When it comes to “speak the language”, there is more to Primos than just hunting calls. If you have not yet wrapped your hands around a Primos Trigger Stick do yourself a favor and find an excuse to make it happen.
From first touch you will be able to tell that they spared no expense in quality of material and design. Armor type plastic gripping and smooth retractable and sturdy metal poles are obvious just pulling one off the shelf. Although well constructed, Primos has found a way to keep the system lightweight enough to consider as a valuable trekking tool as well as a shooting rest. Whether a mono-pod, bi-pod or tri-pod version, the Trigger Stick immediately impresses with its value as a walking stick before ever needing to deploy it for its actual intended use.
Primos makes both a short and tall version of the Trigger Stick in two of the three styles. Being 6’-3” tall myself, the “tall” version of the Trigger Stick seemed the route to go. If shooting at 90 degrees to the unit, you’re good if you’re up to about 8’ tall, as it has an extended height of 61”. To the opposite the stick reduces down to 36 ½”, well within height for most average females and younger hunters. Obviously I speak to extremes at the 90 degree shooting position tongue-in-cheek; the very broad adjustment range makes it excellent for shooting up or down hill in uneven terrain.
Being a photographer as well as a hunter, I really appreciate some of the details about the Trigger Stick that have traditionally been lacking in the camera tri-pod world. Traditional units required the opening of levers or the twisting of tightening rings to raise or lower the legs to the desired length. Often the legs would stick or need pulled out by hand to set the height. The Trigger stick legs drop smoothly to the ground when the pistol grip style release is squeezed, to meet the terrain no matter how level or sharp the grade. If one leg needs to extend to 42” and the other to 49” they stop immediately when in contact with the ground and lock firmly when the grip is released. This is a great feature when in the field with a rifle and shots come and go quickly.
The sturdy rubber “V” shaped yoke is made of the same armor style material, so there is no slip and slide to what is rested in it, nor any metal to metal noise when placing a firearm in the groove. This is also one area of consideration, a con if you will, that should be given attention. On most firearms, if a sling is installed, the swivel nipple is mounted close to the end of the stock. There is very little stock material beyond the nipple to rest the gun upon in the “V” unless you rest the actual barrel itself in the yoke. I know this is defiantly not true of all weapons and speak only to “most” styles, but I am guessing that many long range shooters are not going to want to use the barrel of the gun as the primary rest for the shot as opposed to the stock. Thus being aware that you may want to compensate by making sure you rest the stock in the “V” behind the swivel and think ahead enough to maneuver the sling outside of the “V” will allow you to make a steadier rest and have less resting inside of the yoke to hinder you.
When I purchased the Trigger Stick I did it for my wife as a gift. She is a very good shot, but like many she struggles with the off-hand shooting situations she often finds herself in. When I spoke with the folks from Primos at the Eastern Sports Show in Harrisburg PA, they really made a valid point in which style stick would be the best option for her. The mono-pod definitely compensates for up and down stability when shooting and it’s compact, single leg design makes it quite practical as a walking stick and shooting rest. But the bi-pod impressed me with not only the up and down stability but the left and right stability as well which is very important in my wife’s shooting. I could not conceive the need for the tri-pod version as a hunting shooting rest with more weight and legs to maneuver in the woods, but the photographer in me was encouraged. I agreed with the sales pitch on the bi-pod and gladly paid the asking price.
The bipod legs are firm in the fact that they do not readily fall open (separate or spread) when carried, and the folks at Primos added a rubber banding type strap that is attached to one of the legs near the bottom of the unit and wraps around the second leg and secured to a nipple on the strap to hold the legs together when not in use. On our first trip with the Trigger Stick, we were hunting deer in some deeper snow and using the bi-pod as a walking stick when not deployed for a shot. The constant immersion in the snow took its toll on the rubber banding strap and sheared the rubber nipple off rendering the strap useless and dangling from the leg. This being the only negative consideration and feeling I need to fault myself to some degree for the issue, as it is a shooting stick and not primarily a walking stick. My only recourse to compensate for this would be to perhaps slide the banding further up the legs above snow level. I plan to follow up with Primos about a replacement strap and will be interested in how difficult or easy it will be to rectify on the stick.
As previously stated, I do photography as does my wife with her sideline wedding photography business and we are both intrigued at using the Trigger Stick as a camera mount . The unit will work beautifully as the yoke is removable and the stick facilitates 1/4″-20 & 3/8″-16 threaded a fixture which is what most camera and spotting scopes require to be mounted.
I would highly recommend purchasing this system well in advance of using it in the field and practicing with it in as close to real life hunting situations as you can. You will notice these things I have mentioned for yourself and be well practiced to compensate in advance of the moment of truth. With the bi-pod version we have purchased, I will assure you that most of Sandy’s practice shooting, going forward, will be from the Trigger Sticks as opposed to a gun vice and I firmly believe it will make practical shooting sense. As a side, Sandy did indeed anchor a nice deer with the aid of the sticks on that first outing.
I recently guided a young dall ram hunter who was using the mono-pod version of the Trigger Stick with a muzzleloader. He did kill the ram but had made a couple of misses before making a good lung shot. I could visibly see a swaying movement in his rest that I believed would have been compensated for if he was using the bi-pod version. It extended the hunt a bit, but the mono-pod made the long shot he finally closed on possible. A steadier, calmer and more experienced hunter may have had less issue with only the mono-pod, but we were all young and excitable once and as they say “that’s sheep hunting”.
The Primos Tall Bi-Pod Trigger Stick retails through the Primos’ website at around $110 at the time of this writing. Many reputable retailers carry the system and I would encourage you to pull one off the shelf and give it a look over before committing to anything. As it is a significant purchase that I do strongly feel you will deem a good investment, I think you’ll agree that the Trigger Stick dwarfs many “on the market” systems.
All of my future scouting and hunting trips will include the Primos Trigger Stick for sure and I can hardly wait to use it in the photography business. I am not sure if I am most anxious to see how it performs in a wedding shoot environment or seeing my wife chasing a bride and groom around with a camera mounted on a camo colored bi-pod.