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Aluminum Bedding Blocks?

 
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  #1  
Old 01-08-2011, 12:33 PM
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Aluminum Bedding Blocks?

I am in the process of replacing the original wooden stock on my Post '64 Winchester M70, 30-06.

If you torque the action into an aftermarket stock with an aluminum bedding block to the recommended inch-lbs, is that enough to properly stabilize the action to stock fit?

Is there anything to be gained by glass bedding the action into a stock with an aluminum bedding block?
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  #2  
Old 01-08-2011, 01:26 PM
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Re: Aluminum Bedding Blocks?

I had this done on my sendero, which has a decent aluminum bedding block. It's certainly cheaper than having a smith machine the action and bedding block to achieve the same tolerances.

You would have to evaluate thru testing to answer for yourself how much difference it makes,
but anything you can do to make the connection between stock and action as immovable as possible is money well spent...my.02 cents anyway.
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  #3  
Old 01-08-2011, 06:15 PM
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Re: Aluminum Bedding Blocks?

On a stock with aluminum chassis and pillar blocks, 65 inch/lbs is good. I have seen a couple of heavy hitters that like 75 inch/lbs.

A good bedding job never made any rifle less accurate. It may change what the rifle likes though. I routinely SteelBed on top of aluminum chassis for that extra assurance that the rifle is shooting to its full potential.

Winchester M-70's frequently benefit from about 1/2" of bedding in front of the receiver unless the barrel begins to taper immediately. If you do bed, do the whole action though, not just the front. Also remember to only tighten the middle screw just enough to hold the front of the trigger guard in place. Put a little dab of Loctite on it, just barely snug it up, and let it set for an hour or so before firing it. If you use Brownell's SteelBed, keep the rifle at room temperature and let the bedding set for at least 3 or 4 days before shooting. It'll probably be a skim bedding, and it'll cure slowly.

Tom
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  #4  
Old 01-09-2011, 09:11 AM
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Re: Aluminum Bedding Blocks?

Thank you for the info. I am definitely going use additional bedding material.

I will be replacing the original Winchester Stock with a HS Precision.

You mentioned skim bedding with Brownell's SteelBed and doing the whole action. Does that mean applying a thin coat of SteelBed to all of the bottom aluminum surfaces or applying a generous coat to the entire stock receiver cavity like glass bedding?

My rifle barrel appears to taper a short distance after the barrel leaves the action. Is it worth digging some of the stock material out of the non-aluminum area of the stock to stabilize the first inch of the barrel with the receiver?

Thanks for the recommendation about the trigger guard. I have been torqueing all three of the bolts to 65 inch-lbs using a FatWrench. After the bedding project is completed, I will lightly tighten the center screw with a dap of Loctite. Good to know!

Is the sequence of torqueing the receiver bolts critical? Which bolt should be tightened first, the rear or the lug area? Should the tightening be done in stages alternating between bolts in steps - 20 inch-lbs first, then 40 and finally 65? Like putting a manifold back on a car motor.

I haven't done any receiver bedding. It the SteelBed skim bedding something that a rookie can to, or is it better to have a Gunsmith do it?

Thanks again for the info and help.

Mike
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  #5  
Old 01-09-2011, 01:07 PM
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Re: Aluminum Bedding Blocks?

Since you are going to put the rifle in a H/S Precision stock, try shooting some groups before bedding. You might get lucky. The H/S stock may be better than the factory barrel. If that is the case, nothing will be gained from bedding. A good bedding job is not likely to happen the first time. With practice, they get better, but good bedding never gets easy, no matter which bedding compound you use. SteelBed is one of the easier ones to use, but is tricky to clean up after.

Be sure the barrel floats all the way back to the front of the receiver. Important. If it doesn't, relieve the barrel channel with a dowel and sandpaper. If you do have to open it up, reseal the channel. I use wipe-on or spray-on urethane spar varnish. Several coats.

If you don't have socket head screws, get a set from Brownells. No matter which screws you use, check them for length in the H/S stock right away. You want about 4 - 5 threads engaged. Do a test with the screws at about 50 inch/lbs and run the bolt in and out to be sure they aren't too long. Just run the middle screw in handy. No need to torque it.

Back off the front and rear screws until they're loose, and remove the middle screw.

Now try this sequence:

Bring the front and rear screws back
down until they just touch.
Dab Loctite on the middle screw threads and run it in handy.
Torque the front screw to 20 inch/lbs
Torque the back screw to 20 inch/lbs
Hold the rifle vertical by the stock and bump the butt straight down 2 or 3 times on something firm. If you have a recoil pad, a hard floor is good. If not, bump it on a carpeted floor.
Tighten the front screw to 40 inch/lbs and then the rear screw to 40 inch/lbs.
Go back and tighten the front screw to 65 inch/lbs and then the rear screw to 65 inch/lbs.
Leave the middle screw alone.

Some may think this process is excessive or unnecessary, but it is much simpler and quicker than it sounds, and can't hurt.

There's a probability that the factory barrel is not good enough to benefit from a bedding job in the H/S stock. Floating it and tightening it uniformly may improve accuracy to the limit of the barrel itself. But, the rifle might not like the same ammo you were using, and you may have to experiment to find a load it does like.

If you decide you want to bed it, I recommend taking it to someone experienced. A composite stock with a bedding chassis is not a good choice to learn on. If you have other rifles you're willing to try bedding, do so. Everyone has to start somewhere. Everyone also has their own ways and I don't know any 2 people who do bedding exactly the same way. Very subjective.

Sorry about getting so long-winded, but I'm not smart enough to make it shorter.

Tom
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Last edited by specweldtom; 01-09-2011 at 01:12 PM. Reason: Change "it" to barrel channel
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  #6  
Old 01-09-2011, 05:44 PM
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Re: Aluminum Bedding Blocks?

Great reply. Thanks.

I will complete all of the modifications and check the accuracy and precision of the modified rifle. If not in the desired ranges, I'll get the bedding done by a pro.

The recommended torque sequence for the socket head screws is appreciated. It makes sense to me.

I am replacing the old Winchester Barrel with a Krieger, Contour #3, 24 inch, in 30-06. I hope all of this keeps my old hunting rifle on the firing line and in the deer woods for a many more years.

Thanks for all the info.

Best of Luck in 2011.

Mike
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  #7  
Old 01-09-2011, 07:41 PM
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Re: Aluminum Bedding Blocks?

The Krieger barrel will be exponentially better than the factory barrel. At that point, bedding the rifle becomes very desirable. If you do bed with the old barrel, and don't bed in front of the receiver, you won't have to re-do the bedding when you install the Krieger barrel.
I only have one Winchester hunting rifle. (a home made 7mmSTW), but I use the exact same process on Rem 700 ADL's and BDL's, except BDL's don't have the middle screw. Otherwise same procedure. It works for me.

Tom
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