Resurrecting this thread in the hopes of receiving some additional feedback. What is the current consensus on taping the bottom, front, and sides of a recoil lug prior to setting the barreled action into the bedding compound?
Having researched this topic, it seems that virtually everyone recommends taping the bottom of the recoil lug in order to leave an air gap there. And I understand that rationale.
Most recommend taping the front of the recoil lug. I see Kevin Cram doesn't. I've developed two considerations related to taping the front of the recoil lug. 1) On a heavy recoiling rifle equipped with a muzzle brake
, wouldn't the air gap in front of the muzzle brake allow the barreled action to shift forward in the stock after each shot? Is this going to be a negative on rifle accuracy? 2) Folks that recommend taping the front of the recoil lug contend that this is advantageous because it allows the barreled action to return to a consistent position - shot after shot. Consistent "return to battery" position is the phrase I've read. But I wonder if this practice is the same for a braked muzzle versus a barreled action without any muzzle brake.
Tapping the sides of the recoil lug seems to generate the least agreement. Some don't tape the sides of the recoil lug because they want the sides of the lug in direct contact with the bedding material in order to resist the rotational torque associated with bullet launch - particularly with heavier, larger caliber cartridges. Many do tape the sides of the recoil lug, but I've not read much about the reason for relieving the sides of the recoil lug - other than it makes it easier to remove and re-install the barreled action from the stock in the future.
I'm going to be bedding a BAT HR action with integral recoil lug in Devcon in the near future, for a .338 Lapua Improved. Any opinions and recommendations on the taping of the recoil lug in a McMillan stock would be appreciated.