Before I answer it, lets look at what is really going on.
You have a pair of screws holding the action in the stock (in some cases you have as many as four). In most cases it's also holding a hinged floor metal or at least a trigger guard.
If it's a Remington its a 1/4-28 thread pitch. If you sit and take the time to do the math to calculate the compressive/tensile loads generated, its quite remarkable. Its over a thousand lbs when torqued to around 40inch lbs.
A stock (wood especially) is only going to tolerate that kind of tensile load for so long. It'll eventually yield and this will result in compressed fibers. Now the stock is a sponge and the screw that was tight today isn't as tight tomorrow or the day after. Now your chasing your rifle with a torque wrench instead of enjoying it cause shot groups are wandering around the paper like Bedouin tribesman.
A pillar (properly installed) resolves this issue when used in conjunction with a good bedding job. Just the same as pillars (footers) support the load on a concrete slab that a house is built upon.
Also, FWIW a properly pillar bedded rifle will result in the screw only touching the floor metal and the threads in the receiver. At no time should it contact the pillar/stock as this will end up being a secondary recoil lug. That's bad for accuracy.
There are those who argue whether pillars are needed. I advocate their use personally.
A very dear friend and mentor of mine that I admire greatly is Middleton Tompkins. Mid doesn't see the need for pillars and he even says he likes the fact that a non pillar bedded action compresses into the stock when he tightens the screws to it. Mid has forgotten more about winning national events than 99% of us will ever know so it's tough to argue with him. He's been kicking peoples asses since the late 1950's. His daughter Sheri was the world Palma champion in 2003.
I'm still not convinced and my example is that I've used them in rifles that shoot in 1000 yard Palma matches, Olympic 3p rifles, and in Silhouette rifles. All these guns have done equally well during marquee events.
They certainly aren't hurting anything.
Last edited by NesikaChad; 02-07-2009 at 03:29 AM.
Chad just curious and I have to know. Looking at the pic of the palma rifle's bedding, and knowing that you have some serious cnc skills, did you do some re-inletting after bedding? I am just learning how to do bedding and have looked at yours several times as something to shoot for. I won't thing anything less of the job, it is wonderful in any case, but some of those lines just seem too perfect to have been poured. Did CNC play any role after the bedding cured?
I admit that I know just enough to be dangerous.....but dangerous at ever extending distances.
Hey, I'm not born with some magical gift for doing this.
I'm an inherently lazy person and I use that to my advantage every chance I get. CNC programming is a crucial element to my gunmaking. I have no shame in admitting that.
So, rest assured that every single feature present that suggests "that's just too nice to be done by hand" is in fact done with a CNC. I have THOUSANDS of hours worth of programming for just about any action out there. The Nesika stuff alone took almost a year to do.
The really kinky part of this is the variable system I implemented. These are not cookie cutter, "one size fits all" programs. Each action is mapped out and the critical dimensions are then used to drive the program. Same with barrel channels. Just cause I didn't do it with a file or dremel tool doesn't mean it isn't still fitted properly.
My floor metal inlets are the best example of this I think. No bedding anywhere. All 1:1 machined fit.