Submitted by Eric Daniel
For a while now I've had running issues with the various ranges where we shoot qualification. Besides not properly pruning the vegetation on the 300m pop up range (yes, having a 250m target come up behind a manzanita bush demonstrates good use of cover and concealment by the target, it does make it difficult to hit) the sandbags provided for supporting your weapon are quite dilapidated and sorely in need of replacing. In fact, things had gotten so bad that I'd taking to packing my own empty bags to fill on site, so that I might get some proper support.
Well, a couple of months ago supply got a shipment of these combination fore grip/bipod handles which featured these little pop out legs which would serve as a bipod for stabilized shooting. Well, while they were popular with the joes, I wasn't a big fan of using a fore grip handle to begin with, and really didn't want to try one out just to get the bipod feature.
What I settled on was a Harris bipod. The one I selected was their stock 9"-13" extendable with a Picatinny rail adapter (model number 638) for attaching the bipod to the under-rail of my M-4. Fully extended the bipod puts the weapon at the perfect height for me to fire in the prone, and the legs are stout and sturdy enough that I can really dig them in and push on the weapon to get a solid shooting stance. In addition to being far superior to those awful sandbags on the range, the bipod has also proven to be a boon in my recon and surveillance mission as well. Our unit recently received a shipment of new AN/PAS-13 Thermal Weapon Sights (TWS) which are really a brilliant piece of kit. Mounted on the rifle I can use the bipod to stabilize the front end and then adjust elevation with a fist under the stock to push the sight up or down. This arrangement allows me to maintain a good observation picture over extended periods without causing undue fatigue and muscle strain.
Another feature I like about the bipod/adapter arrangement is the fact that I can remove the bipod and stow it just by loosening one screw (for stowing the weapon in the arms room or for when I don't need it.)