Hunting and successfully harvesting an animal is really more about probability than anything else. As much time, skill, and experience a hunter has in the field, the moment of truth ultimately boils down to being in the right place, at the right time, and most of all: being prepared. Everything a hunter stuffs or straps to their pack has a purpose, and sometimes is a just in case type of situation where you would kick yourself later if the absence of that item lead to an unsuccessful day in the field. In my opinion, a tripod or bipod is a valuable addition to one's kit that could make the difference between a punched tag or a long truck ride home.
More often than not, that "once in a lifetime" shot will literally last only a few seconds. The extra time it takes to find a stable shooting rest, fumble with slow-to-deploy bipods, or struggle to take a shaky, offhand shot from the standing position... all of the above has, can, and will contribute to a story about the one that got away. Having a tripod or bipod with you that you can utilize quickly and quietly is going to help get crosshairs on fur fast, and help eliminate sway when you are under duress, taking a beating from the wind, or just juiced up on buck fever.
The Jim Shockey Deluxe Primos Gen 2 Trigger Stick Tripod is designed to exactly do that. Just grip the handle that resembles an ergonomic AR15 pistol grip and squeeze the trigger, and the legs will drop and adjust to the right height, even if on uneven ground. They don't spread themselves, so you will have to kick them out a bit with your boot. The Gen 2 version now has a safety lever that can lock the legs in position and prevent any accidental trigger pulls that will collapse the legs when unintended. The tripod has the ability to self-level, so its possible if you are standing or kneeling on a slope to deploy the legs and get a level rest for your firearm. Transitioning from a full-length standing support to a shorter kneeling position is really quick, smooth, and silent.
Now I'm not really one for products that rely on name dropping. Hunting products especially are guilty of using TV personalities to bolster sales. Duck Dynasty, need I say more? Primos has Jim Shockey's name all over this series of tripods and bipods. In short, Mr. Shockey is an outdoor writer, professional big game outfitter and producer for many T.V. hunting shows. If hunting in more than forty countries and taking nearly three-hundred known species of game isn't worth some respect, then I don't know what is. What I do know is that this tripod is well suited for many types of hunters... from rifles, shotguns, and handguns to muzzleloaders and crossbows. Having a solid rest directly translates to better accuracy, and that means clean and efficient shots on game animals.
Both the Trigger Stick tripod and bipod have unique features that make the price point worth the investment. The yolk and handle rotate independently, which gives the user plenty of play for getting a good rest with the firearm or crossbow and pivot/angle for the perfect shot. They come in different length profiles, and also have a removable yoke rest that reveals a thread mount that uniquely fits both 1/4"-20 or 3/8"-16 holes at the base of spotting scopes, video/digital cameras, rangefinders or binoculars. So not only does this become a staple for the hunting trip, but will get plenty of use off season for glassing or filming.
At a street price between $130 - $170 it may seem like a steep investment for yet another thing to lug around. The way these are packaged on the store shelves, it's easy to test them out and imagine how useful it could be. I was hesitant too at first with sticker shock, however after testing it out at the range and in the woods, I'm confident Jim Shockey's Trigger Stick will easily pay for itself in terms of meat in the freezer. From the moment of truth when you pull the trigger, to the next when you're grinning ear to ear holding up your trophy for the camera, the Trigger Stick will be a part of your kit that you won't want to hunt without.
Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points
Claim to Fame: The Trigger Stick® is a lightweight height-adjustable gun rest and optical gear mount, perfect for kneeling or standing.
Target Market: Big Game & Varmint Hunters: rifle, shotgun, muzzleloader, crossbow or handgun
FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):
- Trigger operated
- 360° rotating V yoke independent from rotating grip
- Detachable V yoke
- Fits 1/4″-20 & 3/8″-16 threaded fixtures for cameras, spotting scopes, binoculars, laser range finders and almost any mountable device.
- Trigger lock
- Improved fluid grip movement
- Extreme leg angle adjustments
- Whisper quiet telescoping legs
- Stronger, lighter 7075 aluminum legs for easy carry
- Adjust from 24″ to 62", collapses to approximately 41" tall for transport
- Wrist strap
- 1 Year Manufacturer warranty
What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Short, Medium & Tall versions
"This thing is amazing, gives you bench rest accuracy in the field. Standing, I shot a 1 1/2 moa at the range with a new Ruger American 243, using this instead of the rest, which was my best group ever with that gun. Makes a very quiet whooshing noise when you extend it, and the metal legs give you another challenge noisewise when still hunting with it, but things I can work around for the increased accuracy. Fascinating the way it levels with just a squeeze of the trigger to give you an instant setup. Good idea to practice with it at the range before you hunt with it, just like any hunting gear. " Mr. Stainless, Amazon User Review
"These sticks are absolutely awesome and worth every penny. They are quiet when scrolling up and down and are built extremely well. Worked great for shooting, video camera, still camera to take group photos, spotting scope, and when we would get back to camp we'd set them up to hang our water dispensing bag." John, Amazon User Review
- MSRP = $195.95
- Retail = $124.99
I need it now! Availability: Readily available online at Amazon.com and most sporting goods stores.
- One handed operation
- "Safety" switch locks trigger and keeps legs from accidentally collapsing
Rotating V-Yoke and grip
V-Yoke can be removed to accommodate cameras or spotting scopes
- Coating allows for whisper quiet telescoping legs
7075 aluminum legs are strong and lightweight
Included wrist strap feels like it will last / hold up to abuse
- Using only two legs is difficult due to angle of joint / handle
- Warning label states not to be used as a walking stick
- Fully extended, the legs appear to bow and do not inspire confidence of holding much weight
- Not rated to support over 45lbs
Score: 8.5 Great
For FFL services I choose Promised Land Firearms in Toulon, IL.