Okay, here's the test that should be done to prove whether your barrel should or should not be free-floated if in a SYNTHETIC stock. At whatever distance you're sighted-in, or 100 yards minimum:
1. Rest the forend on a soft surface, but with your hand between the surface and the forend, holding it firmly. Shoot a three-shot group this way.
2. Rest the forend against a tree or post, but from a sitting position, as might be encountered in the field. Fire a three-shot group that way.
3. Rest the forend on a hard surface, like a log, but try it in three different positions for each shot fired. Fire three to five shots that way.
If the points of impact of the shots at the different rests and forend positions are within your quarry's kill zone (or your desired results) you may wish to keep the forend pressure point.
If not, consider removing it completely and open the barrel channel to provide at least 1/16" clearance from the barrel at all points. Repeat the test that gave the worst deviation from point of aim to prove that free-floating is best for your hunting/shooting conditions.
(Note: Wood stocks normally change POI due to humidity changes, so I generally recommend free-floating them. Laminated birch stocks also can change to some degree, but not warp as much as spread under compression. Pillar bedding and free-floating are generally recommended, though there are some exceptions.)
People are like rifles. Some are tried and true, having great eyes, personality, and fun to be with. Others never seem to hit the mark with you. Still others go off half-cocked. Still, it's nice to know most of them.
Last edited by Picher; March 6, 2013 at 07:14 AM.