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Old February 6, 2013, 10:27 PM   #1
hamradioshooter
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Free-float the barrel of a Weatherby Vanguard 2

I just bought a Weatherby Vanguard series 2 rifle in .30-06. This of course has the synthetic stock, but the barrel is not free-floating. I am going to make the assumption that I will need to sand down the stock to free-float the barrel like I did with my wood stock rifle. Is free-floating the barrel still necessary? Has anyone modified the synthetic stock to free-float the barrel and how difficult is it?
Thank you for the assistance.
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Old February 6, 2013, 10:34 PM   #2
reynolds357
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You mess with it and you no longer have the sub moa guarantee that it currently has.
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Old February 6, 2013, 10:50 PM   #3
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Thank you

The sub-moa guarantee was something I was wondering about. I will then just work up my hand loads for the rifle. I just wanted an expert opinion on the subject.
Thank you.
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Old February 7, 2013, 07:11 PM   #4
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I wouldn't mess with it.

This is what my Sub MOA S2 does with factory "Zombiemax" ammo. I let it cool completely between shots. Admittedly that's a three shot group versus five (ammo prices prevent 5 shot groups right now). I would not change the stock for anything. That group measures .35 and was shot from sandbags.
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Old February 7, 2013, 07:39 PM   #5
shootniron
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The way my Vanguard's shoot...WHAT would I gain?

Nothing, in my opinion.
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Old February 7, 2013, 08:21 PM   #6
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Don't mess with it until you shoot it. And even then, I'd hesitate to mess with it. Many/most sporter rifles shoot better with pressure up front.
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Old February 8, 2013, 07:55 AM   #7
Bart B.
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I'd free float that barrel.

Fore end pressure points on sporter barrels has been a long-time factory quick-fix for poor receiver fit to the stock. It contradicts the old saying that hunters should not rest their rifle barrel against something when afield shooting at game; it changes point of impact relative to where it's aimed.

You could probably shim your receiver's fit to the stock to make it tighter after free floating the barrel. Folks did this with match rifles before epoxy bedding came about.

Do whatever makes you feel the best. You'll shoot better feeling good rather than uncomfortable about your stuff.
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Old February 8, 2013, 11:40 AM   #8
Sweet Shooter
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The stock on the S2 is by far and away better than the usual synthetics more commonly found 700's etc. The fit and finish is near perfect on all of the ones I have handled. There is no "up pressure"—to hell with "up pressure"—the stock fits like the proverbial glove. The point is to let it cool between shots so that stress/memory in a barrel is not changing your POI through contact with the stock.

And I firmly believe that slowing down produces noticeably smaller groups, saves you erosion, anxiety, and money. You will live longer and eventually die with more teeth and hair.

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Old February 8, 2013, 01:22 PM   #9
Bart B.
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SweetShooter, most factory barrels change point of impact due to their being fit poorly to the receiver or not stress relieved properly. Because they do bend so often, it's best there's room in the forend to do that.
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Old February 8, 2013, 02:15 PM   #10
Sweet Shooter
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I understand that Bart, but these S2 rifles are different, they must be very straight... I dont know what it is. Check out the target I posted. That is not a floated barrel. I have a Howa 1500 (so almost identical action/bolt) that is very generously floated in a Hogue stock that can not hold a candle to the S2.

Incidentally the S2 I have, will turn in sub MOA groups with almost all non open base factory ammo I have put through it.

There is a reason Weatherby feel comfortable standing behind the MOA guarantee.

-SS-
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Old February 8, 2013, 03:08 PM   #11
AllenJ
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Hamradioshooter, I got a S2 last year in 243 Winchester and it shoots really well right off the shelf. Try it before doing anything.
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Old February 8, 2013, 05:48 PM   #12
Bart B.
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Sweet Shooter, your 3-shot group's got no more than 20% confidence of being what all shots fired will do. But it's very good for a factory rifle. Shoot another one with 10 shots and that'll be about 60% on the confidence scale.
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Old February 8, 2013, 08:26 PM   #13
reynolds357
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My Vanguard2 .257 WBY is a flat tack driver. Let it keep its barrel cool and it thinks its a bench rest rifle. It is floated. Came floated from the factory. My V1 7Rem mag has about 7 to 8 lbs stock pressure. Its barely sub MOA. When I get time I am going to bed it and float it. It does not have a sub MOA guarantee to mess up.
Bart, in hunting rifles, I dont care about 10 shot groups. I only care how consistent the cold barrel shot is. With the exception of when I am hunting yotes, I dont plan on shooting more than one time.
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Old February 8, 2013, 09:14 PM   #14
Bart B.
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Reynolds, shoot a 10-shot group with each round through a cold barrel; maybe 3 minutes apart. That'll tell you not only what your accuracy level is about reality with a cold barrel but also give you the best center of group to zero on. You don't have to shoot every 24 seconds or even 36.
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Old February 8, 2013, 09:35 PM   #15
reynolds357
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I load develop kind of using a modified type ladder deal. When I get my load I like, I verify it with a three shot group. I go back in a day or two and shoot another three shot group. If they are both acceptable, I zero for it. During the whole process, I probably shoot 20 to 30 times total after I have finished load development. I dont trust the tables, I shoot the yardages. Maybe only one shot at each yardage, but I shoot each yardage.
Thats for hunting rifles.
The bench guns are totally different.
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Old February 9, 2013, 12:47 PM   #16
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First, I wouldn't do anything until you test it with different loads.

Second, it is a hunting rifle and designed to be such so I don't know what a 10 shot group will tell you since you probably won't be using that when hunting, in fact, the most important one is usually the first cold bore shot right?
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Old February 12, 2013, 06:56 AM   #17
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I have free-floated each rifle I own and will continue to do so with any new purchase I may make in the future, free-floated rifles, are usually more consistant than those that are not.
My Weatherby Vanguard synthetic was hard to free float because it seemed like the more material I removed tthe further down into the stock the barrel lies, finally I came to a happy medium and this rifle shoots beautifully.
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Old February 12, 2013, 01:22 PM   #18
Sweet Shooter
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I actually like the solidity of my non-floated Vanguard S2 rifle. For a walking rifle it feels better in the hand... faster handling for some reason. And as it shot so well I just don't see the point in floating it.
-SS-
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Old February 28, 2013, 08:21 PM   #19
greggmc
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Why some Weatherby rifles are “free floated” and some are not

From the Weatherby site:

Why are some Weatherby® rifles “free floated” and some are not?

We have found through our testing that barrels having a smaller outside diameter than our #3 contour require upward pressure to help stabilize the barrel for increased accuracy. Our free floated barrels have enough rigidity in the barrel for them to be free floated.

http://www.weatherby.com/support/faq...ry-22194-26373
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Old March 1, 2013, 07:19 AM   #20
Bart B.
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Weatherby's comments on floated and pressured barrels is a bit the other side of ridiculous. Unless they do a poor job of getting their lighter weight barreled actions' receivers bedded correctly in the stock.

I used to shoot matches with the rifle stock maker that designed Weatherby's first series of stocks; a top ranked high power match rifle shooter in his own right. I remember him telling me it was suggested to Roy Weatherby that all their stocks have their fore end's barrel channel large enough to totally free float the barrel for best accuracy. But Mr. Weatherby said no way.

He left Weatherby and started his own business making both match and hunting stocks for folks. They were popular for those wanting the best of both usability and accuracy from their rifles. They all had barrels free floating in them.

Weatherby's not the only company in the firearms industry to make bogus claims. Winchester's claim that fluting a barrel makes it stiffer is another one.
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Old March 1, 2013, 11:12 AM   #21
myfriendis410
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I'm surprised nobody mentioned simply buying a Boyd's laminated wood stock and bedding/floating your barreled action into that. Cost is about $100 and you now have two stocks for your gun. No mods done to the factory rifle and you can swap out as conditions dictate.
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Old March 4, 2013, 07:10 AM   #22
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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.)

Last edited by Picher; March 6, 2013 at 07:14 AM.
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Old March 4, 2013, 09:27 AM   #23
Bart B.
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Picher, your excellent test applies to all stocks; wood, metal or synthetic. The same thing happens with all of them.
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Old March 4, 2013, 11:46 AM   #24
Sweet Shooter
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@Bart B.
Why do you think Winchester's claim that fluting increases rigidity is not valid? It's actually basic engineering. Take a piece of paper slide it slowly off a smooth desk surface until it droops—mark that point with a pencil. Now crease that same paper hard and flatten it back out to leave a "rib". Do the same... slide it off the desk and see how far out it gets. A square bottomed flute is way stiffer than a round bottomed flute and a properly fluted barrel is way stiffer than a round barrel regardless of profile/weight.
-SS-
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Old March 4, 2013, 01:00 PM   #25
Bart B.
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Sweet Shooter, if you remove several long strips of metal from the outside of a rifle barrel, you've removed some of the material that resists bending. It's gonna be less stiff 'cause there's less metal resisting bending.

Winchester's fluted barrels have the same outside profile and dimensions of their standard ones. I talked to one of their engineers years ago when I first saw their claim about it. He agreed with me and was aghast that their web site would make such a claim; then he laughed when he actually saw it.

Check this link out; especially the part about folded flat stuff:

http://www.snipercountry.com/Article...relFluting.asp
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