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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2022 10:34 pm 
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First Lieutenant
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Yes, it can be done with nothing more than hand tools!

Attachment:
story.jpg
story.jpg [ 76.73 KiB | Viewed 191 times ]


Many moons ago, I bought a Springfield Model 840 bolt-action rifle in .30-30 Win. I thought it was interesting, and the price was dirt cheap. The stock was in good shape and the bore was clean. It showed signs of shallow rust pitting on the surface metal, but it had been professionally refinished.

Due to conditions beyond my control at the time, it was shoved to the back of the vault and forgotten.

Several years went by and one day my dad wanted me to clean his Glenfield .30-30 (Marlin 336). I ended up replacing his scope, as well, so after I finished, I thought it was a great reason to hit the range with both guns. That's when things went south.

The Glenfield performed admirably with some Winchester Super-X 150-gr. ammo I had but shined with my reload of a Winchester case and primer, RL-15 powder, and Remington 150-gr. bullets.

Feeling good I then tried the 840. It spewed the Winchester factory ammo everywhere. And while the reload did better, it still wouldn't print consistent groups.

Back home I proceeded to disassemble the Springfield to find its major malfunction. At first nothing jumped out, but then I got more intense with the search.

The Savage 340/Stevens 325/Springfield 840 have rather unique engineering. They only have one action screw in the front of the receiver that threads into the recoil lug. There is no action screw in the tang area. The only other action retention is by a barrel band.

On removing the screw from the forearm that holds the barrel band, I quickly noticed that the action was rocking in the stock inletting like a sugared up three-year-old on a hobby horse. When I pushed up on the barrel, the action settled into the inletting perfectly - problem #1. The action screw was as tight as I could make it but then I noticed that not only did the action rock - but it would slide back and forth in the stock slightly - problem #2. Removing the action screw and checking the depth of the hole in the recoil lug indicated that the action screw wasn't being allowed to fully thread into the recoil lug because the threads didn't go deep enough - problem #3.

Stay tuned for the next exciting chapter!

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2022 8:41 am 
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Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
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Any chance to get an image of the rifle?

I'm always quite interested in projects like this, and it would illustrate what you've accomplished very much better than a cartoon. SW

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2022 12:05 pm 
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NebrHogger wrote:
Any chance to get an image of the rifle?

I'm always quite interested in projects like this, and it would illustrate what you've accomplished very much better than a cartoon. SW


Yes, there will be several upcoming. The story is rather long so I'm breaking it into more easily digested pieces. The next chapter will be sometime this afternnon.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2022 1:51 pm 
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Chapter 2:

There were few minor issues other than the three major ones, but most of them would be corrected as the main three were delt with.

After contemplating the problems I found, I concluded that Problem #3 should be the logical place to begin my odyssey. I started by tapping the hole in the recoil lug deeper to allow the action screw to fully tighten. While this helped a great deal, the action still rocked slightly. I found that over the years with the action screw loose, the hole in the stock had wallowed out oversized and that was what allowed the lateral movement of the action under recoil.

Fixing the stock was essential, so I decided to install a "pillar" to eliminate the lateral movement. I fabricated the pillar from a piece of thick-walled aluminum tubing that was 5/16" O.D. and 1/4" I.D. after reaming the hole in the stock with a 5/16" bit, the pillar was epoxied in place flush with the bottom of the stock. The trigger guard/magazine bottom metal covers this so it doesn't show.

Attachment:
DCP_1091-2.jpg
DCP_1091-2.jpg [ 109.88 KiB | Viewed 171 times ]


The standard Savage action screw has a VERY shallow blade slot in the head, so I replaced it with the same sized black anodized mushroom-head machine screw that requires an Allen wrench. Much easier to tighten.

With Problem #2 and #3 remedied, it was on to Problem #1 - the big one!

Problem #1 was going to be a tricky, two-part, fix. Not only was I going to have to figure out how to bed the action up front - but how to support the tang so that something other than the stock inletting was what it would set on. AND, which one should I do first?!

After some intense thought (and numerous four-letter words) I decided that supporting the tang first would be my best option in case it would impact the main bedding.

My solution to that conundrum was to make the bedding at the tang self-adjusting. While that sounds strange, the actual implementation was amazingly simple. There is a shelf cut into the stock inletting below the trigger component housing, but it's about 1/2" to far down to be of use. But it CAN be of use. I cut out a sheet metal piece that fit loosely into the inletting at the shelf, then I took some epoxy putty (it has to be a semi-stiff putty) and made a marble-sized ball and placed it on the shelf and lightly pressed the sheet metal piece onto the top of it. Then I placed the action back into the stock, tightened the action screw and placed a spring clamp on the tang of the action to press it down onto the stock inletting. This squeezed the metal piece into the epoxy putty to form the perfect spacer to support the rear of the action.

Attachment:
DCP_1088-2.jpg
DCP_1088-2.jpg [ 104.9 KiB | Viewed 171 times ]


Since I can only post two pictures at a time, chapter 3 will be arriving soon. Same Bat time, same Bat channel!

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“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2022 5:30 pm 
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Chapter 2.5:

Many of us have done bedding work on our - or someone else's - rifle at some time in our lives. My first bedding job was back in the late '80s on a sporterized Mauser after I threw away the early plastic stock and mounted the action in a wood stock. It wasn't a pretty job, but it worked.

What's this have to do with my story, you ask? Well, it's about the evolution of bedding material. From the early days of the runny, messy plastic-like stuff, until todays sophisticated epoxies.

If you've been to MidwayUSA or Brownell's lately, you'll see there are many different kinds that all claim to be the best. And their prices reflect it! And release agents are no better.

I got tired of paying a king's ransom for bedding "kits" that only do one rifle for the price. So, I decided it would go another direction. Bedding compounds are nothing more than modern two-part epoxies, and there are shelves of them at the local hardware store. So I said, "Why not?"

The "bedding compound" I use is a two-part resin that is embedded with Kevlar for added strength. I've used it on several projects - including a total rebuild of a Marlin 25 .22 - and it has worked like a charm. The best thing is - there is likely more compound there then I will ever use in my lifetime, at pennies per project.

So don't think you HAVE to use what the "professionals" say, because it's all the same when you come right down to it.

And speaking of "release agents" I use plain old Johnson's Paste Wax. The advantage is that it stays where you put it, you can fill nooks and crannies with it to keep the epoxy out, and you don't even have to wipe it off because it will protect the metal from moisture inside the stock!

Attachment:
bedding.jpg
bedding.jpg [ 208.62 KiB | Viewed 168 times ]

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“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2022 12:48 pm 
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And now, back to our show............

With the tang end of the action fully supported, it was time to attack the area for the main part of the bedding. This involved the recoil lug and chamber end of the barrel.

I started by shaving off about 1/16" from the front of the recoil shoulder of the stock and removing wood from under the barrel nut and a couple inches forward at the chamber. Once this was accomplished, I applied a liberal coating of paste wax to the underside of the action, recoil lug, action screw, barrel nut, and barrel. I then installed several modeling clay dams in areas I didn't want the epoxy to ooze into. Now it was time to mix the bedding material.

After applying a good layer of bedding material, I carefully replaced the action into the stock while holding up on the barrel. The action screw was installed and tightened, and a spring clamp placed once again on the tang (all while holding up on the barrel). The action screw was backed off 1/8th of a turn. This was allowed to cure for over 24 hours on the gun cradle without being disturbed.

Attachment:
DCP_1007.JPG
DCP_1007.JPG [ 85.28 KiB | Viewed 160 times ]
Note: The date on this picture was the original date of the work, the dates on the other picture were taken later for another project.

After the bedding had cured, I removed and inspected the bedding. After trimming a little epoxy flash, this was the result. Not a bad job, and now with the action screw tightened, the action set perfectly in the stock and the barrel was free floated! Whoo hoo!

Attachment:
DCP_1083-2.jpg
DCP_1083-2.jpg [ 161.96 KiB | Viewed 160 times ]


Chapter 4 is on the way!

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“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2022 9:42 pm 
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When we last saw our hero.......

Okay, with the bedding finished and the tang supported, it was time to deal with the one item that would definitely cause poor accuracy - the barrel band.

Since I wanted to keep the barrel free-floated, cinching it down with the band would be just plain dumb. So, I needed to figure out how to adjust the band to maintain accuracy while keeping it as insurance against a catastrophic failure.

A trip to the hardware store got me some nylon shim washers that would just do the trick.

Attachment:
DCP_1081-2.jpg
DCP_1081-2.jpg [ 155.87 KiB | Viewed 154 times ]


After stacking a few of them in the recess in the stock for the band's base, and then adding a thin cardboard "retainer" on top to keep them in place, the band was replaced with a very slight gap off the barrel to retain accuracy and keep the reason the band was there in the first place.

Attachment:
DCP_1080-2.jpg
DCP_1080-2.jpg [ 126.87 KiB | Viewed 154 times ]


I was quite satisfied with how the bedding went. Now it's time to head to the range...........................

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“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2022 3:48 pm 
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Well, before I took the rifle to the range I double checked everything that could affect accuracy. I was aware that there was a rust pit at the muzzle, but it didn't appear to actually reach to the bore. However, I took a small round grinding stone that was mounted on an 1/8" shaft and using and "eggbeater" type hand drill, I reground the edge of the bore. Surprisingly, I found the pit DID reach the bore, but only at the very edge and was easily buffed out.

Now we were off to the range!

Attachment:
IMG_0109[1].jpg
IMG_0109[1].jpg [ 118.24 KiB | Viewed 147 times ]


With the rifle set in the shooting sled, and targets downrange, it was time for the reckoning.

These rifles are 3-shot-magazine fed so all groups were three shot strings.

My ammo was the same types as before - Winchester Super-X 150gr. and my reload of Winchester brass and primer, RL-15 powder, and Remington 150gr. bullet.

I discovered something soon after I began shooting. The Springfield HATES Winchester Super-X ammo! While it shot it much better than before, the best I could do was 4 - 5 inch groups at 100 yds. While that would be Minute-of-Whitetail from a well-worn lever gun, it just wasn't acceptable from a bolt gun.

The I switched to my reload. :jmp: It was like night and day!

Attachment:
IMG_0113[1].jpg
IMG_0113[1].jpg [ 68.95 KiB | Viewed 147 times ]


The three in the lower left were my first shots as I was setting my scope after trying to get the Winchester ammo to work.

The two in the upper right are walk-ins while adjusting the scope.

The four in the bull are the third shot from the walk-ins and then another full mag, proving repeatability.

Well, that's the end of my ordeal. The Springfield 840 proved itself to be a very accurate rifle with some TLC and a load it likes. :grin:

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“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain
Okahoma State #1 - Ride 'em Cowboys!


Last edited by mtnboomer on Thu Jul 14, 2022 5:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2022 4:52 pm 
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Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
Теперь предлагаем бесплатную ежедневную маммографию!
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Excellent work! :D SW

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2022 5:36 pm 
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Thank you, sir. There was a couple of times there I wondered if it was going to work, or if I was just spinning my wheels.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2022 7:32 pm 
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looks like it worked out just fine


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2022 7:49 pm 
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A square 10 wrote:
looks like it worked out just fine


Better than I expected actually.

The real trick was stabilizing the tang of the action.

Most of my internet investigations on these rifles had someone brazing or welding a nut on the rear of the trigger assembly housing. Then they removed the rear trigger guard screw - which is simply a wood screw holding the guard on the stock - drilled it through and installed a long machine screw. But this actually did little to stabilize the tang, it just held the rear of the action down. It still relied on the action inletting to hold the tang in its proper place. And wood, especially lower grade hardwood like these stock are, can be quite springy.

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