Educational Zone #75 – Bedding a Rifle Stock

I had a couple of friends ask me how we bedded the rifle stocks on the M44 Mosin rifles I posted about. So I took a few pictures of how it was done today as I bedded a couple of rifles I needed to do.

Bedding the action on these old rifles will usually tighten-up the grouping. The original channels in the stocks were often a little sloppy when done in war time conditions. Getting a tighter fit between the action and the stock will usually help with accuracy.

I’ve never seen it hurt.

To start out, we remove the stock from the action.

You must then put some sort of release agent on the metal so that it doesn’t get permanently glued into the stock.

I use any kind of common car wax.

Here I am brushing it on the metal at the bedding block.

I got it on a little thick and wiped some of it off.

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I then put some on the rear of the action.

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Another important point is on both of the action screws, as they may come into contact with the bedding compound.

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Now you make sure that the bedding area is clear of oils or grease or cosmoline.

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There are many things that will work as a bedding compound, but we have had good success with JB Weld Epoxy.

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I mix the two parts on an index card with a toothpick.

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Then use the toothpick to spread it where the action beds into the stock.

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I also like to put a little where the rear of the action contacts the stock.

Be very sure that all areas of the action that will contact the JB Weld are coated with release agent (car wax).

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Then place the action back in the stock and loosely replace the action screws.

You don’t want to tighten them too much as it will only “squish” the JB Weld out of the area.

Just tighten them enough to be sure the action is where it will be when it is finished.

Then you wait for about 3 or 4 hours. This allows the bedding material to dry to the touch.

Then remove the screws and hope it all comes apart. 

You might have to tap it a little to get it to release.

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I use this opportunity to cut away any JB Weld that has squished too high on the sides of the action.

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I then use my wire brush to remove any glue on the action screws.

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Here’s what the bedding area looks like after this is done.

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And the rear of the action area.

Now you leave the action out of the stock for 24 hours to allow the JB Weld to completely dry.

I use this time to remove any glue and/or wax from the metal and clean it up.

I then oil it to prevent rust.

When the 24 hours are up, you return the action to the stock and then really honk down on the screws, as they need to be tight for best accuracy.

Having a good, solid base allows the screws to settle the action down good and snug.

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Conclusion:
This method is not the only way to do this job, but it works well for me. 

Give it a try. It almost always helps an old rifle shoot better.