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April 15, 2011

Monopod Shooting Sticks

A monopod shooting stick is quick and easy to set up.

A monopod shooting stick gives you a quick and steady shot.

A monopod is the best shooting stick for a fast setup. Without multiple stick legs to adjust and balance, you can steady your shot in no time.

Wood or Aluminum Monopod

An aluminum monopod is adjustable, which makes it more flexible for use on uneven terrain or by more than one hunter. The downside to aluminum is that if knocked against a tree or rifle stock, it can spook your quarry with a ‘ting’ noise. Be careful not to hit anything with the monopod while you are walking to your stand.

Wood is natural material, which is fairly quiet if knocked against a tree or other object. It’s not adjustable or collapsible, which makes it less convenient than an aluminum monopod, but it provides a sturdy support.

How to Use a Monopod

Hold the monopod in your non-shooting hand. Grab it near the top with fingers two, three, and four. The rifle fore end should rest in the pocket between your thumb and forefinger. Keep a firm grasp on the rifle and monopod, allowing the rifle to rest on your hand and not on the stick.

December 8, 2010

Using Shooting Sticks for a Steady Shot

Rubber and carbon tapered tips for use on different types of surfaces.

KillZone shooting sticks come with rubber and carbon tapered tips for use on different types of surfaces.

Shooting sticks give you a steadier shot, especially over long distances. Gripping the shooting sticks takes a little practice, but once you’re comfortable shooting with sticks, you may wonder how you ever got along without them.

Rubber and Conical Tips

You may notice that the tips of most shooting sticks are either pointed (conical) or rubber. Some also come with snow or mud discs. The rubber tip works best when shooting off concrete (such as at a shooting range) or other impenetrable surface.

The conical tip lets you dig in to the ground for more stability when shooting out in the field. With the leg tips firmly in place, you won’t need to worry about the legs splaying out under the force of the recoil.

Snow and mud discs act like snowshoes for your shooting sticks. They prevent the legs from sinking too deep into the snow or mud.

How to Grip Shooting Sticks

It seems even the experts vary slightly on how to grip the shooting sticks. Some say to grasp only the rifle and place your hand or wrist in the “V” with the rifle resting in the palm of your hand. Some say to grasp both the sticks and the rifle together, with the rifle resting on thumb and index finger as a buffer between the sticks and the rifle.

Grasping both the rifle and the sticks together can make it easier to adjust their positioning, but do whatever feels comfortable for you. Either way, the rifle should not rest directly on the gun rest. Resting the gun directly on a hard surface can throw your shots off and cause the gun to recoil differently. A soft and somewhat yielding support (such as your hand or sandbags) will give you a more accurate shot.

Also, make sure the fore-end of the rifle (and not the barrel) is resting in the “V” section. This will give you a steadier shot.

October 21, 2010

Best Shooting Sticks for Hunting: Monopods, Bipods, and Tripods

Hunting monopods are lightweight and fast to set up.

Hunting monopods are lightweight and fast to set up.

There are plenty of shooting sticks available on the market. Which one is best? That depends on which features are most important to you. Here are some of the main differences between types of shooting sticks, including monopods, bipods, and tripods.

Hunting Monopods

Monopods are the lightest weight shooting sticks available. Their biggest attraction is for hunters who hike in to remote spots. Since it doubles as a walking stick, the monopod is not just another piece of equipment to carry on your back but it makes the hike easier, whether you’re headed to your favorite hunting spot or just enjoying a day hike in the woods. Because the monopod has only one leg, it’s fast to set up for quick shots, and there’s no need to adjust leg length to compensate for uneven or unstable terrain.

A hunting tripod offers the most stability.

A hunting tripod offers the most stability.

Hunting Bipods

A bipod offers more stability than a monopod and often adjusts to a shorter height than most monopods. These types of shooting sticks are preferred for crouched or prone positions and bench shooting. The legs can be adjusted for use on uneven ground. Bipods are somewhat of a compromise between a monopod and a tripod. A bipod is lighter in weight and less cumbersome than a tripod, but having two legs gives it more stability than a monopod.

Hunting Tripods

Tripods offer the most stability of all three types of shooting sticks. They give you the steadiest shot in windy conditions, and they offer the most support for your firearm. Tripods take a little more time to set up, but with practice, you’ll be ready for the shot in no time. Another bonus for tripods is their freestanding capability. Monopods and bipods require you to hold them up, but tripods can stand up on their own three feet.

July 21, 2010

Hunting Tripod Stability

A hunting tripod is the most stable type of shooting stick.

A hunting tripod is the most stable type of shooting stick.

With three legs, a hunting tripod is the most stable of all the types of shooting sticks. Yet in windy conditions or with the legs fully extended, your tripod might not be as stable as you’d like.

The shorter you set the tripod, the more stable it will be. Thicker legs mean less wobble. Notice how the tripod extensions become thinner as you lengthen the legs. These extensions make the tripod taller, but they also make it less stable. Depending on the distance and size of the target, the amount of stability lost by fully extending the tripod legs may not affect your shot.

For the steadiest shot when using a hunting tripod, consider the following tips:

  1. Use the tripod in a sitting position.
  2. Shooting from a sitting position gives you more stability than shooting from a standing position. Sitting also reduces the chances that you’ll be spotted. Kneeling is not as steady as sitting—or as comfortable for long periods of time. Lying prone provides a stable shooting position, but it often limits your field of view, especially in areas with tall vegetation.

  3. Use a sandbag to steady the tripod.
  4. If you hang a sandbag or other weight from the center of the tripod where the three legs meet, the extra weight will stabilize the legs and steady your shot. Another idea is to place a sandbag or weight on top of each tripod leg to hold it in place.

  5. Get comfortable.
  6. The more comfortable you are, the more relaxed your body will be and the steadier your shot will be. If you are waiting out in the field for long periods of time, sitting is usually the most comfortable position, whether in a hunting blind, tree stand, or on the ground. Using a hunting blind is the most versatile choice, because it allows you to stand, stretch, and walk around inside the blind without giving away your position.

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June 24, 2010

How to Use Shooting Sticks

Tripod Shooting Sticks

Place the forearm of the rifle over the cradle of the tripod.

Shooting sticks—monopods, bipods, and tripods—are a great way to steady your shot in the field, on the range, or from inside a hunting blind. They are quick and easy to set up and use for a solid gun rest no matter where you are shooting. With a little practice, using shooting sticks will become second nature.

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How to Properly Use a Tripod, Bipod, or Monopod:

Place the forearm of the rifle over the cradle of the shooting sticks. Don’t balance the rifle at its center; instead, place the gun over the cradle at a point well forward on the forearm.

The experts at Rifle Shooting magazine recommend that the best way to use a shooting stick is not to let the rifle rest directly on the cradle. Instead, using your non-shooting arm, wrap your hand around the shooting sticks where they intersect and allow the rifle to rest on your hand rather than the cradle. Your forward hand should be holding both the shooting sticks and the gun. This position is more natural and stable than simply grabbing on to the leg of the shooting sticks and letting the rifle rest directly on the cradle.

Make sure the shooting sticks are set at the right height. If you are standing, the intersection of the tripod legs should fall just below your shoulders when your feet are in a wide stance. The rifle should be level when pressed into your shoulder. Lean into the rifle with your body, and pull back on the shooting sticks with your forward hand.

December 2, 2009

New! Premium Camo Hunting and Shooting Sticks

Camo Shooting Monopod

Camo Shooting Monopod

KillZone Hunting has added a new line of shooting sticks to their product line. The Shooting Stick Monopod and Shooting Stick Tripod in Wooded Camo are both top-of-the-line hunting sticks.

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The Shooting Stick Monopod in Wooded Camo serves a double purpose as a hiking stick and shooting rest. It’s not just an extra hunting accessory to carry, but it’s a welcome support on rough terrain and backcountry treks. This monopod rest is made of lightweight aluminum material, weighing in at less than a pound, and includes a dual telescoping body with height adjustments from 24 to 46 inches.

Camo Shooting Tripod

Camo Shooting Tripod

The “Y” gun rest is removable, and a comfort grip handle and adjustable wrist strap add a plush touch to this shooting monopod. A carbon tip and rubber tip cover are included. The Camo Hunting Monopod is currently available for a low price of $34.99 (free shipping!).

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The Shooting Stick Tripod in Wooded Camo gives ultimate support and stability for your gun or camera. The telescoping legs are adjustable for stabilizing the tripod on rough ground, ranging from a height of 26 to 47 inches. The “Y” gun rest is mounted on a quick connect 360 coupling that easily swivels to adjust your shooting angle.

Comfort grip handles and rubber tip covers are included with this hunting tripod. The Camo Shooting Tripod is currently available for only $49.99 (free shipping!).

July 28, 2009

Shooting Rests: Monopods, Bipods, and Tripods

Summary:
  • Shooting monopods are fast, quiet, and steady.
  • Bipods are best for crouched or prone positions and bench shooting.
  • Shooting tripods offer the rock-solid stability.

For some hunters, a shooting rest is the key to a one-shot kill. It not only keeps your shot steady, but it lets you rest your gun while you wait. The three types of shooting rests are monopods, bipods, and tripods. Each type has its pros and cons. Which one is best for you depends on your hunting style and personal preference.

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Monopod Shooting Stick

Monopod Shooting Stick

Hunting Monopod

Pros:
  • Quickest to get in place for the shot
  • Most compact shooting rest option – fits well in tight quarters
  • Easiest to use in unstable and uneven terrain
  • Doubles as a hiking stick
Cons:
  • Not as stable as a bipod or tripod
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Hunting Bipod

Pros:
  • Ideal for a crouched, prone, or bench shooting position
  • Adjusts to a shorter height than most monopods
  • Better stability than a monopod
Cons:
  • May need to adjust the legs for use on uneven ground
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Tripod Shooting Stick

Tripod Shooting Stick

Hunting Tripod

Pros:
  • Best stability of the three shooting rest models
  • Offers the most support for your firearm
  • Taller tripods can be used in the field and shorter tripods for bench shooting
Cons:
  • Requires adjustment for uneven ground