By Chris Parkin
The BOG’s Death Grip tripods are available in aluminium and weight saving carbon fibre variants but are otherwise functionally identical. Starting out at the patented clamp, the rifle is held securely in a 115mm long saddle, with rubber lined walls 50mm high. The easily gripped 80mm triangular side handle clamps forends of width from 30 to 70mm, with firm rubber fins applying satisfactory grip without requiring excessive compression that might distort lighter synthetic rifle forends.
An identical handle on the opposing side controls elevation/tilting tension to suit your rifle’s weight and balance point. Below, there is a 360-degree rotating axis to locate and track targets which can be locked in position by a 20mm handle if required after a bubble level helps align the intrinsically stable tripod on uneven ground by adjusting the leg length. Each of the three-segment telescopic legs in either carbon fibre or aluminium extends from 610 to 1515mm with independently tension adjustable locking levers. Both materials offer equally stiff support throughout descending diameter 35/31.3/28.4mm segments. A neoprene grip surrounds one of the legs for the off-gun hand. Each leg has a red, three-position aluminium locking stud traversing adjacent to the pivot axis, enabling 20-, 45- or 85-degree opening angle of the legs to further control height and span, especially helpful for working around obstructions on an uneven surface. This is a solid locking function and only needs the slightest of weight reduction on the particular leg to operate this latching mechanism, rather than having to fold legs inward slightly in this situation as some tripods require.
Set at 20 degrees with full extension, the rifle clamp stands 1480mm from the ground, in contrast at 85 degrees and fully compressed, it’s just 220mm from the ground. That range covers any position from standing to prone as well as personal height variation and uneven ground or supporting surface or from kneeling and seated positions! Each foot offers a steel spike for extra grip on loose surfaces, the surrounding rubber spins anticlockwise to extend beyond the spike for grip on hard or easily damaged surfaces. A single rubber strap wraps around all three legs for transport minimising any noise when folded and all junctions can be individually tension adjusted, including the bearing supported rotating axis.
The inherent grip of the rubber coated jaws prevents the need for excessive clamping force on the rifle forend which can tilt 45 degrees up or down. I didn’t miss a ball type head as when shooting in ambush situations for long periods (when shooting tripods seem of the greatest benefit), there is time to set up and level the head and rotating axis anyway. The independent axes also allow a compact format with less separation of the rifle’s mass from pivot location, aiding stability on this rifle specific, rather than photography derived head. Weight of the aluminium version is 3.9kg/8.6lbs, the carbon 3.6/7.9lbs with the latter also remaining slightly quieter if bumped and less thermally conductive in contact with skin in cold conditions.