How To Bed A Rifle Stock

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing Forum' started by rifleman55, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. rifleman55

    rifleman55 New Member

    There are several different bedding compounds available. I like the Brownells Steel Bed. Not the cheapest, but it holds up better than anything else I have used. It is mixed 50-50 which makes it much easier to mix. Many others are mixed by weight, which I find a pain in the butt, but some others are very good also. Do not use the runny bedding epoxy.

    Before starting, try to have someone post a picture of a correctly bedded stock in the model that you have. It's good to see what needs to be bedded before doing it yourself.

    I use the Brownells Steel bed for everything. Two 8 OZ jars are not cheap, but will do a lot of guns, you can buy 2 OZ jars for a couple of guns.
    I've had the same two jars for a couple of years, it has not gone bad, even when I left it in my shed in sub zero temps by accident.
    The thing with the steel bed is that it will not crumble like some others will, gives a good smooth surface and goes on really well. It will take the most sever recoil any firearm can dish out.
    Be sure to mix the two parts well, scrape the bottom of whatever the compound is on to get all the bedding material. Mix slow, you do not want to get air bubbles into the mix.

    The Brownells spray release is again not cheap, but is the best thing going.
    I use it or hard floor paste wax as a release agent and it works fine also.

    On most epoxy products, when the action goes in the stock and is tightened, epoxy will ozze out. Use cut pointed popcycle sticks to scrape as much as possible off and then use alochol on a paper towel to remove the excess of stuff you can get to with the sticks. The alochol will remove the excess and really cleans up the stock and metal nice. Check when finished, you may have got some from your fingers or drips on the stock. The alochol on the paper towel will remove the epoxy before dried.

    Many people, especially if not used to how much to use, tape the stock with blue painters tape. It protects the stocks.
    Use more than less if you have never used bedding before. Use about a 1/8" thick layer on most parts.
    Be sure to double check for any areas that will lock the action in, fill with clay.

    If the action does not want to come out, throw the rifle in a deep freeze for about 12 hours, the action will come out much easier. You can also try heat, but deep freeze works better.

    Put the action screws in the stock before spreading the bedding compound, hold them in with tape. When you mate the action and stock, do so slowly so you can start the screws in the holes of the action. If you get bedding compound in the screw holes, you may not be able to fully tighten them and pull the action down into the stock. If that happens, tighten them as much as possible, the with pads, clamp the action right in the middle to hold it in the stock. Just tighten the screws firm, not tight.
    Be sure to check for the
    Be sure to have everything ready before starting., you have plenty of time to work, but it's best to have everthing right there.
    If new, make a check list. Check the rifle for the first hour, as many times, the compound will continue to ozz out.

    Put release agent on the screws and in the screw holes.
    I like to just crack the screws a little loose at 12 hours, then re tighten. It assures the screws will not be epoxyed tight.

    It's not hard to do. Strip everything off of the action before starting, use the modeling clay to close off all openings.
    It will go pretty easy, take your time. You will be surprised at how well it comes out.

    I do recommend using a little more compound in the stock then you think you will need. Going back later to fill holes or places where the bedding did not fill all the way is not easy, it usually wants to spread out a little and lift the original bedding off the action a little.

    A dremel tool, files and an xacto knife will remove the excess later.
    Many times you can catch it when the epoxy is still just soft enough that the excess can be cut with the xacto knife with some effort.

    Do double check to insure the barrel is not touching anywhere before bedding, rough up the areas to be bedded, I cut channels with a dremel tool and drill holes to give the bedding something to really get ahold of, especially with a synthetic stock. On a synthetic stock, carb spray cleaner on a rag will remove any oils from the stock, something that needs to be done. You really need to drill, rough up, carve channels whatever on a synthetic stock, the bedding does not stick to smooth parts of the stock, it needs something to bite and hold onto.

    If your rifle has a recoil lug, use wide electrical tape. Tape the front, sides and bottom of the recoil lug with 2 to 3 layers of tape. Use a razor to cut the tape at the edges of the lug.
    The only part of a recoil lug that should touch the action is the back of the lug that hits the front of the recess. You do not want the lug to touch anywhere else but the back or you will hurt accuracy.

    I like to bed the first inch of the barrel except a thin, lightweight hunting barrel, I only bed the first 1/2". You can make a clay dam to keep the bedding from going further forward. Thin hunting barrels bedded beyond the action will really hurt the accuracy, as they heat, they will want to bend upwards.

    Should you want to bed the whole barrel channel, but keep the barrel free floated (highly recommended), wrap the barrel where it will be in the stock with 4 layers of electrical tape, be sure to put release agent on the tape.
    This will keep a space between the stock and barrel when the tape is removed afterwards.

    I was a Gunsmith for many years and have bedded hundreds of stocks, the things I have posted work, give them a try.

    My Best, John K
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011