How to Install a Bipod on an AR-15
Though people around the world have used shooting sticks since their use of muskets and early firearms, the bipod as we know it, is fairly young. Like many civilian shooting industry trends, the popularity of bipods on black rifles and other MSRs was shaped by military techniques. You’ll often see bipods on machine guns because…well…machine guns are heavy, almost impossible to aim when shooting off hand and difficult to control. Bipods increase your accuracy and reduce fatigue.
What are Bipods Used For?
Bipods stabilize your firearm and provide a solid platform to mount your rifle when you are sitting or shooting prone (lying down.) Bipods keep your firearm steady and on target. Due to their stabilizing features, bipods (when used correctly) help mitigate—not absorb—recoil.
Bipods attach to your rifle’s rails, can be integrated into the grip or mount to your rifle’s sling swivel studs using a swivel stud adapter. They usually fold up under the barrel for transportation and storage. Bipods are either fixed or adjustable for height. Some tilt and pan.
Snipers and long-range precision shooters would be absolutely unsuccessful without a good bipod. Hunters often use bipods, monopods or shooting sticks due to the terrain and long periods of waiting. Bipods act as a rest for your rifle, supporting the front of the rifle and holding some of its weight.
How to Use a Bipod
The most important aspect of incorporating a bipod as part of your AR-15 build is the correct installation and use. If it is not installed properly or is used incorrectly, your bipod will be adversely affected by recoil and therefore pointless. Bipods are most effective on soft surfaces and uneven terrain. They aren’t meant to steady your rifle on concrete, a bench or solid rock. Use a rifle rest or shooting bags in that environment.
No matter the type of feet, a bipod needs slight pressure and grip to move smoothly back and forth as it should with the recoil of the rifle. If not, it will jump, snag or continue to scoot back, making it difficult to make consistent and accurate follow-up shots.
First, get into the prone position, aligning your body with the position of the rifle. This helps felt recoil. Next spread out your legs and turn your toes pointing out with your ankles as close to the ground as possible. Pull your rifle into the right shoulder with your left hand (if you are right-handed.) If you are left-handed, pull your rifle into your left shoulder with your right hand. Pull the buttstock snugly right into the crook of your shoulder, just left (or right) of your armpit. Many find it comfortable to place their non-dominant hand on the top back of the buttstock. You may add a small bag or rest under the butt of the rifle stock for extra stability and weight absorption.
Loading the Bipod
Loading the bipod is the steps we take to optimize it’s use correctly.
Adjust the height of the bipod’s legs to be as low to the ground while still in a comfortable position for you and make sure they are forward. This will minimize the bipod’s flex during recoil. You may want to dig small holes just in front of your bipod if the ground allows. Stick the legs in the holes.
Once you have adjusted your bipod into position, create pressure by leaning into the rifle slightly keeping the rifle’s buttstock in your shoulder as you would when you shoot it.
How to Install a Bipod on an AR-15
- Make sure your bipod is tightly attached—especially if you have it attached via sling swivel stud adapter.
- If you are in a rocky, gravely or hard-packed dirt environment, lay down a blanket, shooting mat or your jacket. Surprisingly, bipods work better on softer surfaces.
The Firefield Scarab Bipod
The Firefield Scarab bipod is specifically designed for AR-15-style platform rifles. Its two-piece design mounts the legs on either side of your rifle’s rails, not the bottom, saving precious rail space for other accessories. It adjusts from 9 to 12 inches, which is best for prone shooting. Each leg adjusts individually for height to give you the absolute rock-solid rest you need. The Scarab is also adjustable for a 45-degree angle. A push button operates the legs and easily helps you adjust its five different height points with locking positions. Metal gripper feet grasp any terrain for extra stability. The Scarab is available in two models—KeyMod or M-LOK, which both will also mount to Picatinny rails. It is constructed of heavy-duty aluminum, yet is lightweight at only 12 ounces.
How to Use the Scarab
Once attached on a firearm, the legs on the bipod can be unfolded. To unfold the legs to the downward position:
- Grab each leg one at a time.
- Push the leg pivot in towards the mount.
- Turn the leg (Do not force as this will damage the leg) If the leg does not easily turn the leg pivot must be pushed in further.
The legs can be set to different positions depending on the situation. These positions are set at 45 degrees to each other at 0, 45, 90, 135 and 180.