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Member
Picture of jcsabolt2
posted
I started looking at spotting scope stands/tripods a while back and ran across a review on the Sniper Ops Tactical Tripod. It's a little spendy ($400-$600), but looks very solid compared to their competitors and its made in the USA.

The other very different option is the Two Vets, Recon V2 which can be used for multiple purposes. I can shoot from it, use it as a spotting scope tripod, or use it while hunting from a blind. Area 419 makes a ballhead with the tripod from Two Vets for $850, Area 419, Two Vets with Acralock. It's NOT cheap, but it is thiCCCk, rigid, and used by a lot of PRS shooters.

I'm kind of looking for your opinions on both, especially if you own one.


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“Nobody can ever take your integrity away from you. Only you can give up your integrity.” H. Norman Schwarzkopf
 
Posts: 3621 | Registered: July 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Caught in a loop
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No experience with the specific products you're asking about, but I can say Area 419 is good stuff and good people. If I can afford their solution that's likely where my money goes.


"In order to understand recursion, you must first learn the principle of recursion."
 
Posts: 3338 | Location: Memphis, TN | Registered: August 23, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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I have two Two Vets tripods, the “Recon” and “Ruck.” I use a Leofoto leveling head with the Recon and a Really Right Stuff Anvil-30 head with the Ruck.

I am very pleased with both tripods, and for reasons I won’t get into I lost my first tripod and Anvil-30 head setup, and didn’t hesitate to replace it.

The Recon is obviously significantly larger and sturdier than the Ruck and the Leofoto head is easier to adjust and tighten than the Anvil-30. On the other hand, my monthly drill regimen involves shooting three heavy rifles (Tikka and JP)and scopes up to 200 yards using a tripod and shooting sticks for support. I’ve never had any problem with achieving my accuracy goals even after switching to using the Ruck for the drill. As I’ve posted elsewhere, I regularly get MOA two-shot groups when shooting from the kneeling position.

Because it’s so much lighter and more compact, the Ruck gets used far more than the Recon for other purposes as well. I don’t regret having the Recon when I want more support, however.

I like the leg locks of the Two Vets tripods that are easy to use and very secure. Foot spikes are essential for how I use shooting tripods. For the Recon the spikes were, IIRC, extra, but they were standard with the Ruck.

https://twovetssportinggoods.com/the-recon/
https://twovetssportinggoods.c...eveling-head-w-hook/
https://twovetssportinggoods.com/the-ruck/
https://rrssoar.com/anvil-30/


I believe the tripods are Chinese made, as is the Leofoto head, but I never bothered to confirm; I won’t get into a debate about their origin, but I guess it’s something to consider.

I do also have the Sniper Ops tactical tripod, and bought it thinking I would use it much more than it turned out. I seldom use a spotting scope on anything other than a full size tripod.

Added: The thread about supports that discusses the Two Vets Recon tripod and the Anvil-30 head in more detail:
https://sigforum.com/eve/forum...0601935/m/8410074484

This message has been edited. Last edited by: sigfreund,




6.4/93.6

“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 47263 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of PHC
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I spent 20 years in the Navy as a photographer, trust me all tripods made since around the 1940’s are trash, the legs are what give out, we considered them a throw away item. My advice is to spend your money on a good tripod head and make the base. Use a empty coffee can/1 gal.paint can . Buy a steel or brass rod from Home Depot, tap one end for the thread size of the tripod head and cut the rod to length and pick up a bag of concrete, put the rod in the center of the can and fill it with the concrete mix, Let it dry and your good to go. It will handle wind, abuse and remain super sturdy something we would have called sailor proof.


Retired PHC USN
 
Posts: 33 | Registered: December 22, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Like a party
in your pants
Picture of armored
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
I have never used a tripod for firearms use but I did work as a photographer for over 25 years and tripods were a daily part of that job.
I mostly used large format cameras (8x10") that required a large rolling monopod stand that would lock down when rolled into position. When going on location that stand was not appropriate so a tripod was used.
In commercial Photography you are usually faced with long exposure times. With strobe you needed to use multiple strobe flashes. In order to get a small lens aperture for depth of field the long exposure is needed and a rock solid platform for the camera is mandatory. The similarity for shooting is the same as camera use.
I always used a Gitzo tripod. It was heavy duty, and heavy, stable and light weight don't usually go together. After the camera position was established the tripod would get a heavy 20# sandbag or two, hung on a leg or right down the middle. Its the weight that makes the tripod stable.
I would look for a GOOD used tripod that doe NOT use any plastic ANYWHERE.

A great alternative to the tripod was a SuperClamp with a camera mount attached if camera placement was NOT critical.
The super clamp could be mounted on a tree, fence, car, or a pole in the ground, and be rock solid.
 
Posts: 4573 | Location: Chicago, IL, USA: | Registered: November 17, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hop head
Picture of lyman
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I can only comment, from personal experience, that for spotting scopes, Freeland was the 1st choice, then some folks made better,


however,

they were for holding spotting scope, nothing more,

I have Freeland tripod and bipod, with the 3/4,inch or so rods, and they do what they are made to do well,

shoot off them, nope,
hold a scope to score, yup,



https://www.chesterfieldarmament.com/

 
Posts: 10376 | Location: Beach VA,not VA Beach | Registered: July 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Master of one hand
pistol shooting
Picture of Hamden106
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Freeland and Ray-Vin
Here's my 5/8 Freeland when it was newer.



Plus my own added weight





https://www.accurateshooter.co...potting-scope-stand/



SIGnature
NRA Benefactor CMP Pistol Distinguished
 
Posts: 6264 | Location: Oregon | Registered: September 01, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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The demands photographers and shooters place on tripods are very different.

Yes, both want their tripods to be sturdy enough to keep from collapsing and dropping their expensive gear on the ground, but they are used in significantly different ways.

For critical work involving long exposure times, long lenses, extreme closeups, etc., a camera is ideally completely motionless at the time of exposure.
One way to help ensure lack of movement is for the photographer to not be touching the camera when the shutter is released. In my film days I tried to minimize camera movement by using a cable release rather than mashing down on the shutter release with my finger. Today when I’m taking very close macro shots I use my digital cameras’ delayed shutter release features.

One of my tripods is a “Brilliant Professional” all-metal model that weighs over 6 pounds by itself. I purchased it over 50 years ago on the recommendation of a professional even though at the time it was considered to be an unusually heavy and rigid model for use with lightweight 35mm cameras. But based on this thread I decided just now to see how much it prevented camera movement.

Despite the tripod’s weight and very sturdy construction, if I put even a few ounces of lateral pressure on the camera, its movement as confirmed by looking through the viewfinder was very obvious. That’s why even with a old-fashioned all metal heavy tripod it’s still best to avoid touching the camera for critical work.

Another factor to consider when using a spotting scope is how wind will affect things. Even with a 20 power scope, the old Brilliant tripod isn’t rigid enough to keep the scope usable in strong winds when extended to full height. Then something like a short heavily-weighted spotting scope stand may be necessary.

And then there’s shooting: How do we shoot without touching the rifle? That’s an obviously ridiculous rhetorical question. Not only do we need to pull the trigger, but we must control recoil by holding the rifle with both hands and pressing the stock against our face and shoulder. Because it’s impossible for any normal person to remain absolutely motionless when doing that, the rifle isn’t going to remain motionless either. Further, unlike composing a photo with a camera, aiming the rifle and engaging a target almost always requires some minor adjustments of the shooter’s position. Even when I clamp a rifle firmly to a tripod with an ARCA rail and head, I make fine aiming adjustments by how I put pressure on the rifle. Those adjustments are possible even when I use my large, rigid Two Vets Recon tripod.

The need for rapid target engagements and adjustments is why both precision rifle competitors and professional shooters (snipers) use supports that don’t limit their directed movements. If a tripod is used for support, the rifle is normally not clamped in position, but rather is rested on an open U-shaped cradle that allows free movement vertically and laterally. With that type of application, all the tripod is doing is supporting the gun from below; it’s not holding the rifle absolutely rigidly either forward/back or side to side. That means that even a small, lightweight tripod like the one pictured below can be used to support shooting a 15-pound rifle relatively well. Does that mean it’s my first choice or that other tripods and support systems don’t work better? No, but it wouldn’t be like trying to get sharp nighttime pictures with a 15-pound camera mounted on such a tiny support.




As I mentioned, I usually use the Two Vets “Ruck” tripod with Arca-Swiss clamp system for my “field” shooting when it’s necessary to set up and engage targets quickly. It’s significantly larger and heavier than the small Slik tripod pictured above, but it offers a good compromise in size and weight between the Slik and the much larger Two Vets Recon. If I need the flexibility and range of motion, I can put an open cradle on the Arca head.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: sigfreund,




6.4/93.6

“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 47263 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of jcsabolt2
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Thanks everyone!

Tripods that I am very familiar with and that I sure would crush everything made for shooting and photography work would be those made specifically for field surveying (Engineer's Supply - Tripods). These things can take a literal beating and keep on going. At least those made of fiberglass will. However, you can get them as cheap as about $85 for aluminum, but reasonable for $300-$450 range. I ran Leica and Topcon equipment for about two years with my cousin while going through school years ago. If you need something setup and stationary, this would be the way to go in my opinion. The bright yellow/orange just doesn't have that Tacticool flare though. However, the heads on these are different and honestly, I'm not familiar enough with all the details to know if you can mount a ballhead or other photographic type head on one of these or not. It probably can be done.

I bought my wife a 3 Legged Thing - PUNKS Travis for Christmas a few years ago. It's great for a small packable tripod for a DLSR, but not worth a darn for mounting a spotting scope on it because of movement. If I had to do it over again, I'd probably look really hard at the Two Vets, Ruck or No Name.

I do agree that SPIKES are mandatory for any tripod being used outdoors on any surface, including rock. The spikes simply bite into the material and help lock the tripod into position. If you are betting the farm on the "gears" at the top of the legs to hold it secure, personally, I think you are sadly mistaken. There will always be flex and slop in any unit. The surveying tripods are free moving in this joint and rely 100% on the spikes/feet to hold it into position and we can get it 100% deadnuts level with a Tribrac with internal bubble level. You may have to adjust it ever so slightly as the day heats up, but we never lost a setup because it moved over an eight hour period while running a total station on one.


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“Nobody can ever take your integrity away from you. Only you can give up your integrity.” H. Norman Schwarzkopf
 
Posts: 3621 | Registered: July 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Purpose and Budget. Questions I always ask shooters when they are looking to make a purchase. Knowing your primary and secondary uses of a tripod will help you narrow your search and having a price point you can work with will help in making the final decision.

Your first option looks to be a system primarily for using a spotter when shooting from the prone position or from a bench when seated. These tripods, in my opinion, are very limited in their overall use.

The “Two Vets” package has a wider range of uses and based on your OP remarks, better suited for your all around needs, especially for hunting.

There are several good tripods out there at different price points. Many shooters like the RRS (Really Right Stuff) but they are pricey. I’ve shot off of them and don’t think their cost warrants all the hoopla BUT…they are very light and if you’re having to hike with your gear all day, worth the extra money.

Feisol is another good tripod at a medium price point. Many shooters are using Two Vets, Innorel and Leofoto tripods for their price point. I will say that while heavy, they are all tanks and decent entry level options. As far as ball heads or leveling bases go, there are many that work well. Leveling bases are limited in their angular ability but extremely stable. Ballheads are not quite as stable but have much more angular movement. I prefer ballheads for spotting and leveling bases for shooting. If I had to choose just one, I’d go ballhead.

Heads/bases with ARCA clamps are versatile and a nice feature if you’re setup for it. Plates for spotters and tables are easy to source if you’re going to use a table to shoot from otherwise you will need to install an ARCA rail on your rifle. I prefer to use a small table (6”x9”) with a bag so it’s not limited to shooters with ARCAs. Once learned, shooting off of a bag is fast and accurate.

Hope this helps…


____________________________________________________________
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: 808 | Location: CA | Registered: February 01, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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A couple things to keep in mind about surveying/engineering tripods is that some may not be as quick and easy to set up as the many types these days that are intended for use by precision shooters or hunters. I would also check the weight.

The advantage claimed for one of the tripods on that site is how stable it is in damping vibrations (as I understood it). That’s evidently important for the precision instruments that it would be used for, but as I’ve indicated, that is much less critical when using a tripod for shooting support. It would, though, be a benefit when using a telescope.




6.4/93.6

“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 47263 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Mensch
Picture of kz1000
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Buy once, cry once:

Champion's Choice Spotting Scope stand


------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Yidn, shreibt un fershreibt"

"The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw and half a hundred other places, they put their rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind."
-Bomber Harris
 
Posts: 16110 | Location: Ivorydale | Registered: January 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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quote:
Originally posted by kz1000:
Buy once, cry once:

That’s the sort of stand I would expect air rifle or small bore shooters to use indoors because I must ask how stable it is in the wind? I would be amazed if a scope mounted at the top of a single rod like that didn’t bounce around much more than at the top of the many different tripods I’ve used for the purpose over the years. I’ve had a spotting scope that was mounted on a large, heavy metal tripod get blown over in a strong wind. What’s this one’s secret to stability?

And that low splayed legs base wouldn’t seem to be very suitable for the least bit of uneven ground. Indoors or on a concrete shooting platform, but on rough ground?

I get the impression that the OP wants something suitable for outdoor use, and I wouldn’t choose that for the purpose myself.




6.4/93.6

“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 47263 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Mensch
Picture of kz1000
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
quote:
Originally posted by kz1000:
Buy once, cry once:

That’s the sort of stand I would expect air rifle or small bore shooters to use indoors because I must ask how stable it is in the wind? I would be amazed if a scope mounted at the top of a single rod like that didn’t bounce around much more than at the top of the many different tripods I’ve used for the purpose over the years. I’ve had a spotting scope that was mounted on a large, heavy metal tripod get blown over in a strong wind. What’s this one’s secret to stability?

And that low splayed legs base wouldn’t seem to be very suitable for the least bit of uneven ground. Indoors or on a concrete shooting platform, but on rough ground?

I get the impression that the OP wants something suitable for outdoor use, and I wouldn’t choose that for the purpose myself.


I only use it on concrete, very stable.


------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Yidn, shreibt un fershreibt"

"The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw and half a hundred other places, they put their rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind."
-Bomber Harris
 
Posts: 16110 | Location: Ivorydale | Registered: January 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
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I have the sniper ops tripod i bought around 5 years ago and love it
 
Posts: 1562 | Location: TEXAS | Registered: August 17, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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quote:
Originally posted by kz1000:
very stable.

How does it work in the wind?




6.4/93.6

“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 47263 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Mensch
Picture of kz1000
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
quote:
Originally posted by kz1000:
very stable.

How does it work in the wind?


Light winds are fine. I don't shoot if it's really windy out.


------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Yidn, shreibt un fershreibt"

"The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw and half a hundred other places, they put their rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind."
-Bomber Harris
 
Posts: 16110 | Location: Ivorydale | Registered: January 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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Okay, thanks.




6.4/93.6

“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 47263 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by kz1000:
quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
How does it work in the wind?

Light winds are fine. I don't shoot if it's really windy out.

Many years ago I told my ski racing coach that I don't perform well in bad weather.
He replied the way to get good at racing in bad weather is by training in bad weather.

A few years ago I told a rifle instructor that I struggle to shoot well in windy matches.
He replied the way to get good at shooting in windy conditions is by training in windy conditions.

Learn to embrace the weather in outdoor sports, regardless of what mother nature throws our way.
 
Posts: 7821 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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