Should I free float this rifle?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by hutch, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. hutch

    hutch Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Hi guys/gals, new to this forum. I have a winchester model 70 .243, year 1973. I want to try a few things to improve accuracy. Did the dollar trick on the barrel to see if it will slide between barrel and factory stock ( stock is wood).It won't. You can't even begin to slide it in. Is this normal on this rifle? All that i have read, suggests that the most guns may benefit from free floating the barrel. There is zero gap along the stock and barrel. What do you folks think? Any recommendations?

    Thanks, Hutch
     
  2. Yotebuster

    Yotebuster Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    368
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    I'll give you my 2 cents worth here. If If I was to float the barrel, I would probably bed the action/ Recoil lug etc. Try to get all the shift out of it. Floating it might really help, It has on several of mine, But I also had it bedded as well.
     

  3. MagMan

    MagMan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,008
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    It couldn't hurt to try. Just shim the barrel up by the recoil lug with some business cards or something. If it looks like it some improvement was gained then I would do it the proper way. If you decide to do it the right way and open up the barrel channel I would take the time to bed it.

    It can't hurt to try.
     
  4. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,217
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2007
    If I remember right (many here can tell you for sure), bedding and free floating isn't that expensive. Free floating is easy but I have always had my rifles professionally bedded for @ $70 or so.

    I agree with magman.
     
  5. LewisH

    LewisH Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    458
    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    I glass bedded and free floated my 1972 M70 .338, and then found it shot best with 8lbs. up pressure on the forend tip.

    As we all know, rifles often behave very much like women, i.e., very particular about they do and don't like. :)
     
  6. MagMan

    MagMan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,008
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    I'm sure I would have burned up many bullets before I figured out it was 8lbs. That or sent it to someone else to figure out.
     
  7. LewisH

    LewisH Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    458
    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    I had read somewhere that 8-10lbs was about the right forend up-pressure to try to improve the accuracy of a sporter weight barrel that did not shoot well free-floated.

    I hung that weight on the inverted barrel (stock held firmly in large padded vise), and inserted shims between barrel and forend tip to fill the space.

    The rifle shot much better with the up-pressure, so I repeated the process, this time filling the space with Devcon Steel, which formed an inch long, 1/2 wide pad after drying and shaping.

    As I reported, the old girl groups much better with the forend up-pressure: (1-1 1/2" with Nosler 250gr PTs/ 75gr H4831/ F215s).
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2008
  8. MagMan

    MagMan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,008
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Good to know. I'll put that in the things to remember for future use file. I do have some 8 & 12 lb fishing weights that would work perfectly.
     
  9. cva54

    cva54 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    297
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    YES float the barrel bed the acttion I did ti to mine last summer it was made in 1951 a 721 rem.but I tryed somthing a little difrent I used kitty hair fiber glass body filler / bondo with strands of fiber glass in it vary strong and ridged driled small piller holes in stock painted bottom 1/2 of rifle with axle grease mix it up assemble it went up to sight ring with it . so I gess there is some up pressure on it how mutch ? it came out perfick I thouhgt I bought a new rifle yes I am a mechanic hahahaha