Proper Action Bedding For The Precision High Power Rifle 

By:  Outlaw Hunter

Edited by:  Jim Groom

 Bedding Methods  Materials Needed  Action Bedding Step by Step

Bedding methods

There are six methods of action and/or barrel bedding in common use today. 

1. Full contact bedding of the action with the barrel floated.

2. Full contact bedding of the action and the barrel.

3. Full contact bedding of the action with a pressure-bearing pad for the barrel.

4. Pillar bedding of the action with the barrel floated.

5. A full length aluminum action bedding block.

6. The action glued to the stock with the barrel floated.

I will deal with the first method listed above - bedding the action and floating the barrel. This method gives the best results for most precision high power rifles.

For some time now, rifles have been available from the various factories with their barrels floated, that is, with no contact between the barrel and stock. Production constraints prevent the time required to properly bed the action. While the rifles available from most factories today are more accurate than their owners, improvements can be made for those shooters capable of using the increased accuracy.

Materials needed for action bedding:

1. Bedding compound (Marine Tex , Brownells, Acraglas or Steel Bed , Devcon Plastic Steel, or similar epoxy)

2. Modeling clay

3. Masking tape

4. Three or four 8" elastic bands (for securing receiver while epoxy is curing)

5. Release agent (suitable for type of epoxy used)

6. Epoxy dyes (to color epoxy to match stock if desired)

7. Inletting tools or Dremel Moto-Tool 

8. Coarse, medium and fine Sand paper 

9. Stock vise or suitable holding fixture 

10. Cleaner/degreaser (alcohol , Break Clean , grease-free electrical contact cleaner or 


11. Extra long headless action screws

12. Disposable container for mixing epoxy

13. Plastic zip-lock baggies [ for parts ]

14. Time!


Action Bedding - Step-by-Step:

1. Begin by removing the action from the stock . 

2. Remove the bolt, trigger assembly, safety and bolt stop from the receiver .

3. If the trigger guard was not removed during removal of the action remove it now .

4. Secure stock in vise or holding device.

5. Install long headless action screws into action.

6. Use Inletting tools to carefully remove material from barrel channel until barrel has 1/16” to 1/8” of clearance along its full length. Check fit often and remove material slowly and evenly. Use fine sand paper to smooth this area for latter finishing.

7. Slowly and carefully remove 1/16” of stock material from all areas in the stock that the receiver and recoil lug contact. All of the areas from which you remove material should remain rough so that the epoxy has a better surface to adhere to.

8. Degrease receiver and recoil lug, and then do it again. 

9. Apply 3 to 4 layers of masking tape to the front, sides and bottom of recoil lug, leaving the back of the lug free of tape.

10. Then apply 3 to 4 layers of tape to the rear surface of the tang. 

11. Use masking tape to cover any area on the outside of your stock that epoxy may get on. 

12. Use the molding clay to fill in any screw or pin holes and any other areas you don’t want epoxy in such as the magazine cut-out in the receiver and the stock and the trigger cut-out in both.

13. Double check that you didn’t miss any place that you need clay - epoxy is vary hard to remove! 

14. At the point on the barrel that is even with the end of the stock, wrap masking tape around the barrel till you have about 1/16” of tape built up to center the barrel in the channel while the epoxy dries.

15. Apply release agent to receiver and barrel. Let it set for a few minutes then do it again. Be sure to cover the whole thing with a good coat! 

16. Degrease all areas that you want epoxy to bond to. Make sure all degreaser is dry before proceeding.

17. Read the directions on your epoxy for mixing and mix  a generous amount. Mix more than you think you will need! 

18. Apply a generous amount of epoxy to all areas of receiver and recoil lug contact . 

19. Carefully fit receiver into stock .

20. Wrap elastic bands around the receiver and stock and secure snugly. 

21. Wait 24 to 48 hours for epoxy to cure! 

22. After epoxy has cured remove elastic bands to free stock  from action. 

23. Remove receiver from stock. Sometimes a sharp whack with a rubber mallet is required to free the receiver.

24. Remove all clay and be sure screw and pin holes are clean! 

25. Remove tape from receiver. 

26. Remove all excess epoxy from stock.

27. Remove clay from stock . 

28. Use tape to cover all epoxied areas then paint or seal barrel channel. 

29. Remove long action screws.

30. Reinstall trigger, safety and bolt stop.

31. Use degreaser to clean complete action and barrel. 

32. After barrel channel sealer or paint is dry you can reassemble rifle and test fire.