Bedding the Gas Block
There are some who advocate free floating the gas block, but I have proven that doing it right, bedding the gas block improves the accuracy. Many on another site have increased their accuracy by bedding. I'm a retired Gunsmith and have tried just about anything you can think of on a Mini.
Bedding the gas block on a mini is not hard, but must be done right to be it's most effective.
The idea is not to have the ring on the barrel liner touch the gas block anywhere, the gas block must be left to find it's own center.
The first thing to do is take the edge of a business card and with the action locked down in the stock, take the tip and slip it between the gas block and the liner. Anyplace where the two are touching will require you to take a file and file metal off of the ring of the liner so it does not touch the gas block anywhere. You want to file the whole outside of the ring anyway so it's roughed up enough to hold the bedding compound.
Once you are sure the two are not touching and have at least if not more clearence between the two, take the OP rod and spring out of the rifle, leave the rest of the rifle assembled.
Before starting is a good time to be sure the gas block is level, that it has the same gap on both sides and is properly torqued.
I use JB 5 Minute Epoxy, it works the best for this operation, just make sure everything is ready.
Next, coat the gas block all over, especially on the inside with a good release agent. I find the Brownells spray to be by far the best, but hard floor wax works also.
Once the release agent is put on the gas block and the whole ring is really roughed up and clean of any oil, you are ready.
Leave the OP Rod assembley out.
Put about a 3/16 inch coating of the mixed epoxy all the way around the outter ring of the stock liner, a little more is better than not enough, it can be cleaned up later. Make it as even as possible.
Once the epoxy is on the ring, very carefully put the stock into the action and lock down the trigger assembly.
You want to have some popcycle sticks with sharpened ends and a lint free rag and a bottle of rubbing alochol right there.
Once locked down, scrape any bedding that has oozed out with the sticks and scrape it away from the small area between the gas block and the stock.
The rubbing alochol on a rag will clean any extra bedding compound off and will not hurt the stock.
Now place the stock in the same front support and rear bag used to shoot from with the rifle in the same place it will be shot from.
You want the gas block to find it's own center in the compound, not touching the ring, which if you properly clearenced it, it won't.
Wait 20 minutes and then very carefully remove the action from the stock. It will disturb the bedding at the very top of the ring just a little, but don't worry about it. Lift the stock streight up and out.
Now take a razor knife and cut the excess bedding material away from the stock liner, being very careful not to pull the bedding from the ring. You just want a ring of bedding compound around the top of the ring.
Once cleaned up, carefully put the action back in the stock and lock down the trigger guard again. Put the rifle in the rest and let it sit for 24 hours to harden.
You now have the barrel and gas block held solidly in it's natural position, with nothing pushing against it. Stock, the ring can be pushing on the barrel and gas block and as they heat, it throws the shots off to wherever it touching. Held centered, there is no pressure from any direction being put on the barrel as it heats. The accuracy increases, sometimes by quite a bit.
I have a new Tactical with the barrel Cryo treated, gas block bedded, action bedded in the stock and the barrel lightly lapped. It has shot a best 5 shot group of .092" @ 100 yds and consistantly shoots in the point one range with my handloads and match bullets. LC Brass, 23.0 Grns of IMR 8208 XBR, 69 grn matchking bullet and CCI 400 primers. Use this load at your own risk, 23.8 is the max load for this bullet, so it's not a hot load.
Try the bedding. It's easy to do and also easy to remove if for any reason you don't like the results.
I do think that I would first bed the action in the stock, then do the gas block. That's the way I have done it as well as others to get better accuracy from the Mini. For bedding the action, I use Brownells Steel bed. I know it won't crumble of loosen up like many other bedding compounds will. Use a bedding compound that contains a lot of metal.
When left to free float, there is just too much weight bouncing around, it's not like a regular rifle barrel.
The Mini can be a frustrating rifle to get to shoot small groups, but done right, it does not have to be a 2 MOA or 3 MOA rifle. Results will be better with the newer heavier barrel version.
Last edited by rifleman55; 01-25-2011 at 03:42 PM.