To float or not to float barrel

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I have a new 257wby vanguard high country custom. Did brake in and has about 70 rounds through it. Doing load development just not grouping like I want. Using a couple different bullets. Should I float the barrel or not. Thanks.
 

Dosh

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Depends, if the stock is plastic floating may help some. A rigid carbon fiber stock bedded and barrel floated helped my grandson’s Vanguard immensely.
 

RWE

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....A rigid carbon fiber stock bedded and barrel floated helped my grandson’s Vanguard immensely.

I changed out the wood stock which was good to a B&C. I have not bedded it yet but I did take out the "hump" and it helped a lot.
 

Hecouldgoalltheway

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I think every barrel benefits from being bedded and floated. If done correctly, it cannot hurt anything. You're truly looking for consistency shot after shot, and when the barrel whip can allow the barrel to make contact with the stock differentially from one shot to the next, it can be inconsistent.

Weatherby claims that they intentionally don't float their barrels smaller than #3 contour from the factory because they say that their #2 and #1 barrels benefit from stock contact. I've floated several of them over the years, and they all shot more consistently afterwards, even if the improvement was only marginal.
 

vancewalker007

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I have a new 257wby vanguard high country custom. Did brake in and has about 70 rounds through it. Doing load development just not grouping like I want. Using a couple different bullets. Should I float the barrel or not. Thanks.
Note, watch your velocities as that barrel will eventually settle in around 200-300 rounds. Usually barrels will jump up 40-60 fps once it settles all the way in. If you have a the wood or hand-laid fiber glass stock I'd just bed the action. If you have that polymer stick I'd toss it and get a stiffer one. Did you shoot a powder ladder to find a stable powder load to start with a stable powder load for bullet seating depth tests? Or, did you go to a book and pick the max load etc.?
 

bgouin

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I am certain Wby doesn't hand fit the pressure point in the forearm. Too much pressure isn't good and too little isn't any good, either. Sometimes, none at all is what's called for.
I have a wood stocked Kimber in 270 WSM that shoots better with the fore end bedded. All other rifles that I shoot are floated, and they shoot well.
 

Radman

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I have floated every barrel that I own. I recently bought a barely-used Remington .243 that shot like a pig. After I floated the barrel she's a shooter!
I have a new 257wby vanguard high country custom. Did brake in and has about 70 rounds through it. Doing load development just not grouping like I want. Using a couple different bullets. Should I float the barrel or not. Thanks.
 
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shortgrass

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I have a wood stocked Kimber in 270 WSM that shoots better with the fore end bedded. All other rifles that I shoot are floated, and they shoot well.
I attended (and graduated) from an accredited gunsmithing school long enough ago that we were still required stock making by hand, from a blank. The stockmaking instructor recommended 7# of upward forearm pressure on #3 contour barrels and smaller. Even then, he said "sometime 5# is better and sometimes none at all is what is needed. There are no hard and fast rules." He did stress that the upward pressure needed to be a straight upward push, not off to one side or the other, even, straight upward pressure. Sealing a wood stock is of the utmost importance. Few factory wood stocked offerings are deeply sealed. Bill Larson has it correct.
 
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