Dean's Gun Restoration
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Thread: Bedding an M1A?

  1. #1

    Default Bedding an M1A?

    I bought a Springfield M1A a few years back. Seems like when I was researching information on these, some people felt that bedding should be done by someone knowledgeable in M1A's. In other words, not just the local gunsmith down the street but more of an armorer. Is this a good idea? Mine is a 27xxx serial number, and it had the recalled bolt. When I sent it in I asked for any manf specifics on it. It was sold in 1983 as a super match. The walnut stock is bedded and in excellent shape, so to keep it that way, I put it in a GI fiberglass stock. I'd like to bed this also. I have a very competent gunsmith locally, but I'd like someone else' opinion on this first. Thank you. Greg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Atlanta
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    168

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    I am going to speculate (I have had several M1A's and Garands bedded by a local expert) that I would like someone with experience in either the Garand or the M1A. The bedding effort looks to be similar. I think to completely accurize, I would only use an expert. Since you have a super match things like a unitized gas cylinder should already be present.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
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    This is rather difficult to answer without sounding a bit arrogant.

    As an On The Job Traiinee (Aprentice) in the RTE Shop at Quantico back in 73-74, it was much, Much, MUCH easier to glass bed a bolt gun after learning all the ins and outs of glassing M14's. There is a lot to learn extra on where and how to make clearance cuts, how to glass bed the trigger mech so it does NOT cause doubling and have good lock up, how to clean up the inside of the mag well so magazines are easy to snap in and take out, how to get proper draw on the front of the stock, how to ensure the action is as centered as possible, etc., etc. I am in no way trying to cast aspersions on your local gunsmith, but does he know these things? I, personally, have found most local gunsmiths don't know these things and I have lived in many parts of the country. Some of them can do a very basic glass job, but not the more intricate ones.

    Also, there is no gunsmith who knows how to work on all the guns people use. We all have to do at least some specializing or we can't make money. There are just too many types of guns out there today.

    What you might think about doing is checking with your gunsmith to see if he has a copy of Jerry Kuhnhausen's book, "The U.S. .30 Caliber Gas Operated Service Rifles: A Shop Manual Volumes 1 & 2." If not, you may even want to buy one yourself and educate yourself on it a little bit.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/582...rry-kuhnhausen

    One thing I do know is it can get real expensive if the local guy doesn't do a good job and then you have to send it to someone to fix it. When someone does that, it could cost them more in the additional fee's alone to fix it than to have done the work correctly the first time.

    BTW, I am not posting these things looking for wark. I have MORE work than I can handle and I only take rifles where people drop them off and pick them up.

  4. #4

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    Darn it Gus, I was all ready to pack it up and send it to you, LOL! No, I wasn't touting the virtues of my gunsmith. He's a very competent, capable gunsmith, but I don't know if he's ever worked on an M1A either. And no, I haven't asked him yet, which I intend on doing. But, before I did that I wanted to see what the general consensus was here. This is an excellent rifle, and I'd like to bed it to get the most out of it that's possible. That said, any good M1A smiths around the Nebraska area? Thanks for the replies. Greg

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Southern Indiana and Illinois
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    It is my understanding that the service grade USGI fiberglass stocks are too pliable for use in match conditioning an M14/M1A type rifle.
    My opinion is to put it back into the wooden stock. Redo the bedding if you think it is necessary, but the fiberglass stock is just not suitable for your purpose without reinforcing/stiffening it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Colo. Spgs., Colorado
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    Ditto on the fiberglass stock. Just not rigid enough up front. If you want a good fiberglass stock, McMillen is the way to go but very pricey.
    "A generation which ignores history has no past and no future." - Jean Boden

    "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It goes on."
    -- Robert Frost

  7. #7

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    Well, the only reason I went with the fiberglass stock was that the walnut was just too darn nice to scratch up. Which invariably is what happens to any stock I have that I try to keep unmarked! But, if it's not worth it, then it's not worth it. OK then, is it correct that I shouldn't remove and replace the wooden, bedded stock very much, if at all? I've read that that will loosen up the tightness of the bedded fit.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Richmond, Virginia
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    There are at least two or three ways to firm up the front end of G.I. fiberglass stocks to use in NM competition. I fill the fore ends with marine tex to the point they look something like the barrel channel of a wood stock. Others have glued fiberglass cloth in layers. Others have glued carbon fiber arrow bodies on both sides. Any of these will keep the fore end more than rigid enough even for a NM rifle and yes, I've had NM shooters use my stocks for that over the years.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    If the bedding compound in your wooden stock is still hard, smooth, and staying put, you could skim bed it. Another trick you could try that works for some shooters between skim beddings is to paint your barreled action with release agent, wipe the bedded stock wood with acetone, then paint the glass-bedded surfaces with clear Liquid Plastic or spar varnish. When it gets about dry to the touch drop the barreled action back into the stock and insert the trigger group to where you've got grab on the lugs but it's not quite closed. Let it sit under a light overnight. You've got a glass-bedded stock that fits your rifle, might as well be using it.

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