Early this fall we reviewed the new M-Series Grip System from MagnetoSpeed, but the MonoPOD wasn’t yet ready. Just in time for the holidays, MonoPOD grip inserts are now shipping. Naturally, TTAG took one for a test drive.
If you haven’t yet read that M-Series Grip System review, here’s the Tweet-length version: it’s an AR-15 pistol grip that puts its hollow center to good use. Store a 3-round spare magazine, a flashlight, or a drybox spring-loaded inside. Or, now, a rear monopod.
There she is, designed to insert and lock into the pistol grip. As you’d expect, the monopod’s foot extends from the base for height adjustment. It’s spring-loaded, so a press on the side of the dial causes the foot to shoot out for rapid, rough adjustment. Then rotating the dial provides fine height adjustment.
Extending the foot via the button on the dial gives the shooter up to three inches of height beyond the bottom of the pistol grip.
Not enough? Push the release button on the front of the grip and the MonoPOD shoots out 1.25 inches and locks in this extra-height position. Now the shooter can raise the grip up four-and-a-quarter inches over the base of the grip.
If you’ve used a thumbwheel-adjustable monopod you’re probably familiar with one annoying behavior: turning the dial rotates the foot, which causes the monopod to walk the rifle left or right. MagnetoSpeed has solved this by locking the orientation of the foot so it moves up and down without spinning at all.
Pushing that red button allows the MonoPOD to insert and lock fully into the grip. To remove a fully-inserted MonoPOD, squeeze the release button on the front bottom of the grip, which instantly extends and locks it to the position above, then release and squeeze the same release button again and the MonoPOD will leave the grip entirely.
On the range, the MonoPOD does what it’s supposed to about as well as it can. Using the pistol grip as the rear support point is never going to be as stable as moving that point to the extreme rear of the rifle, but it’s a massive improvement over relying solely on your shoulder.
The MonoPOD’s foot is strong and more stable inside of the base unit than I had assumed it would be. Very minimal play that’s locked solid in all directions by just the weight of a rifle.
From its lowest height…
…to its highest, MagnetoSpeed’s MonoPOD provided way more rifle angle adjustment than needed or expected without even playing with the bipod‘s height. This is a clear advantage to using a support point closer to the center of the rifle, as a monopod under the rear of the stock could never accomplish this huge amount of rifle moving.
Ultimately, my preference is still to have the rear support at, well, the extreme rear of the rifle. It’s simply more stable when front support and rear support are as far apart as possible. But sometimes I end up on the range or in the field without a rear rest, and having a monopod sleekly built into the pistol grip is handy and unobtrusive. I view the MagnetoSpeed MonoPOD maybe less as a primary, first-choice rear rest for typical shooting range paper-punching use, but more as an always-handy support that travels with your rifle and provides a very large range of adjustment.
Specifications: MagnetoSpeed MonoPOD
Minimum Height: approximately 0.75 inches higher than the empty M-Series Grip
Maximum Height: extends approximately 4.25 inches
Adjustment: spring-loaded foot for quick gross adjustment. Thumbwheel dial for fine adjustment. Two base heights.
Ratings (out of five stars):
Utility * * * * *
The MonoPOD would have helped me on too many outings to count; times I wanted to take accurate shots but had no good means of resting the rear of the rifle. You can’t forget the MonoPOD, and it sure beats resting the pistol grip on a balled-up fist.
Quality * * * *
It’s well-made and well-thought-out. Fit and function are quite good.
Overall * * * *
While I’m not a big fan of using a central point like the pistol grip as a rear rest, the MonoPOD does it as well as it could. Plus, I’ve certainly been on short benches, rocks, and in other weird positions that don’t offer space to support the buttstock, or found myself out with my rifle but no rear rest at all. The MonoPOD is highly functional, built in so you can’t forget it, and unobtrusive. It’s a fantastic backup.