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Rem 700 Synthetic Stock Needs Free Floating

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Unread 11-19-2009, 11:03 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 67
Rem 700 Synthetic Stock Needs Free Floating

I just got a Remington 700 ADL .243 with their standard "synthetic" stock. I heard it's just plastic. Pic below is not the one in question, but identical model:

Anyway, my range was closed when I went to sight in, so had to go to an alternate place(gravel pit) and sighted in off the top of my car with a poor front rest with butt on my shoulder. Shaky as leaf, but managed a group that impressed me, considering the poor rest and setup I used.

However, I did notice there is significant contact between the barrel and stock when I lightly bump the stock. There's no way I could pass a dollar under the barrel. I got this gun because it's simple. I don't have to worry about scratches on a beautiful BDL stock or getting it wet, etc. It's my take-it-in-the-woods-and-hunt-with-it-gun.

I want to free-float the barrel. Before someone wastes their time telling me to get a Bell & Carlson or McMillan, I want to work with this pos stock I have now. I have other gun projects with other guns where I'll be purchasing the said stocks. I do have questions though:

1.) While Remington calls this stock "synthetic", it is plastic. Are other "synthetic" stocks plastic too? Or are the others made from fiberglass?

2.) These stocks are cheap if one is to look for them used. Are they a pos stock or is it the simplicity of it that makes it cheap?

What little I know of free floating, can't I just disassemble the stock from the gun and start to work away at the stock with my Dremel and die grinder? If so, how would I need to finish up? Or better question, how do I do it right? I've read some about free floating, but it was wood and I'm thinking working with this plastic has to be easier.

Is this going to be simple or are there things I have to look out for or do correctly?

Oh, one last question I almost forgot? This isn't one of those barrel/stock setups where there's a bump in the stock to give it an upward support or pressure, is it?

Your help, advice and/or opinions welcome.


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Unread 11-20-2009, 01:00 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Canterbury, New Zealand
Posts: 675
Re: Rem 700 Synthetic Stock Needs Free Floating

I still have the pos remington plastic stock on my rifle. I have bedded the action using Acraglass and floated the barrel. I just took to the stock with a dremel, craft knife etc.
I did epoxy in an aluminium tube in the forestock to stiffen it up. This made it group much better using a bipod.
There probably are two pressure pads just back from the front of the stock in the barrel channel. It shouldn't hurt the accuracy to remove them, especially if you bed the action. If the accuracy does deteriorate you can put them back in using epoxy and hanging a 7 lb weight off the front sling swivel.

Not all synthetic stocks are plastic some are fiberglass and other materials. The manufacturer should say what the material is, especially if it is not plastic!

The remington stocks are pretty crappy, but with the mods mentioned they will shoot better until you can afford a really good one.

Hope all this helps,

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Unread 11-20-2009, 01:33 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,876
Re: Rem 700 Synthetic Stock Needs Free Floating

I took a perfectly good, well bedded both pillar and skim, exceptional shooting stock off of a 338 RUM for two reasons.

1) The wood stock was heavy and not a carry gun configuration.
2) I wanted to see if "tupper ware" stocks were the pos that most have been suggesting.

I free floated the sporter barrel by removing the two pressure points from the front end and ensuring plenty of room around the barrel all the way back to the recoil lug.

I then put the dial indicator on the stock (attached to the barrel) and alternately loosened and tightened the mounting screws to determine if beadding was necessary. Bedding did not appear to be necessary so I didn't touch it.

I loaded up some 300 SMKs in my standard load and headed for the bench. After re-zeroing @ 200 yds she grouped as good as with the pillar bedded wooden stock and is considerably lighter.

The pluses ended up being:
  1. No loss of accuracy
  2. Lighter and easier to carry
  3. The Holland QD brake seems more effective with the lighter weight rifle.
  4. Take spray or roll on truck bed liner really well. Reduces chance of slipping of of grasp........ For 40 bucks you can paint it any way you wish and not be out much if you have to sand it down. But heck, I paint over BDLs and other especially Savage wood stocks all the time.
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Unread 11-21-2009, 01:04 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 67
Re: Rem 700 Synthetic Stock Needs Free Floating


I just did a lot of typing in reply to your replies and lost it ALL!

Not doing it twice, so I'll just say thank you for the replies.

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Unread 11-23-2009, 08:06 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Republic of NJ
Posts: 978
Re: Rem 700 Synthetic Stock Needs Free Floating

I tried to free-float the stock on my VTR with a dremel, and the stock must have been internally warped. Cause the entire left side of the stock contacted the barrel (so much for free floating). Reinforcing the forend, as suggested earlier in this post would be a good idea. Remington's plastic stock are a pos. I ended up buying a "new" BC Medalist stock for a $125.
Red mist. It's an addiction!
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Unread 11-23-2009, 09:49 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 753
Re: Rem 700 Synthetic Stock Needs Free Floating

I'll speak strictly in regards to your free floating effort.

A Dremel tool can be and often is a dangerous thing when it comes to working on a rifle. So dangerous in fact that the phrase, "oh _hit" is often hissed through pursed lips during use.

It's always a challenge to put material back on a gun.

Gather from that what you will.

Might I suggest you invest in a couple barrel scrapers. Brownells sells them and I think you'd be money ahead buying them and learning to use them instead of reaching for "the whirring tool of death."

Good luck regardless.

Chad Dixon
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Unread 11-25-2009, 10:05 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 37
Re: Rem 700 Synthetic Stock Needs Free Floating

Take a 3 or 4 inch wooden dowell (or deepwell socket) about 1/2" to 5/8" diameter and wrap 80 or 100 grit sandpaper around it until it is the contour of the barrel channel. Stroke it in the channel to remove material. The synthetic stocks usually only have a pressure point in the front tip to remove, but you can also sand out the top edges of the forend to provide more clearance the entire length.
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