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If you’re into any sort of precision shooting, then the Rail Mount Adjustable Monopod from The Secret Weapon (TSW) might interest you. Last year, Ruger sent me their Precision Rimfire to review. In my quest to wring as much accuracy as I could out of it, I went looking for a monopod. I found one on the accessories page of the Ruger website. They are manufactured by a company call The Secret Weapon. A little research led me to Mark Schoeler, the guy who designed and machines these handy little monopods. After some conversation, he agreed to provide one for review.
As expected, this $50 monopod is machined from billet aluminum. A single 8/32″ bolt attaches it to a Picatinny rail on the bottom of the buttstock. There’s a 5/16″ threaded aluminum rod that extends from the clamp into the leg. This allows for a total of two inches of elevation change, from 4 to 6 inches. At the top of that rod is a threaded stop nut, which is used to lock it into position.
I’ve had mine for a while, and the whole thing (except the threaded rod) is hit with some matte black DuraCoat for stealth and durability. Note that the latest model gets a Type III hardcoat anodized finish. This is applied to the clamping base which is machined from billet 7068 aluminum. The same finish is given to the hexagonal aluminum adjustable leg, which is made from 6061 aluminum. All machine work is done by Mark, right here in the United States of America.
For my Precision Rimfire, it really only fit one way, so installation was easy. There’s even a wrench included for tightening it down. Care had to be taken when attaching to the buttstock, to not over-tighten. The Ruger chassis is tough, but could be damaged if too much clamping force is applied. Other than that, it’s a matter of correct orientation, and a few twists of the wrench. Once in place, I noticed how easy it was to adjust the Rail Mount Adjustable Monopod from horizontal for storage, to vertical for use.
To switch from the folded position to the monopod position, the leg and its locking nut need to be unthreaded enough for the leg to swing down. At that point it’s super easy to make fine elevation adjustments. While looking through the scope, I just gently twisted the Rail Mount Adjustable Monopod until I was on target. Although I had never used one, I found it very intuitive to raise or lower my rifle with my support hand. I kept the nut threaded down to the leg, and then ran it back up against the clamp when I was ready to set my elevation. Its rounded base maintained contact with the bench as the angle changed every so slightly.
At that point, I realized I’ve been doing things wrong all these years. Squishy bags are okay. And propping the butt of the stock into your shoulder is fine too. But this, combined with a proper bipod, makes it so much easier to get on target and stay on target. It removes one variable for me, tightening the vertical spread of my shots. Whether it’s a steel plate, golf ball, or empty shotgun shell, I’m able to land rounds with even more precision. I’m now at the point where I need to consider better ammo, to get the most out of my rifle.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m pretty new to precision shooting. I’ve got some bolt rifles in heavy stocks and chassis’, but never really taken shooting for distance all that seriously. And I’ve seen these little monopods for years, but never used one. It’s definitely an easy and inexpensive way to improve your shooting. It’s not a replacement for ammo, optics, and skill. But it’s certainly another part of the equation. While I used the Rail Mount Adjustable Monopod exclusively on my Ruger Precision Rimfire, I would feel just as comfortable with it on my Ruger American Predator .308 in a chassis. It’s definitely up to the task.
Mark’s got a website where he offers this product, other shooting products, and even some custom bits for motorcycles. He’s clearly a machinist who enjoys making quality accessories for his hobbies. His website was recently updated, and there are still a few things to work out. But you’ll find an email on there to contact him directly if you have any questions. Although you can find his products on the Ruger and Brownells websites, you’ll be supporting his small business by ordering directly from him. Check out TheSecretWeapon.net for more info.
Comments? Questions? Do any of our readers use this monopod, or a similar model? Feel free to share below.