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1st time bedding questions?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/07/2018 at 08:10
cbm View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman

Joined: January/11/2008
Location: SC
Status: Offline
Points: 502

I have wathced a lot of video's and read a lot of information on rifle bedding. I understand the principle of bedding but wow, there is a lot of conflicting information! Some people seem to not remove any material and just epoxy on top of what was there. Some folks seem to remove a good bit of material and build it back up with bedding compound. Some people seem to bed in front of the recoil lug, some do not.

I am going to bed just the recoil lug on a Sako 85 with a McMillan marbled stock. It came with the McMillan recoil lug. It makes sense to me to remove material but I am not sure how much needs to be removed(1/16"-1/8"). And should I bed in front of the recoil lug?

I am also going to piller/glass bed my winchester model 70. It has a wood stock. I am thinking about doing just the recoil lug area and the tang. But the instructions with the kit say to do the whole action. Again, I am unsure how much material to remove and if I would bed in front of the recoil lug.

Also seems like the majority of people tape the front,bottom, and sides of the recoil lug. But then there are people that just tape the bottom of the recoil lug only.

Any advise will be well appreciated !!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/07/2018 at 08:36
RifleDude View Drop Down

Joined: October/13/2006
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 14995
The reason for removing material from the inletting prior to bedding is simply to "rough up" the surface to give the bedding a secure mechanical "bite" or foundation to ensure it adheres to the surface properly. If you put bedding over a very smooth or slightly oily surface, it may not adhere to the stock very well.

Taping the front, sides, and bottom of the recoil lug isn't entirely necessary. I've done it both ways - with and without the tape. The purpose for doing so is to provide clearance so that after the epoxy has cured and the tape is removed from the recoil lug, you have some built-in clearance. This makes it a bit easier to remove the action from the stock later, as it gives you some "tilt" room, using the barrel as a lever rather than having to pull the action straight up.

As for the different bedding philosophies -- full action length vs. recoil lug only, bedding short section of barrel in front of recoil lug vs nothing in front of recoil lug -- there is no real correct answer there. Some people believe in the superiority of one method vs another, but if the proof is in how it shoots, I've seen successful bedding jobs that use all of those techniques. I'm not convinced any are necessarily superior to the others. A lot of that decision has to do with how tight the pre-bedded inletting is, how much surface area is present on the action being bedded, and what material the stock is made of. Some actions don't give you much surface area to bed on the tang area because the trigger assembly parts consume most of the real estate. On those types of actions, it's tough to get much benefit from bedding in the tang area. Bedding is also done to help seal the inside of a wood stock as much as providing a solid foundation for the action.

I usually bed the whole action if the setup allows, and will extend my bedding to around 1" - 1.5" forward of the recoil lug. I used to tape the front, sides, and bottom of the recoil lug prior to bedding, but I don't do that any longer. It's really tough to get the tape to stay put when you press the action down into the epoxy. Is that the best method? I don't know, but it has worked for me. The main thing is to ensure you have stress-free bedding. Therefore, I don't torque the screws completely down when bedding to ensure I'm not flexing the action and causing that flex to be reflected into the epoxy when it fully cures. I just install the screws, lightly snug them initially, then back off on the torque to ensure I'm not creating any stresses. You want the screws present to prevent epoxy from squeezing into the threaded holes on the bottom of the action and also to create centered screw holes in the stock that you can drill out to original diameter after the epoxy cures. Of course, put release agent on the screws just like you do for the action.

Hope this helps.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/16/2018 at 09:33
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Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman

Joined: January/11/2008
Location: SC
Status: Offline
Points: 502
Thanks Ted! I bedding the recoil lug on the Sako 85 and it went well. Definitely glad I did it before tackling my Model 70.
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