How To Replace A Rifle Stock
Revive that old rifle with a synthetic stock to make it more accurate and weigh less
In the current economic climate, it could be a while before that new rifle you’ve had your eyes on ever reaches your hands. But what if I told you that in one hour you could make your old rifle shed a pound or more and increase its accuracy for a fraction of the cost of a new gun? * All you need to do is glass-bed the barreled action into a synthetic replacement stock. Sounds like a job for a gunsmith? I thought so too, but Wayne York of Oregunsmithing (541-278-4177)–who provided one of his composite stocks for the project rifle, a Remington 700 .350 Magnum–assured me that anyone who could follow directions could do the job.
Painter’s or electrical tape
Replacement stock ($70-$450)
Bedding kit like the Brownells Acraglas Gel ($40; brownells.com)
PREPARING THE ACTION
1. Separate action from stock: Unscrew the barreled action from the old stock and remove it, along with the trigger guard-floor plate assembly. Remove the bolt.
2. Remove Trigger Assembly: Tap out the pins holding the trigger assembly and remove. Also detach the scope (bases and rings can stay in place).assembly_3 [nid:1001345043]
3. Tape Up The Barrel: Put a strip of wide tape lengthwise along the underside of the barrel, starting just forward of the recoil lug. Cut strips of tape to precisely fit the front, sides, and bottom of the recoil lug, but leave the back of the lug bare. Tape other exposed metal, including the underside of the tang. If you are bedding the trigger guard-floor plate assembly, tape that metalwork. (When you purchase a stock from Oregunsmithing, York will bed this area at no cost if you send the barreled action; this is an important service if any metalwork has been customized, such as the Blackburn trigger guard-floor plate on my .350.) Place two more lengthwise strips of tape along the bottom of the barrel, starting about 1 1/2 inches forward of the recoil lug. The three layers of tape in this area provide the gap to free-float the barrel.
4. Insert Clay in Action Crevices: Work modeling clay into any nooks in the barreled action, especially the crevices exposed once the trigger assembly is removed. Scrape and smooth the clay to a precise fit to keep bedding compound from seeping inside and locking the action to the stock.
PREPARING THE STOCK
5. Roughen Channel: ****With 100-grit dry sandpaper, rough up the inside of the replacement stock, including the barrel channel, the rear tang indent, and the inlet for the front receiver ring. If you are bedding the trigger guard-floor plate, rough up the indents.
6. Tape Up The Fore-End: ****Stick strips of tape to the sides of the fore-end where they contact the barrel, around the rear tang, and anywhere that bedding compound could squeeze out and contact the outside of the stock. Clamp the stock in the vise with the barrel channel facing up.
GLASS-BEDDING THE ACTION
7. Apply Release Agent: Apply the release agent supplied in the bedding kit to all metal parts that can come in contact with the bedding compound. Don’t forget to coat the action and guard screws.
8. Apply Bedding Epoxy: Mix the bedding epoxy. Apply a thin layer to the indent under the rear tang, in the trigger guard-floor plate indentations (if you are bedding these areas), and to the inlet for the front receiver ring. Fill the recess for the recoil lug half full and apply a line of compound along the barrel channel.
9. Insert The Action: Set the barreled action into the stock and screw it into place with the action and guard screws. Don’t overtighten. Remove excess bedding epoxy with an alcohol-dampened cloth.
10. Clamp Rifle In Vise: Lightly clamp the rifle in the vise in a horizontal position. Wait 10 hours for the compound to dry, then follow the kit directions to lift the barreled action from the stock. This might require a light tap on the barrel’s underside with a rubber hammer.