When it comes to precision shooting, I think that most, if not all, can agree that the prone shot is often the rare shot.  It was SOP in my sniper section that we all had a camera tripod on our packing list at all times.

Most of the engagements I encountered as a sniper (over 80%) were shots that were taken from a non-standard shooting position.  Some of the shots were standing shooting off of my spotter’s shoulder, kneeling, crouching, off of balcony ledges, tripods, etc.  After that deployment, we started a training regimen that would get our snipers off of their bellies and shooting in the types of positions we would encounter.

A simple camera tripod purchased from your local retail store or Best Buy gives you that extra tool in your combat effective toolbox.  Some of the best tripods that I’ve used were:

  • Canon Deluxe 300 reaches a maximum height of 62″ and folds down to 23″ and has a maximum load capacity is 4.4 lb
  • Vanguard VS-82 Pocket Pod. Extremely stable, portable, and can easily fit into your cargo pocket and has a max load capacity of 5.5 lbs.
  • Sunpak PlatinumPlus Ultra 6000PG: Max extension height of 61″, min height of 24″,  pistol grip ball head and self leveling rubber feet.
  • Joby Gorillapod.  We would use these flexible tripods to wrap them around a tree branch

These are just a few examples of tripods that we used overseas and in training. They will cost you anywhere from $19.99 – $39.99.

Sniper Tip

Be sure to cammo your tripod just as you would your rifle, breaking up the straight edges, include various tie downs along the tripod to add natural and artificial vegetation.  Also, securing a soft pad on top of the tripod where the rifle will sit helps with the harmonics and increases stability.