Blackhawk! Sportster™ TraverseTrack™ Bipod!
Texas writer and outdoorsman Kevin Reese returns to the pages of NRAblog with the solution to his rifle bipod problems ...
obstinate Texas sun forced me further into the shaded recesses of an
outcropping of oak trees along the edge of a field of coastal grass. Stretched
before me was some 50 acres of heavily rooted soil with isolated clumps of
grass, certainly too few to bail and monetize. The population of feral hogs in
the area generating this damage had only been defined by the landowner as “thick”.
as the sun’s oppression finally submitted to dropping temperatures and a
darkening sky, a sounder of hogs flooded into the field on my left. I steadied
behind my Smith & Wesson MP15T Tactical 5.56 AR-15 topped by an Aimpoint
H34S Hunter red dot scope as the hogs continued to rush toward an area of the field
quite a distance to my right. As they crossed in front of me, I attempted to
plant my reticle on any hog offering a shot opportunity. Unfortunately, none of
the hogs stopped, even after I noisily attempted to capture their attention
long enough to get a shot. They ignored me and continued to traverse from left
In the end,
none of the hogs offered an opportunity; worse, when I attempted to track them from
left to right, the legs of my bipod bulldozed the soil, prohibiting me from
getting the shot opportunity I was after. I moved the bipod into another
position on my right and attempted to acquire a target once more but they
continued, making an ethical shot impossible.
I’m not the
only increasingly frustrated hunter using restrictive bipods. As a hog hunter
and hog hunting seminar instructor, I hear and read of failed hunts often and
routinely meet others hoping for an alternative. Personally, I’ve spent hours
searching for a swivel bipod only to
find that “swivel” simply means the vertical pivot that allows a rifle to be
held vertically straight or rested on its side at an angle. By in large, I’ve
found that “Swivel” DOES NOT mean the ability to swing or track targets moving
from left to right – the very functionality we require as hunters using bipods.
as functionality, I need a bipod to be durable and dependable; in short,
trustable. As a Special Hog Weapons and Tactics (SHWAT)
Pro Staff Hunter and Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) member, I am
demanding of the equipment I use. The extreme rigors I put gear through means I
have to trust those products to survive my pursuits and perform flawlessly
afterwards. The good news for me… and you is that OpticsPlanet offers a bipod that meets
those demands - the Blackhawk! Sportster™ TraverseTrack™ Bipod.
Blackhawk! Sportster™ TraverseTrack™ Bipod is the real deal! Like most sitting
and kneeling position bipods, it’s adjustable to fit your sitting or kneeling height
from 13.5 to 23 inches. Like many other bipods, it also includes adjustability
on a vertical pivot but unlike some, you can lock down the vertical pivot
position. While a vertical pivot is where some of best bipods end, it’s just
the beginning for the Blackhawk! Sportster™ TraverseTrack™ Bipod I received
last week. True to its name, a second swivel axis allows for horizontal
rotation. This means I can effortlessly track and lead targets on a horizontal
plane. This function would have equated to hogs on the ground instead of
another missed opportunity if I had ordered it a few days earlier!
vertical and horizontal adjustability, I love the Rapid-Adjust Lever Lock
feature and easy installation. Even better for long predator and hog hunting
excursions, especially in run-and-gun situations, this lightweight 18-ounce
bipod is an easy tote. Did I know it was there? Sure. Did it bother me? No. My
carry throughout the day was an easy haul.
positives I found on this bipod included easy installation and hunt-proven
all-metal construction, spring-retractable tubular legs with slip resistant rubber
feet, perfect for quick target acquisition on uneven terrain.
The only “con”
(term used lightly) I found with the Blackhawk! Sportster™ TraverseTrack™ Bipod
was in the tubular legs. I would love to see ribbed lower legs that further
assist in ensuring level shooting; however, as a final thought, I can honestly
say I have not experienced any negative consequence related to not having the
ribs – it’s simply a personal preference. It certainly would never keep me from
using this particular bipod.
I spent some
trigger time with the Blackhawk!
Sportster™ TraverseTrack™ Bipod this weekend. Refreshing doesn’t begin to
convey my excitement over this bipod. I engaged numerous targets throughout a
horizontal plane without adjusting the bipod legs or my own body. I also
tracked numerous critters during a sit in the woods; however, shot
opportunities eluded me – not as a fault of this truly incredible bipod! The
Blackhawk! Sportster™ TraverseTrack™ Bipod has taken its rightful place as my
bipod of choice for future pursuits and I look forward to making good on those
missed opportunities in the near future.