Long Range ShootingPrecision Rifles

Ergonomic “Upgrades”for your Precision Rifle

Level up your comfort and performance with these suggestions

Tailoring your equipment is all about making sure that every piece of equipment you use fits your body right. When your body and your equipment are aligned and in the optimal position to do what they were designed to do you both perform at your best. When things are ergonomically fit, you’re less likely to get tired or hurt, which means you can work or play better and longer. Think of it like this: if your equipment feels just right in your hands and doesn’t make you strain, you’re going to do a much better job with it. Plus, you’ll feel more comfortable and avoid those nagging injuries that can slow you down.

Think of this as rifle ergonomics, your personal performance enhancer. When your gear is customized to suit you perfectly, you’re more comfortable, you can go longer without feeling tired, and you’re less likely to get injured. It’s like having everything tuned to your body’s preferences, allowing you to focus and excel at what you’re doing. So yeah, ergonomics isn’t just about comfort—it’s a secret weapon.

Let’s explore two areas where its common to overlook aligning our body and equipment design.


A tall bipod offers notable adaptability to accommodate shooters of various heights and physical conditions. Its adjustable nature allows for extension or retraction to align with the shooter’s physique. Exploring taller prone positions can significantly enhance comfort, a factor often underestimated or overlooked by shooters.

The correct use of a tall bipod can improve ergonomic alignment during shooting, preventing overextension of the spine, neck, and head. This alignment reduces the risk of musculoskeletal injuries and promotes better posture, which is crucial for maintaining focus and stability during shooting.

A stable and comfortable position facilitated by a tall bipod can improve breath control, a key factor in shooting accuracy. Consistent shots at similar breath patterns, enabled by a relaxed posture, contribute to enhanced shot repeatability.

The comfort and stability provided by a tall bipod enable shooters to engage in longer sessions without succumbing to fatigue or discomfort. As postural muscles work to hold you in unnatural positions they fatigue and this leads to pain, as well as fatigue. You may not notice it as its occurring but if you’ve finished a long day of shooting with a headache, neck stiffness, and other aches and pains it could possibly be from a short bipod. The more relaxed you are the better your body is going to feel and be able to function correctly, allowing for sustained high level performance.

Bipods in field and terrain

Additional Benefits you may gain from higher bipods are elevated line of sight: A tall bipod offers a superior line of sight over obstacles, crucial in varied field environments. Versatility in Shooting Positions: Higher bipods can easily accommodate a variety of shooting positions in dynamic scenarios. Adjustability: Most tall bipods come with a higher range of height variability and the ability to adjust leg lengths ensures stability across different terrain and shooting angles, vital for field environments. Weather and Terrain Adaptability: Keeping the rifle elevated protects it from adverse conditions, preserving its functionality and accuracy.

Another overlooked ergonomic component of many rifles and shooters is one that has the ability of enhancing vision and comfort: 

Scope Rings

Taller scope rings promote a natural head and neck alignment with the scope when mounted on a rifle, eliminating the need for uncomfortable postures such as craning necks and rolling heads sideways. This ergonomic enhancement by raising the head a little higher to align the eye closer to its neutral position in the head is vital for reducing strain during shooting activities.

A comfortable viewing position minimizes neck strain and eye fatigue, key for maintaining focus and precision. Proper scope height aids in aligning the shooter’s eye with the scope, facilitating a clearer and more comfortable visual experience. Our eyes can cause headaches, fatigue, and many other discomforts when strained for long amounts of time.

Higher rings can help you do what you set out to do

Another important element of shooting a rifle with our eyes in optimal position is that we are designed to search landscapes for targets with both eyes. Our eyes are placed where they are for a reason. The alignment of the scope with the shooter’s eye, facilitated by taller scope rings, enables quicker and more efficient target acquisition, reducing the time spent in shooting stances and minimizing physical fatigue.

Like the bipod, taller scope rings maintain a consistent and comfortable line of sight across various shooting positions, enhancing the shooter’s adaptability and effectiveness in diverse scenarios.

Hopefully by now you are thinking about testing out different bipod heights or taller scope rings. Experiment first by asking to borrow some equipment to play with. You might find that you need a different rear bag if the rifle sits higher, but that’s part of the growth and process.

Get out and test them yourself

Rather than go into why people are often using bipods and scope rings that are too short would take another long article and getting into those distractions isn’t worth the distraction. I believe in these enhancements, find out for yourself if you do too!

If I had to guess a generic way to improve as many shooters comfort and performance at once with some gear enhancements it would start with these two. Take it or leave it, but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. If you tinker with these ideas and it’s a lot cheaper than many other performance “upgrades” out there.

Be sure to Follow Riflekraft for more Chris Way as well as his Straight Dope Podcast.

Hey, @GBMaryland - you're famous now! Check out the pic of you at Mifflin with the wood bipod steps I made for us. Told you that you should have painted it Marine red! haha

@ChrisWay - high Chris, thanks for this article. One thing that occurs to me about higher ring height is that the height a person needs is very dependent on the relative position of their cheekbone to their eye (assuming we all want a cheek weld and not be floundering around somewhere near our jaw bone) and the degree of rise you have with an adjustable comb or a stock pad.

I've been told many times that I need to get 1.5" rings. But IMO there is no "one size fits all".

If I do go 1.5", I will run out of riser adjustment in my JAE comb and I might have to break my old neck to bend it back that far. This is me with ARC 1.26" high rings at Mifflin where some of your pics came from. I really don't think my neck/back will bend any further! haha Any how, just random thoughts I had after reading this article. Thanks again.

Nope, went in the blue direction…

One of the more important ideas I got from the courses was the idea of color coding the leg extensions on the bipod, so that it was much easier to extend them evenly on the fly.

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No, you bozo (haha), I was talking about the wooden bipod steps that you threatened to paint Marine red. LOL :) And I'm glad you liked your AI blue Vision so that I could buy the Cobalt blue one from you. Mine is prettier! hahaha

Color coding leg extensions is an interesting idea, I like that tip.
This is on the EI bipods where we both found it time consuming and perhaps a bit error prone to get both legs the same height.

Paint pens from Amazon and Robert is your Mother's Brother. :)
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