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View Full Version : Who invented the aluminum bedding block and When?



James M.
10-06-2015, 04:32 PM
I know that Tom Haughton (H-S Precision) popularized the aluminum bedding block....but does anyone know who invented it and when did they do this? Just curious..... Thanks, James

Dusty Stevens
10-07-2015, 11:45 AM
Is this a test question like you already know the answer? Not sure when tom started them on his stocks but i seem to remember one of the harts making them in the 70's along with sleeves

GerryM
10-07-2015, 11:57 AM
The blocks are an off shoot of the old half sleeves from the 70's
aluminum sleeves started being popular in the late 60,s
A few people started making half sleeves>{ just the lower part} and epoxy bedding into that.
John Dewey made some and a few other,s there also was an aluminum half sleeve that was mounted on the top of the receiver,
The one mounted on the top was to allow a long recoiling scope to be mounted without touching the barrel.
Different ideas that worked pretty well.

B.Larson
10-07-2015, 12:06 PM
Al Gore..... in 1865......
did I win.......???... :-)

James M.
10-07-2015, 03:16 PM
Dusty, I don't know the answer, but would like to know if there was "one" inventor or was it just one of those things that evolves. Thanks, James

GerryM
10-07-2015, 10:36 PM
It evolved from the Dewey ideas'
others copied it.

keithherrington
10-10-2015, 10:16 AM
I believe the originator of the bedding block system was Gale McMillan. A successful rifleman in his own right, he nevertheless didn't like how the wood stocks of the day (late 50's, early 60's) would swell and shrink due to weather and affect the point of impact in unpredictable ways. His first truly successful design if memory serves was an aluminum chassis sandwiched between two slabs of wood, all shaped like a Winchester cross the course stock. I remember reading an extensive article in either American Rifleman or Guns and Ammo about the design and how labor intensive it was to make. However, it worked. I suspect that its cost in time, money and effort prompted him to get into fiberglass stocks which had all the same advantages but at far less cost and effort. I searched for but could not find the original article but maybe someone on the forum knows where to find it.

Keith

keithherrington
10-10-2015, 01:07 PM
I believe the originator of the bedding block system was Gale McMillan. A successful rifleman in his own right, he nevertheless didn't like how the wood stocks of the day (late 50's, early 60's) would swell and shrink due to weather and affect the point of impact in unpredictable ways. His first truly successful design if memory serves was an aluminum chassis sandwiched between two slabs of wood, all shaped like a Winchester cross the course stock. I remember reading an extensive article in either American Rifleman or Guns and Ammo about the design and how labor intensive it was to make. However, it worked. I suspect that its cost in time, money and effort prompted him to get into fiberglass stocks which had all the same advantages but at far less cost and effort. I searched for but could not find the original article but maybe someone on the forum knows where to find it.

Keith

To find out the truth, I sent the following to McMillan:

"I remember reading an article many years ago (1960's ?) about how Gale McMillan designed and made the first full length aluminum chassis stock, sandwiched between to slabs of wood, which when finished looked like the Winchester Marksman stock. If I'm remembering correctly, the article was in American Rifleman and/or Guns and Ammo. Is my memory correct, or did someone else invent the aluminum chassis/bedding block approach?"

I just got the following answer from McMillan:

"You are half right. My father was the first to try an aluminum bedding block in wood stocks in an effort to counteract the movement in wood due to change in weather conditions.

It didn't work. The entire aluminum block moved when the wood would swell and warp. Besides, bedding metal on metal just didn't produce the accuracy the bench rest shooters were looking for.

Last thing, the block was not full length, it was just big enough to hold the action.

Tom Houghton and H-S Precision was credited with a full length aluminum block. They were having trouble with the for ends breaking off when guys would break them out of the bedding so they ran an aluminum rod all the way from the pistol grip to the for end tip."

And there you have your answer

Keith

JerrySharrett
10-10-2015, 04:11 PM
Al Gore..... in 1865......
did I win.......???... :-)

ALGORE Jr. invented the bedding block as a support for the Internet foundation he developed as a child.

The idea came to him while he was sitting in Armand Hammer's lap during a flight on Hammers private jet to visit Nakita Kruschev during the Cold War. Hammer founded Island Creek Coal Mining Company, then put Al Gore Sr as CEO. aArmand Hammer was a proud Communist. What does that tell you about the Gore family?

Armand's father Julius was a leader of the SLP (Socialist Labor Party, a founding element of the CPUSA-Communist Party USA).

In Wikipedia read the bio of Armand Hammer and the Gore family!


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armand_Hammer

(Actually most of the above is true)


.

Dan Conzo
10-20-2015, 03:46 PM
Don't know exactly if you mean barrel block or action bloc. Sam Clark and G.R. Douglas (Douglas Barrels) had a steel block (bolted together to clamp barrel) that Sam Clark was using in 1952-1953. The steel bedding blocks (which bolted together to capture the barrel) were the mainstay in the late 60s and early 70s in Heavy Gun. Pindell even Sierra Bullets made them. The aluminum blocks which held the barrel with glue were in use in the early 70s. Bruce Baer perfected the aluminum glued barrel block from what I recall. Also some people made the aluminum barrel block which bolted together, and brass was also used. Action sleeves and strongbacks were a different breed which stiffened the receiver, they were first used probably late 40s.

Dan Conzo
10-21-2015, 07:15 PM
I forgot to mention that when the barrel block was used the block was bedded and the action was free floating. On the receiver sleeves and strongbacks that stiffened the action the receiver was bedded. Perhaps you are talking about the so called aluminum "V" block which was under the receiver in mostly synthethic stocks sometimes wood stocks, which is a horse of a different color. I don't know you didn't specify. I hope I answered your question if not try again.

GerryM
10-22-2015, 08:25 AM
I guess we both are on the right track Dan.
I think what he is asking is this.
The type of block thats installed into the stock for an action to be glued or bolted into. Basicley some kind of liner glued into the stock
Your right on about the blocks that were used in unlimited and by Sierra etc.

Dan Conzo
10-22-2015, 06:01 PM
Gerry--The first person I remember with the so called "V" block in the stock was Dave Brackney although I don't think he marketed them, but he had an article in I believe The Rifle Magazine, then Fred Sinclair then the stock manufacturers. John Dewey made some strongbacks pretty early but Taylor & Robbins made them a little before that. Orrin Bellows to my knowledge made the sleeved actions (usually Mausers) in the early to mid 50s, he may have been the first. When I say first I mean that actually marketed them. Individuals probably made their own even earlier. Hart sold a 12" round sleeve for the Remingtons. Shilen had many flat bottom sleeves for the Remingtons. Som of this is still around at Gunshows, here in Pa.

GerryM
10-22-2015, 07:07 PM
I also remember John Dewey making sleeves, some where in the early 70s didn't Ed Shillen work with Dewey?
I have seen round half sleeves glued into stocks years ago. ,like the bottom of a round sleeve . The bottom of action was then glued and bolted to the rifle.
Those half sleeves { strong backs} Dewey made were really nice they made it possabel to get the old Lyman and Unertal scopes off the barrels.

Dan Conzo
10-22-2015, 07:35 PM
Yes you are correct from what I remember. Shilen worked for John Dewey and it was called Shooters Service and Dewey. I still have 3 neck turners from Dewey. He also made rod guides which I have a couple. He made the strongbacks, a bullet spinner, In Line seating dies and Neck sizer dies. Crocagator primer pocket cleaner, and more items I can't thinK of anymore. He would talk to you for an hour on the phone to make sure you understood things. A real nice man.Taylor & Robbins strongback was .156" thick steel sweated on top the action, then they put a filler block in the magazine cut out and added a third guard screw, it also kept the long Unertls and Lymans off the barrel. A fellow just had a picture of one on here about 5 or 6 months ago. The Miller triggers that were available back then were top notch. The Bellows sleeved action I think had 5 guard screws with a one piece long trigger guard. It was also steel. I've seen a Remington 721 sleeved in steel with no glue-the receiver slid into the action which was split horizontally and then tightened down with screws, and it worked very well.

Dan Conzo
10-22-2015, 07:36 PM
Correction--the receiver slid into the sleeve.

GerryM
10-25-2015, 12:42 PM
interesting on how far those go back.
Just last year I had my tail kicked by Jack Deming, with a sleeved Remington 700.
They worked well and still work.

Dan Conzo
10-25-2015, 01:02 PM
I know what you mean. The flat bottomed sleeves have a rigidity of a Stolle Panda or thereabouts, and the Remington actions had a long barrel thread too. Some of the old Schultz & Larsen actions were pretty stiff too. Even Ferris Pindell used one back in the day.

JBrian
10-28-2015, 11:48 PM
Keith,
In reference to the full metal "backbone" I think the name you are looking for Bo Clerke. He used Magnesium center full length with walnut on each side. The article you refer to was by Dean Grennell in Gun World May 1970. I've had one for a model 70 for several years and yet to put anything in it.

bjm