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Forum Index > Rifles general discussion > Bedding Vanguard Synthetic stock

Bedding Vanguard Synthetic stock

24 Aug 2019
@ 12:46 pm (GMT)

Scott Struif

Comparing the Vanguard and Howa Hogue stocks, each of which I own, I noticed a major design difference. The Houge, which is "pillar bedded", has flanges on the pillars which protrude from the surface of the stock. So the action is "floating" on the pillars. There is no support for the barrel parallel, so the floating barrel is entirely supported by the action. In contrast, the Vaguard stock, which has no pillars, has a beefy 3/4" support for the barrel parallel. It also has the foreend tip pressure point, which upon close inspection I can see was adjusted at factory with a round file or sandpaper-wrapped dowel. The Vanguard fails the one o'clock miserably, which means that the front screw (which threads directly into the integral recoil lug), is drawing the barrel parellel down against the built-in support. They obviously left some clearance under the recoil lug for this to occur. The Vanguard is an MOA gun, as advertised, but clearly the action is stressed in its configuration. Maybe the recommended 35 in. lbs. of recommended torque is not enough to stress the action. The Howa Hogue shoots spot-on elavation-wise, but wanders left and right. This is not surprising given the whole barreled action is riding on the pillar flanges. I am loathe to try bedding the Hogue, in light of Nathan's comments that it's the most difficult stock to bed. So I ordered a Vanguard stock from Weatherby for the Howa. My question is, shouldn't one take advantage of the built-in barrel-parallel support, just bed the recoil lug pocket with no tape on the bottom of the recoil lug, to relieve the downward stress of the action against the barrel-parellel support?

Replies

25 Aug 2019
@ 07:30 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Bedding Vanguard Synthetic stock
I'm inclined to shim the bottom of the recoil lug with a thin piece of sheet metal, which could be sanded to the exact thickness so the barrel paralled, the bottom of the recoil lug, and the bottom of the action where it rests on the flat behind the recoil lug, are drawn down and seated evenly. This could be checked with. Blue Permatex, in addition to the one o'clock test.
25 Aug 2019
@ 09:00 am (GMT)

Chris Murphy

Re: Bedding Vanguard Synthetic stock
Scott you are grossly over thinking this. Just grind out the stock and bed it as per Nathan’s instruction. Job done
25 Aug 2019
@ 01:55 pm (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Bedding Vanguard Synthetic stock
Chris, I appreciate your input, and get what you are saying.. However, grinding down a perfectly stable support for the barrel parellel, that has been moulded to fit, just so I can top it with a thin layer of brittle epoxy seems like a bad idea. But I need to determine how well that support conforms to the barrel parallel before I start mouthing off about a better way. I agree. Thanks.
25 Aug 2019
@ 02:49 pm (GMT)

Chris Murphy

Re: Bedding Vanguard Synthetic stock
The factory stocks do not have a an ideal fit to the actions and are the best they can get them in a mass produced scenario and also vanguard stocks are shit as far as accuracy and recoil go. The Houge stock is far superior shape just the houge can be challenging to bed (I have done several successfully). Cocking around trying to make a shim to go under the recoil lug is a recipe for chasing ones tail
25 Aug 2019
@ 04:21 pm (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Bedding Vanguard Synthetic stock
Duly noted. Thanks. The hogue stock that came with the rifle isn't straight. At the foreend tip, tere's a 1/8" gap on one side of the barrel channel, and a 1/32" gap on the other. That's what turned me off to it. All the plastic stocks are shit, I'm sure. I'm not afraid to fuck it up. I only paid $350 for the rifle. Knowing that you successfully bedded 4 of them gives me confidence, so thanks.
25 Aug 2019
@ 07:49 pm (GMT)

Chris Murphy

Re: Bedding Vanguard Synthetic stock
The rubber is easily cut away in the barrel channel. Do not concern yourself with this
29 Aug 2019
@ 09:26 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Bedding Vanguard Synthetic stock
Hi Chris, thanks for helping forum members along, I am still tied up with the big project here but mostly done now.

Good advice.
30 Aug 2019
@ 06:59 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Bedding Vanguard Synthetic stock
Yes, thanks. I know you guys hate Weatherby's stock profile, but it looks to me like a better platform for full-length bedding. There's no rubber that needs to be reinforced with fiberglass cloth. Plus there's a built-in support for the barrel parellel, a sliver of which I can use as the forward height reference, along with a sliver of the tang material for the rear height reference. This Howa barreled action has a gray Cerekote, which asthetically matches Weatherby's garden-variety grey "Griptonite" stock. It's a 243, so recoil isn't an issue. The Hogue stock is going on Ebay. It's Legacy's Kuiu camo offering, not available separately, so hopefully somebody will think it looks cool.
30 Aug 2019
@ 10:04 am (GMT)

Chris Murphy

Re: Bedding Vanguard Synthetic stock
Scott you will need to stabilise the fore end with either stock this will give you all the knox support you need
30 Aug 2019
@ 01:18 pm (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Bedding Vanguard Synthetic stock
Good point. I will never use a bipod, or hard object as a rest, but I always use a sling, which exerts a lot of lateral force on the foreend.
30 Aug 2019
@ 07:55 pm (GMT)

Paul S

Re: Bedding Vanguard Synthetic stock
Sorry to butt into this thread, but I am new to this and I think my question is relevant. I too have a Vanguard in .243 (which I love) and I would like to improve its stock/accuracy.

Question: Can I free float the stock's fore-end? If so, do I clearance all along the barrel, including the fore-end stock and under barrel support? I have heard the Vanguard needs this support from the stock. Is that true?

Thanks,
Paul.
30 Aug 2019
@ 11:44 pm (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Bedding Vanguard Synthetic stock
Hi Paul. Thanks for joining the discussion. Weatherby's FAQ page says they don't free float their rifles with sporter contour barrels because they have determined the thinner barrels require foreend to barrel contact for accuracy. That is probably true with their factory stocks. Other companies including Remington do not free float their barrels, although some do. Nathan strongly advises against attempting to free float a barrel without glass bedding the action and barrel parellel. I just bought a new Vanguard and a Howa, both 243. The actions are identical. Same guns, basically, although the Howa has a 20" #1 contour barrel, which is free floated. The vanguard I trust to to 200 yards. The howa is a brush gun, 100 yards max, out-of-the-box. After reading Nathan's writings on bedding, I'm sure both guns, with proper action bedding, are capable of consistent MOA performance.
31 Aug 2019
@ 09:11 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Bedding Vanguard Synthetic stock
Just want to be clear on this. The Howa / Weatherby ? Nosler M48 has 4 basic stock variations. I will put very brief notes with each.

1. Plastic (somewhat flexible, forend to be stabilized before bedding).

2. Hogue (Same as above).

3. Glass stock, monte carlo (Made by B&C, has the monte carlo shape, ali chassis, performs well when bedded. The knox form within the stock does NOT support the start of the barrel. Some stocks may touch the barrel at this point but this is not the principle design. It is impossible for a stock maker to obtain an exact fit at the action, knox and tip of an unmeasured action. The two principle points of contact are the action and forend tip. This is a fairly sturdy stock but its shape does accentuate felt recoil. This stock can be seen in my video - Is it me or is it my rifle (second rifle on the bench, .358 Norma).

4. Glass stock, classic shape, made for Nosler M48 (Made by B&C, ali chassis, is a straight recoiling stock stock design which feels like an SPS but with a bit more meat in the forend. Similar to Bergara. The M48 style stock is one of the better options for Howa owners.

Setting up the Howa is an entire process. It is not a case of free float or not to free float. The Lugs need work, the trigger needs work. The Barrel may also need working over. The stocks are best bedded to get a true fit and bedding into the knox helps dampen vibrations. If the barrel is superlight (new 223 model), all bets are off, pressure point bedding may be the only way to overcome a dud barrel (temper issues). Once all of this work is done, the Howa sees continued benefit from neck sized handloads which help lesson and loose fit within the lock up. The Japanese chambers are also highly generic (no Manson / Foster type ongoing research) so its up to the hand loader to really get into experimentation (seating depths etc). Tangent ogive bullets (Sierra / Speer) are the easiest to get going when using high velocity chamberings, secant ogives may prove more finicky in some chamberings such as the .270 (applies to those wanting to make use of the ELD-X and SST). To get the real juice out of these rifles, you have to be willing to go the distance, go over every aspect of the rifle and ammo. This may sound intimidating but it really is a highly rewarding process.


As an aside, lately we have had a few customers buy book sets, then a day later, email to say that their new model of rifle was not mentioned. The point of the books is to educate the reader towards an understanding of all designs - its education for life. But you have to fully read the books (i.e. Long Range Rifles) to gain this understanding. After fully studying the info, the reader can then go to a gun store, look over any gun (strip it) and see whether its a cost cut design or whatever). The Accurizing book then goes through the steps and I mean steps, one at a time, working over the whole rifle, not skim reading.

Those who read and understand the books can walk into a gun expo (or even download an owners manual showing rifles in exploded view), go over each rifle and understand WHY each gun maker has opted for this or that design. The reader can see both strengths and limitations and make highly accurate predictions as to potential outcomes.

OK, gotta keep moving. Hope that provides some insight.
31 Aug 2019
@ 01:18 pm (GMT)

Paul S

Re: Bedding Vanguard Synthetic stock
Thanks for your reply, Nathan and Scott.

My .243 Vanguard has the monte carlo stock and standard barrel (although it looks like a light barrel to me when compared to other makes). When I shoot a group, I have found it to shoots very accurately on the first shot and then it seems to "throw" the 2nd and follow up shots as the barrel heats up. Doing an internet search I have found this forum which has led me to learn about stabilizing and bedding (I had no idea about any of this). This gun is a range gun (max 200m) and in 2 weeks I will try it out as a roo gun. For me, the vanguard monte carlo stock "feels" natural and comfortable to shoot - maybe because it is low recoiling and I haven't shot too many other guns.

After the roo shooting weekend, I will try my hand at free-floating and stabilizing the forend, after which I will bed the action. I am tradesman by profession and I think this will be fun.

p.s. I have just ordered a Howa .308 (Hogue stock) so I will go through the process again with this new gun. The .308 will be used as a range (200m) and pigging gun (20-100m).

regards,
Paul.
31 Aug 2019
@ 03:43 pm (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Bedding Vanguard Synthetic stock
Nathan's comments were enlightening. Paul, I checked the torque on the action screws on the Vanguard after the 30 round break-in routine. They had worked loose. Not sure if it helped, but my son shot 3 sub-moa groups with it at 200 yards, with 3 out of the 8 factory rounds we were testing. Our blacktail deer season starts here in Oregon Wednesday, so I'll have to make do with the Howa and limit my shots to 100 yards. Good luck on your roo hunt. If your gun is stringing vertically as it heats up, maybe that will be an advantage on follow up shots!
31 Aug 2019
@ 05:26 pm (GMT)

Paul S

Re: Bedding Vanguard Synthetic stock
Thanks, Scott. I checked my actions screws and they were only "finger" tight so I retightened them after I inspected the stock's construction.
Good luck hunting deer.
01 Sep 2019
@ 09:18 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Bedding Vanguard Synthetic stock
Yes, that is the major downside of pressure point bedding, shots walk up as the barrel heats up.
 

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