July 30, 2020
By Tom Beckstrand
As the knowledge of the average rifleman grows, the desire for better equipment grows, too. There have been huge improvements in rifles and optics over the last 10 years, and now that same revolution is occurring with bipods.
Five years ago, there were a handful of bipod options, and now those options have doubled. The high-end precision rifle bipods has been where most of the action concentrated, and the latest candidate entering the mix is Warne’s Skyline bipod. What makes it different from all the other bipods is its range of motion and the ease with which the shooter can adjust leg height.
The Skyline bipod has 22 degrees of total cant adjustment and 44 degrees of total panning range. Both of these numbers are significantly higher than any competing bipod. Warne achieves this extreme range thanks to the ball-and-socket construction of the panning/cant mechanism.
Imagine the two bipod legs are joined together at the top by a large ball, and the mounting hardware is in a housing that surrounds the ball. There is a large spinning wheel that adjusts the housing’s tension around the ball, and that makes it possible to eliminate all motion should the shooter desire.
The adjustment wheel has a wide tension range, so the shooter can set it to take a lot of input to adjust the rifle’s point of aim or to make it easy to move the rifle through the entire range of motion. If the shooter likes to track with moving targets, this bipod makes it possible to dial in the exact amount of preferred tension to do so.
The legs adjust extremely fast. All that’s required to extend the legs is to grab the leg’s foot and pull. This is an easy adjustment to make when in the prone behind the rifle, which happens often during a competition.
Most shooters flip a bipod’s legs down, lay behind the rifle and then sight in on the target. It’s only after looking through the scope that the shooter knows whether they have to adjust the bipod higher or lower. Warne has made that crucial and often-repeated task as painless as possible.
Extending the legs on the Skyline is as simple as it gets and so is compressing them. There is a small lever on each leg that, when activated, drops the leg down to the next notch. This allows gravity to do all the work in a controlled fashion. By quickly activating and releasing the lever, the legs quickly “ratchet” down into the desired position.
The bipod legs adjust independently into four different positions. All the way back towards the shooter allows both to be swept simultaneously into the extended and locked position at 90 degrees. Each leg can then be moved forward to a 45-degree angle to drop the rifle closer to the ground. Finally, the legs can be locked all the way forward to store them securely in place.
Moving each leg occurs by pulling down on a button near the top of the leg. Pull down, position the leg where desired, then release.
Warne has several options for Skyline feet. It ships with soft rubber pads that do an excellent job of sticking to concrete. Other feet options include stainless steel spikes and disc feet with claws around the edge. All of the feet thread into the bottom of the legs and take only seconds to change.
The Skyline, with legs locked in the 90-degree position, has a minimum height of 6.9 inches and a maximum height of 9.1 inches. Moving the legs into the 45-degree position drops the rifle an additional 2 inches. Should the shooter desire more height than 9.1 inches, there are also 3-inch leg extensions available.
The Skyline has two mounting options: Picatinny rail and ARCA-Swiss. Picatinny rails and mounts have been around forever and are by far the most common attachment method. The Skyline Picatinny mount has a quick-detach lever that makes attachment and removal fast and easy. The quick-detach lever is on one side, and an adjustable thumbscrew is on the other. The thumbscrew makes it possible to adjust tension on the quick-detach lever so that the lever doesn’t require too much or too little force to manipulate.
The ARCA-Swiss mounting system is the new hotness that uses a small handle to adjust tension on the ARCA rail. The ARCA system allows the user to slide the bipod anywhere along the length of the rail and lock it in place. Unlike the Picatinny system that requires removal and reinstallation, the ARCA system allows the user to quickly unlock and slide the bipod into its desired location.
The Skyline bipod is expensive, but it has excellent build quality and offers the owner lots of modularity. The ability to quickly pan and cant the rifle into the desired shooting position is extremely convenient. When combined with the robust and highly adjustable construction, the Skyline can fit just about any shooting technique or condition.
Warne Skyline Precision Bipod
- Height: 6.9 to 9.1 in. at 90 degrees
- Total Pan: 44 degrees
- Total Cant: 22 degrees
- Weight: 16.5 oz.
- Accessories: Leg extensions - $35; Spike feet - $34; Claw feet - $90
- MSRP: $399
- Manufacturer: Warne, warnescopemounts.com
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