Can this versatile support prove its worth this summer? – the editor asks
Phill Price strikes a balance out in the field with the Rifleman3, strudy but light, tripod shooting sticks
If there one thing I’ve learned above all others about airgun hunting it’s that accuracy is the most important factor in success, and because of this I’ll use anything I can find to stabilise my shot and and over the years I’ve tried every sort of aid you can imagine, apart from one. I’ve never tried trigger sticks, so I asked the folks at UK Shoot Warehouse if I could test their Rifleman 3. This clever design uses three telescopic legs that remain locked until you press the release trigger, at which point you can raise or lower the shooting cradle instantly, to the precise height you need. They’re naturally self- levelling, which is quite brilliant and it takes just fractions of a second for them to become a truly solid support.
STANDING OR SITTING
The grass is so long at this time of year that we’re often forced to take standing shots and this design works superbly in that role. However, I also like to find well- grazed areas to sit in wait for the rabbits to show, and this is where the Rifleman sticks reveal another trick. The legs can be spread wide to deliver the right support for a sitting shot, and I found this particularly useful. I was able to rest the rifle in the cradle, pointing toward the area I felt most likely for the rabbits to show, so that I needed only to make a small adjustment to come on aim and take the shot. This reduces give- away movements and fatigue, improving the chance of a clean accurate shot. Of course, there’s quite a lot of movement needed if a rabbit comes out in a completely different location from where you anticipated.
SOLID AND STRONG
The build quality feels good, and I know a couple of people who have been using these for well over a year and they still work perfectly, despite being covered in mud and muck. At maximum height they reach 1.85 metres ( 6 feet) so they can even support elevated shots at pigeons or squirrels. Despite the sturdy construction, they weigh just 1.3kg which surprised me because the legs are metal and there’s a complex locking mechanism inside. With the legs fully closed, they also make a useful walking stick for covering rough ground and steep banks.
I’m looking forward to putting them to good use over the coming months and I’ll report back later to let you know what I’ve learned.
RIGHT: It takes just seconds to become stable and more accurate with these sticks
BELOW: The legs spread wide to make a superb sitting support