Tripods have quickly become a staple when shooting any type of PRS match. A good tripod and a bag like the Game Changer or a Weibad Pump Pillow will get you through about any match. There are a few things you want to consider when choosing a tripod. Do you want one that that support bowl type attachments like a levelling base? Twist legs vs clamp? What’s the maximum height? How much weight can it hold? Patriot Valley Arms has introduced their Comp-40 bipod tripod with the SC-44 ball head in hopes that it will check off everything you are looking for.
The first thing you will notice, is that the tripod comes packed in a nice padded carrying case. I have a few Gitzo tripods and none of them came with a case, even at the higher price point. The case has more than enough room to fit the tripod with a large head attached. The other thing you will notice is it’s size. The 40mm legs seem a big at first, but they really make a difference. They are much easier to hold if you are using the tripod legs as a rear support. The other benefit of the slightly larger legs, is that the twist locks are easier to manipulate. I have 30mm legs on another tripod and I can really tell the difference between the two. Height wise, it’s tall. It has 4 sections and when fully extended, sits at 72″ tall. Being tall myself, I can drop a set of binoculars, or a spotting scope on it and not have to bend over to use them. However, when collapsed it comes in at 21″ without the ball head. The legs weigh in at 5.5lbs, and they can support 110lbs.
Replacing the bowl style head is very easy. Flip the lever to the up position, push the button, and pull the head out. The bowl is 75mm and can use the popular Really Right Stuff TA-3 levelling head if required.
SC-44 Panning Ball Head
The SC-44 ball head is fairly compact and only adds another 4″ to the overall height of the tripod. It comes with everything you would expect on a ball head such as levels and panning. One of the more impressive features is that it can hold approximately 66lbs. The head uses an ARCA clamp, so attaching your rifle with an ARCA rail isn’t a problem. The main knob that adjusts the tension has a small dial that allows you to fine tune the main knob. You can set it so about a half twist releases all the tension, or it releases very little tension. My only gripe about the main knob is it sits a little low for me. I have large hands and setting it up slightly higher would allow me to manipulate it a bit faster. Using the knob to release the plate/rifle is pretty easy.
Overall I really like this tripod. The twist locks are smooth like my Gitzo tripods and it makes it very easy to setup and takedown. It has a solid build and will get me through PRS matches for a long time. I would however like to see Patriot Valley Arms offer a levelling head similar to the TA-3 at some point.