Mike's Reloading Bench
The Armory Clubhouse
Come on in. Grab the refreshment of your choice and pull up a chair. On this side of the site I'm going to share with you all what me and my shooting buddy Ron discover as we try to enter into the arena of long range target shooting. For the last couple of years we have honed our target shooting skills with the various handguns we own and have more or less become regular attendees at our local indoor range. During this time we've been fortunate to become good friends with the gentleman who taught our concealed handgun class. His military background provides us with many stories of how the proper instruction, application and usage of various weapons can help insure our vertical, above ground position on this earth. So, in his subtle low key way he has managed to talk both Ron and I into spending a black land farm on a couple of new bolt guns and a pair of AR-15s. Well, as anyone who has gone this route knows, the rifles are just the tip of the iceburg. Now comes the reloading dies, scopes, bipods, cases, cleaning rods and tools, scope covers, scope mounting hardware, custom triggers, not to mention everything else (read chronographs etc.) it takes to reload and evaluate our own match ammo. Good God, what have we gotten ourselves into!
Well it's too late to back out now so here we go on a new adventure. My goal is to post our hits and misses (litterally) as we head down this trail. Hopefully you will find some useful information, or failing that, just a good story of a couple guys with way too much time on their hands and angels for wives. I do want to make it perfectly clear that I am no expert on any of this. This is purely my way of sharing my experiences with whom ever is interested. Do your own research as we have and make your own decisions based on that research. What works for us may not work for you etc, etc.
Mike's Reloading Bench is not afilliated with Lee Precision.
More coming so stop back often.
Getting it all together
All dressed up with Vortex 6-24X50 FFP scope, Leupold steel rail with Leupold Mark 4 steel rings, Harris bipod and home grown check weld pad. This rifle comes with Reminton's 40X LE trigger which is good but I think I see a Jewel coming in the near future.
Heavily modified stock with 3" wide forend and Anshutz rail. Squared-up grip section and totally reworked butt stock with 1/2" wide bottom and aluminum pad. Also handmade Kydex adjustabe cheek piece (which I no longer use).
The DPMS Bull 20 comes with a 20" fluted stainless steel free floating 1 in 9 twist bull barrel, a tubular aluminum hand guard and a short section of rail on the receiver as well as the gas block. There are no sights. The stock is the standard M-16 fare and is fixed. It is chambered in .223 Remington. It's a tack driver! Since aquiring the gun I have installed a Nikon 6-18X40 scope with Burris PEPR one piece mount and a Harris bipod. Since I am not a "concrete commando" I have no use for all the added "tactical" widgets or the supplied thirty round magazine. The longer mag just gets in the way when shooting from the bench so I use 10 and 20 round versions which work well. I have fired a 5 shot group with this gun at 50 yds that measured .292" C to C. That equates to just over 1/2" MOA at 100 yds. The supplied trigger on this gun is fine for most situations but leaves much to be desired for bench shooting. I am going to install a Geissele High Speed Match trigger in this thing soon and to tell you the truth I am really looking forward to what this puppy will do when I can concentrate on the sight picture and not have to babysit the trigger. My goal is to shoot 500 yards with this rifle so some load work-ups are in the mix for sure.
The Remington 700P .308 fresh out of the box
Thirty days later
JB Weld Bedding Job
H&S composite stock with aluminum bedding block all tapped up, cleaned and drilled ready to accept the JB Weld.
Sucking up all the courage I could muster I smushed the preped barreled action into the JB Weld and gently clamped it down.
Twelve hours later off came the clamp and with a quick tap on the barrel out she popped! Huge sigh of relief!
About an hours worth of clean-up and this is what I had. Perfect! If anyone tells you JB Weld won't work to bed a rifle action you can tell them they're full of biscuits! $16.99 at the local auto parts store.
A few words about my bedding job. This is the first rifle I have ever done this to. I spent considerable time researching how it's done watching every video I could find and reading several articles on the subject. I discovered that there are a few different products people use to do this with and all seem to work well. Some were considerably more expensive than others, why I don't really know as they are all some form of epoxy in the end. I settled on JB Weld as I was very familiar with it having used it over the years on many different applications, all with great success. I contacted the good folks at JB Weld and asked if they knew of any release agent that would not work with their product and was told they did not know of any. Wax, Vaseline, Mann's spray on release, PVC, shoe polish etc will all work. I used Mothers car wax and dusted it with a light coat of Manns and it worked perfectly. So like I said, do your homework. You can use Marine Tex, Devcon or Accuglass and spend a hell of a lot more and gain absolutely nothing in my opinion. All are great products but money doesn't grow on trees so I spend mine wisely, unlike our government. Bottom line, don't be afraid to tackle this job. Do some research, take your time and you will be amazed at what you can do.
Ron was very hesitant to do this to his rifle but after seeing how well mine came out he relented and so we did his this past weekend. He had removed the action to install a new Jewel trigger so he said might as well take the plunge. His gun has a Bell & Carlson stock with the aluminum bedding block like my H&S Precision. The composite portion of his Bell & Carlson stock fits the action of his rifle better than my H&S but it caused no problems and we were able to obtain the same results on his gun as I did with mine. With his new trigger and bedding job he is a happy camper!
So now that we both have our guns back together we are anxious to get up to our semi-local outdoor 500 yd range and see what we have. Up until now it has been somewhat boring putting rounds through the same hole at the local indoor 50 yd range. Eventually the goal is to shoot 1000 yards so besides getting the rifles in shape we are working on amassing the tools and componets needed to assemble quality ammunition which I cover elsewhere on this site.
The DPMS "Bull 20" AR-15
One Year Later
If I would have known then, what I know now, I would have never bought this rifle. I should have bought a Savage target rifle and saved myself a bunch of money and work. I will talk more about that on the What's under my hat blog page.