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Old June 15th, 2019, 10:53 PM #1
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Basic No4 Woods/Fitment

So in between putting up some deer stands working on a Krag rifle and cutting grass I decided to finish up a No 4 before going any further. What I'm doing here is basic bedding on a LE rifle to support an analysis of bolt fitting that will come later on with the same rifle.

This is just to make sure a modicum of repeatability occurs when firing and an attempt to have some fun resurrecting a relic. These are just basic steps and no way reflect the extent of extra work that can be performed. It should however allow me to achieve the accuracy standard of the surplus ammo I will be using as well as meet the parameters for an issue rifle.

In the first image you can see a basic imprint of the hand guard ring and no in-letting black indicating where the action body contacts the stock. The trick here is to allow the HG ring to float without supporting the front of the body but support the rear handguard firmly. There is also a small steel collar that fits through the front action screw hole that contacts the spigot on the bottom metal just like on a lot of rifles. We need to have full contact on the bottom of the action body as well as the bottom metal at the same time. At the same time, the front of the barrel must contact the pad that has been provided during manufacture to control vibration. More on the little collar later.



Next assemble the rifle minus the little action screw collar and the handguard ring. here you can start to see contact occur.



Remove the high spots with a sharp wood chisel and continue to soot the metal parts on the bottom of the body which will begin to supply pressure at the front of the stock channel. In this picture you can see the inletting for the handguard ring which is done lastly after you have a nice even contact pattern. Just make the wood off to allow the HG ring to just begin to float.



The front of the barrel channel and bearing should begin to look like this as the action body is slowly let down in to the stock. If things are going really well the sooted area will be extended to the front of the stock as you go along.



On the underside, the bottom metal should be bedded so that when it is in place, the small screw that secures the rear slips right in to place without the rear of the trigger bow having to be pushed downwards in order to get it to start. In other words the bottom metal needs to lay right flat in there. This is an important step on a LE because a consistent clean pull off relies on this step.



While your fiddling about making all this happen, give a few good raps to get a good transfer. This is on and apart back and forth working each area simultaneously to get a nice fit. Keep in mind the small collar is still not in place. As you tighten and then remove the action main screw you should begin to feel it bottom hard tight. At the same time you may have also noticed that it's beginning to have a specific amount of turns before abruptly stopping at tight. Thats what your looking for, not so much as a torque value, just turns right up tight.




Next two pictures show deflection at the rear of the butt socket where the rear guard screw goes through and then contact at the front of the bottom metal. Some people will over look the springiness of the bottom metal or even intentionally leave it as a means of adjusting the length of the first and second pull of stages. The problem is geometry of the trigger bents and sear becomes affected and repeatability for pull off is lost as quick as the weather changes.
All the while as the action body is lowered and the bottom metal is laid flat, bearing points at the front of the stock channel, the knox form and action body itself are stabilized creating the accuracy and performance LE's are known for.

Not quite flat



Getting close,



Now you should have the body/barrel tightly bedded to the stock. The last thing to do is adjust the collar. It must be in place to prevent stock splitting/ damage and to prevent the wood from being crushed. With the collar not yet inserted into the stock, install your components with the main screw started in the bottom metal. Make sure the lock washer is in place and turn it backwards until you can feel it click over the split of the washer then stop. Then turn the screw in to place counting the revolutions until the metal parts are tightened. Do this a few times until your sure of the count and then reduce the height of the collar to meet the amount of turns needed to firmly draw the barreled action to the bottom metal. Now your right on time. The screw should stop in the same place and not be spongy like when you first started.

Finish up by making sure the barrel has sufficient clearance around its circumference its entire length outside of the bearing points. Your bearing points of the barrel should be about a third of the diameter of the barrel front and at the knox. Action body should not touch along it's sides. The front of the body should make contact along the rails extending rearward about 1.5 to 2" rearwards. The body should evenly contact the area rear of the draws and be perfectly flat with good contact.



I use small chisels, scrapers made from hack saw blades and sometimes an ex-acto knife. Small cheap birthday candles and spray oil to soot the metal. Once it's all done, I smear wheel bearing grease on the metal underside with a toothbrush till it's all black and gooey assemble and then shoot a bunch to further analyze the pattern later on.

Hand guards next post if anyone wants to see that.
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Old June 15th, 2019, 11:17 PM #2
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Awesome! Love your step by step posts on rifle work
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Old June 22nd, 2019, 07:19 AM #3
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Dang, looks good. Do you want to fit a couple of No4 stocks for rifles that I have..LOL
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