Wicked Lights REKON Tripod and Pigs Saddle set
- Very stable even in wind but also lightweight and portable
- Takes a bit of getting used too but once your used to how everything works it is no issue
I would like to thank the lads at Scott Country International for the chance to review the Rekon Tripod and Pig Saddle from Wicked Lights.
As a stalker first and foremost we often use sticks to shoot from, but, as a pest controller the stick are good but awkward at times, so I have been looking into alternatives.
I first came across the Hog and Pig Saddle clamp when I was in the States visiting Gerald Delk and having the privilege to compete in the K&M GapGrind comp in Tennessee. I was genuinely amazed on how easy the tripod and rifle clamp system worked and how secure they were, specially when every shooter is worried seeing their beloved rifle free standing in mid air on a tripod. I also was very surprised how accurate the tripod made your shooting. Gerald set up his rifle and tripod to shoot at 500yrds stood back to the side and without looking down the scope touched his trigger and hit the 500yrd plate. So I was sold on the idea, but the set up at that time was very pricey and beyond my budget.
Anyways: The geeky bit (details from Scott Country International Website.
4-Section Tripod Legs
- The tripod legs can be inverted and folded back 180 degrees to 18″ making it small enough to carry.
- Three leg angle positions provide flexibility and enable shooting in cramped quarters or on irregular surface areas.
- Tripod feet are equipped with removable rubber stops that can be replaced by metal spikes (spikes are included).
TOTAL WEIGHT including ball head, Pig saddle and tripod: 2.3kg
Specifications(including the ball head):
- Model：CT-1 + BH-1
- Leg Section:4
- Material：Carbon fiber
- Color: Camo
- Folded Height：460mm/18.1inch
- Item Weight：1.84kg/4.05lb
- Loading Weight：16kg/35.27lb
- Max.Tube Diameter：29mm/1.14inchs
- Sphere Diameter:36mm
- Horizontal Bead:3
- Item Weight:0.4kg/0.88lb
- Loading Weight:16kg/36.27lb
- Quick Release Plate:38*60mm/1.49*2.36inch
After seeing similar systems being used in the past when Scott Country offered to loan me this set up I was rather excited to get my hands on it, really eager to see its uses in real stalking conditions.
I only had the Tripod setup two days before it was going to be in use on longer stalks and in the open. First and foremost I chose to get it out doing some rabbits on one of the farms.
Setting it up with the .22 looking over drystone walls made it ideal for this kind of shooting. 8 rabbits in the morning all comfortable shots with holdover to 120yrds, I was pretty impressed on how manoeuvrable it was allowing me to scan up and down left and right with smooth movements, what more I didn’t get my ass wet like I normally do by sitting waiting for the rabbits to show.
Standing there waiting for each bunny to show I got to looking at the set up, the Pig Saddle itself is very solid and although it essentially is a clamp it is the rubber on the inside that provides much of the pressure by gripping hard on the fore-end of the stock moulding itself without crushing the stock. The Ball head with the Arca-Swiss QR mount offers real smooth movement and 360 degree travel as well as near 90 degree angle up and down allowing for good movement and tracking on your target. The tripos itself is carbon fibre legs mean that although it is very light it is still very strong. I wouldn’t realise how strong until later on in the testing process.
Getting to grips on how the tripod system operated was good before taking it properly on a stalking trip. On the farms and in the environment where I can sit up and wait the tripod system was fantastic but it did make me woder what it was going to be like in a more hostile environment like on the hill. I did time myself though on setting it up and it genuinely only took around 30 seconds but it was still playing on my mind, also what had me thinking was whether it could stand up to any real weather that we get while stalking, I mean the wind can be strong am I was still not fully confident over whether I would be happy putting a £2000 rifle setup on it free standing while it was windy.
The weekend came quicker than what I thought it would be and before I knew it 2.30am Saturday morning had come and I was packing the car ready for my 4 hour drive north to meet my guests for the stalking weekend.
First chance I got to get the Rekon Tripod out was when I sent my guests off for their first stalk. The wind was around 10mph and the rain seemed to be non stop, but I wanted to see how quick I can get the tripod assembled in the field and even though the weather was adverse now it was still the same which was around 30 seconds.
The first day the guests and I took 3 deer which was fantastic, the weather still would not let up so there was not a lot of chance to get the tripod out during that day with most shots being taken prone.
Day 2 proved to be a bit better, first thing we spotted around 30 hinds at the bottom of a piece of hill ground that ran along the side of our wood, the decision was to stalk into it and as the guests wanted limited supervision I left them to do the stalk from a distance, this time though I used the tripod system for my spotting scope, clamping it into the pig saddle it was great for keeping an eye on the lads the whole way through the stalk. Their stalk resulted in 2 hinds being taken which was fantastic and I was able to get good viewing courtesy of the Rekon and my Nikon telescope.
That afternoon I got a bit of a chance to set up for a little bit of sitting and spying, the tripod system was very handy for this so the three of us made our way to a clearing that is popular with deer. On arrival to the clearing I could see there was 3 deer feeding just inside the wood edge so it was a case of sitting up and waiting.
After carefully moving into position I quickly set up the Tripod and set up the rifle and waited, as we sat their it gave me a chance to think about how different it is trying to get a stable position above the grass as well as being discreet just on the rifles bi-pod, in this area the grass and heather is long and it is always difficult to get a suitable place to set up just on the bi-pod and being low and out of sight is the key, The Rekon Tripod made this a lot easier, although it took a little bit of getting the legs right etc., it fairs a lot better than just the rifles normal bi-pod. Setting up one of the guests on the Rekon I had to ask the second guest to crawl to higher more rocky point to get a suitable place for to set up his rifle.
You can see this from the pics.
Unfortunately after waiting till dark none of the deer wanted to leave the edge of the wood providing a good enough shot but the weekend as a whole was very enjoyable and 5 deer were taken in total and we saw 100 more potential for future outings.
After a successful weekend stalking with guests I focused more on my own day to day stalking. Storm Brendan was proving to be challenging but it gave me a chance to see how much weather the Rekon can stand up to and storm Brendan prove to be quite extreme, so I braved the conditions and took it a piece of ground I shoot that is over 1500ft above sea level, the winds gusted to 28 mph and probably more but it was snowing heavy which proved more of a challenge.
As you see from the short video you can tell how difficult and challenging the conditions remained and what more how amazing the Rekon Tripod and Pig Saddle stood up to it. I was hugely surprised at these results allowing me to have the confidence to stand back and take photos of my rifle being suspended while being in gale force conditions, it was almost unbelievable to watch.
I have to say the Rekon from Wicked Lights is a fantastic piece of kit, I honestly could not fault it in its ability in the field. How it stood up to harsh weather was beyond mention, most people don’t shoot in those conditions so if it works for me in that it will work for most hunters in their field of choice.
The price for the Rekon with Pigsaddle is £399 however if you have a picatinny rail attached to your stock then you can get the cheaper Arca-Swiss to picatinny for £269 making the tripod system a lot less expensive. Either way the system is still very capable.
Although I have proven that this system works for all types of scenarios, where I see this being more useful is for when you are sitting in ambush waiting either at a den or in an area you know that what your hunting frequents.
Shooting from the tripod is comfortable and you can suit it in ways to make it more comfortable for you.
I am going to mention something though where I think this could be even more useful, we all know that elite snipers use similar systems but this could help open up shooting sports for people who are less able, those in wheel chairs or people with disabilities could enjoy shooting sports with this kind of technology, it generally has fantastic uses.
With everything I review there is always some down point, the Rekon does take a little time of getting used to or needs a little setting up first if you intend to go stalking with it, however, this does not take long to get used to and is very good once you are. Just bare in mind this when purchasing one.
In conclusion I do recommend buying the Rekon from wicked Lights, it is worth every penny and will be something I will be looking to purchase in the future, if you have the money to spend on this system whether it is for foxes, deer or just down the range you will find a use for it. It will soon be one of those pieces of kit that you don’t know how you lived without.