Free Floating of the forarm is it absolutly essential

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Iron Worker, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. Iron Worker

    Iron Worker Well-Known Member

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    Just received my re barreled Rifle from gun smith. Had a 26" #4 contour Brux 7mm bbl installed on a Win mod 70 Classic Laminate stock. He didn't free float the barrel channel. Is it essential that be done even on a laminate stock ?
     
  2. CRNA

    CRNA Well-Known Member

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    In short....yes.
     
  3. Iron Worker

    Iron Worker Well-Known Member

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    Dang it I'd hate to have to bring it back to him. Is it hard to do correctly ?
     
  4. CRNA

    CRNA Well-Known Member

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    Well, here's my thoughts on this: I have taken on many "first time I ever done this" endeavors, and have found that I usually screw the first trial up on the learning curve. I have never free floated a barrel, although it is a simple enough concept ie: you don't want the barrel touching the forearm. Now, I have my rig being put together now by a smith. I have a Savage, and alot of people that I know personally as well as ones on this forum and others suggested that I do my rebarrel, headspace, free float job myself. Now, granted, I could probably do it right.....eventually, but I am not willing to go through the frustration of potentially screwing something up. Therefore, for that "easy" job I am letting my smith do it for me. Yes I will have to pay the smith to do this "easy" job, but it's easy for so many people because they have done it before. I also factor in my logic the cost of a new stock if I screw it up trying to do it myself. Personally, I would play the safety and let the smith do it. Of course you will undoubtedly get replies to your question here that say, "hey just get a dowel rod, wrap it in sandpaper and sand until it is free floated". If you are willing to learn on your rig, then go for it. As for me, I already have way more money in this project than my wife is happy with. To tell her that I just ruined a perfectly good stock and am going to need to by an aftermarket stock to replace it that will cost twice as much as my bill for the smith doing my factory job.......well, let's just say it's snowing outside and I don't want to spend too many nights sleeping out there. Good luck.
     
  5. geargrinder

    geargrinder Well-Known Member

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    I don't agree. I've had plenty of rifles that shot well with the pressure point on the forearm.

    Why don't you shoot it and see how it shoots first? Then decide if you want to float it or not.
     
  6. nheninge

    nheninge Well-Known Member

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    I would consider it essential (especially for an awesome new brux barrel) to maximize accuracy, but freefloating is generally combined with bedding the action. Several articles available on how to do this yourself IF you are up to the challenge, but there is a big learning curve.
     
  7. Iron Worker

    Iron Worker Well-Known Member

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    The action is glass bedded. I just shot it for first time. Caliber is 7mm WSM loads were 66gr - 70 grs of Re#25 behind a Sierra 160 gr GK. C.O.L was what was listed in Sierra manual. Learned I could seat bullets .050 more before they touch lands. Shooting was done in winter conditions Carson city NV off Caldwell shoot bag up front and rabbit ears in the back. Brand new Brux bbl. Well no doubt many factors involved shooting off a bench. I want a 1/2 MOA rifle.
     
  8. quackheadkiller

    quackheadkiller Member

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    I would bring it ck to the smith and have the action bedded and the barrel floated.
     
  9. geargrinder

    geargrinder Well-Known Member

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    He said that is was already bedded.

    It's very easy to float later. Why mess with it unless it doesn't shoot?

    I have a tough time shooting at the Carson range. If you are not there at the crack of dawn, the wind howls. Supposed to rain/snow tonight and be generally crappy to the weekend.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2011
  10. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    Some rifles may shoot just fine by having forend pressure.......off the bench.

    The problem comes when we use it under real field positions and hunting scenarios. Any torque or pressure against the stock will transfer to the barrel in one way shape or form.

    If you want the rifle to shoot where you think it will under all circumstances and from different shooting positions, then I recommend you float the barrel, or have it done.
     
  11. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Well-Known Member

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    Free floating a barrel is about the easiest task there is when it comes to working on a rifle.

    You will need a few wood working tools such as rasps, dremel, curved gouge (chisel) and sandpaper wrapped around a dowel.

    Basically you take a piece of paper and with the action loosely in the stock slide the paper between the barrel and the stock to determine where the barrel is making contact in the channel and remove wood there. Then you put the action back in the stock and check again and if the paper will not slide under the barrel you remove wood where it binds and then try again. Repeat this 5-10 times until the paper slides freely up to the bedding compound.

    There may be a difference between how the action fits in the stock with a loose fit and when it is finally tightened down so you have to give it a final check to make sure it is free floated when the screws are in.

    The common sources of error are cosmetic damage along the top sides of the barrel channel where you remove too much wood in a spot and at the end of the barrel channel by not getting a round shape. The damage from mistakes will be purely cosmetic unless you get in a hurry and use a chainsaw.

    Be sure to seal the inside of the barrel channel with a exterior grade of wood sealer. It is not so critical with a laminated stock as a regular walnut stock. A regular wood stock unsealed can warp so it un-floats the barrel.
     
  12. Iron Worker

    Iron Worker Well-Known Member

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    I found a tool called a "Gunline Barrel bedding tool" they have them in various sizes from 1/2" to 1" would i want the same size as my bbl is in the stock is ? Brownells has them .....
     
  13. jarnold37

    jarnold37 Member

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    As to free floating the barrel, do you have any bedding in front of recoil lug? You will run into problem with a new barrel because it cannot be exact size of barrel that was removed. I always rebed after barrel change to make sure of no undue pressure. As to free-floating, I have found sockets wrapped with various grades of sandpaper will permit even a 5th grader to open up barrel channel. Once barrel is floated-the action must be bedded because the pressure point in forearm is gone. This pressure point is there for a reason. The factories know that the union of the stock and action are far from precise, so they put contact in forearm to help support the entire barreled action. With a relatively light barrel, the barrel temperature increases per shot and pressure point usually causes barrel to whip differently after temp increases. Bedded a light barreled rifle once with no float-action to tip of forearm. It shot suprisingly well. Not much sticking out to whip I guess
     
  14. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Well-Known Member

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    I have never used one because I just make do with the tools I have and I only do it a few times in my life.