Stock Drill Guides

Posted March, 2011

 What I am writing about and in the following pictures are the drill guides I made to drill the action screw through holes. For some reason I just completely forgot to show or write about them, they are a key item in the inletting process. Now if one has a mill the process is quite simple but when most of us home hobbyist attempt to tackle this job it is with a minimum amount of tools or inferior tools. Getting the action screw holes straight and in the right place on any stock plagued me for years, then in or around the early 90’s I had one of my moments, I need a drill guide of some sort. My first was made from an oak board, crude but after a few tries to get the hole spacing correct it did its job which that stock is on my Anschutz 64 that is featured under picatinny rail. The beauty of this simple guide is that once it is made it only requires a hand drill to do the job, yes a hand drill.

 The stocks featured on my site were all done in this fashion, to date I have 3 made, a Time precision SLV action guide, M 700 Remington short action and a Kelbly’s Panda, all of which are pictured below.

Materials used:

1/8” x 2” flat steel approximately 10-12 inches long

(One could substitute 3/16 thick flat stock)

5/8” diameter rod

(The sizes above were what I used, one could substitute whatever they wish but I would caution that too thick of material becomes difficult to work with and if it warps it is next to impossible to straighten.)

The method I used was to cut a length of flat stock to let’s say 10 inches, I then measure the distance between the holes on the action, transfer that measurement to the flat stock and mark, you will need a dial caliper for accuracy. At this point I drill one hole, the hole needs to be a snug fit to the action screw, and I then attach the plate with one screw to the action, check and re-measure the location of the other hole then remove from the action and drill the second hole. After both holes are drilled, attach the plate with both screws to the action to verify, if you should have to enlarge one hole to attach mark that hole as to which way the screw needs to be held. Once the plate is complete cut 2 pieces of 5/8 inch round stock ¾ inch long, drill a hole thru the center with a close fit to the diameter of the action screws, re-assemble all this to the action and mark locations of the bushings and dissemble. Ok, at this point what I did was to assemble the plate and drill bushings by using spare bolts and nuts making sure that all my marks are aligned and tightened then I welded the bushings to the plate. The only method I had to weld was a torch so things tend to warp but in all cases I was able to straighten the plate and the alignment was spot on. I suppose other methods could be employed, brazing, tig weld, wire feed would have been nice and the use of Devcon epoxy could be used, all in all when finished you should be able to attach the plate to the action. The drill guides I made were done on a cheep drill press, cut with a hack-saw and ground on a belt sander, the bushings I originally had a friend turn out on a lathe and the last two I did myself. Drill bushings can be purchased thru many sources, McMaster-Carr for one and I am sure there are many other sources.

To use the drill guide I made pointed pins that fit the guide holes, mark centerline on the stock, drop the pointed pins in the holes and set to the centerline, when the position is verified I clamp the guide to the stock and drill the thru holes with a hand drill. There are times when the holes have to be enlarged slightly to assemble, in all cases they have to be enlarged so the screws do not touch the stock. If you are someone that likes doing your own work, bedding or restocking a favorite rifle, filling a glass stock that was inletted for one action and fitting it to another or when prepping a stock for pillars, the time spent making a drill guide would be well worth it.


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