May 14th, 2013

Locking Handle Kits for Swivel Bipods

KMW Pod-Loc BipodIf you’ve ever used a Harris Swivel Bipod, you know that, without tools, it is difficult to put enough tension on the swivel locking knob to really lock the unit solid. And, if you do manage to get the knob really tight (perhaps by using pliers), it is difficult to loosen with fingers alone.

That was why Terry Cross and the folks at KMW Long Range Solutions invented the Pod-Loc™. This system replaces the knurled swivel tension knob with a push-button adjustable handle. Using the handle you can easily set the swivel tension at any level from loose to “rock solid”. And you can release tension to adjust the bipod to different terrain just as easily. The KMW Pod-Loc™ retails for about $27.00 at Brownells.com and Sinclair Int’l.

Pod-Loc™ Installation Instructions

How to Build Your Own Bipod Swivel Locking System
While we use genuine KMW Pod-Locs on our rifles, readers on a tight budget, or who have a large collection of bipod-equipped rifles, can economize by putting together their own swivel locking systems from off-the-shelf components. You need two parts per installation: a push-button swivel handle and a 3/16″ spacer. Levers and spacers are both available online from www.T-Nuts.com. The spacer is part #SS1 ($1.00). T-Nuts offers a variety of suitable handles, ranging in price from $5.80 to $8.50. So, by sourcing the parts, you can outfit three bipods with swivel adjusters for the cost of one Pod-Loc.

T-Nuts Bipod Handle lock

We recommend the Nylon/Stainless BPL/NS model ($7.70), but you may prefer the all-metal BPL-Z ($7.00), or the shorter BPL-Micro model ($8.25). The compact Micro lock does not protrude past the body of the bipod, yet is still easily grasped. T-Nuts supplies one 3/16″ spacer with most of its bipod handles. T-Nuts handles are also available with a metric M6x1.0 thread for use with imported bipods such as Outers and Rockport.

Installation is Easy — With the Right Socket
To install a swivel locking system, first you’ll need a 1/4″ socket to remove the keeper nut from the threaded pivot rod. (During this process, you’ll need to keep pressure on the pivot rod retaining pin on the opposite side of the bipod.) Don’t try to remove the keeper nut with pliers or an open-end wrench. You really need the correct socket. Once that keeper nut is removed, then unscrew the knurled tension knob/ring. This is attached to the same threaded shaft as the keeper nut but you should be able to remove it without tools.

After the knurled tension ring is off, it is easy to put your handle on the bipod. First slip the 3/16″ spacer over the threaded pivot rod. Keeping finger pressure on the pivot rod retaining pin (on reverse side), then spin on the T-Nuts handle. Rotate the handle inwards until it firmly locks the bipod swivel mechanism. By pushing the button in the head of the handle, you can swing the handle left or right to set its position without altering the swivel tension.

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February 4th, 2012

Innovative New Eliseo HD Bipod for Tube Guns

Gary Eliseo of Competition Shooting Stuff (CSS) is about to release his new Heavy-Duty (HD) bipod for his CSS tubegun chassis systems. In development for over a year, this unit is very innovative. To place the bipod’s rotational (swivel) axis as close as possible to the bore axis, the bipod actually attaches with a cylindrical bushing fitted to the front tube (handguard). This keeps the center of gravity low and significantly reduces perceived torque, particularly with .308 and larger calibers.

Eliseo HD Bipod Tubegun

You’ll also notice the large half-spherical leg bases. These have been called “golf-ball” feet or, alternatively, “mushroom heads”. Extensive testing showed that this design works really well, particularly for shooting off an uneven or inclined surface. Because the half-spheres contact the ground in just one point, you can easily adjust your rifle’s angle to the target. By contrast, some of the popular sled-type and ski-type bipod feet will dig one end into the ground if the rifle is angled up or down significantly relative to the ground plane. With the golf-ball feet you can shoot on a steep down-angle hill with no problems.

Eliseo HD Bipod Tubegun

Gary also found that the spherical “mushroom head”-style feet work real well on a shooting mat, sliding back smoothly on recoil without hopping too much. This is good for those guys who like to allow their rifle to slide back a bit to smooth out the recoil and follow-through. If you prefer to hold hard and brace firmly against the backward push of the rifle, you can screw down pointed spikes from the bottom of the ball feet. These spikes can be planted in the ground to anchor the gun against rearward movement. So, the spherical bases offer a choice of two shooting styles.

Gary explains: “The new CSS HD Bipod is designed specifically for my chassis systems. As you can see, the bipod mounts in the end of the hand guard so the rifle rotates on its central axis. Our testing shows that this mounting system works really well at controlling torque effects. The spherical feet are made of delrin so they slide easy if you want to let the recoil move back on recoil. But the round leg bases are drilled and tapped to accept track shoe spikes so you pre-load the bipod and hold hard if you prefer.”

Eliseo HD Bipod Tubegun

Eliseo HD Bipod TubegunBoth bipod legs are individually adjustable for height with an inner rod sliding in an outer tube on each side. Adjustment is continuous, with height fixed by way of a tensioning knob. It’s fast and easy to adjust height. One or both legs can also be retracted upwards in an arc, so they can be stowed parallel to the barrel (with tips facing either to the front or to the rear). The new Eliseo HD Bipod weighs 1 pound, 10 ounces — reasonably light considering how sturdy these units are. Pricing has not yet been set, but Gary says they should retail for under $200.00. For info, visit CompetitionShootingStuff.com.

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