rifle and with walls 39mm tall it cradles the gun naturally. I used it with a lot of rifles and the short 99mm length of the saddle allowed me to leave bipods in place on forends without restricting magazine access further rear, which is a subtle benefit for multi-role rifles.
Rubber feet offer good grip on hard surfaces but unscrew for spiked feet supplied in the case for softer ground if desired. A sprung hook is slung below the centre column, handy for hanging heavy items on for simple `mass anchorage` stability when using spotting scopes in the wind or just your rucksack in everyday use.
A carrying strap slings the whole setup stored down to 690mm/27.25-inches for carriage to your shooting position with an all up weight (tripod, ball head, Pig Saddle) of 2.51kg.
Two instruction manuals are supplied, but nothing really requires explanation. The components screw together with conventional 3/8-inch x 16 and ¼-inch x 20 familiar to photographers so any camera accessories are compatible. The instructions explain disassembly detail for maintenance and advise against lubrication that will collect debris.
The base of the BH-1 has twin tensioners, one purely for rotational control and a larger one for the ball head. Once rotated into approximate direction, tighten the small knob and then simply concentrate on the ball head’s pan and tilt, tensioned to suit your preferences and the weigh of the rifle. Don’t have it too tight and force the rifle, but on the other hand don’t have it flopping around, you will soon find your sweet spot.
There are various bubbles located to assist with any levelling needs you think you might need, and use is aided with Forest and Desert Camo Neoprene Leg protectors offering a warm touch, although carbon fibre won’t conduct heat from your hands like Aluminium does.
Altering length on the legs for a generalised position to suit your own height is better done in practice first but can still be performed quietly in the field if needed between the likelihood of standing or seated shots. For long waits in ambush it is superb, allowing you to relax and observe, especially with heavier less dynamic night vision kit on a top-heavy rifle. If you want to go prone, you will have to swap the centre column and it’s not something you will do in a hurry, it takes a couple of minutes to be fair, but horses for courses. If prone, I found having one leg pointing at the target with the other two spread abroad my elbows was the most stable, allowing a certain amount of forward lean/pressure to be applied, similar to a regular bipod being `loaded`, and I found this worked similarly standing too, giving the rifle a feel through recoil more similar to current shooting styles. If I did need to move, the Rekon remained quiet and easy enough to carry one-handed, legs spun upward without undue metallic rattles or whistling in the wind over open terrain, but I had to remember to fold it in closer confines and re-application for another shot took an extra few seconds over quad sticks.
No shooting support will suit every man or situation, but the Rekon Tripod system is a well specified addition to the armoury, especially for longer range shots standing, sitting or kneeling. Ideal for long waits in ambush locations or repetitive shots like indoor feral pigeons at high angles.
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