The range of movement offered is perfect for SWAT snipers, whether for a pre-planned raid, overwatch for a large public venue or a hasty callout
By Pete Goode
When I went through the Royal Marines Commando Sniper Course, we were issued arguably the best sniper rifle in the world, the Accuracy International L96, also known as the AW .308. Atop that sat the best glass, Schmitt and Benders’ 3-12×50. It would follow that we had the most high-tech, lightweight, infinitely adjustable tripods. That is where you would be mistaken. Each sniper made their tripod out of three wooden broom handles and a length of paracord holding them together. Apparently, we could have brought a camera tripod, but it was not on the kit list and not one of us showed up with one. In true Royal Marines style, we improvised, adapted and overcame. We made it work!
After getting out of the Corps, I continued shooting long range and was able to see all the Gucci kit civvies were running: lightweight rifles, scopes with considerably more magnification then I had experienced and tripods that weren’t made of scrap wood. Within the military and law enforcement worlds, there are really only one or two names that are thrown around when talking about tripod rifle rests. Now there is another name that is mixing it up: Kopfjager Industries and its Reaper Shooting Platform (aka Reaper Grip).
Setting up the Reaper Grip
I recently purchased the Reaper shooting platform with a SLIK tripod, offered as a package from Kopfjager Industries. This pairing offers a rock-solid setup. The Reaper Grip has a patent-pending fixed jaw, as well as a rotating jaw. This function means that the grip can be used on straight or tapered stocks giving a positive grip on the stock in more than one spot. The grip holds tight to the rifle allowing it to stand freely keeping the muzzle oriented in the desired direction.
The only real drawback is to get the stability desired with the SLIK tripod, you have to give up some extra space. When collapsed, the legs are approximately five inches around. This is a considerably larger footprint than with my previous setup, which, to be fair, was nowhere near as stable as the SLIK tripod.
The engineering behind the Reaper grip
The Reaper head is mounted off-center from the tripod allowing easy access to the bottom of the rifle to fix any stoppages or conduct reloads without hitting the legs of the tripod.
Another great bit of engineering Kopfjager came up with was to mount the locking control arm on the backside (facing the shooter) making it easily accessible while the gun is mounted on the grip.
The second consideration Kopfjager made to the locking control arm was making it compact enough to keep it out of the way, but stout enough that I wasn’t fumbling around to loosen and tighten the tilt control. Other rests require a separate pan/tilt control device, and any time you add on something that was not originally designed to be there, you run the risk of the functionality diminishing. In my experience, adding the pan/tilt control makes the rest flop around when the rifle is mounted. This is not the case with the Reaper Grip. The head moves smoothly, and I always felt like I had positive control of the rifle. When tracking moving targets, I simply set the locking control arm at the desired height and tracked the target. My rifle pivoted like it was on glass and follow-up shots were a piece of cake because the grip held the rifle tight.
Use cases for the Reaper Grip
When it comes to overwatch, I feel this bridges the gap between lightweight, short-term setups and heavyweight, not-so-mobile options.
This can be carried in like any other tripod and set up in seconds. But unlike some lighter options, the Reaper Grip offers stability and adjustability. If for whatever reason you need to lift and shift to a different firing position, you just grab and go.
The range of movement offered is perfect for SWAT snipers, whether for a pre-planned raid, overwatch for a large public venue or a hasty callout. The Reaper Grip tilts to an almost vertical position allowing for steep-angled shots from the catwalks of stadiums or rooftops in cities.
Hitting the range with this setup is a blast. I was consistently shooting sub-MOA groups at 100 yards from kneeling, sitting and standing supported off of the tripod, with my best three-shot group measuring 0.44 MOA.
The price is comparable to other tripod mounts/grips until you consider the extra money you have to dish out to get the pan/tilt attachment for other mounts. With that factored in, the Kopfjager Reaper Grip wins hands down for both price and performance.
Train hard, fight harder!
About the author
Pete Goode is a former Royal Marines Commando sniper and helicopter sniper team leader. After becoming an American citizen he entered into law enforcement and became a firearms instructor, CQB instructor, Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) instructor, SWAT sniper and SWAT Sniper Team Leader. His law enforcement experience includes working patrol, Crimes Against Persons and Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC). With over 15 years of instructor experience, Pete is passionate about continuing to learn and develop skills and tactics and passing them on to his fellow operators and officers.