Should I bed my barrel?

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JamesA

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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?
As with anything, it's your choice. I had two "nail driving" unmentionables that were glass bedded. The powder was measured out to a gnat's [behind], the brass was trimmed to an exact length, each time, each case. Plus a lot of other "monkey motion" but both S.O.B.'s could literally drive nails.

We shoot black powder. If you immaculately clean the bore after every shot, if you can measure the black powder to litterally the grain every time, if the projectile is identical with every shot and the patch is the same, if you can get the flint or percusion to ignite the charge in the same way every time, and you have the time and money, go for it. Glass bedding can help as long as all other variables are covered. I found it useful with an unmentionable, having an inch and an eighth stainless steel target barrel was very helpful too. Really, if it's something you want to do, go for it. I'd like to know if it really helps, just for the information. Personally, I shoot black powder because I am addicted to loud noises, smoke, and knocking spider webs out of the rafters at our covered shooting stations. And getting smaller groups is always a challenge but for me, not a requirement any more. :thumb: Hey, good luck regardless of what you decide to do.
 

MSW

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for what it's worth, i've used cooking spray to good effect
 

dave951

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Another +1 for JB Weld and paste wax. All my competition muzzleloaders are done that way. JB Weld is a thick epoxy with metal in it
 

Gooddaytoya!

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As with anything, it's your choice. I had two "nail driving" unmentionables that were glass bedded. The powder was measured out to a gnat's [behind], the brass was trimmed to an exact length, each time, each case. Plus a lot of other "monkey motion" but both S.O.B.'s could literally drive nails.

We shoot black powder. If you immaculately clean the bore after every shot, if you can measure the black powder to litterally the grain every time, if the projectile is identical with every shot and the patch is the same, if you can get the flint or percusion to ignite the charge in the same way every time, and you have the time and money, go for it. Glass bedding can help as long as all other variables are covered. I found it useful with an unmentionable, having an inch and an eighth stainless steel target barrel was very helpful too. Really, if it's something you want to do, go for it. I'd like to know if it really helps, just for the information. Personally, I shoot black powder because I am addicted to loud noises, smoke, and knocking spider webs out of the rafters at our covered shooting stations. And getting smaller groups is always a challenge but for me, not a requirement any more. :thumb: Hey, good luck regardless of what you decide to do.
I know the accuracy is more affected by those factors you mentioned, but just knowing that the voids exist under the barrel bugs me. That's really the only reason I'm going to bed the barrel. It really appreciate all of y'alls suggestions. I read an article by an FRP specialist, and he talked about PVA, special waxes, etc, and then mentioned that extra stiff aerosol hairspray is water-based plastic when it dries since it washes off in the shower, so he uses it along with wax as a mold release for small complicated parts. Very interesting.
 

EC121

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I have on occasion used Gorilla Glue and paste wax. The glue expands and fills to a thin layer. It sets quick and then sets hard in about 2 days. A few drops spaced down the barrel channel will take the movement out of a barrel and seal the breech end. Just put the glue in and pin the barrel. Wax, grease, or oil the pins.
 
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ZUG

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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.
I found that Johnson's past wax works much better than the release agent that Brownell's sells. Mixing the right amount of Cab-O-Sil will get you the viscosity that will neither be too runny or too thick to get you the right bedding you are looking for. By the way most people have never heard of Cab-O-Sil and don't know what it is. I worked in the Aero-Space industry for 44 years as a mechanical engineer and we used it in our epoxies to thicken them. I have some that walked home with me when I retired :ghostly: .
 

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Dam
I have on occasion used Gorilla Glue and paste wax. The glue expands and fills to a thin layer. It sets quick and then sets hard in about 2 days. A few drops spaced down the barrel channel will take the movement out of a barrel and seal the breech end. Just put the glue in and pin the barrel. Wax, grease, or oil the pins.
Dang good idea.
 

nhmoose

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I have used Paste wax, Johnsons, Boston polish etc. for over 40 years on a couple hundred guns including ML. Way better than Brownells release agent with a much faster cleanup.

However what release agent you use it will not help a lockup where it is a mechanical lock so make sure you do not leave any by blocking them with modeling clay with the wax over them also.
 

Craig "Wildcat" Wilcox

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Should you GET a lockup, it only takes some heat to get the epoxy to let go. And you don't need glow-in-the-dark red!! Heat to about 250-350 F,
 

Jake2454

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i have heard kiwi neutral shoe polish works well as a release agent.....been think of doing the same thing.
 
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Art Caputo

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While epoxy bedding muzzleloaders can be useful for fixing cosmetic or construction errors, I believe that it is unlikely that bedding will result in material accuracy improvements with a properly constructed muzzleloader. Waterproof sealants applied to the inletting/barrel channel will help prevent moisture damage to the wood, IMO.
 

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While epoxy bedding muzzleloaders can be useful for fixing cosmetic or construction errors, I believe that it is unlikely that bedding will result in material accuracy improvements with a properly constructed muzzleloader. Waterproof sealants applied to the inletting/barrel channel will help prevent moisture damage to the wood, IMO.
You're right, the gaps just bug me is all.
 

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Lockup never occurred to me. It's a fearsome thought. I wonder how I would heat my barrel to release a lock up if one should happen. The barrel would be in the stock, so I couldn't use my propane torch. Maybe a hair dryer, maybe removing the nipple assembly and aiming the propane flame down the front of the barrel using a non-contact thermometer to keep track of the heat buildup. To me epoxy is fearsome because it is so darn adhesive and so darn strong. It almost does its job too well. Since my rifle doesn't really need bedding, I'm thinking of skipping it.
 

M. De Land

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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?
I always reinforce my tang and barrel bases with glass bedding as it not only strengthens this area that has most of the wood cut away with the lock, trigger assembly and loading rod mortises but it also water/oil proofs the area. I like a bit of glass bedding under the nose cap as well to keep things lined up and in place over time.
No it's not traditional but it is better and the old dead guys were not stupid and surely wood have used it were it available to them.
The only truely traditional things about modern muzzle loaders anyway is the wood, architecture and craftsmanship as the steel and finishes are all different than traditional.
 

Danny Ross

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I have used Epoxy Putty for wood on 5 guns (2 Lyman and 3 TC) that I have and it has worked very well. Pack the putty in where I need it, then press in the lug by hand. I then use a thin bladed screw driver to cut off the extra that pushes out, then push the lug straight out towards the muzzle end of the stock, pushing with the stock tang, then scrape any extra off that is behind the lug. I then repeat this process screwing the lug's tang into the stock then, then removing everything again pushing the lug towards the muzzle end of the the stock and scrape the extra that squeezes out, I do this a 2-3 of times. I then put the lug in, screw it down, then put the barrel in and put the wedge pin it in, wait 15-20 seconds, the remove the barrel, trim what needs to be trimmed again. I do this a 2-3 time times. When I am not getting any extra squeezing out, I remove the barrel only and leave the lug screwed in place. It takes about 15-20 minutes for the Epoxy Putty to set up to where it is not workable. I usually leave the lug in for about an hour after after it sets. I use Borebutter on the lug's (face, back and sides) and the breach end of the barrel as my releasing agent when I am doing this. I usually only have to do this one time, but I keep checking to make sure that the lug pushes straight out easily and is not sticking to the putty, so if I need to I can apply a little more. I haven't had an issue yet with the lug or barrel sticking. I use wood staining markers made by Gardsman to color the dried putty after cleaning it with alcohol to remove the Borebutter. It blends right in with the wood color after using the markers. Anyway that is how I have done it with excellent results, DANNY
 

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For those wanting to use wax plus PVA, I found out that heavy hold hairspray is a water soluble plastic that either is PVA or something very similar. Apply five coats of Wax, then mist-coat it with the hairspray just as you would with PVA, then apply a solid coat of hairspray, just as you would with PVA. The mist coating prevents fish eyes which are a problem when we apply a full wet coat of PVA without a prior mistcoat. This, just in case it interests someone. I'm going to experiment with this.
 

nhmoose

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Should you GET a lockup, it only takes some heat to get the epoxy to let go. And you don't need glow-in-the-dark red!! Heat to about 250-350 F,
Not on a hardened mechanical lock it won't. Stuck to unprotected metal Yes but not for a mechanical lock. If you disagree try it. BTDT years ago.
 

.36Rooster

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I really wonder how much a custom bedding helps within 130 yds... my guess is not much... are you trying to kill deer, or mice?
 

Bad Karma

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Not on a hardened mechanical lock it won't. Stuck to unprotected metal Yes but not for a mechanical lock. If you disagree try it. BTDT years ago.
There was a renegade on gunbroker for the longest time. Beautiful custom stock, high end walnut, GM LRH barrel was welded into the stock and the only way to remove it would have been to destroy the stock… be careful folks.
 
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