Kinks and Tricks
The Legend of the Kevlar Coyote
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|BEDDING A SAVAGE STOCK
All this talk about long range irons got me fired up to finish my own horse gun. I ordered a stock, trigger, and I robbed the scope off of the M1A mount.
The stock came and I’m a bit disapointed. It’s a Bell & Carlson Duramax. I have two others but this one is shiny, though still textured. It also came with a couple cosmetic dings. I could send it back but I’ve been trying to get the nerve up to give my predator gun a camo paint job. I decided I’d bed my 22-250 to the new stock and my 6.5-284 to the stock previously occupied by the 22-250. They are both long actions so I figured I’d just swap the stocks and paint the new one. Well, you can’t swap stocks without bedding. (Well, I can’t.)
The first Savage “pillar bedded” stock I ever got was a plastic one. It had a pillar in the front and none in the back. The back guard screw tightened squishy, On a hot day, it was squishier.
I hated that stock so I ordered one of those heavy Savage laminated stocks. I was happy to see that it had pillars front and back. The back pillar was notched to clear the sear.
The Bell & Carlson is notched the same way. I’ve learned from good authority that because this pillar doesn't fully support the action, the tang will flex when you tighten the rear guard screw.
The first thing I wanted to do with this new Bell & Carlson stock before bedding was to replace this notched pillar with a full pillar, so I made one on my lathe. Then I drilled out the old pillar on my drill press. I don’t think I’d try this with the Savage factory plastic stock. There’s not enough material.
The pillar measures 1 ¼ inch long, ½ inch wide with a ¼ inch bore. There’s a reason I bored it just enough for the screw.
The sear has to be clearanced for the pillar.
I used an angle grinder. Be very careful here. If you grind too much, the sear will travel past the adjustment screw when you work the bolt and it will bind up the trigger. I wasn’t as careful as I should have been and when I assembled the trigger I realized I came within a gnat’s whisker of it happening to me. It’s something to watch out for.
I epoxied the homemade pillar and set it into the hole I drilled in the stock. I set the action into the stock. I wrapped tape around the front action screw so it would just fit into the front hole and tightened. I tightened the back action screw snug and strapped the back of the action down to the stock with little bungee cords so the pillar wouldn’t stick up and let set over night. By setting the action into the stock, wrapping tape on the front screw, and drilling the rear pillar hole just big enough for the screw, I was able to keep the correct hole spacing on center.
With the pillar installed all that’s left to do is to bed the thing. I set the action into the stock to make sure the barrel’s floated. I don’t like the tang touching anyplace so I trimmed some stock away there. The only contact I like is around the pillars and the recoil area. I ground a little stock material away (about 1/16 inch) around the pillars and recoil lug area where the epoxy goes.
I put a couple layers of tape around the sides of the recoil lug and in front. If I was bedding without pillars, I’d shim the barrel and tang with tape so that the action wouldn’t get pulled too far into the stock.
Time for the release agent. I really like Brownell’s spray but I couldn’t find it. I believe it’s thinner for a better fit plus it’s easy to apply and to clean up. I have used the Johnson’s paste wax in the past, but I couldn’t find any of that either. I ended up using Sno Seal. It’s not much different than Johnson’s. Get the release agent anyplace on the action epoxy might get. Even in the bolt lug recess. Gob it on the screws. Make sure the stock is clean and dry.
Mixing the epoxy, I figure to mix about 1 ½ times more than I think I’ll need. It seems to just be enough. I used Devcon this time but I have used others. Acraglass Gel, Poly something I got at Menard’s one time, JB Weld, and others.
Here’s my best tip on mixing epoxy – Get some flat, plastic something. I like to use ice cream bucket lids. Get a inch or so putty knife. Now, this is important. Don’t stir the mix. You’ll get tiny bubbles. Instead, knead it. Fold it over on itself. Do a thorough job and get it all mixed.
I spread the epoxy on the stock around the contact areas, trying to get it smooth. Then I carefully set the action into the stock. I used the screws to hold it snug. The screws keep everything lined up. Another thing I do is to let it set upright, horizontal, just like it would be on the shooting bench. Let it set up for 24 hours or so in a warm place.
Here’s a picture of a previous bedding job. (Note the notched rear pillar.)
After setting for a day I pulled it all apart.
I drilled out the rear pillar hole a little bigger ( 19/64 ) on the drill press so that the sides of the screw doesn’t touch. I trimmed some of the epoxy from where it’s not needed and reassembled the rifle making sure the trigger and safety work like they’re supposed to.
Freddy Krueger has Dimmy nightmares.