Winchester 70 ~ Should the barrel float?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by ArmedAviator, May 13, 2012.

  1. ArmedAviator

    ArmedAviator New Member

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    May 11, 2012
    I new to rifles. So I tried to float the barrel in the hot tub, it sank! did i do something wrong?

    Seriously, i am new to rifles. Got distracted by the nice lines and bought a winchester model 70 xtr sporter varmint in .223. I'm pretty sure it sat in a safe or gun cabinet since the late eightys.

    Cleaned it up, replaced the scope, had the trigger adjuster from 9 lbs down to 3.5 lbs.

    I came across the info on floating barrels. I can run a dollar bill from the action end to about the sling knobby thing. Then it sticks. I took the sling thing out and it still sticks around the point.

    Should a winchester 70 barrel float all the way out?

    Thanks for any advice
     
  2. trebark

    trebark Well-Known Member

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    Generally speaking, you 'should' free float your barrel from the recoil lug all the way out. In your case, shoot the rifle first and see how it performs. If it's eradic, then float the barrel. The guiding principle here is 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'
     

  3. LouBoyd

    LouBoyd Well-Known Member

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    It's a fact that a dollar today doesn't go nearly as far as it used to. My advice is to take your Win 70 a range and see how well it and you can shoot. Typically you need 500 to 1000 rounds of careful practice spread over maybe a year before you'll be able to tell if a rifle shoots ok, if free floating would help, or if it and/or you are simply hopeless.

    If you expect to go to the range and shoot consistent sub 1/2 moa groups you're likely to be disappointed. I wouldn't be quick to attribute whatever accuracy you get to the barrel being floated or not. Winchester (USRA) did have a basic understanding of how to build rifles.
     
  4. kennygss

    kennygss Well-Known Member

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    If its a Pre-64, the forend is attached to the barrel.
     
  5. ArmedAviator

    ArmedAviator New Member

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    Thanks guys.

    When i got it, it was in awesome condition. It had a thin layer of almost varnish, that i cleaned before i shot it. I think it was oil that just dried up from sitting in a gun safe or closet for twenty years.

    I shot it once, 20 rounds or so. Had the smith at my local range adjust the trigger, give it a good cleaning and bore sight the new scope.

    I bought 500 rounds of american eagle 223 at wally world. I'll just take it out and shot it like it was made to be shot. i belive it was made in the late 80s to early 90s. Seems like a heavy barrel about 26 long. I'll start at 100 and work my way out....

    Thanks for all the advice!
     
  6. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

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    A dollar bill of clearance between the barrel and fore end ain't near enough. That's myth 132 on a list of thousands.

    Pressure on the fore end from resting the rifle atop something on a bench, slung up in any position, resting the forend on your hand that's atop a fence post.....all will make the forend touch the barrel. And that pressure won't be the same amount nor the same place every time.

    Remove at least 1/16 inch of forend all around the barrel. If the fore end's a skinny long one, you may need more clearance in the front half of the fore end.