Free-floating barrel - noticeable accuracy increase?


November 25, 2008, 12:17 PM
I have heard that putting a free float rail on an AR will slightly improve accuracy, as with the "corking a Mosin" trick. I guess it kinda makes sense, but is it a noticeable increase or just a minor tweak to maybe get .1 better MOA or something? Range reports pre and post would definitely be appreciated.

I think next time I go out to shoot I will bench my Mosin before and after a cork job and see how it is and post it on here.

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November 25, 2008, 12:33 PM
I dont have any pics, but before I bedded my Savage 10 .223 It would vertical string a 5 shot group. I bedded with Acraglas wraped the barrel with electrical tape. After It set up I removed the action and cleaned up, I removed tape and barrel was perfectly floated up to a inch forward of recoil lug. She does not string any more just touching other bullet holes if I do my part.

November 25, 2008, 12:36 PM
My wife's 20" AR is a 1.25MOA rifle with or without a float tube. It just didn't make any practical difference in group size. The tube did change the balance, which is why it now has the standard handguard back on it. BSW

November 25, 2008, 01:53 PM
Not to digress but what is "corking a Mosin" ?

November 25, 2008, 02:37 PM

November 25, 2008, 03:49 PM
Bedding a Nagant. Well I have bedded a few, and then gave up.

Back in the 80's when Finnish Nagants were cheap (like $65.00 for a like new M28!), I bought a small bunch.

The finnish rifles have the best barrels of any Nagant. All the ones I have I picked out at gun shows, took a cleaning rod, and got nice barrels.

These pre WWII rifles had bedding issues. The wood had compressed in the 60 years since they were built. So I bedded a couple. I bedded a M24, M27, two M1891's.

I shot good reloads through the M27, M24, ball ammo through the rest.

Hard to say that any real accuracy improvement occurred at 100 yards. Point of impact changed.

None of the rifles were MOA at all.

I think I bedded a M38. The action was so poorly bedded that the action was bowed!. Could not tell any difference in group size.

So for Nagants, I cannot say that bedding makes all that much of a difference. And I don't know why.

Mausers, Springfields, SMLE's, P17 Enfields, M70's, M700's, M77 Rugers, bedding makes a huge difference.

As to free floating barrels, I do believe it makes a difference. I just went through bedding and free floating two M700's. One in 6.5 Swede. Not only did point of impact change, but group size was reduced.

This is where I posted the results of the Swede.

All my match AR's have free float tubes. The barrel is free floating inside a handguard tube. I can tell you it does make one heck of a difference. I have a Armalite M4 clone. Not a free floated barrel. Shooting off sandbags, the sucker is a tack driver. Shooting off the ground, sitting, or prone, using a sling, the groups absolutely move. Little changes in sling tension, grip tension, move shots unpredictably.

One other thing, military rifles are not target rifles. Most military rifles are acceptable is they shoot within 3 MOA. Some brands do better. But no military (perhaps except for the Swiss) mass produced issue rifles that shot MOA.

It costs money to train troops to a high skill level with small arms. This is money that is not spent in peacetime, and there is no time for skill development in wartime. Our military sent Private Jessica overseas to Iraq. She did not even know how to clear her jammed rifle. She said on 60 minutes "it jammed". That lady, and the troopers in her unit, would have been more likely to hit the enemy with rocks, then with the most accurate target rifle made in the world.

If we ain't going to train them, maybe issuing troops pointy sticks is the best way to go.

November 25, 2008, 05:23 PM
Thanks Slam and Jpatterson. I might just try that on my M38.

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