Some are better suited for different situations and rifles than others and you always want to avoid shoddy workmanship since it might fail you at an inopportune time and cause you to miss a shot.
A good bipod will have the following qualities:
If you can find all of those, then you’re in good hands.
The Ideal Height
Your bipod’s ideal height will depend a lot on how you like to shoot. For the most part, a 6”-9” bipod is ideal for shooting prone, a 9”-13” makes a good compromise between prone and sitting shoot and allows you see over small obstacles, and taller bipods ranging from 1’-2’ are perfect for shooting from a cross legged or sitting position.
Keep in mind, that if you’re hunting from a blind, you should have built a bench rest in there anyways and one which is suited for prone shooting is probably what you’re looking for. More mobile hunters will appreciate the versatility of a medium sized one.
Larger bipods are great if you’re planning on super long distances while hunting, since you can easily see over logs and other obstacles in the field while taking aim.
In all cases, you want to use the minimum height which allows you to shoot comfortably.
The quality of the bipod will play a large part in how useful it ends up being for you. It might surprise you, but used properly a bipod is going to be under a lot of stress while you’re in the field. By minimizing the height you can lower the flex, but the legs are still going to be absorbing some of the recoil no matter what you do.
Over time, this is going to cause failure in even the best bipods, but if you’re a careful hunter then a good one will last you for quite some time.
You’ll also need to make sure that you can properly attach the bipod to your rifle. For most bipods, there are only two options: swivel lug mounts or picatinny rail mounts. If you’re using an AR, you’re going to need one of the latter or an adapter in order to get some bipods to connect properly.
You may need to purchase and mount a swivel lug if your rifle doesn’t have one already, for hunting you definitely need a semi-permanent mount.
If you’re a mobile hunter, then you need to be able to deploy the legs of your bipod and adjust the height quietly. Now, they’re metal so you’re not going to be able to attain total silence but making sure that you can deploy them without any sort of creaking is vital, especially at range of 150 yards or less.
This is as much a maintenance factor as anything else. Take good care of your bipod, it’s essential to your hunting success.
A wider stance on the legs is inherently going to be more stable, but it’s also going to add to the bulk at the front of your rifle which can be a problem in the brush. Overall, this is a relatively minor issue, however, so try to pick out the widest legs you can.
In all honesty, only a highly specialized, very expensive tournament bipod is going to be wide enough to cause you trouble in most situations.
The feet are a highly important consideration. Different feet will work better in different situations, what might be fine if you’re prone in soft dirt might not be ideal if you’re crouching and resting the rifle on a log.
Wider feet will tend to grip better on harder surfaces, while soft feet can be “dug in” a little bit in softer terrain in order to absorb more of the recoil from the rifle’s shot and help you to avoid troublesome muzzle climb.
As long as you keep the terrain and your shooting style in mind while you’re looking for a bipod, you really can’t go wrong. It might seem like a whole lot to take in at once, but you can imagine things this way: a bipod serves as a solid platform to enable you to shoot straight with two legs.
How the legs dig in and if they’re high or low enough for your plans is always going to be the deciding factor on if your bipod is an expensive showpiece or a truly useful piece of equipment that you can’t imagine hunting without.
The Five Best Rifle Bipods On The Market
We’ve dug around and brought you five of the best bipods currently available for your viewing pleasure and convenience. One of these should be ideally suited for pretty much every shooter, but you really can’t go wrong with any of them.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at each and their benefits and drawbacks so you can find the perfect rifle companion for your next hunting season.