• DIY Rimfire Bedding Block & Pillar Bedding: Reinforcing the Boyds' Laminate Stock

    I’ve owned my Savage Arms MKll-FV for about year and have been very pleased for the money spent. The plastic stock, though giving the rifle a rather “economy model” look is actually quite functional, at least in terms of the way the barreled action is secured to it. The front and rear stand-offs under the receiver sit on the stock’s molded-in “pillars” making a repeatable connection that can be tightened without fear of damaging anything. As a result, the rifle shoots very well. Along with the overall “low end” feel of the stock, the ergonomics leave much to be desired. The Tac-Pro cheek rest I added solved eye alignment issues, but the forearm remains too narrow and flexible.

    After much thought and research, I ordered a Boyd’s Rimfire Hunter stock in Nutmeg to replace the Tupperware. Everyone knows the main issue with these stocks: they are aggressively inlet leaving little material under the receiver. There are many threads in various forums (such as this one) by people who have attempted to pillar bed these stocks to maximize accuracy, with varying degrees of success. The main problem remains that there is simply not much material to actually secure the pillars to which results in pillars breaking lose, especially in field conditions where the barrel can be bumped on the ground, into a branch, etc.

    Without pillars, the laminated wood is compressed between the receiver on the top and the magazine surround metal on the bottom when the action screws are tightened. The disadvantage of this arrangement is that wood can swell and contract with temperature and moisture content, and action screw torque can have a significant impact on accuracy.

    Having used a couple of stocks with aluminum bedding blocks for centerfire rifles, I began working on a way to reinforce the Boyd’s stock in a similar fashion. It’s apparent that if there was a way to better secure the pillars, the connection between receiver and stock would be much more robust, ensuring maximum accuracy and durability. This post will detail the way I went about doing so with common hand tools, less than $35 in locally available hardware and plenty of time, planning and patience.

    Reinforcing the Stock

    The heart of this modification is the fitting and installing a metal insert made out of ½” aluminum c-channel that will serve the following purposes;

    • Serves as a platform/pillar reinforcement for the rear pillar
    • Reinforces the stock where the most amount of wood is removed
    • Bridges the trigger guard to the bottom metal, effectively creating a rigid “chassis” to add strength and stability

    By amazing coincidence, the bottom of the inletting above the rear action screw measures .630” side-to-side and the outside dimension of commonly available ½” aluminum c-channel is .625” making it the perfect material to use for this purpose. Additionally, the inside measurement of the c-channel is exactly .5” and the outside diameter of the stand-offs measure just under .5”, making a perfect fit there as well.

    A piece of the c-channel was cut to 1.75” and dropped into place like it was made for it. The c-channel is positioned so the rear edge is .5” from the center of the rear action screw (to just clear the front of the trigger assembly) and the front edge extends .75” past the rear bottom plate wood screw. The three outer sides of the c-channel were scored with a file and degreased, and several slots were cut with a Dremel inside the stock to provide extra grip for the JB Weld epoxy that was used to secure the c-channel. Here is the c-channel installed in the stock:

    The wood screw usually used in the rear of the bottom plate was replaced with a ¼ X 20 machine screw, so the rear hole in the DIP bottom plate was opened to ¼” and touched up with cold blue. An 11/32” drill bit was used to drill up through the stock and through the c-channel using the small existing wood screw hole in the stock as a guide. A ¼ X 20 flange nut was inserted through the c-channel to bolt the DIP bottom metal and the c-channel insert together, creating a very strong connection.

  • Help support Savage Shooters by
    joining Team Savage today!

    Upgrade to Team Savage