Free float or full length bed?


October 20, 2006, 10:40 AM
So I have been reading about modifications and came across what seems to be two basic schools as far as what to do with the barrel, free float and bedding the barrel.

Which is your preference? Advantages and disadvantages of the two?

If you enjoyed reading about "Free float or full length bed?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
October 20, 2006, 11:39 AM

Assuming you are talking about boltaction rifles, each of the two ways of bedding has their application. With a light contour barrel which is primarily used for hunting, bedding the barrel somewhere near the forearm tip will sometimes aid in accuracy. The downside: as the barrel warms up from repeated shots, the zero tends to wander. With a heavy contour barrel used for target shooting and competition, always free float the barrel. You may want to bed under the first 1.5" of the barrel to take some of the strain off of the receiver with a really heavy contour barrel, but it is still essentially called a free floated barrel even when you do this.


October 20, 2006, 11:41 AM
the rifle in question is a stock remington 700adl with the synthetic stock

I am debating if I just want to float or bed things, or if I want to go with a new stock.

That was my concern with the barrel bedding also since most of my shooting is range work with repeated shots. In such a situation I would assume consistant barrel vibration would be better to have then a barrel resting on something and moving as it heats and expands.

October 20, 2006, 12:24 PM
My thoughts for your situation would be to bed the action up to the lug, then free float the rest of the way. That also gives you the option to add some pressure to the tip later if needed.

I generally do this to my range and hunting rifles, although I have full length bedded one lightweight hunting rifle.

Jim Watson
October 20, 2006, 01:03 PM
Most of those injection molded mass produced stocks are pretty flexible. I would try it free floated. You could always add a pressure point in the forearm later. No sense in full length bedding.

October 20, 2006, 03:51 PM
Free floating has given me accuracy in the past. I only bed to the front mount lug, the action, not the barrel. I don't think bedding helps as much as free floating, though. That gets the stock away from the barrel and allows it to do its own thing without interference.

I have one rifle that is not free floated, not bedded, but since it shoots 3/4 MOA, I ain't fixin' what ain't broke. :D

October 20, 2006, 06:31 PM
I have one rifle that is not free floated, not bedded, but since it shoots 3/4 MOA
I hate you :neener:

Alvin in AZ
October 21, 2006, 03:03 AM
I have a mid 80's 700 Varmit in 22-250 with Redfield Jrs and 12X Leopold with target knobs. It was a direct upgrade from my .177 Weihrauch HW-30MII . :)

Anyway it shot really good right out of the box.
But I'm a tinkerer, no use even owning something if I can't tinker with it. :/

Free floated the barrell according to Jim Carmichel's "book of the rifle".

It shot bad. :/ Real bad. Before that a guy could sight the sucker in with one shot. (you know what I mean?)

So I read Warren Page's book "The Accurate Rifle" and basically scraped and cut out most of the bedding Jim Carmichel recommended I put in there. All that was to make it so when tightening and loosening the action screws the barrel and action did not move. It's then "bed" see? :)

It shot better than ever after that. :)

When this dummy don't get in its way;) that baby will link three bullets together at 100 yards all day. But all I've ever shot in it are 52 or 53 grain hollow point match bullets.

Anyway so the point is with your action being a 700 and according to Warren Page, it's ripe for free floating but not just any ol' free-floating job! Ok? :)

I have an extra copy of Warren Page's book maybe I should offer it up to the library. Naaa. Do yourself a favor it's a book every rifle nut should have. :)

Alvin in AZ

October 23, 2006, 02:07 PM
Ok so I went ahead and free floated the barrel of my remington 700.

Probably a little to zealously but the stock was pretty darned flexible and all I can say is :D

I haven't been able to shoot from the bench or at 100 yards yet but I did some testing at my uncles house at about 40 yards which is the best I can do till I get out to the range agian.

The free floating made my freehand groups about 30% tighter then I was getting from the bench, and my freehand admitidly still leaves something to be desired.

Hope to get out the range agian soon so I can do 100 yards and shoto from the bench, but using the only 40 and 100 yard saved targets for comparison I am very optimistic.

If you enjoyed reading about "Free float or full length bed?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!