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Rifle Bedding Tips (from a first timer)

14 Mar 2016
@ 02:06 am (GMT)

Mike Kush

After finishing my 1st bedding job, I though I may have some helpful feedback for other newbies.

I did most of the job in my apartment bedroom, with the dremel/grinding/sanding done on the balcony (without anyone else finding out lol). That's basically the worst workshop environment so anyone can do it.

I did it bit by bit when I had time, so it took about 2 weeks. This was the first time I took apart my rifle, stock, trigger, etc.

- Before you do anything, read the section in nathan's book, read the pdf, watch the videos on his youtube channel; start to finish, because it helps to know where you are going.

- Before you do anything else, trace your action with pencil on the rear tang. I ground out too much at the rear because my line was off bc I drew it after taking rifle apart.

- Careful not to let your spring jump away and hide when removing the trigger!

- When putting the plasticine in the magazine/trigger wells, use as much as possible (without interfering with action), so you don't have to grind out so much afterwards. I used taped rolled up newspaper under the plasticine to get more 'miles' out of it.

- I only used nathan's kit release agent, no graphite; mine came out fine.

- I bought hex screws and used my plug in rotary tool to cut the heads off

- Use aluminium tape around the stock ridge, not electrical tape. When grinding the electrical tape away, I went through it without knowing.

- Also, my action was scratched parallel the stock line by the bedding material upon separation. To prevent this, put aluminium tape parallel to stock, just slightly above.

- When taping underside of action covering the trigger holes, put enough tape to just cover them. The tape lines will be seen in the bedding material.

- when mixing the compounds, I had boiled water on an electric kettle. To release the air bubbles better, I vibrated my arms, tapping the container on the rim of the kettle over the hot steam.

- Do NOT leave excess material above the stock line. It creates more work later, and leads to potential breakouts. What is excess? I once asked my driving instructor how much below 50 I could go in a 50 zone. Response: Go 50.
PS: be sure to fill up any 'suck back areas' as nathan mentions

- I had my rifle in my range box V-forks while doing all the inside work. I also used it as a hot box. With it empty, I put boiling water in about 6L worth of bottles and containers underneath the rifle, then draped blankets/rags over top. I changed the water about every 12 hours (before and after work). I also put it in my bathroom, shut the door, and turned the heat up

- To break the stock free from action, I put cardboard over the barrel and hit it with a baseball bat a few times with gradually more force.

You may be tired and in a hurry by this point, but take your time and clean up slowly to prevent scratching things that should not be.

The bedding kit was very easy to use. Being my first rifle, hardest part was wrapping my head around how/why things are done.

Eager to test it soon.


14 Mar 2016
@ 08:44 pm (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: Rifle Bedding Tips (from a first timer)
"Do NOT leave excess material above the stock line. It creates more work later, and leads to potential breakouts."

Mike for the benefit of other readers and yourself this just isn't quite correct, yes too much will possibly trap the action but you MUST leave some proud of the stock, ie 2-3mm. It will give you something to work with and help stop chipping the leading edge when breaking out the action or during machining (file the last part by hand down to your tape not machine).

The size of the area that the compound has to fill will determine the amount of "suck back" that happens whilst the compound is curing (any compound). It will nearly always happen at the recoil lug/knox area to some degree as the compound cools, it's a very large void and should be allowed for. Adding more whilst its curing isn't the way to go unless it is very early on after the poor, as the compound tacks off and becomes solid it will loose its adhesion, the new layer may just break away from the edge during machining.

And the compound will not mark your action in anyway, the parallel scratches you have are from cleaning away the compound with something tuff like a screw driver or steel ruler.
14 Mar 2016
@ 09:15 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Rifle Bedding Tips (from a first timer)
Good to hear your progress Mike. Yes, ali tape can be very useful. Just have to make sure that we don't cut ourselves up when laying it. The edges can be razor sharp.

Thanks Marty, what you have said is of great importance. This is the number one mistake I see / the most common email. Copound may leech down into a screw hole etc by a small amount, slumping the side walls. A small excess prevents this and helps form a good vacuum.
15 Mar 2016
@ 05:18 am (GMT)

Cor Nepgen

Re: Rifle Bedding Tips (from a first timer)
Hi All,

One thing I would add is to be aware of temperature when bedding. I found with mid 20 degree C the compound behaves exactly as described in the book and instructions. Also helps to have the rifle cool before shockinging it out.

My first attempt at the bedding was during a bit of a heat wave (40+ C) and it influenced the curing etc. Its slightly more tricky in terms of how much post heat to apply and how this phase works. I don't think it would be any worry for guys that have experience but for me it was definitely easier and more predictable (being a first timer as well) in more mild temperatures.

Also one of the most rewarding things I've done and preliminary results are very promising with Federal ammunition.
15 Mar 2016
@ 05:49 am (GMT)

Mike Kush

Re: Rifle Bedding Tips (from a first timer)
Yes Marty,
I guess what I meant to get across, is leave the right amount, not more than needed, just what's described.

You may be right about the compound not scratching the action, I can't think of what I did though (it's nice to blame someone/thing else)

Thx for the feedback guys


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