No Recoil Lug - What say ye?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by MontanaRifleman, Dec 5, 2009.

  1. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,068
    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    I just pulled appart my Sako 85 Finnlight 300 WSM after getting it back from the factrory for the second time. It has been giving me fits for poor accuracy. I was planning on pillar bedding it and possibly bedding the action as well. When I pulled the barreled action out of the stock,to my surprise and amazement there was no recoil lug. The only place I can see where recoil is being transferred to the stock is in the tang area of the receiver which is somewhat thickened - about 3/16" and recessed into the plastic stock. That's it.

    Wha'd'ya think? This doesn't look like very good engineering - am I missing something?

    Is this a problem, and if it is, what can be done about it?

    Thanks for your thoughts,

    Mark
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2009
  2. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,896
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Sounds like a cluster to me Mark. I'm not familiar with that rifle, but I wouldn't want the recoil lug postioned at the back of the action from an engineering perspective. That would place the entire action under the stress of the rifle's recoil. I can't see that being beneficial for accuracy. Will be interesting to follow this thread and see what the gunsmiths have to say.
     

  3. MachV

    MachV Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,385
    Joined:
    May 31, 2001
    Sako puts the lug in the stock dont they?
     
  4. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,068
    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Funny you shoud ask that... The bottom of the receiver is basically flat and there is a channel that runs accross it just in front (on the muzzle side) of the front action screw that is about 3/16 deep and wide that looks like it has some sort of purpose. However there is nothing in the plastic stock that corresponds. i was thinking that a piece of stainless could be machined to fit this channel then drilled for a couple of screws then the reciecer drilled and tapped and set this piece in as a lug. Then mill out the the stock and bed it for the fit of the lug.

    I wonder if the wood stocked 85"s have the lug in the stock?
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2009
  5. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,310
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Some of the Sako's have a angle shaped piece that is trapped around the front action screw
    boss and it fits in a slot in the stock.(Not a very good system).

    What it sounds like is that they left it out and without it it probably won't shoot very good.

    The fix is to have someone machine a front pillar that fits over the screw boss very tight
    and uses the boss as a recoil lug in conjunction with the front pillar. The pillar needs to be large
    with a lot of contact with the stock (5/8'' to 3/4'') and bedded into the stock. Make the
    hole in the pillar larger than the screw so it does not become part of the recoil system.

    Some of the older Sako,s used a cross bolt through the stock that engaged the action and
    acted as a recoil lug.

    PS; You are right about the rear tang being a bad place for recoil control.

    This fix will normally help the Sako's along with a good full bed and float.

    I hope this will help you.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  6. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,068
    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Thanks JE, I appreciate the advice. Should the pillar be rectangular? I'm thinking a new after market stock that isn't inletted and having this professionaly done is probably the best option.

    Mark
     
  7. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,896
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Mark,

    It sounds like your Sako rifle uses the same recoil lug system that the Tikka T3s come with. I own two T3s and they both shoot pretty darn good as is, however I have investigated options for improving the stability of my T3s with an improved bedding system. I haven't done anything yet - they're both still bedded as received from the factory.

    Here's a link to a LRH Forum thread exploring some options for bedding a Tikka T3, which also has the recoil lug in the stock rather than being fastened to the barrelled action:
    http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f19/cant-bed-tikka-t3-27731/

    There used to be a nice photo of a glass bedded T3 in a laminated stock in that thread but it looks like that photo has since been removed.

    I know a laminated stock or some other non-tupperware stock material would be easier to work with than my factory T3 plastic stocks. But the laminates add weight, and I use my T3s for sheep & goat hunting where I don't want a heavy rifle.
     
  8. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,612
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Sako went to this as a cost saving measure about 15 years ago. I don't like it because I don't feel I could build anything with enough surface area to sufficiently do the job. I got some Sako TRG 338 Lapuas and 30-378's to shoot pretty good by building my own lug within the stock to fit in the groove in the reciever. I still have two of those Lapuas and they have been shot many times and are still fairly accurate for a light rifle. I did the same thing with my Tikka T-3's. One of mine in 300 wsm shoots very well for a light rifle. What I did was fairly labor intensive for the support structure to hold back the Lapua. I'm sure each smith has got his own technique like JE's which I am sure will work well. I agree with you that I would do something to support the recoil on the front end groove and not the tang.
     
  9. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,068
    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Paul,

    What cal are your T-3's? I suspect the larger cals like the 300 WSM are more suspetable to recoil issues. I have read many good reports on the T-3's accuracy as well as the Sako. I've read a couple of not so good ones also. Unfortunately, mine is one of the latter. Thank for the link. I remember reading that thread.

    The slot in the bottom of my receiver sounds like the T-3 slot. However, there is no recoil lug anywhere in the stock, just plastic. Go figure??? I wonder if was an attempt to save on weight in the Finnlight? It's really hard to believe.

    I've been thinking about this and running with JE's suggestion, I could have a chunk of SS machined to fit in the slot and around the boss of the action screw hole. It would roughly be about 1" wide x 1" deep x 3/4" thick with a hole drilled through it for the action screw. I could have it bedded in the stock or attached to the reciever with screws or welding. I like the idea of attaching it to the reciever. One thing though, it doesn't leave a lot of room between the pillar/lug and the mag box, but I think it would work.

    Comments?
     
  10. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,310
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Mark .
    It can be round because if it is large enough and bedded into the stock permanently
    It will transfer recoil just fine.

    The main thing is to have a very tight fit between the action screw boss and the custom pillar

    You can make the pillar rectangular but it is more diffacult to build and install but with a
    round pillar it is easy using step drills on the stock to get a well centered pillar using the
    action screw hole in the stock as the pilot hole.

    You can also make your own factory type luge buy cutting a piece of stainless or carbon steel
    Angle the length of the slot in the stock, cut the part that goes down to fit the depth of the
    slot ,place it in the slot and using the action screw hole mark the center to be drilled for the
    boss on the action for later drilling. once this is done test fit the lug to the boss and if
    everything fits well then you can bed the lug into the stock being careful not to glue the lug
    to the action.

    To me it's harder to do this than the round pillar.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  11. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,896
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Mine are both 7mm Remington Magnums. Both shoot well. One handles more loads accurately than the other - meaning I have to work harder on load development to get the one to shoot to its potential.

    I really don't believe Sako intentionally left out the metal recoil lug. If you've been shooting for groups without the metal lug properly placed into the stock, then that alone would explain your inability to get the gun to shoot. Those lugs are probably a dime a dozen. Find a Sako rep and request a factory recoil lug. They aren't hand-fitted. That's why Sako and Tikka went to this type of a recoil lug. Cost reduction. And yet the T3s still shoot very well right out of the box, most often. My T3s shoot plenty good enough for LR hunting with properly tuned hand loads. The thing I'm not convinced of is whether or not they hold their zero in their tupperware stocks over the long haul. I'm having my doubts based on about 4 yrs of use now. Once they're sighted in, they're good to go. One week or one month later, I'm not so sure and feel compelled to check zero quite often. I like to find them holding zero, but it seems like the T3s tend to be a little less stable and reliable than other rifles with more substantial stocks and recoil lug/bedding methods.

    Anyhow, by all means get a Sako metal recoil lug in that thing and then see if it'll shoot. If this is a rifle you've sent in to Sako for inspection, tell them they sent it back without the recoil lug! :rolleyes: If you include the words neglected to reinstall the recoil lug I bet they'll send one to you pronto at no cost. Bummer if you've spent time, money and effort trying to work up a load for the rifle without the recoil lug installed. The probably owe you a a box or two of ammo also.

    Truthfully, I can't imagine shooting my T3s without the recoil lug in the stock. That would put a lot of strain on the action screws and any other action-to-stock points of contact. And there's the risk of getting a receiver in the eye or forehead gun) gun)

    Let us know how it goes? I'm interested in hearing how this turns out for you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2009
  12. kiwi3006

    kiwi3006 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    674
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    I seem to remember a review of the sako 85 and the recoil lug was an L - shaped thing that was secured by the front action screw and went forward and down into a recess in the stock. It was was not permanently attached to the stock or action.
    Perhaps someone forgot to put it in?

    check this link www.sako.fi/pdf/specs/85HunterSS.pdf

    It might help (I can't open it because of internet filters at work)

    Stu.
     
  13. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,896
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Although the Tikka recoil lug arrangement seems to produce good shooting rifles, I wonder if there isn't a significant liability issue for Beretta/Sako/Tikka should someone forget to install the lug? As appears to be the case with MontanaRifleman's Sako... I think he's sent that back to the factory a time or two.

    With the majority of other rifles the lug is affixed to the barrelled action and if the barrelled action is in the stock, you know there's a functional recoil lug buried under there. With these non-attached recoil lugs, the only way to know for sure is to take the barrelled action out of the stock, or shoot it until the barrelled action shoots loose and falls out of the stock. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2009
  14. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,068
    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    JE, although it might be harder, I like the idea of the rectangular peice the fits into the slot and fits over the action screw boss. That just seems to be a more solid solution which would put less shear stress on the action screw... dont ya think? I also like the idea of screwing or welding it to the receiver. Any problems with that? I lke the idea of the recoil lug being part of the reciever.

    Paul, Stu, there is no place for a recoil lug to be fitted in the stock. None. It's just a flat piece of plastic that the reciever rests on with a small recess milled out for the action screw boss to fit inot. No one forgot to put the lug in because there is no place for the lug in the stock... which is quite odd considering there is a slot in the receiver for a lug. Ya just gotta wonder what the designers were thinking? Weight savings? Cost savings? There is only one place to transfer the recoil to the stock and that's at the tang. The action screw boss fits into its little recess fairly tight and might absorb some, but that is a very small surface area to transfer that energy. It's the tang that is taking it.

    I will call Beretta TS tomorrow and ask them what is going on with no recoil lug.

    Stu, I couild not get that link open.

    Thanks for all the help guys and keep it coming if you have any other ideas.

    Mark
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2009