When we started the tactical long-range precision rifle build from Grandpa’s Remington 700, we knew a bipod had to be part of the picture. What we discovered along the way is that little things make a big difference, right down to the mount. We also discovered big things – that a three-legged tripod is way more than 50% better than a two-legged bipod. And we discovered a company that fit the quality requirements commensurate to the other project participants like Nightforce, Cadex Defense, Proof Research and SWR Suppressors. Out of Lubbock, Texas, we discovered Alamo Four Star.
Here’s how this got started. When we decided to pursue this project we wanted to do it phases, hopefully inspiring others to give life to some otherwise potentially neglected Remington 700s or other bolt guns. Not everyone will go as far as our project gun is going, but each phase can stand on its own for someone. We’ll call this phase, “Stability.”
Given the investments made in this project, we didn’t want to just grab a default Harris bipod and carry on. I mean, seriously, everybody and their dog has one, and there are newer designs on the market. And since price was not a driving factor, we looked at a variety of newer designs. What we found was that the Harris bipod is ubiquitous for a reason – it does what it was intended to do reliably and can be purchased readily from an untold number of vendors.
Harris also had another thing going for it. We could take a Harris pinch mount bipod and utilize it on our first phase configuration. We added the Nightforce Scope and Timney trigger, but retained the original Remington stock and its factory sling/bipod stud. We could then swap out a few parts for Alamo Four Star parts and have a DLOC quick release mount for the Cadex chassis picatinny rail. Adding Alamo’s SARG knob was the final step of our bipod conversion, giving a solid quick cant adjustment. At this point, our Harris Bipod has ironically gone through its own rebuild, much like Grandpa’s Gun.
What Alamo Four Star brings to the table is best understood by actually using their products. I’m using several right now, including a Trijicon ACOG mount and a Viking Tactics Quick Detach Ultra-light Vertical Grip utilizing the Alamo’s DLOC mount (see included video). It was after using these products that I became aware of the bipod and tripod options we needed for our long range rebuild.
Invention is in the DNA of Alamo Four Star, literally. Founder Mark Deros is the grandson of an inventor with numerous patents. And Mark’s son works with him in their Lubbock, Texas facility today. That inventive spark hit Mark in 2002 when he conceived his Versatile Rest System. That led to an introduction to the Buckmasters BADF Foundation and Mark became heavily involved adapting the Versatile Rest System for the Disabled Shooter/Hunter.
Fast forward to 2007-2008. The background noise from military and law enforcement communities complaining about their mounts was growing. Issues regarding breakage, and return to zero were cropping up. And the clamping systems on mounts available at that time damaged picatinny rails with repeated mounting and removal (which is the whole point of a quick release mount).
This became a focal point when a friend of Mark’s asked about making a mount for an ACOG because he didn’t like what was available on the market and had heard many complaints with the military. Trijicon sent a demo sample and Mark went to work. At that point he wasn’t trying to invent something entirely new. “I was merely trying to help a friend with a better mount for his ACOG,” he says. At that time, he didn’t even own a CNC machine, just welder, cheap drill press, a manual knee mill, a 1958 Warner Swasey lathe and a hack saw.
Late in 2008 Mark tested his new “ACOG contraption” on a .308 Armalite. Once zeroed, he put a tight five shot group in a new target, took the ACOG off the rifle, and did a clearing fire. The ACOG was remounted and shooting at the same target commenced. “Thought I was missing the entire target until the 5th round showed up around the 1 o’clock dime sized hole,” he recalls. With a giant grin, Mark sent the target with the ACOG to Trijicon 2008. The original mount with target was returned from Trijicon in March of this year.
And that, folks, is how Mark knew he had a solid picatinny mounting platform. But there was more going in 2007-2008. America was at war in Afghanistan. The U.S. Army contacted Alamo Four Star asking for samples to be sent to the sandbox, including a tall tripod setup. Three months later Mark received the following back: Great gear, awesome quality but here is what we need – something that goes from prone to kneeling only, we don’t need something to stand behind. It doesn’t need to hold up a tank, would be nice if you could get around 7 lbs.
That wasn’t a lot to work with, but activity turned to whirlwind as patent searches, research, and forum mining didn’t turn up anything meeting the criteria. It wasn’t long before the DCLW tripod went from conception to reality. And from reality to the ISOTC (International Special Operations Training Center) in Phullendorf, Germany for a week of shooting with various NATO teams from around the world.
The original DCLW Tripod didn’t have the DLOC, but a large U-channel. Mark soon realized that he could marry the quick release from his ACOG mount to his DCLW tripod. So he hand made a longer DLOC mount and attached it to the tripod. That kit went to Afghanistan in 2008 and was returned to Mark June 21, 2013, well used and abused but still going strong. It’s really no surprise then that Alamo Four Star confidently gives a lifetime warranty on these DCLW tripods and the rest of their products. In their company history, they’ve had only one broken part returned.
That kind of history is certainly good enough for anything we plan on doing. The DCLW tripod is rock solid, made from 6061T aircraft type aluminum and is type 2 hard anodized in flat black. The legs lock in three positions, one for storage, one for kneeling height, and one for prone shooting. Unlocked, the head allows for silky smooth panning and elevation movements. Rotate a single lever and the vertical movement is locked, leaving you free to lead a target, adjust for wind, etc. The lock up is sufficient to hold our 14.5 pound rifle cantilevered out with no problem. Like the rest of the tripod, the internals of the patented locking mechanism are hard anodized and will never wear out.
If you’ve followed SHWAT™ very long, you know that quality is a big deal to us. Our Alamo Four Star gear is good enough to demand a serious review and earned its place in this top tier Grandpa’s Gun Reborn project. It improves the overall kit, and right down to making a good Harris bipod even better. So, when you need to make a precision shot or need to a way to keep your long range gun resting and ready, check out Alamo Four Star. Whether you’re looking for two legs or three to stabilize and support your rifle, I can’t imagine being disappointed using their gear.
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