Bi-Fur-Pod (Shooting Sticks) Page
your own Bi-Fur-Pod.
It is easy and should take about an hour.
RIFLE SUPPORT.... I think I would almost rather be without ammo than without my homemade "Bi-Fur-Pod" shooting sticks. When I sight on a target while resting the rifle on my Bi-Fur-Pod, I have steady confidence that I am going to hit the target. I first put sheepskin, with the fur side out, on the area where the rifle rests and that is how it got its name. Have you ever noticed how often "fur" is mentioned around hunting camps? The sheepskin wore out and I replaced it with leather, but the name remains. My Bi-Fur-Pod is a very simple tool. It fulfills a number of functions.
1. Rifle support while taking sitting shots (main function).
2. Open it up into one long stick and it is a unipod (formerly it had a furry middle) for standing shots. In 1995, I got a nice 2x4 Mule Deer in Northern California's X3B Zone using the unipod. I used it again in 1997 for a small 2x2 Mule Deer and put one shot through the boiler room. These stories are on my Hunting Stories page.
3. As the old age creeps up on me, it makes a wonderful walking stick on the steep hillsides.
4. The top of the Bi-Fur-Pod makes a great rest for my binoculars while I am sitting and spotting for distant coyotes or that trophy buck.
5. More than once, I have pushed a rattlesnake out of the way with it.
6. It's a rifle holder in the field for keeping your rifle out of the mud . Hook your rifle sling over one fork and prop up your rifle in a "3 leg tripod" where your rifle is one leg. This is better than laying your rifle down on the dirt or wet ground.
7. Warding off Black Attack Dogs. ;-) See Below.
8. Nothing is permanently attached to your rifle.
A SOLID RIFLE STAND IN THE FIELD.... Here I have my rifle supported off the ground for picture taking. This coyote was fooled with a series of fawn bleats using the diaphragm call shown. This coyote was making nightly raids on the rancher's chickens right near his house. About half a mile from his house, I used the diaphragm call, shown in the picture, to make the fawn bleats. After about 10 minutes, I saw the coyote coming downhill through the tall grass at the edge of the trees. I still had the call in my mouth and made a few soft whimpers when the coyote stopped in the trees. The coyote continued my way and when she went out of sight behind some bushes, I moved my Bi-Fur-Pod setup inline with the approach. One shot at 120 yards with the old Sako in 243 Win and right through the boiler room and it was all over. I stopped and told the farmer and he sure was happy to hear about my results! The farmer told me that he had seen the coyote stalking his grandkids in his yard and was afraid to let the kids play in the yard.
ABOVE THE TALL GRASS.... With the height of the sitting position and using the Bi-Fur-Pod one gets above the tall grass in most cases. Years ago, I used to take a small tripod rifle rest that would allow me to shoot prone off the rest. It was quite steady, but now days, I can't crank my neck up that much to shoot prone. Also, the short tripod often wouldn't allow shots when the grass had grown a bit. The height of the Bi-Fur-Pod solves the tall grass problem. When in really tall brush, I use the standing position with the Bi-Fur-Pod fully extended. See the standing position below.
HOW ACCURATELY CAN I SHOOT.... The Bi-Fur-Pod rest is not as steady as shooting off a benchrest with a front and rear rest. With a rifle that shoots 1/2" groups off a benchrest at 100 yards, I can shoot 1" groups from the Bi-Fur-Pod from the same distance. I have shot ground squirrels at distances over 300 yards off the Bi-Fur-Pod on numerous occasions. Making 200 yard shots on ground squirrels is easy and the 100 yard shots are a cinch. If it is possible to setup so I can lean back against a tree or fence post I can make an even steadier hold. The freedom of not having the Bi-Fur-Pod attached to the rifle also makes it possible to take running shots. Once one gets used to using the Bi-Fur-Pod, it is quite easy to track a running target.
HOW TO MAKE A Bi-Fur-Pod.... The sticks are 5/8" or 3/4" square fir or other solid and strong wood, see the Table for the correct length. Round sticks do not work well at the hinge point. My height is 5' 9'' and 36" long sticks are the correct height for me. The table shows the scaled total length depending on your height. Regardless of the correct over all length, the 1/4" pivot bolt is 5-1/4" from the top end. Tighten the nut so that there is a reasonable amount of friction between the sticks and they will hold their open or closed position. You can slightly squash the nut in a vise so that the threads run tight and that will prevent it from becoming loose when you open and close the sticks. Two large nails with the heads hack sawed off are epoxied into the ends with 2" of nail exposed. If you use shorter nails, they won't stick in the ground very well and have a tendency to slide out at the worst possible time. I took an old stainless steel spoon and flattened it out, trimmed it to shape, and screwed it to one stick to make a carrying clip. When I am walking, I can carry it by sliding the clip on my belt. For a finishing touch and so you won't scratch the forearm of your rifle, epoxy leather strips on the inside of the top "V". The Bi-Fur-Pod is a lot handier for me than the Harris Bipod. I don't like the extra weight attached to my rifle for off-hand shots. Also, you can't use the Harris Bipod for functions 2, 3, 4, 5, 7.
Customize the Bi-Fur-Pod
for you height.
|Over All Stick
BUY A Bi-Fur-Pod CUSTOM MADE.... Mark Jones will make you one to your specifications. Click HERE to go to his web page.
IMPROVEMENTS TO THE Bi-Fur-Pod.... I have made three improvements to the Bi-Fur-Pod shooting sticks. The first was actually done to my Sako rifle's carrying strap. About 1 inch from the front sling swivel, I took a hot soldering iron and punched about a 1/8" hole through the middle of the sling. Now in the standing position, I can slip the nail on top of the extended Bi-Fur-Pod through the hole in the sling and support the forearm, sling, and rifle with my left hand for a standing shot. The nail through the hole in the carrying strap will prevent the rifle from slipping off the end of the Bi-Fur-Pod. The length of the extended Bi-Fur-Pod is a little long, so I stick the lower end in the ground between my feet. This angles it forward and produces the correct height for a horizontal shot. I can back up a step for an uphill shot to get elevation. It works great.
Here is the standing position with the fully extended Bi-Fur-Pod. It makes a much steadier hold than offhand.
I also use the Bi-Fur-Pod as a walking stick.
It is a very handy tool.
STANDING RIFLE SUPPORT.... The second improvement is a spring loaded "ball" (really a brass plunger) about 1 inch from the upper end that fits into a drilled detent on the mating leg. When the Bi-Fur-Pod is closed, this detent helps keep it in the closed position. I drilled another detent for when the Bi-Fur-Pod is extended to full length. This keeps it straight so it won't buckle in the middle for standing shots. The spring loaded ball/detent seems to work very well. I made the parts on my Mini Lathe.
Here is the spring loaded "ball" that fits into a detent. One detent is drilled on the opposite leg at the top and a second detent to lineup with the spring loaded brass plunger when the Bi-Fur-Pod is fully extended.
The washer is glued into place with epoxy. I was careful not to get epoxy in the hole. I made the brass plunger on my Mini Lathe. I have heard that there are similar items right off the shelf in hardware stores for cabinet doors. If you don't want to make it, there are Bullet Catches 5/16" Diameter x 3/8" Length that you can purchase. Here is one: Cabinet Bullet Catch -- Solid brass body with steel ball. You can do a Google search and find many more designs.
KEEP IT QUIET.... The third improvement is a piece of 1/4" thick leather glued to the inside of one leg about 8" from the lower end. On the opposite leg I wrapped a few turns of camo tape to make a bump that rides in the middle of the leather strip. This keeps the two legs of the Bi-Fur-Pod from slapping together and making a noise in the field.
THE CARRYING CLIP BROKE.... I didn't have a lot of time to build a new one, so I used an old stainless steel spoon. I know it looks funny and needs a coat of paint to cover the shine, but it works great! The tip of the old carrying clip used dig into my side sometimes. The rounded spoon shape is much more comfortable. I guess in a pinch I could remove the screws and eat my cereal with my new carrying clip. PH from the Go Go Varmint Go message board has designed the Deluxe Bi-Fur-Pod. Click Here to see a picture of it.
SITTING POSITION.... Here I am sighting on an imaginary coyote with my old Sako 243. Both knees are up and I am resting my elbows on my knees for solid support. The sling is over the right top stick and I have it grasped in my left hand as well as the pivot point of the Bi-Fur-Pod. (You can't see the sling, because it is behind my arm). This is a very steady hold. Note the pretty paint job on the rifle and Bi-Fur-Pod! No reflections there! Also take your wristwatch off or wear long sleeves while you hunt. Sun reflections from the wristwatch will warn every coyote within a mile. I have taken to carrying my wrist watch in my pocket and being retired, don't need to check the time that often anyhow.
PUT BOTH ELBOWS ON YOUR KNEES.... Here is a view that is not healthy for a coyote!
ADD A THIRD LEG.... Walt Craig of TN has made modified Tri-Fur-Pod/Mod-W from the old Bi-Fur-Pod design. His modification puts leather on both sides of the top, includes Velcro strips to hold the legs together, and adds a third leg to make a solid self-standing tripod rest. This is a really good idea. If one made the third leg and used a wing nut on the pivot bolt, the third leg could be added or removed when needed. When if use, the third leg should be positioned on the target side of the Tri-Fur-Pod. Thank you Walt.
The Tri-Fur-Pod/Mod-W opened up.
Note the Velcro on the legs to keep it folded.
in the folded position.
Close up of the hinge for the third leg.
The third leg could be added to an
existing Bi-Fur-Pod if one were to
use a wing nut on the pivot bolt.
Cheap Adjustable Front Rest
I got an email describing a Cheap Adjustable Front Rest for shooting from a bench. Here is how it is made:
This Cheap-Rest is adjustable for height and costs about $5 if you buy everything new. It takes about fifteen minutes to make.
Materials consist of :
1 ea. 4 inch diameter PVC schedule 40 coupler cut in half to make the gun cradle. It makes a perfect U shape! Give the other half to a friend.
1 ea. door hinge.
1 ea. pine board about as wide as the hinge.
1 ea. 2x2 pine board.
Screws to fasten the hinge to the board cut in half, and fasten the coupler half to the top board.
Drywall screws to act as non-slip leveling feet.
|Apply a small amount of resilient nylon or foam padding to cushion the rifle forearm. It can be attached with silicone sealer or hot melt glue. Do not omit the padding because it dampens accuracy robbing vibration.
Change elevation by moving a short 2x2 back toward the hinge to elevate the rifle or forward away from the hinge to lower the impact point. Simple but it works.
This rest is cheap enough and tough enough to be left outside permanently.
Even though I have the good stuff, like you, I often use the cheap stuff. Best wishes! Bruce Gammack Newfane, NY
Bi-Fur-Pod in SOUTH AFRICA.... Picture of a Black-Backed Jackal shot in South Africa using a variation of the Bi-Fur-Pod. It is 1.15m long with a 6mm bolt 200mm from the top and is made of 15mm aluminum tubing. It is covered with camo tape and the handle material used for hockey sticks as a handle. The jackal was shot with a Ruger Mod 77 in .223Rem. The load was a 50gr Sierra Blitzking with a charge or MP 200 for about 2050 fps. Christoff Joubert
John in Georgia.... Shot this hog down in Georgia. It was a 130 yard shot with my 300 Winmag. The Bi-Fur-Pod really helped. By the way everyone in camp wanted to know what the spoon was for. I had to keep them guessing for a while. Thanks Al
Greetings from Ireland.... Hi Al. I've been looking at your site for a few years now and love it .
Thanks for all the good advice and info ,I was a .22lr owner for years (Anschutz 1450) used mostly for
rabbits (cottontails I believe you call them, jackrabbits are known as hares here ).
Changed to a marlin VS 17 in 17HMR last year but started fox shooting and found it ok up to maybe 100 yds but lacking power to produce clean kills beyond that. So I've changed again and got a Tikka T3 .223 Rem and very impressed with it so far. We do a lot of night hunting of foxes here and because the areas are mostly populated, silencers are used to reduce noise.
I've included a pictures of the .223 and it's latest kill and you might also see the Bi-Fur-Pod which I made using your directions but using rubber strips instead of fur. I never go hunting without it now. The fox in picture was taken with 55gr Remington Accutip at 170 yds I find them a great bullet. Just for your info reloading is not allowed here in Ireland and a box of 20 .223 Rem Accutips costs 36 US dollars. I'd love to try some of that coyote hunting you've got there .
I'm getting a CZ scout .22LR soon for my daughters to learn with (11 and 8 yrs). They enjoy reading your site too. They'd love it if you could show one of my pictures on your Bi-Fur-Pod page. Bye for now and keep up the good work and happy St Patrick's Day. Michael Kearney
Bi-Fur-Pod DOWN UNDER.... G'Day Al, My name is Chris Burton, I live in Puckapunyal Australia. I was recently surfing the web for info regarding the 17 HMR and came across your site. After reading your report on the 17 HMR I read your article on the Bi-Fur-Pod and was immediately interested. I generally get out rabbit shooting once or twice a week, I use either a .222 Rem BSA CF2 or a varmint weight 22 WMR Ruger with a thumb hole stock. The place I shoot is a 260 acre cattle property with about a 20 acre rabbit warren on the side of a hill. The hill is covered with knee to waist high bushes, which make it almost impossible to shoot from the prone position. The alternative is shooting offhand, which for consistent hits on rabbits over 100m is almost impossible.
After reading your article I made up a pair of shooting
sticks, one for myself and one for my hunting partner. On the
Sunday just gone we went out for a hunt and were immediately more
successful than we have been in the past, easily taking shots,
that in the past had not been possible. The end result between us
after about 2 hours hunting, was two young foxes and six rabbits.
My hunting partner was using a Ruger No. 1 in 220 Swift that he
had just bought, and between the new rifle and the shooting
sticks was very pleased.
As a result, I have started making a set of light weight sticks for my 6 year old daughter who is just learning to shoot with a single shot .22 LR.
I have enclosed some photos showing the results of the hunt with the shooting sticks and a previous hunt without. Cheers Chris Burton
Bi-Fur-Pod MAKES IT TO NEW ZEALAND.... I managed to get a brand new Remington 700 BDL Custom Deluxe Engraved model chambered and barreled in .17 Rem for the approximate price of US$650. I have scoped it with Leupold VX-I 3-9 X 40 (also, new). It's a great combination for close up small stuff and also good for moderate distances (out to about 250 - 300 yards) providing one has a good steady platform which brings me very nicely to the "bi-fur-pod".
I followed your detailed instructions almost to the letter and made my first prototype, but wasn't happy with my quality of workmanship, so made a second which is much better. I have used thickish but grippy upholstery rubber instead of leather or fur, and yesterday was the first test for game. I have used it's predecessor for sighting in. By the way have sighted at 100 yards 1 inch high and got groups of 1 inch on my first day shooting with the gun. It has a 24 inch barrel, but is a might heavy for a varmint rifle. And, of course because of the tiny lil' hole in the barrel has, for all intents and purposes, a "heavy" barrel. It shoots so flat over a long distance, that holding "just high" seems to work for everything from 50 to 200 yards. I've managed to get a good quality cleaning rod and have experimented with different sized patches until I have found the ideal size which will clean thoroughly but not get stuck. I am being very diligent about cleaning during the breaking in period and especially getting the copper deposits off (the bullets are fully copper jacketed hollow points, 25 gns sitting in a necked down .223 shell, which at 100 yards goes clean through a 3 inch phone book.
Anyway, I was telling you about the bi-rubber-pod and how great I found it on the first "varmint" trip which turned out to be a "varmint-less" trip because the little critters were no where to be found (must have heard I was coming for 'em with my new toy). We had to make do with what we found, mostly had feathers, but still, made good targets and small, too. The pod was so easy to use and versatile that I couldn't let another minute go by without telling you how grateful I was to you for putting it on your web site. Here is a photo of it holding up my canon at coffee break time getting the approval of Sam the German Pointer. I gave the prototype bi-leather-pos to Sam's owner who was so impressed that he is going to make his own, too.
So, bye for now, and I would look forward to your comment, etc. (Peter, Thanks for letting me post your email and good hunting. from... Varmint Al)
Christchurch, New Zealand
Posted by Rick in MD, May 03,2001 on the Go Go Varmint Go Message Board:
Varmint Al's Bi-Fur-Pod saved my life! Well... almost!
I'm out minding my own business, a beautiful evening, spotting groundhogs when I hear a vehicle coming down the farm road. It's Granny in her golf cart, with her dogs! The Golden is fine, it's the medium sized black one that is the problem! I immediately jump up, here it comes! So now what? The 22-250 at 5 paces? Not with Granny there (yes I would have otherwise!) And since I didn't want to scare Granny (not my granny, but she owns the property) I didn't want to point the muzzle at the Black Terror (BT) either. Quick, grab the Bi-Fur-Pod! BT slams on the brakes at the last minute; you see, the bases of the Bi-Fur-Pod has some BIG nails protruding out of the bottom. (The nails are actually 60d landscaping spikes; I can pick up a big (dead) groundhog by the front teeth with them.) So there I am, smiling and making small talk with Granny in her golf cart while holding off BT with the Bi-Fur-Pods; and the Golden is nuzzling my side wanting his ears scratched! BT is still growling and baring his fangs; Granny is pleasant and smiling as she turns around and finally leaves with the Golden and BT. So do I...
Thanks Varmint Al! And to think that I was considering switching to a Harris Bi-pod -- I think I'll keep the Bi-Fur-Pod for awhile, it works very well thank you!
Email from a Bi-Fur-Pod user:
Well another year of hunting has passed and the one time I forgot my Bi-Fur-Pod it ruined my day. I feel lost without it. By using the BFPod with my 44Mag pistol this year I got an eight point buck, a bobcat, and several hogs. With my .223 and my BFPod, I got a nine inch bearded gobbler and a bunch of varmints. What fun and spring turkey and coyote shooting is coming up. I have had at least 25 people who wanted to know about the BFPod and I turned them on to your web site.
I sent my custom .223 back (built on a Fireball action by Hammond in Penn.) and had it Ackley Improved. It is shooting well under an inch with hot loads and I haven't even finished working up a load yet. It will be one of those rifles that I keep for life. I even painted it.
I want you to know how much I enjoy all of your advice and guidance and appreciate all the long hours that you must put into your site. It has made my time in the outdoors even that much more enjoyable and I can always count on your political page for great information and inspiration.
I do have one question about the Bi-Fur-Pod improvements. Where Is the brass plunger available? (Answer is Here) Thanks again for all of your work.
Email from Jim:
Al~ Thanks! It works just fine & is much more durable & useful than the one I bought a few years ago. This was the first of three today (the "baptism" as it were). Washington State coyotes aren't as large as they run in my home State of Montana, but there sure are a lot of the critters & they're suckers for a fawn bleat complimented with a few sporadic yips. Jim
Greetings! Just want to thank you for the wealth of knowledge and links you've shared on your site. I keep finding new things. My Pro-hunter had serious tooling marks in the chamber, it got polished and is so much better. Case life has increased.
I made an oak Bi-Fur-Pod yesterday. Can't wait to use it somewhere besides the living room. I had a bunch of golf grips laying around so I split a couple and cut the caps off. Glued them on in place of the leather, wrapped around all but the matching faces of the sticks when they are closed. Put them on with the thick part of the grip at the bottom of the 'V' and trimmed to fit at the end of the sticks. Good cushion and grip, and a nice handle for swordplay with snakes and rottweilers! The pod still needs it's spoon and hold open catches, but they're coming.
That's my daughter's old 788 Remington .308 that I just refinished the stock and Duracoated the barreled action and scope on. Put together loose for pictures, that's why no trigger. Also not tempted to shoot it until the Duracoat cures....
Thanks again from another fella from your generation. Tom in Wyoming.
Al, Made my Bi-Fur-Pod in a hour like you said and they work great. Thank you for having a very informative web site. The gun is a Remington 788 243win with a 58 v-max bullet. Jon from Steelville Missouri
THE BI-FUR-POD IN SWEDEN.... The Bi-Fur-Pod has made it to Sweden. If you want instructions on how to build it in Swedish, here is the place to go. Click on Skytte. Benny Andersson wrote this: I like the bi-pod very much and do think most hunters should get one as soon as possibly. It is very easy to convince everyone at the range, in real life, but it is a little harder just telling them how good it is. I use to ask the hunter who hesitate try 10 rounds at 50 yard with my Ruger 22LR. The target is a steel spinner about 1 inch in dia. Most people have very few hits in standing or even sitting position. With the bi-pod most people wont miss a single shot in sitting and maybe just a few in standing. That's a very good test in my opinion!
Thanks Benny. -- Good Hunting... from Varmint Al
Al, Yesterday was a rainy Sunday afternoon. So I made a
Bi-Fur Bi Pod via your specs. I am glad I did. Couple notes: I could
not find the brass plunger at the store. So I added two ¼"
in-between the sticks. I then added a 8" leather loop which doubles as
a wrist loop. When I extend the sticks into a mono pod. I simply loop
the leather over one short leg. This gives me a very nice, plenty snug,
friction fit for hold. I just used electrical tape as the 'knockers'.
For camo I used fabric markers (already had them for fly tying) and
sealed it with tung oil. Cut up a old leather wallet for the leather
strips. Used 5 minute epoxy (again had it for fly tying) on the
leather, nails per your specs. The height was just right for myself.
The hardwood sticks were about $2.50 each at Home Depot, maybe another
buck in hardware. The other couple things I had laying around.
Love the spoon!! Works great as a clip!!...........Classic!
It made a fun and practical rainy afternoon project which I will enjoy for years of predator calling. Thanks, Bill in Southwestern NY
Not only are these great for coyotes & rodents, but mine worked well for gobblers, too!
The shooting sticks worked so well that I followed your lead & made up some "business cards." Similar to yours offering coyote & ground squirrel control, but with this addition - "FREE SERVICE - Let my hobby be your solution." Had folks calling me, received offers from more places than I could get to last season, & have an open invite to hunt other quarry on many of the farms/ranches whereupon I successfully thinned coyotes. Shot one that had devoured 2 of the owner's daughter's cats & 1 of his dogs. Set-up in his barn, it responded immediately to a pup yelp, & the .204 promptly ended his career (great coyote laser!). When I was hustling to remove the carcass before his little girl could see it, he came out & asked that I leave it. "She'd probably like to kick it a couple times."
Good Shooting.... Jim
|SHOOTING CHAIR & Bi-Fur-Pod.... When six-plus decades have passed by and the ground is hard or wet, it becomes more comfortable to use a folding chair when you are shooting off the Bi-Fur-Pod sticks. I use a Sun 'N Sport Chair stock #260924 from True Value Hardware. It is 3/4 height and just the correct height for the Bi-Fur-Pod. The chair is solidly built out of steel tubing and nylon cloth with arm rests. Shooting from the chair is as steady as sitting on the ground and much more comfortable. I looked far and wide and this is the best shooting chair I have found. Here is a picture from a ground squirrel hunt up in Northern California. Note the AM headset holding my ear plugs in place. Yes, I am listening to Rush Limbaugh. There is more about the hunt on my Hunting Stories Page. Note. The old chair is no longer available. This one is even better from RIO.|
Last Updated: 02/10/2012
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