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JRLaws
May 20, 2005, 09:28 AM
Does anybody here use shooting stick in your hunting? It looks as though they would be a big help, but I don't personaly know anyone who use them. Do any of you hunter have pros, cons, or a good story about the sticks?

Thanks.

Dave R
May 23, 2005, 04:43 PM
Just this year I started using Stoney Point's detached bipod for varmit shooting. I love it. Why did I wait so long? Here's my review, lifted from THR.

I picked up the Stoney Point Expedition model (?) on my way out to shoot Whistle Pigs (ground squirrels.) These things are much smaller that Prairie Dogs. Between the size of hamster/gerbils and rats. So the kill zone is maybe 1"by 2". Small things. Its tough making hits out beyond 100 yard, particularly without a bipod! I was hunting rolling prairie. I typically work an area, then walk over the next ridge and work the next area.

First of all, its nice and light. Lighter than a Harris bipod.

I like the way the legs adjust on the Stony Point. You turn a leg 1/2 turn to free it or lock it. There are 3 legs per side on the Stoney Point Expedition. It adjusts from 23" to 64" or something like that. Basically, from sitting size through kneeling to standing. I tried all 3 positions.

When I walked to the next ridge, I used the pod in standing position as a walking stick. Nice. Then, when I first crested a ridge, I would take a couple of the closest shots in standing postion. Closest being 100 yards or under. Then adjust to kneeling or sitting postion for farther shots. Sitting postion was the most steady, but kneeling was very similar. Being able to shoot from something higher than prone is important, because the grass is up and the best way to see the critters is to get some height.

Because the pod is not attached to the gun, its easy to shift positions for targets of opportunity. You can pan & tilt to a great degree. And if you need to hit a target downhill, you can quickly reduce height just by rocking back or scootching back an few inches. Because I'm working a valley and ridge, targets vary in height considerably. I don't think a conventional attached bipod would be as good for quickly changing from a valley shot to a ridge shot. If you scan a target more than, say, 45 degress from where you're pointing, its quick to pick up the pod and move it.

So, is it as steady as an attached bipod? I dunno, I haven't tried an attached. But its certainly steady enough to improve my aim dramatically. Without the pod, I rarely made hits beyond about 120 yards. With the pod, I made hits out to 200, and didn't miss much under 150. Remember the kill zone we're talking about 1" X2". I think that is close to the accuracy limit of my rifle, which is just under MOA.

I liked the ability to use it as a walking stick. And I liked the ability to shoot from standing to sitting. And it is light. And steady enough for me. And, of course, you could use it with any rifle without having to attach the swivel stud. You can even use it with handguns and cameras.

The only downside is that, with 3 legs and 2 adjusters per side, it does take a 20-30 seconds to go all the way from standing height to sitting height. And once in a while, I would grab the lower leg and twist and the upper leg would twist. So adjusting he lower legs can be a 2-hand job. That's not an issue for fine adjustments, because you're only adjusting one leg. It only applies when going from one extreme to the other. I can live with then in exchange for having that much range to work with.

So, at this point, I have no desire to change to an attached bipod.

JRLaws
May 23, 2005, 05:08 PM
Thanks Dave!
This info. is a big help. I'll take a look at the Stoney Point, it sounds exactly like what I need. By the way, very nice shooting. "I made hits out to 200, and didn't miss much under 150." Dang!, I hope to get that good.

Thanks,
JRLaws

Dave R
May 24, 2005, 05:46 PM
No reason why you can't with a good rifle. My NEF in .223 with handloads will shoot groups just over an inch at 200 yards, at the range. With the bipod, I'm able to get close to that accuracy in the field. I couldn't without the bipod.

And you'll notice I said "hits out to 200". I didn't say how many misses I had at 200. But I had more than one hit...

JRLaws
May 24, 2005, 07:10 PM
How quick was your Stoney Point to go from walking stick to standing shot? I looked over some stats and reviews and every thing looks perfect (the price could be lower but it does look like a quality product). Thanks again for the tip.

On another note, I "need" a good varmit rifle. I was considering the NEF in .223 and/or .243 and you just sold me on it. I'd heard that the lil' guns would group, now I know.
No reason why you can't with a good rifle.
Just one, me. :o I need much more shooting before I loose my 100+ yard wobble. I think good sticks will help alot.

Thanks!
JRLaws

JB in SC
May 25, 2005, 07:41 AM
I've used the Stoney Point Steady Stix II (shock corded three sections) and the Expedition Monopod (two sections, adjustment similar to a photographic tripod) for a couple of years. I really like both models, for different reasons. The Steady Stix are very compact and set up in a few seconds, ideal for my type of squirrel and g'hog hunting. The Monopod is not as steady, but serves as a hiking/wading staff as well.

Anything, in my experience, is better than shooting offhand.

Dave R
May 26, 2005, 12:35 PM
How quick was your Stoney Point to go from walking stick to standing shot?

About 1-2 seconds. When I start walking, I adjust it for standing shots. So when I crest the hill and first see the valley below, if there's a shot waiting I just spread the legs, set the rifle in, and I'm ready to sight and shoot.

Going from standing to sitting is more like 20-30 seconds, and is a 2-handed job.

I believe the model I'm using is the Explorer bipod (not the monopod.) Then bipod, when folded, serves well as a walking/wading staff. Its not as strong as a staff, but works for light duty.

artsmom
May 27, 2005, 10:54 AM
Jeff Cooper, a noted shooting expert, always rails against shooting sticks being used in Africa. I am not sure why, I guess because he didn't/doesn't use them, so no one else should

My one and only attempt to use something besides a sling as a shooting aid took place in Northwestern Nebraska when my brother slapped a Harris bipod on my rifle just before I set out for an antelope. I am sure they work great if you practice with them, but I found myself fiddling with it when I should have been shooting, and missed my chance at a younger antelope buck.

When my next chance came, I dropped on my rear, wrapped the sling, put my elbows on my knees, and shot a doe on the next hill. I counted each and every pace to that antelope (to grade my distance guess), and found out that it is possible to hold a rifle steadywithout gadgets for shots as far away as I care to try. I would rather spend the money on ammunition to practice than a bipod or shooting sticks.

That being said, I never pass up a field rest (a.k.a fence post or tree) to help steady my shot!

Brian Williams
May 27, 2005, 12:51 PM
The Stoney Point Walking stick with a shooting adapter is a great combo, It works great as a walking stick and with the adapter allows you to quickly have at least a 3rd point of contact while shooting offhand. If you want to kneel or sit you can either lay it down or shorten it and use it as a monopod. With a bad back it sure makes walking easier.

JRLaws
May 27, 2005, 09:08 PM
Thanks for the info. guys.

artsmom, I was thinking of using the sticks to try for head shots on squirrels. Almost all of my deer hunting is from a tree stand @ <200 yards, so I really don't need sticks there. I didn't know that about Cooper. I'm going to try to read up on that.

I would like to get in to varmit hunting, some day, and thought that shooting sticks would help. Everybody's feedback has been educational for me. Thanks.

JR-shaky-Laws