Originally Posted by duster
I have a switchbarrel rifle built on a custom benchrest action (P.A.S.). The action is quite long (9-1/4") and has a magazine cut out. The barrels are a 28" 30-378 and a 32" 338 Lapua Imp. Both are heavy contour barrels having muzzle diameters of .860" and .930" and major diameters of 1.238" and 1.250" respectively.
I am trying to decide on the need to use a barrel pad when I bed the action in the McMillan stock. The barrel pad can only be correct for the larger of the barrels.
Is a barrel pad an essential ingredient in bedding a precision long range repeating rifle? Does the pad contribute to vertical dispersion as the barrel heats such as in 1000 yard competition? Or does it reduce vertical dispersion in general?
I suppose I could bed the larger barrel with a pad and let the lighter barrel free float.
I am skeptical whether the barrel diameters could be made exact so that one bedding pad would fit all. In any event I seek a simpler solution.
Would like to hear from anyone having having a suggestion on how to handle this especially those experienced with this aspect of switchbarrel benchrest rifles.
Depending on your action diameter, you should be fine without a barrel pad. I have some barrels that are 32" (with muzzle brake) and 1.2" without any taper on my 1.5" actions. However, contact Shawn Carlock (advertiser here on the website) and ask him. I am sure he will steer you in the correct direction.