Free float or not -- Factory Rem 700 BDL in 270 Win

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by cdherman, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. cdherman

    cdherman Well-Known Member

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    OK, I have a friends 270 that shoots perhaps 1.5 - 2.0" groups with factory ammo.

    I like a challenge and told him I'd work on some loads. He lent me the gun for Summer (time to get going, eh?), so that I could measure the distance to lands (have Stoney Pt COAL measure and 270 dummy case), as I believe that if you can, seating to the lands is best for accuracy, at least to start with....

    Decided to check and see if it was free floated tonight. Not a chance.

    And when I pull the action, it looks for all the world as if Remington purposely put some sort of "hump" in the barrel channel right where the sling bolt sits.

    Do they intend to do that?

    Should I Dremel it out?

    I am a free float fan -- don't have a single bolt rifle that isn't -- but am I missing something? I have not messed with a new factory rifle in years, at least not one with a wood stock.

    Its just a garden variety BDL. Nice looking gun really. Walnut stock.

    Hate to whittle on a friends gun till I know all the facts..(or opinions too!)
     
  2. idaho elk hunter

    idaho elk hunter Well-Known Member

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    Everyone is currently on the free float bandwagon. INCLUDING ME. But in all seriousness I have rarely seen it improve the accuracy on a heavy barrel gun that was properly bedded. The lighter the barrel typically always shoot better free floated. THE ACTION REALLY NEEDS TO BE PROPERLY BEDDED for this to hold true! Often heavy barrels will shoot better if a little tension is applied to the end of the forearm/barrel. Try the factory tension first and see if the results are to your liking and if they are or are not then proceed from there. DO NOT FIX IT IF IT IS NOT BROKE!
     

  3. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    A float will usually shoot a bit better, but shoot some good handloads through it first.
    Two of my rem 700's are floated, and two have stock bedding with the pressure pad (hump) right about at the swivel stud. There isn't a dang bit of difference in accuracy between the groups of rifles, and one of the stock ones is an 8# 375- the other stock is a 9# 300 rum (neither have a brake) so the stock group is hanicapped by heavier recoil( both the modded rifles are 7mm- one a rem and one the stw). If it aint' broke.....
     
  4. cdherman

    cdherman Well-Known Member

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    Except it's broke, in my opinion. The groups are mostly in the 2" range, at 100 yards, or worse. A few better.

    What's the point of a scope if your pattern is going to be 8" at 300 yards.... That, plus the other variables means that you have a 250yrd gun. I have a 30-30 that does better.

    So I really should restate the question:

    If you are going to develop loads for a gun, would you free float the barrel first and then work up loads, or try and see if the factory "bumped" barrel is OK?

    BTW -- its not a heavy barrel. Just a standard sporter....
     
  5. Bear Camp

    Bear Camp Well-Known Member

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    I'm assuming the 2" groups were with factory loads? If so, I would heed the above advise and try working up loads with the factory pressure point since its not your gun first. I have seen where a good hand load changes (shoots poorly) after changing something like floating a barrel. Then you will have to start over in load development. If a last resort then see about floating it if your buddy is OK with it. Having said all that, I like my guns floated, then I'll work up a good hand load.
     
  6. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    Have you worked with a 270 much?? There seem to be a few combos that'll work with all three rifles I've had in 270... Known good loads that'll work in many pipes can get you going faster. The 270 is never a cal. I really wanted to get into, but I fell into brass/dies and my wife gave me a second rifle because I was shooting the crap out of the first one, so I guess I shoot 270's now.
    As to the float, I'd work on things in progression; this rifle won't shoot out in a couple of hundred rounds like a 257 stw etc. will. I realize you want to get your friend's rifle up and running, but sometimes you have to either put up the time or put up the cash to get it worked over (BBL., etc.). I'd rather put up a few $$ in bullets/powder than work on a rifle that doesn't really need it. You need to know that it needs the work before you start anything.
     
  7. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    May as well quit dinkin' around.

    Its a factory BDL. Hawg out those bumps. Free float clear back to the recoil lug sufficient for a thick business card to easily pass all the way.

    Then, even before firing, I'd give very serious consideration to doing a proper skim bed being particular to get sufficient bedding around the recoil lug.

    It'll be a bit frightening getting it apart, the first time, as it has to come pretty much straight up due to bedding being all the way around the recoil lug. The recoil lug tends to bind if not moved straight.

    While bedding bed anywhere from 4 to 6 inches ahead of the recoil lug. I bet you'll find tuning a load a bit easier.

    This process has never failed me on Remmy, Win and Mauser actions.

    And have remained consistent for decades. Really1
     
  8. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    I like ROY suggestion. you could load up some handloads .010 off and try it before you start glass bedding ect. aslo how is the trigger? how iis the scope??
     
  9. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

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    I have found that it never hurts to free float a Remington 700. It has been my experience that most hunting bullets need to jump a ways to REALLY be accurate. I start a 10 thousands off. This is a MAX load so work up. I have not found a Rem 700 in 270 that would not drive tacks with 130 gr Sierra, or Nosler ballistic tips 10 to 20 thousands off the lands with 60 grs H4831. I use Rem. cases and CCI BR2 primers. This is the load that used to be right on the Hodgdon powder bottle of H4831. Will do between 3000 and 3200 fps depending on barrel and length. Makes it one deer killing machine.

    One thing I have learned from experience that I will pass on to you. Don't load hunting ammo with the bullet close or into the lands. A bullet can pull forward while in the magazine under recoil or if it is already into the lands your hunt can be ruined. When you have to unload the rifle and the bullet has been jammed into the lands most of the time the bullet will stick in the barrel and you will dump all the powder down into the action. If you don't have a cleaning rod, kit and tools with you your hunt is over for the day. Been there done that and got the T-shirt.:rolleyes:
     
  10. MagnumManiac

    MagnumManiac Well-Known Member

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    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.

    Cheers.
    gun)
     
  11. cdherman

    cdherman Well-Known Member

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    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!
     
  12. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    I Have several rem 700 that shoot great . an adl 7mm mag from 1967 . shoots .4 sometimes smaller. it has a hump. also a 700 mtn in 30-06. shoots .5" . a .222 bdl . a vssf in 22-250 ( not sure a if it has a hump) . three senderos in 7mm mag, 6.5-284 and 300 win mag. what scope? Trigger ok?
     
  13. cdherman

    cdherman Well-Known Member

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    Scope is a mid range Nikon, Trigger seems crisp enough. My buddy and I both are decent shooters. I have a real strong heart beat, so I'll always have a few 10ths more than the professionals, unless I am shooting with a sled. I bought a sled a few years ago -- groups went down and load development improved as I was able to remove one more variable...

    I went ahead and sanded to hump out. I don't know all the theory behind it -- perhaps guns constructed that way do better on average with factory ammo. I suspect a free floated barrel gets to vibrate and dance more freely -- and that might mean that we hand-loaders are able to find the sweet spot, but an average, factory ammo shooter, might not.

    Anyhow -- I did it.

    I stuffed some brass today and I'll post back how it goes. The throat was VERY long. I could not get to the lands, not even 30 thou off. With the Sierra GameKing 130s, I had to seat them a full .2 (200 thou) off the lands to get enough bullet in the neck to make me happy. The Nosler B-tips were a little easier.

    I have a feeling that the hump may not be the only problem this rifle has.....
     
  14. lloydsmale

    lloydsmale Well-Known Member

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    Most guns shoot better floated or at least more consistant. I float about any new rifle i get. But when i do i also bed them properly. Sometimes a gun thats not bedded properly will shoot better with forearm pressure. I think the pressure kind of makes up a bit for the lack of bedding holding the barrled action a little more secure in the stock. Ive bedded and floated many many rifles and have yet to see one shoot worse. Ive seen the shoot drasticaly better and ive seen some that shoot a little better and ive seen a few that it didnt do much for. If you have a pour barrel bedding and floating isnt going to help. But id bet you wont see to many guns used in shooting competitions that arent floated and bedded properly.