@ 08:14 am (GMT)
Donald DevallHello from Louisiana. I've been reading the info presented here for quite a long while, and have learned a great deal from it, but this is my first question to the forums.
I have a Ruger American Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor, and I honestly love the rifle. It is a budget gun, but after tuning the trigger and polishing some of the lathe marks from the bolt body, I find that it shoots well, cycles smoothly, and is just a generally likable rifle. I plan to keep it as my main rifle and eventually replace the barrel, but for now, I would like to upgrade the stock.
To my knowledge there are 3 options available. The MDT aluminum chassis which uses an AR pistol grip and stock, the Boydes laminate stocks and the Magpul Hunter with its aluminum sub-chassis and Pmag compatible bottom metal.
Now, I've eliminated the MDT chassis because it's pistol grip configuration doesn't work well with the Rugers tang safety, but I'm open to thoughts on that.
I was pretty set on the Magpul stock till recently. It has that aluminum sub chassis, wide forend, good attatchment options for slings/bipods, and it allows the use of 308 Pmags. Many people dislike the Ruger rotary magazines. I personally haven't had an issue with mine.
But, after watching Nathan's video on the American, I'm reconsidering the Boydes. It is a nice stout laminated stock that comes with their version of the Ruger Vblocks, which the user beds into the stock. Originally I didn't like this idea, but I'm now thinking that maybe it would allow for a little better alignment of the v blocks to the action. By bedding them with the action installed, it should allow them to bed in a position that best fits the action. There is also a company that will fit these stocks (as well as the factory stock) with bottom metal that allows the use of AICS magazines should they be wanted.
All of these options cost nearly as much or more than the original rifle. I realize that, and I also realize in hind sight I probably Should have chosen a different base rifle. But I didn't, this is what I have, and I'd like to get the best from it. Thanks!!
@ 08:39 am (GMT)
Re: Ruger American replacement stock choicesAt this point I personally think that you have correctly identified the longer term solution... Spend the money once and build a custom rifle. I also agree however, that your Ruger can be made better following the video Nathan posted. I have no doubt there may be a "Next" time, when you can consider the options that will meet your needs in this context.
For an all-round hunting rifle for the many species of big game available, i would not build a custom hunting rifle based on the 6.5 Creedmor however, and perhaps in the future, if large bear, elk, moose or an African hunt is chosen, then you will wish to consider the custom rifle route.
@ 08:52 am (GMT)
Re: Ruger American replacement stock choicesFor your Ruger you could contact Boyds and ask about this stock, recently introduced and there is a Ruger option:
@ 10:18 am (GMT)
Re: Ruger American replacement stock choicesHi Donald, I hope you enjoyed the video, thanks for watching it, much appreciated.
Separate lugs would allow this rifle to be bedded through the action area. That is to say, the action could be fully epoxy bedded along with lugs. But I would want to see a decent photo of the stock and the lugs first so that I might be able to visualize a possible approach.
If this rifle is to be bedded, the method would be different to the Tikka.
With the Tikka, we float the top of the lug and rear of the lug.
In the Ruger, the V shape (used as a locator) dictates that we would float only one surface of the lug- that being the rear of each lug.
The front of the lugs would be taped. We then wedge the lugs into the action slots and hope that the lugs stay mated to the action while our epoxy cures.
But this is as suggested dependent on the lugs remaining mated during the cure. Our tape wedge may be insufficient for this and he may need superglue to keep the lugs in place. But then the superglue may interfere with tolerances.
If such things prove too difficult, it may just be that it is best to epoxy the lugs into the stock as best as we can (no actual epoxy bedding of the action) and then go back to our rigid mounting.
Note that the following statement from Boyds will confuse many:
ATTENTION CUSTOMERS: We will provide the front and rear lugs, front and rear takedown screws, triggerguard with screw, and the front magazine tab catch. Boyds Gunstocks recommends bedding the front and rear lugs.
The term bedding as used by Boyds is possibly not the same as how I would use this term. Boyds most likely mean to say that the lugs are to be epoxied in place. Bedding is quite something else but unfortunately the term is used very loosely these days as if any dollop of glue or addition of pillars equates to instant bedding.
I would guess that Boyds have provided a wide inlet for each lug. Epoxy is to be poured into each inlet, the lugs placed into the epoxy, the action placed down over this. The epoxy pour should be shallow to avoid any spill over into other areas of the action. Note that all of this is my guess work so take these comments with a pinch of salt.
As I said in the video, you cannot simply pour bedding compound into the stock with lugs in place within the stock due to reasons described. Many a gunsmith has ruined a Tikka rifle by doing just this and I have no doubt these same characters will try the same on the Ruger.
Certainly a tough call with these rifles. I do prefer to use my rigid mount system as relayed in the video, a basic fix for a basic budget gun. You may not be able to further fix bedding ills with an aftermarket stock but it will certainly cure ergonomic issues and forend flexing issues.
Not so sure if that helps any...
@ 10:25 pm (GMT)
Re: Ruger American replacement stock choiceshere is a video on how someone else has put a boyds stock onto his ruger predator
I don't have any experience with these rifles except seeing a couple shoot and helping the owners getting them sighted in, they shot very well out of the box.
the v blocks look like a very simple idea that works
getting a better stiffer stock and as you said setting the alignment of the v blocks up better in the stock by bedding them in will make your rifle a very much improved version
me myself I would prefer to do a proper bedding job around the v blocks but its up to you to see what works for you
good luck with it
@ 08:25 am (GMT)
Re: Ruger American replacement stock choicesThanks for the link Mark, it shows the Boyds pillars well. Looks as though these have been purchased (by Boyds) directly from Ruger.
(((Clive Judd, if you are reading this, please take a screen shot of the V lugs for future reference. Note the C cuts in the sides. These are used to lock the lug into the plastic mold. (Edit for clarity) - the action is attached to the V. The V is attached to the stock. The design ensures the end user can set high torque without pulling the pillar through the stock etc. The entire rifle design is based around the V, the stock is just a handle))).
OK, the Boyds stock premise was as predicted, there is no actual bedding, again a misuse of the term.
I also spoke above about the need to underfill and get the positioning correct but in the video link they overfill and then won't show us the result because it is quite surely a complete mess under there.
By all accounts, the simplest method will be to fit the lugs correctly into place and have the action sit on the v's only, no other contact with the stock. The stock inlet will be of the correct height but will have around .5mm / 20 thou play back and forth and side to side, just enough to get the stock aligned.
Use slivers of tape on the front of the action recesses if possible to take up the built in clearance, but perhaps not a wedge fit. Instead, use just enough electrical tape that you can place the action down and roughly align the mating surfaces without getting your tape munched up.
Set the V's into your epoxy, push down, then clean up all surplus epoxy. You can then place the action on the V's and leave to cure.
Once set, the same rules apply as I have described in the video. If the rifle needs further bedding, adopt rigid mounting.
Regarding full bedding (actual bedding) from the trigger well through and into the barrel channel:
1. Work out the correct height for the action. Mark the action with pencil. Use a barrel channel dam as your front height reference and at the rear, leave a reference line in the laminate at its original height (a small area that youy do not dremel). You will need to employ many trial fits to check heights with and without the lugs.
2. Take a dremel and create some extra inlett around and under the lug inlet. If you do not do this, the lugs will sit high after the cure (compound trapped underneath). Following this, dremel from the mag well forwards to ensure you have around 40 thou clearance. If the stock is already widely inletted, you will need to create a rear hight reference point using shim.
3. Superglue the lugs to the action forcing them to the rear of their rebates while curing. Use tape wedging to help align but also to prevent compound seepage. Apply generous release agent and graphite to intersections and allow to fully dry using a heat gun.
4. After full application of release agent, commence bedding. Bed the action and lugs into the stock as one. After the cure, the C notches in the lugs will ensure the action breaks away from the block with ease, leaving the lugs in the bedding.
Note that after bedding, the system is now different. The action no longer fully sits on the V's and instead uses its rounds (like a bedded Remington) with the lugs 'mostly' bearing recoil forces only. My experienced DIYers will understand what I am saying here, especially those who have worked on the Tikka rifle.
And remember, the higher the recoil (more potent the cartridge), the more each of the little things will make a huge difference.
If anyone wants to try the superglue method with full bedding using our compound, I will do my best to buddy them via skype screen share (this is too much to do via email correspondence) so that they don't have to go it alone. You'll have me right there with you.
OK, I hope the above make some sense to readers.
@ 02:19 am (GMT)
Re: Ruger American replacement stock choicesWow. Bryan, Nathan, Mark, thank you for your thoughts. The input here is on a totally different level than that which can be obtained elsewhere. It would seem that this little corner of the interwebs is home to some true shootists.
I'm now ver much considering the Boydes option... weather doing as Nathan described would improve accuracy, I don't know. But I doubt it would hurt if done properly, and at the very least would add to pride of ownership. I'm going to mull it over for a bit and I will be sure to report back when I decide to make a move.
Again, thank you guys!