Or, not adding them. Why slapping a bipod or tripod on an airsoft sniper rifle is a bad idea. But you really should buy one for your gun anyway because it’s very useful to have one.
I haven’t been drinking, no. This blog has been sparked by a picture of a milsim player with a bolt action perched on a fully extended tripod, “providing overwatch” on an area. I would imagine he didn’t last long, and I’ll explain why…
But firstly, the reason why you should absolutely own one anyway :
Here’s my beautiful and efficient VSR. And my less beautiful but also practical kitchen table/workbench. On the front is a cheap Harris style bipod that I got off Amazon (link here). The spring loaded legs do extend, but there’s rarely a need. It’s fitted all the time while the rifle is outside of game days, because it makes Instagram photos easier but also is essential for adding camouflage. In this picture I’d started working some 3D elements onto the scope. The bipod keeps the rifle upright so I can fix it into place and keep both hands free to work on the camouflage, but also while on the table, I can walk around and check it from different angles and make sure the camouflage is clear of the scope and bolt etc. Without a bipod, I’d really struggle.
However, on arriving at any airsoft site, it’s removed and sits in the gun bag. Why?
Well, for starters it’s extra weight. The bipod also stops me getting flat onto terrain (like a snooker player, in a prone position) because it adds bulk that raises the barrel up.
It also doesn’t have a push button that deploys the bipod. Which means, once I’ve finally managed to sneak into a good position, I’d have to wave my arms and rifle around trying to pull the legs down one at a time. That’s a LOT of eye-catching movement. The same when it needs put away afterwards.
But more than that, it’s rubbish to shoot from. Because it’s fixed. Yes, you can get a little up and down movement, but quickly turning left and right to react to unexpected targets is made much more difficult, especially if the feet of the bipod are catching on undergrowth. Often, I see other snipers instead moving their whole body left or right, pivoting on the bipod. It’s far too much movement.
Tripods usually tend to fix more into the middle of the rifle and many do have a rotating disc so you can easily move left and right, but again it’s a full body movement to do it.
You cannot guarantee unfortunately setting up in a static position and then having enemy players walk directly in front of where you’ve set up on a bipod. Airsoft is a very fast, dynamic environment and you need to be able to react accordingly, but as a sniper you need to be able to do that with minimal movement otherwise you give your position away, and probably won’t last long once spotted. A much better solution is to use your arm or elbow to rest on, which is usually enough height to sit the gun upright enough (if you have really weedy arms, attach a beanbag or other padding to your sleeve for this). This way the gun is not fixed at any point, and from resting you can quickly move on target without much movement, especially given that you control your other arm too which is your gun rest.
Remember we don’t have to manage recoil so any comfortable shooting position will do provided you have a straight view down the scope and the gun remains upright.
Oh, and to come back to the milsim man on “overwatch” – being stuck out in the open with a gun fixed to a whopping great tripod doesn’t give you a great reaction time. Also, a single shot gun with only a 20m range advantage doesn’t give you a lot of firepower to cover an area anyway. You’d be hosed down in full auto bb clouds before the second shot was loaded.