Steel pillars to action fit?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by Mram10us, Jan 13, 2020 at 11:23 PM.


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  1. Mram10us

    Mram10us Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    I’ve been contemplating putting a slight flat under each action screw hole for my pillars to seat against but saw another smith saying he doesn’t let the pillars touch the action. I’ve tried flat pillars, v shaped pillars and rounded pillars to match the action. Haven’t compared on paper. It got me thinking.
    How do you guys fit the pillars against the action?
     
  2. codyadams

    codyadams Well-Known Member

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    The point of pillars is metal contact throughout. I personally use flat pillars, because it is very hard to get the shaped pillars to fit exactly to the action, so instead of that I simply just use flat ones and let the bedding do the fitting. There is still metal contact for the rectangle section of the pillar, and a perfect fit throughout.

    I have also used the curved pillars with no negative effect however, it is just more of a preference. I also bed my bottom metal after the action is bedded, to make sure everything is stress/bind free. It's generally more for peace of mind and asthetics than function, in my experience.
     
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  3. codyadams

    codyadams Well-Known Member

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    I suppose however if you wanted a perfect fit with the shaped pillars and wanted to go to the effort, you could get some lapping compound and lap the pillars to the bottom of the action until you got 100% contact. Never tried it, just a though that came to mind.
     
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  4. Mram10us

    Mram10us Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    I’ve always done it the same way as you. I was curious after a benchrest shooter said “you don’t want pillars touching at all. You want .030” of clearance and let the bedding fill the gap”. Didn’t make sense to me, but I hadn’t tried it.

    I actually bed bdl bm first, so the floor plate opens on CA stocks freely. Manners it doesn’t matter.
     
  5. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    In a hunting gun you won't shoot the difference, in a bench gun you might, keeps from transferring harmonics between action and stock with that material break.
     
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  6. codyadams

    codyadams Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm, never heard of that, but I can see how it would make sense. I also have never ventured into bench rest stuff, are there any negatives in doing it this method on a hunting rifle?
     
  7. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    I'm not saying my bench gun can shoot the difference either but at the top level where their seeing trends over hundreds of rounds there's things happening with harmonics completely through the rifle as a package that effects groups. I find it fascinating but the time and dedication is astronomical to find these things.
     
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  8. Mram10us

    Mram10us Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    I don’t understand why he would say leave a gap when some guys glue in their actions.
     
  9. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    The difference is one you put release on the action and the other you rough it up and clean it so it holds good. I'm going to glue in my next long range hunting rifle.
     
  10. Mram10us

    Mram10us Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    I understand both, I just don't understand why some guys glue in to make it one unit, but he is saying to leave a gap for the bedding to fill?? Doesn't make sense still. Why not make it as strong as possible? The steel pillars are a bit stronger than the 8k psi the bedding is :)
     
  11. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion, a pillar should be touching the receiver and the floor metal. Metal to metal to metal. The choice of materials for the pillars ar up to you but i recommend a material that has a very low expansion rate so it changes with the receiver. I like to use stainless or chrome molly depending on the receiver materiel. but for durability in bad weather I just use stainless.

    Can't say what shape is best to use on the contact area of the receiver, but I do like the pillar shaped the same radius as the receiver (I use a mill for this but if you dont have a mill flat is ok but you don't get as big of a footprint.

    Gaping the pillar defeats the purpose of the pillar by using a compressible material Even though most bedding materials are very hard they can compress, loose torque and not return to the original position after long periods of time. and cause a shift in the POI and also render a stress free bedding useless.

    Just My opinion

    J E CUSTOM
     
  12. Mram10us

    Mram10us Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    I agree with you and it makes sense to me. I like using ss barrel cutoffs or 1” aluminum for pillars.

    I found this interesting. Mr Boyd Allen was nice enough to take the time to reply to my question on another forum. Different from what I’d expect in my little brain...
    5B78123C-BB5B-4947-97BD-95F20E143F86.jpeg
     
  13. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    I know that the way I bed is not the only way and others have their favorite way based on their needs and uses.

    The main reason i use the Metal to metal method is longevity. Until I started bedding this way I would find that My rifles would loose the action screw torque over time and when the POI shifted I would have to re torque the screws. Interesting point about the harmonic transfer and I can see how that could/would be a problem.

    I prefer stocks made of laminates, and they have good harmonic damping characteristics so this may be a good reason that this problem appears not to be a problem for me.

    I also tried gluing the action in and it worked best If a barrel block/sleeve was used taking the weight load off the action from heavy long barrels or when a short barrel was floated and was not heavy enough to stress the action.

    No matter how you bed or make the pillars, the goal is consistency and longevity and a stress free job.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  14. Mram10us

    Mram10us Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    Agree. I like when I put the barreled action in the stock and the action screws just stop. It sure makes sense to me. Thanks