Re: HS Precision
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I've owned several rifles stocked with HS Precision stocks and all were sub 5/8" rifles with no extra bedding work. I imagine that hundreds of thousands of 700VS and 700PSS owners would be amused at the statement that they aren't good right out of the box with no work needed.
Of course.... If you are a benchrest competitor you will bed ANY stock but for out of the box accuracy it's pretty hard to fault HS Precision's reputation with Remington production rifles.
I agree, most Remington 700 VS/VSSSFs w/ the HS Precision stocks shoot pretty well out of the box. But most folks think that just because the stock has an aluminum bedding block, that their days of having to have the action bedded for optimum accuracy are over. I was one of those, until recently.
A buddy of mine picked up an HS Precision PSS stock to put on a .17 Rem. that he had. Some of the local gun cranks at the gun shop (one of which is a **very** good Hunter Benchrest shooter, as I understand it) talked him into having it 'skim' bedded, to fill any voids and ensure 100% contact. It cost about half of what a normal bedding job did, so my friend went along w/ the idea. From what I hear, his group sizes just about *halved*.
After a while, they got to me, too. I had a Remington 700VS in .223 w/ a 20" barrel that had never been a real tack driver, but it would shoot about 3/4" all day, and if a bigger scope was mounted and it was fed tuned handloads, it'd shoot a little over 1/2" (0.5-0.6"). As far as I was concerned, it was a 3/4" gun. Period. Not great, but minute of prairie dog out to 250-300 or so.
After the bed job, the gun now *averages* about 1/2", and will get considerably less than that if the wind is down and I have my head screwed on straight. I was impressed enough to have my new 700VS in .308 skim bedded also. From what the 'smith told me, both of them were way off to one side on the rear tang; not even close to where they should have been. The .308 so far has a best group of 1-1/4"@300yds. I'll keep it around for a while, at that rate [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
To make a long story short, no, you don't *have* to have the bedding block glass bedded. But I think you are shorting yourself if you don't.