Testing the Javelin Super Lite Bipod from Spartan Precision
Article first appeared at Shooting Illustrated.
Experience has taught us that getting a good rest when shooting gives the rifleman an incredible advantage and using a bipod in the prone position is high on our list of comfortable and stable support positions. Bipods, however, come in many sizes and configurations and many of them, in our opinion, are not at all suitable for field use due to their weight and bulk.
Admittedly, we’ve become more weight conscious as we’ve gotten older and are constantly on the look-out for weight saving gear. We found the Super Lite Javelin bipod at the 2016 NRA convention have been using it for about four months now. Made by Spartan Precision Equipment in the U.K., the Javelin is pretty cool alternative for the hunter looking to save weight in the field.
Made mostly from 7075 aluminum and carbon fiber, the Javelin bipod uses the same technology as ski/trekking poles for the leg adjustment and, under their rubber covers, the leg’s feet have tungsten tips for use on rock and ice; just like trekking poles. The truly unique feature of the Javelin bipod is the use of N52 neodymium magnets and low profile universal adapters for attachment to a rifle’s forearm.
These adapters are essentially steel sockets that accept the magnetic stud located at the top the bipod. This stud also serves to control the rifle’s cant and can be locked in place with a thumb screw. These adapters are available to fit curved or flat forearm profiles, have an integral sling swivel attachment and can be attached with either a machine or wood screw. An adapter is also available for attachment to a Picatinny rail and another is designed to be inletted into a rifle’s stock. With this selection of adapters, the Spartan Javelin bipod can easily be used on a variety of rifles.
Once the adapter is in place, attachment is a simple matter of inserting the bipod into the adapter; the rare earth magnet holds it quite securely. To remove, just pull the bipod out of the adapter. The adapter sockets allow for some panning of targets and the bipod, when so attached, it is solid enough to take the force of a forward load, which is important to proper bipod use.
We took the Javelin bipod west in June 2016 and used it to support the Alexander Arms AAR-17 in .17 HMR that we were testing on prairie dogs. The curved stock adaptor was screwed to the AAR-17’s round carbon fiber forearm with the enclosed machine screw replacing the sling swivel stud that came on the rifle. So equipped, the AAR-17 rifle was easy to tote around with the Javelin bipod carried either in our pack or in the provided belt pouch.
When it came time for shooting, the bipod was simply inserted into the adapter socket, and the rig was ready for dog busting. Weighing just a whisker over 5 ounces, the Spartan Javelin Super Lite bipod added little to our load as we rambled around the dog towns. Despite the precise fit of the magnetic stud to the adapter, the dust and sand of the dog towns didn’t seem to have any effect on the function of the attachment system.
The height of the bipod is easily adjusted. The legs are unlocked by twisting them counterclockwise. Sliding the leg to the correct length is smooth, and twisting clockwise relocks the leg at the selected length. The internal locking mechanism is of the type used on ski and trekking poles for years. This leg adjustment/lock mechanism also functioned fine in the dirt of the dog towns and provided solid, non-sagging support for the AAR-17 rifle. Nothing is more annoying than a bipod that sinks under pressure when shooting, and the Super Lite provides a solid shooting platform.
The Javelin bipod comes in two heights. The Standard model (which we have been testing) is adjustable from 6.5 inches- to 9.5 inches, and the Long extends from 8.5 inches to 13 inches. Cost of either bipod is $295.50 and includes two adapters; one gunsmith stock socket and another of your choice. If needed, extra-long legs for use in the sitting position can be easily switched out and are available for around $90. Also, it should come as no surprise that Spartan Precision Equipment also offers a carbon fiber trekking pole, which retails for $130.
We are not easy on our gear and, so far, the Spartan Javelin Super Lite bipod has held up well. We plan on installing the Gunsmith adapter in the stock of our New Ultra-Light Arms Model 20 in .250 Savage in time for deer season. Rugged, versatile and light weight, this bipod should be a great permanent addition to our hunting gear.