Re: Bedding a Savage
If you bed a Savage like a Rem 700 you will get very poor results because of the pressure on the rear tang.
I found this out on the first Savage I bedded many years ago. It was a heavy barreled 223 and the rifle shot very well, sub 1/2" groups for five shots consistantly.
The owner called me up wanting me to bed the rifle just to see how tight we could make this little rifle shoot so I did and bedded in the Rem 700 manor full length from recoil lug to the tip of the tang. Turned out beautifully!!
After the bedding cured for 3 days I called the rifles owner and told him to come up and we would see how it shot.
At the range at 100 yards, the first two shots were 1.5" apart. I figured things were just settling in and the next couple would be on top of the second shot, NOPE!!!
The rifle that had been consistantly printing sub 1/2 moa groups was no averaging in the 2 moa range at 100 yards!!!
He was a little worried to say the least and I was very embarrased. I told him I would figure out what was doing this as it had to be something in the bedding process.
Well to figure it out I borrowed another nearly identical Savage only chambered in 22-250.
I studied the bedding and the only thing I noticed was that the rear of the tang was floated, with significant clearance to the stock.
I cleaned out this area in the stock I had bedded as well as releaving the bedding around the barrel locking nut and tested the rifle myself at the range. Now the first three shots cut a 3/8" clover leaf and the rifle has been doing that ever since.
What happens I believe is that this pressure on the tang flexes the receiver which causes the inconsistancy problems.
TO bed a Savage, I have found the easiest thing to do is remove the trigger assembly. If you have a floated barrel channel, use masking tape and build up a ring around the barrel near the end of the forend until it supports the barrel as the receiver is sitting squarely in the stock.
Then apply strips of electrical tape to the under side of the tang, up to about 1/4" short of the rear action screw hole. Apply enough again until the tape contact the stock with the barrel sitting square in the stock as well as the forend supported by the tape build up strip.
Now I generally clean out the stock material around the front action screw but leaving it just ahead of the mag well and recoil lug area to create a resevoir of you will of bedding compound. Clean out the area in the recoil lug recess to make sure it is bare wood with no varnish as the bedding compound will not stick to this as easily or as permanently.
Do the same to the entire inside of the stock where there will be bedding compound applies No need to do this in the tang area, there will not be any bedding compound there anyway.
Then the final step I do is apply two pieces of 0.010" bedding tape to the barrel locking nut on the bottom to provide clearance when the bedding is finished.
Next spray the receiver and barrel with release agent, plenty of it. Generally I give it a shot and then let it dry some and spray it again. Get the screws as well, good!
Now mix up your bedding compound and apply it to the stock inletted area where needed in the appropriate amounts.
Then I personally will slowly lower the barreled receiver into the stock and start the rear action screw first with the barrel slightly elevated compared to the rear of the stock.
Once the rear screw is started, I slowly turn this screw down until it gradually pulls the receiver down into the bedding. Just before it is tight, I will take some Q-tips and clean out the front action screw hole as it WILL be full of bedding compound. I also push the q-tips up into the receivers boltlocking lug recess area to push up the excess bedding compound into this area which you sprayed liberally with release agent. Do not worry about cleaning this out as long as you sprayed it well with release agent because when it sets up it will pop right out in one clean piece.
All this time I am still supporting the barrel with my left hand.
Now take the front action screw and start threading it into the receiver. Hold the barrel up slightly as the screw pulls the barreled action down into the bedding compound.
Go to just before the screw tightens up and then switch back to the rear action screw. Turn this screw until it just makes solid contact, DO NOT TIGHTEN down. Then go back to the front screw and do the same, do not tighten, just snug.
The reason to not over tighten is because since you are not pillar bedding, we want the barreled receiver to be supported by the tape pad on the rear and the tape pad on the barrel by the forend.
If we tighten down the action screws, we will flex the barreled action and you will not get a good result. Just turn them down until the barreled receiver is supported by the tape pads and the screws just come up and snug to the stock.
Now leave undisturbed for the time needed for your compound and then remove the barreled action when recommended.
With the barreled action is removed and the bedding is cleaned up you will now have a stock with a non stressed bedding of the receiver, a floated barrel, barrel locking nut and a floated tang.
I generally give my bedding jobs 72 hours before I start machining on them to clean up the bedding compound but that depends on the compound used.
If your stock is not floated, use the tight barrel channel to support the barrel just as the tape pad did with a floated barrel.
As long as you can slip an index card under the rear tang you should get consistant results.
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