Harris Ultralight Bipod Model 1A2-H
By Chuck Hawks
Harris bipods are made by Harris Engineering of Barlow, Kentucky. The Harris Ultralight Bipod Model 1A2-H reviewed here attaches to the detachable sling swivel stud on the forend of most rifles. In fact, some varmint rifles now come with two forearm sling swivel studs, the forward stud intended for a bipod and the second for a sling. Harris bipods incorporate an attachment point for a detachable sling swivel, rendering a second swivel stud on the rifle unnecessary.
Carrying the rifle on a sling and shooting offhand are not impeded by a Harris bipod, although the weight of the bipod definitely affects the balance of the rifle, making it muzzle heavy. I found the Harris bipod most suitable for use on varmint rifles and least suitable for use on a big game rifle employed for stalking or still hunting. It can be useful for shooting game animals from some types of blinds.
Harris bipods are manufactured from heat-treated steel and hard alloys with a black anodized finish. The legs telescope and are equipped with strong recoil springs to maintain point of impact and prevent damage to the gunstock. The standard style, two section legs of the Model 1A2-H ("H" stands for "high") adjust in height from approximately 13.5" to 23". The legs terminate in a rubber foot that is pinned to the leg so that it won't slip off. 2006 MSPR is $81.63 (discount price around $62).
The mounting base of the Harris Model 1A2-H is padded by two thin strips of rubber and matches the forend contour of most varmint rifles and many big game hunting rifles. It can be a problem on some slender forends, particularly those with a Schnable shape.
The Model 1A2-H bipod's mounting surface fit the beavertail laminated stock of my .17 HMR Ruger 77/17VMBBZ varmint rifle, the beavertail composite stock of my .223 Savage Model 12 Custom Shop G&S Online Varminter, and the classic laminated stock of my .30-06 Remington Model 798 big game rifle just fine, but left a mark on the walnut Schnable forend of my .17 HMR Anschutz 1717 D KL sporter. It was likewise a problem on the walnut forend of my .243 Browning Model 1885 Low Wall, which is also of the Schnable shape. So check that the rubber strips on the mounting base are all that touches the forend as you tighten the knurled thumbscrew that secures the bipod to your rifle.
Once the Harris bipod is clipped to the forward sling swivel stud and thumbscrew is tightened, the bipod is firmly attached to the rifle and will not loosen or fall off. Once attached, the spring loaded legs can be folded to extend forward along the barrel, or rotated down 90 degrees into shooting position, where they are retained by strong springs.
I used the Harris Ultralight Bipod during a varmint hunt in Eastern Oregon with excellent results. It is a definite aid to steady shooting, which could be confirmed by many sand rats were they still around to do so. The spring loaded, two section telescoping legs are secured in the extended position by thumbscrews. The legs are long enough to allow shooting from either the prone or sitting positions. The legs are not long enough for use from a standing position, or when sitting on a stool or other elevated support. They worked fine for shooting over the hood of a pick-up truck, though.
Harris offers over a dozen models of bipod, as well as various mounting accessories and adapters. Harris Ultralight Bipods are widely distributed in gun shops and sporting goods stores across the U.S.A. I purchased mine in the sporting goods department of my local Bi-Mart membership department store.
The Harris Ultralight Bipod Model 1A2H is stronger and steadier than the cheaper knockoffs I have seen, even though the latter look virtually identical. Sure, the Harris costs a little more, but it is worth the difference in price. Test them side by side for yourself, and see.
Copyright 2006, 2013 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.