For this review we are going to take a look at Vanguard's Equalizer QS series of rifle bipods. The QS series is broken into three unique bipods. The 1QS extends from 6 to 10 inches, the 2QS extends from 10 to 28 inches, and finally the 3QS reaches from 14 to 37 inches. For this review we are only taking a look at the first two models, but they are all similar with the only difference being the length of legs. Street price for the bipods is $79-99.
Hunters and shooters are most familiar with the bipods produced by Harris Engineering. They work well and have been on the market for decades, there are even clones of the original Harris model. The Equalizer 1QS is not a Harris clone and uses a different system to allow pivoting. A swiveling Harris bipod can only allow rotation around the barrel in one direction. The Equalizer goes much further.
With the Equalizer 1QS it is possible to rotate around the barrel like a Harris bipod, but it is also possible to rotate left to right and pivot up and down giving three dimensions of motion. This motion is made possible by a rather bulky spring loaded pivot at the heart of the bipod.
The bipod allows swiveling left and right. The spring pivot allows rotation of the barrel and tipping up and down.
The 1QS (foreground) and the 2QS (behind) side by side.
The Equalizer 1QS mounts to a rifle via a shoe that attaches to the swivel stud of the rifle. Unfortunately this will only work for traditional sporter style rifles because of the curvature of the shoe. The shoe will not work for flat bottom bench rest style stocks or extra wide forearms.
Mounted and extended.
Once the shoe is on it is then possible to mount the bipod to the shoe via the cross slot, picatinny style attachment on the bipod. This is clever, because it can easily mount to an AR-15 or similar rifle that has been equipped with a quad rail that has picatinny slots on the rail. The shoes then allow one to quickly switch the bipod mechanism between several different rifles.
The adapter that mounts to the swivel stud,
which the shoes is then mounted on.
Close up of the cross slot mount on the top of the bipod.
The mounting shoe. This will only fit sporter style stocks.
Rubberized feet w/ and w/o the metal spike deployed.
Another nice feature about the bipod is the quick spike feet. In the default position the bipod feet are rubberized; however by rotating the rubber pads upwards, spiked metal feet are revealed and can be used to help dig into loose or slick muddy surfaces. Simply roll the feet down when done to go back to the rubberized feet. The feet also lock out so it is not possible to spin the rubber feet completely off and lose them.
The only downside to the Equalizer bipod is that when shooting on an uneven surface it is usually necessary to rotate the barrel some to even out the reticle. On a Harris or clone, the rear swivel can be quickly loosened, then tightened putting it in a fixed postion where the reticle is level, there is no possibility of this with the Vanguard and the shooter is forced to push continually against the spring or manually level with the legs.
In conclusion the Equalizer series of bipods is well constructed and gives a true freedom of motion for the shooter. Those that feel constricted by a traditional bipod, will appreciate the range of motion possible with the Equalizer. If you're looking to mount the Equalizer directly to a AR style rifle, it bolts right up to a quad rail with no adapter necessary unlike the Harris or Harris bipod clones. Furthermore the asking price is quite reasonable, being priced below some of the Harris clones, but well below some of the higher end Harris models.
For more information visit Vanguard .