Oct 24, 2014

Isn't this a gun blog?

Occasionally I do write about guns here... like now.

One of my acquisitions over the last several months was an Atlas Bipod. I've had a couple of the "clamps to a swivel stud" over the years and they have always felt flimsy. I found a fair deal on a gently-used Atlas with the quick-mount for a Picatinny rail, and it was off to the races. (DaddyBear or FarmDad referred to these as "car payment bipods" in chat one night. Not far off the mark: my first car payment was about 60% of what I paid for this piece of kit.)

I've mounted it on an AR and ... truth be told ... it's worth every damn penny. Swivel, cant, adjustable legs, solid rubber feet - and those are easily replaced with skis or cleats or spikes if I so desire. No, it doesn't snap into place like the Harris-style 'pods. I'm OK with that, because I don't need that. It does lock the legs into position - and has 45-degree positions for them as well.

Unfortunately, two of the rifles I wanted to mount this bipod on - my Savage MkII and Savage Model 12 - are beautiful laminate wood stocks with not a hint of rail to be found. How to fix this? Add rails, of course.

I dug out a few spare sections of bolt-on rails from a Troy Alpha handguard, and found that the backing plates are threaded 10-32. A stop at Lowe's resulted in a package of 3/4" 10-32 stainless hex cap screws, and I started on the MkII.

It comes from the factory with two front swivel studs. I removed one and used that hole to start mounting the rail section, then drilled the second one and countersunk the outside. No inletting was needed, as the stock has a pretty good channel already. End result:

I made the stop at Lowe's again for a package of 1" screws for the Model 12, screwed up my courage, and clamped the stock into my vise:
(Yes, it's an old welding glove for padding. Works like a champ.) I measured, marked, measured, drilled pilot holes, then drilled through the stock with the correct diameter bit.

The Model 12 has no relief channel in the inletting, and putting the backer plate in the existing barrel channel would likely destroy the free-float and thus the accuracy. So ... I screwed up my courage and dug out my router. Fitted with a 1/2" straight-flute bit, I started cutting away an inlet in small sections. I ended up digging in deeper than I meant to on the last pass, but there was plenty of meat for "oops" and it didn't hurt anything beyond my pride. I chose not to countersink the rail offsets on this one, so there is a slight gap between the rail and the stock... but the final result is something I'm happy with:

There are plenty of gun projects to keep me occupied over the coming months, as funds allow. I need to pick up an adjustable gas block for an AR rifle, a standard for a pistol, a couple gas tubes and muzzle devices, a lower parts kit (and maybe a better trigger), handguard, optics...

I'm starting to toy with duracoating the current rifle build into brushy camo of some kind, but not sure yet.

Stay tuned. Once in a while we'll talk guns. :-)

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

Good bipods ARE worth the $$ spent...