Free floating


December 24, 2002, 07:11 PM
Okay, I am ignorant on rifles, but am looking for a "custom" gun for hunting / target. Does free floated mean the barrel is not touching the stock? What is the reason for this? While I am showing my ignorance what is blue printing? And what is...heck, can yall just tell me what a "custom" rifle is composed of? Thanks.

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Steve Smith
December 24, 2002, 07:19 PM
Last post for the night...I think ;)

Whew, lots of stuff to cover!

Free floating. Yes, that means that the barrel doesn't touch the stock.
What it does: Keeps your warping stock (wood in rain?) from moving your barrel around. Allows your barrel to vibrate the same way every time for every shot. Allows you to use a sling round your arm and really get some torque on it without touching or moving the barrel. Allows somewhat better cooling.

Blueprinting. Just what it sounds like. Your rifle maker draws out the exact dimensions of each part of your rifle action.
What it does: Nothing in itself, but it SHOWS that your builder took the time to not only do the work, but ensure that it was correct by making detailed measurements and drawings. Hope that he's a straight up guy and doesn't send the same drawings to every customer! The blueprint could be handy if you ever want to make a change.

The rest? There's so much, we could all write a library. BEsides that, its so very specific to what type of rifle and the purpose. Got a few things on your mind? Get specific, no one minds.

December 24, 2002, 09:05 PM
Thanks Steve..."Got a few things on your mind? Get specific, no one minds". Thats why I LOVE this forum. I'am ignorant enough, other places make me feel stupid also!

Trying to decide if I should buy a Steyr Scout or a custom. As mentioned I'am looking for mostly hunting, and practicing shooting to hunt. Looking for .308 cal all purpose. Synthetic stock, light weight, actually I would prefer an auto as this is what I'am used to, but will probably end up with a bolt. Money is not a huge problem, but I can't see spending $1,000. more to get a tenth of an inch better group. I will never sell any of my guns, but I like to get items that keep or go up in value. I'am afraid I do not even know the questions to the answers I am seeking!

As far as free floating I did not even think of the cooling factor or the "harmonic" vibration...I have heard of BOSS but have no idea how vibration can effect accuracy. It is also strange that a warping stock could bend a barrel! Are they really that flexable?

Steve Smith
December 24, 2002, 11:10 PM
Amazingly enough, it doesn't take much pressure to change how a barrel acts. Sometimes, yes, a barrel will actually be "nudged" by the stock, or other times, it just fools with the way the barrel moves and screws up your point of impact. Some barrels need a little pressure at the tip of the forearm to make 'em shoot. Rifles are finiky things when you really get down to brass tacks.

Realistically, I don't think you need a custom job for what you will be doing. Art is the hunter around here, but I think he'd tell you the same thing. Get a factory rifle. If you want to shoot itty bitty groups then you don't need a hunting rifle, or it will be too heavy for hunting. A real custom job will barely start at $1K...not talking about throwing a new stock and trigger on a $300 rifle, but a real, honest to goodness custom job. Recutting the chamber, recutting the barrel so its square to the receiver, squaring the bolt to the receiver, the bolt face to the receiver ring and chamber, squaring and lapping the lugs, and about two dozen custom jobs. The average Joe doesn't need this to kill Bambi. Only the man who has nothing else to dump his cash on needs this for Bambi slayin'. Now, if you've got a $1K wad burning in your pocket, I'd suggest you go to a few well stocked stores and FEEL. Pay attention to the actions, how they feel to you, how the triggers feel (they are for the most part fixable, but actions are more costly). Find out what action feels best to you, for whatever reason. Find features that you like. Decide who's wood or synthetic stock you want, of if you'll need to change it because you don't like any of them. Consider the weight of each. Wood is not always heavier than synthetic. In CO, I won't carry a 10 lb rifle+scope because I'll be putting a lot of miles down, often with cold wx gear strapped on just in case. In the east, you might be able to take a heavier rifle if you want. I like semi-autos to, but I'll be darned if I'm going to hump extra metal for Bambi. Take ALL this into consideration. Don't buy anything. Come back home (with the notes you took) and search TFL for that model. Then decide.

A lot of deer and elk have fallen to $200 beat-up gun show special bolt guns.

BTW, if money is not a huge issue, my vote would be Cooper lightweight, Weatherby Mark V Lightweight, Sako, and that (Remington?) Titanium, in that order. But see, I'm lookin' at weight and quality.

December 25, 2002, 01:07 AM
Because there's a ton of insight into the freefloated/pressure point barrel harmonic techniques over there.

What I've learned, in a nutshell from my own dealings with several hundred rifles, is that either the gun's barrel is free-floated from undue influence by the stock, or if it has to be in contact, it should be a solid contact. Keep the influence, or lack thereof, on the barrel consistent and repeatable, and your groups should do the same. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on a bewildering number of factors... ;)

December 25, 2002, 01:47 AM
Boy, too bad the TFL archives aren't stored here! Not a problem. Just open up a second browser and aim it at TFL. You'll have all the archives at your disposal.

December 25, 2002, 02:01 AM
about 30 milliseconds after I hit the "Submit Reply" icon. :(

Here are a few:

And those are just a drop in the bucket. ;)

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