atlas-bipod-v-harris-bipod

Harris Bipod Versus Atlas Bipod

In Blog by Rich9 Comments

The infamous Harris Bipod versus the Atlas Bipod discussion! We’re going to tackle one of the more frequently asked and hotly debated topics in the precision shooting community in this post. There is a fairly large difference in price with the Harris running around $100 and the Atlas running between $220-280 depending on options. We’re going to explore the differences between the two most often used bipods in the shooting industry and what advantages and disadvantages the two bipods have over each other. It will be up to you to decide which one makes the most sense for you!

Harris Bipod

The Harris bipod! This is a bipod that has been around since most of us first learned what a bipod is and what it’s for. Since there are many versions of the Harris on the market we’ll be clear which one we are comparing to the Atlas from the get go. For the purposes of this discussion we’ll be discussing the Harris BRM-S Model in the 6″-9″ size. This is the model that features notches in the legs to allow for easily matching the extended leg height of the bipod. It also has the swivel option which allows the rifle to roll from left to right to adjust for uneven terrain. Tension on the swivel is achieved by tightening a nut on the rear of the bipod.

Harris-bipod

This is the nut that controls the swivel, you can also see the springs that control the leg tension

 

The big advantages of the Harris are as follows. The price is certainly a consideration, you can get a Harris bipod mounted up a lot cheaper than the Atlas bipod. However, I should point out that just because the bipod itself is not overly expensive, there are add on options that can easily bring the Harris bipod up to the Atlas bipod price level. I’m speaking of course of the KMW Pod Loc which is a $25 dollar option. This adds a tension lever in place of the knurled nut to easily lock and unlock the swivel function. There are also the Phoenix pod claws, which run about $100 over at Triad Tactical. Those add the ability to replace the rubber Harris feet with different more grippy options. If you combine those two options with the initial cost you are right around the $220 mark where the Atlas starts. So is the Harris really that much cheaper? I guess it depends!

pod-claws

Phoenix Pod Claws – Available at Triad Tactical for just under $100

Another advantage on the Harris bipod, the feet are quick to deploy. The legs are spring loaded and particularly in a competition setting this can make a difference. Some guys even manufacture paracord lanyards that attach to both feet with a pull in the middle so you can give the cord pull a yank and deploy both legs immediately and at the same time. Atlas bipod legs have to be deployed one at a time, manually.

Disadvantages to the Harris are less numerous. When compared to the Atlas bipod the Harris bipod does not have any ability to pan the rifle left and right above the bipod. If you are shooting a moving stage, you have to move the legs of the bipod to get that lateral panning with the Harris. Also while initial price is an advantage of the Harris bipod, the lack of an easy to use tension nut for the cant feature is a disadvantage. You really need the Poc Loc, it makes a world of difference. Also the lack of interchangeable feet options from the get go is a disadvantage.

A word about leg stiffness. This is something of a personal preference. Some people prefer the Harris bipod because there is no movement in the legs and the bipod legs lock open fairly solid with the spring tension. Other people prefer the little bit of movement in an Atlas bipod. I like that little bit of movement because it gives the shooter some tactile feedback as to when the bipod is loaded. Loading a Harris bipod can be a little trickier. If its overdone, as newer shooters often do,  you wind up pushing the whole gun forward on the Harris bipod’s feet.

The Atlas Bipod

That Atlas bipod is manufactured by Accushot and is the creation of a super nice guy named Kasey. He had his own set of preferences for bipod use and developed one with the features that he longed for when using other bipods on the market. One of the more notable things the Atlas bipod brought to the market was the ability to pan, as well as cant, the rifle mounted above the bipod. This means when tracking a moving target the legs stay planted firmly and the rifle will pan back and forth above. That’s definitely something that’s listed on the advantages side of the discussion.

Atlas-bipod

Atlas bipod photo, you can see the push button above the leg that locks them in position, and the tension knob between the legs that controls how stiff the pan/cant mechanism is

 

Other advantages of the Atlas bipod when compared to the Harris bipod include a single tension knob that controls both cant and panning of the rifle. Atlas bipod feet are removable, replaceable, and different options for different surfaces exist from claws to spikes to skis! The legs telescope outward and have notches the same as the Harris bipod. A notable difference in the leg design is that the Harris bipod legs will only extend down to the perpendicular 90 degree setting. Atlas legs can be extended from stowed forward, to 45 degrees forward, to 90 degrees, to 45 degrees rearward, to stowed rearward. This gives you some flexibility and freedom with where the bipod is mounted and what accessories you mount in the same area because you can stow the legs in either direction.

atlas-bipod-spike

Atlas bipod spike feet, available from Accu-shot.com, useful for soft conditions under the rifle

atlas-bipod-ski

Atlas ski feet, available at Accu-shot.com, useful in soft conditions where the bipod feet sink into the ground

atlas-bipod-cleat

Atlas cleat feet, available at Accu-shot.com, bit of a cross between the spike and ski feet!

 

We mentioned the bit of movement in the legs when loading an Atlas bipod. I really like the feel because it’s a mental reminder of the correct shooter position behind the bipod. I believe it is also useful under recoil as the rifle will go from loaded before firing, it then rocks back against the shooter under recoil, and if the shooter’s follow through is correct it will then rock back forward without the feet slipping forward and back in the process. If you watch this video closely you can see that happen!

Wrapping Up the Bipod Discussion

At the end of the day, like most other things, this is about shooter preference. If you are new and money is tight, the Harris bipod is probably the easier solution to getting things up and running. If price isn’t a consideration I suggest going with the Atlas bipod, it holds its value quite well and can be sold for a minimal loss. The Harris also has good resale value so you aren’t stuck with either one if you buy and decide you want to try the other option. The Atlas bipod weighs less than the Harris bipod, though the difference is unlikely to change your life. The legs can be deployed on the Harris bipod faster, but this can also happen by accident or they can fold on you when you wish they hadn’t. The Atlas bipod legs only move with deliberate effort. Again, you have to look at these features and decide which you like better and which fits your needs the best! If you have a question or concern, drop it in the comments below!

Owner and Proprietor of AccuracyTech, LLC. Rich is a Firearms Enthusiast, Precision Rifle Competitor, and Writer. He is committed to bringing readers quality reviews and articles related to the Precision Shooting Sports. If you have any questions for him, please use the contact form on the site.

Comments

  1. You have a typo above, where you stated Harris and it should have been the Atlas. Great article though!

    “Harris legs can be extended from stowed forward, to 45 degrees forward, to 90 degrees, to 45 degrees rearward, to stowed rearward.”

    1. Author

      Thanks, Cody! Corrected! That’s definitely the Atlas. Don’t ask me how I managed to do that =)

  2. How would you like to follow up on this and show the best of both worlds. Our adapters allow you to use the Atlas quick change feet and extensions on most “Harris” style bipods. Feel free to contact me and I will happily send you a set to try out.

    Tony Kahn

    1. Author

      Thanks for the offer, Tony, I will email you shortly! I like the idea of an adapter that allows for using Atlas feet!

  3. I just purchased my first precision rifle , a ruger in 6.5 creedmoor , for my scope i have purchased the burris eliminator 3 in 4x16x50 . i’m having trouble finding amount ,as ht scope comes with a rail mounted to the bottom of the scope itself. i;m looking for one that is quick release . any suggestion ?

    1. Author

      The scope didn’t come with a way to mount it? My advise is avoid quick release mounts on precision rifles. It’s fine for AR type rifles shooting larger targets but if you want real accuracy at distance I don’t recommend a qd mount.

  4. thanks for the information . the scope does come with rail clamps and they lock down nicely . i will shoot her for awhile and decide what upgrades i want to make , so , if you don’t mind , i’ll come back for more help .

    1. Going to agree with Rich here. I love spending my time talking guns with people and helping share my experiences and helping them to have better ones.

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