Anyone who has bedded a rifle knows the feeling of relief when they successfully removed their action from the stock after the epoxy has cured. Most guys, myself included, tap the action with a hammer, and pull straight up on it hoping for the best- a stuck action is a big problem. While this method works, it lacks sophistication and can result in chipped bedding.
An action puller is a tool that hooks onto the action and mechanically lifts it straight out of the stock. It prevents damage to the new bedding material.
I’ve seen pictures of action pullers from time to time, but recently located a set of drawings for one. TM 05539-IN, which is the Technical Manual for the USMC M40A3 and M40A5, (you can find a copy of it here) has a set of drawings for a “M40A3/A5 sniper rifle action puller” included in it. I’ll be using those drawings to build mine. During the course of this post, I’ll mention some dimensions, but the rest can be obtained from this manual. While this puller is designed to work with a Remington 700 action, it should work on others.
The action puller consists of a base, handle, “c” holder, and shaft. With the bolt removed from the action, the shaft is inserted into it, the “c” holder engages the shaft, and the base is placed over the action. The handle is threaded through the base into the “c” holder. As it is rotated the action is lifted from the stock.
If you don’t have access to a milling machine and lathe, you could easily modify this design to be built with simpler tools. A hacksaw or hand grinder would yield a workable fixture.