No tools needed to adjust: Bipod can be locked and unlocked with only your thumb and finger, while you are in position, within seconds.
Dirt and weather resistant: The integral dust shields in the Pod-Loc spacer protects the clutch area of the factory Harris mechanism. The clamp lever body is synthetic and the internal parts as well as the spacer are stainless steel.
Low profile: The locking lever can be pulled back slightly to disengage the internal ratchet without effecting the lock tension. Thus, the Pod-Loc clamp lever can be "parked" against the stock to minimize snags when you are on the move. All stainless steel surfaces have been blacked out for a low visual signature.
Standard issue on all U.S.Marine Corp M-40A3 Sniper and S.A.M. Rifles as well as the new FBI and BATF sniper rifles..
No permanent alteration: Your bipod can be restored to issue configuration within 2 minutes.
Since this kit entered the shooting market in early 2000, we have been blessed to have it see wide use throughout many shooting disciplines. A large number of law enforcement agencies and military units now issue this kit as a standard item on their precision rifles. Many competition shooters, varmint hunters, big game hunters and recreational shooters have adopted this kit as a worthwhile improvement to their rifle.
Because most of our kits are sold through a distributor network, we are not sure how many groups are using these kits. A few users that we are aware of are:
U.S.Marine Corp, U.S. Navy, U.S.Army, British Military, Australian Military, Federal Bureau of Investigation, over 20 State Police SWAT units and a large number of individual officers from police agencies across the U.S.
Multiple interviews with team after team documented the same concern that we had already noticed. The knurled nut cannot be easily tightened enough by hand to consistently lock the swivel feature of the bipod. At this point, KMW recruited several people to help me search for an existing product or kit that would fix or improve this drawback of an otherwise excellent bipod. Extensive searching via web, publications and community networks revealed nothing available that would address this problem.
KMW was already experimenting with some type of augment for my personal bipods and after seeing a glimpse of the larger picture, began work on a viable kit to upgrade these bipods. This all began in the late months of 1999.
From the beginning, KMW wanted to isolate and improve this one aspect of the bipod. My reason is the Harris Bipod is the most proven and well established bipod in the Western World. Too many modifications would certainly compromise the bipod design and make it a "non-standard" in the eyes of many serious users.
I found that an extended lever used in place of the factory knurled nut would easily and quickly allow me to lock the cant position of the bipod in any position KMW wanted. One problem was that the lever would sometimes be positioned in a less than ideal location when adjusted to my preference. Finding and testing a lever assembly that featured a re-settable position proved to be a good solution.
Next KMW experimented with several versions of a spacer to be used between the lever and bipod body. A final design was settled on and worked well in testing. KMW then made up roughly 10 complete kits and sent them to contacts that KMW knew were serious shooters and regularly used rifles as part of their work. A couple of these kits were brought with us to the 1999 Autauga Arms Super Sniper Shootout at Camp Shelby, MS. Now known as the North American Sniper Championship, this competition saw law enforcement and military teams from Europe, Russia, Canada and East Asia as well as most branches of the U.S. Military shooting various events over a 4 day period. 100% of the feedback on our initial kits were positive and KMW made the decision to proceed with a small quantity of finished kits to test the market for such a product.
At first we found it difficult to locate quality components that were manufactured in the United States. No offense to some of our overseas neighbors but one of the main tenants of KMW is to use 'made in the U.S.' products when possible.
Many different materials, sizes and finishes for our kit parts were experimented with and tested. Our initial kit consisted of a lever assembly (4 parts) and a job specific spacer/dust cover. All stainless steel internal parts including the spring were specified from the start.
The handle section of the lever assembly was specified as glass reinforced nylon plastic. This part was intentionally chosen over a metal lever. If the user were to accidentally snag this lever on an obstacle during movement, a synthetic lever material would flex or even break thus freeing the rifle. Testing showed that a metal lever could cause the internal pivot rod of the bipod to break before the lever would flex. Thus, KMW chose to not use a metal lever on this kit. KMW would rather the synthetic lever break and the bipod remain serviceable rather than chance breaking the internal parts of the bipod.
Used alone on the bipod this lever assembly is somewhat functional but the bipod's exposed pivot rod is not supported and is also vulnerable to dirt and sand. To remedy this, a special spacer/dust cap was designed to fit between the lever assembly and the body of the bipod. This part proved to be very important to the long term function of this kit. The spacer/dust cap on all Pod-Loc kits is CNC machined from 416 stainless steel to my specifications.
The lever assembly used in this kit is not a new design, but it's utility in this role was new at the time the kit was first brought to market. Early on, we realized that off the shelf levers could not be trusted to work properly 100% of the time. We found that many of these lever assemblies had flaws such as incomplete thread profiles, malformed springs, improperly formed teeth on the insert gear and even plastic or metal chips inside the assembly! The only way we could assure the quality of this kit was to have the individual parts manufactured to my specifications and shipped to KMW for inspection.
After all parts are inspected in my shop, the stainless parts are then batched and sent to an industrial finisher for a Chrome Sulphide bath. This process not only produces a non-reflective matte black on the stainless part, it also increases the corrosion resistance of the material.
When the components return from blackening, they are washed and prepped for assembly. Each lever is assembled by KMW one at a time. Thread locker is used on the assembly screw to lessen the chance of a failure. KMW even adopted a custom assembly screw with a tamper resistant drive head on kits made after 2007. When each lever is complete, a high quality lubricant is placed in the female 10-32 threads so that it efficiently performs under torque load once it is on the bipod.
At this point, the completed lever assemblies are packaged with the spacer/dust cap and green instruction sheet. The packaging includes contact information in the event of any installation problems or usage questions.
If you read the above list of users, you can understand why we take the quality of this small kit very seriously. We order the highest quality parts, assemble them with great care, inspect them and then package them in protective materials to insure that they are delivered to the user ready to install.