Having spent a fair bit of time shooting off a bipod, I have a view – likely shared by many – that the perfect bipod probably doesn’t exist. I say this because inherent in the darn things are a compromise – a tug of war if you like – between stability and weight. Even though that’s my opinion, I am always interested when a new product comes to my attention and so it was with the LRA Light Tactical bipod (long-legged version) which is available in Canada through PGWDTI.
Dealing with PGW is always a really good experience no matter what you are buying as, without exception, the service is the very best and so it was in this case. An email inquiry was made and – by return courier – the bipod in question arrived. There are a few other really excellent dealers out there but none – not a single one – can exceed the level of customer service that PGW offers to customers.
For the shooting part of the review I dragged a couple of rifles out to the hayfield along with the test mule. I wanted to have a real-time comparison rather than simply going off memory and therefore one of the other rifles had the ubiquitous Harris S attached to it while the other wore the Versa Pod.
The bipod under review is manufactured in the USA by Long Range Accuracy and made out of aluminum and carbon fibre the bipods come in three flavors; light tactical (which I have ); light tactical with longer legs and F-Class competition. Interestingly they are all priced the same in the US at $450USD. As with many items these days, the LRA bipods are subject to export restrictions from the US.
Long Range Accuracy do not have a current website but can be found on Facebook though, according to what I have read, they don’t usually return inquiries.
Fortunately for us here in Canada PGW carries a supply of these bipods and they price them most competitively – which brings me to the first comment: Price.
Price: As mentioned above these bipods retail for $450 in the USA ( seemed a standard price – I saw no discounting ) and PGW sells them here in Canada for C$450 which represents a great deal – anyone who buys firearms accessories will appreciate how often the Canadian price is much, much higher than the American one. Having said that, $450 is a lot to pay for a bipod – to put it in context that money will buy three Harris S bipods or two of the MPOD’s sold by Mystic Precision – and, if my memory is correct, $450 is about the same price as the Cadillac of them all – the excellently engineered (but heavy) Remple. So, we are dealing with a pricey bit of kit which means that I am going to be more picky than usual as my tolerance for flaws or shortcomings definitely goes down as the price of the item goes up.
Dimensions*: For the shooting I mostly do I consider weight of the bipod to be perhaps the most important consideration and the LRA weighs a very svelte 1.4 lbs and has legs that go from 6.5 to 9.5 inches. At the end of the legs are rubber feet ( like a beefier version of Harris feet ) which are fine for most shooting but I am unaware of an option of claws and/or skids such as offered by Vera Pod. I will say that offering only one type of footing is a negative -Yes, I’m being picky but for $450 I’d like to see an alternate to the rubber feet. The bipod will swivel or, more correctly, cant a total of 10 degrees and the legs can be positioned at 0 degrees, 22 degrees, 45 degrees and 90 degrees. It is, however, a wide bipod – which is good and bad – the good is that it gives you a wide stance of up to 15″ with the legs fully extended but the bad is that all closed up it still adds to the overall width of the rifle and makes the rifle – at the widest part bipod leg to bipod leg – nearly 5″ wide which, if your gun safes are like mine, makes storing rifles with accessories attached a bit tricky. * note on leg measurement – what I write above is what I measured with a tape but US resellers give slightly different data on their websites.
Build Quality: I am advised that these bipods are made out of 6061 T6 Aluminum and that they are coated with a mil-spec (whatever that means) anodized finish. I will say this – it is beautifully made and the finish is smooth and even. I know it is trite to say, but when I first handled this thing I thought that it was a very well made piece of engineering that just feels like a quality item. When the legs, which are push button controlled, are locked into place there isn’t any unacceptable movement and everything is super-smooth (and quiet) to operate. On this bipod there is nothing rough, no tool marks, nothing feeling ‘cheap’ and no quirky messing about trying to figure out how to put it together – open the box and attach to a rifle and……….wait a darn minute there……..attach to a rifle. Mmmmm.
Attaching To Your Rifle: So there I was all gushing about the new toy when I realised that attaching this thing to a rifle isn’t so easy. Only have a sling swivel ? Have an Anschutz rail ? Well in either of those common instances you are, to use a technical expression, “well and truly foooked” because this great piece of engineering will – according to the literature – ‘attach to any rifle with a six o’clock Picatinny rail‘ which of course begs the question; how many precision rifles do you have with such a six o’clock Picatinny gizmo ? I have the grand total of one – my PGW Coyote with aluminum folding stock and even that was not part of the standard, factory, offering but an add-on. My others rifles all lack this piece of aluminum magic so my plan of using this on a F-Class rifle has to, at least for the present, take a back seat. However, since the Coyote has the all important rail do-dad, the review can proceed.
Once a suitable rifle can be found attachment of the LRA is quite simple – loosen crossbolt with Allen key slide on bipod and retighten. Apparently there is a sort of quick-detach accessory available but I haven’t seen it so I can’t comment but, really, it is plenty fast enough as it is.
Under The Gun: Shooting is where it all comes together or falls apart and, as expected, this bipod really did shine for the shooting part of the exercise. No matter whether the bipod was loaded or not, it was super solid. I shot with its legs closed and extended and even and uneven. I shot prone and standing with the rifle rested on a round bale and nothing happened to cause me to loose any confidence in this bipod. It was clearly superior to the Versa Pod and Harris for stability and, honestly, it was as solid to shoot off as my Trakker or Remple. One handed adjustments for cant were easy (like with a pod-loc equipped Harris ) and one handed leg-adjustments were also possible. The legs are notched ( which I like ) but that does of course mean you cannot have a finer adjustment than the pre notched positions.
Conclusion: This is an excellent accessory to own for the shooter who wants a very good quality bipod. The three negatives are: can only attach via a picatinny rail, rubber pads only foot choice and quite wide when folded up. Of these three it really only is the first one that is an issue. Clearly, the LRA is designed and marketed with the Tactical Rifle in mind and in this role I will say it is the best tactical bipod I have used – period. For F-class, it isn’t as good as a true F-Class bipod like the Remple but, having said that, I think it could easily work for that game and its’ weight might make it a real viable option for those F-Class shooters concerned with weight.
**Edit – another shooter has pointed out that claw and led feet are actually an available option through EuroOptic ($70 US) and I know that ATRS offer a Picatinny rail adapter for Anshutz and I think that costs about $50 or so.
Cheers and thanks for reading,