Bedding Project:

Picture:  Polytech M14S in USGI stock unbedded.

Accuracy is often found in rifles that have solid receiver lock up and the proper amount of down pressure on the barrel assembly.  And the best way I found to do this is to have a bedded stock.  Unfortunately, I cannot see paying for something that I could potentially do...

I have invested a tremendous amount of time and expense in learning new techniques in caring and accurizing our M14 type rifles...  This bedding project is just a continuation of this learning experience...

Prior to bedding a stock some preparation is required.  The stock itself must be routed to make ready for the bedding material.  The stock liner should be cut approximately 1/8" to insure that there is proper clearance for the bedding material to adhere to around the receiver legs.

Rifle hardware disassembled with the Bedding Fixtures.  The bedding fixtures is from Brownell's and comes with only two pieces.  The muzzle piece did not fit and had to be turned to make it fit the barrel properly.  The other piece is the horse shoe piece that goes into the trigger guard.

(NOTE:  Just click any thumbnail picture and the larger picture will appear!)

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Get your Dremel out to cut the stock liner and the Drill out to route the stock...

Stock liner being cut to size using a Dremel cutter... it requires a lot of concentration and patience... This is hard work

The receiver and trigger group must be "dammed" with clay to prevent bedding from creeping in and creating a "mechanical lock".  I used only the amount of clay necessary to do the job.  To effect a good and clean bedded surface, the clay should be trimmed carefully.

The stock should (optional) be taped to prevent bedding material from getting all over the stock.  "Release agent" must be applied to all metal parts that will contact the bedding material that is NOT to become permanently attached...

Bedding material (I used Brownell's AcraGlas Gel) should be "rolled" into the routed areas watching for air pockets and bubbles.  Insure that all (Brownell’s) "fixtures" are ready and put the received gently into the stock.  Wipe off excess bedding material that will ooze from the bedding areas.  Surgical tube wrapped around the barreled assembly and the stock will hold the two pieces together very well.  I normally do the receiver and trigger group in one session, however, both may be bedded separately.  I also use Badger “fixtures” to hold the receiver to the stock just prior to installing the trigger group.

Wait 24 hours and then comes the most CRITICAL moment.  To see if your receiver and trigger group can be REMOVED from the bedded stock.  If I messed up, it would show here... the worse that could happen is that I would have to cut the stock off the receiver!  In this particular case, it was fortunate that the receiver and trigger group came out of the bedded stock, fine.  The bedding actually looked excellent and I thought what would be a test bedded stock became a stock that I decided, I wanted to use!!!  Now, this meant stripping the stock and refinishing it... as you could see in previous pictures, it was dark and ugly (which is why I chose this stock to test on)!  The bedding in these pictures are pictures before all of the bedding material was cleaned up... so don't flip out if there is ugliness on the bedded areas.

I applied some wood filler in the obvious dents and after stripping the stock... while waiting for the filler to harden, I removed all of the clay, cleaned the receiver and trigger group thoroughly and started to reassemble the rifle.

After the rifle's hardware was reassembled, the completed receiver was put back in the stock to verify and validate if there was sufficient "draw" pressure on the front band (which there was).  The gas cylinder/front band were "shimmed" to the barrel to insure that there was NO movement on these barrel mounted components.

This is what the bedded stock looks like completely finished. The bedded areas have been cleaned up with a file. Slots had to be milled in the bedded trigger tang area and in the receiver bridge area to allow the op rod spring guide tang to connect to the receiver.

Final Inside Pics

These pics were taken after the metal was all cleaned up, installed, and after the stock was rubbed down with some oil for protection.

The Poly needs to be assembled and shot to see how the bedding would affect the accuracy of this rifle.

Completed Poly Project

To fully test the accuracy of this rifle, I have mounted a Tasco SS 10X scope, and a military style bipod.  The bipod is also an experiment in itself, and is installed on a rail vs. a sling stud.  It shot very well, compared to previous shooting sessions.

Amended 2004

Since this first successful bedding attempt, I have experimented with a number of different "bedding" materials, including Devcon Steel, Acra-Steel Bed and Marine Tex. All of these products are excellent in providing a strong bed for the M14 type receiver to set in.

One item of note that I determined to be important during experimentation and testing is the amount of draw pressure between the barrel and the front ferrule.  IMHO, the more draw pressures have yielded better accuracy than a light (8#) draw.