Accuracy improvement after bedding a stock.

archangel485

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Sep 17, 2016
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I've had both experiences, precision doesn't change and precision improves. It's never gotten worse however so I'd always do it for that reason alone. The thing that has been true in every case is is whenever I've had to take a bedded rifle apart, when I put it back together using the same torque it's shooting right where it was before, and that is definitely not true of unbedded rifles. That to me is priceless.
 

25WSM

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Oct 17, 2011
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New Castle PA
JE has said it correctly. I've been smithing custom long range and target rifles for 30 yrs. A proper bedding job is totally stress free. The action sits on the pillars and the glass just keeps the action from moving from shot to shot. Plus the full contact of the bedding on the stock helps dampen vibrations more. When done correctly you screws will bottom out and completely tighten up in half a turn or less. Plus action screws can be used in tuning your load. Once you have a load that is good try changing the action screw torque. I normally only adjust the rear screw lighter by 5 each time and see if it shoots better. On all my personal long range target rifles the action is glued into the stock permanently.
Shep
 

J E Custom

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Texas
JE

I agree wit pretty much everything you have said above, my only quibble would be with the term stress free bedding. No matter how smooth the bedding job there will always be more stress at the two or three action screw locations. It would be impossible for it to be otherwise. All in, what a great bedding job is designed to do is to LOCK the action in place so it does not move around under recoil or from wood expansion/contraction. A good bedding job also helps make an action more rigid, similar to sleeving an action.You also want the torque to remain stable over long periods.

Whether an action touches only at the pillars and is free floated everywhere else or it is bedded in a smooth, non compressible bed like Devcon, or an excellent job of bedding is done in wood and the torque applied is correct so it doesn't crush the wood (wood also needs to be completely sealed from water) the outcome is the same. The action will not move under recoil. As you rightly said however, pillar and bed is the easiest way to get this to happen consistently.

It's Not just my opinion, I have proven it to my self using dial indicators on actions while torquing them down in an effort to find the best torque that didn't flex the action and in some cases caused the trigger pull weight to change.

What I discovered was that if the indicator changed in any location, the action would flex/bend if only .0001 thousandth. if the action was pillar bedded correctly there was no movement and the action was in the stress free state. I also recommend bedding compound that has a long pot life and the compound doesn't heat up during curing causing expansion (Dimensional changes)of the compound or the action that can cause a less that perfect fit.

I also support the barrel during bedding to prevent and additional load/flexing on the action and never use the action screws to bed with and prefer spring clamps that produce stress free clamping (The clamps are not strong enough to flex/spring the action).

I have tested the fit accuracy with different compounds and the quicker the cure, the more heat was produced. This is also the reason I recommend bedding with bedding compounds designed for bedding.
some other compounds could/may have higher tensile strength or may be cheaper, but if they induce heat and/or don't have non shrink abilities I feel you are settling for a less quality pillar bedding.

As I have said many times nothing worthwhile is easy and i don't believe in shortcuts that could haunt me later so a proper pillar bedding is a must before load workup, and can save cost and hours.
Most that know me, know that I don't believe anything I hear and only what I can prove, (At least to myself) through testing.

Everyone has there favorite way to do something, this is just mine because it works best for me.

J E CUSTOM
 

25WSM

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New Castle PA
I use score high pro bed that comes in a cartridge. Super easy to use. When mixed up the stuff is like marshmallow fluff and is thick enough to stay right where you put it. If it cold in your shop just put it somewhere at 70 for a few hours or you'll have problems with how thick it feels. Normal room temp is perfect. I don't use their release compound I use clear shoe polish. Wipe it on and wait a few minutes for it to haze up and wipe it all off. Your gun will pop out so easy you will laugh the first time you try it. Car wax works too. The good carnuba kind. Hope this helps.
Shep
 

Alibiiv

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Joined
Jun 17, 2013
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Location
Rhode Island
It's Not just my opinion, I have proven it to my self using dial indicators on actions while torquing them down in an effort to find the best torque that didn't flex the action and in some cases caused the trigger pull weight to change.

What I discovered was that if the indicator changed in any location, the action would flex/bend if only .0001 thousandth. if the action was pillar bedded correctly there was no movement and the action was in the stress free state. I also recommend bedding compound that has a long pot life and the compound doesn't heat up during curing causing expansion (Dimensional changes)of the compound or the action that can cause a less that perfect fit.

I also support the barrel during bedding to prevent and additional load/flexing on the action and never use the action screws to bed with and prefer spring clamps that produce stress free clamping (The clamps are not strong enough to flex/spring the action).

I have tested the fit accuracy with different compounds and the quicker the cure, the more heat was produced. This is also the reason I recommend bedding with bedding compounds designed for bedding.
some other compounds could/may have higher tensile strength or may be cheaper, but if they induce heat and/or don't have non shrink abilities I feel you are settling for a less quality pillar bedding.

As I have said many times nothing worthwhile is easy and i don't believe in shortcuts that could haunt me later so a proper pillar bedding is a must before load workup, and can save cost and hours.
Most that know me, know that I don't believe anything I hear and only what I can prove, (At least to myself) through testing.

Everyone has there favorite way to do something, this is just mine because it works best for me.

J E CUSTOM
"I also recommend bedding compound that has a long pot life and the compound doesn't heat up during curing causing expansion (Dimensional changes)of the compound or the action that can cause a less that perfect fit." Curious about what you would recommend for a bedding compound? I've been using AcraGlas kits, do notice that they heat up when the cure/kick. Thank you for the information in this reply.
 

birdiemc

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Jan 1, 2011
Messages
824
Location
San Antonio, TX
It's Not just my opinion, I have proven it to my self using dial indicators on actions while torquing them down in an effort to find the best torque that didn't flex the action and in some cases caused the trigger pull weight to change.

What I discovered was that if the indicator changed in any location, the action would flex/bend if only .0001 thousandth. if the action was pillar bedded correctly there was no movement and the action was in the stress free state. I also recommend bedding compound that has a long pot life and the compound doesn't heat up during curing causing expansion (Dimensional changes)of the compound or the action that can cause a less that perfect fit.

I also support the barrel during bedding to prevent and additional load/flexing on the action and never use the action screws to bed with and prefer spring clamps that produce stress free clamping (The clamps are not strong enough to flex/spring the action).

I have tested the fit accuracy with different compounds and the quicker the cure, the more heat was produced. This is also the reason I recommend bedding with bedding compounds designed for bedding.
some other compounds could/may have higher tensile strength or may be cheaper, but if they induce heat and/or don't have non shrink abilities I feel you are settling for a less quality pillar bedding.

As I have said many times nothing worthwhile is easy and i don't believe in shortcuts that could haunt me later so a proper pillar bedding is a must before load workup, and can save cost and hours.
Most that know me, know that I don't believe anything I hear and only what I can prove, (At least to myself) through testing.

Everyone has there favorite way to do something, this is just mine because it works best for me.

J E CUSTOM
That's the first time I've come across somebody who has articulated why an actual bedding compound is advantageous over whatever 2part mix you can get at a big box store. I always just thought it was the same stuff just priced higher cuz gun enthusiasts would pay extra for epoxy with a picture of a rifle on the label. Might have to go throw away all my jb weld now.
 

Greyfox

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Northeast
Just curious how many fully bed the entire recoil lug vs taping the bottom and side surfaces to establish a small amount of clearance, with only the face of the recoil lug making contact with the stock.
 

archangel485

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Sep 17, 2016
Messages
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Location
Wyoming
Just curious how many fully bed the entire recoil lug vs taping the bottom and side surfaces to establish a small amount of clearance, with only the face of the recoil lug making contact with the stock.
I was taught and have read to only let the back side of the lug contact the stock. I get why the bottom shouldn't touch, because when you torque it down you want to ensure it isn't holding your action up out of the bedding. The front and sides I'm not 100% sure why but maybe along the same lines, just ensures the round part of the action is nestled all the way down. Regardless, it seems common practice so I do it that way and it has served me well.
 

Greyfox

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Jan 21, 2008
Messages
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I was taught and have read to only let the back side of the lug contact the stock. I get why the bottom shouldn't touch, because when you torque it down you want to ensure it isn't holding your action up out of the bedding. The front and sides I'm not 100% sure why but maybe along the same lines, just ensures the round part of the action is nestled all the way down. Regardless, it seems common practice so I do it that way and it has served me well.
Thanks. Yes, I have also heard that what you describe is the correct approach, but I have observed bedding jobs that epoxied the entire lug. Interestingly, a Winchester Model 70 CRF Super grade I purchased in the 90’s had the entire lug bedded in its walnut stock as well as the tang area. I eventually swapped the stock out for a Mcmillan that I bedded.
 

J E Custom

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Messages
10,315
Location
Texas
"I also recommend bedding compound that has a long pot life and the compound doesn't heat up during curing causing expansion (Dimensional changes)of the compound or the action that can cause a less that perfect fit." Curious about what you would recommend for a bedding compound? I've been using AcraGlas kits, do notice that they heat up when the cure/kick. Thank you for the information in this reply.

Like most, I started bedding when I knew very little about it and worked through the different compounds and problems. I understood the need for a good fit between the action and the receiver but knew very little about the cause and effect of bedding.

I started using anything available for bedding compounds including some that were not designed for bedding.Each compound had it's own unique problems and after many failures and poor bedding jobs I started learning which compounds gave the best results with the least problems.

The bedding I prefer is one of three that I have very good results with. unfortunately it is one of the most expensive. But can be the cheapest if you have problems and have to redo the bedding. I like and use Steel bed most of the time and pro bed 2000 and Devcon

I prefer the compounds that mix 50/50 and the Devcon has to be measured 9 to 1 and can be tricky to get right so it is my last choice if I don't have any of the other two compounds. I started with Bisonite, and then went to Acraglass and it was two runny so I tried the jell and it was better but still gave problems. I even experimented adding brass, stainless and fiberglass fillers to make it more wear resistant and easier to work with mixed results. when I tried Steel bed and saw the benefits in working time and low temperatures during curing, I started seeing the benefits of these type of compounds.

I also started using wax as a release agent instead of the film type that occasionally slipped and glued the action to the stock.

This is just what I like and use and combined with a proper pillar installation I get the best results.

There are also different applications and process for bedding depending on the intended use of the weapon and if properly applied can produce outstanding results.

Other compounds that are not designed for bedding firearms may be cheaper and have more tensile/compression strength, but also may have design attributes for other service that are not the best for action bedding in my opinion and should not be used.

All I can say is try the compound that was designed for bedding and has a slow pot life. (2 to 4 hours)

J E CUSTOM


That's the first time I've come across somebody who has articulated why an actual bedding compound is advantageous over whatever 2part mix you can get at a big box store. I always just thought it was the same stuff just priced higher cuz gun enthusiasts would pay extra for epoxy with a picture of a rifle on the label. Might have to go throw away all my jb weld now.
 

bigngreen

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Nov 24, 2008
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Location
SW Montana
Just curious how many fully bed the entire recoil lug vs taping the bottom and side surfaces to establish a small amount of clearance, with only the face of the recoil lug making contact with the stock.
I only tape the bottom of the lug and an 1/8th up each side to create clearance at the bottom but I want everything else to be secure, I'm looking for a fit that is just one step away from a glue in and honestly now days I'd glue one in using an action with a trigger hanger. I usu a puller that pulls the action up nice and straight then when I put it together it just pushes into the stock and seats.
 

J E Custom

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Jul 29, 2004
Messages
10,315
Location
Texas
Thanks. Yes, I have also heard that what you describe is the correct approach, but I have observed bedding jobs that epoxied the entire lug. Interestingly, a Winchester Model 70 CRF Super grade I purchased in the 90’s had the entire lug bedded in its walnut stock as well as the tang area. I eventually swapped the stock out for a Mcmillan that I bedded.

The issue of how much area needs to be bedded is dependent on the style of the action, the use of the action and the abuses that it is subjected to. Also the amount of consecutive firings without any cool down. Stock strength and barrel size and weight have a huge bearing
on how much and the location of bedding material.

In other words, There is no one best way to bed a rifle. Hunting rifles
are typically bedded differently that target rifles. hard use/service rifles are bedded yet another way for best use and accuracy plus long term durability. Any bedding will help but the proper bedding for it's intended use will do the best.

Just my opinion

J E CUSTOM
 

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