I spent months researching a good option for a saddle/tripod for hunting, long range shooting, and overall supported shooting without lying prone. A monopod wasn’t in the cards and the saddle/monopods I had seen and used weren’t worth the money spent. I couldn’t choke down the $300.00 for a HOG saddle, or $500.00-$600.00 for a Manfrotto Tripod and Head…but I could choke down $100.00 for a TRICLAWPS and $140.00 for a SLIK PRO 700DX with a PAN-and-TILT head. The system has been rock solid for several different rifles, ranging from my Savage MKII to my Sig 716 Precision Marksman.
There are hundreds of options available(mixing and matching) and you can mix and match Heads, Mounts, and Legs to come up with the best Weight-to-load capacity option for you, but Price and load capacity was the main factor for my purchases. Being an avid photographer for several years, I had working knowledge of the SLIK products and first hand understanding of the quality I would get for the price.
Searching around on the TRICLAWPS website and the HOGSADDLE website I was able to narrow down a reasonably priced option that also met my needs and fit all of the boom sticks in my gun safe. There are direct mount offerings from Larue Tactical and Magpul Industries. The mounts work well for semi-automatic rifles with MLOK or adaptable hand guards (some Bolt action chassis systems also have these features), but you are in the wind for traditional Bolt actions and rifles without mount points for MLOK or Piccatiny rails. While the Larue mount is $85.00 and the Magpul is $50.00, the Larue and Magpul limit you to a Manfrotto head.
Best Direct Mount Options available for Piccatiny or M-LOK railed rifles- PRICE FACTOR
LARUE TACTICAL - LaRue SPOTR LT666x06-ADP Tripod Adapter Mount QD – $85.00
Every Rifle I own has a LARUE mount/Product and will continue to follow this trend into the future, if I preferred the Manfrotto Heads, I may have gone with this option for my Piccatiny Railed Rifles.
MAGPUL INDUSTRIES - M-LOK® TRIPOD ADAPTER - $49.95
Magpul Industries is synonymous with AR-15 accessories and is slowly creeping in on the precision bolt gun market with the HUNTER chassis so it’s no surprise that they offer a direct mount M-LOK adapter.
Best Saddle Options Available – PRICE FACTOR
Triclawps Saddle – $99.00
The Triclawps is a glass reinforced resin construction with metal hardware and accepts standard screw mount head adapters/plates so you aren’t limited to specific brands or manufacturers.
PIG Saddle - $135.00
The PIG is all metal construction and has two different thread patterns for adapters/plates and now comes with a matter Melonite steel finish.
All in all the SLIK PRO 700DX/TRICLAWPS has been a solid platform that supports a wide range of rifles. Total package weighs less than 12lbs for the Head, Legs, and Saddle. There are lighter tripod options available but for the price, I don’t think this one can be beat.