View Full Version : Drilling M700 Stock for pillars

05-27-2011, 12:09 PM
I have decided to pillar bed my 700BDL. I have the pillars from Brownells and have faced them to the correct length. What is the best way to set up my stock for drilling the action screw holes accurately? I began by clamping the stock upside down to a 2x4 with a long lag bolt through the magazine recess. Then I stuck the closest fitting drill bits into the action screw holes and set the 2x4 w/stock attached on my drill press table. I fudged it around until the rear action screw drill bit was lined up with the chuck on the drill press, then lowered the chuck onto the drill and tightened the chuck onto the bit. Then, I clamped the 2x4 to the table. By raising and lowering the bit, I can tell I am aligned pretty damn well with the actionscrew hole. I figured my next move would be to swap the bit out for the proper forstner bit and have at it, then repeat the whole process for the next hole. Does this seem like a sound plan? Although this is only for my workhorse deer rifle, I want to do it right, as accurate as possible, and I have a feeling that there is a better method, or that my plan could use some tweaking. How wold you guys set up a sporter stock for drilling the holes for the pillar?

05-27-2011, 12:39 PM
Pillars are intended to keep the stock from compressing when the screws are tightened, and not for bedding. So, the holes should be large enough to contain a good supply of whatever you will use to glue them in. Sounds to me like you are being too precise. I simply take a drill bit of the right size and run it through. Pillars should be skim bedded after they are installed.



05-27-2011, 12:50 PM
Mofugly13, I do it about the same, just use the vertical mill instead.

Boyd Allen
05-27-2011, 01:18 PM
Over the years, I have kept track of various systems for drilling stocks. Recently I became aware of one that is sold by a fellow, who I understand has a background in competition shooting, who has a website that goes under the name of erniethegunsiith.com On his website there is a page that shows how his relatively inexpensive stock drilling system works. I think that it is worth a careful read. If you don't mind, tell me what you think of his idea. Here is a link.
One thing that his system addresses is that he has found that action screw holes may not be centered in floor plate/trigger guard inletting. Evidently, his setup solves this problem.

05-27-2011, 01:21 PM
Just my ignorant farm-boy opinion, but this seems like another task that has become much more complicated since the invention of the Internet. ;) ;)

When you glue those pillars in the stock you are going to use the action screws, or inletting screws, to line them up properly. Therefore, you want a lot of wiggle area around the pillars, both to allow room for them to line up, and for a lot of epoxy to glue them in place. In other words, you want the holes to be a lot bigger in diameter than the pillars.


Dennis Sorensen
05-27-2011, 02:07 PM
Using a level and and an adjustable vise in the drill press I line up each factory screw hole as exactly as I can and drill them out to 33/64". Using the floorplate assembly taped in place I have long headless screws in the action that protrude out the floorplate. I use this to locate and epoxy the 1/2" pillars I made from aluminum stock for $1.29.

Ray, you said a lot in your opening sentence... :)


05-27-2011, 03:13 PM
Thanks, guys. I read this forum a LOT, mostly in regards to chambering and the proper setup required. I started to assume that such precision and accuracy was required in all aspects of rifle work. I thought I needed a forstner bit the same size as the pillars, which would be 9/16, which I don't have. But it sounds like a 5/8 hole would be fine. Again, thanks for the info!

05-27-2011, 03:26 PM

Or, turn the OD of the pillars down to a little less than any other forstner that you want to use :)