This is a solid, multi-use tripod designed mainly for use with a firearm, but is also useful as a camera platform. I used it for both.
For firearms, this tripod is a surprisingly lightweight tool that is easy to pack along to the range or other shooting location. It may be a bit long for some range bags; however, it is light enough to strap to the outside of a bag. I just used velcro straps to fix it under the carrying handle straps of my range bag.
The tripod is very easy to set up. There are simple clamps that allow quick unlocking and locking of the legs and adjustment of leg length is accomplished by pulling the section of leg out to the desired length. Snug fitting hardware at the joining of the legs and base allows for fairly secure adjustment of the leg angles. This tripod is great for adjusting leg length and angle for uneven terrain!
I found that this tripod is best used when sitting down since it is only about 3 1/2 feet high. For use at a range that has chairs and shooting tables, the tripod may be shortened enough to function as a table-mounted gun rest. If no table is available, the tripod functions as a gunrest directly placed on the ground.
I have a 9mm rifle and found that the tripod held the rifle securely through multiple shots. The v-shaped head cradled the rifle well and adjusts. I can not rate this tripod when used with a high-powered rifle; the 9mm has relatively little recoil, but I would be surprised if it could not handle a heartier recoil.
This tripod also functions as a reasonable base for a lightweight camera, especially if one is carrying both a camera and a rifle and two tripods are too much to bring along as well. The tripod is not designed as a camera tripod and certainly does not offer the same adjustment capabilities as a decent camera tripod, but it can be used in a pinch. Perhaps shopping around for attachments would help.
I am very pleased with this tripod! I would recommend this as a lightweight bring-along for shooting out in the field. It is a bit expensive--though this is a sturdy, lightweight, and versatile gem.
This hunting tripod has a lot of small features that add up to make it a pleasure to use. The construction is obviously high-quality and doesn't feel clunky anywhere. It has pads on its feet that screw in a bit to offer either a soft rubber foot, or a pointy foot that anchors itself into soil a bit to prevent wobbles.
The gun mount doesn't grip the gun, it just provides a stable resting place to set it. It also has a camera attachment, so if you're on a hunting trip and also bring your camera, you could use the tripod for that as well. That said, this tripod is not the best for photography given that it's very short, for starters, and also, once you screw in the camera, the tripod head won't swivel.
So, bottom line, it's well-made, some thoughtful features, great for shooting, and can double for photography in a pinch.
Vanguard is a reputable company when it comes to photo and video-related products for over 26-years and when it comes to tripods, the company's reputation is partly due to the quality of their tripods. Vanguard has continued to grow as a company and now integrating an optics-line which have won over hunting and bird watching enthusiasts, the company continues to thrive.
But in this day and age where there is plenty of competition when it comes to tripods, fortunately Vanguard is known for its quality for their monopods, tripods, mounts and ball and pan heads.
The product that I am reviewing is the Pro T40, a tripod that functions as a firearm tripod and a DSLR/Video and spotting cope lens tripod, bipod and also as a shooting stick. For those looking for a tripod with various functions, I will be comparing the Vanguard Pro T40 and the Vanguard Quest T62U and hopefully one of these will be what you are looking for.
WHAT'S IN THE PACKAGE (PRO T40 vs QUEST T62U)
Inside the package is the Pro T40 tripod. The Quest T62U is an all-in-one tripod, bipod and monopod with removable leg. The Pro T40 is a only a tripod but it does have quick flip leg locks and adjustable spikes and adjustable anti-slip rubber feet for use in outdoor terrain. And when you extend the legs, there is side measurement ruler to show the depth (inches/cm).
The leg adjust is 50 and 80 angles and you can easily remove the yoke to incorporate a DSLR, point & shoot or video camera and also a spotting scope, as it comes with a 1/4" tread bolt. Also, its important to note that the Quest T62U has an adjustable base for those devices that need more tread, the Pro T40 has a thicker base (which is great, knowing your DSL, scope is set on a solid base)....BUT it is not removable if one needs more tread from the 1/4 tread bolt. More than likely you won't need to worry about this.
There is a detachable yoke which turns 360 degrees and has a lever that can extend the Yoke to 160 degrees, 120 degrees and 80 degrees. The Yoke itself tough plastic with the inner yolk with rubber grips. Compared to the Quest T62U, the yoke for the T62U is not adjustable but is durable for those that use rifles and is a wide-U yoke. So, which is better? I think depends on what kind of firearm you are using as the Pro T40 is adjustable and the T62U is not. But the T62U yoke is bulkier and you can tell it's used to hold heavy firearms.
Also, included with the Pro T40 is a bonus U-Shaped Yoke for a shotgun. The hole of this additional accessory is about the size of a marble and has an adjust for swiveling. (The Quest T62U does not come with this accesory).
The Pro T40 adjusts to 50 and 80 degree angles, adjust leg angles simple and quickly turning collar. Folded height is 20 1/2 inches, extended height is 40 inches.
Also, included is paperwork for Vanguards 5-Year-Limited Warranty.
I tested the Vanguard Pro T40 in a variety of situations. For one, I tested it via digiscoping but also DSLR use, primarily outdoor and also indoor. I'm going to be perfectly honest that for my needs...40 inches in height is too small. Personally, I need something that can go small to big...up to 60+ inches...even over 50 inches would be nice but this one goes up to 40 inches in height.
For those who are hunters, this is suitable. For those with children who are learning cameras or those who don't need much height, the PRO T40 works great.
But it's important to remember that this is lightweight aluminum alloy legs. If you are going to attach expensive equipment, you may want to be careful as it will hold a spotting scope, camera, rifle, etc. But anything heavy, this is not what this tripod is for. In fact, for outdoor use, I would prepare by bringing a sandbag to make sure that wind does not knock this tripod over.
In fact, if you need absolute strength for rugged areas or want the best in protection, I highly recommend looking into magnesium die-cast tripods such as the Vanguard Abeo or something sturdier. But if it's just a sole piece of hardware and you're not going to leave it stationary where many people can hit it. But for a 40" tripod, it's good.
I do highly recommend one other thing for purchase along with the Pro T40 or any tripod, bi-pod or monopod and that is a good ballhead. Otherwise once you tighten your DSLR or spotting scope, you won't have much chance to rotate your hardware. So, I recommend purchasing a ballhead, may it be Vanguard BBH, SBH, a Manfrotto ballhead or even considering a pistol-type (which I prefer using). Just something reliable and won't break on you.
Now in comparison to the Vanguard Quest T62U which is nearly the same price, if I had to choose between both Vanguard products, I would go for the T62U. Mainly because it's all-purpose, tripod, bipod, monopod all-in-one plus it goes up to 62". You want that flexibility to go small and to go big in any situation and because they are only less than 75 cents difference from each other in price. There is a 68-inch version of the Vanguard Pro T but then the price jumps to almost $110. So, in terms of length and functions, the Vanguard T62U is much better.
BUT... now we come to the firearms. The Pro T40 comes with an adjustable yoke for variety of firearms plus it comes with a U-shaped yoke for a shotgun. I will include a picture to show the comparison between the Pro T40 Yoke and the T62U yoke. The T62U is a wide yoke, sturdier but the question is if you need a fixed length or one that is adjustable. This may factor into your decision of which one to purchase.
The Vanguard Pro T40 is a good tripod. It functions as a good tripod for hunting, DSLR, digiscoping, etc. But the primary advantage is the fact that it comes with an adjustable yoke for a variety of firearms plus it comes with a bonus u-shaped yoke for a shotgun. Otherwise, the Vanguard T62U which is only less than a dollar difference is a much better tripod because it can extend higher (at 62") and it can function as a tripod, bipod and monopod and comes with a wider, durable yoke (non-adjustable).
But if you don't need the additional height and you are hunter that just needs something 40-inches and wants the two yoke accessories for a variety of firearms, then this is perfect for you!
But I must emphasize that this is lightweight aluminum, so try to avoid using this as a backup for your light stands or expensive lighting equipment. If anything, use it for your firearm, your spotting scope or your SLR/DSLR and you should be fine. Again, if you do go outdoors, I recommend adding maybe a little weight via a sandbag if you know you are heading out to windy conditions, especially rugged areas.
Last, while you can use this product immediately, photographers may want to look into a ballhead accessory if you need more rotation for your shots.
Overall, there really is nothing I can complain about this product. For its pricepoint and its function, especially with the Vanguard name, it's a wonderful product that comes with a 5-year limited warranty. So, whether you are a hunter, spotting birds or wildlife or a photographer (or videographer) that needs a reliable product that they can easily travel with and take a long to rugged conditions, the Vanguard Pro T40 is recommended.