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Rifle bedding materials

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by ChronoCube, Feb 27, 2009.

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  1. ChronoCube

    ChronoCube Member

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    What materials are suitable for a simple rifle bedding job? I've seen something at Box O' Truth about putting cork under the front of a barrel. What other simple, nonstick materials have y'all tried? Things like cardboard, styrofoam, and cloth...
     
  2. natman

    natman Member

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    I would recommend Acuraglas GEL from Brownells.

    http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/productdetail.aspx?p=1038&st=acraglas gel&s=

    I would recommend Johnson's Paste Wax for floors or Kiwi Neutral shoe polish as a release agent.

    I would also recommend that you free float your barrel. Putting a shim under the barrel is usually a crutch to mask poor bedding. Also any sort of compressible shim will eventually compress permanently, changing your point of impact. Free floating will remain the same.
     
  3. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    it boggles my mind that folks use a complicated messy and altogeather antiquated product of the 1950's such as "acuraglass" in the 21st century.

    You local auto parts store, or hardware store will have a wide selection of 21's century products to choose from that are all well up to the task of stock bedding

    one of the best and eaisest to use products is "quicksteel" putty
     
  4. Horsemany

    Horsemany Member

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    Acraglass gel is not from the 50's. It's a recent product that's an improvement over the original. You no longer add flock like the original. It's already built in. Yes you could use countless other epoxies. The nice thing about Acraglass products is they have very little shrinkage. Some epoxies dry faster but shrink more. An epoxy that shrinks too much or unevenly wher it's thicker is not acceptable. Everyone should be careful just grabbing epoxy from the hardware store. They are not all appropriate for bedding a rifle. These are the only one's I'm familiar with and know they work well.

    Acraglass
    Marine-Tex
    Devcon 10110 Plastic Steel
    Miles Gilbert
    High Score

    Corking a mosin forearm is a unique technique to that rifle and is mostly unheard of in other rifle bedding procedures.
     
  5. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    I've had great results with Marine-Tex and Devcon steel.
    A small piece of cork under a free floated barrel is used with several different rifles. It is a tuning aid, you try different locations, some rifles shoot best with out it.
     
  6. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I have used Acraglas, Acraglas Gel, Devcon SS and Al filled epoxies, Marine Tex and Bisonite. And I have used other epoxies but I cannot remember the names.


    My epoxy use falls into two categories: stuff that needs to be poured, stuff that needs to be as thick as peanut butter.

    I use two part epoxies and mix them in a Dixie cup.

    Certain applications, like filling cracks, the glue needs to be as thick as warm butter. Acraglas works very well, and so has Everfix resin.

    87658147.jpg

    Both of these glues flow well, and the cured remainder left in the Dixie cup is very hard and very strong.


    I really like the Devcon epoxies. Devcon 10270 Stainless Steel filled putty is as hard as glass, very strong, and as thick as peanut butter.

    [​IMG]

    Bisonite is a curious epoxy. It pours well for maybe ten minutes, then it thickens to a peanut butter consistancy. It used to be very popular in bedding M1’s and M1a’s. It is red in color and rock hard. I recently used the stuff in bedding two M700's. Works as well as ever.

    Champion’s Choice carries bisonite. http://www.championshooters.com/bedding.htm

    [​IMG]


    I have used a lot of Marine Tex, it cost less than most, as thick as peanut butter when mixed. I don’t think it is as hard or as strong as Devcon or Bisonite, but it is easy to get at a boating store.

    Boating stores have an excellent selection of epoxies.

    Let me mention a cheap release agent. One that I wipe on the outside of the stock, anything that gets touched as I put the action in stock, and that is Johnson Paste Wax. You can melt it and paint it on.

    The spray release agents work best for the actual part of the action that you want to be in contact with the epoxy, and that you want zero clearances.
     
  7. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    I use Acraglass Gel exclusively. No need to change when something works so well.
     
  8. jacob.elliott

    jacob.elliott Member

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    i have used the acraglass gel and it works very well
     
  9. Horsemany

    Horsemany Member

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    Yes that's the idea. The reason it's so common though in Mosins is the long skinny stock that cannot be trusted to remain strait and give you a floated barrel. Most of the time if you can't float the barrel you'll pour a pressure pad of bedding at the end of the stock. One can lightly sand that to adjust. But my point was you won't find many gunsmiths or accuracy nuts (*&^ing around with cork. Mainly long thin stocks need a pressure pad.
     
  10. frogomatic

    frogomatic Member

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    I've used acraglass, acragel, and devcon. All have given me good results.
     
  11. Olympus

    Olympus Member

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    Acraglas is very messy! I had my first experience with it the other day and it's not nearly as easy as some have said. Maybe I'm just a messy guy, but I had that sticky crap all over me and the rifle before it was done.
     
  12. WNTFW

    WNTFW Member

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  13. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Maybe I am just a pig. But I too get epoxy all over things, Acraglas or gel.

    I wear Harbor Freight Nitrile gloves (because they are cheap!) and dump them iwhen they get too gooked up. I wear also wear a bib.

    I will rub Johnson paste wax on the stock, then put a masking tape layer over that, and then rub more Johnson paste wax on that.

    Otherwise I will be scraping cured glue directly off the finish of my rifle stock.

    I have lots of pre cut paper towels, and I use them about one wipe per quarter towel.

    Maybe someone knows how to glass bed without getting the glue all over the place, because I would like to know how to do that.
     
  14. Horsemany

    Horsemany Member

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    I don't wipe it so much. I lay the masking tape right up on the top edge of the stock and let it stick straight out. This is to catch all the overflow when you set the barreled action. I fill the stock and cover the barreled action in epoxy(after paste wax release agent). Let the excess climb out onto the masking tape and I don't wipe it away.

    Then I take an empty rifle case. Crimp the neck together with a pliers. Now file the neck sharp so it's like a brass knife blade. After 2 or 3 hours the epoxy will be like stiff bubble gum. You can lift it up off the tape and use the brass knife to trim off the excess. The brass will not scratch bluing. If you want to clean it up perfect you can lightly kiss the top edge with a file after it's fully cured. This method leaves the top edge more square and cleaner looking IMO. It's also a little cleaner method because you're not handling the epoxy so much until it's slightly hardened and not so tacky.
     
  15. mickeydim468

    mickeydim468 Member

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    What is bedding a stock and why would someone need to do this? How do I know if I need to do this with my rifles?

    You guys know I am a newb so please bear with me... I really am clueless on this. I have seen many posts on bedding a stock but I still don't understand when, why, or how, so if someone could explain in layman's terms, then I would appreciate it.

    Thanks,

    Mikey!
     
  16. ChronoCube

    ChronoCube Member

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    Please note: I asked for nonstick materials, so that excludes all the gels & epoxies. I am not looking to permanently modify a rifle, so I would like something that can be easily taken off or put back on. I don't have the tools/materials for anything fancy, either.
     
  17. nicholst55

    nicholst55 Member

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    In a nutshell, bedding a rifle refers to mating the stock to the action - you want a 'perfect' fit, with equal surface contact all the way around. Stockmakers used to spend hours inletting stocks with chisels, scrapers, and inletting black to achieve this. Today machines hog out the wood very quickly and do a 'good enough' job for most applications.

    What we refer to as glass bedding essentially makes an epoxy, or Fiberglas-filled epoxy, mold of the action in the stock - a kind of reverse image. It's the relatively fast and easy way to achieve what used to take skill and lots of time to achieve.

    Bedding material can also be used to repair cracked or broken stocks (and other wooden objects like furniture).

    A rifle that is properly bedded is generally more accurate than one that is not, all other things being equal.

    How to determine if your rifle needs to be bedded? Apply a thin coat of inletting black or similar to the bedding surfaces of your action. Install it into the stock and tighten the action screws. Ideally, fire a few rounds, then remove the action, and see where the inletting black transferred to the stock. If the marking agent wasn't evenly transferred to the stock every place that the action should bear, then your bedding needs attention.
     
  18. Karl Hungus

    Karl Hungus Member

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    Another Luddite for Acraglass.
     
  19. Picher

    Picher Member

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    I've used Acraglas on wood stocks because it penetrates and hardens the wood surface as well as being very hard. However, I add a lot of chopped fiberglass insulation to it, almost making a paste that doesn't readily run. It's the best of the gels with better bonding to wood.

    I've also used Acraglas Gel and it did a good job, but I don't care much for Acraglas Steel-Bed. The beauty of the original Acraglas is that it is nearly transparent after mixing, but can be colored to match wood. It's probably best used for stock repairs.

    Lately, I've used GB Weld, now called Quik-Weld because it's readily available, is very hard and releases quite well from metal when paste shoe polish is applied. It also comes in small tubes that easily squeeze out equal length parts, even though they don't come with a dual-squeezer.

    GB gets very hard after a day or two, but doesn't color up to match stocks, IMHO.

    White vinegar removes unhardened epoxy very well. I don't use tape on stock exteriors, since they give a false sense of security, but use the vinegar as necessary. I've had a lot of experience with glassbedding, so am very careful to not get much on the stock and never touch checkered areas when bedding.

    Picher
     
  20. mickeydim468

    mickeydim468 Member

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    Thanks Nicholst55,

    I do know that my barrel of my M1917 is a free floating barrel as I can run a dollar bill wrapped around the barrel the full length, so do I still need to check the bedding? It sure seems to be a tight fit. No noticeable movement when tightened into the stock when you flex against the wood.

    Mikey!
     
  21. tango2echo

    tango2echo Member

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    I use Pam cooking spray where I don't want bedding agents. Works well. Acraglass works well, but I have tried lots of different epoxies as well as Marine-tex, 3M 5200 and 4200 adhesives, and others. Most do the job. One tip I use is after bedding take some chalk and powder the barrel channel and see where the contact points are. I like a slight amount of positive pressure right at the forend and no contact from there back to the bedding block or pilar. It doesn't work for everyone, but it works for me.

    Also, if you're serious about bedding, use a torque wrench to torque the screws and mark there position with a small line. If they move or creep you will know it with a glance. Heavy calibers WILL move over time. I pay more attention to this on .300WM and up.

    T2E
     
  22. hadmanysons

    hadmanysons Member

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  23. orphanedcowboy

    orphanedcowboy Member

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    Meguiar's Hi-Tech Yellow Wax, it is a hard shell carnuba wax. I started using it 10 or 11 years ago while assembling complicated air craft parts, parts that required the use of epoxied in bushings, where a pin, sleeve and fixture are used for assembly. I tried it all, release coatings, waxes, Vaseline, oily films, dry films, and the only thing that required little effort was the Meguiar's.

    When I am bedding a rifle or fitting a stock on a shotgun, I put the metal out in the sun for several hours to heat up, then apply a coat of wax, back to the sun, another coat of wax and back to the sun, ect until it has at least 4 coats of wax on it, the same way I heat the pins and sleeves on the assembly fixture with the exception I use a 12' x 16' oven set at 150 degrees.

    I have yet to have to force apart a bedded rifle or shotgun butt stock, no more effort than it takes to remove the action from the original bedding material.

    I use to different kinds of bedding material, my favorite is A4 Metalset, it is marketed as an epoxy adhesive, a very strong one at that. Think of it as JB Weld on Steroids. It takes alot of patience to use and you must make absolutely sure there will be no metal contact or it will be permanently installed. I generally only use this on long range, big caliber rifles, or hard recoiling magnums and I have yet to have it fail. It also likes to be mixed in small batches, or you will have an exothermic reaction.

    The one I use the most is Brownell's Acra-glass gel, it is easy to use, it is more forgiving, and requires less diligence.

    My process for bedding is 3 step. I use a Semco gun for applying the bedding material where I want it, much like shooting caulk out of as caulking gun. The guns and tubes are available on eBay usually for cheap.

    1. I bed the recoil lug and the first 1 - 2"s of the barrel.
    2. I bed the rear 1 - 2" of the action.
    3. I bed the last 1 - 2" of the fore end to stop any resonance in the barrel.

    I do them with 1 day drying/set time between each step. It has worked for me for over 15 years.
     
  24. Olympus

    Olympus Member

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    The three step process sounds like it might be a pretty good idea. I hadn't ever thought about that before. If I wasn't so messy with the stuff, I'd probably do it that way from now on. But I hate messing with that goop so I just want to get it all done in one shabang.

    Someone said they use rubber gloves too. I also wished I would have thought of that before I started bedding too. Afterwards, I had to practically take a bath in laquer thinner!
     
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