Though not a brand new item, the RSTA-II Tripod Adapter from Ashbury Precision Ordnance (APO) is an amazing advancement for serious precision shooters. Marketed as “a versatile field shooting platform for hunters, tactical rifle competitors and professional marksmen”, the RSTA-II could be the answer to creating a balanced shooting platform from non-traditional shooting positions.
Ashbury Precision Ordnance (APO) Manufacturing produced RSTA-II Tripod Shooting System back in 2014, and I’m really disappointed it has taken me so long to realize this fantastic shooting platform was available. As a professional law enforcement sniper I train regularly on non-traditional shooting positions. For the most part I’m left with my pack and shooting bags to try to make a solid shooting platform. Occasionally all I have is myself and a good twist of my sling.
The RSTA-II Tripod Shooting System, however, allows long gun precision shooters to shoot from a variety of alternate shooting positions while standing, kneeling or sitting. Regardless of terrain, the RSTA-II design allows a shooter to get comfortable and, more importantly, locked into a solid shooting position. Instead of the shooter trying to fit their body around a stationary mount, the mount moves to the best position for the shooter.
APO RSTA-II Tripod Shooting System Specifications
- RSTA-II Material: Lightweight aluminum alloys,
- RSTA-II Finish: Black, hard-anodized, non-reflective
- Tripod Head Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Angle Deviation: +/- 35 degrees up down, or s360 degrees horizontally
- Adjustable Height: (With Manfrotto tripods) 29″ to 68″
- Compatibility: MIL-STD 1913 6 o’clock rail grabber, Pig Saddle, APO Anypoint Bipod/Tripod mount
- Suggested Tripod: Manfrotto 190XPROB or heavy-duty Manfrotto 055XPROB
- Manfrotto Lightweight Tripod Weight: 5.5 pounds
- Manfrotto Extreme Tripod Weight: 6.6 pounds
- Supported Rifle Weight: Up to 35 pounds
- RSTA-II MSRP: $315.00
- MSRP With Manfrotto Lightweight Tripod: $742.20
- MSRP With Manfrotto Extreme Tripod: $720.31.
The RSTA-II Tripod Head is only 1.1 pounds and allows shooters to position their rifles using the Rapid Control Handle (RCH) which can be set up for either right or left-handed shooters.
The RSTA-II versatile tripod head provides a positive locking ±35 degree angle head to give the shooter a wide range of angled shooting solutions. The RSTA-II is designed to securely hold a 25+lb rifle with the use of a MIL-STD 1913 6 o’clock accessory rail grabber, Pig Saddle, or APO AnyPoint Bipod/Tripod Mount.
In addition to the wide range of rifle positioning, the RSTA-II Tripod Shooting Systems extends to a maximum shooting height of approximately 68 inches and collapses to approximately 29 inches using Quick Power Lock leg latches. With a range from roughly 2.5 feet to nearly 6 feet the shooter does not need to sacrifice position, or cover because of shooting height restrictions. The shooter can find the best location for their needs, and adjust the RSTA-II to meet those needs.
The standard duty RSTA-II Tripod Shooting System uses the stable, yet lightweight Manfrotto 190XPRO3 alloy tripod base suggested for rifles up to 15 pounds. This Manfroto uses 3-section legs that collapse into a highly portable field shooting platform at only 5.5 pounds.
The extreme duty version of the RSTA-II uses the Manfrotto 055XPRO3. This is a heavy-duty tripod base with larger diameter 3-section tripod legs weighing 6.6 pounds, which flexes less under heavier loads of up to 20 or more pounds. The RSTA-II allows shooters to track, lock and when ready accurately engage distant targets without fatigue. Shooters can lock their rifle into the RSTA-II system, and take the weight of hefting their rifle off of their body.
APOP conducted rugged field testing for more than 18 months with the RSTA-II Tripod Shooting Systems. Live fire testing was conducted with a wide range of rifles including the M107 50BMG, and the RSTA-II withstood every rifle mounted to it and the resultant heavy recoil.
The APO RSTA-II Shooting Tripod platforms are not restricted to just bolt-action rifles. The versatile mount can interchangeably mount semi-automatic carbines, shotguns, and a wide range of hunting and tactical rifles on RSTA-II Shooting Tripod platforms. Even variable power spotting scopes can be easily mounted on the RSTA-II platform using the common 1/4×20 detachable baseplate, or clamped snugly inside the Pig Saddle.
The RSTA-II Tripod Head is engineered and crafted from lightweight aluminum alloys, and has a hard coat anodized black non-reflective finish. For another great article on the APO RSTA-II with action pictures and videos click here to see what the guys at Sniper’s Hide had to think.
The APO RSTA-II tripod system is an outstanding product for serious and professional shooters. I’m not sure the price is justifiable for someone who just wants to go to the range to shoot, or hunts mostly shorter distances. However, if a person frequently is faced with awkward shooting terrain this system could be more than justifiable.
I have not had the opportunity to test this system, but I have seen it in a test demonstration. The opportunities and stable shooting positions it provides should be a serious consideration for any law enforcement tactical team deploying snipers.