Ashbury Precision Ordnance Manufacturing (APO), a division of the Ashbury International Group, is coming out with a new shooting tripod, the RSTA-II Tripod Shooting System. It was designed with hunters and competitors in mind and adjusts for positions from sitting to standing. At its tallest it’s 68” which is a good standing height for an average 6’ tall man while at its shortest it’s 29” which suits the average shooter while sitting. And, of course, if you’d like to kneel it can be adjusted at a midway height between the minimum and maximum allowable.
For the base of the standard RSTA-II the Manfrotto 190XPROB, an aluminum alloy tripod praised in the past by photographers for its durability and light weight, is used. The standard version is meant for long guns weighing up to 15 pounds. And for the heavy-duty RSTA-II, the Manfrotto 055XPROB is used. Manfrotto tripods have a patented horizontal center column which is meant to make height adjustments quicker and easier. The heavy-duty version is meant for long guns weighing up to 20 pounds (APO says it can tolerate more than 20 pounds but does not specify just how much more); its tougher frame is supposed to be less likely to flex under pressure. The standard-use tripod base weighs 5.5 pounds while the heavy-duty version comes in at 6.6 pounds, which isn’t too large a difference considering the significant increase in strength the heavier-duty tripod should have. The tripod head adds 1.1 pounds to the tripod system and is made from lightweight aluminum alloys as well and has an anodized black matte finish.
As for how it works, APO says the tripod head works with semi-auto carbines, shotguns, and a variety of hunting and tactical rifles. The head utilizes a positive locking mechanism to hold long guns securely in place; a positive lock is designed specifically to remain secure regardless of vibrations. It has a ±35 degree head capable of holding guns up to 25 pounds using one of three methods: a PIG Saddle (designed by Josh Stabler, a Marine Scout Sniper and OIF veteran), a 6 o’clock accessory rail grabber, or APO’s own Anypoint Bipod/Tripod Mount. Users can also use a PIG Saddle or simply add a 1/4×20 detachable baseplate to mount a spotting scope to the RSTA-II.
The RSTA-II is usable by both right and left-handed shooters and the tripod legs can be adjusted for both flat ground and more complex terrain. With this system the user can track, lock, and engage targets time and again without the strain and fatigue of trying to holding their long gun steady. MSRP is not yet available, but you can visit APO’s website to take a look at their other products at: Ashbury Precision Ordnance.