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Shooting from a fixed clamp tripod rest: Any experience? Login/Join 
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
posted
This is probably a long shot question for the group, but perhaps someone has some insights.

I’ve seen a lot of shooters using tripods as support for shooting from elevated positions with precision rifles. One technique that a few videos address is attaching the rifle to a fixed clamp on the tripod, usually with the Arca rail system and with some sort of adjustable head whose movement can be locked to fix the rifle in position. I haven’t seen anyone use that system in the many precision rifle competition videos I’ve watched, but that’s probably because shooters are usually required to use the rests specified by the match rules and there are usually multiple targets to engage, if for no other reasons. I am, however, seeing some recommendations for hunters to use a fixed clamp when circumstances permit.

I’m curious, though, how well that method works in practice and therefore whether anyone has had much actual experience shooting that way. It’s something that has piqued my interest, but I wouldn’t have any practical reason to purchase more expensive “stuff” to experiment myself. (That doesn’t mean I won’t, but ….)
Comments?

One video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGvXnU0-mFU&t=5s




“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”
— Thomas Paine
 
Posts: 43913 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Have countless rounds shooting off of a rifle clamped on a tripod. Practice a lot of off tripod at different heights, sitting, kneeling, standing. A few of the local matches have tripod stages. Shot a 22 match today, two stages shooting off of tripod, sitting and standing. Several sub moa targets 40-200yds.

Direct arca clamp is a fair amount more stable then saddle style clamp. Still moving around though. 1/4" 22 target at 50yds swimming around a little, still gotta time that shot.

My RRS tripod/clamp set up. Rifle balance point is just ahead of the magwell. Good to clamp at that balance point! Always try to have two of the legs to the rear for recoil management.

 
Posts: 3000 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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3:55 in the video is poor tripod form. The guys shoulders are strongly canted. High probability his muzzle/sight picture is jumping to his left. Shoulders should be square behind the rifle.
Get behind the rifle, rear stock in the shoulder, extend both arms/hands, hands should meet. Not one hand in front of the other.

Horrible trigger control from the guy with the white stock, no follow through.
 
Posts: 3000 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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offgrid, thanks for chiming in, and for your comments about the video.

Does your setup use the “leveling” head on the tripod? If so, is it possible to adjust the tension so that the rifle movement isn’t totally locked but it takes deliberate pressure to move it?




“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”
— Thomas Paine
 
Posts: 43913 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
Does your setup use the “leveling” head on the tripod? If so, is it possible to adjust the tension so that the rifle movement isn’t totally locked but it takes deliberate pressure to move it?


Yes, RRS leveling head. I prefer it over their ball-head. Before buying the leveling head shot off of friends tripods with both heads. I believe the leveling head is more stable. The ball-head does offer more tilt. Although can easily adjust a leg to compensate if needed.

Yes, easy to adjust tension to enable pan and tilt, very smooth movement. The leveling head I believe best the ball-head here too.
 
Posts: 3000 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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Thanks!!
I have been looking at leveling heads (including those sold by Two Vets), and based on lots of previous experience with ball heads in other applications, it seemed to me that a leveling head would be much better for me.




“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”
— Thomas Paine
 
Posts: 43913 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Disappointing you didn't ask about the flag on my tripod Big Grin Don't really use it as a wind gauge/mph. More of "hey" pay attention to the wind!

https://www.bisontactical.com/.../shooting-wind-flag/
 
Posts: 3000 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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quote:
Originally posted by offgrid:
Disappointing you didn't ask about the flag on my tripod


Well, I did think its purpose was obvious, but as usual I shouldn't assume either about how you use it or how it's better than just a piece of surveyor tape. Smile




“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”
— Thomas Paine
 
Posts: 43913 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I picked up a Bog Death Grip tripod and tried it out last weekend.
I like it, better than bringing a table or rolling around in the mud.
Seated seems to give me the best stability.
I had a couple of new guys behind the trigger and having it clamped down and pointed down range was kinda handy.
I may go to a rail over the clamp but it seems to work out for now.
Holds everything from a Marlin Papoose to my AR10.
 
Posts: 677 | Location: Portland Oregon | Registered: October 01, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Much of what I've learned about shooting from a tripod comes from first-hand experience with offgrid, Alpine, other locals who have taken me under their wing, and competitions. Years ago we saw U-shaped saddle attachments for camera tripods. Then came the HOG saddle. And now we have ARCA clamps. Who knows what's next.

Maybe two competition seasons ago I had my 'smith attach a 12" long ARCA rail on the front end of my McMillan-stocked bolt-action match rifle. I now have similar rails on all three match/training rifles, and will do so for those in the wings. I won't go back to traditional short pic rails.

I have 3" long ARCA rails on a couple of my AR15s, with the rails placed just forward of the mag well. Full length ARCA rails don't work as well with ARs, but a short one allows clamping the rifle into my uber-stable tripod. I plan to add short ARCA rails to two more AR15s pretty soon.

Offgrid and some others in my neck of the woods were quicker than I to adopt the ARCA rail for use with a tripod. I suspect they have four years with the ARCA system. Once you've compared an ARCA clamp to a HOG-saddle-type clamp, there's no going back.

ARCA rails and clamps into burly tripods don't completely stabilize a rifle to that of a prone position, but they are probably the best thing we have right now. It is really difficult to be competitive in some NRL, PRS, and Competition Dynamics matches without something like a Really Right Stuff tripod, their ARCA clamp with some kind of swivel head, and a long ARCA rail under the forend. In Competition Dynamic's Steel Safari match, I've heard some guys take almost every shot from their tripod. I suspect they'd try to carry the rifle/tripod as one unit from stage to stage, if the safety rules allowed that.
 
Posts: 6903 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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Thank you, fritz, for clarifying the technique’s use in competitions. The videos I’ve seen of NRL and PRS competitions haven’t shown it, and therefore I just assumed that it was uncommon at best for various reasons. Many of the shooters I’ve seen use the RRS or similar tripods for rear support, but not with the rifles clamped in.

Those videos don’t show all the competitors or all the shooting, so as the saying goes, “absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence.” Thanks again; very informative as usual.




“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”
— Thomas Paine
 
Posts: 43913 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
Thank you, fritz, for clarifying the technique’s use in competitions. The videos I’ve seen of NRL and PRS competitions haven’t shown it, and therefore I just assumed that it was uncommon at best for various reasons. Many of the shooters I’ve seen use the RRS or similar tripods for rear support, but not with the rifles clamped in.

Those videos don’t show all the competitors or all the shooting, so as the saying goes, “absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence.” Thanks again; very informative as usual.



Won't find many videos of PMS shooters clamped to a tripod. I've only shot one match/one stage that I clamped my rifle to a tripod, that was about 5yrs ago. Matches now have very tight times, no time to set up a tripod. Part of those tight times is the logistics of running 200 plus shooters through 10 or so stages in a day....

The Steel Safari team and individual matches in Logan NM are more of a hunting scenario. Find, range, build a position, read the wind, shoot. Very common the shooting position requires shooting off of a tripod. 20% or more shots off of a tripod. I believe the Safari is the ultimate LR match, testing so much more then just your shooting ability, making countless decision before pulling the trigger. Safari matches don't get the press like the PMS matches do. Matches been held there since the mid/late 90's.
 
Posts: 3000 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Many shooters will shoot from a tripod with a small table attached to their leveling base or ballhead. On the table, they will place a bag and then lay their rifle on the bag, much like on a barricade. As mentioned by previous posters, clamping in to a tripod takes too much time so treating the tripod like a barricade which the shooter can adjust to a height they are most proficient is common.

I don't compete anymore but most guys I know use the table/bag method 85% of the time when shooting of the tripod because it's faster for setup and target acquisition. When I use a tripod, I usually shoot 1.5 MOA targets and use a table/bag out to 1200 yards and clamp in past 1200 out to 2000 yards.

As for tripods, there are many good ones out there that won't break the bank. RRS (Really Right Stuff) makes very good tripods, leveling bases and ballheads BUT they are expensive and not absolutely necessary. We have shooters showing up at matches with Innorel RT90 tripods, which are made in the same factories as the ones found at Two Vets and PVA, that serve them well at a cost of around $320. Don't get me wrong, there are advantages to the RRS, weight being one of them, but as far as stiffness and ability to make the shot, there are several tripods which cost less that will do the job for most shooters.


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Posts: 664 | Location: CA | Registered: February 01, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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quote:
Originally posted by Sig Marine:
Many shooters will shoot from a tripod with a small table attached to their leveling base or ballhead.


Some of the tripod “table” platforms I see are quite amazing in design (and price!), and the concept is something I hope to explore when it stops snowing here. I will start, though, with something like a piece of 1×6 and a T-nut to see how it works for me.




“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”
— Thomas Paine
 
Posts: 43913 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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As a noob with tripods (but not shooting in general), I tried friends’ setups before deciding on the “cost effective” Innorel RT90+RRS Anvil+ARCA rails (Anvil also works with pic rails). I didn’t think I’d like tripod shooting as much as I do - I haven’t tried it in competition yet. Especially with an attached sling, a tripod can be a very stable shooting platform.
 
Posts: 268 | Registered: March 18, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
quote:
Originally posted by Sig Marine:
Many shooters will shoot from a tripod with a small table attached to their leveling base or ballhead.


Some of the tripod “table” platforms I see are quite amazing in design (and price!), and the concept is something I hope to explore when it stops snowing here. I will start, though, with something like a piece of 1×6 and a T-nut to see how it works for me.


As always I encourage you to time yourself!

I'm faster deploying a tripod from full collapse, clamping into the arca rail vs a table/game changer bag set up. Better accuracy as well. Spent time practicing this stuff dry-firing on a timer. Paster at a 100yds or so, start tripod collapsed.... focusing on every little wasted movement. When shooting with a couple of my buddies we race starting tripod collapsed. Usually a 5" diamond at 400yds, not a gimme. Fun stuff!
 
Posts: 3000 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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As always, good tips. Thanks and I'll keep them in mind.




“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”
— Thomas Paine
 
Posts: 43913 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Loswsmith
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
This is probably a long shot question


Pun intended I'm sure ;-)?


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Posts: 1142 | Location: T-town in the 253 | Registered: January 16, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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When I was looking into tripods I came across this guy.
3 parts and he goes into all the different mounts.
https://youtu.be/TMrpjekDck4
 
Posts: 677 | Location: Portland Oregon | Registered: October 01, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by offgrid:
As always I encourage you to time yourself!

I'm faster deploying a tripod from full collapse, clamping into the arca rail vs a table/game changer bag set up. Better accuracy as well. Spent time practicing this stuff dry-firing on a timer. Paster at a 100yds or so, start tripod collapsed.... focusing on every little wasted movement. When shooting with a couple of my buddies we race starting tripod collapsed. Usually a 5" diamond at 400yds, not a gimme. Fun stuff!


Timing yourself is good practice if you compete. The good shooters I've been around have their preferences but can use any method and shoot fast and well. As usual, the situation and stage dictate the technique that will work best for them in the least amount of time. I've seen some of the better shooters merely use a bag over the head and be successful when time was of the essence.

Good shooters are good for a reason.


____________________________________________________________
Money may not buy happiness...but it will certainly buy a better brand of misery

A man should acknowledge his losses just as gracefully as he celebrates his victories

Remember, in politics it's not who you know...it's what you know about who you know
 
Posts: 664 | Location: CA | Registered: February 01, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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