Rimfire Central Firearm Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
505 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Fitting a Volquartsen barreled action in Barracuda stock

I'll pass on how I mounted my Volquartsen (http://www.volquartsen.com) barreled action in a Turner Barracuda stock (http://www.turnercustoms.com). The Barracuda stock is lighter than my factory stock, and being made of laminated wood, it feels good. It has a nice balance, a wide flat fore-end, a skeletonized thumb hole pistol grip, and it free-floats the barrel.

I have the .22 magnum VQ. The stock has a small shelf at the back of the inletting. This shelf has to be lowered, slightly, to accommodate the VQ action. The stock was designed for the Ruger .22 magnum. I used a sharp 1/2" wide chisel and gradually carved down a shaving at a time until I got the removal I wanted. The idea is to get the action leveled out in the stock.

The mounting screw hole in the action is set up to accommodate the smaller action screw provided by Ruger. I had to drill out a small brass sleeve inletted into the stock to accommodate the larger VQ action screw. I actually bought a 1/4"-20 stainless steel button head socket screw, chucked it up in a drill press and used a file to remove a small portion of the rim. I did this to permit the new screw to fit up inside the hole in the stock and seat on the brass sleeve.

After trial fitting the action in the stock, I noticed that there was an up and down rocking motion at the back of the action. I installed a Bughole tuner (Hightower Innovations, Inc. 2416 34th Avenue, Sacramento, Ca, 95822) in the forearm. The Barracuda has a short barrel channel and I centered the tuner in the channel both across the width, and lengthwise.

I mounted the tuner by first using a spur bit to drill a 1/2" diameter countersink hole about 1/8" deep. I then chucked up a 3/8" bit and drilled down about 7/8" from the bottom surface of the barrel channel. Finally, I used a 0.160" wire gage drill to drill through the bottom of the stock forearm. The Bughole tuner is just a small flanged cylinder with a hole drilled through it. The smaller end is tapped for a socket set screw. This screw pushes on a small nylon plug that fits into the bored hole. The plug's depth is adjusted by the set screw. In my setup I insert the appropriate hex wrench through the small hole in the bottom of the forearm and engage the socket set screw. This pushes the nylon plug up against the barrel. By placing tension on the underside of the barrel, in front of the action screw (which is the pivot point) it pushes the rear of the action down firmly against the wood shelf, mentioned above.

I probably could have let well enough alone at this point, however, there was a fairly wide gap between the sides of the action and the inlettting. My stock left a gap of perhaps 0.020" side-to-side, and around the back of the action. I decided to bed the action using Brownell's Acraglas Gel® (http://brownells.com)

I made sure that the inletted portion was slightly roughed up and that there was a small gap all the way around for the bedding compound to reside. There are numerous undercut regions and holes on the VQ action that have to be filled up so that the bedding compound doesn't get into them and lock the action to the stock. I used modeling clay to fill in these areas. Pay particular attention around the sides of the trigger guard and at the rear of the trigger guard extending up to the rear of the action. Also, pay attention to the area between the mounting lug and the barrel.

After claying up, I used the mold release provided by Brownells and painted on two thin coats using a small artists brush. I painted the entire action up past where it would fit into the inletting. I coated right over the clay. Coat up inside the threaded hole in the action lug, and coat the action screw as well. This mold release is a water-soluble vinyl compound. Let it dry for about 5 minutes between each coat.

I placed masking tape along the top edge of the stock to prevent any squeezed-out resin from getting on the finish.

Next, mix equal volumes (not weight, but by volume) of the epoxy resin and hardener in a mixing cup. Stir with a provided wooden spatula for 4 minutes. You can then add one or two drops of the brown or black coloring dye. Watch out - this stuff has a potent effect on coloring the epoxy! Stir for another 4 minutes.

Now, take the stock and carefully place a layer of mixed gel on the small shelf at the rear of the inletting, and up the rear of the stock., and on both sides of the inletting, above the trigger guard line. Do not place any bedding compound in the barrel channel where the Bughole tuner is installed. You want this area free so that only the tuner applies pressure to the underside of the barrel.

Gently slide the action down into the stock. Place the action screw in into the brass sleeve and gently screw it into the action lug. You just want to snug up the screw. Not too loose, but not so tight that you squeeze out all of the bedding. Check to make sure the action is sitting level in the stock (front to rear.) Any squeeze-out can be readily cleaned up with a soft rag soaked in vinegar.

Wait about 30 minutes and gently back out the action screw. In my case some bedding compound had gotten up in the threads. I gently wiped the threads clean. I reinstalled the screw, snugging it up as before. I also cracked the screw loose after a couple of hours, just to make certain that I could. After snugging the screw up one more time I left the entire assembly to sit for 24 hrs.

Now comes the big moment. If you've clayed up properly, and done a good job of coating all the metal parts, you should be able to remove the action screw and gently pry the action from the stock. Grasp the barrel and the forearm and gently pull the two apart. The front of the action wants to rock upwards out of the stock, pivoting at the back of the action on the shelf we talked about. You may have to tap on the trigger guard with a soft rubber mallet to help loosen around the back of the action, but don't overdo this.

After you free the action from the bedding, you will need to clean up the action. I gently scraped off most of the vinyl mold release and the clay. I used warm water on a sponge to dissolve the remaining mold release. I also used a damp sponge with warm water to wash out the inside of the stock to remove mold release that had adhered to it.

I then used a small mill file and a 1/2" wide wood chisel to clean out areas of bedding compound that had "flashed" or made small fins where it worked around between the outside of the action and the slide opening.

I fit the action back into the stock (my action fit snugly, there was no need to pound the action into the bedding.) I snugged up the action screw. At this point, all the fore-to-aft rocking about the action screw was gone. I then inserted the hex wrench into the small hole under the Bughole tuner and snugged up on the socket set screw. I turned the wrench about an extra 1/4 to 1/2 turn as a starting point for tuning. One could also use a pressure pad made from foam rubber (like Volquartsen used on the factory stock) or made from some cardboard. I like the idea of being able to adjust this pressure and the tuner was relatively inexpensive and only took about 15 minutes to install. Other than the small (0.160") hole in the bottom of the forearm, the tuner is completely invisible when mounted this way.

For a look at the finished job, click here:

http://www.rimfirecentral.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=627

Zirc
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
270 Posts
Wow, very detailed. I like all the links/contact information for the products. I think we should make this a sticky. You should take some step by step pictures. That's the only way you could improve on this, already perfect, post!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,556 Posts
Really a neat write up, Zirc~!

I guess the interesting thing to me is how permanent will be the bughole adjustment on that short of a fulcrum.

Seems like the leverage differential will be about 10 or 12 to 1 compared to normal installation practices..

On the other hand, given the exotic stock design...what alternative did you have or could have invented? mostly, it is just working around what you have to work with.

Get back with us later this summer and give us some detail of whether it seems to be holding or whether you have to keep incrimentally cranking it up.

I've thought long and hard about either getting one of Mikey's Barracudas, or at worst, chainsawing out my own counterfeit of it.

I'm also wondering about how much difference would be in different methods of storing it and where the weight was hanging from during storage. Personally, in storage, I would ensure that the weight of the barrel wasn't hanging on the tuner day after day. I would store it so that the stress was spread out. Laying in a box of styrofoam would be perfectly spreading out the load, though probably not very practical.

Ron
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
505 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ron

The only alternative I really would have had with the tuner is to build one like you did. That way I could have put it farther out on the end of the forearm. As you know from the design of the Barracuda, Mikey Turner really wants to "float" the barrel - in fact he doesn't want that forend anywhere near the barrel. I thought about just that option, long and serious. I finally discounted it because I have the carbon fiber THM tension barrel. I didn't want the tuner rubbing up against the carbon fiber. I suppose I could have put some kind of sleeve around the bottom third of the barrel, but that would not have looked very elegant. I'll try and get some pics posted of the completed job.

Zirc
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
Antlurz, after reading your post I went and inspected the nylon rod in my bughole tuner to see if there was any distortion or "squashing" after a bit over a year and a half of hard use.I mic'ed it both ends and the middle ,all were still the exact same.Of course mine is mounted conventionally but I think the rod is very durable.I originally had one of the prototype rods with the little rubber ball inset in a cup in the end of the rod.That didnt work well,it did "mushroom" out and require periodic retuning.I contacted lawboy about this and he quickly and with out charge sent me several different lengths of his current design.All this being said I doubt the rod would distrort with the VQ carbon barrel but I'm sure lawboy would make it right if it did.I too am interested in hearing the long term results of this setup as I have 2 different rifles with a similar fore-end to the barracuda.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top