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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Complete tutorial and instructions on my project M44.
Includes Devcon 10110 Epoxy bedding, Boyd's walnut stock, new sights, recoil suppression, tune-up and other modifications.
I am placing this in the Workshop Forum as it is a Workshop project.
It will have a cross-reference link in the Collector Forum.
This thread will be in multiple posts with pictures - for size purpose.
You may print or otherwise copy it for reference if desired with full permissions.

Note to purists:
This was not desecration of a good milsurp! Bubba already laid hands on this before I got it!
I have an excellent M44 milsurp in great condition.

Our M38 ranks as one of our favorite rifles and makes every trip to the range. There is something about it, completely different than an M44, that just makes it appealing to shoot.
As we don’t really care for the 91/30 or the M44 and the M91 is relegated to the bench, I wanted another short shooter to abuse on our regular range trips and had an eye out for a beater M38.

A co-worker had an M44 he bought with intentions of making a deer rifle out of it … some relation to Bubba I suspect. He promptly removed the bayonet and ground off the lug then attached a muzzle brake:
http://www.combatoptical.com/catalog/MOSIN-NAGAT-M44-MUZZLE-BRAKE-145.html

For whatever reason, he decided to offload it for $50 along with a shotgun son was interested in so I snapped it up.
1946 Izzy with pristine metal and bore. The stock was fair to decent but nothing to get excited over. Initial test drives at the range showed it to be very accurate, after some work on the fubar front sight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
SIGHTS:

Problem #1:

I don’t care all that much for Mosin sights to begin with but this M44 had “issues”.
The front sight assembly looked like it was hand crafted by a five year old with a file.
Not only was the dovetail cut on an angle that canted the whole thing sideways, the post was drilled and placed off center and bent over to the right to compensate. Besides being more than a little off target and elevation, the whole font sight was just too fubar to ignore and would have required replacement anyway!



Front sight blade

I have taken a liking to fiber optic light gathering front blades, particularly on a shotgun.
Since it was obvious I was going to replace the front blade anyway, I set out looking for a fiber optic. There are none … at least none made to fit a Mosin!
The closest thing I could find was a Truglo
http://truglo.com/content/products/firearm/sluggun_rifle/metal_dovetail_sights.asp
choosing an orange .530 which comes extremely close to the correct height measured from the base to the top of the Mosin post.
As you can see, this is a 3/8” dovetail and the Mosin is a 5mm dovetail which means it won’t fit, … so I ordered one anyway.
It required about an hour with a triangle file to reduce the 3/8” to the necessary 5mm, taking equal amounts off both sides.
A few gentle taps with a hammer and, snug as a bug in a rug! Not exactly esthetically pleasing but it mounts a nice .60” diameter blazing orange dot on a thin taper blade right where it should be. Viewed from the rear, you have to love it!

Rear Sights

Wanting something with a little finer adjustment than a stock Mosin rear blade, I really wanted something more on the line of the Truglo fiber optic rear sight. There isn’t anything made for Mosin and nothing that looks easily adapted.

I settled on a Mojo click adjustable rear assembly.
http://www.mojosights.com/mosin_nagant.html
We, at least it fits!

I’m not all that keen on a peep aperture but …
Combine these two together and you get a brilliant orange dot you can center in the Mojo peep and it’s completely adjustable for windage and elevation. The dot is just perfect for centering over a clay pigeon or milk jug at 240 yards and still be able to see the edges of it.
It only took a few minutes and rounds to get used to it … and I love it!
So did everybody else on the range who just had to pick it up and try it out. It was an instant sensation and total hit! Not to mention, this is extremely quick to attain a sight picture when snapping it up to the shoulder standing, making it superb for a quick pointing brush gun.

I have since had dialog with people at Mojo sights and they indicate several prototype fiber optic sights are in development. Based on my pictures, they indicate they will be working on something along the same lines. No word on when they expect to have them available but possibly by summer. Keep an eye open for a new line of Mojo in fiber optics!

With some further modification to the Mojo aperture, I was able to insert a 0.020” red fiber optic fiber inside on either side to create a three dot fiber optic sight system. While still a work in progress, it is showing potential.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
STOCK

I wanted a nice hunk of walnut…
While I could have easily butchered the stock that came with it, I wanted a Monte Carlo with a little style to it and a different look.
You can get an ATI synthetic, in black, but as they informed me, the butt is hollow.
As I started out intending to mount a mercury recoil suppressor in the butt, ATI was out right away.
It would seem there are only two companies making wood Mosin stocks, Richard’s micro-fit and Boyds stocks.
Richard’s a www.rifle-stocks.com seems to have folded. The web site is fubar, likely hi-jacked and not working nor do they answer the phone.
http://www.boydsgunstocks.com/
Boyd’s lists one stock blank for Mosin, #300-158.
At least they answer the phone. The very nice lady on the phone told me they didn’t have any but did refer me to a dealer in Arizona to whom they had just shipped thirty. I was able to get through to him and he didn’t know they were coming as he had been waiting for months for the order. He put me on his list and about a week later, called that they were in. $95.00 shipped.
It certainly is a nice piece of wood!

When they say 90% inletted, it’s really closer to 80%!
Plan on a ton of work just getting the action to fit! While the exterior is almost ready for finish sanding as is, the insides were rough! It took several days work with a Dremel tool, files, and a lot of sanding just to get the receiver and trigger group to mate up and screw down.
It was, none the less, the perfect excuse to buy the new battery powered Dremel set I wanted.
Note that the screw holes were drilled just slightly off and they had to be reamed accordingly for the screws to line up with and engage the threads.

Pay particular attention to the recess for the spring on the left side of the receiver. This area is not sufficiently cut out to accommodate the spring and will require removing wood here before the receiver can be correctly mounted or the bolt will bind when cycled. Approximate the shape of this recess comparing to the original. You will have to remove several millimeters of wood here and enlarge the notch for the protrusion on the bottom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
PLAN ON BEDDING!

I had all intentions of epoxy pillar post bedding for this project before I ordered the stock which is the reason I wanted wood I could work with.
Make no mistake about it, by the time you get done fitting the receiver and trigger group, it will need to be bedded if you want any kind of decent snug fit! The inletting was just a wee tad off, as by the time I corrected for it, there was excess space where it didn’t belong that begs to be filled with epoxy in any case. Plan on removing considerable wood just to get it together! Even the slot for the trigger required several hours of work to get it to fit correctly. Once you remove enough wood to get the receiver and trigger group to correctly seat and mate, you will note some voids and it is not a great fit. I would not want to “bare wood” mount this gun for firing as considerable stress would take a toll on the few correct contact points between metal and stock and likely fracture the wood at some time. This is certainly no “drop in” ready stock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
PILLAR POSTS

The next chore in order was making the steel pillar posts.
The front post is 16mm long and the rear 35mm long.
When I did this for the Hakim http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread.php?t=21165
I was fortunate enough to find 3/8” steel sleeves at the hardware store that actually fit the screws.
No such luck this time, the 7mm Mosin bolts are just a tad too big to fit through nor could I find one 35mm long!
Spent the afternoon in the machine shop where we crafted the 35mm from a 3/8” bolt shank cut on the lathe and bored out. We then we cut a 16mm from a 3/8” sleeve that had to be bored out. Took a bit of doing but ended up with the correct pillar posts.
The holes in the wood need to be drilled out to 3/8” and reamed a bit to get the screws to pass through and hit the threads. The pillar post sleeves can be a bit loose in the hole through the wood as the epoxy will hold them firmly in place once the wood is removed from the top and bottom. If, you have access to a good metal lathe, making them from scratch is the easiest way to go as there is no available steel sleeve that correctly fits. Even with good machining, it still required a little grinding with the Dremel to get them just right and properly aligned with the screws.
The objective of pillar post bedding is that the metal parts of the receiver and trigger group draw together with the screws against a steel sleeve that will not compress or alter size, like wood, with temperature and humidity. The walls of the sleeve need to be strong enough to take compression and torque of the screws but small enough to pass through a hole that won’t take too much wood out of the stock as you require enough wood to hold them in place until set firmly in the epoxy.
The exterior of the pillar sleeves needs to be roughed up with a coarse file to create grooves for the epoxy to adhere to.

Drill out the 3/8” holes in the stock and fit the pillars. Should the holes not correctly line up, they can be reamed and the pillars can fit rather loosely. Assemble with the receiver and trigger group and make sure the screws will draw down tightly against the pillars. This will be necessary to orient the receiver securely in the stock during further wood removal and epoxy bedding.

NOTE: In some circles, epoxy bedding is done without pillars by inserting a bolt/screw into the receiver threads and cutting off the head so that it can be removed after forming the hole.
I believe there are several drawbacks to this approach.
First, on most rifles of foreign origin, you simply can’t find a matching screw and thread in the metric section of the hardware store. Even if you can obtain suitable replacement screws, you don’t want to go hacking the heads off valuable replacement parts.
Next, this method does not assure correct alignment of the parts. Without the correct hole and a pillar to align the screws, it is possible to cast them on an off angle that will require boring them out later and/or having your whole epoxy mold grossly off.
Lastly, while the epoxy is very strong, the stress of placing screws directly through it could lead to wear and damage later on.
Casting the epoxy in stages allows you to use the pillars to correctly align the parts and draw them together with sufficient compression to squeeze the excess epoxy where it needs to go.
Once finished and set with pillars firmly anchored in epoxy, the entire assembly is extremely strong with metal to metal machine mating tolerances that will not change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
FREE FLOATING THE BARREL

The objective of free floating the barrel is to allow for expansion and contraction with temperature changes and to prevent contact with the stock from dampening harmonics.
The barrel makes no contact with the stock from the forward end of the receiver to the end of the stock.

Note that on the forearm of this stock, the area that receives the boss for the rear sight blade does not come correctly inletted on the blank. Compare this area with the original stock and see how this is cut out. There are no wear marks and some excess space to indicate that the stock does not contact that boss in this area on the original. Remove sufficient wood to create a 1mm or so clearance for the boss in this area so that when mounted and screwed down, it has no contact with wood. This area takes considerable time to do.

Examining the original stock, there is a clear wear/burn mark in a very narrow line running up the forestock where the bottom of the barrel was in contact with the stock. No such marks appear on the sides of the groove for the barrel indicating that it only makes contact with wood on the very bottom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
To free float the barrel, once you have inletted the area for the sight boss, continue to expand the barrel groove forward. You should end up with a uniform 1mm clearance from the receiver forward when mounted and screwed tight. The barrel makes no contact with wood from the end of the receiver forward. You should be able to insert your piece of sandpaper all the way around the barrel easily in this area. Do so to ensure no high spots are contacting the barrel until all is uniform and the sandpaper slips easily between the barrel and the stock from the rear of the sight boss forward and can pass completely underneath. The barrel is now free floating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
BEDDING INSTRUCTIONS

Epoxy pillar post bedding is best accomplished in stages.
You will not be able to manage a large amount of epoxy or provide the necessary support points if you attempt to do it all at once.

Devcon 10110 Plastic Steel Putty
http://www.devcon.com/devconfamilyproduct.cfm?familyid=101&sr=1

Web research reveals Devcon 10110 appears to be the epoxy of choice for bedding projects.
It is a non-shrink finished product that will completely fill voids without changing size as it cures.
It can be sanded, drilled, machined or otherwise worked in a finished and cured state.
Devcon is one of the strongest epoxy products.
It adheres extremely well to any surface it is applied to with a very strong bond, particularly on wood.
It also adheres extremely well to itself, meaning additional layers that may need to be applied will bond with an already hardened area that will not separate from itself. Any remaining voids can easily be filled with additional applications.

Working with Devcon

The epoxy is mixed 1/3 hardener to 2/3 base. It must be stirred and kneaded continuously for five minutes until thoroughly blended to a uniform color and consistency.
The fresh mixed epoxy is a little soupy. It will run or settle with gravity at this stage.
This is good to fill small areas or smear a base coat over a wood surface. Use the thin mixture to lightly coat wood where more will be needed later, spread around until sticking to the wood in all areas and work out any air pockets.
To fill larger voids, let the mix stand for approximately 25 minutes when it will begin to set up and get gradually stiffer. You have about 30 minutes to work with it at this stage where it is more like a putty and will stand and hold shape where applied. It is still easily compressible to final shape and fitting and will flow into voids. It becomes too stiff to work after one hour from initial mixing. Be careful to get out any air pockets in larger areas as it will trap air.

Mix the base and hardener on a plastic plate with a plastic knife. Once mixed, place a small dot off to one side and stick a toothpick into it to monitor stiffness. This control can be used to monitor how hardening is progressing and gauge the correct timing to apply and work with it.

Excess epoxy that squeezes out when compressed can easily be scraped off to remove once it starts to set up. White Vinegar is the solvent to remove any excess that ends up where you don’t want it. Wet a paper towel with straight white vinegar and use to wipe excess off metal parts and wood. It is easier to let excess stand until it is fairly stiff and trim with an exacto knife than trying to wipe off fresh and thin epoxy with vinegar.

Kiwi neutral shoe polish is used as the RELEASE AGENT to keep Devcon from adhering anywhere you don’t want it to stick. Wipe a layer of Kiwi on any metal parts to keep the epoxy from bonding to it. Let dry to a white film and apply two additional coats letting each one dry.
You can apply wet Kiwi to any area you suddenly realized you missed and it will still work.
Be sure to apply a good layer to any SCREWS and THREADS where epoxy may squeeze into them to ensure you don’t firmly epoxy the screws into the holes. Devcon will lock threads as solidly as Locktite!

Plumbers Putty will work as a suitable dike and filler to prevent epoxy going into any voids or areas where you don’t want it. The epoxy will not squeeze into these filled areas and will not stick to the putty allowing you to easily remove any excess later.

Devcon requires 3-5mm thickness to be effective!
For any areas that will be filled with epoxy, remove at least the necessary 3mm of clearance to fill with a layer of epoxy and, wherever possible, remove a full 5mm or more.

Timing is everything when working with this epoxy!
Allow yourself at least eight hours to complete each application to be sure you can get back to your work before a final set takes place.
In the first hour, you will mix and apply the epoxy choosing when to use a thin and runny application working up to filling voids with a thicker putty like application.
At two hours, the epoxy takes on a firm set and will hold shape but isn’t cured yet.
At this point, loosen all screws to be sure you can break them free. You can tighten them up again once sure they are not stuck. You can also easily scrape off and trim any excess from places where it does not belong. A razor blade or Exacto knife will slice through any protruding epoxy you wish to remove. This is a good time to trim and smooth any exposed edges.
*Although some people recommend leaving the work assembled for three days, Devcon instructions state a functional 75% cure is achieved in sixteen hours. It is hard enough to separate the parts and hold shape in four hours. An additional application to fill voids can be applied after eight hours as needed. At 4 hours, the epoxy is stiff enough to hold shape but still somewhat malleable. Torquing down the screws is sufficient to “push” any that is creating a high spot or out of place into a final set. Once you have trimmed off any excess, assemble everything and torque down the screws as tight as they will go. For the purpose of working in phases, let each stage cure for two days before moving to the next. Let it sit overnight for the final set.

**SPECIAL NOTE ON DEVCON – FREEZE IT!!!

Don’t know why this thought didn’t come to me earlier!
Of course, it came too late in the process to use except for the last steps after going through numerous batches of mixed epoxy and discarding the excess.
FREEZE your leftovers!
I had a good 1oz of excess epoxy mix leftover from one of the last batches. As I was applying it to a large area and expected to have a few voids left. I anticipated having to mix another small batch for subsequent filler. Out of curiosity, I stuck the plate with the leftover into my -40 degree deep freezer.
While I was speeding up the curing process of the first application by letting the stock sit over the heater vent (reduces curing time by about half), the leftover froze solid in the deep freeze.

I was rather amazed to pull it out over six hours later to find that it thawed out to just mixed consistency in a few minutes as it reached room temperature! The chemical reaction of the hardener appeared to have been stopped dead in its tracks!

That particular mold turned out perfect without the need for any additional filler so I stuck the plate back in the freezer.
THREE DAYS LATER …
Having totally forgotten about the plate in the freezer, I found it and pulled it out.
It appeared to be solid but thawed within a few minutes and was STILL quite near just mixed consistency!
A small sample on a toothpick was taken and allowed to harden normally. It set up and hardened on schedule.

Don’t take this as gospel … I have received a reply from Devcon on a technical inquiry about this. Or course, they do not recommend this although they do verify it as true. Hardening requires the heat released by the chemical reaction and freezing will halt the reaction. For future projects, I will seriously consider mixing a bigger batch and shaping the excess into a log roll on a plastic plate, cutting off what I need and freezing the rest to remove additional applications in chunks to thaw out and use later!
It certainly would save a lot of waste material and mixing time!
*Three weeks in the freezer and still good!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
PHASE 1: TOP OF RECEIVER

If you closely examine the original stock, you will notice some wear marks on the upper and side areas where wood contacts the rounded portion of the receiver. This area obviously does provide some support.

In order to correctly mold the barrel lug and rear tang areas, where the pillars will be, it is necessary to create a supporting surface in the areas above and to the sides to support the receiver while the lower sections set and cure.
You will note considerable voids in this area created just through the process of inletting the stock to get it to fit initially. These areas will need to be epoxy filled.

Using a sanding drum on the Dremel tool, follow the existing curved shape inside the upper portion of the stock removing 3mm on the sides and 5mm on the thicker bottom portions.
The receiver will seat on the flat wood of the bottom portion and the pillars allowing it to be firmly screwed into place resting on these areas while the epoxy cures on the upper sides.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
While not required, it is a good idea to create a few deeper grooves in the thicker portions of the stock as a rough spot for the epoxy to anchor to. Use the small rotary cutter head and route out a few rough grooves approximately 1mm deep leaving any rough edges created. Grooves about 1mm deep cut into the sides at forty-five degrees create a ridge in the cured epoxy that will lock it into the wood. Even if the epoxy eventually separates from the wood, these ridges will lock the plug of epoxy firmly in place.

Brush the sanded areas with a wire brush to create a rough surface and help remove any dust from sanding. Wipe down all sanded areas with a patch wet with denatured alcohol to remove any sanding dust as dust will act as a release agent preventing the epoxy from adhering firmly to the wood. Inspect closely to make sure no pockets of sanding dust are trapped in any recesses.

Apply masking tape to the top exterior edges of the stock where you don’t want the epoxy that will squeeze out adhering. Coat other exterior or small areas with Kiwi. Mask off the flat bottom areas where the receiver will rest. Apply putty around the barrel lug to fill this void as this area will be removed and epoxy filled in the next phase.
Plug the recessed areas around the spring on the left side of the receiver with putty.
Apply Kiwi coatings to all metal on the receiver and the trigger group. Mask off the top of the magazine well. Liberally apply Kiwi to screws and threads in the holes. Swab the inside of the pillars and coat their exteriors with Kiwi.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Mix approximately 2oz of epoxy.
Using a plastic knife, apply a thin layer of the runny epoxy to all the wood areas where you removed wood along the sides and work back and forth to make sure it is sticking to the wood with no trapped air pockets.
Let stand for about twenty minutes (from initial mixing) until the epoxy is a little stiffer. It should be more like cake icing and your control toothpick will stand upright without falling over.
Apply your thicker layer, approximately 5mm in thickness, to all areas where wood was removed. DO NOT FILL the void for the spring on the left side! Some excess may squeeze out into this area. It can be ground out later with a Dremel cutter.

Insert the receiver and press down firmly.
It should seat correctly and some excess epoxy will squeeze out the top.
Insert the trigger group. Inspect around the top of the magazine and remove any excess.
Inspect the screw holes and pillars to make sure no epoxy squeezed out into them.
Insert screws and tighten down slowly until firmly tightened down.
Excess epoxy will squeeze out through the top sides.

Scrape off the excess epoxy from the sides. Some of it will smear onto the receiver.
Wipe that off with a paper towel soaked in white vinegar. Any thin excess epoxy areas on the metal will easily scrape off later when cured, providing you had a good Kiwi coating underneath.
Place the assembled rifle level and let stand for two hours.

After two hours, the epoxy will be very stiff but still pliable. Remove the screws one at a time and ensure that they have no epoxy on them and will come out. In case any got into those areas, it will break free easily at this point. Scrape off any excess epoxy that got onto the metal.
Tighten the screws down very tightly again and let cure.

4 Hours
Unscrew. Gently remove the trigger group. There may be some epoxy on the tape used to cover the magazine well but it should come out smoothly.
Remove the receiver. This will require some tapping with a hammer and drift to break loose.
Turn upside down and insert drift or screw driver against the bottom metal in the area of the magazine well as you want this to come straight up rather than prying up on the barrel and distorting your mold. With a few gentle taps, the receiver will break free.

Scrape off any excess that is on the metal or the receiver. It should easily come off.
Recoat with Kiwi.

You should have a perfect mold of the receiver in the stock, including markings and stampings on the bottom!
You may note various voids where there was insufficient epoxy to fill.
These will be addressed in the second application of epoxy to this area.
There will be excess on the bottom flat areas that will need to be trimmed away in phase 2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
After eight hours, or one day, trim off excess in any areas where you don’t want it and check for fit. The epoxy can be sanded, filed, or trimmed with the Dremel.
Mix a 1oz batch and fill any voids repeating the above procedure.
After four hours, you can remove the receiver and you should have a perfectly molded epoxy layer on the sides and at the front of the receiver.
When that has cured for one day, sand and trim accordingly removing excess and checking fit.
It should be very snug at this point with a perfect cast of the upper rounded sides of the receiver.
This area will now support the receiver during compression as the lower areas are cast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
PHASE 2: BARREL LUG

You are now ready to begin mounting the front pillar post and molding the barrel lug area.
Remove the masking tape from the flat area behind the lug. Clean out any plumbers putty that may be sticking to the wood.
Using the Dremel with a cutter head, remove 5mm off the flat portion and then deepen the barrel lug hole 5mm. Take a little wood off the sides in the hole to ensure you have a fresh clean surface to bond to. This area has to be cleaned out well as sawdust will collect thickly in here and it can be tough to get it all out.
When inserted, your front pillar should now stick up 5mm out of the hole when the trigger group is flush underneath it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Using a coarse file, rough up the exterior of the pillar post creating some deep scratches and grooves on it for the epoxy to adhere to. Wipe down with alcohol and let dry. Swab the inside with Kiwi on a Q-Tip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Mix a 1oz batch of epoxy.
Your hole for the pillar post will be slightly loose. Using a toothpick, smear the inside walls of the hole with a thin layer of epoxy. Insert the pillar and wipe off any excess that collects on the top as you push it in. This is to anchor the pillar in the hole.
Using your plastic knife, work small amounts of epoxy down around the pillar and work around the sides until it is sticking to all wood in the lug hole. Work out any trapped air pockets with a toothpick. Continue filling the hole until epoxy is even with the top of the pillar.
Now, as your epoxy is getting a little thicker by this time, apply epoxy to the sides approximating the shape of the lug. Excess will squeeze out once it is inserted.
Apply epoxy to the flat area filling up to the base line created by the epoxy in Phase 1.
Insert the receiver and press firmly into place. It should have a snug fit in the already cured epoxy above and excess will squeeze out.
Check alignment of the pillar post by placing the trigger group. It can be moved slightly with a drift or punch. You should be able to see the hole in the pillar correctly lined up with the screw hole in the lug and the hole in the trigger group.
DO NOT insert the front screw as excess epoxy will squeeze down into the pillar!
Insert the back tang screw and tighten firmly. That is sufficient to hold it together until it cures and molds the shape for the lug. A large wood clamp can be used to press down on the front part of the receiver over the barrel lug area.

After two hours, you can remove the receiver. There may be a considerable void that requires more epoxy. Mix a small batch and fill any voids. Assemble and screw down again.
In four hours, after this batch has cured you can remove the receiver and you should have a perfect mold of the lug.
Use a drill bit or cutter on the Dremel to remove any epoxy inside the pillar post. Excess will come out relatively easy at this point.
Check fit of the screw. It may be necessary to ream the inside of the pillar slightly with the Dremel grinding tool.
Assemble again and screw down both screws tightly. Let cure overnight.

When completely cured, sand down and polish any high spots where excess has squeezed out.
Receiver should fit quite snuggly at this point.
Insert and remove receiver several times. Any high spots will reveal as a shiny wear mark. Sand these down until subsequent insertions indicate no areas where it is binding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
PHASE 3: REAR TANG

The area of the rear tang screw is the most important as this is the area that receives the most recoil against the stock. It will require a thick plug of epoxy.

Stage 1: inlet the wood on an angle corresponding to the rear tang area, which is about 30 degrees downward. Using the steel pillar post as a guide, remove wood with the Dremel cutter to at least 5mm deeper than the 7mm thickness of the tang, = 13-14 mm depth.
The pillar post will protrude at least 5mm above the wood.

This area has considerable “meat” in wood so don’t be concerned about removing too much.
One important aspect is to “slant” the walls of the tang area about 45 degrees so the “plug” of epoxy is securely anchored in and can’t come loose.
Working from the top, slant the walls downward including the angle.
Once the proper angle of the tang area is achieved, it is important to create the recessed grooves along the bottom edges to “anchor” the epoxy plug in place.
Using the small cutter head on the Dremel, cut a groove around the bottom perimeter. This ensures that even if the “plug” comes loose from the wood, it can’t go anywhere.
The exposed area of the pillar post top should equal at least 5mm but can go 8mm or so as there is considerable wood in this area that can be removed.
Measure by inserting the trigger group on the bottom pushing up the pillar post and measure the exposed area.

Check the “wall” area on the sides. It should taper from about 1mm around the top of the receiver to a good 5mm recess at the floor. The groove at the bottom should be at least another 1-2 mm deep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Plug the area to the rear of the trigger on the receiver to fill the void there and scrape flat.
This area will “dike” against the epoxy.
Fill the trigger slot in the stock with plumbers putty and insert the receiver to create the “dike” for that slot. Remove the receiver and fill the trigger hole. Check to ensure the area is sufficiently “diked” as excess epoxy will flow into the void.

Coat all exposed metal parts, including the trigger, with Kiwi. Swab the inside of the pillar post.

Mix approximately 1 ½ oz of epoxy.
Spread the thin layer against the walls and bottom until it sticks to the wood. Remove any air pockets.
Continue adding epoxy until it is even with the height of the pillar post and firmly surrounding it.
Spread an additional 2mm thickness against the vertical walls.

Insert receiver into stock and compress. Some excess epoxy will squeeze out around the top back of the receiver tang. Much excess may squeeze into the pillar post.
Wipe off exterior excess. Push several Q-Tips through the pillar post to remove any excess inside.

Insert the FRONT screw and tighten as tight as possible.
Use a large wood clamp to compress and secure the rear.
Additional excess may squeeze into the pillar post.
Check and push out with Q-tip.

Two hours:
Epoxy is still pliable at this point.
Remove trigger group and check to see that nothing has pushed into that slot and the plumber putty dike.
Using a drill bit that fits the pillar post, ream out any epoxy that has entered there as it will easily come out at this point.
Screw down the trigger group and the rear tang with the screws securely.
Some excess may squeeze out the top and into the pillar.
Remove the rear screw and clean out the pillar and threads if any additional epoxy got in there.
Put it back in and screw down tight.

Four hours:
Remove the screws and pull apart.
You should have a perfect mold of the rear tang area.
Clean out any excess that got into the pillar.
Re-assemble and screw down both screws as tight as they will go.

Next day:
The top section should now be complete.
All voids, except the area around the spring will be filled.
The receiver should fit very snuggly when inserted and screw down tightly.
The bottom surfaces should be a perfect mirror of the receiver, including the stampings.
Lightly sand down any high spots from secondary epoxy applications and insert and remove the receiver several times looking for a wear mark or any area where it is binding.
You should now have a perfect and very tight fit of the receiver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
PHASE 4: Trigger Group

Front screw

The pillar is now firmly anchored into place.
Remove 5mm of wood, measured from the top of the pillar.
Cut the walls on a slight angle and cut a groove around the bottom with the Dremel cutter.

Plug the pillar and the trigger group hole with putty as well as the recessed area ahead of the trigger. Swab the metal areas and the putty plugs with Kiwi. Mask the magazine well with tape and plug the bottom with some putty. Insert the trigger group and the receiver and tighten it up. Disassemble and check the dikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Mix 1oz of epoxy.
Fill the area around the pillar to the top of the pillar and smear a little on the side walls.
Be sure to work out any air pockets with a toothpick as the area around the pillar is prone to air trapping.
Insert the trigger group and press down.
Scrape off any excess that pushed out.
Insert the receiver and tighten down the rear screw.
Apply a large wood clamp over the trigger group to squeeze down the front.
Scrape off any excess.

Two hours:
Scrape around the front to remove any excess that squeezed out.
Remove receiver and trigger group.
Clean out putty dikes and the inside of the pillar.
Re-assemble and screw down both screws as tight as they will go.
Scrape off any excess that squeezes out.

Four hours:
Disassemble, making sure the screws come out cleanly.
Clean out the inside of the pillar by reaming with a drill.
Grind out any excess in the magazine well with the Dremel.
Re-assemble and tighten down both screws as tight as they will go.
It is important at this point to ensure that the front screw properly engages the barrel lug threads and tightens down as it is possible to misalign the screw hole and cant the trigger group slightly.
If necessary, ream out with a Dremel grinder and drill bit. While very stiff at this point, the epoxy is still somewhat pliable and will align itself once the screw is torqued down tightly.
Let stand overnight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Rear screw area
This requires a bit more attention to detail and careful work with the Dremel and small cutter head to grind out the area around the pillar as it is small and hard to get at least 5mm deep.

A putty plug through the trigger slot recess will limit the amount of epoxy that pushes in there.
Just plug the existing slot in the stock as you will not be inserting the receiver with the trigger through it.
Dike the recess on the forward end of the trigger guard with putty and smooth.
To form the recess for the screw and spring at the rear of the magazine, build and shape a putty dike in the stock and add a little putty on the screw area of the magazine well approximating the shape. Insert the trigger group into the stock and press tight to form the putty dike to shape. Remove any excess putty. Plug the pillar with putty scraping off flat. Plug the screw hole at the rear of the trigger guard with putty and smooth off flat. Lube all the metal with Kiwi.
 
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