Free Floating Problem

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by j_unzicker, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. j_unzicker

    j_unzicker Well-Known Member

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    I have a Remington 700 BDL 7RM (factory walnut stock). I noticed that the forend had a contact point against the barrel about an 1" long. Other than that, the barrel was free. (this spot was right where the swivel stud connects from below).
    So I hand sanded that area down until I could run a piece of paper under the barrel through that spot and down the whole barrel.
    Took it to the range and my groups actually opened up a little. I was shooting right at 1 MOA and now I am closer to 1.5 MOA.
    My question is, "Do some of the factory wood Rem 700 stocks need a pressure point to shoot more accurately?" I guess I just assumed that all barrels would shoot better free floated. Would you suggest that I do anything to recreate a pressure point in that same area? The action is not bedded.
    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
     

  2. Hntbambi

    Hntbambi Well-Known Member

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    While I am not a pro gun plumber, I have built and/or worked on a few dozen bolt guns and I have yet to find one that shot better with a pressure bedded barrel. Perhaps I have just been lucky, but every gun has performed more consistently after a good bedding job. The most dramatic was a Win 70 Classic in 338Win Mag. It shot 4" groups with the crap hot melt glue bedding compound. I removed that crap and did a proper pillar bedding job and the gun is sub MOA. Your gun sounds like a prime candidate for a good bedding job.

    When I float a barrel, I do go a bit farther than a $ bill or a sheet of paper clearance. On a stock with a rigid forearm, I will go ~.050" clearance. If it has an injection molded stock, sometimes double that to keep it from touching during recoil.
     

  3. j_unzicker

    j_unzicker Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, without a lot of experience myself, I was careful to make sure I didn't removed too much wood, and now two pieces of paper is pretty tight. It sounds like what I may have done was remove the pressure point (which was at least somewhat constant) and replaced it with a set up where upon recoil the barrel may touch various parts of the stock in an inconsistant manner. Are you suggesting that I remove a little bit more of the stock to make sure that it doesn't touch at all during recoil?
     
  4. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    There are several things that you can do to bring the accuracy back.

    1= place cardboard (Cracker box thickness) shims under the barrel to add tip pressure
    back in the rifle.
    2= Install a jack screw where the sling swivel is . Drill the hole all the way through and use a
    longer screw with a lock nut on the outside that will reach the barrel inside and while shooting
    tighten the screw 1/4 turn every 3 shots and watch the groups. when you find the setting that
    gives you the best group lock down the lock nut. when you get back from the range take the
    barreled action out of the stock without disturbing the screw. Place a dab of bedding compound
    around the screw and replace the action in the stock(Be sure and use release on the screw)

    When you remove the screw the bedding will maintain the tip pressure and you can replace the
    sling swivel stud.

    If/when you full float a barrel most of the time you have to change loads or the bullet weight
    to get the accuracy back.

    With some loading you should be able to improve the accuracy if you full float.

    Tip pressure makes rifles consistant for the first couple of rounds but as the barrel heats up
    groups normally open up.

    With the full floated barrel 4 or 5 consistant shots in a row are not uncommon.

    You didn't mess up you just changed the harmonics of the barrel for the load you are using.

    I Hope this helps.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  5. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

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    Those tips are correct. I once had a Rem 700 and removed the pressure point with same experience. I did not think about those things way back then. I simply mixed a hunk of fiberglass and allowed it to set under the barrel, approximating the same pressure point. I was able to get the same accuracy again afterward. Remington at one time placed that high point on all their stocks with the idea accuracy would improve.
     
  6. backwoods83

    backwoods83 Well-Known Member

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    The high point is there so when you shoot off of bipods or a bag it does not make the stock and barrel bind cause there already touching. I would just get a glass bedding kit from stockys or brownells for 20$, sand the channel a bit more then bed the area around the recoil lug and the tang in the rear, then if it doesn't improve you may be SOL!
     
  7. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    Reading this kinda makes me nervous.

    I am currently in the process of having the same gun bedded and floated. My issue wasn't group size (avg. group was right around 1 MOA, but could get 1/3 moa when the stars aligned just right). Shift in POI from one day to the next with same ammo from same box under same conditions was the problem.

    I guess if I loose precision after the bed/float I'll have to re-think this project and maybe re-barrel.?

    I'm thinking I'd rather have slightly bigger groups (on this particular rifle) than have the POI shift 1-1.5 moa from one day to the next.

    This shift I saw was done with pedestal type benchrest too. I hesitate to say how much shift I would have seen from different shooting positions and different stock pressure.

    I know that I am not really answering your question, just contributing some info; hope you don't mind.
     
  8. j_unzicker

    j_unzicker Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the thoughts...
    Rather than try to reinstall a pressure point, may just bed the action and then work up a new load. If I'm going to get serious with this stock, I should probably bed it anyway.
    Let me know if you think that I have better options. I have made the mistake before of making changes that I thought would be helpful but learned later they may have been a waste of time and money.
     
  9. Hntbambi

    Hntbambi Well-Known Member

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    IMO, you are on the right track!
     
  10. coloradohtr

    coloradohtr Member

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    I learned years ago from a Williamsport 1000 yd. shooter to float the barrel then glass the action to keep the action from moving with each shot. As soon as I get a new gun before shooting float and glass. This is recommended by most gun smiths.
     
  11. j_unzicker

    j_unzicker Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the advice guys...I did go ahead and glass bed recently...I haven't got a chance to get to the range yet...but I am looking forward to seeing how it does.
     
  12. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    Hope it does good for you.:) Let us know.
     
  13. carbinero

    carbinero Member

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    I have only worked on one rifle, but have spent enough time reading and playing around with epoxy to make me cringe when people consider re-barreling before they figured out what was wrong with the current install.

    To get accuracy, you want to isolate the variables...when you remove a pressure point without a bedded the action, now you have MORE variables, not fewer, as suggested above. It makes more sense to me to bed and THEN remove the pressure point. Does that logic coincide with gunsmith reality?
     
  14. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    As Sbruce alluded to, one major problem with pressure points and wood stocks is that POI will shift with changes in temperature and humidity.

    JE's solution is a great option if the above isn't a concern for you. And, it may be all that you need to statisfy your requirements. But, it's a band aid nonetheless.

    Otherwise, I would see how the rifle shoots with the action properly bedded and torqued and with the barrel fully floated and a new load workup as JE also suggested.

    If that doesn't pan out, then you should probably start thinking about a new barrel and bluepriting from a good smith.

    It doesn't take a lot of wasted ammo while tinkering with a persnicketty factory rifle to justify getting it fixed up right with a custom rebarrel and accuracy package.

    Best of luck!
    Richard