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Kimber Montana Bedding And Pre-Fight Checklist... #10774365 12/13/15
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Brad Offline OP
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There was another thread about bedding the Kimber Montana, and another with "accurizing" ideas. I'm one that thinks there is more than one way to achieve a goal, and rather than post on those good threads, I thought I'd just put up my own comprehensive post, sharing my own experience, methods, and observations.

As to history, I got my first Montana (8400 300 WSM) in the Spring of 2004, and have had something like 16 in the intervening years. Four were 8400's, and the balance in 84M and L's. Everything I'll share here I've done to all those, and I've never had a Montana that wouldn't shoot something sub moa.

Here's my rifle Pre-flight Checklist, some of which is specific to the Kimber, but most of which I apply to any new rifle:

1). Bed full Receiver and Shank (or full chamber).
2). De-grease Bolt and Trigger (Brake Cleaner).
3). Re-Oil/Grease Bolt and Trigger.
4). Apply nail polish to firing pin set screw (Kimber).
5). Adjust Trigger to 2.5 - 3lbs (MT's I like 2.5lbs).
6). Break top of feedramp with fine rattail file.
7). Polish feedramp and underside rails with 600 Emery.
8). Eezox all metal below stock level.
9). JB Weld scope ring bases to receiver top.
10). JB Weld sling swivel studs to stock.
11). Lap Rings, and de-burr with fine rattail file afterwards.
12). Mount scope in rubber cement. Blue Loktite ring screws.


a). With the 84's, make sure to check that the forward receiver scope base screw does not bottom-out into barrel shank. This is not always the case, as it was not with the rifle in these photos.

b). Much has been made about the mag box bottoming-out in the stock. I've never had this problem, but it certainly bears paying attention to.

c). Torque Specs: Front action screw, 45 inch lbs. Rear action screw, 35 inch lbs. Scope bases, 25 inch lbs. Ring screws, 20 inch lbs.



Bedding:

First some general thoughts... I've read the idea of bedding the MT with only the rear action screw tightened and a "guide screw" in the front. Have also seen "finger tightening" the action screws only. My own view is the action should bear on the pillars. That's what they're there for. Without using a bit more pressure than the above methods provide, the action isn't going to bear on them tightly, while oozing out excess epoxy. I put my action screws in "farmer tight" while bedding in order to make full pillar contact, and to move out excess epoxy. Afterwards I employ a torque screwdriver for consistency. As I said originally, there is always more than one way to do something, but I prefer my own method obviously!

Though the Montana is factory bedded with a "slave" action, it's surprising how much area will fill up with epoxy while still making full contact with the pillars. The factory bedding, however, really does move the process forward a fair bit, but I really don't think there's any substitute for bedding the actual action to the actual stock.

Bedding an already painted rifle is a bit more demanding than bedding a stock blank with no paint. More care is required to avoid beating-up the paint. Just a head's up.

Bedding Stuff:

Epoxy - I like Acraglass Gel or a similar Gel like Marinetex. I've also used runny 2-part epoxies but have always added a thickener like Cabosil (fumed silica) to those. The important thing is to NOT use non-thickened epoxy. I see guys using JB Weld, and while anyone is free to do what they want and it undoubtedly works well enough, I prefer a stronger epoxy. I use JB's on less critical chores like ring bases, where I prefer a weaker epoxy.

Release Agents - A lot of different ones work. I use Paste Wax for some aspects of the job, paint-on Brownells blue release agent for others, and Brownell's Acra-Release Aerosol for the barreled-action.

Exacto Razor Knife. (I prefer a no. 2 blade - have extra's on hand).
Blue Tape or quality masking tape (I prefer masking tape).
Modeling Clay.
60 Grit Sandpaper.
Mineral Spirits.
Acetone.
Fine artists brush (think small sable).
Paper towels.
Common Sense.
Patience.


The How:

Before I take the action apart from the stock I take the Exacto knife and score the paint around the tang to give my self a "guideline" to prep to. I also mark the stock with a pencil where I want the bedding to stop at the barrel shank.

After disassembling and setting the barreled action aside, I begin by prepping the stock.

I score a line in the stock at the end of the shank where I want to stop the epoxy. I then sand all the areas I want to bed with 60 grit, including down inside the lug area. Where I want to be careful to not over-sand into finished paint (like the tang and forward the shank) I score and "crosshatch" with the exacto, essentially duplicating the sanding, but in a more controlled way. After all this is done I wipe all the sanded areas down with acetone until all residue is removed.

Next I apply blue tape or masking tape along the top of the receiver, letting it overhang into the stock (PS, I prefer quality masking tape to blue tape). I then take the exacto and cut off the overhanging tape. It's important when using tape to really press it down to mate to the stock.

I then coat (the artist's brush) with the Brownell's blue paint-on release agent any and everywhere I DON'T want epoxy to stick. Those areas would include; Inside the pillars, the taped areas, inside the mag well (3/4 - 1" below the area being bedded), the barrel channel forward the shank where I want the epoxy to stop (put a lot here forward the shank - the epoxy will ooze forward!), the tang, the bolt handle cutout, etc. You really don't necessarily need tape on the stock... two coats of the blue release agent thinly applied will work on the stock, but I usually put tape on the flat surfaces for trimming purposes:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

You can really see the blue release agent in this photo all around the tang and on the inside of the stock:

[Linked Image]

Next, I de-grease with acetone all the rifle surfaces to be be bedded. With the Montana I don't remove the trigger, bolt stop, or anything (other rifles I sometimes do). I wrap the trigger with tape and fill any voids with modeling clay. I fill the tang and lug screw holes with paste wax, and also the gas port. I re-wipe those areas with Acetone, and spray the entire receiver with the Brownells release agent, then set it aside:

[Linked Image]

I coat the action screws with paste wax so they'll release later:

[Linked Image]









Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose.

Re: Kimber Montana Bedding And Pre-Fight Checklist... [Re: Brad] #10774366 12/13/15
Joined: Oct 2000
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Brad Offline OP
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Next I mix the epoxy, color to suit, and apply it to the stock:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

As a final step, I re-shoot the action with the aerosol release agent and make make sure the action screws are fully coated with wax. I then carefully mate the action to the stock, tightening the actions screws and watching to keep the barrel true in the barrel channel while slowly applying more pressure to each screw as the epoxy finds its way out of the stock. Don't rush this, and while handling the rifle, watch that epoxy... you'll get it everywhere if not careful! (PS, note in the below pic the paste wax popping up in the rear receiver screw hole... it did its job!).

[Linked Image]

Now comes the waiting... Acraglass Gel is very consistent with its cure time, which is one reason I like it. It will be getting too hard to trim easily past the 6hr mark. Around the 3hr mark, while the epoxy is still pretty rubbery, I peel back the overflow slightly away from the action. This will make it easier later to remove the action without breaking epoxy and ruining your edge. Generally at 5hrs I score the epoxy around the tang with the exacto and remove it, then back the action screws out, pop out the action, and begin trimming the remaining excess epoxy. The exacto will ride along the top of the tape to trim this area. I score the shank line and pop that out as well.

After all that I put it back together and let it finish curing til the following day, when I do clean up. The blue release agent comes off with warm water. I rinse the entire inside of the stock with warm water and dish soap and dry. The modelling clay cleans up with a toothbrush and mineral spirits.

The finished bedding:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]



Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose.
Re: Kimber Montana Bedding And Pre-Fight Checklist... [Re: Brad] #10774368 12/13/15
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Brad Offline OP
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[Linked Image]


Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose.
Re: Kimber Montana Bedding And Pre-Fight Checklist... [Re: Brad] #10774377 12/13/15
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bigwhoop Online Content
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I see a permanent prominent position here. A great job, photos and explanation as always.


Restraint allows your aggressor to define your justification for retaliation - bigwhoop
Re: Kimber Montana Bedding And Pre-Fight Checklist... [Re: Brad] #10774398 12/13/15
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STS45 Offline
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Awesome post! Would you mind going over how you JB weld the bases to the receiver and your other scope prep?


"Never miss the opportunity to shut the f$%K up." Colonel Hopewell.
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Re: Kimber Montana Bedding And Pre-Fight Checklist... [Re: Brad] #10774427 12/13/15
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Well done how-to Brad. Pics are always worth 1k words.

Re: Kimber Montana Bedding And Pre-Fight Checklist... [Re: STS45] #10774442 12/13/15
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Brad Offline OP
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Thanks Joe, and Scot... since you guys both have (had) Kimber MT's of mine, you both have seen first hand the bedding.

Scot, as to the rings...

I de-grease the underside of the ring bases, screws, and receiver screw holes with denatured alcohol. You really don't need to get too carried away, the epoxy will stick well enough. I then mix 2-Part standard grey JB Weld and coat the bottom of the bases. I also daub on a tiny bit the screws. I then attach them to the receiver, and finish tightening slowly with the Torque Wrench to 25 inch lbs. I clean up the excess with denatured alcohol (clean up helps with Q-Tips).

Lapping, I use a lapping bar and 240 grit lapping compound. Aluminum rings go quick so don't get too carried away. Also, because the receiver tops are so straight and even, the Kimber's are about the easiest action to lap rings to I've ever experienced... there's little to overcome in terms of out-of-whack machining.

Before lapping I wrap the action with saran wrap, and tape around the bases to keep lapping compound out of the action and off the stock and barrel.

On Talley Lwt's I plug the inside hole of each ring with a bit of cotton to keep lapping compound out.

After lapping, the rings will typically (depending on make) have a sharp edge all the way around. I take a fine rattail file and lightly relieve those edges at a 45* in order to keep them from marring whatever scope is to get mounted.

For scope mounting, I just apply a thin layer of Elmer's rubber cement. Whatever oozes out, I let dry and clean off. Scope rings get 20 inch lbs.

I think the above is as bomb-proof a method of scope mounting as you'll find. The JB Weld essentially provides a monolithic scope base.

To remove the bases, pop the action out of the stock, kiss the rings with a Benzomatic torch, and loosen the screws.


Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose.
Re: Kimber Montana Bedding And Pre-Fight Checklist... [Re: MuskegMan] #10774446 12/13/15
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Brad Offline OP
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Thx MM.


Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose.
Re: Kimber Montana Bedding And Pre-Fight Checklist... [Re: Brad] #10774477 12/13/15
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Tis a good glob of information Brad. CP.

Re: Kimber Montana Bedding And Pre-Fight Checklist... [Re: Brad] #10774488 12/13/15
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bwinters Offline
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Very nice write up. I thought I was the only one anal enough to use an exacto knife.........

I also use a bunch of tape to make sure I have the break line between the barrel/action cutout and the stock covered. Plus I don't want any epoxy on the stock.

I hear you on the 2 action screw thing. I did a "test" of sorts. I put the action in the stock and used only the finger tight tang screw. The action didn't move. I did use 3 layers of black tape on the barrel to keep it centered in the channel. I could see where using the tape could raise the barrel enough where tightening the action screw could create a torque issue. I did the tang action screw thing to both of mine this AM. We'll see how they turn out.

Thanks again for taking the time to post.


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Re: Kimber Montana Bedding And Pre-Fight Checklist... [Re: Brad] #10774511 12/13/15
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Wow, very well put together Brad, the kimber folks should be very appreciative, nice work.

Re: Kimber Montana Bedding And Pre-Fight Checklist... [Re: bwinters] #10774517 12/13/15
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Brad Offline OP
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Bill I've found, rather than wrapping the barrel to keep it in the channel straight (for the pressure reason you state), applying a shim or two on the sides of the barrel channel while tightening will help.


Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose.
Re: Kimber Montana Bedding And Pre-Fight Checklist... [Re: handwerk] #10774519 12/13/15
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Brad Offline OP
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Randy, thanks.

But really, most of the information is pretty generic to any rifle.

Merry Christmas my friend...


Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose.
Re: Kimber Montana Bedding And Pre-Fight Checklist... [Re: CP] #10774521 12/13/15
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Brad Offline OP
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Chris, Merry Christmas to you and yours... hope you had a good hunting season!


Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose.
Re: Kimber Montana Bedding And Pre-Fight Checklist... [Re: Brad] #10774579 12/13/15
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Many Thanks Brad. That was a LOT of time putting that post together - very much appreciated. Merry Christmas!

Re: Kimber Montana Bedding And Pre-Fight Checklist... [Re: Brad] #10774599 12/13/15
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Outstanding! Very nice of you to take the time to share.


Buy once, cry once.
Re: Kimber Montana Bedding And Pre-Fight Checklist... [Re: Brad] #10774658 12/13/15
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Merry Christmas to you and yours as well Brad. CP.

Re: Kimber Montana Bedding And Pre-Fight Checklist... [Re: Brad] #10774724 12/13/15
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Appreciate the detailed explanation. I too do all the same things to every rifle. I'll definitely keep this as a reference though. I have only one 84M, but it is an incredible hunting rifle in my opinion and these items are simple refinements that ensure consistent performance.

I have used JB Weld, as well as Acraglas, and have not seen a functional difference. Really was just due to using what I had on hand. Have to look more into the attributes.

My 84M has traveled a lot, been in rain, snow, and dust over the last 5+ years and I'm thinking about stripping it down and giving it a good check out. I'm primarily interested in corrosion.

Thanks again!

Re: Kimber Montana Bedding And Pre-Fight Checklist... [Re: Brad] #10774765 12/13/15
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Great thread Brad. If more guys did this to any rifle they own, there would be a lot less threads on poor shooting rifles...


Originally Posted by raybass
I try to stick with the basics, they do so well. Nothing fancy mind you, just plain jane will get it done with style.

Originally Posted by Pharmseller
You want to see an animal drop right now? Shoot him in the ear hole.
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Re: Kimber Montana Bedding And Pre-Fight Checklist... [Re: prm] #10774766 12/13/15
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I'm 3+ hours into my Kimber bedding job. And learned to NEVER, EVER use straight Acra Glass again. I thought skim bedding I'll use a thinner material. It got under my masking tape, ran out the "stud", generally made a mess. I'm not hugely hopeful its going to come out the way the gel/SS versions usually do. I've got it all cleaned up but that stuff is garbage. I'll bet I'll be re-doing the bedding.........

Again - thank you for the thread and pics. I've done 20-30 rifles but I always learn something by looking at how other folks do things. Hadn't thought of the shim thing - I've always used 2-5 layers of electric tape to center the barrel in the channel.


Adversity doesn't build character, it reveals it.
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