December 30, 2009, 10:25 PM
Can somone explain to me exactly what glass bedding, or just bedding is/does?
I'm restoring an 03A3 that has all it's original matching numbers parts, but has an ugly cheap plastic stock on it. I have all the metal and I'm now working on the stock to get it ready to mount the rifle into.
This is the very first time I've ever attempted to do something like this so I'm moving along at a snails pace, checking and double checking my work along the way. I keep hearing about glass bedding the rifle. What exactly is this, what does it do and how is it done? Is there a web site/forum that describes this? I'm not building a show piece just a good rifle I can take to the range or hunt with. I just like to get it back to it's original "military" look.
December 30, 2009, 10:52 PM
Bedding is a compound (generally an epoxy impregnated fiberglass, hence the name "glass-bedding"), and is used to give the rifle a firm foundation into the stock. It will make the transition from action to receiver stronger as well as typically increase the accuracy. The proper way to use the compound is to apply a release agent to the parts you don't want it to stick to (the action, barrel, trigger group, et cetera), mix it per the instructions, and pour it in, then you place the barreled action into the compound and allow it to partially harden (I forget how long, but the instructions will give you the time).
I assume that you plan to restore the 1903 to its original USGI pattern stock and not sporterize it, in which case I would advise you to bed the barrel as well as the action (if you sporterize it, try free floating the barrel first, then if it doesn't shoot well bed the barrel as well) and use a 5lb weight hanging from the front swivel to add a little downward pressure to the stock while the bedding cures.
After the compound has fully cured, and you remove the weight it will add a little upward pressure on the barrel which often helps with accuracy. Then remove the barreled action and trim off the excess, allow the compound to fully cure and file away what you missed earlier.
Good luck, Mav. :)
December 30, 2009, 10:56 PM
I am not sure on the particulars of your pariticular rifle. If you want to shoot matches with it check to see what is allowed.
In general your action and stock each have some variations and dont fit together perfectly. You use the stock to hold epoxy and make a casting of the action that is a perfect fit. This is a gross oversimplification. There are some details that make it difficult or stressful.
December 30, 2009, 11:10 PM
If you're actually going to restore it with a USGI stock I wouldn't glass bed it as that wouldn't be original. Just buy a NOS or repro stock and replace the cheesy sporter one.
But in general the procedure is to disassemble the rifle, coat the metal parts with a thin film of release agent such as wax, put the epoxy into the stock, then reassemble and lightly tighten the action screws. When the epoxy dries you take it apart again (may need a little whack to break things loose) and clean it up, then reassemble and tighten the action screws nice and snug. You'll have a nice solid fit if you do it right, but it's not hard for anyone with a little mechanical ability. Every rifle I've bedded has seen a major increase in accuracy over factory.