Editor’s note: Back when I started shooting in the early 1990’s, rifle bipods were few and far between. Like today, Harris Bipod’s were the most common. Attaching to any QD stud, they were adaptable to almost any rifle. I remeber buying a clunky clamp-on barrel adapter to clamp my Harris BR to my Daewoo K1A1. I wish I had a picture of the gun, it certainly looks silly by today’s standards. While the Harris is still around, shooter’s now have more options. One of those is the MDT Ckye-Pod. Competitive shooter and industry veteran, Matt Hornback, weighs in on his experience with this new product.- Bill Marr
Support equipment is a hot topic in precision shooting. There is no shortage of slings, bags, tripods and most notoriously, bipods. For decades the Harris design (including knockoffs) has been the staple among rifle shooters worldwide. Available in different lengths, the Harris design is simple, cheap and effective. After the Harris, the next most popular is likely the Atlas which, like the Harris is available in several different configurations.
With many of the newer bipod designs, there is a list of add-ons used to overcome most shooting problems. Take a $300 bipod, add the $50 leg extension, $50 spiked feet and $50 mount and somehow your trick new gadget needed upgrades all along. Or in the case of the Harris, another Harris that is a different height.
Direct Picatinny and Arca mounts have largely replaced QD stud mount for rifles. While many are familiar with Picatinny mounts through wide-spread military use, Arca-Swiss mounts were adopted from photography equipment. The Arca-Swiss mounting system utilizes a dovetail and clamp which allows for increased load capacity and the ability to make adjustments quickly.
The MDT Ckye-Pod attempts to address many shortcomings of bipod design by taking what shooters liked about many designs and combining those features. Match shooters and hunters are always looking for the “game-changing” piece of gear that solve their shooting problems. I for one, am looking for ways to slim down my gear load-out. The last thing I want, is to switch out a piece of gear to solve a positional problem on the fly. I loathe carrying a piece of gear with less than a 10% chance of employing it.
The Ckye-Pod is well built, it appears no expense spared on the build quality and material selection. During handling you’ll notice the leg junctions have a bit of wiggle but this is eliminated when the bipod is loaded under pressure from the shooter. The pan and tilt tension can be set by the user with the supplied Allen wrench, which I prefer compared to other designs which come loose over time or when accidentally contacted. The Ckye-Pod had no issue supporting my 22lb match rifle.
The Ckye-Pods legs are wrapped in silicon carbide grip tape. To extend the legs simply pull on the leg to the desired length. An audible “click” will let you know when you have reached one of the eight height settings. The legs cover a height range of 10.25” to 15.5” from center pivot to the tip of the foot spike. To retract the legs depress and hold the locking lever while holding onto the leg and push upward.
There are no springs involved other than the locking hardware, which to me, is ideal. One of my biggest complaints about the Atlas is the manner in which you extend the lags while behind the rifle. Using one hand to pull the lock ring down and adjust height can be a bit of a hassle when supporting the rifle with the other hand. Add time constraints and this becomes an annoyance. The MDT Ckye-Pod makes finding ideal height for a shooting position very painless. I’ve never been a big fan of spring loaded legs, let me find and set the proper height, I don’t need to fight the bipod in order to accomplish this.
The Ckye-Pod offers a few unique adjustments such as 3 folding positions. By pulling down the leg locking button, you can lock the legs in an upward collapsed position, a 45 degree position and fully employed 90 degree position. The legs are adjustable for width, with 3 settings. By depressing the rear angle adjustment button, you can adjust the legs to a ~ 45 degree, an ~80 degree and ~120 degree setting. The narrow setting allows for a foot print of 7.5”, medium allows for a footprint of 13.5” and wide allows for a footprint of 18”. All 3 settings allow for different overall heights of the bipod ranging from 6”, 8.5” and 10.5” measured from the ground to the bipod mount with the legs at the shortest setting. With the legs on their longest setting, you get 8.5”, 12.5” and” 15.5” worth of bipod height. Compared to the standard range of 6-9” for the majority of bipods.
Why is all of this adjustment needed? I know that when I approach a competition stage or troubleshoot a field problem I stand a greater chance of establishing a solid shooting position and applying the fundamentals. The goal to all of this is to get rounds on target as efficiently as possible, added movements or time equates to a gross waste of resources. Scrambling to add leg extensions or even swapping out to a longer bipod is just not the best way to go about solving these problems.
The MDT Ckye-Pod has a barricade stop that is built into the bipod head. This allows for a solid stop to load into or reverse load when shooting off of various props or barricades. This feature is even more effective when utilizing the flat surfaces of the Arca- Swiss system.
So, what does it cost? I want to make it very clear that this bipod is not for everyone. If you find that your current bipod suits your needs, then by all means, enjoy it. At the time this post is published, the MDT Ckye-Pod is available at for $499.00 with 2 leg options, Standard (tested) and PRS (shorter). The standard setup comes with a Picatinny mount with the Arca mount available for an additional $50.00. The Ckye Pod also come standard with my favorite feature, spiked feet! If you’re not a fan of spiked feet, these can easily be traded out for Atlas bipod compatible feet. For those looking for the top of the line, most adjustability for the dollar bipod, the MDT Ckye-Pod is your answer.
Editor’s note: To learn more about the MDT Ckye-Pod, click here.
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