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Has anyone (successfully) glass bedded your rifle the first time around? Not necessarily being a cheapskate, I like to work on my toys and am considering a bed job on the 700P (its hard to take being out shot by an ex-marine sniper and his Patriot.....:) just kidding Jeffvn). I remember how a completed bed job looked on my issue rifle in the Army; however I would like to solicit advice/experience for those of you who have done this before.

1) Brownells ACRAGLAS gel, any good? Should I add the powdered metal to it, and which one for the 700P (stay with aluminum to match the block in the stock)?

2) Tips and tricks (do not necessarily want to make the stock and receiver one piece....)? Books, videos, you live in Houston and want to supervise...

3) Anything I may have forgotten.

Thanks
 

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TOPO:

Here is a reply I sent a few months ago on the same subject. Since you are working with a composite stock and not a wood stock, the part about routing and stabilizing the barrel channel will not apply. :

First, I would HIGHLY recommend that you have your bedding job done by a competent gunsmith if you have never done this and don't have a mentor to show you. A good bedding job will run you about $100 and is well worth the money if you don't want to experiment with a good stock. If you still intend to do it yourself, here are some things that I do:

I use PAM (cooking spray) as a release agent on the barreled action and any other metal parts that will be exposed to glass. The spray allows me to get a good uniform coating on the entire assembly without missing any spots that will stick later.

After routing the barrel channel to the desired clearances for free-floating the barrel, I will usually route out one to three .25" channels along the length of the barrel channel to be filled with glass. This helps strengthen and stabilize the stock and also shifts some of the balance forward (most sporter rifles are too light forward of the receiver to achieve proper balance IMHO).

I will wrap two thicknesses of duct tape lengthwise along the barrel starting about 1.5 to 2.0 inches out from the receiver (about where the barrel starts to taper). This helps me maintain the clearance that I like for free-floating the barrel from the glass. Make SURE to properly coat EVERYTHING with a release agent or you will have a major mess on your hands. Also make sure that you get the tape on smoothly with no wrinkles or creases.

I may or may not remove some wood behind the recoil lug depending on caliber, stock type, etc. If you do remove any wood, be VERY careful not to over do it.

To pillar-bed, you will need to remove some wood around the screws holding the action into the stock to allow glass to fill the void. The object is to have glass become the bearing material when you tighten the action into the stock. MAKE SURE TO PUT RELEASE AGENT on the screws, trigger guard, floor plate, and any other metal pieces I may have neglected to mention.

Neatly, carefully and after having read the instructions at least twice, put your glass into the stock (I use accraglass gel) and then bolt everything together making SURE that you have ample clearance around your trigger and safety mechanisms. Also make sure to IMMEDIATELY clean up any excess glass.

I will then set the entire assembly into a vice to let the glass set up. I will also set up and run my case vibrator next to the vice to help vibrate out any bubble that may be in the glass.

Let the glass set up and then take everything apart and do your cleanup. If you got it all right, your action will not be permanently glued into you stock, everything that is supposed to move will still move, and you will have a bedded action and free-floated barrel.

If this sounds like it is not a job for a beginner, you're right! I hope I didn't forget to mention anything important and I still recommend using a gunsmith for your first go at this. Good luck.

K2
 

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K2 covered the subject quite well. I like to use marine-tex to bed with, and I like to use a dremel and brush to scuff the bedding block. On the recoil lug you are better off to apply the duct tape to the front, sides, and bottom. While some claim you should not bed the entire lug, it makes NO difference accuracy wise, however if you bed the entire lug it makes the rifle a little difficult to take apart. It would be a VERY good idea to due your first bedding job on a cheaper rifle such as a .22 or something, you will no doubt learn some valuable lessons your first time around.
 
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