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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This thread is now open although I am still awaiting some feedaback. Keep an eye out for changes here and there....Enjoy!

Due to the recent pictiger SNAFU, I am working on converting this entire thread into a downloadable Word or PDF file. Please be patient as I will do my best to get this done in a timely manner....

Edit log:
-07/28/09: Updated bedding care section and a typo I found in post #15. Red text, replaced the word stock with receiver.
-07/29/09: Updated bloopers section
-08/03/09: Updated sling swivel section (post number 5) to add JB welding the nuts in place when stoned clear. Post number 7 edited to add comments from Ted Brown on stock liner modification

In my search for optimized M14 accuracy, I have been reading, consulting, clarifying and researching as much as I can about extracting accuracy out of this fine rifle. In this post I will share my discoveries and methods with you on the topic of glass bedding the rifle. I will state at this point that I am not a match shooter, an armorer or gunsmith. The information I am sharing comes from posts on the M14 forum and information that I have obtained from credible resources such as (in alphabetical order) Ted Brown Gus Fisher and Art Luppino in addition to the book by Scott Duff and CWO John Miller (The M14 Owners Guide and Match Conditioning Instructions). Hopefully, I will have obtained the Kuhnhausen shop manual and made additions from there, but I have yet to purchase that publication. I have also watched Art’s DVD on glass bedding the M14/M1A rifle and will include tips and tricks from his video (with his permission of course).

I would also like to thank Art, Gus and Ted (as well as any others that I may have overlooked) for putting up with me and all my questions in my effort to clearly understand the bedding process. I could not have drafted this document had it not been for their generosity in sharing their technical knowledge with all of us at no cost.

This is my attempt to combine the knowledge of these individuals in one single posting and make it available to anyone who either wants to venture out and attempt their own glass bedding job, or just wants to know more about the why’s and how’s of glass bedding. It should be recognized that glass bedding is an art form and each individual gunsmith will have his own methods that he has found works best for him. I will try and identify the differences in this post and let you decide what works best for you. I will do my best not to favor one method over another and leave the technique up to you to decide.

And remember, YMMV!

At times I will be quoting individuals from other posts in the form and I will do my best to provide links to original threads when applicable. I want complete credit to go to the source of the information. With that being said, let’s get started…

Should I attempt to glass bed my rifle?
Only you can decide if you should attempt this procedure. There is no way that I can evaluate your technical capabilities. You should only attempt this procedure if you possess the confidence and technical ability required. What I suggest is that you fully read through this thread a few times and examine yourself, your equipment and your capabilities before you do anything else.

You also need to weigh in the possibility that you could permanently ruin or damage your stock or receiver or lose accuracy that you already have. If you have the tendency to rush things, are impatient, easily frustrated, lack attention to detail or are just flat out confused about what you are about to do, I suggest you save yourself the time, money, and frustration and send your rifle to a competent and capable gunsmith to do this job. My sources and I accept no responsibility for any undesirable outcomes that you may experience.

Now that you have read all the statements above and should you still decide to continue, I suggest that you do this procedure more than once and on a junk stock or cheap GI fiberglass stock before you attempt the final one on that prized tiger striped birch, walnut or fiberglass McMillan stock! The reason some of the pictures in this post seem to be taken out of order or after different attempts were made is because they were! My first three attempts failed miserably before my 4th one came out looking pretty!
My advice- Patience, Persistance and Perseverance!

Why should I glass-bed my stock?
When measuring the accuracy of the M14/M1A rifles, there are three items that define accuracy. This holy trinity can be summed up as “The Three B’s”; that is, the Barrel, Bullet (Cartridge) and Bedding. Accuracy is based upon the full accuracy potential that your barrel possesses. From there, you will achieve a percentage of accuracy depending on the sum of what round your rifle likes, how well your stock fits in to the action and miscellaneous other factors. The stock to action fit can be optimized by glass bedding the action to the stock.

When this is done properly, a rifle will be closer to achieving the mechanical accuracy that all the components are capable of. Art Luppino (a well known gunsmith and match armorer) has performed countless bedding jobs and has documented grouping improvements on average of 40%. That means that if your rifle is shooting an average of 2” groups at 100 yards, your groupings may reduce to as much as 1.2” at 100 yards. Again, this is no guarantee, but there is a high probability that your rifle will perform much better than it did before bedding was done.

WARNING: If your rifle is already shooting under 1.5” at 100 yds, your rifle is already performing superbly! If you glass bed the rifle and it gets mucked up, your accuracy may degrade. Glass bedding at this point may be a gamble. There are rare instances where accuracy degraded after a rifle was bedded! This is rare, but it can happen!

Is your rifle ready for glass bedding?
That being said, any rifle can and will benefit from glass bedding but I strongly recommend that you ensure that you have all the desirable components and modifications done to your rifle such as the installation of a medium to heavy weight barrel and any major fixes performed that may degrade accuracy (fixing loose op-rod guides, binding actions, loose gas lock fit, etc…). I stress this because when you glass bed your rifle, it is meant to reside there for over 1000 rounds or for a season or two without being removed from the stock. Frequent removal from the stock will speed up the wear of your glass bedding job and accuracy will degrade quicker which will require a skim bedding job to restore accuracy. A note on barrels, there are some standard weight NM barrels that are available that are worth glass bedding but the user should know that these barrels are intended to deliver match accuracy with decreased weight.

The draw back to this is that it will not perform as well in the rapid fire stages of a match as a medium or heavy weight barrel will. There is a reason match shooters use heavy weight barrels. Standard weight NM barrels are intended for recreational shooters or accuracy out in the field where rapid fire and scores are not a factor.

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Stock Selection

Stock selection: Wood or fiberglass?

Almost any wood stock will be suitable for glass bedding so long as it is in good condition. Both birch and walnut are acceptable but walnut has a tendency to last a little longer due to it’s resistance to grain compression. Birch is solid but the grain will compress after a bedding job at a faster rate than a walnut will and may require skim glassing sooner than a walnut would.

If you are glass bedding a rear-lugged receiver then you will want to use a NM type stock like a Big Red. These stocks are thicker in the grip area and will hold up better than a standard contour wood stock will. A standard wood stock that is bedded with a rear-lugged receiver will be much more susceptible to cracking due to the amount of wood that needs to be removed to facilitate the rear lug. This will weaken the stock tremendously. This should not be a factor if bedding to a standard contour fiberglass or NM fiberglass stock.

Wood stocks should be inspected for any cracks around the grip area, forearm area and around the stock liner. Pay careful attention to the area around the front sling swivel. Grab the stock by the forearm area and try to squeeze the top sides together. Observe the area around the sling swivel rivets and make sure the grain is not splitting in this area.

If you set your barreled receiver in the stock, the stock ferrule and front band should only be off center an eighth of an inch or less. Perfectly centered is preferred but any misalignment will be corrected during glass bedding. If the misalignment is severe or the forearm flexes when inserting your action, that stock is better left for a wall hangar display or firewood. If you don’t have your barreled action with you when you inspect the stock, eyeball it and try to see if the stock is warped or get a return policy from the seller.

The stock must also be free of oils, especially around the receiver and trigger areas. Bedding compound will not adhere to oil soaked wood. For the most part, all laminated wood stocks will be suitable for glass bedding and are probably the preferred material if going with a wood stock. Just inspect it well if it is used.

Fiberglass or composites:
Fiberglass is the ideal material to use when glass bedding. The only area to be weary of is the forearm area. GI fiberglass stocks were not designed for use in match rifles and are too weak in the forearm area. When using a tight sling, this area will flex too much and will degrade accuracy. A GI stock can be used but it needs to be reinforced in the forearm area. Some shooters have routed channels in their stocks and epoxied carbon fiber arrow shafts or metal rods in the channels. This should stiffen up the stocks nicely and make them suitable for bedding. In general, you should not be able to grab the forearm of the stock and twist/flex it by hand.

***Folks, if you have pictures or a "how to" of your reinforced fiberglass stocks, please allow me to post your pictures and instructions here***

McMillan fiberglass stocks were designed for this application and so long as the stock you have is not damaged, it should be good to go. Even if the stock is damaged, it is fiberglass and can be repaired as long as it isn’t warped too badly, even so, it will just take more work to get it back into shape. New commercial SAI stocks are so new that I have not heard of anyone glassing them or if they are suitable for glassing.

There is one individual who is custom making Carbon Graphite Kevlar stocks which are also ideal for glass bedding. These are extremely light weight and rigid, especially in the forearm area. These are designed to be glass bedded from the get-go. I will have one of these in hand soon and address any concerns if there are any.

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Required Materials

Bedding Compounds:
Today’s shooters have a plethora of fillers and compounds that will work for glass bedding. Some are high-tech and some are elementary. It is up to you to decide which one you want to use. The favorites are usually
- Marine-Tex
- Bisonite
- Devcon steel putty
- Brownell’s Acra-Glass and Steel Bed compounds,
- PC-7 steel epoxy
- And surprisingly, even JB Weld!

I am sure there are others out there but those are the choices most common when bedding the M14. The key is that you want to use one which is very hard. Soft epoxies will have a short bedding life. Another thing to consider is the ease of use. Marine Tex, Devcon and Bisonite all have to be mixed to exact proportions. Some compounds are more forgiving and easier to mix; like JB Weld and PC-7. The more sophisticated epoxies will run anywhere from $50 to $100. JB Weld is cheap and so is PC-7. Pick what is in your budget but be prepared for the drawbacks. I just swung by the local boat shop the other day and found a jar of Marine-Tex for only $45. A future purchase is in order.

Release agents:
This has proved to be my most frustrating item to track down. Good industrial stuff is hard to find (at least for me). I did some research and found that Brownell’s sells some stuff called T.F.E (http://www.brownells.com/aspx/ns/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=1155&title=T.F.E%20DRY%20LUBE%20&%20MOLD%20RELEASE) and also another product called Acra Release (http://www.brownells.com/aspx/ns/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=1045&title=ACRA-RELEASE?)

I recommend you shy away from the TFE as it does not work really well on M14 bedding. I had epoxy stick to my receiver while using this stuff and half of my bedding and some wood ripped out when I removed the receiver from the stock.

A lot of shooters use Kiwi shoe polish or Johnson’s paste wax. These work really well as a release agents but they are somewhat thicker and may produce a loose fitting glass job. I suggest a thin spray-on type of release agent that will allow the thinnest barrier between the rifle and the bedding compound. Gus Fisher recommends Valspar 225 or Ram 225 but I had to e-mail Valspar to get distributor information. I was contacted by a company called Sher-fab (http://www.sherfab.com/) in Norwalk, CA. They have Valspar 225 in spray-can form as well as in jars, buckets and pails. Be warned that it is expensive.
I did read one suggestion that Hornady One-Shot bullet case lube works really well. I happen to have a can of this and I will try this on a junk 22 rifle and let you know how it all works out.

Hand tools

      • Dremel with wood routing bit or 1/8” drill bit and small sanding tip
      • Sand paper or steel wool (the rougher, the better)
      • Small wood carving chisel (optional)
      • Razor or x-acto knife
      • Masking tape
      • Modeling Clay
      • Hobby brush
      • Tongue depressor or popsicle stick
      • Small Dixie cup or lab cup
      • Rubber gloves
      • Bench/gun vise with rubber or wood pads or a gun cleaning cradle
      • Acetone, a lot of acetone!!!
      • Thin rubber weather stripping (2” long) or a couple of strips of old bike tire tubing, 2” long by ½” wide
Special tools:
      • Bedding collar
      • Coat hangar, thick wire or welding rod
      • Wire cutters
      • Trigger U-lock (easily made out of scrap chain-link fencing)

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Preparing the gas system

Preparing the gas system:

For glass bedding to be optimized, there needs to be a certain amount of draw pressure added to the front band lip/stock ferrule fit. What is draw pressure, you ask? Draw pressure is the amount of upward force that the lip of the front band exerts on the very bottom of the stock ferrule. This pressure will stabilize the barrel as it shoots and help the barrel return to the exact spot after firing.

For the appropriate draw pressure to be achieved and maintained, the front band must be securely held in place by the gas cylinder. This can be measured by identifying the location of the gas lock where it begins to snug up on the gas cylinder. The ideal position for it to reach snugness at is about the 4:30 to 5 o’clock position as looking from muzzle to butt stock. From there, you should need a gas cylinder lock wrench to fully tighten it to the 6 o’clock position.

This means that the front band is mashed between the shoulder of the barrel and the gas cylinder. If your gas cylinder lock is snug at the 6 o’clock position or somewhere past that, then you most likely need shims to tighten everything up. Another option is to turn your gas lock over (not from top to bottom but from front to back) and see if that produces the proper lock up. I have heard of more than one person do this and achieve proper lock up.
If on the other hand, the gas lock is too tight and locks up from the 12 to 3 position or just requires too much force to lock it to 6, then flip the lock over and try again. If the result is the same, then you should get an India or Arkansas stone or fine grit sand paper and lay the gas lock flat on the surface and work the lock in a circular, or figure 8 motion, to take some metal off the contact surface of the lock. Do just a little and try to fit the lock. Repeat until you reach to proper tension.

Shimming the gas system:
For further information and everything you ever wanted to know on shimming the gas cylinder, click here…

Shims go here...

Unitizing the gas system (optional):
Some people may want to unitize the gas system and it is highly recommended however, there is some friendly debate as to how and when it should be unitized. I asked the question to Art, Gus and Ted and I got three different answers. I will let you refer to this thread and let you decide for yourself when and how it should be unitized…

Each one of those individuals has their own technique and style. They have perfected their styles over decades of experience and each one has got their method to work perfectly. Once you have read the thread mentioned above I will sum up what I believe to be a true statement:

I will not give instructions on how to unitize the gas system as that is best left to a professional. If the gas cylinder has been unitized on a jig separated from the rifle and perfectly centered, you must use a stock that has had all the surfaces leveled and ensure that they are in perfect agreement with each other. These surfaces are the bedding surfaces around the receiver and the leveling of the stock ferrule. If the stock ferrule is level to the receiver area, the barrel should rest in the center of the stock channel when using the bedding collar. Preparation of these surfaces will be addressed later.

If using the coat hangar oe fulcrum method, you will have a little more grace and the front band will center itself on the stock ferrule as it is present when you set your action in to be bedded, but I will get to that later.

But regardless of which method you are using, you should still take great care and prepare the surfaces and stock ferrule to optimize performance.

One other option is to install the front band after bedding has been completely done and leave the gas lock loose so that there is slight slop in the front band. Once the action is clamped down into the stock, tighten the gas lock all the way and let the front band find the center of the stock ferrule. Carefully make markings on the front band indicating its relationship to the gas cylinder and send it off to your gunsmith to be welded or screwed-N-glued in the orientation that you indicated.

JB Welding the gas cylinder (optional):
And yet another poor man’s unitizing option is to JB weld the front band in place during the bedding process and let it set with the rest of the bedding compound. JB Weld should be applied to the mating surfaces of the front band and the gas cylinder. It is also best to scratch the mating surfaces a little to give the JB Weld something to adhere to. Just spread a little on the mating surfaces and secure the front band in the same method as the paragraph above. The down side to this method is that the JB Weld may fail with extended use and may also release with heat activation.
JBweld goes where the arrows illustrate:

More on the JB Weld method can be found here:

The most important thing to remember is that once the rifle is bedded and the gas cylinder has been unitized, there must be perfect centering of the barrel to the stock channel and perfect centering of the front band lip to the stock ferrule! If any of these are out of alignment, your rifle may not shoot to its full potential! Your rifle may need to be re-bedded!

Polishing the contact points:
Using a Dremel, a polishing attachment and some polishing compound, polish the front band surface that will contact the stock ferrule, especially the lip. Polish the mating surfaces on the front band as well.

Shimming and unitizing (optional):
Just because you have unitized your gas system doesn’t mean that you don’t need shims. You need to ensure that your gas lock locks up at the proper position and with proper tension. If it is tight then you don’t need shims. If it is loose, you need shims. Be sure to check that your gas port is in alignment after doing so. (Check the link in the shim section for further explanation)

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Stock Inspection and Preparation

Removing front sling rivets and welding the swivel:
The first thing that should be done before any stock routing is to be done and even before leveling the stock is to remove the front sling swivel rivets. As wood or fiberglass begins to compress the rivets will begin to loosen and your swivel will not be as sturdy as it needs to be. The rivets should be removed and replaced with 10/32 button head black Allen screws instead. There are several individuals who make kits which include either low profile nuts or a single block with threads that go into the stock. You can also make your own backing plate that goes inside the stock and secure everything with nuts.

Much care must be taken as this is one of those tasks that can turn that $100 piece of wood into scrap. If you force out the rivets without properly drilling them or supporting the stock, you can split your stock right down the middle!

What you need to do is get the swivel off and send it to your gunsmith and have the gap that holds the swivel on welded shut. When match shooters use tight slings, they can often put so much stress on the swivel that the sling loop opens up and their sling is useless. Some match shooters have even broken the welds with a tight sling.

First, get a (need size) drill bit and drill the flared portion off the rivet on the inside of the stock. As the flare begins to separate, you may need to hold the rivet head (on the outside of the stock) with some pliers or a set of needle nosed vise grips. Once the rivet flare is removed, you should be able to pull out the rivet shank or punch it out from the top. If you punch it, be sure to support the wood on top of a block of wood with a hole drilled in it. Go slow and easy!

Once your swivel has been welded and finished, install your swivel and slide the action into the receiver. Ensure your op-rod and gas cylinder is clear of the top of the nuts. If it isn’t, stone or file down the heads of the nuts or sink the holes in a little deeper. Make adjustments and check again until everything is moving free without binding. If you already bedded your stock and are about to install the action for the first time and need to get it right the first time, install your swivel once and make sure the nuts aren’t setting above the existing wood.

Edit 08/03/09: I glued my screw heads in place with JB weld so that if I needed to remove my sling swivel at any time and replace it with a sling mounted rail, then I could do so without removing the action from the stock to access the screws.

Ferrule modification:
Since you are going through all this trouble, you might as well do it right. To ensure that there are no negative harmonics introduced into the barrel during firing, you should allow more clearance for your gas cylinder at the stock ferrule. You can either purchase a new NM stock ferrule and route out the wood to accept it or you can modify your own stock ferrule.

Remove the ferrule from the stock. Get a Dremel with the grinding attachment and open up the bottom 3/4ths of the inside “U” channel as pictured:

If you are using a hand-held Dremel type of tool to do this, be very careful! The cutting or routing bit you use can easily go out of control and follow the contour of the ferrule, walk out and around the ferrule to the outside of the stock. This will scratch or gouge the stock and even worse, cut your fingers (ask me how I know!). To give you an example of how hard it is to control, I am not a small guy by any means. I have a 50” chest and 17” arms and I found it difficult to control the Dremel once it got a good grab on something. The cutting bit I was using did exactly as I stated, walked out of the barrel channel, out of the stock and started cutting away at my fingertip which I was using to support my hand which was doing the cutting.

While you are at it, polish the remaining mating surfaces of the stock ferrule to the front band. Sand the tenon (the part where the ferrule slides over) so that the ferrule slides on and off easily. Slide on the ferrule and clear materal from the channel of the stock to match the opening of the modified ferrule. The ferrule will be epoxied in the next step…

Stock leveling:
This is an excerpt from Art Luppino on leveling the stock…

“It is interesting to hear many members are starting to glass their own M1A's. This is a complicate process and can be done many different ways. The important thing to remember is, bedding the rifle does more than building a solid support system. It offers the opportunity to build into the rifle center lining, and draw pressure. To do the bedding without taking center lining and draw pressure into account is only half the job.

A few comments about the stock intended for use. If a USGI stock is to [be] used there are several things you should check, GI stocks were mass produced and often have surfaces that are not in agreement. You will need a quality level to check.

Checking the horizontal surfaces first is a good idea. I suggest fixing the stock in a vise, place the level on the stock just behind the stock ferrule, adjust the stock until it reads level, now, move the level to the area the rec. is going to contact the stock, see if these two surfaces are in agreement. It they are not, work the rec, end surfaces to get the the best agreement possible. Do not work the front end of the stock.

When you are satisfied agreement has been achieved, place the level on top of the stock ferule, if it is in agreement remove the ferrule and epoxy in place. If the ferule is not in agreement, work the stock tenon until agreement is achieved, then epoxy in place, you may have to use tape to hold ferule in position while epoxy dries.”…” move level to area under horseshoe [rear of rec.] and advance it forward in stages to a point where the rec. would end. This is the area , both sides, that can be altered to agree with front of stock and top of stock ferrule.”

If your stock is not leveled before bedding, your rifle may sit crooked in the stock. At close range shooting, this won’t be such an issue but once you start shooting the longer ranges, as you make elevation changes, your windage will shift as you are introducing elevation with a slight angle. This will make it harder for the shooter to make accurate and minimal corrections to find zero.

It should also be mentioned that some commercial receivers may have imperfections in the rear sight area. The rear sight should be removed and the level of the receiver to stock may need to be adjusted. Once the stock levels are in agreement, continue with the bedding process...

Plugging the selector cutouts:
If you are using an original GI wooden stock or fiberglass stock, then you will want to fill the selector cutouts before bedding. There are a couple of methods to do this. One option is to purchase a dummy selector kit. This should plug the holes and keep debris from entering the rifle.

Another option is to tape card board or plastic to both sides of the selector hole. Drive in a few small nails and bend the heads. Fill in the hole with JB weld, bedding compound or wood filler which matches the color of the grain. If using wood filler, you can sand it, stain it and apply a coat of finish over the top.

If you are filling a GI fiberglass stock with epoxy or bedding compound, then sand it after it has cured and leave as is or paint the whole stock. You are going through the trouble of bedding an expensive rifle so you might as well make it look pretty. Let the paint cure before routing or bedding.


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12,500 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Modifying the Hand Guard

Hand guard modification
Match grade M14’s commonly have a modification done to them which adds a gap between the bottom of the hand guard and the top of the stock from the base of the barrel all the way to the front band. This ensures that there is no rubbing of the hand guard to stock during recoil, If there is, there can be a slight degradation in accuracy as these are considered negative harmonics. The difference won’t be seen by a casual shooter but a competition shooter might. And in a match, it’s the little things that can kill your score, especially at longer ranges.

I like to modify the hand guard before bedding the rifle as you need to remove it, sand it, install it and repeat until your hand guard has the proper clearance. With the rifle fully assembled, get a piece of masking tape and place it on the hand guard so that it is about 1/8” or .1” above the stock from front to back along the length of the hand guard. It doesn’t have to be precise, just eyeball it. Do this on both sides.


Now either color the fiberglass to be removed with a black marker or get a razor and scratch a line along the edge of the tape. Remove the tape as it will be torn once you start working and you will lose your reference line. Also remove the hand guard clip as you will scratch the Parkerizing off during modification. Now you can either sand, file or Dremel the excess fiberglass off. Finish the edge with some fine sand paper. Assemble the rifle and check the clearance on both sides.

Once your rifle is bedded, the hand guard will be glued in place at the front band. You should also apply grease on the track where the hand guard clip sits.

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12,500 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Stock Routing and Liner prep

Stock liner modification

***As far as I can tell, all M14 specialty gunsmiths modify the stock liner. But there are different ways to modify the liner. For now, I can only give information on the method below but I have conversed with another individual who modifies his differently but it is much more difficult. I may post a summary on his method later as I learn more about it.

Another commentary from Art:
With the liner removed, go to page 352 of Kuhnhauser's Shop manual and study the material. it is excellent, and answers all the questions about the mods to the liner and why. I would add, it is a good idea to rough up the back end of the liner, the recoil surfaces, this allows strong purchase for the bedding material.

I use the same material to epoxy the liner in as I do to bed the rifle. JB Weld or Marine Tex, which has not found it's way to Kerrville to the date.

What this means is to remove about 1/8” or 0.1” from the stock liner where it contacts the receiver legs all around and also from the top of the liner where it comes close to contacting the receiver. Do not epoxy it in place until you have routed your stock for the liner and the receiver. Once you have the stock routed for the receiver and trigger group, then you can epoxy your liner in place.

1 2 3 4 5 6

It is easier to do the stock routing with the liner out. Be certain to wipe the surfaces where the liner contacts the stock with acetone before final installation. Allow the liner to dry, clean excess epoxy off so the rec. will slide into the stock without drag. There will be some side to side as well front to rear movement.

Once the routing has been completed assemble the rifle into the routed stock and lock the TG up. The barrel should be centered at the SF. Do not use any wedges or shims to correct miss-alignment, work the rec, end until it centers when locked up. At this time you can see if there is proper clearance between FB and SF. If not, the bedding
pads for the TG may require alteration.

I like to put two to three strips of tape across the front, open end, of the Stock ferrule before bedding, to assure the proper clearance results. Also I put two to three strips across the stock behind the recoil route to ensure the rec. does not contact the stock until the bedded area at the rear. When the bedding is complete I like to see daylight under the rec. from the recoil shoulders to the bedded backend. Art

I strongly suggest bedding the TG as a second stage.”

From Gus Fisher in response to Art’s post above:
One thing I know Art does when he takes out the stock liner is to be careful not to bend or twist it. This is easier than one may think because the metal will bend fairly easily. This ensures the long sections of the liner down each side won't get warped inward or cause the rear section of the liner to be twisted in the stock. If it gets warped or twisted in the back end, it can cause the trigger housing to be off center and/or difficult to get in and out of the stock. It can also cause the magazine to bind up on the liner towards the rear of the liner and/or up front on the long sides of the liner.

I take the stock liners out to modify them as well. When you are doing that, you often have to re-twist them a bit to get them back to their original shape.

First, place tape above the entire top area of the stock where the receiver sits. Place your barreled receiver with gas system assembled into the stock. Using a razor of some sort, run the blade along the base of the receiver tracing out it’s contour on the tape. Remove the receiver and peel the tape off the areas that are to be routed. Using a drill press with a movable base and a boring bit of some sort or a Dremel with a routing bit, route out the wood or fiberglass on the forward end of the receiver area until you reach the tape outline. Go as deep as the existing cut out area is.

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A comment from Ted Brown on liner modification:
"My only disagreement is concerning cutting the stock liner away from the receiver legs..... On an individual basis, one can take the time to prefit the liner to the receiver eliminating the need to cut it...... Not cutting the liner can double the life of the bedding....

I asked him to ellaborate on what it means to "pre-fit the liner" and this was his response:

"I remove the liner and fit it to the receiver and make adjustments to insure it aligns properly. After inletting and applying the epoxy I reinstall the liner leaving the screws slightly loose. After the receiver is dropped in I tighten the liner screws. It requires bedding the trigger group at the same time to insure the receiver is fully seated in the liner.
This is a complicated procedure and one not recommended for the DIY crowd. It takes some experience to get it right. I think it would be a good idea to include a disclaimer in your instructions."

I would love to watch him as he performs this process as I still don't fully understand it, but for now, this is the best I can do to let you guys know how he works his magic.

For the horseshoe area (the area under the heel of the receiver), route the wood or fiberglass out about 1/8” deep. Do not go all the way to the tape border. Leave about 1/16” or 1/32” of original top material. Remember, if we route all the wood out, we just ruined the work we did to level the receiver to the barrel channel and stock ferrule! We need some original material to keep everything in level and alignment!


Route about 1/16” from the area that the receiver legs will reside.
Insert your stock liner. Drill a few small holes right behind the stock liner far enough to reach the area where the receiver legs will be bedded. Remove the stock liner and blend the holes to form one channel. This will join the bedding material from the trigger housing wings to the bedding around the receiver leg recoil surfaces to create one solid pillar.

13 14 15 16 17

At this time, I suggest that you hold off on routing any material from the trigger group as bedding the trigger groups should be done as a separate step and I route the TG area just before I bed it.

When it is time to rout the TG, route the material just under the tang of the trigger about even to the slot cut for the trigger bar (not sure of the correct nomenclature here). In other words, route the remaining material to make it flush with the relief slot cut that allow the trigger to be pulled.

I route material from under the wings but leave a little just a little of the original material under the wings. The excess will flow out on top and fill the area perfectly.

Don’t worry if the routing looks rough or unprofessional. Actually, the rougher it is the better. It will give your bedding compound something to firmly grip and set into. Do not sand your routing job to a smooth finish as this will not give the bedding material a firm purchase. The surface left from a routing bit will be a fine surface for the bedding material.

All this will be covered and will look pretty once the bedding material is set.

If I didn't mention it before, now is the time to epoxy your stock liner in place.

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Reciever Preparation

Before you decide to bed your receiver, you should make sure that there are no aggressive machining marks and that there are no burrs where bedding compound will be applied. If you decide to bed the rifle with these defects, then you may not be able to get the rifle out of the stock once it has cured. Burrs will gouge the bedding when you remove it from the stock or rip out chunks, ruining all your hard work. If there are defects or burrs, then you can do one of two things:
  • File, or stone the rough area until they are smooth and paint or refinish your receiver
  • Fill any deep machining marks with clay and do your best to blend in the surface and remove after bedding
I asked the question on the forum and Art and Gus gave the following answers:
From Art:
The bottom corners of the Rec. legs should be rounded off and polished smooth. This prevents the corners from scraping the recoil surface of the bedding when the rec. is removed from the stock, Remember the Rec. lifts out on a radius, bottom edges have a tendency to scrap if not rounded..

I also work the rec. recoil surfaces, back of legs, down with a stone if they show machine marks that are deep. The smother the receiver surface is the less scraping that will result during removal. That's only half the answer, the same scraping occurs when the rec. is replaced in the stock. Where does the residue end up, what's the solution{ or partial solution is closer** to this problem? Art.

From Gus:

You touched on a point that was a REAL bugaboo with glass bedding SAinc receivers in the late 80's and early 90's. There was a bunch of those receivers that had gouges in a large arc (or worst case two arcs) in the side bearing surfaces of the receivers. Some of those gouges went 1/16" deep. That wasn't a problem when you don't glass bed the receivers, but it could well mean you would weaken or crack a stock if you glass bedded into the sides of the receiver with those gouges.

The only thing that could or can be done to fix that is to fill in the gouges with clay and cut the clay close to the surface of the receiver with a sharp knife. This is not real difficult, it is just a PITA to do. Once the receiver is bedded and you take the receiver out of the stock, you just clean out the clay there as you do everywhere else.

Although I won’t cover rear lugs in this post, I will say that it is wise to round out the edges of your rear lug if you have one. Rear lugs with sharp edges will scrape bedding off as it is removed and installed from the stock.

Connector pin modification:
The connector pin (the one that holds the op-rod spring guide in place) should be modified to strengthen the bedding in your rifle. This means that you are going to remove the roll pin that holds it in place and cut the connector to a length where when fully seated, it should be flush with the side of the receiver when fully inserted. For this, I got some vise grips and pulled my old roll pin out. For strength, I pushed in the pin the opposite side and I trimmed the side of the pin that had the hole for the roll pin. Mark the length and set the pin in a vise. Trim the end off with a dremel cutting bit or a hack saw. Use a stone or a fine file and clean up the cut. I chucked the pin into a cordless drill and ran it over a stone to clean it up a bit. I also rounded the edge so that it would slide into the bedding a little easier and reduce the risk of scraping the bedding.


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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Bedding Preparation

De-greasing the rifle:
If you want your release agent to work well (And you really do want it to work well), then I suggest completely de-greasing your receiver and trigger group with a non-aggressive de-greaser or denatured alcohol. I used non-chlorinated brake cleaner followed up by alcohol and wiped everything dry.

Setting the draw pressure:
There are some very credible experts that believe that one of the most critical aspects of a glass bedding job is having near perfect centering of the front band to stock ferrule and the correct draw pressure between the two.

The draw pressure is amount of upward force that the lip of the front band exerts on the bottom of the stock ferrule. There are three types of draw pressure that can be applied; light, medium and heavy draw pressure. All three will enhance accuracy but the medium and heavy draw pressures tend to deliver consistent results on the rapid fire stages of a match. If you are not a match shooter and rapid fire will not be a factor, then a light draw pressure will suit you fine. Heavy draw pressures are suited well for lighter barrels and medium and light draw pressures can be used with medium and heavy weight barrels.
There are three methods of setting

The Coat Hangar Method
The Fulcrum Method
The Bedding Collar Method

The coat hangar method:
One method that can be used to achieve draw pressure, which is inexpensive (and I like that!), is the "coat hangar" method. This method, if used correctly, can produce a superb bedding job. The problem lies in that the method is considered "tribal knowledge" and not published in any books or with any pictures, and you know, I like pictures! I contacted one of the holders of this coveted tribal knowledge in an effort to clarify the misunderstandings regarding the use of this method.

I had done research on this for a while and came across some discussions on the coat hangar method but things just didn't seem right and there was conflicting information. Here are a couple of threads and internet articles that I found, that I verified through a fellow more knowledgeable than myself, were incorrect:


Here is another internet post from someone who really got it wrong as far as the coat hangar method is concerned although I appreciate his detail in explaining his overall bedding method and I will use his information as a reference whe I do mine...


I sent an e-mail to Gus Fisher (a holder of tribal knowledge) and snapped a bunch of different pictures on how to interpret the the method and asked him to tell me which one was correct. This was the verified correct method:

First cut and bend a wire in the fashion below:

The position of the hangar below is representative of a medium weight draw pressure. The farthr toward the front band you move the hangar, the more draw pressure you will have. The farther toward the receiver you move it, the lighter it will be.

If one coat hangar is not suitable, you can use thinner coat hangars to achieve a light draw pressure, a medium to heavy coat hangar to get moderate draw pressure or even put 2 wires for more support. Play with it and see what suits your needs.

When you are ready to set your receiver in place, you orient the wire as illustrated in the picture above.
Before clamping, if you have everything right, the heel of the receiver should hover above the horseshoe of the stock while under its own weight and the stock ferrule should be centered with the front band...

The more draw pressure you apply, the higher the heel will hover above the stock. Release the pressure and see if the heel returns to the same height that you had before you applied pressure. If it doesn't rest as high as it did before, your wire or hangar collapsed and you need to find a thicker wire to maintain the desired pressure.

Now secure the receiver to the stock using a receiver clamping device This wil center your front band on the stock ferrule. This should be done with the gas cylinder securely in place so there is no need to remove it from the barrel using this procedure.

Here is a picture of a home made clamping device that I put together from junk I had laying around the garage..

You can easily make one out of wood or you might be able to contact Art Luppino and he might just make you one. You will need to use this becaus while it is clamping down the receiver you can work the epoxy into its right place while the trigger group is out. Once you set in the trigger group, those areas will be inaccessible. Once the clamping device is removed, you will be able to work in epoxy that you were not able to access while the device was installed.

Additional taping:
Apply three layers of tape to the area between the horseshoe and the stock liner on the top surface of the stock as seen in the picture below (the white tape). Once the bedding job is done, you want to be able to see just a little daylight between this area of the receiver and the stock...

Apply 2 to 3 layers of tape and trim to the contour of the stock ferrule.</o:p>

What these layers of tape do are ensure that there is clearance between the stock ferrule and front band. You only want the lip of the front band to contact the stock ferrule, not the vertical surfaces. There should be about .010" clearance between the two.

Alternative methods for setting the draw pressure:

The Fulcrum Method:
In Art Luppino's video, he uses a block of aluminum that is rounded on the bottom to fit the contour of the stock channel and has a "V" cut on the top to facilitate the barrel. This block goes under the barrel during the bedding process. The block is split into 2 pieces horizontally and shims can be added or removed to obtain the right height. I believe he used a small rubber band to hold it all together. You can probably craft one out of wood and work it thinner to fit your needs. I suggest you make this jig after routing has been done and you have play between the receiver and stock.

It works similar to the coat hangar method in the sense that you leave the gas systems fully assembled on the barrel. A shim or tape should be added to the stock ferrule for the proper FB/SF gap to be maintained. The fulcrum allows the FB & SF to center themselves (sound familiar?). Again, you will have to play around with the location and the thickness to find the right draw pressure setting that you desire. This small block will be set in place forward of the op-rod guide and behind the gas cylinder, under the barrel.

An idea that I had to find the close thickness of the fulcrum is to wad a bunch of tin foil into a ball and set it under the barrel and in the forearm of the stock. Set your action in place and let it crush the ball of tin foil to the thickness of the gap between the barrel and the stock channel. Use a ruler or a set of calipers and measure the thickness and contour of the foil and you have a starting point for the fabrication of the flucrum. Make it thicker first so you can trim, file or cut it to the right thickness.

I seem to remember another forum member who placed a small block of wood under his op-rod guide and used the op-rod guide as the fulcrum point for his bedding job.

Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the fulcrum. Perhaps I will try this on my next bedding job.

Play around with the thickness and location to obtain the right setting for the draw pressure you want. Again, practice setting the stock in and clamping it down just like I described in the coat hangar method. The advantage to this method is that you don't have to worry about your coat hangars collapsing during the bedding process.

The Bedding Collar Method:
Another method which can be utilized is the bedding collar method. With this method, you need to remove the gas cylinder and the flash suppressor from the barrel. I believe Ted Brown favors this method and I think he knows a thing or 2 about bedding stocks.

The bedding collar can be purchased from Brownells:

It can also be fabricated. The dimensions are in the Scott Duff Book "The M14 Owners Guide and Match Conditioning Instructions". You can have a machine shop make one or a gunsmith with a lathe can make one as well.

This method differs greatly in the sense that the draw pressure is set by the bedding collar and is not adjustable. There are different dimensions of bedding collars for different weights of barrels as well. You need to insert the collar over the barrel and secure it with the gas lock. The lip of the collar rests above the stock ferrule and sets the height at which the barrel will rest when locked down. I recommend that if this method is used, that you ensure that you pay attention to leveling the stock.

Another forum member (Grunt0321) sent me a picture to insert in this post. He uses this method exclusively and has had great success...

Photos courtesy of Grunt0321...

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Claying the receiver, stock and trigger group

This is one of the single most critical steps for ensuring you have a successful bedding job. If you miss something on the claying job, your action may be permanently attached to the stock so be very attentive on this step.

Clay selection:
For my first bedding job, I went to the craft store and picked up the cheapest clay I could find. It was nice soft blue clay. It worked well for most of the tasks I needed but it wasn’t until after I finished that I found out that I should have used harder clay. You will need harder clay when filling the D cuts in the receiver legs and if you have an LRB receiver, the machine hole in the right receiver leg. LRB wanted to make a commercial receiver that was as close to GI spec as possible. Part of the original drawing included a hole in the right receiver leg for tooling used by the fantastic four. With modern processes, the hole is not needed but LRB included it anyway simply because it was on the drawing.

As I snapped pictures during multiple bedding attempts, you may see some unnecessary claying. On my first bedding attempt, I clayed the area above and behind the mag latch on the trigger group as seen in post number 15. This is not necessary. Neither is the disassembly of the trigger group internals as seen in picture 3 of post number 12. However claying of the trigger group as in picture number 11 of this post is necessary.

Claying the receiver; apply clay to:
- The connector pin holes and the spring guide cutouts
- The heel area of the receiver under the rear sights. There are some raised edges in this area and you should run some clay in there too or else there is a risk of bedding material flowing around these areas and holding your action in the stock.
- The bolt stop, inside and out. I learned the hard way to cover these areas with a thin layer of tin foil and then pack the clay in. If you don’t you will be picking clay out of the bolt stop spring for hours. I still have some clay left in mine. It is not practical to remove the bolt stop pin as it is very easy to damage the receiver doing so.
- The D cuts on the legs of the receiver and the hole on the right receiver leg if it has one should be clayed. Pack in the clay and shave off the excess flush with a razor. This is difficult with soft clay as it wants to push itself into the hole. For the D cuts, place a hard flat tool of some sort against the outside of the receiver leg. Push the clay into the cuts from the inside to flatten out the clay on the outside. The clay should be perfectly flat on the outside surfaces to match the contour of the receiver legs. This will ensure that your bedding is uniform all around and that material will not flow into the holes and make removal a real bear. You may also want to put a clay plug over the barrel chamber. Don’t pack it into the chamber though.

1 2 3 4

Claying the trigger group: Apply clay to:
- The tang just above the trigger bar
- The area under the trigger guard and above the TG wings. This is probably the most critical area of claying the trigger guard. Bedding can flow into this area and lock the trigger housing into the bedding.
- The hole on the left side of the trigger housing.

- Pack the areas with clay and use a razor to trim them flush with the contour of the receiver.

8 9 10 11

Claying the stock:
If you are bedding a wood stock, I recommend that you apply tape on the areas to be clayed. After my first bedding attempt it was very hard to remove the clay from the grains of the wood. Perhaps it was because I used soft clay. Applying tape under the areas ensures a quick clean up.

Areas to be clayed:
- The area around the horseshoe. If you don’t apply clay here, the epoxy can flow away from the area and you may not get a strong bedding foundation.
- The stock channel just forward of the magazine well. You may want to use soft clay here and trial fit your receiver in the stock and let the receiver create an impression of where your clay should be. Leave only the clay forward of the face of the receiver. A good indication of this mark is the step in the stock where the stock steps down from the forearm channel to the receiver area of the stock. Apply the clay dam from that point forward. Make sure you leave clearance for your barrel.
- The magazine well. Apply a block of clay in the forward part of the magazine well of the stock. Ensure that it overlaps the receiver once it is installed. What we are doing is creating an epoxy block that will support the forward area of the receiver under the connector lock and spring guide insertion area. This area will need to be routed later to allow the installation of the spring guide.


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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Applying Mold Release

Apply mold release
I suggest touching up the de-greasing and cleaning job that you did now that your clay is in place. Be sure not to disturb the clay surface when you do this.

If you are using a spray-on type mold release, apply 2 to 3 liberal coats of mold release to the inside and out side of the receiver. Do the same with the trigger group. Let the mold release dry for about 5 minutes between coats. If you are using a bucket or pail of mold release, use a small paintbrush or hobby brush to apply the mold release.

Kiwi neutral shoe polish method:
I PM'd member Ionian about using shoe polish and asked him to describe his method of application. Here is what he sent me:

Tony, there really is not much to it. I use my index finger and rub it in until you can no longer see it. You want a very thin film in order to get the action bedded as tight as possible. If you can see the clear shoe polish on the metal, keep rubbing. Your finger is the best thing to use since it generates heat and melts the wax. I did my rifle two or three times and the epoxy never stuck where I applied the shoe polish. I think it's the best release agent out there. Just remember that you want a super thin film that you can't see, or else keep rubbing.

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Applying Bedding Compound

Now that you have gone through all the preperation and practice drills that you need to go "live" on the bedding, it's time to mix your compound. If you are using an epoxy that comes out like clay before mixing, one trick is to heat a pot with a little bit of water on the stove. Set your jar of epoxy in the water so that the water comes up about half way along the side of the jar. Let the heat soften the epoxy so that you can accurately scoop it out and measure it.

Once you have the desired amount of epoxy, mix in your hardener. Once you have the compound all mixed up, spread it over a piece of card board like an artist would do with a pastel. If you leave the compound in a jar or mixing cup, it will generate heat and it may flash over from putty to hardened epoxy before you have a chance to get your action bedded and cleaned up.

If you are using JB weld or something that is easy to mix, just spread equal parts of resin and hardener and and mix on a piece of card board.

Applying the bedding compound:
In Scott Duff's book, he gives some great advice; at this time, remove all distractions! Turn the cell phone off! Hang a "do not distrub" sign on the door and tell the wife that you are unavailable until you return from your solitude. Once you start, there is no turning back or hitting the pause button!

Once you have your bedding compound all laid out on a piece of card board, you should use either a popsicle stick or a flat metal tool with a rounded tip to apply the compound to the areas that need bedding. I use a little 6" pocket ruler like the one found here:
It is a good idea to wipe the applicator clean every few minutes to make sure your epoxy doesn't set on it.

Since I could not snap pics and spply compound at the same time, I have no illustrations. If you haven't done so yet, I suggest putting on latex gloves at this point. What you should do is start with a generous blob on the tip of your applicator and apply it to the starting point on your stock. I usually start at one end of the receiver leg cutouts. Completely fill the area with compound as if it was being filled with the receiver itself.

Spread your epoxy like you would spread peanut butter on bread. Work it back and forth, packing it into the open area. When you add more epoxy, add it on to existing epoxy and work it to the area you need. DO NOT START A NEW AREA AND JOIN IT WITH AN EXISTING AREA!!! This will certainly cause voids in the bedding as air bubbles will get trapped at the meeting point. Start from one leg, add more epoxy, move the epoxy to the front and around to the opposite leg. Keep adding compound until it is all full. Pack the horseshoe area in a few times as well. Start from one side, move to the other.

Now that you have your stock full of epoxy, apply a coat to the receiver itself on the ares that will contact the epoxy. Use the same manner as you did with the stock. Start from one end and work toward the opposite end. Apply a coar under the heel of the receiver where it will meet with the horseshoe area of the stock. This will help ensure that you get as much air out of the bedding area as possible.

Once you set the stock in, all the excess compound will ooze out everywhere. Once the clamping fixture is installed, use your steel applicator or popsicle stick to scrape the excess epoxy from around the receiver. Once you have most of it off, pack in some excess into the areas where the compound oozed out of. Repeat until it looks flat and packed like picture 2 below. Now that the excess has been cleaned up, insert the rubber molding (like picture 4 and as illustrated in picture 6) and insert the trigger group.

Clamp the trigger guard until it just overlaps the trigger as seen in picture 7. The rubber molding will help make sure that there is tension between the TG and the receiver as material sets. Since we haven't bedded the trigger group yet, ensure that the heel of the receiver is touching the stock. if there is a gap, clamp the trigger group down farther until the gap is gone. This is one reason I don't route all the original materail from the trigger group pads. It should ensure that it will fully clamp the receiver during bedding. We will set the TG tension when we bed the TG in a separate step.

1 2 3 4 5
6 7

Now that you are finished with the receiver, crack open a cold one and let it sit for a while. Pat yourself on the back take a walk or something. You could also just stare at it in disbelief. It's your choice...GI7

After a couple of hours have passed, peel the tape from the inside of the receiver. You should be able to peel the excess epoxy with it and you should see clean wood or fiberglass under the taped area.

After 24 hours have passed, it's time to bed the trigger group. DO NOT HAMMER THE RECEIVER OUT OF THE STOCK YET!!!

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Bedding the Trigger group

Now you are ready to bed the trigger group. Since I chose to route out a channel behind the stock liner that extended to the trigger group, I did not think it was necessary to route out any more wood from that area. All that is needed is to route out the wood or fiberglass from under the trigger at the very end of the trigger group slot. This area has the slit for the trigger to move up when it is pulled. I just route out enough material to make it flush with the slit.

Pack in some fresh epoxy under the trigger group wings and in the rear of the slot for the trigger housing. Make sure you apply a quick coat of mold release and set the trigger group in the stock with the rubber spacer between the trigger housing and the receiver bridge. lock up the trigger group as illustrated in picture 3 & 8 in post number 12 above and let it set for 24 hours. Clean up the excess epoxy as you did when you bedded the receiver.

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Separating the bedded stock

Now that 24 hours has passed since you have bedded your trigger group, it's time to separate the TG and stock. I suggest that you lay some foam or a few beach towels on your bench to catch your parts as you hammer them apart. For this, you will need a brass drift or a heavy wooden dowel. First, remove the trigger clamping device that you inserted to keep the proper tension on your trigger guard. Fully unlock the trigger group and set the rifle right side up in a cradle.

Insert your drift or dowel on the magazine latch from the top of the receiver and hammer down until it pops out onto your padding.

Now flip the rifle over and place the drift or dowel into the receiver between the rear sight and cartridge clip area. The only safe area is illustrated below with the arrows...

Do not place the drift under the rear sight area or the cartridge clip area!!!! These areas are easily damaged!!! You can warp the rear sight area. This is the most precision machined area of the receiver and hammering down on that can cause serious damage! The cartridge clip area is very delicate and can break off!!! Do not hammer on the receiver bridge either. This can break or bend, permanently ruining the receiver and making it unsafe to fire!!!

Give it a couple of firm whacks and observe the receiver begin to creep out. Once you see movement, apply lighter taps until it falls out onto your padded area. Now you should be able to observe the results of the bedding. Hopefully, there will be no voids and your mold release will have worked the way it is supposed to.

If your mold release fails, your bedding could very well tear and follow the receiver out or the stock will break and remain attached to the receiver. You will also see if your claying job worked or not.

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Cleaning up the bedding

Now that you have successfully remomved the action and TG from the stock, it's time to clean up the excess bedding. You're almost done! At this time the epoxy will still be a little soft. Don't worry, this is good for clean up.

Before you continue, I must express that you must take the greatest care not to disturb the areas of the bedding that the receiver will be contacting! We want to trim and blend the edges, and clear a path for the op-rod spring guide, op-rod, bolt, firing pin and the trigger. Those should be the only flat surfaces disturbed!

I used a razor blade or X-acto knife to cut the excess along the openings of the stock where the epoxy overflowed. Use a selection of files to clean up and round out the edges. The areas to be completely routed out will be depressed where you clayed (with the exception of the D cuts, the hole for the connector pin and hole for the receiver legs). Use the indented areas as a guide when trimming.

(Note, in picture 7, I decided to clear out my op-rod spring guide area and trial fit it between bedding attempt number 3 & 4. I then clayed the areas before performing bedding job number 4. Typically, that whole area will be solid and you have one shot to make it look pretty before setting the action in the stock. The roughed up surfaces in picture 7 are representative of what a "skim glassing" job would look like. At no time should a final bedding surface look like the surfaces in picture 7)

I used a Dremel routing bit to clear out the trigger area in picture 6 to make it look like picture 8. I used the same bit and a file to route out the excess bedding for the op-rod spring guide. Just be sure to stay in the lines that the clay made for you and you will be okay.

If you used a soft clay like I did, then you will have to blend the raised D cuts in the receiver legs. If you don't this could cause uneven wear. Use a sharp chisel and scrape CAREFULLY! Do your best not to let the chisel drift out onto the bedding contact areas. If you have a LRB receiver which has the hole in the right leg (Shown in picture 5, then flatten that raised area as well. If you have any raised areas along the top of the bedding along the receiver surface, then chip these off carefully with a sharp chisel.

If you have a small void like illustrated in picture 1, then you are okay. Clean off all remnants of dust and shavings. I suggest using a clean rag with denatured alcohol followed by a blow of compressed air. When done, your bedding job should look like pictures 8 through 12 below...

1 2 3 4 5
6 7

8 9 10 11 12

Use all that acetone or denatured alcohol to clean the clay and release agent off of your receiver and trigger group. This is a fun task, let me tell you!

Now before you go on and assemble your rifle, be sure you give it a thorough cleaning and lubing as it is advisable that you don't disassemble it for at least a year or until you have put roughly 1000 to 1500 rounds through it. Of course if the rifle gets wet, sandy or muddy, that will warrant a full field stripping. Follow the lubrication instructions posted here...

After rifle assembly...

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
FInal checks and bedding care

An exerpt from Ted Brown on bedding care:

"When putting the rifle up for long term storage (say a month or more) hang the rifle upside down by the sling with the trigger guard unlatched. This prevents wood compression around the bedding areas. Removing the action from the stock should only be done prior to a major competition for thorough cleaning and before off season storage. It's best to not field strip the rifle more than two or three times a year. Most cleaning can be accomplished without removing the action from the stock. It is permisable to remove the trigger group for access to the inner areas of the receiver for cleaning and lubrication.

I should note that if you field strip prior to a major match, it would be advisable to fire a few rounds through the rifle in order to seat the action. This will stabilize it's accuracy before the first shots of the match. Do clean the barrel after firing. Rifles bedded in McMillan stocks with rear lug receivers and bedding screws probably can skip the settleing shots."

Other tips:
-keep the bedding free of solvents and lubricants when performing post range cleaning

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)

This section will include all the mistakes I made in my first 3 failed attempts...
The full documentation of my bedding SNAFU's can be read throuh here...

Mistake number 1: For my first expiremental bedding attempt, I used a compound that was too thin and runny. Not only was it too thin, I mixed it in a cup and left it. I should have spread it over a piece of card board. The stuff ran all over the place! Do you remember me mentioning to have lots of acetone on hand? Well I had to use a bunch of it to clean out my receiver and trigger group. The stuff ran straight into my trigger group. Had I left it, it would have hardened and I would have had a permanemtly stuck in TG.

Mistake number 2: Not using enough epoxy. I routed so much material and didn't fill in the stock enough for it to mate with the epoxy I stuck in on my receiver. The voids were so large that you could still see the dried epoxy underneath had not even contacted the epoxy from the receiver. It still looked wet but it was hard as a rock!

Mistake number 3: Not using the appropriate mold release.
I used Brownell's TFE which is not ideal for bedding jobs. Half of my bedding ripped out and stuck to the receiver. It took some wood from the stock with it. Fortunately, I was able to super glue the wood back in place, route out the damaged epoxy and give it a good epoxy base patch which I roughened up for the 4th attempt.

Mistake number 4: Not packing in enough epoxy. I had huge voids in the receiver and horseshoe area. Use more epoxy than you think you will need. Just scrape off the excess and it will come out nicely.

dance2 dance2 dance2 dance2 dance2

· Super Moderator
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
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I will be making some changes here and there, but I hope you all find this useful. For some, this will clear up some questions about bedding. For others, sorry I murkied the waters for ya!

I have feedback from Ted and I will add his comments soon.


· MGySgt USMC (ret)
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I will be making some changes here and there, but I hope you all find this useful. For some, this will clear up some questions about bedding. For others, sorry I murkied the waters for ya!

I have feedback from Ted and I will add his comments soon.


First of all, bless you for taking the huge amount of time to package this whole thing up in a tutorial so others might get some real help on it.

I'm in a big rush right now to get some rifles done before I go to the Nationals at Camp Perry at the end of the month, so I'm not sure if I can add all my comments prior to me having to take off. Having said that, I came across some things in a commercial wood stock M1A that I just got done glass bedding and is worth mentioning in this thread.

Previously I've mentioned that the Coat Hanger method always has worked in G.I. stocks and commercial stocks. Well, it seems I have to add a Caveat to that, because I've run across a wood stock that you can't use the coat hanger method as mentioned previously.

This stock is a fairly thick commercial Walnut stock, without cut outs for the connector assembly. I'm thinking Boyds may have made it, but can't be sure of that. It came on an SAInc rifle, and I'm pretty sure it is a factory supplied part. The handguard was JAMMING down on top of the stock by the way the stock was made. The "geometry" of the stock is off by G.I. specs, though it really only has to be addressed when you glass bed the stock.

The coat hanger method wouldn't work with this stock as the diameter of even the thicker coat hanger wasn't enough to put upwards pressure on the barrel and thus give you good tension on the ferrule to front band fit. You mentioned that on some stocks, you have to use a larger diameter rod like welding rod and this stock needed something like that. I have a selection of drill rod pieces from Brownells and I had to go to a larger size than the standard coat hanger wire.

Also, on this stock, the distance between the top of the stock and the two supports for the rear of the trigger housing were too far apart. That causes doubles, triples and even unintentional full auto firing in worst cases. A REAL GOTCHA when glass bedding is to have this measurement off. The G.I. measurement is from 1.700" to 1.725". This stock was well over 1.740" and would have been even worse after glass bedding if I hadn't checked it and glassed the rear of the trigger housing with a little distance between the stock supports and housing. I had to inlet the two supports up a bit to shorten this distance and ENSURE the rear of the trigger housing was down right on top of the supports when I bedded the trigger housing and all came out well.

On a couple of LRB receivers I've glassed, the geometry of the receiver was off so I had to reduce this distance even more so the rifle wouldn't double, triple or go full auto. I had to go down to 1.690" on one and 1.685" on another.

If one doesn't realize this distance can cause functioning problems and is so important to safe operation, this can cause real problems. So I suggest you add this into the text.

I'll see if I can come up with some more suggestions later before I run off to Camp Perry.

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