When Do You Need A Bipod For AR 15?

a rifle with attached bipod

Bipods are the classic assistant for sniper rifles - but in recent years, they've become one of the most popular accessories for the AR 15. In this guide, you'll learn when an AR 15 bipod should be used, what you should look for when buying one, and what some of the most popular options on the market are.


Comparison Table

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CVLIFE 6-9 Inches Tactical Rifle Bipod Adjustable Spring Return with Adapter

CVLIFE 6-9 Inches Tactical Rifle Bipod Adjustable Spring Return with...

UTG Tactical OP Bipod, Rubber Feet, Center Height 8.3"-12.7"

UTG Tactical OP Bipod, Rubber Feet, Center Height 8.3'-12.7'

UTG Rubber Armored Full Metal QD Bipod, Height 6.0" -8.5"

UTG Rubber Armored Full Metal QD Bipod, Height 6.0'- 8.5'

TipTop Tactical Rifle Bipod Quicklock EZ Pivot & PAN QD 7" - 10.5"

product photo of TipTop Tactical Rifle Bipod

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When Should I Use A Bipod?

There are two situations when an AR 15 bipod is especially valuable for shooting. The first is when you're shooting from any fixed position, such as a dugout, trench, or even the back of a moving vehicle. Bipods are distinctly more stable than sandbags, providing a stable shooting platform with minimal fuss.

The other time to use a bipod is when you're hunting varmints. You don't need one for hunting deer, but when you're trying to hit a group of small targets in quick succession, bipods are your best friend. If you plan to move a lot and don't expect to have good places to set the bipod down, don't worry about getting one.

AR 15 bipod

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Will It Affect My Accuracy?

If you're used to moving around and shooting, yes. The added weight of the bipod will reduce your accuracy if you leave it attached and haven't adjusted to the different weight.

If you're only firing from a stable position, the AR 15 bipod should increase your accuracy, even if you're not particularly used to it. Like any accessory, it takes a little getting used to - and you don't want to put too much pressure on the legs. Outdoor Life offers some great advice on improving your accuracy with an AR here.

What Makes A Good Bipod?

The best bipods have several important features.

armed army using a bipod

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The first requirement is that they should mount on a Picatinny rail. Most accessories for the AR 15 attach to this rail, so if you're using anything else, it's probably a custom job. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but if you're getting custom work done at all, you're better off getting the whole set instead of trying to mix-and-match parts.

Next, you should look for an adapter that allows the bipod to mount with a sling swivel. If you're not familiar with these types of parts yet, the short version is that they allow bipods to work with different rifles. If you own more than just the AR 15, it's always nice to be able to share accessories. (On the other hand, if you don't own or want other firearms, you shouldn't worry about this.)

One of the most important features is collapsing and folding when the bipod isn't in use. While you can fully detach it whenever you're not using it, that's time-consuming and impractical even at the best of times. Folding it up makes it easy to deploy when you want to use it and stops it from getting in the way the rest of the time.

Beyond that, the bipod should have an adjustable angle and adjustable legs. Fixed heights and angles drastically detract from the usefulness, especially if you want to swivel around to hit different targets. Adjustable legs are also good for setting up in practically any terrain. It's worth noting that the right length of the legs depends on how big the rest of the rifle is. If you have a long magazine, you may need to extend the legs more than most people.

Finally, each leg should be spring stabilized. These provide structural support to the entire system and ensure stresses like the recoil of firing don't rapidly reduce the bipod to pieces.

If a bipod is lacking in any of these areas, it's not as good as it should be. Don't waste your time with junk systems - quality bipods are affordable on any budget.

The Best AR 15 Bipods

Now that you know when to use a bipod and what it should do, let's take a look at some of the best options on the market.

CVLIFE 6-9 Inches Tactical Rifle Bipod Adjustable Spring Return with Adapter

CVLIFE 6-9 Inches Tactical Rifle Bipod Adjustable Spring Return with...
  • With return springs and leg release button, the leg length can be adjusted from 6 inches (152mm)to 9 inches(225mm).
  • Made of hardened steel and aluminum, non-rust black anodized finish, the rifle bipod is duty and light weight.
  • Adjustable leg length: 5 settings for different length, the bipod is ready to meet your needs.

That name's a bit of a mouthful, but don't let it fool you - this is one of the most popular and effective bipods on the market, and it usually retails for less than $.

CVLIFE's flagship bipod has almost everything we look for, starting with five leg lengths. This isn't as convenient as being able to set the legs at any length, but by having a notched system, you can quickly adjust the rifle to any of the available heights. In most cases, this convenience makes up for the lack of flexibility.

Several other features help this product stand out. First, the strong springs allow the legs to be moved up quickly and quietly, which is vital when you're out hunting wildlife. Also, the rubber foot pads help to absorb shocks and stop the rifle from skidding around. They're suitable for a variety of environments, though you may want to order some spares just in case.

The product itself is made from aircraft aluminum alloy 7075, a lightweight and high-strength material ideal for hunting.

That said, there is one thing that holds this back from being a perfect bipod. Specifically, this product doesn't have swivel or pivot features. That said, if you like to hold in place while you shoot, it's one of the best options you'll find.

UTG Tactical OP Bipod, Rubber Feet, Center Height 8.3"-12.7"

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UTG Tactical OP Bipod, Rubber Feet, Center Height 8.3"-12.7"
  • Handy, accuracy-enhancing accessory for your rifle with clever dual mounting design
  • Durable aluminum construction and steel top platform; includes both Picatinny and swivel stud mounts
  • Foldable arms with spring tension control, and include Posi-Lock wheel and quick retraction button

Another product with a long name, this steady bipod is a strong competitor for our first recommendation. While it's a little more expensive, retailing for around $, the features and ease of use mean this product is worth serious consideration.

The most notable feature is the dual locking system for the legs. For quick setups, this bipod allows you to pull the legs all the way out, at which point a latch will snap into place. (If you don't pull them all the way, the springs will snap them back up.) Alternatively, when you have a little more time, you can extend them to a preferred length and turn a knob to keep them in place.

This mix of fast and precise setups takes a little getting used to, but the added flexibility is a strong mark in its favor. It only takes about half a turn to lock the leg, so it's easy to adjust on the go.

Unlike CVLIFE's bipod, this product does have pivot and swivel options. At max, you can expect around 15 degrees of flexibility. That may not sound like much, but when you're shooting targets about a hundred yards away, it's usually all the space you need.

The one big concern with this bipod is the lightness of the inner legs. They're known to buckle a little under heavier weights, so if you have a lot of accessories on your gun, that could be an issue.

UTG Rubber Armored Full Metal QD Bipod, Height 6.0" -8.5"

UTG Rubber Armored Full Metal QD Bipod, Height 6.0"- 8.5"
  • Protective rubber armored legs stands up to the Harshest of environments
  • Durable heavy-duty full metal construction for added dependability
  • Integral Picatinny quick Detach lever lock mounting base with option swivel stud mount adaptor included

This bipod isn't quite as flexible as UTG's previous option on this list, but it's not intended as a general purpose product. Instead, as the "armored" in the name implies, this bipod is intended for use in rough environments that could badly damage a normal bipod. Whether you're rushing through a forest or slamming your rifle around in a rocky ravine, the full metal rubber-armored construction and minimally-exposed parts make this one of the toughest options on the market.

Aside from that, this product has a surprisingly robust set of features, including a dual Picatinny and Swivel Stud mounting system that allows it to attach to a wide variety of firearms. The bi-directional leg folding makes it easy to set in whatever direction is best at the time, while the five extension notches make it easy to quickly set it to the right position.

The heavy-duty non-slip pads on the bottom will last for quite some time, though they may need eventual replacement. This product is more expensive than most - usually retailing around $$ - but we think that's a fair price if you need a bipod that's tougher than most.

TipTop Tactical Rifle Bipod Quicklock EZ Pivot & PAN QD 7" - 10.5": Picatinny Mount, Quick Action, Extendable, Folding, with Sling-attached Hole. PN#S9-94676

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This is the most expensive product on our list - retailing around $$$ - but it's worth a look if you care more about quality than price. This product pivots up to 38 degrees to cover the terrain and pans another 74 degrees for an exceptionally wide field of fire. The variable height this bipod is especially helpful if you're firing while prone since it's elevated just enough to be comfortable in that position.

army weapon

Image Source: Pixabay

Meanwhile, the anodized finish reduces reflection and allows the rifle to be used in almost any weather. If there's one complaint we have, it's the lack of flexibility with the legs. It doesn't have the kind of fine adjustments some of the other bipods on this list do, so it's a little harder to recommend this product unless you have predictable heights.

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