Accu-Tac SR-5 Bipod Review
Accu-Tac SR-5: Big, Mean, & Surprisingly Convenient
Bipods are important tools for many modern precision shooters, machine gunners, and hobbyists. They allow a firearm to be rested on most surfaces, increasing stability and accuracy while allowing for lateral and horizontal movement. There are plenty to choose from on the market, but the SR-5‘s unique design caught our eye and Accu-Tac was kind enough to provide us with the QD version to play around with. Accu-Tac is a California-based manufacturer of “precision parts for the shooting world.” Their machine shop is home to top of the line CAD/CAM and Haas CNC equipment, which is partially why their products are consistently high in quality. They’ve earned a solid reputation for their bipods, and also produce muzzle devices as well as scope rings.
SR-5 QD at a Glance
- Height: 6.25″ – 9.75″
- Stance: 11″ – 13″
- Closed Width: 3.25″
- Closed Length: 9″
- Weight: 1.27 lbs
- Finish: Flat Black Hard Anodize
- SR-5 QD Price: $276
- SR-5 Price: $235
Billet Construction: What does billet mean, exactly? Billet construction means that SR-5 components started as single blocks of aircraft grade aluminum, and were CNC machined into the proper shape and dimensions. In the shooting world, we often hear about billet vs. forged lower receivers for AR-15 rifles. Forged lowers are made by hammering together shaped halves of hot aluminum and machining out the details later on. Since machining costs money, billet items are typically more expensive (and durable) than forged ones.
Aircraft Grade Aluminum: According to Accu-Tac, the SR-5 is made of the “highest quality aircraft grade aluminum available.” Our guess is that they’re using 7075 aluminum alloy, which is commonly found in tactical and firearms applications, although they could be using the slightly less durable yet more corrosion resistant 6061-T6. Basically, 7075 is a very tough alloy that is often used in aerospace applications. It’s hard, durable, and very heat resistant, making it hard to weld and more difficult than others to machine. As far as small arms go, it doesn’t really matter which one is used- and as far as bipods go, it really doesn’t matter. The point is that you’re getting an ultra-durable piece of hardware. If you want to know more about alloys, check out this handy chart, then check out this eHarmony guide to a first date and what to talk about. Spoiler: don’t talk about aluminum alloys.
Ratcheted Legs: This is a top convenience element for the SR-5. It’s a solid system, and easier to use than comparable bipods like the Atlas. All the user has to do is gently tug at the feet, and the whole leg will extend in obvious, felt, increments. To retract, just hit the oversized lever and they snap back into place. This system is what gives the SR-5 a rectangular shape.
180 Degree Spring Loaded / Cogged Legs: In this case, “spring loaded” seems like a rather backward way to describe the leg angling and locking mechanism. The joint is a half cog, the slots of which allow for the leg to be locked into place once it is pulled away from the mechanism and angled into the next cog-slot. The spring puts pressure on the leg as it is pulled, so that when it is released, it easily snaps backwards into the cog-slot. This system allows the legs to be stowed either facing away from or into the rifle.
Quick Detach System: The QD system is utilitarian and effective. The bipod attaches to a 1913 style rail, and the user simply hand-tightens a screw, then closes the lever. Over tighten, and the lever won’t close- under tighten, and it will close too easily. Simply apply Goldilocks style logic and it’s a set and forget kind of situation.
Interchangeable Feet: The “feet” of the bipod can be swapped for spikes, which are useful in different kinds of terrain.
The SR-5 Compared to the Atlas
At just under $300, the SR-5 QD will likely be compared to Atlas bipods. There are plenty of top of the line options out there, but Atlas, Bobro, and LRA are typically the top three. There is a somewhat significant price jump between Accu-Tac/Atlas and Bobro/LRA, so we’ll discuss the practical differences between Atlas and Accu-Tac for these purposes.
Both the Atlas BT-10 LW17 and the Accu-Tac SR-5 are similarly priced, and similarly appointed. They are both billet-constructed of aircraft grade aluminum, have about 4″ of variable height, and interchangeable feet. The Atlas requires a mount in order to quickly detach via a lever like the SR-5, introducing another fastening element (which I’m not a big fan of). The Atlas can also stow “into” the rifle, as it operates on a similar cog system. Users need to depress a button on the Atlas to deploy the bipod, so in both cases it’s not terribly convenient, although the SR-5 does seem to have an edge here. There’s also the matter of weight: the Atlas weighs about half a pound less than the SR-5. Depending on the weight distribution of your rifle, this could easily be a decisive factor. Essentially, there are convenience tradeoffs between the two, but the SR-5 wins by just a hair in my book, primarily because of how easy it is to manipulate. It’s safe to say that you’ll get a solid bipod no matter which route you go. After all, you’re spending almost $300 on little metal legs.
At the Range
The SR-5 is convenient, stable, heavy, easily manipulated, and tremendously effective. It was fun to shoot in multiple configurations, and I found that from a sitting position, I really enjoyed shooting with the legs at 45 degrees inwards. My groups improved markedly at 100 yards between my old Caldwell and the SR-5. This bipod is about as solid as any billet accessory or lower that I can think of. The only issue I experienced was the feet unscrewing themselves between the first few shots and when I took my rifle out for cleaning after the range. This is easily rectified with some Loctite. The spring-loaded legs are fun to toy around with, and very convenient. Being able to adjust on the fly while shooting without needing to get both hands on the bipod and unscrew or otherwise mess with the legs to change their length is a great feature.
One major tradeoff that SR-5 owners experience is the fact that the bipod isn’t deployed as easily as others. The user has to pull the legs away from the cog and keep them distant while slotting them into a new position, which is somewhat tougher than just flipping them down by swatting at them with your hand. The tradeoff is that the SR-5 can be stowed inwards, maintaining the balance of the gun while saving space. It’s worth noting here that bipods like the Atlas could simply be installed backwards if this were a desired feature. I found the SR-5 easier to use when stowed inward because the user pulls towards them rather than away from them to deploy the legs. We did notice some marks/blemishes, but we believe this to be because Accu-Tac sent us a blemished product since it’s a loaner. We couldn’t find any evidence of other buyers reporting blemished bipods.
Red Hatchet Outdoors Says…
Let’s address what will likely be the sticking point for most people: “almost $300 for a bipod?” Yes indeed, you’re paying for a small American business to CNC bipod parts from aluminum and then assemble and ship them- it’s not cheap. A Harris bipod is a perfectly serviceable shooting accessory, as is a Vortex Strikefire II. The shooting world is full of over-engineered parts. This is primarily because there are plenty of folks who want to use “what the pros use.” An Aimpoint can withstand the abuse of a combat environment, a Strikefire II probably can’t- that’s why the Aimpoint costs a lot more, and why survivalists, preppers, and tacticool folks of all stripes prefer to drop the extra money on an Aimpoint. To be fair, I don’t believe that the military even issues non-integral bipods currently, although I’ve head of M14s in service sporting Harris hardware.
It’s hard to overstate how solid and well-made the SR-5 feels. You could easily use it to beat the living shit out of Bambi if your rifle failed while hunting, or use it as a pry-bar to get some Twinkies during the apocalypse. It’s chunky, but this is America. The SR-5 is a lot like us as a country, actually: tough, huge, unapologetic, aggressive, and heavy.
The fit and finish, convenience, stability, and durability of the SR-5 are compelling reasons to spend the dough, if you have it. Budget DMR builds, folks who would rather spend the extra $150 on ammo (sage advice), and the frugal will all likely steer clear of the SR-5. They’ll be missing out, though. The SR-5 is a solid piece of work. It’s like having a bulldozer mounted on your rifle, and that’s part of why it’s so appealing and effective. If you’re willing to spend the money, you definitely won’t regret it. You can pick up the non-QD version for $235 and save around $41, or go to Accu-Tac for the QD version.