Gear Review: Tac Shield rail-mounted bipod for AR rifles

Legs_folded_for_off-hand_shooting_and_transport.

Legs folded up for offhand shooting and transport. (Photo: Eve Flanigan)

The AR platform carbine is a handy thing. Portable, customizable, and capable of delivering results in short to mid-length engagements.  Tac Shield makes mid- and even long-range accuracy easier to achieve with their rail-mounted bipod.

Tac Shield sent the shorter of their two models, the six-to-nine-inch leg model, for testing.  That was nearly a year ago, and I’ve had many chances to use the bipod on my AR15, the Cutlass by Battle Rifle Company.  Conveniently, it has Picatinny rail surrounding the barrel at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions.

Detail_showing_rail_attachment_and_notched_legs

Detail showing rail attachment and notched legs. (Photo: Eve Flanigan)

Made of steel and finished in black, the bipod has notched, spring-loaded legs that offer six height choices.  A rotating lever on the left side loosens the mount for installation, removal, or adjustment up or down the rails.  A larger, similar lever on the operator-facing side can be loosened to allow the rifle to cant on the port/starboard axis if desired.  The same lever tightens to prohibit such rotation.

In other words, it’s as customizable as a bipod can be.  The spring-loaded legs are held firmly in line with the barrel until deployed.  The leg extensions, likewise, snap outward sharply when the release on each is pressed.  Each leg has a non-skid “foot” at the bottom for enhanced stability. The feet appear to be plastic or very hard rubber. It weighs between one and two pounds, adding good stability to the rifle for longer distance shooting.

The_rail_installment_knob_is_low_profile,_and_fits_in_quite_close_to_my_sling_mount.

The rail installment knob is low profile and fits in quite close to my sling mount. (Photo: Eve Flanigan)

As easy as installation was, my biggest concern was that the bipod’s installation knob would come loose without my knowledge as the gun was transported and carried uncased, which I have done numerous times with this setup. I’ve learned not to worry about it — it’s stayed as solid as a rock.  Same goes for the cant adjustment knob, which maintains whatever level of tightness I’ve set. These are the only potential downsides I could find about this bipod.

While a bipod isn’t critical for good distance shooting, it certainly makes setting up for a long shot and maintaining a position on target quicker and easier.  The frustration of squishing my pack around just so to create a stable platform, only to have the stuffing displaced after a shot or two, is gone.  Using the bipod feels like a real luxury, making longer-range shots so much easier.

For_hunting_or_patrol,_the_brass_washer_is_unfortunately_in_need_of_black_paint.

For hunting or patrol the brass washer is unfortunately in need of black paint. (Photo: Eve Flanigan)

The canting feature makes use of cover easier. When shooting around a tree or other barricade, it allows me to tilt the gun and make slight adjustments for a moving target while remaining unseen.  Of course, one must be conscientious of the bore/optic offset and not fire into nearby cover!

This bipod is every bit the quality of the big-name varieties usually seen on bolt rifles. With many months of use behind me, including frequent removal and re-installation, I’ve come to completely trust it to provide a solid base. It’s helped my time behind the AR be more enjoyable and efficient when I’ve wanted rounds to reach out farther than 300 yards.

If I had to name a downside to this bipod, it’d be the bright brass washer that’s front and center of the mount.  Right where it most needs to be dull, it isn’t.  In certain light conditions, it could be a beacon to target creatures. But this is a detail easily remedied with a dab of paint.

Accuracy_up_to_750_yards_was_achieved_faster_than_expected,_thanks_in_part_to_the_bipod.

Accuracy up to 750 yards was achieved faster than expected thanks in part to the bipod. (Photo: Eve Flanigan)

A minor error is on the packaging, which refers to mounting the bipod to a swivel stud.  It would appear Tac Shield copied and pasted that from another product.  No biggie as installation on a rail is quite self-explanatory. Users should note that correct installation will position the hinges so the “feet” fold toward the muzzle when the bipod is not deployed.

Want or need one?  Tac Shield sells direct to buyers as well as having a retail network.  The model in this article sells for $82.99.  The longer 9- to 13-inch one is priced at $88.99.  Those prices are in the range expected for any good-quality precision rifle bipods.