I recently "upgraded" my Weatherby Vanguard stock to a Bell & Carlson Medalist composite. I chose it because of the fitted aluminum bedding block. I was pleased as the fit was truly "drop in" requiring no additional fitting.
However, at the forward end of the stock there were two raised "nubs" that seem to contact the barrel. (?) I cannot slide a piece of paper between the barrel and forearm as I believe these two raised nubs are contacting the barrel.
Does this not just negate any positive accuracy gained by the aluminum bedding block by having a point of contact between the stock and barrel, especially when the barrel heats up? I thought the barrel would be free floated in this stock.
Do I need to work down these nubs to be sure the barrel is free floated? It is apparent they are supposed to be there so before I start sanding I'd like some guidance from the more experienced.
Thanks in advance for any help.
As noted above, Weatherby leaves them in the stocks when they install them. You may leave them in and see how it shoots, or remove them if you wish.
Either way, I'd bed the rifle. Aluminum or not you'll do much better if you bed it. I learned this firsthand with a Vanguard which responded beautifully to freefloating the barrel and a good bedding job. That rifle, and a Mark V I just finished, were both stressed by screwing them down tight into the stock. Once that was relieved and the rifle bedded the performance increased markedly.
In fact, just worked today on the barrel channel for another Vanguard that I'm bedding. Cautious use of a Dremel followed by a deep well socket wrapped in sandpaper will remove those nubs when the time comes.
FYI, other rifle companies such as Remington and formerly Sako also use those supports in the forearm.
This kind of ties in with your topic....a hunting buddy of mine shoots a .257 Roberts AI in a Ruger #1. He had to add upward pressure to the forend to get his rifle to shoot 1 MOA groups. I guess it depends on the rifle and caliber.
Free float the barrel and bed the action. Just do it..... I have several rifles with HS Precision and 1 Bell & Carlson stock. The first thing I did with them all is bed them. I know they will say with the aluminum block they do not need to be bedded....... WRONG!
Take your action action screws out and turn the rifle over, what happens???? The action falls out. All that slack is room for the action to move around in the stock, and it will. You cannot get the screws tight enough to stop it. Where there is room, it will move. All my rifles are bedded, and if you remove the action screws you can turn them upside down and shake them and the action will not fall out of stock. Usually they take several good bumps with the palm of my hand on the barrel to get it pop lose.
Use Devcon Steel putty and mould release all available from Midway, or find a local gunsmith to do it for you.