Caldwell DeadShot FieldPod
When we decided to review the FieldPod, we weren't sure what to expect. We had seen the pictures and read the specs, but to be honest, we assumed that it would be just another tripod rest, no more useful than a good bipod. Well, we were wrong.
The DeadShot FieldPod is a well-designed piece of equipment. It was compatible with every rifle in our inventory. That included our bolt actions, our AR15's and our falling blocks. The adjustable aluminum upper frame accommodates short barreled carbines, as well as long barreled varmint rifles. The front and rear gun rests are easily adjusted up or down as needed and lock securely in place with the friction knobs.
The aluminum tripod legs can be adjusted from a low of sixteen inches (measured from the top of the upper frame) to thirty-two inches, not the forty-two inches listed in the specs. No big deal, as the 32 inch height, in conjunction with the gun rests, brings the entire rifle up to an ideal level for shooting in a blind.
With the extensions collapsed, the field pod is just right for shooting from a sitting position. You might need to extend the legs a little if you are over six feet tall. The point is, given the range of heights available with the extendable legs, you will be able to shoot from any position except standing. The legs securely lock into whatever position you put them in via lever-locks. That feature allows you to individually adjust each leg for uneven terrain and still maintain the upper frame in a horizontal position.
The FieldPod has one additional feature rarely found in field tripods. Once your rifle is secured in the gun rests, the cast aluminum hub at the peak of the tripod allows you to rotate your rifle left or right and pivot up or down. There is no problem getting on target or following a moving target. That capability alone makes this a must have piece of equipment.
For maximum stability, we found that it was best to position one of the three legs directly forward, in the same direction as the muzzle of your rifle. By doing so, you avoid any tendency to tip the FieldPod, especially with a heavy bull barrel rifle.
After playing with the FieldPod at the house, we headed to the Zia gun range south of Albuquerque to test it out with two of our varmint rifles, a Ruger Mini-14 (.223 Remington) with its extended 30 round magazine and our Remington 700 (.22-250 Remington). Our Ruger has the typical Ruger lawyer trigger. Its heavy pull and creep tended to pull the gun in the rest, moving it off target at 200 yards. However, the Remington 700 with its target-grade trigger was right on when shooting from the FieldPod. The moral of the story is, if you are going to use the FieldPod, make sure you have a rifle with a proper trigger. Actually, that is a good recommendation, regardless of whether you use the FieldPod.
The DeadShot FieldPod is a great piece of equipment for which you will find many uses: on the range, for varmint hunting and shooting larger game from a blind. With an MSRP of $109.99, it is comparable to the going price of other high-end tripods. The camo version which we have retails for $124.99 in 2013.
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