You may have heard of the Atlas bipod, we mention it on this site quite a bit…because it’s excellent! You may not have heard of the new Atlas 5H bipod, though! B&T Industries, who manufactures the Atlas products, has been developing the Atlas 5H bipod for more than a year now. It’s designed as a heavy duty bipod specifically for “big bore” rifles and heavy recoil. That kind of stuff comes with the territory when you’re shooting 338 Lapua Magnum, 50 Caliber, or 375/408 Cheytac chambered rifles! We managed to get our hands on an Atlas 5H from the first production run of the new bipod. While we haven’t had it long enough to knock out a review, we did want to throw some initial thoughts on the bipod up for the readers! So here we go!
Atlas 5H Bipod
Dubbed the Atlas 5H (For Heavy?) the new Atlas bipod from B&T Industries has some interesting design changes over the previous models. I’ll start with a size comparison to illustrate that difference by itself. The diameter of the legs has been increased to help with the large caliber recoil inherent to big bore cartridges. The outer legs telescope up and down the inner leg of the Atlas 5H the same way they did with the Atlas 8.1 and Atlas PSR bipod models. I suppose it’s more akin to the Atlas PSR since the legs on the Atlas 5H do not rotate the way the legs on the older Atlas 8.1 would rotate around the inner leg.
The feet on the Atlas 5H are also removable like traditional Atlas bipod models. I’m told that the replacement feet options will be forthcoming shortly now that the Atlas 5H, itself, is entering production. This will be a production item that B&T Industries produces, so if you missed out on the first run, more will be available shortly as they’re produced and sent to Atlas dealers. It comes in a beautiful package with foam padding, instructions, a business card, and a sticker!
Atlas 5H Design
One of the more noticeable new features or design changes of the Atlas 5H is the steel hangar the legs are mounted upon. The entire center control unit slides left and right up and down this steel hangar. That’s what gives the rifle the Atlas 5H is mounted to the ability to cant side to side in order to square the reticle with the fall of gravity. The Atlas 5H can also pan side to side as the previous models allowed the shooter to do the same. This is especially useful when engaging a moving target that you need to track or ambush in order to hit it as it moves around in front of the shooting position. Honestly, it has a slew of new features, such as:
- Atlas 5H Bipod Features
- 15* +/- of PAN and CANT
- Weighs approximately 26 ounces
- Height range of approximately 5.5 – 10.5”
- Swappable optional feet and extensions available
- The 5-H PAN and CANT can be locked out at top dead center
- Available in black with Heat Treated Stainless Steel components
- PAN and CANT Tension Wheel has Detent adjustability and Cam-Lock
- PATENTED multiple deployable leg positions of 0, 45, 90, 135 and 180*
- Multiple mounting options to include proprietary B&T Ind. L.L.C. offerings
- Made from the best materials for the respective application right here in America
- The 5-H incorporates our current Patents and additional Patent pending design elements
The detent adjustable tension wheel is pretty neat. As you twist the wheel, it increases the amount of tension on the panning and canting features of the Atlas 5H Bipod. So as you turn the wheel, you can go from fairly loose and easy to move the gun around, to tighter with more effort required. Whatever the adjustment, the detent locks it in place, it can’t loosen up on it’s own! It’s different than the older Atlas bipod designs, I’m going to tell you that right now.
There’s also a lever you can use to really ramp up the friction and lock the cant mechanism up solid and remove a lot of the play from the panning feature. If you want to lock the panning feature up, there’s an included friction pin that you can screw into the face of the unit. It locks the canting feature as well, but I feel you can do that without the pin by just dialing up the friction wheel or using the lever.
Atlas 5H Tips
There are two ways I can see for setting this up after messing with it a bunch. Method 1 – Leave the friction lever open, and dial the detent adjustable friction wheel to the point where you have satisfactory tension on the pan and cant features all the time. This method would function most like the more traditional Atlas bipods where you would set the Atlas 5H to have the same amount of friction all the time.
Method 2 – I go into this in the video below, I think this makes more sense. Set the friction wheel on the loose end, so you can pan and cant the rifle to set everything up plumb with the fall of gravity. Then reach up, and close the friction lever, to lock your settings in place while firing. Both methods work, the question becomes, which method suits you better? I’m planning to get out and try both ways, live fire, if the temperature gets out of the teens before my vacation is over!
First impression: It’s pretty damn cool! I can’t wait to get it out and shoot with it a bit. I’ll make sure to get some video and I’ll try both methods for setting up the friction mechanism to see which works best. The MRAD is a pretty light shooter with a muzzle brake, but there’s a more substantial shove when you screw the suppressor onto it…so that’s what I’ll do. That will give me a good feel for how the friction on the pan and cant features does under recoil.
I’ll report back on all this in the coming weeks, hopefully not months! If this turns out to be a brutal winter, I may have to run the rifle up to a 100yd indoor range to get you guys some video and thoughts before spring! I don’t plan to keep you waiting that long. If you have any questions or anything to add, please do so in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer everything for you!