I bought amy first Cooper last September (before Dan was dumped) in 8 twist, 6mmBR Claro Varminter stock. I fire formed 20 cases right away, accuracy was ho-hum. Too cold to shoot since.
Today, I pulled it apart to adjust the trigger. To my surprise, it is nicely glass bedded, but no pillars. Most shooters are aware Coopers have a reputation for accuracy. I found the lack of pillars in a rifle of this quality amazing. I reassembled it, putting 50 inch lbs. on the action screws. When we get back to 55 or so degrees, I will wring it out pretty good.
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 used them in Kyle Leibertrau's Palma Rifle and he won the 2007 world Palma championships. I used them on Matt Emmons Olympic 3p rifle that won a gold medal in 2004, and again in both of Cathy Winstead's Silhouette rifles that have also won world championships.
They certainly aren't hurting anything.
Like Chad I believe that they can do nothing but help.
I have bedded with pillars and without pillars and rifle to rifle accuracy was more consistant
with pillars (It could be that the bedding quality is less important with pillars) So rather than
take a chance I use pillars on all stocks no matter what they are made of just to be sure.
Heres the update so far. I havent shot the rifle yet but I am calling my first pillar bedding a sucess. My goals were met, I didnt ruin my stock and I didnt glue the action/barrel to the stock. So meeting those two criteria made me pretty happy.
A couple of things that I did that I think helped my effort were: I covered the entire exterior of the stock with painters tape. That really helped keep the little smears of epoxy not to be an issue at all. Second I read the directions about 100 times before doing it picking out all the details(thanks Chad).
One tool that proved to be very usefull was my "Dremel" tool. I dont know if that is kosher with how gunsmiths do buisness, but it really made removing some of the inletting very easy and also cleaning up the epoxy after it all dried was a piece of cake. It was very precise and easy to control.
By the way I used a kit from "ScoreHi" Gunsmithing. It worked great and the customer service was great too. I also rented the jig for drilling out a Rem 700 stock and that worked slick as hell. I would deffinetly recomend using them.
Now i just need to mount the scope and head for the range.
One way to inspect a bedding job to see if it's really working;
Get a magnetic dial indicator tool.
clamp the gun in a vice by either the butt stock or the forend.
Attach dial indicator base to barrel. Have indicator touching the stock.
One at a time, loosen and tighten the guard screws. The indicator should not move more than .001" A really good one will stay at or below .0005" (seriously)
If it does this, your bedding is fine. If not, well. . .may want to take another stab at it. I'd shoot it first just to see, it may shoot fine this way. highpower stuff isn't quite as fussy as rimfire.
I first learned bedding on smallbore target rifles. 22's are quite a bit more fussy than centerfire guns so it was/is really critical to get it "extra right" when bedding them.