Which shooting tripods are best?
Every hunter should have a shooting stick in their arsenal if they consistently want to make accurate shots. But choosing the right one can be rather daunting. Do you need a quick and portable monopod or a more stable tripod?
Most of it will come down to personal choice, but a tripod is, under many circumstances, the best method for clean and accurate shooting. If you are looking for one of the best, the Bog DeathGrip Tripod is durable and versatile.
What to know before you buy a shooting tripod
Not as portable as other designs
A tripod naturally has three legs, making it the most stable shooting stick for hunting. But it does come with a few disadvantages. It might be stable, but it takes more time to set up and can’t be broken down as fast as a bipod or monopod. You also have to contend with the legs possibly getting stuck in branches or crevasses. To keep it safe and clear of dirt, you also need to store it in a tripod bag.
A compatible yoke
Your rifle needs to be as steady as possible when sitting on top of the tripod, and that is where the yoke comes in. It acts as a cradle that holds the weapon in place and can often be designed in a V-shape or a U-shape. Others might have a small sandbag. Keep in mind what kind of weapon you will be using with the tripod, and make sure that your rifle or crossbow is compatible.
Weight and adjustments
Depending on the kind of hunting you are doing, the weight of the tripod can play a big role. If you need to track your targets on foot, then a lighter, more portable tripod will be needed. But if you are doing some long-range shooting, a heftier tripod will afford more stability. The same can be said for tripod adjustments. Close-range targets might be spooked by adjustments, while faraway targets won’t hear it.
What to look for in a quality shooting tripod
Multi-use head attachment
The yoke is where the weapon rests on the tripod, but different head attachments allow you to connect other things onto the tripod. By having the functionality to remove the yoke and attach a multi-use head, a quality tripod can be used for a range finder, spotting scope or photography. This will give you a bit more bang for your buck when outdoors.
Range of movement
The tripod’s main purpose is to keep your rifle steady, but you do want some rotational movement. The range of the rotation is important, as it will allow you to track moving targets or adjust your acquired target without having to move the whole setup. A quality tripod will allow for rotation of at least 180-degrees and will swivel up and down. It is also important to look for a tripod where the height can be adjusted. This will come in handy whether you are standing, crouching or in the prone position.
Adjustments for accuracy
You might need to make small adjustments to the tripod when the conditions change or the target moves. Together with the range of movement, a quality tripod will allow you to make small adjustments in the alignment without having to move the whole tripod. This can range from knobs and levers to adjust the leg height, head rotation or yoke movement.
How much you can expect to spend on a shooting tripod
Tripods are available in different sizes and functions, so the average price will depend on the maker and the capabilities. An entry-level tripod retails for between $30-$80. Professional tripods are more expensive and can retail for between $150-$400.
Shooting tripod FAQ
Can you attach a tripod directly to your rifle?
A. Through the nature of a tripod’s design, this isn’t possible and it would also be impractical. Some hunting rifles, though, can accommodate a bipod attachment, but those are best used under specific shooting conditions.
Is a tripod used for handgun shooting?
A. While this is possible, you might want to get a multi-use head or yoke attachment specific for this use. The standard yoke won’t be wide or large enough to support an arm.
What’s the best shooting tripod to buy?
Top shooting tripod
What you need to know: This is a tripod that won’t move an inch, even with high-caliber rifles.
What you’ll love: Weighing just over 8 pounds, this tripod from Bog features a three-position lock on each leg, the clamping head can pan a full 360 degrees and the tripod can tilt 25 degrees. As the name implies, the head has a death grip on the weapon, making hands-free shooting possible in standing, kneeling or sitting positions.
What you should consider: The clamping system isn’t detachable and can’t be replaced.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top shooting tripod for the money
What you need to know: This is an affordable tripod for all conditions.
What you’ll love: The telescopic legs can extend to 68 inches, and when it is folded, it is only 25 inches. It has a pivoting V-type yoke on the head attachment, and due to its small size, it is perfect for standing, sitting or kneeling positions. The tripod has foam grips on the legs, making sure that it doesn’t slip out of your hands with adjusting. It comes with a carry pouch and shoulder strap.
What you should consider: The yoke isn’t compatible with handgun shooting.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This is a solid tripod that can take a lot of force before it gives an inch.
What you’ll love: Perfect for straight and tapered stocks, this tripod from Kopfjager (German for “headhunter”) promises unshakable stability with adjustable locking grips. It can pan smoothly a full 360 degrees and tilt 21 degrees up and 87 degrees down. The grip is offset, making it easy for small adjustments. It has a leveling head, so you can make sure that it is perfectly in place, and for added stability, it has a K.I.L. strap attachment. The leg height is adjustable at two different clamps.
What you should consider: It can be bulky to move around, as it weighs just under 9 pounds.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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