Should I bed my barrel?

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Gooddaytoya!

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I know it's not traditional, but I'm sure those old timers made their stocks fit their barrels very closely. The breech end of my barrel has over a 1 16th inch gap between the bottom flat of the octagon barrel and the stock. I wonder if those gaps between the barrel and the stock affect accuracy or could eventually crack the stock?
 

Britsmoothy

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It is very traditional, just not via epoxy products. Yes you should indeed bed it. I use canvass or wood veneers.
 

Cpt Flint

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I am a firm believer in bedding three inches of the breech in Brownell’s Acra Glass so that it bears squarely and firmly on all bearing surfaces. I also bed a few inches in the middle and an inch or so at the muzzle cap. I have done that on the last 15 or so rifles and it works like a charm.
 

oldwood

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Differing opinion.......If you decide to bed the breach area of the stock/barrel , don't need to over do it. Just do the first couple inches , and all should be well. The gaps you have might require a little more attention. I've never seen an origional bedded in any wathe usual failure of stockwood on originals seems to be age and brittle wood .. oldwood
 

ZUG

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It's not a sin to fill the gap at the breach area if your inletting has gone haywire in that area. Epoxy is a good fix as are other means such as wood strips glued in. What you want is a firm and full contact between the barrel breach and the wood - the rest of the barrel and forearm just goes along for the ride. You want contact but the pins or keys do the holding of the barrel to the wood.
 

Gooddaytoya!

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You guys who bed your barrels with epoxy, I assume it's thickened epoxy. Please answer me this: do you use a release agent on the barrel to prevent the epoxy from sticking? I have a lot of experience with epoxy, and I assume I will use plain one to one epoxy thickened with Cab-O-Sil. I think I want to place the epoxy, then lay the barrel over it to squash it to just the right thickness, using a good release agent on the barrel, like several coats of Carnauba wax plus three coats of PVA. That release agent system has never failed me yet. The PVA and the wax are easy to wash off. Any comments? I depend on all of your critiques.
 

oldwood

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Hey G..........All ya have to do is skip the wax , release agent , etc. , This works very well.......Use a single layer of plastic grocery bag. It's quick , free , and works like a son-of-a- gun. Been using this trick for 40 yrs. . I used to struggle w/Brownell's release agent , but no more. The only thing I use from Brownell's is their great epoxie dyes. Only takes a tip of a screwdriver blade to make the glue perfect color. I use brown for all my m/l work. Also , any cheap 5 min. epoxie willdo. ....................oldwood
 

oldwood

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A friend of mine who had a barrel inletting and gunstock shaping business used rendered bear fat oil for release agent for near 40 + years. His Amish neighbors kept him well supplied w/ bear oil.
 

Muddly

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By all means do! If for no other reason, it keeps the fouling and wet out from under the stock line. Minimizes the need to dismount the barrel. And all the accompanying fun.
 

Gooddaytoya!

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Hey G..........All ya have to do is skip the wax , release agent , etc. , This works very well.......Use a single layer of plastic grocery bag....................oldwood
I've been thinking about using Saran wrap, very carefully and wrinkle free applied to the barrel as a parting agent. What slightly terrifies me is what if the Saran wrap gets torn a bit while I'm laying the barrel down. That would result in the barrel being permanently glued to the stock. I can see that grocery bags would be tougher and less likely to tear. With my experience with real parting agents, I still lean hard toward wax and PVA.
 
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My T/C Hawken's barrel wiggled a tiny bit in the stock. It didn't seem to effect accuracy as rhe sights moved with the barrel, and I don't think harmonics and such are big issues in a stiff octagonal barrel. However, just for the heck of it I decided to bed the barrel full length using Brownell's Acura Bed. I used Pam cooking spray for a release agent. I plugged the tenon and wedge holes with modeling clay. It went well. The barrel no longer wiggles, but I haven't noticed any change in accuracy.
 

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