Rifle Bedding, Weapons Accidents, and Other Items

First things first here. When I say “weapons accident” I am not speaking of an unintentional discharge or the type accident we saw in Arizona where a 9 year old shot an instructor.   Instead I am primarily speaking of case ruptures or other mechanical failure of a weapon leading to injury of the shooter.  Surviving a case rupture steers us off into a discussion of economy range rifles where venting of gases from a case rupture and shielding is less adequate or simply not present as is the case with say a Weatherby Mark V rifle. 

It is also typically the economy range of rifles where bedding is an issue.  Bedding is a topic that has been covered by authors such as Chuck Hawks as well as others in the gun press.  Bedding a rifle is a process where the action and barrel of a rifle are removed, material removed from the stock to provide 1/16th inch or so space between stock and action/barrel, with this area filled with epoxy into which the action/barrel is placed in the hopes of creating a “matching” seat for the action/barrel.  This process is time consuming and difficult because the intent is not to epoxy the action/barrel to the stock, but by using release compounds to be able to remove the action/barrel once the epoxy has dried, then subsequently re-bolting the action/barrel to the stock.  The purpose of this is to be able to bolt the stock to the action/barrel without applying any undue stresses to the action/barrel that might distort either.   

A perfect example of where bedding is not needed is the Remington 700 series of rifles.  To this I can attest by bedding a Remington 700 XCR II in 375 Remington Ultra mag where no appreciable improvement in precision was achieved.  The XCR II is not slack in precision to begin with. 

Case ruptures.  If you are reloading then you are well aware that case ruptures occur more frequently when cases have been loaded multiple times.  You are also aware that mis-measurement of powder load or loads far beyond recommendations cause case ruptures.  I continue to think it is a good idea to even weigh production ammo purchased form a factory to ensure there is not a cartridge or two that is wildly overweight in comparison to others in the box.  Of course, unless you weigh cartridges with the same bullet weight across several manufacturers, you will not develop a sense of when a cartridge is “overweight,” as an entire box of ammo can contain an “overload.”

I would like to mention something new I have run across and am waiting on arrival of in the next week or so.  That is a Schmidt & Bender rifle scope model PMII 3-27×56 L/P LT H37 RAL8000.  The turret is locking and the tactile feel of the controls (knobs) is said to be supreme.  The reticle is a Horex reticle pattern H37.  The intent of the scope is to pair it will something like a sniper’s rifle in 338 Lapua. 

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