Police-spec, Made in America
Versa-Pod 300-Series Bipods
By: Tactical Response Staff
Versa-Pod® is an old and established rifle bipod and rifle accessory company. What is new are officer input- based products now made in the USA.
Keng’s Firearms Specialty, Inc. is well aware of the global market. For years, they imported arguably the best made SKS and AK-47 rifles and ammo in the world. The Russians invented both; the Chinese perfected both.
That said, “Designed in America, Made in America” is a compelling argument for many police-specific items. Why? For product made overseas, police officer and tactical operator input for improvements can be a challenge, and at best slow to reach the mark.
Enter the Made-in-USA Versa-Pod 300-Series. This is a product improvement over the older Versa-Pod bipods and well worth a look. We did both range training and rifle qualifying with one version mounted on a Colt AR-15 A2 HBAR and one version mounted on a Rock River LAR-15 Coyote HBAR.
Compared to the Harris bipod, one of the popular retail brands, the Versa-Pod is much more rugged. Some bipods are made for the casual hunter and adapted to police work. The Versa-Pod 300-Series is designed and made for police and military work. Think Parker-Hale.
We want many things in a police bipod. First, wide range of adjustment. Second, large variety of mounts and mounting adaptors. Third, task-driven bipod feet. Fourth, fold-up compactness. Fifth, secure locking in both the deployed and collapsed positions. Finally, enough axis rotation to account for uneven slopes—without changing the bipod extension length. We have spent a lot of time with the Versa-Pod 300-Series. It has everything the operator needs.
Frankly, what first caught our attention was the Raptor Claw foot pads. Of course, the Versa-Pod comes with a standard Rubber Foot. A steel Ski Foot is available. Each has its place in a police scenario. However, the Raptor Claw shows that Versa-Pod and Keng’s Firearms Specialty listens to operator input.
The Raptor Claw grips a little, or a lot, into uneven, textured slippery surfaces. Think cement/concrete. Think common rooftop materials. Think grass, sand, gravel, mud, dirt. The wide footprint surface area and a three-point claw are the answer. Three points are more stable than four points. A pad is more stable than a single pressure point. In addition to the price, this is what puts Versa-Pod above the competition.
The Versa-Pod has a built-in tilt and pan movements. This includes a friction-lock adjustment to allow and/or limit the amount of tilt/pan, or lock it down together. Additionally, the Versa-Pod has an axial/cant control. Again, the axial rotation has a friction lock to limit the motion, or lock it down completely.
Of course, the positive notch-adjustable legs are spring-loaded. This makes the legs both rapid to extend when first deployed, and easy to elevate the rifle muzzle from the prone position. We found both the tilt/pan and the axial/cant adjustments easy to make and when we locked them down, they stayed locked down.
The Versa-Pod will mount to any police-oriented patrol rifle or sniper rifle, period. And it will mount without permanent modifications to the rifle. For the sniper rifle, the Universal Mounting Adapter uses the front sling stud, and includes a replacement sling stud on the bottom of the adaptor. The Tactical Model version of the same adaptor has a push-button release (attached to the factory swivel stud) and a sling look at the bottom of the adapter. UIT Rail and Freeland Rail adapters are also available.
For the patrol rifle, mounts for the HK Model 93 (and similar), Ruger Mini-14, Bushmaster and DPMS Panther are available. For the AR-15 pattern rifles, one version bolts through the rear ventilation hole on the A2-style lower hand guard. (This isn’t for the M4-spec hand guards with double heat shields.)
The widest variety, however, is with the option to bolt to a Picatinny rail. This includes two different vertical foregrip plus sling swivel bipod adapters. Of course, the mounting adapter without the vertical foregrip is also available for the AR-15 with a Picatinny rail. Most adapters are the hand rest type.
Every Versa-Pod has 18 TIG welds. The lower leg lands are welded to the legs. The legs are press-fit into the leg housing and then welded. The legs (steel for police; aluminum for hunting) are solid metal, not tubes or bent metal. And the lower legs are notched, not friction tightened. The locking latches that engage the notches are chrome-moly steel. The knuckle joint—a critical stress point—is a stainless-steel casting for maximum strength.
Keng’s Firearms Specialty also has a U.S.-made Battle Pack™ for the Versa-Pod. One model uses a 7- to 9-inch Versa-Pod, while the other has a 9- to 12-inch Versa-Pod. Each Battle Pack includes the basic Versa-Pod, the spring kit and also notched adjustment legs of all three foot designs (Raptor Claw, Ski Foot, Rubber Foot).