Not long ago, most after-market bipods were designed primarily for use on typical hunting rifles. In recent years, the demands of military and law enforcement shooters, varmint hunters, and tactical rifle and F-Class competitors have inspired new models offering rigidity and accuracy, especially with heavier guns. Among these is the Sinclair Tactical/Varmint Bipod, introduced in early 2009.
Made of black-anodized 6061 aluminum with steel fasteners and springs, the Sinclair bipod weighs 1 pound, 12 ounces. Each square-section leg extends 3 inches in 0.4-inch increments via leg notches, and can be individually deployed at angles of approximately 20 and 60 degrees from vertical, allowing firing off uneven surfaces. Total height range is 5.6 to 12 inches (underside of fore-end to the ground). Both legs terminate in 1-inch-diameter round rubber feet, and can be rotated forward under the barrel when not in use.
Attachment is by way of a cross-pin that engages an Uncle Mike’s-type sling swivel stud on the rifle’s fore-end and two thumbscrews that clamp the padded bipod mounting plate against the stock. An angled polymer locking handle at the rear allows adjustment of the gun’s cant angle.
We mounted the bipod on a Legacy Sports Howa 1500 heavy-barreled .308 Win. rifle, with a Bell & Carlson synthetic stock, Leupold VX-3 8.5-25X scope and a Timney trigger, all from MidwayUSA. Designed to accommodate heavy, hard-kicking rifles, the bipod effectively supported our 12½-pound gun. At the range, using the preferred technique of preloading the bipod legs with shoulder pressure, we achieved accuracy nearly equal to that obtained with a 17-pound Sinclair tripod rest. Although the sample bipod performed best when the legs were retracted and angled wide apart, we had good results with all leg configurations.
Retracting the serrated sliding latch used to change leg angle also allows the bipod leg to be completely removed-a feature requested by varmint shooters to facilitate gun storage in a case. If there is sufficient customer demand, a variant with permanently attached legs may be offered in the future.
The Sinclair Tactical/Varmint Bipod compares well to other high-end models, and will be welcomed by varminters, F-T/R competitors and others seeking maximum accuracy when shooting from a bipod.
Available from: Sinclair Int’l; (800) 717-8211, www.sinclairintl.com. Suggested Retail Price: $229.95