I recently posted about my new precision rifle and how bedding the stock really had a dramatic effect on its accuracy, so I thought I’d take a few minutes to review the process I used to do it. For some background information about my setup, I’m using a trued Remington 700 Short Action receiver in a McRees Precision Chassis System. The McRees is typically just a drop in chassis that has a V-block setup that the action fits into that shouldn’t really require any additional attention, but it just wan’t the case with mine which lacked quality contact so a bed job was in order.
The nice thing about bedding the McRees is that the chassis is modular and you are able to take the entire thing apart and work on just the section under the receiver, so it’s really a dream to work on and bed.
After breaking the action apart from the chassis it was clear that there wasn’t much contact happening, especially under the front tang and the recoil lug was only making partial contact as well. The rear wasn’t bad, but could be better. You can see just how little in the pictures below.
The first thing that needed to happen was to remove the Cerakote from the areas to be bedded and rough up the metal so there would be a good surface for the bedding material to cling to. I used a polishing wheel on my Dremel to gently remove the Cerakote and finished up with a Scotchbrite to slightly rough up the surface.
Game on. I applied a couple of coats of release agent to the areas that would be in contact with the epoxy so the action would not stick to the action once it cured forcing me to destroy the chassis to free it up. You alway hear horror stories about people gluing their rifles together so I added one more coat and went a little further than I needed to just in case the squeeze out creeped a little further than I anticipated.
Next I mixed and applied the epoxy to the areas I had prepped being careful not to get it in the action bolt areas.
After the epoxy was in place I gently set the stock onto the action using a couple of long collared bolts which were heavily coated in release agent to make sure the alignment was perfect. One thing I figured out during my dry runs of mating the two surfaces was that the chassis could move side to side very easily and it needed to be held in place to keep the action and the chassis perfectly centered so I used a bit of surgical tubing very loosely wrapped around the entire thing just to keep it from moving out of perfect alignment. It is very important to keep it loose and provide a no stress bedding. The tubing should be only tight enough to keep things in place, no more than that.
After letting it set and cure for 24 hours it was time to pull it apart. I pulled the tubing, then the bolts, the with a little effort the action thankfully popped right off of the chassis and the bedding job looked great. There was some squeeze out that will have to be trimmed off and cleaned up, but it was already looking great.
After a little time trimming off the squeeze out, it was looking just as I had hoped it would, perfect. In the pictures below you can see some lighter colored areas that show where it was making contact before the bedding, but it was now making full contact any place there was bedding material. Under the front tang you can even see the action stamp right in the center in front of the bolt hole. The recoil lug was now making 100% contact with the chassis as well.
I reassembled the chassis and put the action back into it, tightened it down to 65 inch pounds and hit the range to see if it was worth the effort. I was beyond pleased to see my 1 MOA at best rifle was now shooting about .25 MOA! What a difference a couple of hours of time made and my flyers were gone. So if you have a McRees chassis and it’s not quite working as well as you thing it should, I would highly recommend taking the time to skim bed it.