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Barrel touching stock on new rifle?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Bayourambler, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Bayourambler

    Bayourambler Member

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    Just looking at my brand new Remington Sendero 300 win mag and wondering why very end of the stock is touching the barrel? I always understood that a barrel is best if it's free floating? What's your imput on this ? Should I shoot it first, or float it before starting out?
     
  2. denton

    denton Member

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    Some rifles deliberately apply about 6-10 pounds of upward pressure on the barrel, at the tip of the stock. The usual procedure is to see how well it shoots before considering whether to remove the pressure.

    The reason this is done is that it is surprisingly difficult to make a truly rigid threaded joint, as when the barrel screws into the receiver. The upward pressure prestresses the joint.
     
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  3. Bart B.

    Bart B. Member

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    You're right. Barrels shoot best (most accurate) when free floated. Shoot it first if you like, at least 20 shots in a group. Fire 3 or 4 shots, then let the barrel cool down. Several times.

    Any contact of fore end to barrel transfers all the variable external forces on the fore end to the barrel. They change where the barrel points relative to the line of sight when the bullets leave.

    At least 1/16 inch of clearance from barrel to stock ensures the barrel is free to whip and wiggle very repeatable from shot to shot. If the fore end's easily bent, 1/8 inch clearance on its front half is in order.

    Pressure points to the barrel at fore end tips helped poorly fit receivers to stock shoot a little more accurate. But sight zero's change a lot from benched to field shooting positions. Especially if a sling is used afield. If you can sight in your rifle with two shots standing up without resting the rifle on anything and never put a bullet dead center on the target, you'll understand.

    It is surprisingly easy to make a truly rigid threaded joint, as when the barrel screws into the receiver. Square up the receiver face with the barrel tenon thread axis and the barrel snugs up evenly tight all the way around. This also prevents shot impact stringing off in some direction as the barrel heats up. Good rifles are built this way. Commercial rifle companies could do it for a couple dozen bucks each.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  4. Mn Fats

    Mn Fats Member

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    Shoot first. If your groups aren't up to par, try different loads. It may shoot just fine without being free floated. Here's my experience.. I just purchased a new 700 sps varmint heavy barrel 26" with plans to upgrade the stock. Original stock contacted the barrel at the end and a little on the sides throughout. I free floated the contact point with a dremel. The barrel now contacted further in. Free floated the next contact point and so on with an eight inch gap. My groups with federal gmm shrunk from 1.25" to .75" abouts. Ymmv. Now I'll tailor up some handloads and really see what it can do. In my personal experience, no contact resulted in a half inch reduction in 5 shot groups at 100 yards.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  5. LoonWulf

    LoonWulf Member

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    My buddies Sendero wears a b&c stock. They are less prone to flex than the normal plastic ones found on the sps and other series of guns.
    Id do as Bart suggests and float it, BUT i would shoot it first. If it produces acceptable Accuracy id leave it alone as messing with bedding usually voids warranty.
     
  6. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    Shoot it first. If it isn't broken, don't fix it. The main reason that you see the 1/4" gaps around a barrel nowadays is because it is cheaper than inletting a barrel channel properly. It doesn't take any craftsmanship to mold or gouge out a wide channel. I have seen several rifles that shot very well with full contact to the barrel.
     
  7. Bart B.

    Bart B. Member

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    What is "very well?"

    I've seen a few "full contact" barrels epoxy bedded the full length of the fore end. Once in a while, they would shoot a tiny group when all the variables cancelled each other out. Some groups were huge showing what happens when all the variables add up in all directions. Their owners based accuracy on the smallest group fired; a common thing to do.

    I agree; it doesn't take any craftsmanship to mold or gouge out a wide channel. But it's a smart move to keep the barrel vibrating exactly the same for every shot fired.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
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  8. Bushpilot

    Bushpilot Member

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    I'm in the shoot it first group. I'd shoot it and if your satisfied with how it shoots I'd leave it alone. I have seen several rifles shoot tighter groups with a little pressure on the barrel. The conventional wisdom is that usually rifles that shoot better with a little forearm pressure are rifles with thinner profile barrels. However, I've seen at least one heavy varmint profile rifle barrel that shot better with a little forearm pressure as well, although this is less common. There is a reason Remington often leaves a little forearm pressure on the barrel of some rifles. It's not by accident.
     
  9. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    When I got my "new to me" Ruger .280 stainless synthetic, the first thing I did was pull the stock off and relieve the channel so there would be zero contact with the barrel, regardless of how it was held or rested. The next thing I did was improve the trigger.
     
  10. Shawn.54

    Shawn.54 Member

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    Shoot it first Remington does this on a regular basis and I have seen people free float them then put glass in to get it to shoot again.
     
  11. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...barrel is best if it's free floating?..." Nope. Only some rifles like a floated barrel. Some really hate it. The only way to find out if that particular rifles likes it or not is to try it. And it's not the entire barrel. Only from the chamber area forward is floated.
    A great deal depends on where and how the thing is touching too. If it's over the whole length, that's rarely a good thing. Isn't good if it touches on one side only either. If it's just a tiny bit(inch or so) just aft of the end of the forestock, that's a pressure point.
    However, floating a barrel guarantees nothing. Either way, you need to shoot the thing before you do anything.
    The stock material matters as well. Wood that's not properly sealed(isn't expensive or difficult to do. Any wood sealer will do.) on the inside can and will swell to touch the barrel and alter the POI with humidity changes. Synthetics do not but can move if the screws aren't tight.
     
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  12. salt&battery

    salt&battery Member

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    if you take 100 rifles that do not shoot well I say 98 of them the barrel is touching the stock. it is almost impossible for a rifle with a wood stock and even synthetic to shoot the same zero or group in wet /dry hot or cold conditions and also as the barrel heats up. floating the barrel eliminates most of the variables and I have never saw it make a rifle worse
     
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  13. Sun Tzu warrior

    Sun Tzu warrior Member

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    My Remington 700 shot 5 inch groups with the forend putting pressure on the barrel down to - 1 inch after freefloating. Just my experience.
    STW
     
  14. denton

    denton Member

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    Truing up the receiver and the matching barrel surfaces is certainly very good practice, and ought to be done. But even that does not necessarily make a rigid joint between the receiver and barrel. Harold Vaughn spends a whole chapter on this in his book, Rifle Accuracy Facts.

    As the joint is tightened the first two or three threads bear all the load. As the barrel pressurizes, the joint shifts.

    Harold's favorite cure for this was a thread cut different from a standard Whitlock thread, the Spiralock. It more evenly distributes the load on the threads and in his case, cured a tendency toward fliers. He also has an alternative way of applying upward pressure to the barrel. If anybody is interested, I can post that.
     

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  15. 30Cal

    30Cal Member

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    I've had rifles with sporter barrels that didn't care for freefloating. So shoot it first.
     
  16. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    It is EXTREMELY rare for a barrel that is free floated to shoot worse than before. They often don't shoot any better, but shooting worse is almost unheard of. Building a rifle so that only the tip is in contact with the barrel is really a manufacturing shortcut in most cases. Or in some cases having a perfect full length fit is the sign of excellent craftsmanship on an old rifle or a newer custom rifle.

    Often you'll achieve excellent accuracy with contact. But you are far, far more likely to experience POI changes. The rifle may shoot nice 1" groups every time you go to the range, but those 1" groups will usually be 1-2", or often much farther from the POA from the last time you zeroed the rifle.

    Even in the rare cases where a rifle with pressure will shoot 1" groups and free floated it may open up to 1.5" groups, the free floated rifle will shoot those 1.5" groups to the same POI every time. I'd rather have a 1.5 MOA rifle that stays zeroed than a 1 MOA rifle that hits different POI every time the weather changes as the stock expands and contracts putting pressure on the barrel.
     
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  17. Dr T

    Dr T Member

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    One additional note: If the barrel is not free floated, it is possible that pressure on the barrel will shift the point of impact. Sometime the shift is radical. And the lighter the barrel, the greater the shift. (However, the OPs Sendero does not have a light barrel).

    Case in point: I have a Ruger 77 that was bedded with upwards pressure on the barrel at the tip of the foreend. The rifle shot great from the bench with sandbags under the rest. However, in the field, if I used a handysling, the pressure from the sling on the foreend would tend to shift the point of impact about 10 inches to the left at 100 yards. Free floating the barrel solved this little problem.

    However, I have another Ruger 77 with a heavier barrel that shoots just fine with the foreend pressure the way it came from the factory.

    Go figure. YMMV.
     
  18. joed

    joed Member

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    Guess why I don't like Remington. I have 3 of them left and all have been free floated. Don't know why Remington uses this method when no one else does. One of the first things I do with a Remington is to have the barrel free floated and replace the trigger. Every one I've owned has benefitted from this work, especially with a wooden stock.

    The last Remington I bought was an SPS VS. When I brought it home I ordered a B&C Medalist stock and and Timney trigger even before shooting it. I did shoot it while waiting for the stock and groups were about 3/4 to 1" at 100 yards, that was the best I could manage. It would shot a few shots really nice but there were always 1 or 2 that ruined the group. The Xmark trigger that came on it couldn't be adjusted lower then 4 lbs.

    I can't fault Remington for the bad triggers after the stories of their older models but their stocks are another story.
     
  19. Bayourambler

    Bayourambler Member

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    Well , thanks for all the input, looks like A hung jury here! I will shoot it as is, load up a bunch of rounds and see what it does. If it doesn't get under an inch I will float it. I have seen improvements by floating, and no change also. Never seen floating mess a rifle up. Just wondering, is this a mixed bag, is this checked at all at factory?
     
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  20. Mn Fats

    Mn Fats Member

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    Don't expect it to shoot under an inch right off the bat. Even with various loads. As Im sure your aware, other things can come in to play aside from barrel contacting the stock that effect accuracy. Side note, I've never heard of a rifle being worse off free floated. Some guys here claim to have seen it, I haven't. I posted my experience and wish you the best of luck. Update us on your range report!
     
  21. Bart B.

    Bart B. Member

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    Regarding how a given firearm and/or its ammo is tested for anything, depending on the objectives, conditioned and standards used, a wide range of results will occur. A dozen riflemen picked at random won't shoot the same stuff equally.
     
  22. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    I have seen it happen. I have a friend who believed a rifle barrel "HAD" to be floated. He bought a Rem 700 30-06 that would cloverleaf a 5 shot group, floated the barrel and the thing went to crap. We finally had to glass bed the action and about 4" of the barrel channel to get it back to halfway decent. At best it was 1 1/4" groups. It never did shoot as good as it did originally.
     
  23. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Definitely shoot it first!

    Many rifles are bedded with the barrel free floating, and a bit of upward pressure at the tip of the stock. In many rifles, this improves accuracy.
     
  24. Bart B.

    Bart B. Member

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    There's unknown facts about that system I don't know about. For example, what were the exact test and evaluation methodologies used to base decisions on?
     
  25. salt&battery

    salt&battery Member

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    why would a guy that shot a clover leaf ,which they say is one of the best groups, alter the rifle?
     
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