M14 Forum banner

Bedding a rear lug gun the coat hanger way~pic heavy

23492 Views 59 Replies 31 Participants Last post by  hardheaded
I wanted to toss some pics up and if someone learns something from it its a good thing. I will loosely chronicle my bedding a Springfield Super Match / rear lug receiver that is NOT threaded (yet) and pillar bed it into a McMillan stock.

Lets get started-

1) New never fired M1A Super match rifle~

2) A McMillan M14 stock.

The Mac stock I lucked into finding. I called McMillan and they had one "left over" in forest green color and factory inletted for my rear lug receiver.
I am guessing that Mac does not get a lot of orders for rear lug inletted stocks so it was my lucky day.

Note~ You will need a new stock ferrule, the MAC stock does NOT come with one so order one now unless you have one already

Out of the box-

Factory inletting-

Finish work for the McMillan stock is proper bedding and attachment of the front ferrule (VERY IMPORTANT), front sling attachment (easy) and butt plate install. The butt plate needs to be fitted a little. The stock has some of the stock filler spilled over into the recess where the butt plate sits. There was also some parting line glass from the mold halves that needed cleaned up. This is easily done with a hand file. I will set up and drill the angle hole for the rear sling attachment later. I drilled 2 holes for stainless steel screws to attach the front sling retainer. The opposite side of that will be milled out and a square piece of key stock ( 5/16 ) will be drilled & tapped and inserted into the slot.

Butt stock cleaned up a little~

Holes (I) drilled for front sling attachment~

Rear Hardware~

Front Ferrule~

This is an important item and consider it part of your foundation, if its screwed up count on problems down the road. McMillan does an EXCELLENT job on their stocks and inletting.
That being said we are all human and it warrants checking your stock for straightness, channel fit and squareness. No hurry and make sure its right before moving on.
I modded a standard stock ferrule to "NM" style with the added clearance. Some may make it larger or a different shape but the main task is clearance around the gas cylinder AND that its parallel and level to the stock once mounted. I modded my ferrule then steel bedded it after trial fit and checking for alignment. Once cured over night I used a hand file (rat-tail) to clear the stock and even it up with the steel ferrule. Cosmetics & clearance for your gas cylinder.

Modified Front~

This covers most of the stock initial fitting and whats needed to move on....

Once you have your stock hardware wrapped up you need to test fit your action in the stock. You want to make sure nothing is binding and you have clearance for bedding material where you want and need it. Since I am NOT using the trigger group to hold the action in place I want to make sure the alignment is correct that it WILL go together after bedding.

Front ferrule seated and action fits with no binding~

With the clearance you made in the front ferrule you should be able to wiggle / move around the gas cylinder up & down and side to side.
You do NOT want it rubbing or binding. Its fully seated and not sticking out or forward.

Action fits and trigger group lines up~

Test for mechanical function of hammer & trigger. You want to make sure the hammer does not follow the bolt forward when the bolt closes while the trigger is held to the rear. If it does your trigger group is likely to far away from the bolt. If so you need to remove material from the stock where the trigger group seats.

Per Mr.Gus Fisher:

Take a pair good dial calipers and put them inside the stock. You measure from the two small bedding surfaces for the rear of the trigger housing up to the top of the stock where the receiver heel sits. This distance on an M1 Garand or M14 is supposed to be NO MORE than 1.725" and may be as little as 1.700". On some Armscorp's and LRB receivers I have run across, I had to bring this distance down to 1.690" because parts of the receiver were not to spec. If the distance is OVER 1.725", then you have to cut/par a little wood off the two small bedding surfaces in the stock for the rear of the trigger housing, until the distances 1.725" or less.


This next one is a little hard to describe and understand. Take the trigger group out the stock and look at the stock between the two small bedding surfaces for the rear of the trigger housing. There is a groove between those two small bedding pads in the stock. Look for an indentation at the front of that groove. The indentation comes from the trigger hitting the stock when this groove is not cut high enough and does not allow the trigger to move enough so the sear can reset. It is easier to see the indent on a wood stock, though you may not see it on a wood or fiberglass stock. Put a little grease on the back of the trigger where it is just above the bottom of the trigger housing. There is a sort of a triangular shape there and grease the top of the triangle. Put the trigger housing back in the rifle and dry fire it a few times and then take the trigger housing out. If there is a grease spot left on the stock between the two small bedding pads, you have to cut at least the front of the groove higher so the trigger does not hit it.

Now that I am satisfied that my action fits correctly I did find one detail on my receiver that needed correction IMHO. My rear lug had VERY sharp edges on all 4 sides of the rear lug. This is similar to holding a chisel against the nice Devcon epoxy you are putting around it, not good. A few minutes on a 3M Beartex wheel gave me nice corner radii that leaves a nice round corner in your bedding. I will re-blue it later.

No threaded rear hole.....yet!

Stock SHARP rear lug~

The way it should have left the factory~

Once I fixed this little issue its time to layout your stock. Get a SHARP lead pencil and put your action into your stock. Use the sharp pencil to trace around your receiver on the top surface of the stock. Once you do this remove your action and use painters tape to tape close to the line. This just makes cleaning up excess epoxy easier and keeps it off the stock. I either use the trigger group or my fixture to hold it in place while doing the layout work.


Traced Outline~

1 - 2 of 2 Posts

· MGySgt USMC (ret)
7,047 Posts
GREAT thread. EXCELLENT pictures. I'm sure many forum members will get a better idea how to use the "coat hanger" wire from your pictures.

I was very glad you mentioned and showed rounding the bottom edges of the rear lug as you are absolutely correct they should leave the factory that way.

We also found that slight rounding of the corners on the vertical sides of the lug kept wood stocks from cracking especially on the corner by the left rear side and make it easier for the lug to go in and out of the glass. Now some folks leave the corners sharp but relieve the glass for these lug corners on fiberglass stocks. I prefer to round all the corners of the lug and that way never have to worry about a corner scraping glass and they always go in and out of the bedding nicely.

· MGySgt USMC (ret)
7,047 Posts
Thanks and small details that are incorrect IMHO, REALLY bug me. Fillets and radius are simple and standard machine practice ( I am a toolmaker by trade) and sending ANY receiver or machined part out like it is wrong.

I decided to retire my "donut" bedding fixture simply becasue the coat hanger method appeals to me on several levels. Simplicity and consistency come to mind and I do not have to disturb the factory set gas cylinder.

Fingers crossed for free time tomorrow......
I am not a toolmaker or machinist by trade, but I've learned things from some really good ones over the years and leaving a sharp edge where it should not be is just poor workmanship.

When I was taught to glass bed an M14 in 1973, we were still using the "barrel collar" or what we called "The Doughnut" up front instead of the gas cylinder. The problem was that too often when we fitted the unitized cylinder, either the barrel was not centered or the bottom lip of the front band dug into the stock ferrule or drug badly on it. That required a LOT of additional time sanding the lip of FB so it would slide freely.

I don't know if our Team Armorers came up with the coat hanger method or if they learned it from someone else. I do know that once we began using it, we had no where near the problems with barrel alignment or FB lips digging into or dragging on the stock ferrules. Personally, I was GLAD to stop using the "doughnuts" and never looked back.
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.