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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After researching rifle bbl harmonics and vibrations, Ive been wanting to free float my rifle bbl for a while now. I wasn't sure of the best way to do it, and, not spend all day sanding by hand. I ended up using a 1" sanding drum, (Varmint/Medium taper bbl), with a 50 grit sleeve to remove wood from the bbl channel. I attached the drum to a 12" spade bit extension for enough reach, and to keep the drum parallel, and in full contact with the channel.

Working slowly and evenly, I was able to remove enough wood for a bill folded twice, (pic shows folded once), to clear all the way to the action.




I added a couple of coats of Tru Oil to seal the bare wood.



I think it turned out very well, and I'm looking forward to seeing if my groups will tighten up and be more consistent now.



Take care 8)
 

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When I had a rifle barrel free-floated, the gunsmith also glass bedded the action and forearm. Added rigidity to the action and kept any stock movement to a minimum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yea, Ive also been researching glass bedding. I watched a few folks do it, but it looks really messy. I want to see how it shoots now, and I may look into the bedding the action if it does not group consistently.
 

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Looks like a good job. Let us know what that does for your accuracy.
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It looks like you have pretty well removed all contact
from the barrel to stock. The purpose of this, free
floating, as I understand it, is to keep the gun from
changing its point of impact. Wood stocks take on and
give off moisture as atmospheric condition change.
When the this happens the wood changes shape. It
might start pressing against the barrel at point that
it did not give pressure to before. This can change
point of impact.

Free floating does not necessarily decrease group
size. Many people think it does decrease group size.
What it does is decrease the change in zero due to
stock warping which is effected by moisture content
changes in the stock.

Free floating may actually reduce accuracy (increase group size).

I had a rifle I built with a Brown fiberglass stock, and it
was extremely accurate, very small group size. Also it
did not change point of impact, because the fiberglass did
not change. It was very stable. I sold the gun to a friend
that really wanted it.

The first thing he did was to free float the barrel. He wanted
the utmost accuracy. I was completely dumbfounded by this.
The gun would drive nails the way I built it, and the barrel
was not free floated. Also it did not change point of impact
because the fiberglass stock did not warp.

Still he free floated it. I asked him if he shot it and grouped it
it before free floating. He said, "no". He said is was very
accurate after he free floated it.

I suspect he did not help the accuracy one bit, in fact, he
probably decreased accuracy, as the thing would shoot
groups I could cover with nickle before he "fixed it".

The Ruger you free floated looks to have a wood stock
so you probably did take care of it changing point of
zero over time, and it looks like you did a good job.

By the way, laminated stocks became popular because
they do not change point of impact as much as regular
wood stocks. The laminations really fight warping.
 

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I have seen some guns shoot more accurately with just a touch of upward pressure at the tip of the forearm as well.
 

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Yes changing pressure on the forearm is an old trick for
accuracy, probably sort of like the Browning boss thing
that can change barrel harmonics and possibly decrease
group size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Back with an update.

Well, I wish I had a better report, but my rifle did not shoot any better, or worse, than before free floating the bbl.

I have seen exceptional accuracy from this rifle, but only when hand loading lighter bullets at pretty high velocities.

I loaded 110 gr HP Sierra Varminter, & 125 gr Nosler Balistic tip. Both of these bullets did very well using IMR 4064 & AA 2520. Its a 308 Win BTW.

I was on a quest to find a factory load at a modest price that would work well. Looks like its not happening.

Ive decided I need to get my press and powder hopper out of storage and set back up before I shoot it again.
 

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Y-Hound
Next time you're target shooting, try a pressure point under the barrel right at the end of the forearm of the stock. Use a pencil eraser & cut to different sizes, insert one under the barrel & see what group it'll shoot. Work up the size until you get a good group. Each bigger size gives more pressure to the barrel.

Myself & a buddy were rifle shooting & one of his rifles wasn't shooting good groups, we inserted the end flap off a box ammo under his barrel & this improved that rifle groups. I think we wound up folding the flap to get the best groups.

Another time, myself & another buddy were shooting rifles. He said for some reason his rifle wasn't shooting like the last time he shot it. He had wrapped his stock with some of that camo tape, at the end of the forearm he had wrapped a piece around & over the barrel. After removing that one piece his rifle shot good.

So... does your rifle like pressure or not? That's one of the fun parts finding out.
 
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