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Widening The Channel On A Bell & Carlson Stock

Discussion in 'Long Gun Accessories and Optics' started by otisrush, Nov 13, 2018.

  1. otisrush

    otisrush Member

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    I currently have a Rem 700 in a Bell & Carlson Varmint/Target fiberglass stock.

    The barrel that came with the 700 is about done and I'm about to order a new barrel. The barrel contour I want to get starts the taper a couple of inches further forward than the current standard barrel that came with the gun. So this would mean my gunsmith would need to extend the wide portion of the barrel channel forward - removing some of the stock material.

    Has anyone opened up the channel on a B&C stock before? Should I be concerned about removing material? It's a pretty stiff stock. I'd like to think (hope) it would be OK. But I'm curious if there happens to be anyone here who has done something like that.

    Thanks.

    OR
     
  2. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Lots of ways to skin that cat. It’ll stay stiff, but different methods of opening the channel have different degrees of precision. Can’t beat a mill for keeping the centerline, routers on a guide as well. Hand ripping with an inletting tool sucks, as the reinforced polymers dull the tooling like a mother. Sanding wrapped around roundstock works, but is much more easily botched for centerline.
     
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  3. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    Lacking any ability (and tooling) to machine the channel i use dowls backing sand paper, or for larger straight taper barrels a length of pvc with 2 90s and stubs to use as handles.
    I also agree keeping center and even isn't the easiest with sandpaper and backers.
     
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  4. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    That has been my experience. It's also hard to not 'flare' slightly at the end of each stroke, making the channel wider at the muzzle end over time. <shrug> But for my needs, it works well enough if I'm careful.

    I have not found a router jig that I can buy and use for barrel channel work; does such a thing exist? I have not tried to make my own because I assume that my jig will have its own dimensional variances that will cause me sadness.
     
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  5. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    @rbernie - no such thing exists, it’s a matter of cutting the template/guide yourself, and you’re exactly right - you have to be able to produce a precise template to yield a precise result. It’s easier than it seems though, as you can use a great number of tools to finish your template. You don’t have to rip it perfectly on a bandsaw in one stroke.
     
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  6. <*(((><
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    <*(((>< Luke

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    Caveat: I have not done what you say before on a rifle stock but have done woodworking. How I would approach this if it were me is to do the following:

    1. With the exposed riflestock I would take a piece of 1/4 hardboard that is at least the length of the area you wish to widen on the stock. I would lay it beside the riflestock and use a scribe tool (looks like a compass) to scribe the inside of the riflestock barrel channel onto the 1/4” hardboard. I would then cut the 1/4” hardboard along the long with a bandsaw or jigsaw and sand down any rough areas. This will be your template to build your router guides.

    2. Now one can take 2 more 1/4” hardboard pieces that run the length of the area you wish to modify on your rifle. And using your hardboard template mark each board opposite each other to get the profile of the inside of the rifle channel. Once those are marked get your bandsaw/jigsaw and cut on the outside of the line made from the template so as to leave the line and one doesn’t have to be accurate here we are just removing the majority of the material. Once that is down you can attach your hardboard template to the pieces you cut and using a router and a patterning bit finish the two side hardboards by patterning off the hardboard pattern. This will give you two exact sides to your rifle channel.

    3. Now you must find a way to secure your rifle stock so it won’t move and build some wood on each side of the channel so you can attach the two new patterned pieces, one on each side so they sit proud of the top of the rifle channel enough for a ROUTER TEMPLATE BUSHING to ride along side them. One can measure with a ruler how much barrel width you want to achieve, making sure you are measuring off the centerline and have the same width on both sides.

    4. Now with everything secure you can set your depth and use a COVE BIT of the right profile to match your barrel profile to ride along the template and create the cove on each side which should follow the lines of your templates to the width you established with your measuring from centerline. You will need to make sure you set the correct depth on the router that you need to achieve in the barrel channel as well.

    Article on using guide bushings
    Cove router bit - you can get different radius' to match your barrel profile


    Hope this helps but it’s easier to explain in person. And if you attempt this I would be using carbide cutting edges on your router bit due to the fiberglass.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
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  7. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I cut my templates stacked to ensure symmetry, or use one template, flipped over, for both sides. I typically turn a dowel or cut a block to act as the action at the rearward end, secured through the action screw holes, with blocks under and beside the forend tip to support the tip end. That way the template is secured to the stock, and then mounting the stock into any vise is simple. I’ve also done it with the router in a table, flipping the template and stock on its head. Takes more nerve for me to commit to doing it that way, but once I start, I go much faster than when riding the router on top of the stock/template.
     
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  8. otisrush

    otisrush Member

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    Wow...I'm among greatness! I'm sure I do not have the skills to even attempt some of the things described here.

    I'll have my gunsmith do it if I go that route. I may also look for another stock with a larger opening to handle the Heavy Varmint contour I really want to get.

    Thanks!

    OR
     
  9. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Heavy varmint is a bear. Not only is the chamber tenon 5” long, it’s surprising how large the diameter is at the front of the forend due to the fact the long chamber section pushes the start of the straight taper that far forward. It always amazes me how much stock has to be relieved every time I inlet a heavy varmint barrel.

    I just dropped a 30” finished heavy varmint into a boyd’s Provarmint and I thought I was going to be inletting for days!
     
  10. otisrush

    otisrush Member

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    I *just* returned from the garage after removing the action from the B&C and taking a whole bunch of measurements. It's actually not going to be as much work as I thought it'd be. (Which doesn't mean it won't be a lot of work. LOL)

    I happened to notice the inlet for the tenon (I'm acting like I've known that word a long time but I get the benefit of using it since Varminterror used it above :)) proceeds a fair bit beyond the tenon on the Remington standard varmint barrel. Also, the barrel channel in the forend is wider than the barrel as well. The bottom line is less material needs to be removed than I thought would have to. Fingers crossed.......but I think the only pain I'll feel is the incremental size of the check I'll need to write to the gunsmith.

    But I'm curious: Are there stocks out there that will take that Heavy Varmint contour as delivered? I've done a bit of Googling but nothing jumped out at me.

    Also @Varminterror : What caliber is your 30" Heavy Varmint?
     
  11. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    30 cal, meant for a 300wm, a shorter range ELR rig.
     
  12. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    SLR rig! Smile for the flash!....and any other dumb/funny camera phrases you can think of!

    Yes I'm an idiot, I know......

    Boyds offers a "bull barrel" inletting option for 700, tho I don't know what that means in Boyd's speak.
    Richards Microfit will also provide a stock with a straight barrel channel, but those take some hours of finish work.
     
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