The Hog Saddle has been out for a few years now . It was developed by a former sniper as a better mouse trap for shooting a sniper rifle when the terrain or urban environment will not allow the use of more traditional positions and methods.
The Hog saddle is a professionally done version of the home made camera tripod, foam and craddle made out of whatever the maker thought best and could get. You can google image search hundreds of picture online of USMC snipers using home made shooting tripods during the first decade of the war on terror. Mostly seen being used inside buildings in Iraq for urban sniping.
“Designed by a Marine Scout Sniper and OIF Veteran, tripod systems tailored to special operations, PRS shooters, and the modern outdoorsman.”
HOG Saddle Specs:
- CNC machined from a solid block of aluminum
- Black oxide stainless steel bolt and guide rods
- Hard anodized finish (a resilient surface which serves as an excellent base coat for custom camouflage paint)
- 1/4-20 stainless steel mounting threads and 3/8-16 back up threads
- CNC machined torque knob assembly with retention button screw to prevent disassembly in the field (opens 1/4in wider than previous model)
- Stainless steel noise dampening tension spring
- 1/4 inch thick, recessed urethane pads specifically engineered to absorb rifle recoil and reduce muzzle jump
- Anti-rotation slots to accept tripod QD plates that have video pins
- Superior resistance to corrosion
- Weight: 15.8oz
As you can see and read from the specs above the Hog Saddle is one tough solid product. It is pretty self explanatory. You put the rifle forearm in the middle and turn the massive knob to tighten. It will tighten on a large variety of shapes including AR15 pattern hand guards. And of course it will easily accept bolt action sniper rifles.
The saddle itself attaches to a ball head mount that allows for a very flexible range of motion for just about any shooting angle need.
The ball head has adjustment knobs and markings for setting and resetting or whatever you think you need. It is pretty simple and easy to grasp quickly. As you can see below the set up will allow extreme angle shooting. If needing to take a very steep shot from the top of a 10 story building or a rock cliff, it will accommodate you.
The tripod is pretty heavy duty and its weight is appreciated when the legs are extended. As far as its adjustment it is no different than any other camera tripod in that the legs extended, they can fold in and the main beam can be raised and a nut tightened on it to hold it in place as well as rotate 360 degrees. Though this one is different in that it looks and feels like a 40mm grenade fired at it wouldn’t hurt it.
You can adjust it for standing and sitting and every where in between. You can’t get it down low enough to shoot while prone on the ground of course.
So how steady is it for shooting when standing or sitting? Well, its ok. You get the best results if you can brace the legs against something and if you can support your arms. If you rely only on it for support it is not a miracle worker. Below are some 100 yard groups shot with only the hog saddle with no other support from standing. Obviously it is not as solid as prone with a rest or bipods but it is a huge improvement. With a little extra bracing it can be extremely stable. If your job is sniping, I can say it is a piece of kit worth the money.