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Poodleshooter
October 31, 2005, 03:35 PM
I've got an older standard barreled Ruger M77 MKII in the synthetic boat paddle synthetic stock. It's not exactly a prize winner in the accuracy department, though some of that is probably the nut behind the trigger.
Anyway,has anyone ever relieved their stock at the forend or in the barrel channel in order to free float their barrel? The factory setup on mine places so much pressure on the barrel at the tip of the forend, that the paint I added to camouflage the barrel has begun to wear away. When the stock screws are tightened down, there ia quite a bit of upward pressure on the barrel.

cntryboy1289
November 1, 2005, 01:26 AM
There is nothing wrong with sanding out the forearm to free float the barrel, just know that the foreend pressure pad is thought by the factory to do well for accuracy. You can sand it out and try it and if it doesn't work better for you then you can use business cards to get the desired thickness of the needed pressure pad you will need to put back. If this ends up being the case, just mic the necessary cards and build up a pad again to that size. No two rifles are the same and no two will perform the same with or without the pad. some perform very well with the pad sanded out and the barrel free floated, and the there are some that have a thin barrel profile that need that upward pressure to shoot their best. Good luck with it.

Pointer
November 1, 2005, 02:54 AM
If the sanding out doesn't improve the grouping...

Glass bedding won't help very much... :rolleyes:

Buy new gun or get upgraded barrel. :(

If the free floating works, then glass bed it for more improvement. :)

Poodleshooter
November 1, 2005, 11:34 AM
Well, I've dremeled out the forend pressure point. I tested the barrel's contact with the stock by applying a layer of oil on all of the higher points of the barrel channel,and it doesn't appear to touch anywhere except on the sides and the tip of the forend. I'll try it and then go from there.
This rifle has always exhibited group shift, so I'm hoping this helps alleviate the problem. It's a great rifle for the first cold shot,but groups go all over after that.
I'm tired of shooting 2-3" groups with even my best reloads,when I've done much better with my other bolt guns.

cntryboy1289
November 1, 2005, 03:45 PM
One thing I didn't ask you about was whether you keep the barrel cleaned or not. It may be time for a good cleaning. By that I mean, use a carbon cleaner to get out all of the carbon and crud, and then use a good copper cleaner to make sure you remove all traces of copper. This may help you more than you think it would.

I would suggest to you that the forearm is swelling with the weather conditions and is putting pressure on the barrel somewhere.
What I suggest to you is that you sand out the forearm where the barrel will not touch it at all, and make sure that you can slide a couple of business cards between it and the barrel to check to see if this helps you out. If it does, then you are in business. If this doesn't work after you have cleaned the rifle completely, I would take a business card and fold it in half and place it back in where the forearm pad was. Shoot to see if it helps. Then add another business card back to the forearm and try again. It may take several cards to get the right height for the pad to be. When you are satisfied with it, remove the business cards and measure their height and then use some accraglass bedding compound to lay in the pad again making sure it goes higher than the measurement. When it is dry, I would then dremel it down to the correct height.

Now, all of this may or may not help your rifle, but I would think somewhere along these lines, you will findd a sweet spot. Once you find it, then you can try different rounds in the rifle to see if you can find one that works better for you. Make sure to clean the rifle after a few shots to remove the copper out, and then fire one or two fouling shots. Most rifles will need to be shot in after cleaning them. Don't give up on it just yet. Ruger has made some fine shooting rifles and they don't get the credit they deserve from a lot of folks here and a lot of other places. I have two that will shoot with anyone's stock rifle. If after you have tried all of the above, the rifle still won't shoot any better than a 2-3" group, I would get someone to watch you while you shoot. There may be something you are doing wrong without knowing it. Hope this helps you. One more thing, if the barrel is very thin in it's profile, you may not get more than 3 shots through it befor eit gets too hot and needs to cool down again.

Poodleshooter
November 1, 2005, 05:16 PM
One thing I didn't ask you about was whether you keep the barrel cleaned or not. It may be time for a good cleaning. By that I mean, use a carbon cleaner to get out all of the carbon and crud, and then use a good copper cleaner to make sure you remove all traces of copper. This may help you more than you think it would. Yup. I clean it every other shooting session, using Butch's Bore Shine or regular Hoppes #9 spiked with household ammonia for copper cutting.

I would suggest to you that the forearm is swelling with the weather conditions and is putting pressure on the barrel somewhere.
On a synthetic stock? I've always thought that they don't swell at all. I was more concerned about excessive upward pressure due to manufacturing errors.

What I suggest to you is that you sand out the forearm where the barrel will not touch it at all, and make sure that you can slide a couple of business cards between it and the barrel to check to see if this helps you out. If it does, then you are in business. If this doesn't work after you have cleaned the rifle completely, I would take a business card and fold it in half and place it back in where the forearm pad was. Shoot to see if it helps. Then add another business card back to the forearm and try again. It may take several cards to get the right height for the pad to be. When you are satisfied with it, remove the business cards and measure their height and then use some accraglass bedding compound to lay in the pad again making sure it goes higher than the measurement. When it is dry, I would then dremel it down to the correct height. I only had to dremel the very tip of the stock. That's apparently the only bearing point forward of the action.

Now, all of this may or may not help your rifle, but I would think somewhere along these lines, you will findd a sweet spot. Once you find it, then you can try different rounds in the rifle to see if you can find one that works better for you. Make sure to clean the rifle after a few shots to remove the copper out, and then fire one or two fouling shots. Most rifles will need to be shot in after cleaning them. Don't give up on it just yet. Ruger has made some fine shooting rifles and they don't get the credit they deserve from a lot of folks here and a lot of other places. I have two that will shoot with anyone's stock rifle. If after you have tried all of the above, the rifle still won't shoot any better than a 2-3" group, I would get someone to watch you while you shoot. There may be something you are doing wrong without knowing it. Hope this helps you. One more thing, if the barrel is very thin in it's profile, you may not get more than 3 shots through it befor eit gets too hot and needs to cool down again. I handload,so I'll probably test extensively before I try another stock. I'll be happy if I can get my best loads down to 1.5" or so. The rifle shoots it's first cold shot from a slightly fouled barrel very close to POA every time. Hopefully the barrel and receiver are stiff enough to hold a good repeatable group. I know the theory on the need for barrel pressure in thin barrels, but I've seen too many good shooting free floated pencil barrels to be entirely convinced that upward pressure on a single point of the barrel is always a good thing. This should be interesting if nothing else!

cntryboy1289
November 1, 2005, 06:52 PM
I completely forgot about you saying you have the boatpaddle type synthetic stock. Just because it is synthetic, doesn't mean it isn't pushing on the barrel in a particular area. I have a Rem7mm magnum in the same setup. Mine wouldn't shoot worth a flip until I used the bullets I impregnated with grit on it. I didn't use the David Tubb bullets, can't remember the name off hand, I believe it was the Wheeler Engineering set up. Anyhow, mine had the stainless action and barrel and after the firelapping, it shoots well under a half inch at 100 yds now. It was grouping close to what yours is now. I tried everything else I relayed to you and still wouldn't shoot better than a 1 1/2" group. The firelapping smoothed out some of the machining marks left by their rifling setup. I actually had a guy borescope it for me prior to firelapping and when I was done, almost all of the marks were smoothed out. Now, you could use some JB bore paste and lapp it smooth yourself, or use the bullets, or just shoot a couple hundred rounds through it, but I wanted mine to hunt with, not target shoot so much with. I have around a thousand rounds through it now, but I bought it 12 years ago. Mine seemed to love a Barnes 160 grain XLC loaded .030" from the lands using IMR 4831 powder. I load it slightly warm, not quite maxed out and it loves that load.

Harry Bonar
November 3, 2005, 06:41 PM
Dear Shooter:
Do just that! Free float that barrel ALL the way out from the action face and glass bed the recoil area.
Harry B.

Poodleshooter
November 7, 2005, 03:47 PM
Range Update: I floated the barrel by relieving the pressure at the end of the barrel channel,as well as very lightly relieving the sides of the stock. After firing my 150gr handloads at 100yds, I got groups right around 1.5" for 3-4 rounds. It was quite a decent improvement, and I'm pretty well pleased. The bedding project may be on hold for awhile,but in the meantime, I'm pretty pleased with the results.

cntryboy1289
November 7, 2005, 09:07 PM
Now that they are that good, a little experimenting with different loads may help get it even better.

Poodleshooter
November 10, 2005, 02:40 PM
Yeah, I'll have to re-ladder test it.
I ran out of the keg of powder I used for my pet loads anyway. Back to the reloading bench!