Bedding a rifle stock...

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by JLA, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    ... in an efficient and cost effective way...;)

    I have been working on the REM 700 ADL .243 i got from my FIL. It is an Academy special, bone stock sporter they sell for $349 bucks. It had a flimsy unbedded synthetic stock that had a little over 3/16" of lateral movement in the the stock when the action was seated into it, hardly ideal for shooting small groups.

    So, I decided to bed the action and reinforce the stock everywhere I could, I decided since we dont really have a recent thread about bedding a rifle, that id make one. So here we go..
  2. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    step 1 was to remove the barreld action from the stock and remove the trigger from the action. Its a good idea to remove the scope but I didnt, I recommend you do remove the scope and rings, and degrease the barreled action, I used denatured alcohol.

    Step 2 was to clean the stock of all traces of oil and debris with a good degreaser, I used denatured alcohol as its the most aggressive I could get without going with something that would have melted the plastic stock.

    Step 3 - Once degreased you want to prepare the stock for bedding. Cut away the area around where the recoil lug sits in the stock to make room for lots of bedding material, this is the most important area of a bedding job so take your time. I did all the cutting with a dremel tool with a 1/8" drill bit chucked into it. the drill bit will easily cut away the plastic as you will see in the photos.

    Also you want to cut down the area around the rear of the tang where the rear action bolt goes thru the stock, not all of it, you want to leave a lip at the rearmost point behind the action screw for the action to sit on so it will remain level within the stock while the bedding sets.

    I did a full length bedding on this action where I also prepped and bed the sides fo the action where they contact the reciever, this reduces wobble and further helps to eliminate fliers in your groups.

    Aside from cutting the areas to be bedded down I also drilled holes at random everywhere bedding material was to be placed in the stock (another reason for the drill bit), this gives it something to hang on to so it will last the life of the rifle and not break out over time.

    Here are a few pics of the process so far...

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    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
  3. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    and a couple more of the prep process

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  4. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Here I want you guys to take note that I have not done anything with the pressure points at the front of the stock, theres 2 reasons...

    #1 - they help the action remain level, just like the rear of the tang, while the bedding sets. Which is very important. Bedding tightens the action to the stock, you dont want to relocate it within the stock...

    #2 - believe it of not most sporter contour (#3 or #4) barrles actually shoot better with a pressure point at the fore-end of the stock, and if for some reason it still doesnt group ill float the barrel and remove the pressure points later.

    as you can see, for now, the pressure points are still in tact...

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  5. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    once done prepping the stock to take the bedding its time for another round of denatured alcohol. and then set the stock aside to dry.

    pick up the barreled action and fill the trigger slot and pinholes and unused screw holes with modeling clay. this will prevent bedding compound from seeping into the holes and bonding the action to the stock...

    Next its time to tape the recoil lug. Ive read the 'right' way to do it is to tape the front sides and bottom of the recoil lug to provide clearance after the bedding sets so you can remove the barreled action from the stock. I however, never listen to or follow instructions and decided I wanted absolute minimum tolerance so I only taped the sides and bottom leaving the front and back direct contact with the bedding. You can use masking tape or plumbers pipe tape. masking tape is roughly .005 thick and plumbers pipe tape is exactly .010" thick, they say .010" is ideal, but again I seek absolute minimum tolerance so i just put one layer of masking tape...

    once all that is done its time to release the action, I used KIWI neutral shoe polish as a release agent and it worked perfectly. Apply liberally over everything that might touch bedding from the tang to the middle of the barrel... YOU DONT WANT TO GLUE YOUR ACTION TO YOUR STOCK!!! USE LOTS OF RELEASE!!!!

    now set the barreled action aside and dam up the stock with modeling clay. everywhere you dont want bedding compound should be packed with clay. careful not to get the clay on your surfaces to be bedded.

    Here are a few pics...

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  6. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Notice in the bottom pic above that the stock is taped on the outside. you want to mask the stock off so the bleed-out doesnt stick to your stock. if you think bedding material might end up there, put some tape on it...
  7. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Now its time to put some bedding compound...

    Many substances can be used as a bedding compound and epoxies are by far the strongest IMO. For this budget minded bedding job I used regular JB weld. Dont laugh, Ive already heard all the 'you might be a redneck if' jokes at the gunshop today;)

    JB weld makes a fantastic bedding compound and its easy to use and cheap, the mix ratio is a simple 1:1 and the regular formula gives you a good 30 minutes of work time before it even starts to tack up...

    Simply mix the bedding and put it where you need it, use lots, and work it into all the drill holes with a toothpick. Continue working it into the areas to be bedded until it begins to start thickening (appx 15-20 minutes) now its time to set the action. simply drop the action into the stock on the wet bedding and use the action screws to cinch the action in the stock, make sure you use planty of release on the action screws and just snug them, no need to put 50 lbs of force on it, wrist tight is good.

    check that you have good bleed-out all around where you put bedding and spend the first few minutes after seating the action watching the run-off keep it corraled with a toothpick til the bedding tacks up. then go check TFF for about 2-3 hours.

    After about 3 hours the bedding will be firm, but kinda rubbery. now you can trim the bleed-out with a razor blade to make clean up easier... and after 5-6 hours you can remove the action from the stock, It will be tight coming out so work slow and evenly. I used the long action bolt screwed into the center action hole to hit with a nylon mallet. It knocked the action right loose.

    I did have a few spots i had to touch up with JB qwik, but heres the finished bedded stock. Im pretty happy with it and it only cost me like 30 bucks and 2 days to do it

    Oh yeah, I filled the fore-end and buttstock with fiberglass resin after bedding to add weight and rigidity to the flimy remington stock, its as stiff as a piece of iron and weighs about 4 pounds;)

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    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
  8. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Tomorrow ill be putting a textured finish on the stock. Its going to be OD green and black. Ill post pics when done;)
  9. Zane71464

    Zane71464 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the thread JLA, and looking good. Excellent idea of filling the fore-end and buttstock with fiberglass resin, the 4lbs will make a big difference. Looking forward to seeing the textured finish!
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  10. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    First coat done. Its looks great, I was taking it back into the house after drying up a bit and I dropped it in the driveway:(, chipped the buttstock so I had to fix it, but itll all cover with the next coat of texture...

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  11. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Here she is. The stock fits very tight to the action, you have to hold your tongue just right to get the action seated. Just the way I wanted it!

    The colors work well together and the rifle is damn close to 10 pounds, A little heavier than I had anticipated but I think I can manage. I hunted deer with a 16 pound rolling block for 2 years:eek:

    Cant wait till tomorrow, im really lookin forward to puttn some holes in the target.

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  12. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    and a couple more. Note how even the gap between the barrel and stock are at the fore-end.

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  13. bamajoey

    bamajoey Active Member

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    Very good presentation. I have been wanting to bed one of my CZ 452's but haven't worked up the nerve yet. Maybe this will help me get started.:)
  14. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Its pretty straightforward. It is ALOT easier on wood stocks because you dont have so dang much bedding oozing out all over the place, and on a wood stock you would use wood chisels to relieve the action instead of a dremel, course youd still want to drill the small holes for the bedding to anchor to.

    I have done prolly 15 or 20 wooden stocks. this was my first injection molded synthetic. the difference in the 2 is the wood needs more care in prepping and controlling the bleed-out if you want to preserve the finish, plastic stocks require 10 times more bedding compound to fill the large voids in the stock (I used 6 ounces of JB on this one) and if you get it on the stock its easy to get off and quick to refinish the stock with a tough paint like I did this one.

    I started honing my bedding skills on cheap mosin nagants back in smithin school. It improved the groups 100% of the time. I highly recommend it...
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  15. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    So, when are we gonna start seeing your name in the gun rags?? ;) Nice documentation and lesson!
  16. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Thanks worm!

    I took some 'firearm porn' pics this morning, This is the way you find her just after the morning hunt sitting in the sun while you drink coffee and quarter your kill. Nice thought eh?

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  17. Lee C.

    Lee C. New Member

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    Nice bedding job JLA will done. I really like your paint job on the gun it looks good.
  18. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Lee, It turned out well. Im proud of it.
  19. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I diod get it out to the range today for some testing. The bedding has eliminated ALL of the fliers. All you can see on target now is the effects of barrel heating. rounds 1 and 2 from a cold fouled barrel strike POA with bullet holes overlapping, 3 is quarter inch right, 4 is half inch right and 5 is 3/4 inch right, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 all group 3/4 inches right of POA, group size is a little under an inch (prolly about .8 or .9). I am going to add a little more contact to those pads in the fore-end of the stock to get a little more pressure on the barrel, if this worsens the walking tendency of the hot barrel I will fully float it.

    All in all, good results:) as it is now Its a deer killer out past 300 since the first 2 are well under 1/2 MOA and hitting POA. But since I shoot more paper than deer Im trying for the best of both worlds;)
  20. bluesea112

    bluesea112 Active Member

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    That is awesome Josh!!! I have a savage .243 that is crynig for a bedding job and some cool looking paint.
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