Choosing the right bipod and having a perfect height set just before a stage is quite often the key to success in a competition. One bipod isn’t enough to do everything you’re likely to require from it over a few stages. Shooting practical rifle and precision rifle competitions (in my case mainly IPSC, PRS and hybrids between these) for more than 10 years has “given” me quite a collection of bipods. I have stayed away from the “cheap and risky” ones, but there are a few from B&T Industries, Magpul and Harris to chose from at home. Some I have modified to suit my needs better. I even have one set with what used to be ski poles that can be used to shoot standing.
Different Needs, Different Bipods and Attachments
It’s been 4 years since we reviewed the B&T Industries Atlas 5-H Bipod, and they are quite special. I’ve been using B&T bipods for at least 8 years and mainly the BT10-LW17 V8 Atlas Bipod with a quick-detach for the Picatinny rail. I try to use the LaRue quick-detach adapters where I can, at least for IPSC where you are much more likely to want or need to get rid of a bipod in milliseconds.
Below: Act of balance, I’m happy this system didn’t fall to the ground. JP Rifles PCS-12 with Schmidt & Bender 3-27×56 PMII with Pulsar Krypton FXG50 Thermal Clip-On and B&T bipods.
A while ago I bought the BT65-NC Gen. 2 CAL Atlas Bipod, to be used for PRS competition rifles mainly. I wanted to be able to mount the bipod on an ARCA rail directly, instead of using an adapter to an adapter which only built height. All my PRS rifles have ARCA railed handguards, and some of my “general” rifles also have ARCA attachment points via MLOK.
To attach the B&T bipod to an ARCA I use the Area 419 ARCALOCK Clamp. You can find it at B&T or at Area 419 directly. I bought some of these parts from Brownells, and they have sometimes been a pain to source due to being sold out. Just beware that the Area 419 clamp won’t work with the larger 5-H bipods, there’s no space for the golden knob. (Update: With this Spigot Extension it’s possible)
The BT65-NC Gen. 2 CAL Atlas Bipod
The CAL stands for Cant And Loc. There’s no swivel on this model, which can be both good and bad depending on the situation. Usually, the targets don’t move (swivel) but the ground may be uneven, so the canting function gets the priority this time. The CAL function allows you to lock and unlock the canting motion by rotating the Pod-Loc lever. Clockwise it locks and counterclockwise it unlocks. This lever sets the resistance for the cant, or if you want to fix it. It works really well.
Apart from a few of the parts, it’s an all-black model with non-rotating legs, which means that the outer leg does not rotate around the inner leg. There are protective rubber pads at the end of the legs. The height range goes from 4.8 to 9.2″. At 90° you get 6.4”. You can have 5 positions for the legs: 0, 45, 90, 135 and 180 degrees. I could have done with more positions, but some competitors only offer 2.
Below you can find B&T Industries description. I include it as there may be important information in there, and other ways of using adapters that may suit you better:
The BT65-NC CAL (Cant And Loc) Atlas Bipod “No Clamp” model has a two hole pattern of 1.100” with the holes being 10/32 threads. It requires any 17S size ”Lever Mount” to include the ADM-170-S, ARMS 17S, TRAMP from Badger Ordnance, LT271 or any ARCA dovetail mount with the same hole pattern. The BT65-NC will also mount directly to our BT19 AI Spigot or BT70 M-LOK® Adapter.
It is comprised of 6061-T6 aluminum that is Mil-Spec Type III hard coat anodized and have heat treated stainless steel components. Includes two 10-32 x 3/8″ flathead socket screws. Available in black only.
There are of course a lot of variants on these bipods and you can find them here. The price for this version is $239.95.
The V8 Atlas Bipod in action at a PRS competition. JP rifles .223 Rem with Schmidt & Bender 5-20×50 Ultra Short and Aimpoint on top. Range: about 515 meters. HIT! Without a good bipod, you wouldn’t survive this stage.
Again the V8 Atlas Bipod, with an adapter on the adapter. Not ideal and the reason why I bought the BT65-NC Gen. 2 CAL Atlas Bipod and Area 419 ARCALOCK Clamp instead. I put some Krylon spray on the B&Ts, just don’t spray the insides.
Here I’m using the MPA RAT Picatinny Rail Adaptor ($89.99), ARCA vs Picatinny.
Again, suppressor cover from Cole-Tac EU.
Below: Shooting Long Range with Thermal Imaging. Here’s 300 meters to begin with, using the JP Rifles PCS-12 6.5 Creedmoor with a Schmidt & Bender 3-27×56 PMII with Pulsar Krypton FXG50 Thermal Clip-On and B&T bipods. Note the ARCA rail from Magpul, which attaches nicely to the JP handguard. The system kept its zero even when we took the Krypton on and off. In situations like this, you don’t want to think or worry about the bipods, it just has to work. Note that the shooter has pushed the bipod to a stop, to get increased stability – just don’t push too hard or you might get POI shifts with some AR platforms.
The B&T bipods are very agile. I suspect there will never be a need to use them like this, but it is possible.
A rare sight with me, unscratched bipods. I was clever enough to take photos of them as they arrived.
B&T V8 Atlas on the H&K. Suppressor from Danish SAI and cover from Cole-Tac EU. The cover is highly recommended against mirage and heat.
They work really well on the FN SCAR 17 as well. Check out this Green Beret with an MK17 SCAR-H rifle and see what bipod he uses.
Below: Rubber legs. There are a lot of Atlas Bipod Accessories if you need spiked or snow feet for instance.
I’ve been using B&T Industries (not to be confused with B&T Arms) Atlas bipods for at least 8 years. I’m not sponsored, so I’ve paid list price apart from a case or two where I got a small package discount that probably anyone could talk themself into with a dealer. During these years I haven’t experienced any problems or issues, no malfunctions or repairs. I’m not a huge fan of the knurled knob on the V8 model and I think it’s the same solution on the PRS models, but it works – preferably with gloves on. Some of the manipulations can sometimes be a bit rough, but they are built to last so it’s to be expected. Another negative, in the few situations you need it, is that the Atlas bipods don’t deploy quickly. It would be very interesting if B&T could develop a version that is both “static” with at least 5 fixed positions but also have the possibility to deploy both legs quickly if needed. That would be such a winner, but one day someone will build it.
Do I use other bipods? Yes, certainly. Like I mentioned in the beginning, so far I haven’t found one model that does it all from anyone, but I find myself using the B&T’s more and more and sometimes I only bring them and nothing else. I’ve used the B&T in some crazy configurations with legs backwards, but as match directors try to make it difficult for competitors we will find a way. Quite often the bipod is the magic wand that gets us, competitors, out of trouble! The Atlas bipods aren’t free, but I advise against buying the cheap copies as I’ve seen them fail on several instances and it’s not safe.
If you prefer Tripods, then the Innorel RT90C Carbon Fiber Tripod with Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ball Head might be a solution.
If you have comments or other suggestions please let us know below. We appreciate your feedback. What does your perfect bipod look like?
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