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Zastava M70 bedding - shocked

14 May 2018
@ 08:10 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Recently I did a little horse trading and ended up with a very nice Zastava controlled feed .308 that seems to shoot very well (touching shots sighting in and 2 close range pigs with 2 shots all Ive fired so far) the thing that bugged me is a strange clunk noise from time to time when handling..... this really bugged me as Ive had scope base movement do it so tripled checked everything,then finally I had a hold of barrel with one hand and stock with other and buggamesideways it moved..... only about 1mm but it moved/slid backwards and forwards,due to being busy its sat in cabinet and havent looked at it for a couple of weeks.
tonight got her out and took action out of stock......Mates she is sleeping on the floor. a crude fore end pressure point dob of what looks like car bog is it. around action,nothing,not anything at all. both action screws have steel pillars around them but they arent fixed or even tight in stock holes,as for the small recoil lug...small as in about 1'' wide by 1/4'' high and 1/2'' deep it has ABSOLUTELY nothing to touch at rear,and some wood close to it at front,the bottom of it SITS ON stock and can see where its polished wood........ shocked beyond words,not even a blob of hot glue as my Winchester mod70 lightweight came with...... come to think of it Ive rebedded my .223 Zastava that way and havent got around to redoing as she shoots tiny wee groups as it is
I do have match grade rebedding kit but cant see any info in books for action like this...... what say you Guru?????
times like this I wish I still lived in Taumarunui as I would zip over hill and get you to do it for me.....


15 May 2018
@ 08:57 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: shocked
Hi Mike, if you send me clear photos of the action and stock, I can check it all over, make sure there are no peculiarities, then advise. No worries.
15 May 2018
@ 05:23 pm (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: shocked
Hi Mike
at a guess this is a similar recoil lug to the small p14 one.
i just do front and rear bedding,
i use couple layers of nail polish for relieving as its very difficult to get tape to work.
also if you use a nail polish that matches your eyes or your shoes it really brings it all together nicely
16 May 2018
@ 09:08 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: shocked
Classic. Like this Thomas:
16 May 2018
@ 11:13 am (GMT)

Dan Keene

Re: shocked
Hi Mike,
You really should heed Thomas's advice. There are not many shooter around who look as fetching as Thomas when he is scrubbed up.
16 May 2018
@ 05:07 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: shocked
thanks guys...will get camera out and take some photos later tonight...really cant believe it still....fancy taking all the beding completely,even my good Wife only steals half the blankets.....this one is a head scratcher as all rearward pressure will have been taken by pillars and the metal at tang...Nathan you are the best.
17 May 2018
@ 06:35 am (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: shocked
shhh Dan don't let everyone in on my secret, it's bad enough my wife once saw a photo of me clean shaven.
Well that's the last time i let her look at any of my baby photo's.

hope you took some photo's Mike.
look forwards to hearing how you get on with it.

17 May 2018
@ 09:41 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: shocked
The Bossman has photos and given me some advice on how to procede from here...maybe he will share photos as I havent the capability to do so ...I will re read his emails a few times and look at rifle again,have a crack at setting her up for front end bedding? and take more photos and proceed with caution and advice..... no hurry on this one as the .270 sitting there ready to go while I get this one done right.
18 May 2018
@ 08:15 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Zastava M70 bedding - shocked
Hi Mike, as per the previous email:

As a note for others- this is a basic Mauser type action.

Regarding the big hole for the front action screw- plug the hole entirely with plasticine, then poke a sharp pencil through the centre. This will allow you to use a headless screw on the action and to push it through the hole in the plasticine, then pinch the plasticine around the headless screw once the action is down in the mortice. Use this same method for all Mauser mil bolt actions which feature a pillar built in to the front of the bottom metal.

Regarding the recoil lug- if the sides of the lug are tapered, then there will be no need for tape on the sides of the lug. Put tape on the front and bottom of the lug, or use nail polish (put release agent over the nail polish and then powder graphite over the whole shebang). Use nail polish remover to remove the nail polish after the bedding job is done. If the lug is not tapered at its sides, tape or nail polish the front, sides and bottom.

You can do an 'almost' full length bedding job on this action if you want to (will just be a bit of a gap in the full bedding at the trigger well). If you full bed, make sure you have plenty of compound on hand due to the gaping inlet. So keep a spare kit on hand.

As for the tang, glue the rear pillar in place first, double syringe type, super strength.

If doing a front rear bed, make a plasticine dam that fills half of the magazine well. Pinch the dam up at the rear. But note, if the stock is gaping at the sides, it will need damming up the walls (hence why full length bedding can be easier- no sidewall dams). In some cases, such as when dealing with a trapezium or round to square shape such as this action, plasticine works OK for sidewall damming, in others (vertical wall actions), it pays to use layers of electrical tape to make sidewall dams in the mag well. My next vid (the M77 bedding vid) will cover these factors with regards to front rear bedding.

One further note Mike. It is important to understand that on the Mauser types, where the magazine is a part of the bottom metal, the action is to be considered height critical (although mag fit is critical to all). If the action sits too high in the stock, there will be a gap between the front of the magazine and action resulting in bullet jams when cycling the action. On the other hand, if the action sits too low (possibly how it is now), rather than sitting in the stock or on any bedding, the action will be sitting on the mag box, the stock being some floppy thing that just happens to be in the middle. Note that the front pillar also needs this gap (use tiny balls of plasticine in the area of the front pillar to check if they crush right down when the rifle is assembled).

These errors are extremely common. When bedding, you must try to set the action up so that the gap between the action and mag box is around .5mm. This means doing your inlet work and barrel channel dam first without blocking off the mag well so that you can periodically fit the magazine and check the gap. Keep checking the gap, then pug the mag well and front action screw hole with plasticine towards the very end of the prep. The issue of magazine height is critical to all actions but tends to be the least forgiving (yet most overlooked) in the Mausers which also require attention to the front pillar. Note also that the Mauser mag box can be sanded if need be, but it pays tpo avoid sanding off several mm as I have seen on some jobs. A lick is fine, but heavier shaves may effect mag capacity and feeding. The front pillar can also be sanded to suit.

This info can also be found in my accurizing book within the rifle bedding section- tips for military bolt actions.

Mike's Zastava:

25 May 2018
@ 04:40 am (GMT)

Alvaro Piqueras

Re: Zastava M70 bedding - shocked
Looking at these pictures... someone hear something about “floating something” and take it to the extrem! LOL
10 Jun 2018
@ 01:16 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Zastava M70 bedding - shocked
update..... took scope off last night,interesting to say the least,lets just say I used 5mm drill bit in cordless drill and lost a lot of sweat and the scope with rings still attached will be visiting an engineering mate to remove the slogged out allen key heads (before I take to it with angle grinder in frustration) I suspect someone used loctite and didnt use blue 243 stuff......
Ive carefully chiseled away wood from around the front of action and barrel knox which in this case is lovely 2" parrallel section so now have 1.5-2mm gap on both sides and I THINK about same underneath. got out trusty 1/2 round file and took the bog/pooh out of forward barrel channel and it looks as if a thin layer of cardboard(webbing strap too thick) in here will give me a .5-1mm gap between mag box and can set up my plastercine dams using this as height reference. I think this will give me 3-4" of well bedded action and barrel which should firm everthing right up tighter than a tight thing.
rear pillar is bedded in place with araldite and instantly the slop went out of assembled rifle, next job...probably care of engineering mate ... is to find correct threaded headless bolts and order another bedding kit so have enough on hand.
12 Jun 2018
@ 01:28 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Zastava M70 bedding - shocked
kit ordered.bolts found in my garage that fit.
more wood removed to ensure decent amount of room for compound to fit.
resealed wood with polyurathane,re read book sections 3 times,re read this thread 3 times (fast reader,slow learner) action has been in and out of stock so many times its getting dizzy but Im finnally happy with fit and height.... doubled layer of card at barrel channel end and single piece of webbing in channel itself keep it spot on...plastercine dams in place....
now ???? do I need to put front headless scew in at all?????
it will only be located by plastacine dam as has 1/4" clearance all around it in the stock itself (filled with plastacine) the bottom of recoil lug and the 2mm high round piece of it that contains start of bolt hole will be sunk into this plastercene dam when action is set down in place. the action is located in place by rear headless bolt and barrel channel..... is it needed or just a complication??? without it I wont need drinking straws as compound wont have anywhere to go.....
also as bedding compound isnt needed under the recoil lug I guess I wont need to get too carried away carving under where it previously sat??? currently have small 2mm sliver on each side of pillar hole ...have pig bristles in garage from last pig I shot with this rifle for grins n giggles to add into compound just because I can.

thought to add this query here rather than clog up Nathans email and also it might stay as future aid for slow learners like myself.
12 Jun 2018
@ 02:45 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Zastava M70 bedding - shocked
Hi Mike, looks like you are getting right into it.

Regarding the area to be bedded, do not seal with eurethane. Best to let the compound soak in and bind with the wood. Eurathane or better still teak oil can be used to reseal the mag well and forend, but it is generally better to do this after bedding.

If you can, do use headless screws. Having said this, if the front screw hole is very large or at angle like the Ruger M77 then yes, you can omit the front screw and use the barrel channel dam but you must get the alignment perfect, lots more trial fits with the bottom metal in place, then plug the hole after you are happy. Nevertheless, it can be better to use headless screws with a bit of tape over them or at the very least, apply a headless screw to the tang. It really only takes the slightest level of misalignment to bugger the job, resulting in the screws being forced against the sidewalls of the hole, placing the system under stress. But as you say, on this job, you can do away with the front screw seeing as the hole its going into is actually a plasticine hole. But if you can, do use a screw at the tang.

Just as a side note to retirate for others - The drinking straws are just a temporary measure to ensure alignment. These are pushed through and then discarded as soon as the action is down in the mortice. You can omit these, plug the front completely and use Stephs tear drop method (tips and tricks video) to plug the tang screw hole, the headless screw or screws will pop the tear drop out.

Do remove a small amount of wood from under the lug, it prevents the action from being jacked up / prevents any pinching at the corners, plus it helps build compression strength.

If you want to play with boar bristles, just make sure they have been hit with brake cleaner or elec cleaner. Chop them down to say 4mm after cleaning.

I know its a pain but all those trial fits and steps you have taken are worth it. All of this can make for an exceptional rifle.

Hope that all makes sense.
12 Jun 2018
@ 03:46 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Zastava M70 bedding - shocked
loving this journey..... having a day off work mid week is fatal,read your last post Mate...headed back to garage with chisel in hand...removed more wood from sides to get rid of polyurathane,got stuck into botoom of cavity too so will be 3-4mm of compound in there now with plenty all around lug to give it some beef. looked in my bits n bobs ice cream container while thinking about the gaping hole in bottom of stock...14mm wide with 6mm rod/headless bolt and what do you know....there is a nice clean champhered pillar bit over 13mm wide with 8mm hole through guts just a wee tad too long for hole through stock......bit of that wonderful plastercine jammed around bottom tying it to lot in mag well and it holds in place perfectly allowing taped headless screw/bolt to slide now Ive got rear/front and middle guided into place
speaking of headless your book you mention winchester has an oddball thread...just so happens so does the brass coated allen key flat headed bolts used in barbeque hardwood frames ...I can hardly believe Ive fluked finding the metal bits needed 3 times in a row as I dont do machanical things very often and sure dont have a lot of stuff to choice from.
thankyou again for taking the time to guide me through this.
16 Jun 2018
@ 01:13 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Zastava M70 bedding - shocked
bedding kit arived yesterday, plurry tired after a long night driving stock truck so left things alone till head clearer.... good nights sleep,breakfast and a soak in spa...right time to go...
final clean up, taped stock adding skirts....reapplied some release agent then more graphite powder... waited for a bit,mixed compounds together.....waited a little bit more (wheres that whiskey??) poured most into cavity,scooped little on to trowel and drizzled it into edges of recoil lug and troweled some neatly up sides of cavity then slid her home......wee tiny jiggle to get front headless screw into guiding piller and pop plastercene teardrop out then slid nicely down......PANIC STATIONS !!!!!! its not completely filled!!!!!! (me being a tight wad had used the 1/2 kit left over from last job...neatly weighed out and devided I must add)....ummmmmm scoop last bit out of container and drizzle it in sides then lightbulb finnally went on.....dumb bum hadnt given her the final downward tiny bit needed to seat it right down and plastercene dam was holding it slightly proud (many fit and re fits had me confident) so gave it a tiny bit more downward pressure and the compund slopped up sides beautifully PHEWWWW ,quick clean up with cotton buds,applied bungy/shearing belt carefully and applied hot water bottles and towels/jacket and left it to the little boy waits....wont touch her till monday.
Thanks again for all the help and guidance.
18 Jun 2018
@ 06:31 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Zastava M70 bedding - shocked
ok.she is out ......had me worried for a bit but it did come out,super slick fit is right.
Nathan was probable chuckling quietly to himself reading about my piller I put in from hole for guidance and thinking"yip this will be interesting,wonder if he has depth right?"
and also "when he cleaned up hope he left bead proud as per instructions?"

lessons learnt......
#1 piller was good idea EXCEPT it wasnt quite deep enough so had to get busy with dremel shaped stone on cordless drill to deepen hole in botton of bedding so piller could fit up into it....contimplated shortening it but thought better...if I cocked it up could always re-do job.
#2 DONT clean the bead off top of job...let it settle and slump to right level and sand off...... its dropped about 1.5mm on both sides but Im happy with it and confident it will be fine.
#3 tape works better than nail polish
#4 more release agent wouldve been tiny stuck patch between pillar and mag well

#5 the most important one...the Fosters are simple "the best"

action greased and rifle reassembled,bullets slide nicely from mag into chamber pushed by hand so gap must be ok.
4-12x40mm leupold mounted in weaver mounts n bases fits JUST 1mm gap at scope bell and 1mm slide room both ends. made to measure some might say.
thanks for all the help and encouragement will try to get out and hole some paper this weekend.
23 Jun 2018
@ 03:11 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Zastava M70 bedding - shocked
well its sub inch so I guess I didnt stuff the job up!!!
only fired 5 rounds,3 into neat wee group,moved zero across and 2 more....yip near enough for this kiwi.
out of interest I took my Zastava .223 apart,my nearly 20 year ago hot glue gun bedding still looks primo so greased underside of action and put it back together (one day will do it properly,but if it aint broke....) that got a few rounds into paper too and they were touching so she still good...interesting comparing the two rifles. the .308 has controlled feed and floating lug on bolt,the recoil lug is as shown in photo deep.
the .223 has bolt similar to my push fed win mod 70 except has rail along side bolt no floating lug and the recoil lug is wide and short,1/4" deep and maybe 3/4" across and 1" wide.
they both shoot better than I can so got to be happy with that.
23 Jun 2018
@ 10:46 pm (GMT)

Andrew Murray

Re: Zastava M70 bedding - shocked
Great to hear Mike.

Nothing better than a job well done.


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