Pillar bedding the weatherby vanguard - *PICS*

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by philip140, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. philip140

    philip140 Active Member

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    PILLAR BEDDING THE WEATHERBY VANGUARD .243


    THE STRESS FREE METHOD




    So, I thought I’d share with you my method for stress free bedding the Weatherby vanguard. I bought this rifle as a dual purpose varmint/deer rifle that I could also use for informal long range target shooting (mainly for hunting practice).
    Prior to doing anything to the rifle I had tested its accuracy at the range with different factory ammo. It seemed to like Hornadys Superformance ammo best shooting the 95gr SST’s at just over 2’’ at 200yds. It was a windy day and the horizontal spread was where groups really opened up. The rest of the factory ammo grouped around 1 ½’’ at 100yds, (as Weatherby rifles should!).

    So…here’s the rifle sans bedding with the original plastic stock (I believe made by ‘Uncle Mikes’).

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    After the Boyds pepper laminate stock arrived, initial inspections showed it to be very well constructed and much better than I anticipated, the action dropped in like a glove and it feels very solid.
    In the picture you can see the recoil lug recess, I have used marker pen to highlight areas to be relieved.
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    Using a ¼’’ chisel I have removed about 1/16th – 1/8th to allow adequate thickness of bedding compound under the action, I also removed just over 1/8th of stock material from behind the recoil lug for the same reason.

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    After that I set to work centering the barrel in the fore end of the stock, this was achieved by wrapping layers of electrical tape around the barrel until it fits snug in the channel. Use equal layers of tape each side, start at the top and finish at the top.

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    Now we’re ready to relieve the action screw holes in the stock to allow the pillars to fit, for this I am using a drill press borrowed from a friend.

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    After…

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    The pillars I used were cunningly disguised as brass pipe nipples at the local hardware center! (Rona). At just over $2 each it made a cheap alternative to having them sent from the states.

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    Here they are next to the slightly oversized drill bit.

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    I cut them to size by offering up a hack saw blade to them as they spun in the chuck (no I didn’t saw them Ryan!)

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    After…

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    I then kissed them against a flat file in the press and finally some fine grit sand paper on a block of hard wood.

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    Measuring where to cut.

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    What they will look like inside the stock.

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    You can see slight clearance around the pillars for compound thickness and to prevent the stock imparting any stress to the pillars and screws.

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    I’m centering the screws in the pillars here using very thin clear tape. Ideally the screws shouldn’t be touching the pillars when screwed into the action preventing the screws from having anything to do with absorbing recoil. Stress free screws!

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    Allow enough tape build up so the pillars fit on tight, then trim the excess with a craft knife.

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    Now, moving on the action…..
    Here I’m taping the vertical sides of the action to allow ease of removal in the future, it seems the forging process has imparted a slight dimpled texture to this part and each tiny imperfection will lead to mechanical lock. I didn’t show it in the pic but I continued the cut line of the tape to allow the sides of the recoil lug to fit snug in the action.

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    I’m building up a dam here to stop the compound from going further up the channel. The dam stops as the barrel tapers into it’s ‘sporter’ contour.

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    Taping the sides of the stock, it’d be rude not to.

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    As well as using coarse sand paper on the side of the pillar I have cut small ridges into the pillar for extra mechanical lock. It is my opinion that most ready made pillars have too much material removed from them in order to achieve mechanical lock, this reduces the compression strength of the pillar, I’d much rather have just enough material removed from the pillar without compromising strength.

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    The compound I have chosen is JB Weld, a lot of people don’t use it because they believe something this readily available can’t be as good as Devcon, Marine Tex, Steel Bed etc. if you look at the differences between them regarding strength and shrinkage, they are all practically the same. The pros tend not to use JB Weld mainly because it only comes in small amounts making it the least cost effective if you bed rifles as part of your living.

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    Something that I wanted to try was to apply the compound straight onto the action after applying the release agent (Kiwi shoe polish buffed to a mirror shine), that way I could avoid unsightly voids in the compound from air bubbles.

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    Of course I add compound to the stock too!

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    After pressing the action home, clean up involves using q-tips and acetone.

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    Once cleaned up, I tape the stock and action with electrical tape over the rear scope ring. At this point the only part of the barreled action contacting the stock is the tape at the tip of the forend and a small amount of material left in the tang area to allow the action to index in the stock to the correct depth. I intentionally don’t tape the front part of the action or barrel because this will allow the whole thing to bow slightly inducing a small amount of stress – something we want to avoid.

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    After popping out the action (it was really easy, nothing but Kiwi polish from now on!), I cleaned the edges with a craft knife.

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    Here it is all together…

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    I think it went really well, I have done bedding jobs before and every time I do one I learn something new each time. This time I believe I got it almost perfect and I’m happy with the end product. I have since bedded the scope rings to the scope (I can post pics if anyone is interested) and tuned the trigger for less weight and zero creep.
    Soon I will post results from the range and we’ll find out if it shoots any better.

    Thanks.

    Phil
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011

  2. hamr56

    hamr56 Member

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    Re: Pillar bedding the weatherby vanguard

    Great post Phil! I really appreciate you taking the time to do this as I know a lot of people who will be interested in doing this to their vanguards.
     
  3. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    You're fingernails are way too clean :)

    Seriously though.. great pics and outstanding workmanship!!!

    Are you related to Chad?
     
  4. tnshooter111

    tnshooter111 Well-Known Member

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    I wish there where more post like this. Thanks!
     
  5. philip140

    philip140 Active Member

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    I wish I was after seeing all the tools and machines he has at his disposal! :D I had to do my bedding job in a 3rd floor appartment...

    Phil
     
  6. nitrousmudbogger

    nitrousmudbogger Well-Known Member

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    Nice Work! Thank You for taking the time to post and show your tricks!
     
  7. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Very nice job!!! gun)
     
  8. Fitch

    Fitch Well-Known Member

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    Well done.

    Fitch
     
  9. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    You can get aluminum contoured,adjustable pillars for not much,most smiths use. They come in the bedding kit Sinclair sells.
     
  10. specweldtom

    specweldtom Well-Known Member

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    Very nice job. Any bedding job that looks that good has to be good. I am also a fan of the Boyd's laminate stocks. A good laminate stock bedded with pillar blocks is about as good as it gets in my opinion.

    Thanks for taking the time to do this post.

    Tom
     
  11. mo

    mo Well-Known Member

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    Really Nice!!! Do a Remington 700 next. I really appreciate you taking the time to show how to do that.
     
  12. mlaudato

    mlaudato New Member

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    Good job Phil..!!! By the way did you test the rifle at the range ??
     
  13. philip140

    philip140 Active Member

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    Hi, yes I did get to try it at the range and with the loads that it likes the accuracy improved to 3 shot groups averaging 1/2'' - 3/4'', which were about an inch and a half before, not bad for cheap factory hunting ammo.
    With the ammo it didn't like before, it still didn't like it after bedding (.243 Superformance).

    The best thing I like is the ability to take the rifle apart, put it back together and still shoot to the same POI.

    Phil
     
  14. noneck180

    noneck180 Well-Known Member

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    I have decided to do my Sendero in the same method. The HS stock already has pillars but I drilled them out so the screws wouldn't touch. I bought some longer screws for the bedding purpose, and used shrink wrap for the spacing. I also made up a couple of screws to set in place while I put the bedding
    compound in.
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