Bedding

Rifle bedding provides the action with a stable base. This means the action does not move in the stock either during use, or when experiencing a change in environment such as high or low humidity, wet weather, extreme cold or high heat.

Integral to the bedding are the bedding pillars. These are usually of a harder material than the stock, and of course a fully metal stock does not have or need pillars. The purpose of the pillars is to prevent the action screw torque from deforming the stock where is contacts the action. This is why the action screws for a wooden stock are torqued differently to a synthetic stock, and in both cases differently when there are pillars.

A barrel that is free-floated has an action that is bedded up to the chamber only, the rest of the barrel is not in contact with the stock, and this is preferred for Long Range.

Ensure your rifle is bedded properly, and the action screws are at the correct torque for your stock material with or without pillars.

Scope Rail

Off the shelf rifle solutions usually come with the scope rail, and the better ones have the rail integral to the action.

Actions that are drilled from the factory almost always have third-party rails that are made specifically for. An action with no holes for either a rail or scope mounts has to be drilled and tapped, and because the final solution accuracy hinges on this being done well, don't try get it done as cheaply as possible. Pay a reputable gunsmith to do a proper job.

Rails are available with pre-set elevations, the most common being 0 MOA, 10 MOA and 20 MOA.

In Long Range, rails are the norm, scope mounts directly to the action are like unicorn sightings.

    The choice of rail is accompanied by the choice of scope, or the elevation adjustment available to the scope, and will be either 10 MOA or 20 MOA . For Long Range, you want a scope with at least 60 MOA total elevation adjustment, and with a 60 MOA scope you can fit a 10 MOA rail. Scopes with over 80 MOA total elevation adjustment can be mounted to a 20 MOA rail.

    Pick a rail from a reliable manufacturer, don't try save money buying cheap. I once bought a rail at what seemed to be a good price, and the holes for the receiver screws had to be milled out to the correct size.

Screw Torque

All screws must be torqued to their respective specification :

  • action screws
  • receiver screws for the rail
  • scope body screws
  • scope ring screws to rail

Screws that are loosely torqued can cause accuracy to be unpredictable.

Screws that are over torqued can

  • have their threads completely or partially stripped, and must be replaced
  • damage the stock if they are action screws
  • damage the scope body if they are scope ring screws

At this point, you have the basis of your firing solution. The next step is mounting the scope to the rail.

Scope Mounting

When a scope is fitted to a rifle, the scope must be levelled. A level scope will not induce any windage error on elevation adjustment. There is a very simple way to level a scope, which is described here

Using this method, you can be sure that your vertical reticle line bisects the center of the rifle bore, which is the perfect condition to not induce windage error on elevation change.

If you try this method, and your scope or your reticle appears canted when you shoulder the rifle, you have a reticle that is rotated inside your scope body. You can prove this condition by a tracking test, which will show that elevation change produces a windage shift.

There are other scope levelling methods available, an online search will return many results, and you can always use the above method as a second validation of the one you choose.

This rotated reticle condition can affect all scopes, irrespective of who made them or how much you paid for it, so the future tracking test is an important part of validating the firing solution.