Addendum to Versa-Pod review

< 1999
By Scott Powers

Since this review was last written, we at Sniper Country have had some extensive experience with the Versa-Pod. In an effort to keep our readers informed, we feel it is incumbent for us to report the negative as well as the positive. In usage we have found several trouble areas with the Versa-Pod that, while not negating our previous report, do require some further commenting upon.

Issue One: Weapon instability

The height of the Versa-Pod combined with the ease with which the unit allows the rifle to cant, causes a situation where a high center of gravity in a weapon will cause the rifle to topple over on its side if left to cant on its own. This was more pronounced with a scope equipped AR15 type weapon than a bolt-action, which is why we missed it during the first review. After mounting it on an AR15 we experienced this toppling affect five times while attending the 1997 Prairie Dog Conference. No harm was done to the weapon but the scope could have taken a beating had it been of poorer construction. The main problem here is that the legs on the Versa-Pod are a little too long for something that does not have a spring tension against canting. It tends to flop to one side or the other, taking the weapon with it. The unit seriously needs a way to be tensioned to avoid this. It literally flops about without any resistance.

Issue Two: Leg length

The legs should be offered in a shorter length and wider stance than currently available. In the sniper role, a long bipod leg promotes wobble and instability. At longer ranges, say 300 and above, this can be troublesome. The legs of the Versa-Pod are fine. The problem is the swiveling/cant device. It adds quite a bit of length to the unit.

Issue Three: Metal composition

Here is the most negative observation. While this has not happened to our unit yet, we have seen at least one Versa-Pod break at the pivot point of the legs. The metal in question appears to be cheap "pot metal." This was not known until examining the broken area. This is really unacceptable because a bipod used for sniping will undergo a harsher level of stress than one solely mounted on a varmint rifle. The Versa-Pod is a copy of the triply expensive Parker-Hale unit. One can only assume that the P-H is made of much stouter material.

While we can still recommend the Versa-Pod for varmint shooting, we now have to express reservations as to its ability to withstand the rigors of military or police sniper operations.


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