Glass bedding is a technique of rifle refining that improves the accuracy of a gun. Glass bedding will eliminate stress on the barrel, bolt and action and minimise movement to the stock during ignition. After glass bedding a rifle, the action will return to the same position on the bedding, offering a consistent shot. Glass bedding can be done in your home workshop with very few supplies, but does require knowledge of how a rifle operates.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Modelling clay
- Electrical tape
- Chisel or knife
- Paste wax
- Metal-filled epoxy
- Popsicle sticks
Take apart the rifle so you can remove the trigger. Using modelling clay, fill all the pin holes and recesses such as the trigger slot. Tape the recoil lug using two layers of electrical tape on the sides, bottom and front of the lug. Tape the barrel until there is an even clearance between it and the stock of the rifle. Tape the length of the action so that the bottom is 1/4 inch below the centre line. On the port side, tape just above the edge of the port.
Rough up the area of the stock being bedded using a knife or chisel, making sure that there is no oil. Grind the recoil slot until there is 1/8 inch of clearance all the way around it. When you feel that there has been sufficient taping and roughing up, place the barrelled action into the stock to see if it will go to the bottom of the stock without binding. If it catches, continue roughing up the stock.
Paint a coat of paste wax over the barrelled action, including the inside and in front of the locking lugs. Let the wax on the action dry. While you are waiting, wax the trigger guard and guard screws, including the threads. Once all the wax has dried, use a rag to lightly buff off any excess wax.
Place the barrelled action in a vice, holding it ahead of the stock. Apply a thin coat of metal-filled epoxy over the action and barrel, using a Popsicle stick. Turn the action around so that it lies upright in the vice. Apply a good amount of epoxy in the stock where the bedding is to include the barrel channel. Place the guard screws into the stock and tighten them until they are lightly in place. Wait a couple minutes to let any excess epoxy ooze out, and continue tightening the screws snug with the stock.
Remove any of the epoxy that has flowed up around the barrel and action with a knife or chisel. You can even use cotton swabs with oil to remove all small traces of epoxy that oozed above or below the stock. Let the rifle sit for at least 8 hours before continuing.
Remove the guard screws and lift the barrelled action up out of the stock by using the bolt started into the action. If it does not want to come out, hold the barrel in one hand and push the thumb of your other hand onto the butt stock to work the action up and out of the stock. You may have to jar it loose with a mallet if it is not coming free. Remove all of the electrical tape and excess epoxy. Clear the guard screw holes to give enough clearance so that the screws will not touch the stock.
Tips and warnings
- If, when you are finished bedding your rifle, small spaces are still apparent, do not try to fill them. Trying to fix the holes will cause high spots and be worse than if you just leave them.
- When roughing up the rifle, be careful not to grind the wood right to the edge of the stock. If you do, the bedding will show when you are finished.
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