Fitting the Versa Pod to an Accuracy International

Well the obvious move is purchase the correct spigot adapter from Versa Pod and your Accuracy International has a bipod. Alternatively you could use the Versa Pod Universal Tactical Mounting Adapter that picks up from the Harris stud on the underside of some AI’s. Both options work very nicely and both are somewhat flawed in my eyes.

The spigot adapter is a length of bar that has a large block in the middle so it extends the bipod forward by 30mm ish, the design is such that there is some slack in the system so it rattles which makes it noisy plus there is no damping on the Cant control which means it will readily flop from side to side until it meets it’s stops. The plus side is using the original AI bipod pick-up means the rifle can be kept lower.

The ‘tactical’ mounting adapter attaches to the underside so it immediately raises the rifle height by some 30mm and pulls the bipod back further under the rifle. Again there is no  Cant control so the rifle will flop from side to side. Now as much as I agree that the rifle needs the maximum cant to be readily available I equally feel that there should be a degree of damping in place which makes me wonder why the manufacturers have not included this within their range of adapters.

Anyway that is just my take on it.

Now given that I have a couple of Accuracy Internationals on my ticket and a Versa Pod plus Versa Pod clone I felt it was time to put them together. I usually shoot of a 9-12″ Harris Type S bipod with a pod-loc and find it just too high even on the lowest setting, I much prefer to get a lot lower to the ground and in this respect my newly acquired bipods are going to help. The Harris type bipods are a pain to fit and remove and yes I so need to remove them as the cabinets are full so a bipod is a handy tool for graunching the woodwork of whatever rifle it is next to, in my main cabinet that is my F Open rifle and I really do not want to damage the Icewood stock on it.

Fairly obviously I am not going to go out and buy an adapter when I have a Shed within easy reach and I had already built a Mk1 and Mk2 adapter to see how they fared. So here are a couple more bites of the apple…

Firstly an adapter that uses the original AI spigot hole, plus adds a friction lock to offer a a degree of Cant control. The knurled knob on the end is a temporary affair in the absence of a decent star-wheel (I have a couple on order) I added a PTFE washer as well. Materials are my normal.

Second is my Versa Pod, I want to keep the bipod as close to the stock as possible so I machined a step in the back of the bipod spigot bracket so that the Cant movement is controlled, this also means I can get the bipod closer to the rifle and again the knurled knob and PTFE washer was added to tighten things up.

The slot machined in the back of the bipod with the spigot in place

The bipod fitted to the rifle

Both adapters were knocked out very quickly so now I have the basics in place I can build a couple of finished items. I have kept an outboard groove in both adapters so the bipod still remains captive to the rifle with the knurled knob removed.

Coffee time I think….






Bolt talk – Remington 700 versus the Savage Action.

The Viking shoots a Savage single shot Target action with a True-Flite stainless barrel chambered in 22-6,5X47 sitting in a BVSS stock. To the causal observer it looks just like a standard Savage BVSS, it has a Tubb 4-way on the back and yes the barrel does look a bit bigger than usual but that is about it.

I have been well aware that I should build a dedicated cleaning rod guide to replace the universal thing she uses, it slips and slides and rattles around and generally is not ideal for the job so this morning whilst the Viking was down the PO I hauled her rifle out and had a look, the bolt is a ‘just another 2 lug’ and vaguely reminded me of a Remington 700 bolt, fair to say I shoot four lockers the majority of the time so these little 2 lug things always look a bit skinny and inconsequential to me, anyway if it looks like a Rem 700 what is the bolt diameter. It came up at .692″ across the bolt and .996″ across the lugs which is surprisingly close to the Rem700. So I carefully slid a Remington closed lug cleaning guide in to the action and… it failed to go right in. Drat, what was different? Well the bolt release catch itself is on the right hand side instead of left and the lever to operate it didn’t seem to work as it should, a bit of fiddling and I realised you need to operate both the bolt lever release and the trigger at the same time and voila!  The cleaning rod guide slid straight in, now this is my prototype Rem700 rod guide so a bit rough around the edges and I notice that the rod does move back and forth slightly more than in the Remington but it does make me wonder how close the Savage and Remington bolts are to each other.

It looks like I have no excuses now so I had better make her a proper cleaning rod guide….


The Goldcrest

The Goldcrest is the smallest bird in the UK and not a particularly common sight around the SHED so I was delighted to see one today flit across the garden and pause for a moment on the Forsythia before darting into the neighbours garden, with luck it will breed successfully. Thinking about it I have not see a Goldcrest in the last dozen years although I am led to believe it is doing OK in the UK.

Anyway if you were wondering what a Goldcrest is, here is a picture from Surfbirds, I hope they do not mind unduly.

More bag riders!

Bag riders for Tikka T3’s now. I know they make a difference to tracking and I am always excited to hear of people using rifles like the T3 to shoot F/TR class. My view is any rifle within reason is going to be suitable for the discipline and to see people entering at a sensible level instead of at the top of the arms race is always heart warming. This one required no significant lightening cuts as the rifle is well within weight, the tube has been bored as usual and I had to counter bore the holes to allow the standard T3 packers to be used.

Bah! Finger prints on it as ever, one of the drawbacks of working in the SHED is finger prints but  a final polish and wipe over should do the job.

Now on an exciting front I am now the proud owner of a genuine Versa Pod bipod and guess what? My test spigot does not fit.. I ended up sitting down with a vernier, a genuine Versa Pod and a clone to see where the differences lie bearing in mind I had built my original spigot based on another clone. It looks like the clone QA was sleeping or they are coming out of more than one factory. I will work with the genuine article for the time being and I am looking forward to getting it on the front of my Accuracy International and getting some range time with it.

Neck springback – an odd problem

I had to expand some Lapua .308 brass today for an OAL gauge, basically this means opening the neck slightly so a bullet slides in snugly but is not gripped by the case neck. I use a SincIair International expander die and tend to build my own expander mandrels so I can fine tune the initial neck tension on wildcat cases. Anyway it is an easy enough task, sort the correct expander out, the one I opted for was a genuine Sinclair International mandrel and has given me good service over the years, a light wipe of Imperial Sizing wax, pop it in the die, screw the cap down but make sure the mandrel can still move up and down a bit, stick the case in, one smooth up down stroke and the job is done.

I even put the expander die back in it’s box being a tidy minded sort of person, then I tried the bullet in the case, it would not slide in. Heh! I must have used the wrong mandrel but no it was correct, so I tried another Lap case from another batch and it was fine, it expanded without excessive spring back and the bullet was a snug sliding fit.

Time to make a new mandrel, I use 10mm round 316 stainless for such things as I will not be using it more than once or twice and it takes just a few minutes to turn the mandrel, ,310″ should do the trick, a quick polish and check final dimension and try again. Still too tight…..

Back to the lathe to turn yet another and this time built it at .312″ and it did the trick, it does seem rather excessive though. Oh well, that  is my coffee finished so back to the Shed.