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    • #23708
      Newt
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      Sorry this is so long, sometimes I ramble on.

      I’ve been playing around with my .223 for the last few months. Remington M700 BDL. The guy I bought it from I know did not shoot it more than 10 times, if even that. He bought it new after he retired. So I had about as new a gun as you can get and it looked it except for a spot in the barrel, near the muzzle, where I cannot tell what happened. It looked to have been stored in a safe and the bore had a LOT of dust inside. Best guess is it was some kind of corrosion that stained the barrel because you can only see it in a certain light.

      Anyways, first thing I did was take the scope off and set the cross hairs level. After that, I decided I might as well work on the trigger to get a decent pull. It was very heavy as it was, and lots of creep. So I pulled the stock off and set the trigger. Then realizing in the back of my head that some people talk about a certain way of putting the two screws back in, I looked up the order on the internet.

      I’m pretty new to all of this stuff, so I have not built up my tool collection just yet. Needless to say I did not have a torque driver to set the screw poundage. I simply tightened it till it felt snug, just like I do with most all things I own. I usually have a good feel for how tight things need to be, unlike some people I know who barley get things tight or over tighten to breaking. Not saying it has not happened to me before, but I bet I can count the number of times on one hand.

      Regardless, I had been shooting with it for the last few months first working up a nice sub MOA jacketed load and in the last month working on a nice ~1″+- cast load. I have had several groups going toward the 3/4″ mark with the cast, but had the errant flier that bugged me. So I decided to get some copper gas checks to try instead of my aluminum, and a different type of expander to try. Long story short, the aluminum gas checks are softer than copper and for whatever reason it was very hard to get them to crimp on without having the bases messed up. And at the same time I realized that a significant portion of my loaded rounds were not concentric and thought it might be the way my sizing die expander worked. So I took it out and now use the expanders NOE makes.

      So, while waiting for the above things to arrive I had gone over to a friends house and he was showing me some things he had recently got. He had bought a Savage hog hunter and he was telling me about how the barrel looked crooked in the stock. Then he talked about how he took his torque driver and realized it was way off what it should have been. Took the stock of, then re-torqued it. I thought to myself, hey, my gun has that same kind of misalignment, I wonder if I don’t have the torque setting right.

      I borrowed his torque driver, took my action out, and then torqued the two screws to factory specs. Sadly, it did not fix the barrel/stock gap. Oh well, I tried. This was last week. I got all the stuff in during the mean time and loaded up some more testing loads trying to dial that cast load down to consistent sub MOA. I know its capable. So I try my loads yesterday after noon. No good. Horrible in fact. Just a bad feeling when you think you are just taking a known good load and trying to shrink it down. Did I just spend all that money on new stuff for nothing?

      Decided to load up some loads the way I had before, that I knew were good. Shot them. Horrible. At this point I was really scratching my head. What could be wrong. Decided I should go to the jacketed stash that I had loaded up before and pull a few out just to see how they shoot. They did so so, but I could tell something was off. Then it hit me. What if the whole thing is because I changed the torque setting on the screws.

      I go get my allen wrench, take the barrel off the stock, and then put it back tightening it the way I had the first time. At first I got it too tight because the bolt was hard to work. Just loosening it a tad fixed that and the bolt worked smooth. Then I go and load up some more of my known good cast loads and start shooting them. First shot was way out of the park, don’t know where it hit. Then the next one got closer, and the following shots all grouped together in a sub 1″ group.

      There you have it. I’ll have to get a good torque wrench and measure what it is set at so I can write it down. But there is now doubt that just that little change threw my loads off so much. Now I just have to decide if I am going to stick with this, or am I going to get a stock that I can free float the barrel in. I am sure some of you know that the M700 BDL barrel has a raised bump about 1″ wide just below the black forend cap that makes contact with the barrel. I am sure that this is what threw the harmonics off. I suppose that I could have just worked up a new load, but its hard to think about that when you have a good load already.

    • #23710
      Goodsteel
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      Great write up and very well said! Anytime the barrel is set up to touch the stock, screw torque becomes critical.

    • #23712
      Newt
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      Now I got my mind to thinking. Is that spot that touches the barrel needed for it to shoot accurately, Or, can you free float the barrel and just work up a new load? I had not planned on changing anything, but just got to wondering if I am not going to be chasing another issue when spring/summer gets here. With the temperature changes, will the stock will change the pressure on the barrel enough to throw the load off? If that pressure point is not needed, then I could just get another stock, or float the one I have, and work up a load to fit the gun.

      I know that temperature will effect the burn rate of powder and such. But that can be compensated for by increasing or decreasing a little. I tried that yesterday before re-torquing the screws and it did not help.

      Tell me if I am being too far fetched here.

    • #23725
      Larry Gibson
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      Long ago I arbitrarily started free floating all barrels. Very rare these days to find one that doesn’t shoot better and more consistently that way. I’ve been torqueing action screws for many years now and have found pillars for each action screw to be essential over the long term with wood stocks especially. The wood and even composite material will compress. Paul Mauser had that figured out back in the 1890s. Many years back I purchased (Brownell’s) a 65 In lb torque wrench that was issued with the Army’s M24 Sniper rifle. When the scope in it’s rings were removed and the barreled action removed from the stock and put back on and torqued with the wrench they would return to zero. That convinced me. Been using it ever since with complete satisfaction.

      Larry Gibson

    • #23727
      Newt
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      Larry, is your M700 223 free floated? I saw a picture you posted of it in the HV PC thread. Looks just like mine, minus the optics.

    • #23729
      Goodsteel
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      I have torque wrench envy.

    • #23736
      Larry Gibson
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      Newt;n1800 wrote: Larry, is your M700 223 free floated? I saw a picture you posted of it in the HV PC thread. Looks just like mine, minus the optics.

      Yes, has been from about 15 minutes after I took it out of the box. It is also bedded with Brownell’s Steel Bed. After around 8000+ rounds the throat was so long the ogive of a 55 SX barely seated in the case neck wouldn’t touch the lead. Had the barrel set back in ’89 1.5″ and chambered with a “standard” Clymer .223 Rem finish reamer (reamer made in ’70 and I have it) made when it was just the .223 Remington/5.56 NATO and not all this internet crap trying to prove one isn’t the other. The M700V still shoots in the .4s and .5s with my standard .223 load; LC Military cases (fired in bolt gun only) FF’d and NS’d, 55 gr Hornady SX, 26.5 gr H335, WSR primer. It originally had a Weaver 4×12 on it but as soon as the Weaver T-10 was announced I got one and put on it. It had the T-10 on it most of it’s life. I will probably put the T-10 back on it as I’m thinking of putting the B&L 6×24 Elite on Dawn if I shoot her in any CBA matches.

      Larry Gibson

    • #23737
      Newt
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      I suppose I’ll hold of on the free float for now. I am getting some good groups right now and I’d hate to mess that up. But, if it starts acting squirrel when the season changes I suppose I’ll have to give it a go.

    • #23738
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      Maybe just get a Boyd’s Thumbhole(I love the look of them) to put the gun in so that if I could swap back. I suppose I need to read up on free floating and bedding.

    • #23739
      Goodsteel
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      If you are going to bed a rifle, check out the tutorials found here: http://www.erniethegunsmith.com/
      This is exactly how rifles are bedded here at MBT. Stress free.

    • #23744
      Newt
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      Thanks. What about pillars? Worth it on a laminate stock?

    • #23755
      Goodsteel
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      I consider pillars (or pillar singular) to be superfluous on a Mauser 98, but with the Remington 700, they are absolutely essential. Laminated wood is a superb stock material, and several of my very most accurate rifles have been built on Laminated wood, but for all it’s harmonic excellence, it is “squishy” in a situation where you have bolts pinching two pieces of metal on either side of it. Pillars give you a solid point to torque against. Pillars should be made of steel in my opinion, and installed first, before the bedding is applied.
      When doing any sort of bedding, do not skip the dry build under any circumstances. There is almost always something that needs changing when doing a dry build, and it really sucks if you decide to make a change when you have rapidly hardening bedding compound drying all over the place.

      Remember what I always say: You can always tell somebody who knows what they are doing vs. somebody who doesn’t by their bedding. An armature gets the bedding compound on the bench, on the stock, on their hands, in their hair, on the floor, on the trashcan, and on their glasses. A professional gets it in the rifle correctly too! LOL!

      There are several things that you should do and tools you should use in order to do a profeshional bedding job on your rifle.
      1. You need good quality compound. I use only Devcon 10-110 in my rifles. I buy it cheapest on Ebay from a certain seller. Get it. If you’re after accuracy, it’s good stuff.

      2. You need a fresh box of Q-tips.

      3. YOu need a fresh roll of paper towels

      4. You need a fresh can of WD-40

      5. You need a new roll of Scotch brand electricians tape (no, it’s not just because I’m Scottish and I like plaid.)

      6. You need a good scale

      7. you need good mixing/application sticks. The best thing for this is to buy a 5/16″ dowel rod and cut it into 7″ lengths which you sharpen like a screwdriver so you have a blade with a radius on the tip that’s about 1.5″ long. This allows you to scrape the inside of your cups and apply the stuff nicely.

      8. you need some small plastic cups about 2″ in diameter and about 1″ deep.

      9. Bedding rods for your rifle to guide the action to the stock and hold it in alighnment with the bottom metal holes.

      10. Brownells brand Acra-release. I have used most of the horshit that people recomend, and it can’t hold a candle to the Acra-release. Don’t screw around. Do it right.

      11. Plumbers putty

      12. Good quality masking tape

      13. Brand new pack of quality X-acto blades.

      Carburetor cleaner.

      This list is non-negotiable. Get this stuff, or a reasonable facsimile or don’t do the job.

      The biggest mistake that people make (right after you convince them to quite torquing the snot out of the screws) is that they don’t use enough bedding compound. This is no time to be frugal. You want the bedding compound to be thick so it pushes all the air bubles out of the action.

      So lets get started.

      1. The first thing you do is a dry build. Keep whipping that mother till it goes together perfectly and works like a charm every time. I don’t care how sweet it looks. How well does it WORK????

      2. Once you’re sure everything is going together correctly, strip you action of the bolt, bolt stop, bolt release, trigger……..everything.

      3. Screw in your bedding rods.

      4. Use your plumbers putty to fill in everything around the trigger area.

      5. Spray down the recoil lug area with carb cleaner and wipe it down carefully.

      6. Carefully mask the front face of the lug and the sides of it, and trim the tape flush with the lug using a sharp, new X-acto blade. You want the rear totally exposed. Trim the tape flush with the stock line as well.

      7. Spray the action all over with Acra-release, and take a heavy swipe down the right side of the action and barrel so the letters get filled nicely and take a heavy swipe on the stock bolts as well, then set the barreled action aside in a clean place.

      8. putty in the bottom metal to eliminate any mechanical lock, and spray it down heavily with Acra-release, then set it aside with the action. (special note: when spraying these items with Acra-release, keep them well away from the stock nor anything you want glue to stick to.

      9. If your stock has any checkering, mask it off carefully with tape, then set it aside.

      10. Take your scale and weigh off about 750 grains of Devcon 10-110 part A into a tared plastic cup (This is bare minimum and may not be enough, so be ready to mix more). Punch whatever reading you get on the scale into your calculator and divide by 9.

      11. Set part A aside and tare a new cup for part B. Weigh out however much your calculator said into the new cup.

      12. Use your fancy 5/16 dowel scraper to mix part B into Part A and stir till it feels a little bit smoother than creamy penut butter. You have 4 hours, so don’t worry about stirring too much. Just get it done right.

      13. grab your stock and secure it in a padded vice upside down. Paste in just the front and rear tang areas for the bottom metal (this is for the remington 700 only. For a Mauser, you must mud in EVERYTHING).

      14. Sink the bottom metal in place and use a paper towel and q-tips wet with WD-40 to clean up any sqeeze-out.

      15. flip the stock over and put the rest of your compound in the recoil lug area. Don’t be squeamish about this. Trust me and do this.

      16. Spread the compound down the rails and into the rear tang area of the action. You want about a 1/4″ bead of compound running down both side rails and around the tang slot, and a real good pile of it left in the lug area of the action. Don’t have enough compound? Mix another batch. Make sure that there is enough in there to definitely touch every part of the action + 10%, and the recoil lug cut must be filled totally.

      17. THE MOMENT OF TRUTH.
      Sink your action into the stock and start wiping. WD-40 is practically useless for 99% of what they say it’s good for, but this is one area where it really shines and I cannot find a suitable replacement for it. Keep your paper towels and q-tips damp and they will cut right through the wet Devcon. Keep pushing on the action and wiping daubing, and cleaning till you have all of it cleaned up and in the trash can. I typically use half a box of Q-tips and half a roll of towels bedding a single rifle. Wasteful? Maybe. But my bedding looks better than anyone I have followed, so this is how I do it.

      18. Put a block of wood or metal on the tang of the rifle to raise that surface above the rear receiver ring, and take about ten turns of tape around the block and the trigger guard.
      19. Repeat step 18 for the front reciever ring, but this time, put the block on the front tang of the bottom metal.

      20. Wipe up up again. Pay special attention to the ejection port and the rear tang of the action. You want NO BEDDING COMPOUND ON TOP OF THESE TWO SURFACES. If you do everything right, those two areas are the only ones that will try to crack chunks off the stock when you eject the action later.

      21. Take a few more turns of tape going in the oposite direction as the first time, and wipe/clean the bedding off the stock. This is the final cleanup, so be careful to get every bit of residue off the stock or it will be a permanent part of it in 4 hours.

      22. Remove the rifle from the vice (this is important) and store it muzzle down in the rack. Keep an eye on your squeeze out for the next hour and clean as necessary, then leave it alone for 24 hours.

      Whew!!!!

      23. Cut the tape and carefully peel it back from the action so that the blocks do not scratch anything. Throw it away.

      24. Take a heavy steel hammer and tap (that’s TAP not SMACK get the picture?) with smooth measured strokes on the tips of the stock bolts. You are looking to crack the action loose a little bit back there.

      25. Hold the rifle by the aciton and take a large rubber hammer and thump the underside of the barrel. This takes a bit of feel. You’re not wailing on it, and you’re not just tapping it. You’re trying to send a shudder through the rifle barrel that will transfer to the action. When it starts to go, it will sound a little bit hollower. Switch back and forth between thumping the barrel and tapping the stock bolts till the action has been moved about 1/8″ out of it’s seat in the stock.

      26. Grab the stock bolts with a pair of pliers and twsit them in a CCW direction to remove them from the action from the bottom.

      27. Wiggle the barreled action out of the stock (the recoil lug is the only thing holding it.

      28. Use a punch through the top of the stock to pop the bottom metal loose in a similar fashion as you did the barreled action. One end at a time: tap tap…..tap tap….tap tap.

      29. Clean up the barreled action and the bottom metal. If you have a steel piece that has a little bit of bedding attached to it, use a piece of aluminum to push it off. Not brass, not steel. Aluminum.

      30. Use files to clean up your bedding job. Cut a draft towards the inside around the rim of the stock. Use a dremel tool with a roughing bit to clean up the inside (if you gouge the stock with the cutter, I don’t know what to tell you. Dont be a screwball.

      31. Use a round object the same diameter as the rear of the barrel as a guide to scribe a line 1.5″ forward of the action (or whatever barrel support you prefer). Use the dremel tool to carefully cut the squeezed forward bedding compound to that line. Do not let the thing grab and roll you over the edge of the stock. That would be another screwball move.

      31. Once everything is perfectly clean and it looks like your bedding grew there, grab a black magic marker and give your bedding job a border. This looks sexy and shows pride in your workmanship.

      32. Assemble your rifle and take a bow. You did it like a BOSS.

    • #23778
      Sgt. Mike
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      Larry Gibson;n1795 wrote: Long ago I arbitrarily started free floating all barrels. Very rare these days to find one that doesn’t shoot better and more consistently that way. I’ve been torqueing action screws for many years now and have found pillars for each action screw to be essential over the long term with wood stocks especially. The wood and even composite material will compress. Paul Mauser had that figured out back in the 1890s. Many years back I purchased (Brownell’s) a 65 In lb torque wrench that was issued with the Army’s M24 Sniper rifle. When the scope in it’s rings were removed and the barreled action removed from the stock and put back on and torqued with the wrench they would return to zero. That convinced me. Been using it ever since with complete satisfaction.

      Larry Gibson

      If I recall correctly Larry wasn’t the 40X (rimfire version) torqued at 40-45 inch pounds in a non pillared wood stock for best performance?
      In the M24 with pillared synthetic stock (such as the H-S precision issue stock) 65 in pounds is the norm, some (key word there some) wooden stocked 700 short action shoot best at 40-45 inch pounds. As a rule though in the Remington’s 65 inch pounds is the ticket on the action and the scope rings

    • #23860
      Dick
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      You can also play with torque to tune your rifle. You’d be surprised what playing around with the action screws will do, lol. Write down the torque values when done and always repeat. PWS does that as well and the info is listed in the rifle’s book.

    • #23929
      Sgt. Mike
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      ding ding chicken dinner winner there….
      The rimfire boys do exactly that.

    • #23942
      Sgt. Mike
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      Guess I need to expound upon my earlier post here. And let folks tell me I’m wrong and or crazy.
      On the remington’s (yes winchester does it too, as well as Military bolt actions) as from the factory with pressure pad built in the stock (usually this excludes the Varmit and Target/Sniper grades)
      The pressure pad has a reason it is to extert X amount of pressure to assist the barrel to shoot as desired. why you ask wellll it is to overcome barrel quality or rather inconsistency. A properly constructed barrel will shoot with a pressure pad (though usually will shoot better without it). But a inconsistent barrel will need a pressure pad to shoot consistantly.

      Yes I know….. but think in terms of production after all we are making guns to make money we can’t afford to cull two barrel outta three. Simple run the average.

      Mike what the heck are you talking about you ask? Simple the action screws actually preload tension on the barrel. Barrels usually have one or two contact areas as bedded from the factory (or arsenals). One is the pressure pad near the foretip, the other in the first inch of the area the barrel screws into the action. So repeatable tension from the action screws is important.
      The Remington’s with a slotted head screw 40-45 inch pounds will set the preload, in the later hex head use 65 inch pounds. Folks that is less than 2 ft pounds I dont know anyone that has a arm calibrated that can’t pick up the difference. (side note the reason for the torque value difference is the screw construction the head slotted heads strip out easier, with extreme care you can apply 65 in pounds to a slotted screw, as well as that is the historical advice)

      Bottom Line is look each manufacturer has used the pressure pad some will tell you 2-3 pound of upward pressure, others such as the 1903/1917 is 5-7 pounds of upward pressure your actions screw tension (torque) and height of pressure pad will determine that. The other part is as wood ages it compresses (shrinks) and that tension is reduced thus giving less upward pressure.

      Competitive shooter absolutely refuse to take the action out the stock once it is set up. This even goes for the Match M-14 and Garand , once properly set (bedded) and tension applied.
      The AR family has no such need.

      Bear in mind you are not preloading the action tension bedding is usually applied only to give a consistent area to apply tension to the barrel area. But the true purpose is setting the barrel upward tension even with a free floated barrel as most have a area of support, even a little itty bitty area in the forward lug area.

      As Dick stated you can play with the tension screws to find the best for your setup.
      Usually with the composite stocks that Larry mentioned the M24 run that sucker to 65 in pounds and go shoot.
      If it does not shoot play upwards and downwards in the range, if you desire.
      My method is this torque to 40-45 in lbs, Shoot it, NO-GO torque to 65 in lbs reshoot, NO-GO remove pressure pad torque back to 40-65 in Lbs re-shoot, still NO GO torque to 65 in Lbs 98% time this fixes it. If that does not work I’m rebarreling and rebedding with a quality barrel.

      Just a method and suggestion folks NOW let the flame war begin

    • #23956
      Dick
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      PWS also uses a pressure pad, lol. They are still using the mighty fine barrels from Mr. Schneider.

    • #23976
      dverna
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      great thread

    • #24005
      Sgt. Mike
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      To illustrate what I’m referring to above here is a example I bought a 722 in 6mm Remington a while back for a varmit rifle.

      I took the rifle to the range here was the best that could be done.

      this was regardless of screw torque

      here is why God Bless Bubba

      what is not seen is the action bedding area which the next photo will show it

      Notice the darkness area rearward of the barrel lug yeah no bedding apparently somebody told Bubba that bedding the channel will make it more accurate. I’m figuring Bubba was trying to shoot 105’s in a twelve twist. I cleaned the channel out (the picture shows me in the process of cleaning the channel notice lipstick mark from the barrel when I set it in just forward of the lug). I reassemble set her at 45 inch pounds,set the COAL to slightly kiss the lands. here is the results. The older 721/722 came with slotted screws just like the early 700’s that replaced them.

      This includes the infamous cold bore/clean bore/cold shooter shot at 100yards. Yes, I measure outside to outside and that is a 5 shot group (CTC is a .5295″)

      Now if that barrel had required a pressure pad in the fore tip I could easily established one, but pay attention to the second photo in the barrel channel that shows the action area there is contact within the 1 ” of barrel, which I checked after the complete cleaning of the channel.

    • #24007
      Goodsteel
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      That’s what I call a "last nail in the coffin" post. Excellent.

    • #24008
      Newt
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      Thanks for the replies guys. I decided to shoot some loads to post on the PC accuracy. turns out that the torque still wasn’t right. Better than before, but not as good as it’s been. So I played with it a little more and tomorrow I’ll shoot for a group I’m hoping will be one of the best I’ve had. The gun shows promise anyways.

      Point being. While I don’t have a torque driver handy, the slightest movement is not only changing group size, but it’s changing POI and first shot location in comparison with following shots. You know, the first shot way left then subsequent shots 2″ right but grouping over there.

      Very interesting stuff. I indexed the two screws for now, but guess if I’m going to achieve ultimate reliability I need to bed. However, I second guess this in a way because all the indicators seem to point to barrel harmonics. As in, shot bad light torque, shot bad heavy torque, shot good medium. Almost like its varying the amount of pressure the front pad is putting on the barrel.

      I assume it could be made up for with load changes, but is this always true? I did read a little about pressure bedding the barrel after you stress free bed the action. After a full pillar/bed of the action, with the barrel free floated, then you hang 8-10 lbs off the stock for end and bed a 2″ strip where the factory pressure pad was. Then once cured, with the weight removed, the forend gives a consistent and much more precise upward pressure.

      I’m typing from my phone so forgive my spelling and wording. Can only see two lines at a time.

    • #24010
      Sgt. Mike
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      Newt seeing how your local at least pretty much so,
      why not stop by Tim’s shop, I live extremely close to him, he or I can help ya with the rifle?

    • #24044
      Newt
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      I’d love to, but it’s a 3 1/2hr journey for me one way. I’m up in the northwest part of the state. I like to work on things like this also, not that I would turn down help if it was close though.

      I’m going to get a torque driver first. Find out what the settings are right now, if it even matters. Then I’ll try my hand at the pillar and bed. I’ve always wanted to try it anyways. Because that will require the removal of the pressure band near the forend, I’ll have to play around with pressure if I find it doesn’t shoot well.

      If it would be better, more advisable, to do it on a laminated stock instead of my walnut, let me know. I’ve always wanted to have a thumb hole varmint gun. Those Boyd’s stocks look good. I assume they make one to fit my barrel contour. I did read they need a little work to set things in correct.

      I’m not going to turn all gun smith or anything. But I like to try things at least once. But again, if I was closer, I’d be bringing it by for you all to take a gander.

    • #24068
      Sgt. Mike
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      Tim,
      you bore scoped that rifle’s throat you know how bad it is.
      those 55 grs had to be set forward quite a bit to chase the throat, H414 gave the best performance..
      I shot some 70grs that was slightly bigger in group size but still under 1" the powder in those (the 70’s) was either IMR8208XBR or H414 gave the best performance.

    • #24070
      Sgt. Mike
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      Tim had done bedding tutorials before, I want to say he hung one on CBF.

      Richard micro fit stocks I have used them in the past usually the 98% is not a drop-in. Release agent is your friend. When I’m doing one I am paranoid about the action getting glued in. Which has always kept me from doing so. Bolt guns are about the easiest to do as a rule.

      Devcon 10-10-10 is the best bedding material, J-B weld can be used I have even used Marine Tek, it’s ok, not good or great so I don’t recommend it for longivity.
      Devcon I would rate higher than acurglass or other commercial offering. But for ease of use choose the commercial offering from Brownells for your first job. Why? everything is there with instructions without looking for release agent, mixing bowls, etc.
      Tim may throw some other advice out there I’m leaving tools needed out because there are differing way to do the job.

      Just throwing options out there Whidden V-blocks (http://www.whiddengunworks.com/product/v-block/) which could be glued in with J-B weld. even though I have never used one. I have heard others brag on them if installed correctly

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