In-Depth Review of FTR & Tactical Bipod!
Check out this exceptional review by one of the most respected shooting coaches in the UK. Richard discusses the features and benefits of the FTR, F Class shooting bipod in carbon fiber with it's class leading, ultra-wide footprint, and the new Tactical Bipod in carbon fiber and aluminium.
The first thing I wanted to mention was the wide stance FTR bipods now this is a beautiful carbon Tier 1 and, you wonder how these are working in the field well I think what people do with these ftr bipod is get hung up on the extra stability, the incredible width of them but the way I see it normal bipods aren’t lacking in stability you know making them extra-wide, I'm not sure that's a huge advantage.
What they do offer is the ability to go way lower and higher than a normal bipod and that is useful when shooting from the bench. Let me wind that central dial down the so what you got to do and show you quite how low this will go and then I'll explain why that can be so useful.
OK so that is only perhaps 4 inches off the ground and if you look across at this bipod here look, how much higher that is. The reason that's useful on the bench is that at a lot of clubs, well one you need to get lower at the bench than you do in the field because you're not having to deal with your chest, you lying on your chest as you are when you trying to say essentially lower is better on a bench.
There's also a significant problem in the UK is certainly in that there’s these silly angle deflector shield safety things at a lot of clubs where, to stop you being able to shoot over the horizon accidentally, there is actually a almost like a slit you have to shoot through at the bench for safety sake and I find, and I'm not alone, that if you rock up with this situation that your Scope is looking at a wall and that you can't get low enough.
So this Tier One FTR bipod solves that problem by going inches lower, so that's very useful, furthermore they track absolutely lovely on hard surfaces. They do need a smooth surface lest the leg not break friction and actually kind of bind rather than recoil straight and that causes trouble so that's why a lot of the target boys will use them on carpet and things like that to make them come back smoothly, none of that is a problem on a bench.
So this has definitely got to be given a shout for ease of adjustability this one's got the new beautiful QR clamp from tier one which is you know as good a clamp as there is out there you've got the podlock there for cant so you can adjust cant and that's all you got to do because it's self-leveling everything is done with that central capstan it is definitely an option.
Now remember, yes yes it's really wide you gotta take it off it's really bulky but you know when I get in the car and I'll put the guns in a bag I take that bipod off, I take every bipod off so what difference is it to me if the bipod I take off is a bit wider so don't discount, like I did for years, using an ftr bipod especially if you're one of the many chaps who spends most of their time on a bench. Let me show you how high it goes as well. Do you see what I mean the versatility of these things look at that adjustment range, and it's still super wide, super stable there's only one thing you've got to adjust on the whole thing these have got a lot going for them so I wanted to add them in as an option because I didn't really give them the respect they deserve in my 2018 bipod video.
Now next is the exciting addition of the new Tier One Tactical Bipod which is very squared away so I'll get to that now I'll put it on this up here and will go through it.
Ok guys so here we have the tier one tactical bipod as ever beautifully presented is the The Beastie so we've got the excellent, you need QR clamp titanium fittings, and a nice looking bipod so here's why I think it's it's interesting. I at sharpshooting UK run a long-range modern ballistics and marksmanship course and I meet a lot of people who are held back by their recoil management and natural point of aim and and such like a long story short people need to upgrade their bipods and they end up with either something Big and Chunky like this Fortmeier which is a very safe bet but that's obviously not something that you would take hunting, stalking, foxing with. If they want a more lightweight all-rounder they end up with an Atlas now the Atlas has got all the features and by that I mean things like this extendable legs so you buy one bipod and you can turn it to a tall bipod, feet packs: different feet, ski feet, rubber feet, spike feet and a more modern design so they buy the atlas and it serves them well.
What I don't find is that one person in 50 cares or wants the case for or wants the ball joint the ability to tweak the overall tension and to set it from or to have it almost sloppy and the ability to adjust therein, they don't want it.
Now I personally have always loved that the ability to take the recoil of the Gun by pulling back before I fire and check that the ret just blips up like that and there's no tension in the system thats making the ret want to flick off and adjusting the ball joints like I can in the and the Atlas I use on my big rifles third the 5H is something I absolutely adore but I have come to realise through my training days that I am very much alone in that, and what people want is a bipod with the features as I mentioned things like the feet pack and their proper clicks and the decent quick-release and all of this they - want that but they don't want any unnecessary complication.
So Tier One come along with with that a bipod that’s .50 cal rated but light, stowable, it's got different feet it's unbelievably tough but superlight it's got everything that a modern bipod should have and it doesn't have any extra complication that you don't need there's also some nice touches to the Tier One that I will go through now: first off, options. We’'ve got a short one in aluminium, that's it fully extended there. And we've got a long one and you can have carbon fibre, mmm carbon, if you want so you've got options there he's then got feet pack you can run ski feet, you can run cleats you've got the crucially useful and Super Value leg extenders so you can buy the short bipod and turn it into the long bipod.
This is all useful stuff there is also the option to run a hard lock for your cant, comme ca, or stick with the normal titanium thumb screw other things that are really cool, right: by default the leg release is at the front but you can see here that these leg releases are at the back and that's simply because I undid the frame and turned it round you can also buy a panning version or a solid version so here and there's nothing more a manufacturer can do than offer the client options cos then they can get what they need for their specific purposes so this is a tilting bipod, as you'd expect and there's nothing else. Dead simple, alright which is what a lot of people want, however as an R&D partner for Tier One they asked my opinion and I said that I would certainly want to offer a version that enables the shooter to Pan across the hill to track a target, look at all that lovely pan, without introducing tension into the legs, which is one of the perennial problems with Harris is that you're on a target yonder, and you're all stress-free and lovely target then runs to the duh duh duh, you follow it and as you twist your rifle you put a load of tension into the legs, and that is death for accuracy. So I personally whilst I wouldn't go so far as saying people want a ball joint I think that having a panning option is important. But if you don't want it don't use it and that's the beauty we've got here: a bipod that offers you exactly what you want, long legs, short legs, carbon aluminium, different feet, panning, non-panning different attachments QR Piccatinny, yadda yadda yadda, so we really are doing all things for all men here.
Now I also said that I personally felt that the legs should spring up and here's my logic on that. I’m just going to put this on a little tripod and I'll show you. Alright guys here's the thing: you've got the weight of the rifle on, if you have legs that are sprung up when it comes to lifting you have to tilt the rifle unweighted, pull them out yourself and then do the other side which is, doesn't make sense to me. Now with the feet springing out all you’ve got to do is press it and out it comes.
Should you want to shorten it the weight of the rifle will do it and that to me makes more sense. Now I've had people say to me when I'm running between Barricades I want to press the button and the bipod to retract and that is a perfect example of how you can't please everyone unless you offer more and more options which is something I'm always encouraging people to do offer options and then you can't go wrong but in this instance these legs spring out which I think for prone shooting it makes a lot more sense and that's why I find that what the atlas will do for people this will do better and simpler and the quality is just absolutely gorgeous. The way that Tier-1 have got this QD clamp with a little detente it doesn't just open here, some of these manufacturers using clamps that are basically they remind me of cheap QRs on motorbikes that don't cam over enough, and often come loose in or when you get them tighten up they’re so hard to undo - these are the opposite of that they have a light action, lots of clamping force titanium fittings, no chance of corrosion I can't begin to tell you how roughly I test these things and you I can't get them to corrode at all, burying them in snow for a month and just madness and they're just they're just really really well thought out so yeah, as I was saying, good coming action and a little sliding titanium detent that you have to flick like on the ADM clamp for it to to come over which can all be done one-handed. The tension is adjustable you know these guys are not playing, as ever with Tier 1 the little details are, are spot-on.
So choose Carbon or Ally, choose your length buy your feet pack, and decide whether you want the panning version or not and you've got here a lifetime investment, these things are squared away. So I'm very proud to have been involved in in a small way in their development and I'm certainly proud to advocate them as a modern really modern bang up-to-date option for you. My advice is to get the short one and the leg extensions because then you've got both sorted you've got the ability to turn the short one into the long one but if you buy the long one you can never make it shorter and that brings us back to the usefulness of the FTR bipod: if you’re shoot on a bench this really is the one to beat. In the field get the choices right I would recommend the panning but you know I've just delighted to report that the option exists get the options right and this Tier One is the very safest of bets and something that we're very proud of in the UK.