Leofoto’s new MH ball heads are the first heads designed specifically for use with rifles. The key feature is a locking control in the form of an oversized, ergonomic grip. The intention of this design is that you can easily lock and unlock the head while keeping your eye on the scope. This makes it easy to adjust your aim and then lock the head in place, without having to take your eye off the scope to find the right control on the head.
The MH heads are available in three sizes, ranging from a massive 60mm ball, down to a 50mm and 40mm ball. As with a normal ball head, the MH heads feature a tension adjustment. These heads have an individually controlled panning feature at the base of the head. A standard Arca-swiss style (dovetail) clamp allows mounting of any Arca rail and plate or an Arca-Picatinny adapter. A 70mm Arca-swiss style plate is included with the head.
With any use of a rifle, it is important to look at the load rating with an understanding of how manufacturers determine the load rating they give to a product. Photographic systems are always balanced on the tripod so that the centre of gravity is directly above the head. This keeps the force exerted on the head to a minimum and the head can thus handle very heavy loads.
With rifles, it is nearly impossible to balance the load on the head. The heaviest components (chamber, scope, bulk of the gun chassis) all sit to the back of the rifle and the only practical place to install the mounting rail is in front of the trigger. This means that rifles will never be balanced, much more force is exerted on the head and the head has to work much harder to hold the rifle in place when it is not supported by the shooter’s shoulder.
A safe approach is to look at the standard (balanced) load rating of a head and use 40% of that as a guideline for how much unbalanced weight the head can hold. How far off-centre the load sits also plays a role, but that just adds another variable that creates a very complex conversation. We have asked Leofoto to come up with a new system to determine load ratings more accurately for shooting setups. Hopefully, we will be able to give more informative load ratings for balanced and unbalanced setups in the future.
Load rating guide
- MH-60 Balanced Load Rating – 30kg
- MH-60 Unbalanced Load Rating – 12kg
- MH-50 Balanced Load Rating – 25kg
- MH-50 Unbalanced Load Rating – 10kg
- MH-40 Balanced Load Rating – 20kg
- MH-40 Unbalanced Load Rating – 8kg
- Clamp type: Screw clamp
- Ball diameter: 40mm
- Base diameter: 50mm
- Height: 105mm
- Mounting hole: UNC3/8"-16
- Max load: 20kg
- Unbalanced Load Rating: 8kg
- Weight: 587g