The Harris bipod has been the go-to bipod for sniping for about three decades now. They are handy, light weight, easy to attach, and fairly durable. For a long time there seemed to be no need for anything more than what the Harris offered, but then again, there is always room to improve. In 2006 B&T Industries introduced the first Atlas bipod, the V8 and while it was expensive, it opened up a new world to what a rifle bipod could be and do. Today there are dozens of different bipod options on the market, many of which cost more than double or even triple of what the Harris does. The B&T Atlas bipod perhaps is the most responsible for kicking off this high end bipod trend that continues today.
Then when the US Special Operations COMmand (US SOCOM) was putting together their Mk14 Precision Sniper Rifle, they liked what they saw with the Atlas but wanted to strengthen it even more and make some other changes and so they worked with B&T and developed the Atlas PSR bipod. The PSR version of the Atlas is we are reviewing here.
The Atlas comes in simple packaging with a sticker, yellow information sheet and a small folded paper with instructions on it. When you actually remove the bipod from the bag, you are treated to a simple and solid feel. Compared to a Benchrest height Harris bipod, which is the closest in size to this Atlas, the Atlas only weighs .3 ounces more. 13.4 versus 13.1. The factory says they weigh 13.6 ounces, but ours was 13.4. But more than the weight, the design and machining gives an impression of durability that outshines the Harris with its springs and attached parts. Everything feels and looks very well made and the anodized finish looks just as good.
The legs have a hard rubber foot on the bottom that work well on most surfaces. The bottom portion of the legs fits over the upper portion, which is opposite from how the Harris is setup. That outer portion of the legs is made from 6061-T6 aluminum and the beefed up inner legs of the PSR version are made from 7075-T6 aluminum. The outer legs extend down and to do that there is a larger cylinder at the top that has serrations on it and you simply lift up on that cylinder and pull the leg down. It is easily accomplished with a single hand. There are leg notches that provide five different stopping points with a nice solid click, or you can keep the cylinder held up and extend it multiple notches in a single motion. To collapse the leg you just repeat the process and push the leg back up.
To rotate the legs there is a simple push button located at the top of the leg that is pressed and then the legs are easily swiveled all the way forward, or to one of the indexed notches at 0, 45, 90, 135 or 180 degrees. The rotation action is very smooth and shows the excellent machining that is a part of the bipod. The smaller parts like the push button are actually steel for improved longevity. The multiple position options provides excellent flexibility for getting the rifle lower to the ground or if shooting off of uneven terrain.
The fact that the legs rotate a full 180 degrees is one of the great features of the Atlas as it allows those legs to fold backwards as well as forward. This is something the Harris has no ability to do. With this ability it can provide all sorts of different options to allow the sniper to get a stable position from just about anywhere.
The leg folding and the notches are handy features to have, but the Atlas mount also cants/tilts, left and right up to 30 degrees as well as traverses left and right 30 degrees. While most bipods have a version that allows the left and right tilting, the traversing capability is a nice feature. Being able to traverse allows the sniper to be able to continue to scan their sector or to track a moving target even when the bipod is preloaded and locked in position. On the bottom of the mount, between where the two legs pivot, is a tension knob with huge indents on it to provide a good gripping surface. By tightening this tension knob it will firm up the tilting and traversing movement of the bipod. If tightened all the way it will lock it in position.
The Atlas bipods are available with several mounting options but the one on our test bipod is the most common style using a quick release setup on a lower Picatinny rail. It locks on solid with a snap and we have never had any issues of them coming lose during use. To remove it, press the release and then rotate the lever and remove the bipod.
Products from Amazon.com‹ ›
We have used a number of the Atlas bipods over the years and we have always appreciated the flexibility, especially the tilting and traversing ability as well as the leg tilting options. The legs can be adjusted with a single hand from the prone position, though the tension adjust knob is a bit hard to manipulate while prone. Over those years of use as well as observing students use them in our Long Range Precision Marksman classes, has shown us that they hold up very well on rifles of all types and calibers.
There are two different heights for these bipods and the one shown here is the shorter one. There are no real tall heights that are typically used by hunters, that is not really their target market. There are also newer models with a wider stance and ones that are even more robust and large for those big heavy rifles that are so popular these days for extreme range shooters and PRS matches. We still prefer the classic PSR bipod and we strongly endorse them. The one downside is that they are expensive, running about three times as much as a swivel Harris bipod, but you normally have to pay for quality and innovation.
Sniper Central 2019