I decided it made sense to put a bipod on my rifle, given the type of games I want to play with it. I figure my prone unsupported, at best, would average just over 1 MOA for a 10 shot group when I’m at or near my best. With a bipod I think on a good day I could keep 10 shots under a minute. Here’s an example of both of those. If the bipod can increase my precision with the rifle it could be worth it.
For the most part I have used a Harris when I have used the bipod. I have also used the TRG bipod on my TRG. The TRG bipod is a very cool system. I did have some problems with mine, so after getting a replacement from warrantee service I sold it and bought an Atlas bipodto use on both the FN and the TRG.
The Atlas has been around for a couple of years now. I have heard a lot of good things about it, and have gotten to try one briefly on a couple of occasions. It saves a few ounces over the Harris, and it really seems to be a better mousetrap.
Instead of attaching to a sling swivel stud, the Atlas is built to attach to a short section of a picatinny rail. Sure, very few rifles have picatinny rails while most have swivel studs. Which seems a more solid method of attachment though? My rifle was equipped with 2 forward swivel studs, one of which was meant to accommodate a bipod. I bought a Seekins rail that replaces both swivels and has its own sling swivel mount.
The Atlas is over double the price of a Harris. Is it worth it? I don’t know. It depends on what you’re looking to get out of your bipod and what you’re willing to spend. One difference between the two that is noticeable just from seeing and a cursory manipulation is that the Atlas exhibits a higher degree of fit and finish. It also seems to be a more solid piece, which is ironic because it weighs less.
Other than solidity, what the Atlas offers over the Harris are flexibility of motion and range of adjustement. Each leg is independently adjustable with five different positions. The leg is unlocked by pressing a button that releases the locking mechanism.
Five different leg positions are possible. The most useful seem to be closed (forward), 45° forward, and 90°.
The Atlas is said to be slower to deploy than the Harris. It is for me, but barely. I typically don’t fling the Harris legs forward, but move them deliberately one at a time. I do the same thing with the Atlas. It just takes more practice.
The bipod is also built to have 15° of pan and tilt. Tilt, which the Harris is also capable of, is great for adapting to uneven ground. The panning, which the Harris does not have, is useful for targets that don’t stay put.
The Atlas also has a built in “load”. Loading the bipod means to press forward slightly on the rifle to compress the bipod. When the rifle recoils, the bipod is prepped so that it won’t bounce, but the load will relieve momentarily under recoil, then resume its former position. The Harris is not as easy to keep from hopping as the Atlas is.
The photo on the left shows the Atlas in its relaxed position. The photo on the right shows the bipod “loaded”.
All in all, the Atlas and the Harris basically do the same thing. The difference is that the Atlas is more user friendly. I’m happy with the new addition. Time will tell how it actually works out.