HOWTO: A Noobs Odyssey, Bedding a Howa 1500

So, I have a Howa 1500 on .308w.
A sporter model in a Boyd’s Prairie Hunter pepper laminate.
I swapped it out from the standard Hogue stock. It worked ok but looked plain. I bought the Boyd’s for no other reason than to jazz the rifle up a bit.
Stocked in the Hogue the Howa shot very respectable groups. Sub inch at 100m and would comfortably ring the 500m gong at Little River. Wasn’t a competition winner but more than acceptable accuracy.
Change to the Boyd’s and now it shoots like shit. I worked out the Boyd’s action well was not 100% square and was ever so slightly twisting the action. I decide the best remedy is to glass bed it.
Never done it before, never needed too.
Behold my adventures bedding an action with nothing more than Goggle and YouTube to guide me.

Last photo is the gun room I built a while ago.

So to begin, first I needed to remove material so out came the Dremel. Masked off all the timber.

Used a pointy file tool as that seemed best for getting into nooks and crannies. Very effective tool, but you need to be careful. Twice the tool caught and whipped over the rail, lightly marking it.

I left a small mound of timber near each action screw as a height reference index.
I then used modelling clay to plug all the bits I didn’t want bedding.

Bought them off eBay. They weren’t expensive. Acraglass I bought from LGS, about $60.
So I go about removing material throughout the inletting and the first inch of the barrel.
Wrapped electrical tape around the barrel, one wrap at a time until I got barrel clearance and correct alignment.
Mag well and trigger well are plugged up with plasticine. This is harder than it looks. Getting it to stay in the correct position can be difficult. As you typepush and prod it into position , it moves other parts out of position. Quite the cat and mouse game but eventually successful.
Next I cleaned out the inletting with a small brush, also went over it lightly with a chisel to get rid of burrs and high points.
Then I applied the release agent , supplied with the acraglass. A bright blue fluid, quite watery, leaves a tacky coating that drys. Two coats.
Next I mixed up the acraglass. There is more than enough for two rifles, possibly three. No more than half required for one rifle. It’s a two part 1/1 mix of resin and hardener. It’s mixes brown but black dye is included, which I used. It mixes to a consistency like smooth peanut butter. Very easy to work with, thumbs up acraglass.

Smeared it all over the spots needed in the action, getting a nice even coating.

Now the moment of truth. I had read and veiwed lots of stuff on bedding. Time and again you are warned about “mechanical lock”. Basically, getting the bedding in such a way that you physically lock the action in the stock. I grab the action, coated in release agent, and push it into the stock. It oozes out in most places. I realise a few spots have inadequate resin. I have to lift the stock back out. It stretches like mozzarella cheese and causes a bit of tension in my head. Faaaaaaaaaaark, I mutter to myself.
Apply more resin and reseat the action.
I used two long M6 bolts , coated with release agent, and some fat washers to tighten the action down. Used a riag with turps to wipe up the worst of the squished out resin. I then removed all the masking tape before it had a chance to bind to the resin. Wiped down everything to a fairly neat finish, and now we wait.

Left it for about 5 hours. Have heard advice to remove the action at this point while 50% cured, it’s quite hard but still slightly rubbery. Theory being you can trim all the dags and edges with a knife. Must admit I’m a little nervous at this point. Undo rear action screw, easy, cool. Try to undo front action screw, she’s binded. Faaaaaaaaaaark .

Try various screwdrivers with varying success, stuck halfway. Put action screw in vice, turn rifle, winning, shear off bolt head.

Sheared off too low to get any purchase on it. Sigh. Out comes the Dremel , chop it off flush.
Go to remove action from stock. Stuck. Give it a decent wiggle , stuck.
Pull really hard, stuck.
I try various methods to lever out the action with increasing disregard to saving the stock as I start to think I’ve fucked it up and now it’s attached permanently.
Eventually I had to place it in the vice and grab the barrel. Braced everything as best I could and heaved like a bastard. Suddenly, “Thock” , the bastard popped out and I didn’t bend or break anything.
And you know what, it turned out alright.

Cleaned it up and trimmed it. Removing all the plasticine was a bastard.

Nicely centred and free floating.

Looking good so far. YouTube and Google, everyones friend.

In the last photo is that the door to the office where all major decisions and reading happens? :sunglasses::+1:

Oooo waiting for part 2!