bedding - work back from the shop

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by inglysh, Sep 6, 2015.

  1. inglysh

    inglysh Member

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    Question for the group.

    I have a rifle that I recently bought a aftermarket wood stock for. The quality of the stock was as expected (mass produced) and I wanted to put some work into it to make it as good as it possibly could be. After having conducted some online investigation, I determined that this work (pillar install, bedding) would best be left to a gunsmith.

    I dropped off the gun at the shop several weeks ago and after about 3 weeks it was ready to be picked up. When I dropped it off, the shop made it clear that they were going to do all of the right things including ring install/alignment and scope install. This was all work that was right in their wheelhouse and they seemed happy enough to take it on.

    I picked it up today and was a bit surprised. I had expected full length action bed work from just forward of the lug to the tang, done in such a way that there was an obvious epoxy layer. What I got back was something else entirely. There was a gob of epoxy around the lug and no obvious work anywhere else, with the exception of the installed pillars. I also believed that their needed to be additional relief work done in/around the action area as the barrel was not centered in the channel.

    I have not yet shot the rifle so really as long as it shoots well, I have no complaints. That said, given the investment I made with the shop, I am extremely disappointed in their work (specifically care and finish). It appears as though there is no more than 20 minutes worth of work and a minimum of parts and materials.

    Truth be told, the aftermarket stock is very slim and there is a minimum of material that could have been removed from either side of the stock. That said, it the center of the channel, I would have expected to see more of an effort to establish a solid mating surface. There literally is none, not even at the lug. Admittedly, I'm a novice and am drawing my conclusion based on aesthetics and what information I've managed to pull off the interwebs.

    My plan is to go shoot the gun tomorrow and see how it goes. If it shoots better than the tupperware, I'll be happy enough. If it does not, I'll probably take it to another shop to complete the work that I originally asked for/thought should be done and to remove and reinstall the scope. (they didn't charge me for the install so I don't know if they overlooked it, if they forgot, etc.) This the right path? Would you do anything different?
     
  2. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette Well-Known Member

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    What comes to mind is what you discussed when you dropped it off. Did you discuss the exact items that now bother you, such as a full action bedding, stock relieving, etc? Or did you ask if they could install pillars and bed it, and then leave the rifle? I suspect that your expectations and theirs did not match from Day 1, which is why you got what you asked for, or in this case what you didn't ask for.

    When having work done do not be afraid to be specific. If you were very specific with them and told them exactly what you wanted down to every detail and it was not done then you have a right to be upset. If you discussed the work in generalities then you have learned that you need let your expectations be known when having custom work performed.

    I do hope it shoots well for you.

    In addition, you now know why I learned how to bed rifles on my own.
     
  3. ShtrRdy

    ShtrRdy Well-Known Member

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    Depending on how narrow that wood stock it, it might be better to leave the wood along the sides of the receiver. The main idea of bedding is to relieve any stress when the action is bolted into the stock. If the pillars and bedding do this it'll probably shoot fine.

    Can you post a picture of the result?
     
  4. inglysh

    inglysh Member

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    Results back from the range.

    It appears to shoot no better or worse now compared to its original form. I shot both my favorite reloads (58gn H4831 + Nosler 130gn accubonds) as well as known factory ammo that performs well (hornady 130gn american hunter) and both 3 shot groups landed around .56 inches (center to center) from each other at 100 yards.

    Discussed before drop off.

    I pointed out the areas I thought were impacting the barrel from sitting straight in the channel. I asked about relief work and clarified that the "Pillar bed and glass bed" service was. Before I could finish indicating what I wanted, I was interrupted and told what I interpreted to be exactly what I wanted. This was a "you want this, trust me" type of a conversation and I felt confident upon its conclusion.

    There are no stresses on the barrel, perhaps right up until the recoil lug (which is the only place there is any bedding compound contact) -- the full length of the barrel will accommodate as many as 4 sheets of note paper.

    From an aesthetics perspective, it doesn't look pleasing... at least to my eye. If I had to choose, I suppose I would rather have too much float than not enough. Still... It bothers the f out of me when I look at it.

    From a "does this look like a quality job done by a qualified professional" perspective, there appears to be little to no care taken to complete this - a total rush job. I really think that with a little relief work, the barrel would appear to be much straighter in the channel. I mentioned this point up front and am extremely disappointed that no corrective effort was made here.... Matters only made worse by the complete lack of care that appears to have gone into the bed work. While it may shoot well and the work may be technically correct, I does not appear to have been completed by a skilled tradesman and doesn't add much in the way of value to the overall project from my perspective.

    I will try to get some pictures in good light of the entire project. From what I can tell, the action is floating on the pillars with inconsistent, perhaps inconsequential contact on either side, front to back. I believe that JB Weld was the bedding compound used.

    All told, the only information I have to go on is what I've seen online, read in books, etc... and this is really the only experience I have even witnessing something like this in person. A good learning experience.
     
  5. eshorebwhntr

    eshorebwhntr Well-Known Member

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    Everyone has their own thoughts on what bedding is necessary. Some guns even shoot well without it. Ultimately you want the bedding to make your rifle as consistent as possible.

    Having said that depending on how much you paid I would have personally wanted a little more than it seems you got.

    My taxidermist brought over a 6mm that he loved that would hit center on the first shot every time cold then walk from there and never group. I told him exactly what I was going to do and he was hesitant. Eventually he got a warm/fuzzy by talking over the problem with other guys that he respected the opinion of and they agreed that it was probably bedding and barrel contact. So I bedded it for him. It made his factor rifle shoot about .75 moa or better. Consistently.

    If your rifle is consistent, I would leave it alone. The bedding is doing it's job, ugly or not. If you do decide to go with getting it redone be sure to let the next guy know what he's getting into. Most people hate fixing other people screw ups.

    I've added a few pictures for reference. Feel free to use them as reference the next time you discuss bedding work with a gunsmith and how you feel it should turn out (even if you think it should be better than mine...I've got big shoulders)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I don't do it for a living. Just my own work mostly but it turned out ok I thought.
     
  6. inglysh

    inglysh Member

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    Your work looks way legit. I would have been happy to have it.

    [​IMG]

    This, not so much. Full disclosure, it was $150... I am not impressed.

    It does shoot though... I hate to admit.
     
  7. inglysh

    inglysh Member

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    Comparing the two.... yours looks like proper work.

    Mine still has green play dough in it.

    The guy that did it, didn't need any hands to count how many f*cks he gave about his work.

    I hate myself for not doing it on my own.
     
  8. ShtrRdy

    ShtrRdy Well-Known Member

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    Would you mind posting a picture of what yours looks like?
     
  9. inglysh

    inglysh Member

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    Mine is pictured in post 6.
     
  10. ShtrRdy

    ShtrRdy Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't show up on my 'puter. I just see a little black box with an 'X' in it.
     
  11. inglysh

    inglysh Member

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  12. ShtrRdy

    ShtrRdy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the link.

    Yep, that looks pretty bad. I can now see why you're so upset.
     
  13. eshorebwhntr

    eshorebwhntr Well-Known Member

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    Link worked for me too.

    That is pretty bad for $150. The pics I posted of the latest one I did are far from perfect (a few voids in bedding compound and less than perfect prep) and I knew that before posting but for $150 I think you deserve more than what you got.
     
  14. jsthntn247

    jsthntn247 Well-Known Member

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    You can just about judge the quality of a gunsmith by how his bedding jobs look. Yours looks horrible. I've had two very similar jobs done as yours and know how you feel. That's why I learned to bed my own.