I think I would likely be ‘more succesful’ if I didn’t have a habit of saying what I though, irrespective of potential loss of favour with companies in NZ, but, I didn’t originally set up The Bloke to sell adverts, I set it up to provide my own, honest opinion on new gear and happenings withing the community.
While I still have to hold my tongue when it comes to some of the politics, with gear, I have found people just appreciate a blunt response and less fluff.
So. Read the whole article before you comment. Did I like the bipod? Well yes! And no. Like many things. It’s going to depend on what you want to use it for.
Obviously, we need to compare this new offering to the existing lightweight options out there, of which I have sold and used plenty of them.
Backlanz is a NZ owned and operated company – set up by Ethan Todd and based in the South Island. It’s nice to see an local group bringing new ideas and manufacturing to the industry.
The bipod is intended to be a lightweight bipod for hunters. It’s important to understand this, because the criticisms I have of the bipod (coming soon) are actually in relation to using this as a precision rifle support – not necessarily as a lightweight option. Although, I will also compare it to the other light options I have experience with – the NeoPod and Spartan Javelin.
It’s a quick detach system – the idea being that you can keep the bipod in your pack most the time, and then just attach it when you need it. It should be noted though – I have seen online this is heralded as a weight-saving option as well – though you are really only just moving the weight from the rifle to your pocket. Just saying.
More importantly, you can quickly remove the bipod should you get into some scrubby country – and it’s certainly less likely to get hooked up that way. Also to note – the way the sling attaches means that, unlike say a Harris style stud mounted option – you can quickly remove the bipod and still have the sling attached. I personally don’t use a sling, but many hunters do, so it’s a nice feature.
The bipod has extendable legs, locked in place by a twist ring. I have mixed feelings about this – again – from a weight saving angle – yes – pretty much the only way to go. But, I have also struggled with these things regularly – especially when trying to adjust the bipods once behind the rifle – and tell people to avoid the similarly working harris like the plague. Notches are the way to go, but, add weight – it’s another trade off.
At the end of the legs are covered spikes. I like spikes. I like to pre-load a bipod, and find on many surfaces, the legs will tend to slide and ‘unload’ the bipod. Having spikes on them just gives that extra bit of purchase. I also do like the fact the spikes on this bipod are not quite as aggressive as some – having spiked myself more than once while carrying rifles, I do appreciate that, and the easy method of covering and uncovering them.
Was easy. Simply remove the existing sling stud from your rifle (note the patented fork technique) and replace it with the base plate and screw supplied – the lads at Backlanz also provide a tool to tighten up the screw, and, if needed, the baseplate comes with sticky pads that can help secure the base to a flat, or oddly shaped forend. This one was going onto a Tikka T3 – so fitted on easily.
Once the base plate (which is made from Titanium and weighs nothing) is mounted, putting the bipod on is a relatively simple process of placing the bipod on at a 45-degree angle, rotating and then pressing down on the ring mount to lock it into place.
The carbon fibre and titanium build of this bipod is a nice, industrial but purposeful fit and finish. Unlike, say the NeoPod, which can come across as very light and plastic feeling, the Backlanz feels like it is solid and will take a bit of a bashing (which, sadly, through experience, the NeoPod can’t).
The legs are able to be positioned in a variety of angles – pioneered (I think) by the Atlas Range of bipods. The lockup isn’t quite as solid as the newer Atlas or heavier bipod options (the king of that still being the Accutac from my experience) – but certainly better than the original Atlas, or, even, the Fusion Bipod that I was importing for a time. This give is mostly taken out when you pre-load the bipod. Though that introduces another issue that we will talk about in a bit.
The overall look and finish of the bipod would not be out of place on a high-end rifle – and I do see them popping up more and more during my rifle setup services. It’s probably a split between the Backlanz and Spartan now – which has been a quick and interesting trend to watch happen!
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