Tripods have become a commonly used piece of rifle support gear. Military and Law Enforcement uses are mostly for sniper applications where an operator may need to stay on a target for any length of time. Many hunters are finding tripods useful in blinds where the rifle can always be at the ready. In the world of competitive precision rifle shooting (e.g. the Precision Rifle Series) some matches have even included “tripod skills” stages.
In keeping with our moto of “buy once, cry once…but don’t overbuy” over the past few months we have tried different tripod solutions. The goal was to find some less expensive yet feature and performance rich solutions compared to the very nice but very expensive Really Right Stuff products. Special thanks to our friends at Alabama Precision who pointed us in the direction of the Leofoto tripod.
The goal of this article is not to discuss HOW to use a tripod for shooting but rather just give a brief overview of the Leofoto tripod and other components we believe offer a fantastic solution for those of us on more of a budget without sacrificing quality or performance. Frankly, we need to post this so people will stop with all the text messages, e-mails and Facebook IMs asking for details! LOL. So, here ya go….
The tripod is a Leofoto model LN-364C. It is made from carbon fiber and aluminum, weighs 6# 10 oz (with a leveling base), measures ~26″ with legs folded and ~65″ with legs extended. It comes with both hard rubber feet and metal spikes. Included are a flat to base (pictured) with a 3/8″ screw and a 75mm bowl that accepts standard leveling bases. The flat base and bowl are easily changed by loosening the tension lever and depressing the locking detent. The two pieces are shown below.
Simply remove the flat base and pop the 75mm bowl in its place then lock the tension lever.
Okay, let’s back up a step. Before putting the 75mm bowl in the tripod, let’s first add our leveling base. The leveling base is two pieces. The bottom is the tension knob. The top part is a flat base with a 3/8″ screw. To this screw we installed an Arca Swiss adapter plate. The brand of this particular one is an Andoer. Shown here with an Arca quick-release plate in the adapter (it comes with the adapter and is a standard in the photography world).
Now that we have our leveling base installed in the 75mm bowl, it is time to drop the assembly back into the tripod.
We can then remove the Arca adapter plate from the adapter by loosening the thumbscrew. Give the tension knob under the bowl a slight twist clockwise to loosen the leveling plate in the bowl. Use that knob to adjust where you want to aim and twist the tension knob slightly counterclockwise. Simple! It has about 29 degrees of motion up and down which is plenty for our needs.
We need to mention there are a LOT of different leveling bases and we tried several before settling on a model from Desmond. It by far had most range of motion. The Leofoto and Manfrotto solutions had much less travel.
Cool! Now what? Well, now add your rifle. For that most users will need something like the Hog Saddle or Really Right Stuff VYCE head. Shown below is our VYCE head. Clamp the rifle in and you are ready!
Or if you are a cool kid with an Arca rail on the bottom of your rifle, you can clamp directly to the bipod! My MPA chassis allows me to do just that. I find this is a little more stable than using a cradle that sits higher away from the tripod legs.
That’s it for this article. Again, the main reason for writing this quick article was to provide some answers to a LOT of people asking us for info on this shooting solution. We had this at the Rockcastle December 2017 match and used it on several stages. We also shot on this the day before the match out to 850 yards. And it was EASY to hit those 850 yard targets!
Hope to see you on the range soon. Later.