Originally Posted by MagnumManiac
All the advice given is spot on, but may I make a suggestion.
To see if there is a difference between groups with the pressure point on the barrel, you must get the barrel hot to see if it makes a difference or not to group size. If it does change POI as the barrel gets hot then free floating will most certainly help.
You can do a test before you go the full hog of free floating and bedding the rifle for good, take the rifle apart and use paper cut to the right size to build up enough space to free float the barrel, then shoot the same loads as before to see if there is an improvement.
I know there will be some naysayers for doing this, but I've never had it hurt anything when I've done it.
If you're going to bed and free float the barrel, I would also add some aluminium pillars to the stock to really stabilise the bedding job.
Wow. lots of good advice. Frist off, I do have experience bedding a gun -- pillar bedded a 7mm SAUM last year with a Shilen barrel that I personally screwed on. Shoots well, a little over .5" groups. I put in the pillars first, then removed wood around the receiver and full bedded the receiver. Messy, but effective. And looks good to boot in the end on the Boyd's laminate stock I chose. I have read of bedding forward too, as one of you suggest, but have not employed that.
But I am a little too lazy to pillar bed a friends gun.
Yes, I also know not to jamb the bullet into the lands in a hunting rifle. I "discovered" micrometer seating dies last year with the 7mm SAUM project. YOU GOTTA HAVE THIS! You can fiddle with the seating depths down to a couple thousands and not have to worry about stuck bullets. I also discovered that the story that some guns like Bergers seated further off the lands is true....
For this project, I am trying the Redding micrometer retrofit. For $36 I supposedly can remove the regular seating insert from my old (1970's) RCBS die and make it into a Micrometer seating die. We will see....
For me, the trip to the range is a hassle, and its a controlled range where it takes hours to shoot though a full string of test loads. Knocking off the hump is easy, as I have a wood shop full of tools. I think I am going to knock it off, as no one has suggested that a gun with a hump ever shoot BETTER, than a floated one.
Again, thanks for the advice and lets wish me luck!