what l do to make a new howa better

Improving and repairing firearms. Rifle bedding, barrel work, stock replacement and other ways to improve your firearms.

what l do to make a new howa better

Post by marksman » 09 Jan 2020, 2:56 pm

so this is about what l have just done to a howa to make it a better rifle
l charge quite a bit of money for this and hope to show you guys so you can have a crack making your good rifle better
if anyone has a better idea please jump in and put it up, my way is not the only way :drinks:

here it is how the buyer bought this howa 1500 from the shop

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or l should say this is the second attempt as the first rifle he brought to me had circumferential gun drill burrs in the bore that l could see with my old knackered eyes from the muzzle, the shop put up a fight and tried to get the young bloke to just try it out so they could send it away for warranty but he rang me from the shop and l told him either replace or refund, the owner will not speak to him now :lol: buyer beware :thumbsup:

anyway this one, the replacement checked out much better
the stock so he says is a Bell and Carlson stock, l'm not sure maybe someone with one can provide an answer, l thought it may be a H&S
it has these ridiculous centering screws on the stock so that you can line up the barrel straight by securing the stock to the recoil lug
the action can not act like it is supposed to under recoil in the stock with this method, bad for accuracy, the bedding will fix it :drinks:

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this stock has an aluminum bedding block that everyone likes to have, the apparent answer to bedding :lol:
and some may fit properly but this one certainly did not
it sat on the recoil lug and partially floated on the flat surface to the rear of it shown by the line mark etched on it
this rifle has not been shot by the owner it has only been function fired at the factory

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more to come :drinks:
“If you do not read the newspapers you are uninformed. If you do read the newspapers you are misinformed”. Mark Twain
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Re: what l do to make a new howa better

Post by marksman » 09 Jan 2020, 3:11 pm

here is the start of the prep for doing the bedding job, l am not going to do a full action bedding job because l dont trust the material the stock is made of to hold the bedding securely, really its not necessary with these action lMHO

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as you can see plenty of tape to protect the stock finish, tape is cheap,
l have laso drilled small holes all over the areas front and rear where the bedding material will be added to the stock

the action is taped up where ever is needs to be relieved,
all flats, the rear of the recoil lug and two layers at the bottom of the lug for compression when the action is tightened up, its very important to relieve the rear of the tang so after bedding there is i tiny gap, you want the recoil lug to be touching not here

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l also make little worms from play doe for edges that may crack off when breaking the job open, this also helps with return to battery lMO

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more to come :drinks:
Last edited by marksman on 09 Jan 2020, 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“If you do not read the newspapers you are uninformed. If you do read the newspapers you are misinformed”. Mark Twain
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Re: what l do to make a new howa better

Post by marksman » 09 Jan 2020, 3:29 pm

ready for release agent

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very crappy photo but shows the small play doe dams l made to protect the stock from overflow

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release agent applied l dab the neutral coloured kiwi shoe polish on and before fitting in the bedding material l give a bit of a spray with cheapy furniture polish

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the JB ready to use

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more to come :drinks:
“If you do not read the newspapers you are uninformed. If you do read the newspapers you are misinformed”. Mark Twain
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Re: what l do to make a new howa better

Post by flutch » 09 Jan 2020, 3:36 pm

seems like a lot of arse ache for that stock, mines just in a boyds and shoots like a dream, only thing i did was hair the trigger, a lot.
Guns:
Rossi S/S 410
Lanber U/O 12 gauge
Adler B220PG 12 gauge
Ruger 22lr
Remington 270 win
Howa 223
Weatherby 300 Winmag

Bows:
G5 Quest Drive
G5 Prime Defy
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Re: what l do to make a new howa better

Post by marksman » 09 Jan 2020, 3:43 pm

the action sitting in the stock, note the tape around the barrel at the forend that holds the barrel straight in the middle of the forend
nothing to hold it together no tightening king screws, just sitting in the puddle no stress

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after curing time to break it apart

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here's a look at it after getting it apart

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l trim the excess, put the rifle back together the king screws are just snug no tightness and sit it in the safe for a day to cure more

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more to come :drinks:
“If you do not read the newspapers you are uninformed. If you do read the newspapers you are misinformed”. Mark Twain
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Re: what l do to make a new howa better

Post by SCJ429 » 09 Jan 2020, 6:12 pm

Nice work MM, I look forward to your next posts. Great use of Play Dough.
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Re: what l do to make a new howa better

Post by marksman » 09 Jan 2020, 6:23 pm

what it looks like after the cleanup

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and this is where you hold the forend to check your work, holding the forend you undo one king screw at a time checking for movement,
any movement and you get to do it again, that's the importance of no stress bedding

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so the rifle gets put back together and its time to lap the bolt lugs
my method is to use a q-tip to apply 600 grit lapping paste on each of the lugs with an empty case in the chamber to give some back pressure against the lugs, l open close the bolt probably 20-30 times then check the lugs for contact, this rifle wasn't to bad with around 60% contact on one lug and 80% on the other, l want more though, it took approximately 120 open closing to get these even and right, some people may be worried about headspace, l did check this rifle with headspace gauges for no worries but really you are only just taking a very small amount away, if you are worried get the go- nogo gauges

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the finished result, this is a big one for a pression shooter

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more to come :drinks:
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Re: what l do to make a new howa better

Post by marksman » 09 Jan 2020, 6:58 pm

now we all hear how a tikka has such a butter smooth bolt to use, if you cant be bothered waiting till you have cycled your bolt a few thousand times on your howa this is what you need to get it smooth as silk

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the lock-ease is for after smoothing out the raceways with my little home made tool that is a piece of wood with some 1000 grit sandpaper attached
my method is to sand the raceways as well as to turn the action upside down sand all surfaces that will be contacted by the bolt lugs including the bottoms and tops of the bolt lugs, never touching the rear where you have lapped
it doesn't take much in fact very very little and your howa bolt will be as smooth as silk, then for added smoothness apply the lock-ease to the raceways

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the next job is to polish the throat with some autosol but firstly the rifle has to be cleaned, l used bore tech eliminator but you may use what you wish
this is a new rifle having only been shot at the factory so there may be some burrs where the reamer went in, this will not wear the burrs down they need to be burnt off by shooting the rifle, running the barrel in, this can make your rifle a bit easier to run in if it has burrs
the method is to coat a tight fitting patch with autosol (you can use JB bore paste) putting the patch over a smaller or worn nylon brush, l used a 270cal brush because this is a 30cal, autosol or JB bore paste will not harm your bore although l would not use it exclusively for cleaning bores
l insert the patch pushing it back and forth for about 6 inches of the bore after the chamber at least 20 times back and forth then pushing further into the bore stroking back and forth for 3/4 of the barrel 20 times the another 20 to just about at the muzzle then push the patch out, the grittiness of the autosol gets finer as you are using it

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after polishing clean the bore again but dont get to carried away because the patches will stay black

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more to come :drinks:
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Re: what l do to make a new howa better

Post by marksman » 09 Jan 2020, 7:20 pm

being a factory rifle the crown was very dull, looking under through a magnifying glass l couldn't see any real defects but l gave it a slight polish anyway

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this shows the very slight polish the crown got, if you have a go at this this way you need to be rotating the drill as it spins not keeping it in one spot
the difference was that the crown had a sharp edge that it didn't before

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next job is to attach the scope mounts, the screws are waxed with the kiwi boot polish and sprayed with the cheapo furniture polish then the jb's is mixed and coated onto the bottoms of the mounts and put in place, because these are 2 piece mounts l connect a bar across to make sure they are inline none of the attachment screws are tight, after curing they get tightened properly

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nearly there :drinks:
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Re: what l do to make a new howa better

Post by allthegearandnoidea » 09 Jan 2020, 7:24 pm

Great work - thanks for sharing. That stock looks like the higher end H-S synthetic they put on the Howa Precision Semi Heavy Barrel model of a couple of years ago.
Last edited by allthegearandnoidea on 09 Jan 2020, 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: what l do to make a new howa better

Post by marksman » 09 Jan 2020, 7:31 pm

l changed the trigger springs in this rifle with a gunbloke spring kit to lighten the pull
l do like his springs and have no problem promoting them, they are an upgrade lMO

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this is the finished rifle, it doesn't look any different but has the best chance lMHO of being the best it can

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l wont be doing any load development for this rifle as the owner does not reload, its a shame really but l've done a couple of second hand howas for this guy and he knows the improvements by the before and after, he did not hesitate in voiding his warranty to make this rifle a better rifle

l hope someone gets something out of this and you guys who want to have a crack will not be afraid to :drinks:
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Re: what l do to make a new howa better

Post by marksman » 09 Jan 2020, 7:39 pm

allthegearandnoidea wrote:Great work - thanks for sharing. That stock doesnt look like the standard Hogue it looks like the high end H-S synthetic they put on the Howa Precision Semi Heavy Barrel model of a couple of years ago. Any tips for the standard Hogue?


thanks for that
lMHO the best tip for the standard hogue is to change it for a timber one but that is just my opinion, you can stiffen/stabilise the forend with fibreglass filler fairly cheap and then just bed it with JB, that will improve it a great deal but like this stock it will still be soft in the wrist, that isn't that bad in a small cal rifle but as they get bigger 308 ect it can :drinks:

https://www.supercheapauto.com.au/p/sep ... /3147.html
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Re: what l do to make a new howa better

Post by GQshayne » 09 Jan 2020, 7:44 pm

You have no doubt done bedding a number of times, and have a method developed over time. On the other hand, I have only done it twice and just made it up as I went.

I used JB, shoe polish and silicone spray as the release agent, taped the barrel to get it centred. No play dough, so I used Blu-Tac. Much the same.

But, I used the action screws to ensure it was seated properly, only a light tweak on them though. And I bedded the tang as I did the recoil lug. Did not come across your method in my reading, but then again I have a timber stock with no pillars or ally blocks etc. No lapping for me either, but reckon I can give that a miss on a 40 year old rifle.

Nice work you did. Hopefully the owner is happy!
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Re: what l do to make a new howa better

Post by Wm.Traynor » 09 Jan 2020, 8:10 pm

Very good tip about the Play-D0 "worms", marksman :thumbsup:
Your placement of bedding compound is almost as minimal as mine, which uses nothing in front of the action and only a half-moon of compound around the rear half of the tang.
I found that using nothing in front of the action (under the reinforce) produced the dreaded "rock" at the fore end tip when the king screws were operated on. Reducing the compound at the tang eliminated the "rock".

But each to his own. If it works for you and you like it, go for it :thumbsup:
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Re: what l do to make a new howa better

Post by Stix » 09 Jan 2020, 8:35 pm

Well done marksman... :clap:

You obviously know what you're doing, & are a good bloke for taking that time to put all that info into a dedicated thread to help & educate others ... :drinks:

You're probably an international star now... :thumbsup: ...just think of how many shooters around the world have, &/or will bookmark this page... :lol: :thumbsup:

Its a shame you dont make a bit on the 'production' like a fishing show--cos id happily loan you a doner rifle for the Tikka bedding thread... :lol:

Good stuff & Well done... :drinks:

So can i just confirm, with the rings--did you bed the bases to the receiver...yes...?...& no lapping of the rings... :unknown:

:drinks:
The man who knows everything, doesnt really know everything...he's just stopped learning...
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Re: what l do to make a new howa better

Post by marksman » 09 Jan 2020, 9:27 pm

yes Stix l bedded the bases to the action and there was no need to lap the rings on this one, l did check :thumbsup:

the rear base actually rocked on this action so they needed to be bedded and made to be in line
l rather 1 piece mounts myself but these still need bedding and do need lapping

l dont know about being a star, there might be a few people who do this type of work that dont like little tricks put out there,
just trying to help :drinks:
as others have put up there are other ways that work just as well

you are very capable Stix and l know you would be able to do this work, the tikka is a little different to bed but not much
the main thing is to sit down and think about how you are going to attack it, get it all ready and put it together like a practice run
the jb l used this time is the quick set stuff its not really for the faint hearted :D :drinks:
“If you do not read the newspapers you are uninformed. If you do read the newspapers you are misinformed”. Mark Twain
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Re: what l do to make a new howa better

Post by flutch » 10 Jan 2020, 1:15 am

the trigger spring thing is kinda eh..... I just put half a biro one in the one behind the adjustment screw and then left the other one out, result was a crisp hairy trigger with absolutely 0 creep and safety still works perfectly.
Guns:
Rossi S/S 410
Lanber U/O 12 gauge
Adler B220PG 12 gauge
Ruger 22lr
Remington 270 win
Howa 223
Weatherby 300 Winmag

Bows:
G5 Quest Drive
G5 Prime Defy
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Re: what l do to make a new howa better

Post by Sergeant Hartman » 10 Jan 2020, 6:24 am

Awesomely informative thread mate. Love your work
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