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Author Topic: Bedding an action questions  (Read 646 times)

Online jmscon

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Bedding an action questions
« on: August 12, 2017, 10:44:21 PM »
I'm looking into bedding the action on my rifle. I've been looking at videos and came across one where the guy just bedded where the screws that hold the action to the stock (technical name is escaping me right now), the recoil lug and about 1-1/2" of the barrel. Two points of contact. The other videos I've seen bed the entire action. The guy went on, in great detail, to say that if your stock ever warped, at the action, it would totally mess up the accuracy of the rifle. Where the two points of contact would be less susceptible if the stock warped.

Thoughts? Has anyone had a problem with bedding the entire action?
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Offline Magnum_Willys

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Re: Bedding an action questions
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2017, 10:55:06 PM »
I'm not sure you gain much bedding center of the action - just a thin line there. However I do and like the solid feel it gives the stock. Front lug and rear bolt locations are the important ones. Go light on clamping. You dont want to induce deflections.

Offline yorketransport

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Re: Bedding an action questions
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2017, 07:40:52 AM »
What make of rifle are you working with? With most actions just bed the whole thing from lug to tang (I never do any of the barrel). If it's a Savage then bed from the lug to the rear action screw but not the tang. If you have pillars in the stock, try bedding just the recoil lug and making sure the action only touches the pillars and not the stock.

Offline b23

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Re: Bedding an action questions
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2017, 09:02:24 AM »
And most importantly, DO NOT forget the release agent.  :yike:

Offline Magnum_Willys

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Re: Bedding an action questions
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2017, 09:46:29 AM »
And most importantly, DO NOT forget the release agent.  :yike:

Used clear shoe polish, worked fine with marine-tex

Online jmscon

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Re: Bedding an action questions
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2017, 09:51:24 AM »
What make of rifle are you working with? With most actions just bed the whole thing from lug to tang (I never do any of the barrel). If it's a Savage then bed from the lug to the rear action screw but not the tang. If you have pillars in the stock, try bedding just the recoil lug and making sure the action only touches the pillars and not the stock.

It's a savage. I was thinking of putting pillars in first then bedding the action. The stock is a laminated Boyd's stock so I don't imagine that it will be moving very much.


And most importantly, DO NOT forget the release agent.  :yike:

Used clear shoe polish, worked fine with marine-tex

Wow, you used marine tex?! Wasn't too stiff? The marine tex I've used was more of a very stiff putty, like a cold can of plumbers putty.

Thanks for the replies!
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Offline Magnum_Willys

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Re: Bedding an action questions
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2017, 10:42:55 AM »
Not at all like putty, wouldn't want it any runnier - see that pic above.  Its like a warm peanut butter.  Marinetex and Devcon are the top two bedding compounds i've seen gunsmiths use.    I would use Devcon Titanium if handy.  Used Marinetex grey because it was local.  Both much stronger psi wise than generic bedding compounds.


Offline b23

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Re: Bedding an action questions
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2017, 11:10:20 AM »
And most importantly, DO NOT forget the release agent.  :yike:

Used clear shoe polish, worked fine with marine-tex

Shoe polish, carnauba wax, and Hornady One Shot are the release agents I hear about being used the most but I've heard of all kinds of stuff being used.

Offline Okanagan

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Re: Bedding an action questions
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2017, 11:45:15 AM »
Not at all like putty, wouldn't want it any runnier - see that pic above.  Its like a warm peanut butter.  Marinetex and Devcon are the top two bedding compounds i've seen gunsmiths use.    I would use Devcon Titanium if handy.  Used Marinetex grey because it was local.  Both much stronger psi wise than generic bedding compounds.


FWIW I haven't used marine tex for bedding but agree to avoid runny bedding compounds.  All of the following is self developed and there may be better ways to bed, though this process has worked extremely well on the rifles I've bedded. 

I tried the most popular commercial bedding kit - once - and never again.  There may be better stuff now but I've used Devcon for 40 years ever since a friend who worked on nuclear submarines told me that it shrinks less than glass resin and that they used it on submarines.  He told me that the strongest mix uses as little resin and as much glass content as possible.  I pull out strands of glass from fiberglass cloth and mix my own, a somewhat stiff goo, putty like, not runny at all so that it stays put.

On my first pass I bed the recoil lug on sides, bottom and back, the bottom metal, action, especially top and bottom of the rear tang screw.  I leave a small gap behind the tang so that recoil does not chip out a piece of stock behind the tang if it is wood.  I also bed about the first 2 3/4 inches of barrel, essentially under the chamber, and free float the rest of the way. Once the bedding is set, I take the rifle from the action and inspect for gaps, etc.  Rarely there is a bubble gap I fill, and I trim the bedding under the barrel to eyeball symmetrical on both sides, because usually it does not extrude perfectly evenly as the barrel is tightened and presses it between barrel and stock.   If that does not shoot better then I start trying a pressure point near the forend, etc. 

FWIW, I practice screwing the action in place when ready to bed but before any bedding compound, and note the position of screw slots when tight.  Then with bedding in place, I carefully tighten, slowly alternating half turns on front and back screws until I am within a half to quarter turn of fully tight.  At that point I stop tightening the action into the stock and let it set.  My intent is to still have a little bit more tightening ability after the bedding sets.  If you tighten too much DO NOT back off but leave it.  Backing off the tightness will pull gaps between bedding and metal.  Leave it.  It will probably be fine.  See how it shoots.  You can always grind out a bad bedding job and re-do it.  Trim off extrusions when the bedding material is still a little bit soft. 

Re prep for bedding:  some synthetic stocks such as early Remington plastic stocks, do not adhere to bedding materials.  The Remington custom shop told me not to try to bed them but when I told their stock expert that I had drilled tiny shallow holes inside the stock area and roughed it with coarse grit he said he thought that it probably would work to grip the bedding compound, and it did.  I degrease synthetic stocks by washing off the area to be bedded with alcohol.  Sand off varnish etc. to bare wood on wooden stocks.

Carefully check over all metal for any tool marks, pits, stamping, any kind of tiny cavity that bedding epoxy etc. can get into and grip.  Fill all such with paraffin, before coating with release agent. 

IF you cannot get the action out of the freshly bedded stock -- put the entire rifle in a freezer overnight and try again to separate them.  That was told to me by a gunsmith though I have never had to do that myself. 

Offline yorketransport

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Re: Bedding an action questions
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2017, 09:32:39 PM »
What make of rifle are you working with? With most actions just bed the whole thing from lug to tang (I never do any of the barrel). If it's a Savage then bed from the lug to the rear action screw but not the tang. If you have pillars in the stock, try bedding just the recoil lug and making sure the action only touches the pillars and not the stock.

It's a savage. I was thinking of putting pillars in first then bedding the action. The stock is a laminated Boyd's stock so I don't imagine that it will be moving very much.


And most importantly, DO NOT forget the release agent.  :yike:

Used clear shoe polish, worked fine with marine-tex

Wow, you used marine tex?! Wasn't too stiff? The marine tex I've used was more of a very stiff putty, like a cold can of plumbers putty.

Thanks for the replies!

Pillars are a good idea even with a laminate stock to prevent the wood from crushing when you tighten the action bolts. What I normally do, is install the pillars and bed the action at the same time. With a Savage you won't want to bed the barrel because of the barrel nut and the tang behind the trigger housing needs to float or your safety won't work properly. I wrap the barrel with painters tape to set the gap that I want between the barrel and stock and then put about 3 layers of tape at the rear of the action to float the tang.

I always use Devcon 10110 to bed rifles. It's expensive, but a 1# kit will bed at least 10 rifles. Then I use modeling clay to fill the voids in the action and Kiwi neutral shoe polish as a release agent. I'd also suggest trying to bed a cheap factory stock to get a feel for the process if you've never done it before.

This is an excellent article on bedding rifles if you haven't seen it before.
http://www.accurateshooter.com/technical-articles/stress-free-pillar-bedding/

Online jmscon

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Re: Bedding an action questions
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2017, 09:43:49 PM »
Thanks for the advise everyone! I'll document what I do and write it up.
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Offline Magnum_Willys

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Re: Bedding an action questions
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2017, 09:58:06 PM »
I would take my trigger off too - Had a brief scare when I pulled apart and trigger was almost too large to get action out of stock. 

If you squeeze it too tight together you may end up with very thin layer at the rear tang which may come off when you separate.  Depends on action.  I used a lil loctite green to fill any lil gaps missing on assembly.