DIY Tripod Sniper Saddle (DIY Hog Saddle)
I have found that firing from a prone position in most situations just isn’t practical. Outside of professional ranges, in most places grass and small vegetation often obscure targets and game when in a prone position. This is especially true in open, and flat terrain where it’s difficult to find natural objects to use as improvised rests. Snipers have been shooting from tripods for sometime, and the applications where tripods can be used are nearly limitless and certainly beyond the scope of this post. I’ve been gearing up trying to find practical ways to teach my son to shoot, and hopefully execute a successful hog hunt this year.
My son can shoot fine from the prone but like I pointed out earlier, it’s tough to setup a hunting blind using the prone position. When I came across a photo on Instagram recently of the Hog Saddle, I instantly knew I needed to add a tripod shooting platform to my kit. If for no other reason, having a tripod shooting platform will make hunting more practical and accessible to my kids. Once I started researching I found the Hog Saddle and Pig Saddle, and decided I wanted to purchase a Pig Saddle since it is much more affordable ($135 vs $309). Unfortunately I could not find the Pig Saddle in stock anywhere, and during my searching I found a three part youtube video series by CaptainBerz on how to make a DIY tripod saddle on the cheap. You can view it below. I pretty much followed the video and made 2 of my own DIY tripod saddles. One of the main reasons I’m writing this article is despite CaptainBerz’s videos being good, I felt they were much longer than necessary for such a simple project. Click on the links below if you want to watch CaptainBerz 3 part video on it.
My condensed DIY Tripod Saddle
- 1 x 1/4″ x 20 TPI Bolt
- 2 x 1/4″ Washers
- 1 x 1/4″ x 20 TPI Nut
- 1 x Post Base
- 1 x Liquid Nails Small Projects
- 1 x Foam Sleeping Mat
- 1 x OD Duck Tape
- 1 x Industrial self adhesive Velcro
- 1 x Velcro Strap
- 1 x Tripod Base Plate (Be sure this matches your existing tripod if applicable, or use the one that with the tripod.)
- 1 x Lightweight Tripod (optional)
- 1 x Heavy Duty Tripod (optional)
Although I included a list of all the materials needed, I didn’t have to buy everything since I had foam, duck tape, Velcro, and liquid nails already. I purchased both of the tripods I linked to and each has it’s use. The light weight one is a great general purpose tripod that fits in with the portable spirit of this project. The heavy duty one is NICE, but it’s big and heavy, not good for packing or hauling around. I will have all the links with images at the end of the article for a visual reference to help source the material on your own.
Push out the tripod screw and replace it with the 1/4″ hex bolt.
Place the post base and tripod plate together. Put washer on, then the hex bolt and tighten. If there is excess bolt sticking up trim it with a dremel tool, bolt cutters or some other means. The idea is for the bolt to be flush with the top of the nut.
This is the most time consuming and PITA part. The width of a particular handguard the saddle is going to be used with plays a big role, so fit testing is crucial. I also bent the post base in a little once I got it mounted to the tripod base to help it clamp on. Once you settle on the right foam thickness proceed to the next step.
Once I got my tripod out on and did some shooting with it I’m happy to report it is a great tool to expand shooting capability and hunting success. It was not as stable as the prone of course but I could hold about a 2 MOA group at 100 yards siting in a camping chair with a stock Remington 700. I noticed the accuracy of the tripod seemed to be more influenced by the trigger of the host weapon than other shooting positions, which when I thought about it made perfect sense. Being that the tripod can hold a precise point of aim but is more easily disturbed, the greater the force needed to break the trigger, the greater the upset (loss of accuracy) of the point of aim during the trigger break (given equal shooting skill was applied).
Just a word on the actual Hog Saddle, it seems to be an excellent piece of kit and well worth the money. Hog Saddle is a veteran owned and stand up company according to the information I have, if you can afford to patron their business I encourage you to do so. There is no doubt in my mind the extra precision and quality of their products will pay dividends down range. The purpose of this post is not to offer an alternative to Hog Saddle’s product but to provide a means for those of us that may not be able to afford a Hog Saddle the ability to use a field expedient low cost DIY alternative to allow continuing progression and expanding capability as shooters and hunters.