I found this quote from Gale Mcmillan in another thread on here.
"Posted: 01-08-2000 07:08 PM
Quality barrels will perform better free floated but poor quality barrel will perform better with a 3 to 5 lb fore end pressure. The reason for this is that
poor quality production barrels are not stress relieved and will tend to walk as it heats up. By putting fore end pressure you are actually bending the
barrel upward in an ark so that as the bullet starts down the bore it is trying to straighten out the gentle bow induced by fore end pressure and it holds
the barrel against that force. This causes the bullet to exit at the same vibration point shot to shot even though there may be a velocity spread. It is best
to bed the rifle with free floated barrel as it is easy to bed the barrel with fore end pressure should it not shoot free floated. Just hold the stock in a
vice and hang a 5 lb weight to the front swivel and put bedding material in place in the fore end tip and let set up. This means that free floating is not a
panacea and does not always help. Some do and some don't This is why all factory barrels are generally bedded with fore end pressure."