Pillars and action bedding

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by mwkelso, Sep 9, 2019.


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  1. mwkelso

    mwkelso Member

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    Aug 4, 2019
    This is a 2-part question.

    First part- Should pillar installation and action bedding be two separate steps? I have seen multiple articles in conflict on this, and I can’t make heads or tails of it.

    Second part- Should the pillar and bedding be separated steps, do the pillars need to be left slightly high under the action to assure that the pillars and action remain in-contact after the bedding is completed?

    Any other tips or suggestions to pillaring and bedding are welcome.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Danny1788

    Danny1788 Well-Known Member

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    I’ve done it both ways, couldn’t tell a difference in accuracy. But it was about the same amount of work either way. Just decide what works for you. I’ve made custom pillars that locked into the stock, like LRI pillars, bedded them and the action all at the same time.
     
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  3. MagnumManiac

    MagnumManiac Well-Known Member

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    To get a stress free outcome, I find doing the pillars separately, but at the same time as the bedding works the best, for me.
    I do the front pillar/recoil lug/barrel Knox form (if required).
    I then do the tang and pillar as one.
    If the middle of the action (CRF type rifles) I do this with the tang bedding.

    Hope this makes sense to you.

    Cheers.
     
  4. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    I like to install the pillars first to get the action located where I want it. I normally shim or or use the pillars to hold the action in place for bedding. I do any adjusting before the bedding is applied. The pillars hold the action just off the stock to allow bedding compound to cover all of the bedding surfaces.

    After the pillars are set (Bedded in) I use headless action screws to locate/align the action and use spring clamps to seat the action on the pillars to produce stress free bedding. The pillars just hold and level the action and the headless action screws prevent any torque from being applied to the action. I also support the barrel with tape to have a three point contact with the two pillars and the stock. the tape also centers the barrel in the barrel channel and floats it. I use heat shrink tubes to center the headless screws so they don't act as recoil lugs after bedding. (They should not be touching on the sides of the action screws after bedding) After bedding has been allowed to cure, I remove the heat shrink from the headless action screws and replace with the socket head screws that will become action screws. (I like the socket head screws for torquing over the slotted head screws)

    The spring clamps only add enough force to push the excess compound out of the bedding area and cannot flex the action.

    If done right, I can see no difference in accuracy if bedding the pillars separate or at the same time except for making it easier to get the fit you want before adding bedding compound by installing the pillars first.

    There are many different ways to pillar bed an action, I recommend a step by step procedure that allows a potential mistake to be corrected before adding the bedding compound to the stock and action. (If you have ever added the compound only to find out that something is not right, you know what a mess you have on your hands getting it cleaned to start all over).

    Just the way I prefer to pillar bed.

    J E CUSTOM
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
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  5. bororthenn

    bororthenn Member

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    May 15, 2012
    JE any recommendations on bedding a 30-06 Winchester pre 64 long action (3 screw). Should the front barrel screw be bedded as well?
     
  6. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    If its for hunting, I like to bed the entire action so it is well supported. Heating up is not an issue because most hunting situations only require 1 or 2 shots and this assures that every shot will be in the same place barring damage to the rifle or scope.

    I also recommend that the action screws be torqued gradually until the proper torque is reached. Normally if the stock is bedded only I recommend 30 to 35 inch/pounds to avoid compressing the wood.

    The third screw in the trigger guard should only be hand tight to prevent flexing the action.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  7. bororthenn

    bororthenn Member

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    Thank you.