Kopfjäger: Getting a grip on innovative gun rests
Kopfjäger’s line of gun rests was designed by law enforcement professionals who understand the benefits of stable-support shooting more than most. Gun rest expert Kevin Reese explains what goes into making a quality gun rest.
Times are changing and often with them, processes. Whether those changes come as results of prior planning, process improvements, lessons learned or even as reactions to environmental or physical conditions they often include calls to action. We even see these cause-and-effect relationships in hunting and shooting.
Consider the gear we use. Learned process improvements and the benefits of product innovations consistently attest to the benefits of these calls to actions and manufacturer innovations; of course, sometimes we are so busy, we don’t even realize those changes have occurred.
Using my own experiences as an example, I’ve spent quite a bit of time shooting from traditional shooting prone, sitting, kneeling, off-hand and table-support positions – most often in the dirt and I’m not getting any younger. I also enjoy precision shooting… and I’m still not getting any younger. These two truths combined are, themselves, a call to action. What can I do to enhance my shooting experiences if my challenges are comfort, stability and support?
Like most people, I have learned to shoot in fundamentally sound positions on the range as well as the hunt but, nowadays, I’m also looking for some rock-solid support. To that end, I have used a significant number of rests, from forward shooting bags and rear squeeze-bags, to vise systems and bipods –obviously, especially considering purposes, some are better than others and sometimes that has meant I still need to get down in the dirt for a wide, ground-supported prone position.
Even as comfortable as I am with shooting and hunting, I’ve learned all too often that I don’t know everything. Understanding this self-evident truth, I continue to consider my own feelings regarding the evolution of hunting and shooting practices and whether product developments are worth pursuing. To determine such worth, I pay attention – I watch, listen and often test to do so, as well as garner new experiences.
As Dallas, Texas SWAT officers, the inventors of Kopfjäger’s tripod-mounted gun rests, including the popular Reaper Grip and Reaper Rail systems, know the importance of eliminating fatigue during overwatch missions as well as situations where long holds on suspects are required – lives may count on precise shots and fatigue, as well as instability, never factor well is mission success.
Of course, Kopfjäger gun rests also deliver unprecedented stability and comfort while mitigating or altogether eliminating fatigue for recreational shooters and hunters, too. I’ve shot recreationally and as a military troop through most of my life.
I’ve also hunted for over half of my life. In all facets of my shooting and hunting experiences, I’ve spent my fair share of time in the dirt and now that I’m older, I feel more than I ever did, especially after hours of shooting in the prone position – this is where the crossroads of time, process improvements and product innovation intersect… and enhance my experiences.
On the Hunt
Nowadays, I often hunt with a tripod-mounted Kopfjäger Reaper Grip gun rest system. The tripod itself is constructed of carbon fibre and exceptionally lightweight, weighing just about 3.5lb (1.5kg). The Reaper Grip’s jaws are comprised of fixed and pivoting heads, perfectly suited for both straight and tapered stocks while the curved fingers actually draw the stock further down into the grip for an industry-leading hold. The Reaper Grip can also handle rifle systems weighing up to 25lb (11.3kg).
When it comes to stationary shooting or dynamic movements, the Reaper Grip features 360 degrees of smooth panning with adjustable drag and 108 degrees of tilt (87 degrees down and 21 degrees up) adjustment with a quick quarter-turn of the control arm. Tightening the drag for a little pan resistance and locking in tilt helps me acquire prey much more quickly and confidently than I ever could before, especially when I’m out of breath or otherwise shooting under duress.
Also worth noting, the Reaper Grip is removable and the mounting stud is reversible to accommodate standard 3/8in and 1/4in threaded devices from cameras to spotting scopes and more. The system’s features make it the perfect complementary piece of hunting equipment, whether I am hunting rabbits, predators or large game species from fixed positions or on the move.
On the Range
On the range, I use a Reaper Rail system. Like the Reaper Grip, the Reaper Rail is available independently or with a carbon fibre or aluminum tripod. Reaper Rail adjustability, like pan and tilt, is identical to the Reaper Grip system with just two glaring differences.
First, the firearm is mounted into the Reaper Rail via the rifle’s lower picatinny or Arca Swiss mount (you must purchase either the picatinny or Arca Swiss Reaper Rail model).
Second, the Reaper Rail is specifically designed for precision long-range shooting so a third adjustment feature is included – cant adjustment. The Reaper Rail’s cant adjustment boasts 22 degrees of cant movement, 11 degrees in either direction. I also use a Kopfjäger KIL Strap to anchor the tripod to the ground much like I would a bipod to enhance stability and mitigate recoil impulse through the rest system. To date, I’ve managed to impact steel in respectable groups out to 1,000 yards pretty easily.
Shortening the centre posts of both the Reaper Grip and Reaper Rail systems and increasing the angle of the tripod legs certainly does allow me to shoot comfortably from both rests in high-prone, sitting, kneeling and standing positions in the field and at the shooting range; however, using the systems also alludes to their greater benefits – law enforcement and assisted-shooting uses.
As mentioned previously, Kopfjäger Reaper Grip and Reaper Rail tripod-mounted gun rest systems are designed specifically to reduce or eliminate fatigue, provide rock solid stability. Moreover, these systems are incredibly effective in assisting shooters of most ages, walks of life and physical capabilities.