NEOPOD: A High Quality Plastic Bipod?

Yesterday, I took delivery of a new bipod being made by a company called Steinert Sensing Systems out of Norway. The name is Neopod Ultralight Hunting BiPod. If the Steinert name sounds vaguely familiar to you, I imagine their acoustic chronogragh might ring a bell.

Steinert Sensing Systems: Acoustic Chronograph

Steinert Sensing Systems: Acoustic Chronograph

Here is the most interesting thing about this bipod. It’s made out of plastic! Yeah, I’m rolling my eyes as I type these words as well. The sales pitch and reviews all say the Neopod bipod is made from a particular class of plastic called PEEK. In full disclosure, I am not even going to pretend to say that I understand what all the PEEK stuff means. I’ve read up on it and the engineers all seem very proud of it. I’ve heard various statements that it’s as strong as metal. I’ve heard it’s possibly used in medical devices. And I’ve heard it’s resistant to some kinds of chemical attack. But who knows? I’m a gun-monkey.

Here is what I do know: It’s damn expensive. At least when sold as a bipod. With international shipping and foreign exchange, I paid close to $500 for it. Yeah, I’m THAT guy. And not only am I that guy, you now know we don’t get freebie’s for testing. Why? We aren’t gear testers. Not our business model. Attention manufacturers: If we don’t have your product, it’s either we don’t want it, don’t know about it, or can’t afford it. Pretty much like the rest of you reading this. So…keep that in mind as I keep moaning and bitching about how much I spent on this thing. Ugh.

NeoPod Installed on Blaser R8

NeoPod Installed on Blaser R8

So why did I do it? Because I have accepted that when you run Blaser rifles, everything is expensive. The guns are expensive. The barrels are expensive. The magazines are expensive. The scope mounts are expensive. They just are. It’s all German made, plasma-nitrided, over-engineered, fancy-smancy European gun stuff. And I love it. I’m a gun-guy. I like old guns. I like new guns. I like different guns. I like gun history. I like gun technology. And I like cutting edge performance. When it comes to the Blasers, I like the light weight, switch-caliber design that is capable of shooting 1/4 MOA if the caliber is.

Now let’s go into what I hate: European bi-pods. News-flash American shooters, European bi-pods flat out suck. My observation has been that you get two choices with European bipods: Flimsy that is akin to shooting off a trampoline or some kind of giant 2 or 3 legged metal-truss-monstrosity that is better suited to building a bridge than humping over hill and dale.

Enter the Neopod. It’s designed to use spigot systems (like the Blaser, AI, TRG), it’s super light weight at 100 grams, it’s easily loadable like an Atlas Bipod (my current gold-standard bipod), has rounded rubber feet that work well on both hard cement and natural surfaces, actually deploys quickly with one hand like a Harris bipod (the one complaint many competitive and SWAT snipers kick the Atlas on).

NeoPod Detached from Spigot

NeoPod Detached from Spigot

The one issue I can see coming down the pike concerning the Neopod are replacement feet. In speaking with some of the dealers in Europe, none of them indicted that the feet were replaceable. But most of the dealers also mentioned that the feet were made of the same PEEK plastic as the frame. Well with bipod in hand, that is not correct. They are a tacky rubber type material. I just hope as I wear them down that a replacement option is possible.

Now for some more good news. When you open up the box, this thing is packaged better than an iPhone. Probably the best packaged gun-product I have ever seen. Custom laser cut foam insert with individual cutouts for each spacer, tool, pins, carry bag, etc. One extra surprise was it came with two spigots. One designed for my Blaser rifle, and a second designed for a sling-stud. So I could easily use this on two rifles — psychologists will note that instead of offering more content to the reader now, I am trying to subconsciously justify my sticker-shock and guilt.

Legs use magnet to stay together when flat. Very slick

Legs use magnet to stay together when flat. Very slick

Final thoughts: The spigots are metal. The legs are held together when folded by a magnet which is very slick. Attaches and detaches to spigot with one hand very quickly. The feet are spring loaded like the Harris for quick one-handed adjustment. All the screws and bolts are metal. And if I break this bipod, I suspect it will be at a hinge or leverage point during a fall. Here’s to hoping this works out as well as the plastic Glock thing did.

Time will tell.

 

Marky

www.John1911.com

“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”

Marky Mark

Marky Mark

Writer at John1911.com
Writer for john1911.com. Co-Host of the John1911 Podcast. Video content provider for John1911-TV.

Areas of focus: Defense and National Security, Modern Light Weapons, Analysis of the Geo-political / Military Relationship in the Context of Strategic Goals.
Marky Mark

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  • Conner

    Gotta tell ya Marky, I’m a gun guy too for many, many years but these things would have to had come in a bakers dozen for me to have paid 500 kazoobas! Your hard earned bucks could have gone for a nice scope or a brand new Mossberg Patriot. (I added the Patriot because as a gunsmith I’ve seen rifles come in for scope mounts that have special order fluted barrels and bolts that cost four times as much, easy…I love simple wood and blue so I have to have one). Continuing to rub it in further, there are very sturdy universal clamp mounts now that I feel serve the same purpose for under $50. They may not have been good enough our Legend Hero Mr.Chris Kyle but when I’m ‘snipering’ paper at a lethal distance of 100 yards they are certainly good enough for this old man. Anyway I’m just giving you a hard time. I always enjoy receiving your newsletter, love the site and appreciate what you do with youngsters at the range! Take care brother!

    • tacticaltshirts.com

      Conner, I appreciate your contribution by commenting. I have no defense against all the points you have made. I deserved every one of them.

      😉

      Marky

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  • gerryj19

    I realize that this is an old discussion but I thought that readers might like to know that the Neopod doesn’t prove to be reliable at all. I purchased one a few weeks ago and it broke on my rifle training course after just 25 rounds. Everyone else was fitted with Harris Bipods and had no issues.

    • Gerry, not old at all. Can you provide more information? How heavy is the rifle? Where on the structure did it break? Was it dropped or was it from “loading” the bipod?

      Good any pics?

      Marky

      • gerryj19

        It is a Sauer 404 XTC in 6.5 Creedmoor and does not have a muzzle break (yet). It weighs just over 6lbs and about 8lbs with the scope. The bipod broke in the middle in the firing position and I’ve attached a photo if that helps. It was never dropped. It attached to the Sauer via an adapter that fits into the front ‘SUM tool’ hole on the front of the fore-stock.

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6bc228c23eb78db5ab55f43926913937046430580295dc59999337306515158f.jpg

        • Rusty Shackleford

          Was there any sort of replacement offered for the bipod?

          • gerryj19

            Hi Rusty,
            They didn’t replace the bipod but they did replace the broken element which was the center-piece that attaches to the weapon.
            Gerry

          • Halvdan Nicolaysen

            I’m the owner of Steinert Sensing Systems and maker of the NeoPod ultralight hunting bipod. I may be joining this discussion a bit late but I’d like to clarify a point about the construction. The fibres are laid in the direction of the recoil. If you press the legs together or pull them apart, the fibres may delaminate. You may not notice anything at first but at a later state the center section may suddenly collapse. This is typical for composites and akin to metal fatique in aluminium. We have updated our user manual to reflect this and there is information in the News section at http://www.steinertsensingsystems.com to this effect. It’s just a matter of understanding the design envelope of the bipod. Of course we replaces parts. Just as you would expect from a premium maker of fly rods if you break the tip.

          • Hi Halvdan, thanks for stopping by. Your comment is very interesting. I have a question as well.

            If the fibers are laid in the direction to absorb recoil, am I to assume that bi-pod “loading” is also OK? Since that is on the same “track” as recoil?

            Thanks,
            Marky

          • Halvdan Nicolaysen

            I’m very glad you ask that question. Pre-loading is the word. Just take up slack between you, the gun and the bipod. Any more than that and you’ll introduce angles into the system. If you push with your right shoulder the shots will group horizontally towards 8 o’clock. If you’re left handed, they will tend to group towards 4 o’clock.

            Here’s what we say in the user manual: http://www.steinertsensingsystems.com/neopod-ultralight-hunting-bipod-user-guide/

            “The NeoPod Ultralight Hunting Bipod comes with hinges. The gun should recoil freely backwards straight into your shoulder. You should be able to tell from the recoil whether you’ve made a good shot or not. If you own an Atlas, you’ll know what we mean. To make this happen, do not push forward with excessive force. Just preload the bipod by taking up the slack between the bipod, the gun and yourself and squeeze off the shot.

            The NeoPod is not designed for a hard forward push. The main reason for this is that the NeoPod is supposed to be used in a hunting situation, not on a smooth and level range. Out hunting one leg of the bipod might be on a rock, the other on moss. Push with force and the recoil will make the leg on the moss will slip first, moving your shot in that direction. See link to shooting tips at the end of this post.”

            Imagine you’re shooting off a bench. You don’t hold hard with your left hand and push the gun into your hand with the shoulder, do you? Just let the gun recoil freely backwards.

            If you want more sideways stability wait for our cant tension center section to become available or coat the spigot with a thin film of 3M Remount glue. This is the same non-setting glue as used on Post-Its.

            Here’s Aaron Davidson from Gunwerks demonstrating proper technique:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cg0KxIzgS4&list=PLyOV6B9Nw_KwEfqYP6rMZ-bGvWebhEj5X&index=7

            Advanced bipod shooting hints here: http://www.vra.asn.au/documents/FClassTargetShootingTechniquesTrainingCourse.pdf

            Follow Steinertsensingssystems on Instagram for updates

          • Yes, in the states the precision rifle community calls it, “loading the bipod”. So we are talking about the same thing.

            As long as the Atlas holds up to that, should be good to go.

            Marky

          • As long as they fixed it, that is a good sign. –Marky

          • gerryj19

            Yes. And fitting the replacement part was easy. I have since purchased another bipod which I now use as my primary bipod and have kept the NeoPod as a back-up.