Glass Bedding Recoil Lug Treatment

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by Charles B, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. Charles B

    Charles B Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2005
    I plan to glass bed my 700 action into a woodstock and don't remember the taping process for the recoil lug. Two layers on the front and one layer on the back, side, and bottom edges seemed to be what I remember, but memory is not to reliable sometimes. Appreciate advice on this matter? Thanks in advance.
  2. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

    Jan 30, 2005
    Tape the sides,bottom, and front only, no tape on the side that faces the reciever.

  3. Kevin Cram

    Kevin Cram <b>SPONSOR</b>

    Mar 9, 2004
    I use 10 mil pipe tape. Clean and degrease the lug good so the tape sticks. Start on the top of the lug and wrap one time around the circumference of the lug, I don't tape the front. Trim with a razor blade and your good to go. Don't forget the release agent:D
  4. geargrinder

    geargrinder Well-Known Member

    Nov 6, 2006
    I do same as Cowboy.
  5. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2005
    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.
  6. Edd

    Edd Well-Known Member

    Jan 26, 2011
    You want opinions, here is mine.

    You don't want tape on the back of your recoil lug.

    The recoil lug on your BAT HR action is tapered, so you don't want tape on the sides of it. On actions that have straight lugs, I would want to tape at least one side of the lug.

    You want some tape on the bottom of the lug, I would use a layer .020" thick.

    The front of the recoil lug needs some tape too. You need enough clearance in front of the recoil lug for the barreled action to lay in the stock channel, with the barrel touching the stock and the back of the action tipped up, without having the recoil lug being a pry bar on the bedding. So the amount of clearance you have under your barrel and the length of the lug will determine how much clearance you need. It won't take much.
  7. Dosh

    Dosh Well-Known Member

    Aug 6, 2013
    P, you'll more than likely have a variety of responses on this subject. There isn't a general consensus on where to tape the lug as well many variations on how far foreward to take the epoxy. My method is therefore of no use since many responders will have their own take. Perhaps the input of a master gunsmith could steer you to the best method and most importantly explain why. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to sit and observe a custom rifle builder for 11 years prior to his untimely passing. Good luck with the .338 LI
  8. MagnumManiac

    MagnumManiac Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    I agree with Edd, it depends on the type of recoil lug. Tapered lugs get clearance in front and underneath only, straight lugs get clearance in front, underneath and on the sides. I use 2 layers of electrical tape on the sides and bottom, and 4-6 on the front.
    Ruger actions get bedded completely by me, no clearance at all.
    If you do it correctly, due to the nature of the bedding process giving a stress free bed, there should be know way once the action screws are tightened that the action could possibly move forward due to the muzzle break pulling the ENTIRE rifle forward.

  9. newmexkid

    newmexkid Well-Known Member

    Apr 11, 2011
    I really like all the discussions on bedding I can find. As soon as my barreled action get back I will be doing my first bedding job. I've pretty much settled the question of the recoil lug for myself. However, I'm still trying to glean all info I can on skim bedding a stock with an aluminum bedding block. I'll also be using Devcon
  10. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2005
    Re: Glass Bedding the Recoil Lug

    Thanks for the recommendations. Had several hours on the internet yesterday researching this. Finding no overwhelming consensus, other than the bottom of the lug must be relieved with tape.

    It makes sense that different actions with different recoil lugs, some integral and some sandwiched between the barrel and the action, might do best with slight variations in bedding of the recoil lug.

    I'll offer this. Some that have experimented have said they didn't experience any difference in accuracy with variations of taping the front and sides of their recoil lugs. When I receive my action back from the smith, I'll measure the lug to confirm which sides are tapered. I may leave tapered sides in full contact with the Devcon.

    One mentioned that right twist barrels only torque the action counterclockwise in the stock, such that only the right side of the recoil lug could resist this rotational force. I can always go into the recoil lug recess after bedding and remove Devcon with a sharp tool from the front and sides at a later time, if I see some fliers with those surfaces in contact with the Devcon.

    Edd's recommendation is sounding good right now.