Bergara B-14R: canted recoil lug

amstel78

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Mar 31, 2021
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So I picked up a B-14R CF barreled action a few weeks ago. The good news is that the rifle is capable of sub-MOA accuracy if I do my part and use good ammo. So far, it seems to like the slightly less expensive SK Standard Plus ammo, and I average .33" to .46" groups at 50 yards. The bad is that when I dropped it into a spare HMR stock I had laying around, the barrel is visibly off-centered within the barrel channel. The barrel isn't touching the stock, but it is close in some places.

Pulling the action out and looking at it a bit closer, it appears the recoil lug turned a degree or two when the barrel was getting torqued to the receiver. As most will probably know, the recoil lug in the B-14s, including the rimfire models, is a separate piece that sits between the barrel shoulder and receiver face. Unless it's secured while the barrel is getting torqued on, the lug will have a tendency to move with the barrel. While the B-14R has a cutout in the receiver to keep the lug mostly centered, manufacturing tolerances leave enough room for the lug to rotate a degree or two in either direction. You now end up with a lug that isn't square to the receiver, and will cause it to sit unevenly in a stock or chassis depending on how deep or shallow the lug inlet is.

Has anyone else encountered similar? And if so, how quickly was Bergara USA able to rectify the problem? I've never had to send anything back to Bergara before, so not sure what to expect. I have a B-14 chambered in 308 sitting in a Magpul Pro 700 and that rifle (apart from a loose bolt knob which Loctite solved) has been problem free and is square from barrel, to lug, to receiver.
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Trigger Monkey

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    Not specifically with a Bergara but I've had that happen with a Remington 700 after I had the barrel replaced. In the past, my dealings with Bergara USA were pretty good, they promptly sent me some action screws after I grrr'ed one up and they answered questions through email pretty quick.
     

    amstel78

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    Get a hammer and whack it back in line
    Thought did cross my mind, but the problem with doing that is you run the risk of also turning the barrel slightly with the lug. Headspace could be affected. I think I'd rather let Bergara fix their mistakes rather than me potentially introducing more issues.
    Not specifically with a Bergara but I've had that happen with a Remington 700 after I had the barrel replaced. In the past, my dealings with Bergara USA were pretty good, they promptly sent me some action screws after I grrr'ed one up and they answered questions through email pretty quick.
    Good to know. Sent them an email with the same photo and serial number. Hopefully, they'll be able to get it sorted quickly. Apart from this issue, I do like the rifle and it performs well. Given the price of primers and the lack of powder these days, my precision bolt guns in 308 and 6.5CM are taking a hiatus. I bought this rimfire to scratch that itch which it has done so admirably. I'd hate to be without it for too long.
     

    KnowNothing256

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    I suspect the barrel not being centered in the channel isn’t related to the lug, I think it’s an issue with the stock. The lug would tend to just make the BA sit rotated in the stock (you’d see this most obviously at the trigger, if it was visibly off-center in the bottom metal).

    I ran into this when I put a custom barrel on my B14 HMR, an M40 contour up from the factory contour, and when I dropped it in it was so off center that I was gonna have to open the channel up to near straight taper size to give it adequate clearance.

    Instead, I took the paint off the action screw contract points (a known accuracy issue with the HMR stock), then opened up the recoil lug recess and bedded the barreled action using the “stress-free bedding” method where you center up the barrel in the channel when you drop it into the bedding compound.

    Worked great, shot great. But, I wouldn’t bed a BA with a crooked lug, so agreed that you want that fixed. Any decent gunsmith that works on R700s could fix it for you in about 15 mins. I just wanted to warn you that fixing the lug may not fix your alignment issue.
     

    308pirate

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    I suspect the barrel not being centered in the channel isn’t related to the lug, I think it’s an issue with the stock. The lug would tend to just make the BA sit rotated in the stock (you’d see this most obviously at the trigger, if it was visibly off-center in the bottom metal)

    Exactly this.

    OP, you're wrong. As long as the sides and bottom of the lug aren't bearing on anything, its angular orientation is meaningless.
     
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    Im2bent

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    I t would be meaningless except the lug has an extension and as you rotate that extension it kicks out at the end of the lug. Look at his pic, the (as you are looking at it) top right corner of the lug is sticking out to the side a bit. Enough to kick the barrel over depends on how tight the tolerance (hehe could not resist) between the lug and the side of the cutout for it are. Maybe grind a bit out of the stock where the lug hits if it hits?
     

    amstel78

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    I suspect the barrel not being centered in the channel isn’t related to the lug, I think it’s an issue with the stock. The lug would tend to just make the BA sit rotated in the stock (you’d see this most obviously at the trigger, if it was visibly off-center in the bottom metal).
    Hmm, possibly. I'll look at the stock more closely later tody but I don't recall my 308 action sitting in it off-centered. Since moving the 308 action to a chassis, I fgured I'd use the HMR stock for the B-14R. Now that I think of it, the barrel could also be slightly warped, but given the recoil lug's cant, I assumed that to be the source of the problem.
    I t would be meaningless except the lug has an extension and as you rotate that extension it kicks out at the end of the lug. Look at his pic, the (as you are looking at it) top right corner of the lug is sticking out to the side a bit. Enough to kick the barrel over depends on how tight the tolerance (hehe could not resist) between the lug and the side of the cutout for it are. Maybe grind a bit out of the stock where the lug hits if it hits?
    This is what I was thinking as the action sits centered in the stock when the action screws are loose. You can feel it wobbling at the area where the lug sits in the inlet, hence my theory that the lug is pushing the action over to one side once it's torqued down.
     

    308pirate

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    I t would be meaningless except the lug has an extension and as you rotate that extension it kicks out at the end of the lug. Look at his pic, the (as you are looking at it) top right corner of the lug is sticking out to the side a bit. Enough to kick the barrel over depends on how tight the tolerance (hehe could not resist) between the lug and the side of the cutout for it are. Maybe grind a bit out of the stock where the lug hits if it hits?
    Uh, that's the same thing I said.

    The recoil lug doesn't have an "extension". The whole tab is the recoil lug. I kinda have seen it, since I have that same exact rifle.......
     

    Haney

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    Same issue here ,have also dealt with it on many Remington 700s . I just give enoughrelief around the lug and bed it as it is . I tape the front,sides, and bottom of lug . This gives me contact where needed and enough wiggle room to get it in and out .
     

    Haney

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    Get a hammer and whack it back in line
    I hope you are joking . If not that is terrible advice. Obviously the barrel/lug locked together on tightening and will be locked together while loosening until a certain point.
     

    amstel78

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    Same issue here ,have also dealt with it on many Remington 700s . I just give enoughrelief around the lug and bed it as it is . I tape the front,sides, and bottom of lug . This gives me contact where needed and enough wiggle room to get it in and out .
    Thanks. Good suggestion.
     
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    supercorndogs

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    Not at all, it’ll work just fine.
    And worst case scenario is you just tighten it again.
    Worst case scenario is you bulge the lug where you whacked it, and now instead of a large surface bearing the load, the bubble you made with hammer now bears the load. If you can't tighten it you can loosen it to straighten the lug.

    If it shoots I wouldn't mess with it.
     
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    spife7980

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    Worst case scenario is you bulge the lug where you whacked it, and now instead of a large surface bearing the load, the bubble you made with hammer now bears the load. If you can't tighten it you can loosen it to straighten the lug.

    If it shoots I wouldn't mess with it.
    True, I wouldn’t expect someone to just take a ball peen to it though. Use a block of wood or rubber etc to avoid that. Just a smidge if finesse is required I suppose.

    Not sure if serious
    Read post 15 , he is serious about giving bad advice . Obviously he has never installed a barrel .
    I’m perfectly serious, do some googling and you’ll see plenty of respected smiths have done the same. Here is just one example
    It’s a recoil lug. If the barrel does happen to loosen then the fix to that is… the same exact fix y’all are already recommending.
     

    amstel78

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    FWIW, Bergara USA was very quick to reply. Had an RMA# and prepaid UPS label sent to my email at 9:00 this morning. The barreled action is on its way back to them. No muss, no fuss. So far, the CS received from Bergara has been leaps and bounds better than some other companies *cough POF cough* I've dealt with.

    As for in-letting the recess for the recoil lug a bit more in the HMR stock, that would be fine if I was intent on keeping it in that. It may not sit correctly in some of the aftermarket chassis I've been considering though. It's a slight inconvenience to have to send anything back, but I'd rather let Bergara fix any issues now.

    Thanks for everyone's suggestions.
     
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    Haney

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    FWIW, Bergara USA was very quick to reply. Had an RMA# and prepaid UPS label sent to my email at 9:00 this morning. The barreled action is on its way back to them. No muss, no fuss. So far, the CS received from Bergara has been leaps and bounds better than some other companies *cough POF cough* I've dealt with.

    As for in-letting the recess for the recoil lug a bit more in the HMR stock, that would be fine if I was intent on keeping it in that. It may not sit correctly in some of the aftermarket chassis I've been considering though. It's a slight inconvenience to have to send anything back, but I'd rather let Bergara fix any issues now.

    Thanks for everyone's suggestions.
    Good to see they are taking good care of you .
     

    Haney

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    True, I wouldn’t expect someone to just take a ball peen to it though. Use a block of wood or rubber etc to avoid that. Just a smidge if finesse is required I suppose.



    I’m perfectly serious, do some googling and you’ll see plenty of respected smiths have done the same. Here is just one example
    It’s a recoil lug. If the barrel does happen to loosen then the fix to that is… the same exact fix y’all are already recommending.
    I'm perfectly serious also, your idea is ignorant . Do you ever stop trolling ?
     

    supercorndogs

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    I wouldn't whack something I wanted flat with in a couple ten thousandths with a piece of wood or a soft hammer either. As always its your weiner and you can wash it how you want. I have spent lots of time fixing things people tried to fix with the wrong tool or method.

    Most any chassis you buy is going to have a larger recoil lug recess than the factory Bergera stock. My 308 with LRI's heavy lug was a press fit into one of those stocks. :ROFLMAO: