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Ruger Hawkeye bedding help

26 Oct 2018
@ 09:44 am (GMT)

Matthew Staples

Hello all, my first post but a long time shooter and I have had a few goes at bedding rifles, but by no means an expert. So I have only recently became aware of this website and indeed the wealth of knowledge that Nathan has to offer.
Down to business with the topic. I have a ruger Hawkeye all weather in .204 cal, with the plastic stock in factory mode I have regularly shot groups of around the 0.5 - 0.7 moa with no issues at all, in fact every thing I’ve put through it is under the inch except for Nosler bt bullets it sprayed them about so I ditched them. I have got a Boyd’s classic stock, which I preceded to bed it was quite an ill fitting stock front action screw area is the same measurement as the plastic stock but the rear was about 3mm too shallow in the inletting the bolt wouldn’t close due to the slot not big enough. Anyway fixed the bolt slot easily and inletted the rear action to the correct height. I fitted a pillar to the rear. Now I had trouble with my old bedding compound obviously over the years it has broken down along with first attempt not getting the ratios correct.
Second go after cleaning all the goop out and very carefully weighing the compound and setting action in the stock, pillar in the rear, height set for front with dams and tape on the barrel etc. Compound wouldn’t set stayed soft, but pillar seemed to set tight. So dig out the bedding from the front again, purchase brownells accra glass gel. Watch Nathan’s video on how to do a ruger set it up exactly how he showed it. Job came up beautifully best I’ve ever done.
However rifle shoots patterns not groups, hard pressed to get it under 1.5”.
So after checking to make sure there is no tight spots and tightening the action the suggested way and tensions.
So front screw first to 65 inch pound, middle screw just nipped up and back to 45 inch pound. I had to relieve the mag box a bit so it’s a loose fit.
When I did the final bedding I left the pillar in place with the old bedding and did the rear screws just nipped up no real pressure and put rubber bands around the front of action so the receiver and barrel was set in stock to my pencil marks on action and the tape on barrel was touching the stock just nice.
So I’m wondering now if the rear compound is soft around the pillar giving me some movement, and if I drill out the rear pillar and mix up Accra glass and use that, would I tension down the front screw to firm to make sure it’s sitting where it needs to be with no stress as the rear cures?
Regards Matt


26 Oct 2018
@ 10:50 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Ruger Hawkeye bedding help
Hi Matt, the 1oclock test is going to be the key. The only fly in the ointment is if the fit is so tight and pinched that the action won't give you a reading when doing the 1oclock.

But first, go back over the old stock, see if it was pressure point bedded. If it was, then this may be a heat treatment issue with the barrel. You may have to re-pressure point bed it with a plan to eventually replace the barrel.

With regards to the exisiting bedding:

Use a screw driver to try and push into the tang bedding to check its hardness. It either moves or it doesn't (though acraglass will dent a wee bit).

If you have to re-bed, you may need to re-bed the entire action. Doing the tang alone is often hit and miss. You can try it, but you will need plenty of heat (really hot, hot water bottles etc) at the tang. Suggest doing up the front screw to medium torque and if you have a "blob in the middle" do this screw up too. Set the rifle up so that the barrel is supported by a soft pillow or some such, only just supporting it. But otherwise, its best to re-bed entirely.

When applying grease to the action afterwards, make sure it is a fine layer worked in to the blasted steel. The action should look wet, but with no proud grease. Proud grease can open up groups (this can be used as a simple test to demonstrate the nature of bedding tolerances and importance of both critical contact versus critical relief to stubborn gunsmiths).

To others, please take note of my comments about barrel stress. Over the next few years you may notice more ultra lights with comments such as "full barrel bedding" in the marketing blurb. This is the new thing, taking over from pressure point bedding. The advert may as well read- We can't make a barrel this thin shoot straight so we had to try and dampen it by bedding the entire channel. Avoid these rifles. The current Rugers are by comparison fairly good, small fliers occur with some barrels but for the most part, the barrels are better than those that were made between 1999 and 2010. But still issues can arise as with any engineering practice.

It sounds like you are working through the steps in a good manner.
26 Oct 2018
@ 11:03 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Ruger Hawkeye bedding help
One other very important factor, try loosening up those torque settings. Try 45 front, 35 rear. This may help help the action to recoil and return to battery. Pillars should allow for heavy torque but the individual action tolerances vs the individual bedding tolerances may not.

Pull the action right out, drop it back in, then set to the lower torques.
26 Oct 2018
@ 11:05 pm (GMT)

Matthew Staples

Re: Ruger Hawkeye bedding help
Thanks for the detailed response. I should have mentioned, regarding the 1.00 test I did perform that, which is probably a very important thing to discuss.
So when I first did it I did get movement, I tightened just firm the rear screw and then I had movement as I tightened down on the front angled screw the barrel pulled down quite a bit as I tightened. So I loosened of the screws tightened the front down and then tightened the rear doing it this way I had just a little movement. I wasn’t real happy with this so I attempted to relieve the action a bit, and I got it better.
When I’m now seating it down into the bedding I still get that little bit of barrel pulling down effect and after I have both screws tight, then back off the front screw and tighten down again I don’t get movement. Kinda like it’s jammed into the bedding.
(On my rem700 I bedded I can pretty well tighten it down any old how and get no barrel movement)
But from what you wrote I am wondering whether I’m “pinching “ the action. So if that’s the case where is the pinching point normally?
I need also to check I haven’t damaged the crown.
The grease trick, I haven’t heard of that before would you have more details on how that works?
Thanks again Matt.
26 Oct 2018
@ 11:23 pm (GMT)

Matthew Staples

Re: Ruger Hawkeye bedding help
Just remembered the action and barrel was a definite prisoner in the plastic stock very much pressure bedded.
I will try a pressure patch under the barrel and see what happens.
27 Oct 2018
@ 08:09 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Ruger Hawkeye bedding help
Ok, if the bedding is pinched, it will give false reads when doing the test. The test is done to see if you bent the stock or action during the curing process. Any movement suggests that the stock for example was bowed during the cure, calling for a complete re-bed. If the action is really stuck in the stock (sides of the action or lug), you may not be able to see the full movement but it does generally show to one degree or another.

The matter of rust protection (including grease) is discussed in the book series. To others reading this, the 1oclock test is discussed in the series but is also included in the vimeo videos: Tikka bedding, Ruger M77, M700 trouble shooting.


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