Problem assessment

Most shooters are familiar with the Harris bi pod that has been available for the past 40+ years. The Harris bi pod design roots go back to the military bi pod designs of World War I, and in particular the Garand bi pods of that era. It is characterized by high weight, steel construction, external springs, noisy deployment, and limited panning capabilities. But it provides rock solid stability under favorable conditions.

In the mid 1980s, I purchased a 27"-S sitting model Harris for use on my 7mm mag mountain rifle. The first time I used it was on a Montana antelope hunt. As luck should have it, I ended up with a shot on a trotting antelope, broadside at about 175 yards. I attempted to shoot from the sitting position, but my Harris was incapable of panning with this moving target, so I quickly stood up to take the shot free hand. After touching off the first shot, I drove one of the metal side plates of the Harris deep into the knuckle of my index finger on my left hand. After two more shots, the blood from the knuckle wound was running down my forearm and dripping from my elbow. When all the excitement ended and I saw the blood on the toe of my boot and surrounding ground. I had an epiphany moment... I realized that there was a need for a bipod that could be quickly disconnected and connected.

As an avid shotgun shooter, I also noticed that the weight of my Harris significantly changed the way my mountain rifle swung and handled. My particular Harris bipod weighed 22 ounces, which on a 8 pound rifle is a significant percentage of the total weight. And that weight was placed in the worst possible spot, at the muzzle. Based on laws of physics, that 22 ounces is actually considerable heavier do to leverage. That weight placement made my mountain rifle feel like a howitzer after a hiking in the mountains.

I also noticed that if I sighted my rifle in naked, and then added the Harris weight after later, it would significantly lower the bullet point of impact down range. (Refer to my article of barrel bang time to further dig into this phenomena). To accommodate this I was forced to permanently leave the bipod on the front of my mountain rifle, and required me to sight in the firearm with the Harris on.

After several more hunting trips, the weight of the Harris became unbearable. It also was extremely uncomfortable slung over my shoulder. Finally I retired it, re sighted in my rifle and went in a different direction.

The Harris bipod is a great tool for urban SWAT applications where shooting on hard, slick surfaces is common, but for mountain hunting it just seemed out of its design elements.

Still in need of shooting aid, one that did not carry all the negatives of my Harris, I started to experiment with homemade shooting sticks.

Using my computer I determined the inside diameter and outside diameter of every Easton Aluminum XX75 arrow shaft that was on the market. I soon discovered two shaft sizes that would tightly nest inside each other. I just happened to have a large collection of old arrows, and several in the size I needed. With very little effort, I produced my first fold up, shooting stick.

I loved my shooting sticks, and thought they were a significant improvement over the Harris for my hunting demands. They were tall enough to shoot sitting with, they were very light weight, and they folded small enough to fit into a pocket. However, they came with their own list of negative issues.

SnipePod V2, addresses the problems!

When designing the SnipePod V2, I established the following short list of goals.