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I have a postwar beechwood mas 36. I had to cut a bunch of beercan shims that I placed under the hook in order to get the forend so that it had a little tightness to it as I bring it up to the barrel. I've shimmed up the hook area as much as I feel ok doing because one of the screws that holds the flange thing no longer goes all the way through due to the shimming.

When I assemble the thing, here's what I get. I hook the forend, then pull it up to barrel, and when I do that, there is some resistance in the last half inch or so before it meets up with the barrel. Its not much, but it's as much as I could get with the shims under the hook.

Now, here's where I get a little confused. My understanding about the postwar beechwood stock is that its bedded all the way aft on the forend, and almost all the way forward (about an inch a back from the sight blade, and that the barrel should be floating under the mid barrel band. However, when I put the endcap on, the wood under the cap is not tight; there is a little looseness. Now, I could clamp the mid barrel band down, which seems to fix that. But, that would seem unwise since that middle part of the forend supposedly should not be contacting the barrel. I am, perhaps incorrectly, assuming that by clamping down the mid barrel band, that it might be pressing the wood against the barrel at that point..But I don't really know that. On these types, should I be leaving the mid barrel band maybe just a little loose to keep the wood from contacting the barrel?

The other idea I tried was using a doubled over strip of beer can shim on the endcap. When I do this, I get a nice tight fit at at the shimmed hook end, and at the forward part of the forend.
Where should the wood be tight on these? Should it be somewhat loose under the middle band?
Thank you....
 

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It looks like the barrel channel of the forend/handguard of your rifle is too deep and out of specification.

A maximum of two 0,4mm thick shims were used to correct the tighness of the rear hook to barrel anchoring during the fabrication process or at a later stage of the rifle life. Either someone has tinkered with the wood to free float the barrel or the wood fitting quality may have been relaxed for rifles rebuilt in the 1960s and no longer dedicated to the battlefield but to arm rear echelon/reserve personnel in case of general mobilisation (cold war period up to 1985).

The two screw holding the rear hook to the forend have different length, the front one being shorter than the rear one to follow the taper of the wood.

If too many shims are needed in your case, I would suggest bedding 1" of the barrel channel at the back of the forend to bring back the needed tight assembly, a thin wood spacer of the proper thickness glued in the barrel channel should do the trick.

The post war Mas 36 with beech wood furniture were mass built with less attention to accuracy than the early production with walnut wood.

The acceptable accuracy was relaxed by a factor of 2 on the post WWII rifles and accordingly the rear sight offset blades were made available with a much larger "tweaking" capacity, 24 instead of 8.

The pre WWII rifles were assembled in such a way that the barrel was in contact with the wood forend at both ends while the hand guard was in contact at the mid barrel band.
 
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