Shooting Tripods


Certified Derpologist
Staff member
What Tripod are you using and what attachment method are using to interface the tripod, spotting scope, and the rifle?

My current setup-
190x Manfrotto
Manfrotto Joystick Head Short
Manfrotto QD plate setup for range finder
Shadow works PIG Saddle (little heavier, but a lot cheaper, same function)

I just received the 190X CF and wanted to see what others recommend/use. Its defiantly light, but only allows a 15.4 lb "max" load on it. Surely it should take the weight of the gun OK, but I can see were this one cut costs

Starting to wonder if I should have gone for the heftier, but more sturdy model.


I'm currently using a Benro tripod. I love it. It may not be compact but it is pretty light and is rated to 23 pounds. For the price it would be hard to beat.
Used with my personal rifles as well as the issued M110 and M2010. I'm using a pig saddle as well.

I have a manfrotto joystick head as well but it wasn't working right. I tried to take it back to where I bought to see if it could be exchanged or fixed. They blew me off. I tried to take it apart and see if I could fix it and now I have a box of useless parts. Im still gonna try and see if manfrotto will put it back together.

For right now I'm using the pig saddle directly attached to the tripod. It's not as quick to use as having the trigger ball head. But it is lighter and more compact without it.


If you don't have to carry it, the 055x tripod is the cats ass. It's reasonably priced, and with a 322RC2 head and hog saddle I've made standing shots out to 11 and change with 5.56 guns. If it has to be jumped or humped into an OP or FFP, it's a little porky, and I'd look at the 055x carbon or even the smaller/lighter versions.
the 190's are typically what we use for spotting scopes, cameras (MSIDS), etc. the 055 is the way to go for rifle. doesn't collapse as small and the steel or aluminum ones are heavy in comparison to the CF ones). The CF ones obviously have a cost involved. When deciding what to carry in the weight vs reward spectrum, tripod is mission essential gear. I leave mine on the outside of whatever pack I'm using ass the larger 055 has the added benefit of being an impromptu step to get over a wall or onto a roof. i also rigged an old un-used vtac sling to the tripod so if i strip way down before moving to my ffp i don't have to waste a hand holding it.


Out west hunting I use a Silk tripod with PRS saddle. This is a great, light/compact setup for when you don't anticipate having to get higher than a kneel.

I just got a manfrotto 190/pig and I will say it is plenty sturdy for me. There is more play in the ball head than there is in the tripod itself so I'm not sure how I would get a better setup without going way up in weight or price. It serves my needs for LE

I think the weight rating for the 190 is very conservative. I clip my sling to my belt and load a lot of my weight into the tripod in addition to the rifle without issue. The ball head slips before the tripod shows much flex.
I own the Manfrotto 055 aluminum tripod with a HOG Saddle and the 322RC2 head on it. I've flipped the 322 head around to left headed use. This allows me to use my left hand to adjust cant/deflection on the rifle while still having my rifle shouldered and able to fire. I used this for some rapid, high angle engagements in VT and it worked really, really well. I think this is the ideal setup for the price(which still isn't cheap). It allows you to shoot from just above prone level to well over what i can reach standing up. The way the legs work on the Manfrotto allow you to get comfortable in pretty rugged conditions.

I also have a lot of experience with the carbon fiber version of same tripod(ie Larue SPOTR kit), and the Bushnell tripods with the Sunpak heads that sniper school uses. The only real difference in the Manfrotto tripods is weight which you can look up and compare, but I would say the carbon fiber is actually a bit too flexible for my liking. The Bushnell is smaller when all the legs are retracted(for transport) and that Sunpak head gives a very positive grip, which some of my peers think is better than the 322RC2 head. I disagree but I respect my buds enough to throw it out there.
Either way both heads, with the HOG Saddle allow me to lock my 15 lb rifle in, even at very high angles where you think it would slip.
I did the manfrotto for a long time, it was great with a hog saddle. Then someone let me use a really right stuff. It’s expensive yes, and if you shoot off a tripod regularly it’s worth every penny. Anvil 30 ballhead is also the bees knees and everyone is making an ARCA/RRS dovetail attachment these days.