Barrel clearance

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Bob S., Dec 9, 2004.

  1. Bob S.

    Bob S. Well-Known Member

    Sep 26, 2004
    How much clearance is recommended between the stock and barrel? I want to make sure I have enough so as not to cause problems with heat/harmonics. I have one with about 1/8 inch, several that a dollar bill will easily slide the length of the barrel, and a couple that are much tighter than that. All shoot fine ecxept one of the really tight ones. I haven't figured out if its interference or the load. Wanted to rule out any interference first.
  2. winmagman

    winmagman Well-Known Member

    Mar 13, 2003
    Let me start by saying I am by no means an expert. That said I personally like to leave a little extra room between a wood stock and a barrel. (1/16" - 1/8") Wood being the least stable type of stock tends to move more than others.

    With a laminate or synthetic stock I think a tighter fit is ok as they are more stable. (dollar bill -1/16") The exception being the barrel burners that need all the space they can get for cooling purposes.
    Just my .02
  3. LDO

    LDO Well-Known Member

    Sep 23, 2003
    i usually go for around 1/8th in. but thats just me-my-2-dave
  4. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Well-Known Member

    Jun 13, 2007
    I'm making a stock for a marlin Lil Buckaroo for my son and I chose a gap that is about 1/8". I thought It was a little extreme looking but I'm glad to find it's not so far fetched. I understand that a single shot .22 isn't going to heat up and that if the stock dosen't touch the barrel then it dosen't matter if it is by a milimeter or a foot. Not touching is not touching. I am mostly building a scaled down version of a design I will build for myself someday.

    All that being said, I think a 1/8" gap is sensible and if done well it can look good.
  5. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver Official LRH Sponsor

    Jun 12, 2004
    In my sporter weight rifles I generally give the barrel about 0.030" clearance which is plenty for fine accuracy and appearance as well. If the customer wants more I will give what they want but I do not like going much less.

    For my heavies or extreme range rifles, I will give 1/16" clearance(0.0625").

    Remember this needs to be the clearance you have in the shooting position. I increase the clearance on the heavies for the simple reason that the barrels are much heavier then other rifles and thus will flex teh stock, any stock, more.

    I do not want anything touching these fine barrels so I float the entire length.

    Also remember that if you are a shooter that likes to use a tight sling around your support arm. Be sure to check that this type of hold does not pull the stock forend to one side and rub the barrel or even get close to it.

    While I personally feel 1/8"(0.125") of clearance is more then needed unless it is total clearance(0.0625" per side), it certainly is far better then the occasional stock-barrel rub.

    Just to give you an idea, McMillan allows 0.075" per side of clearance for a total of 0.150" clearance on their heavy BR style stocks. Course these are designed for 15 lb barrels as well though.

    Good Shooting!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
  6. Bob S.

    Bob S. Well-Known Member

    Sep 26, 2004
    Thanks guys, I thought about 1/16" was about right. I guess more is better than not enough. I'll trim the really tight one and see if it helps with the consistency. It is the only synthetic stock of the bunch. I realize they are more stable but I think it rubs. I'll find out if it is the problem or if I just don't have a load it likes yet.
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    What is an easy way or the right way to trim up a synthetic stock?