View Full Version : Barrel Floating Qestion Rem Bdl 308

November 27, 2004, 02:02 AM
I just recieved my Rem. VLS BDL 308 and the barrel is floated all the way except a small spot about 3" from the tip of the forend. Do I need to trim a bit with some sandpaper? I dont think anything needs to be touching it does it? Anyone?? thanks.

November 27, 2004, 02:05 AM
Try it first ,if the accuracy is not as expected then make it free floating.

November 27, 2004, 02:11 AM
Ok, we'll find out tomorrow Lord willin it doesnt rain too bad. Thanks.

Harry Bonar
January 2, 2005, 10:59 AM
:) Dear Sir:
Float that bbl. clear out.

January 2, 2005, 08:23 PM
well, i have been shooting it for a little while now. About 50 or more rounds though it. My tightest groups are 3 shots at 100 yds, 7/16". Usually it does a very nice job. I have been tought to float barrels all my life. But this defies all that I have been taught. What is going on here?

January 2, 2005, 10:19 PM
You have been told to float the barrel but has the gun ?? Each gun is a individual and likes certain loads and bedding. I like to glass bed the action and about 2" of the barrel. Some bed just the action and some bed the action and have a bit of pressure at the end of the forend. In fact there have been devices made that have an adjustment for the forend pressure .

bill k
January 2, 2005, 11:12 PM
I've been taught as well as most experts agree 3 shots is not enough shots to get a good perspective of a rifles grouping. Granted, when you hunt you can only expect one to two shots, but really, 5 should be the minimum. My Speer manual suggest 7 to 10.
I also agree that freefloating might help considerably, but each individual rifle and ammo is different like Mete mentioned.
This is just a suggestion from a problem I had. I would get two shots I was happy with, then three shots would tail off. My potential 1/4 inch group tuned into a three inch group. I marked my shots in order of firing, on three different occasions and took them to my gunsmith.
With this information he knew how to correct my problem.
You would also have a better perspective of your rifles performance.
A 7/16 5 shot group at 100 yards with factory ammo is pretty darn good.

January 2, 2005, 11:48 PM
I aint had this rifle very long. 3 shots are good enough for me. Wether or not some say 5 or 10 is up to them. When you shoot a varmit, most of the time you only get one shot off anyway. I have shot great 5 shot groups with it. I usually stop with one target and go to the next when only one shot takes out the X center. Good enough. Sometime I would like to get a Timney trigger for it. The factory is "ok" but I have had a rifle with the Timney and loved it. I use only reloads. I hardley ever purchase factory loads. I know as I shoot it more and more my accuracy will improve. It has been a few years since I really got to shoot seriously. I used to have an Armalite AR-10 in .308 and it shot an easy 1" group but I shot it a lot. I figure once I get into the groove again I should easily beat that. As I stated earlier though before, if your first shot takes out the X mark at 100yds, that is the most important shot. Especially if I do it pert near every time. I put up 4 targets on the stand and that is my goal is to shoot out the X. If I dont then that target gets the 3 to 5 shot group. I like shooting skeet layed out at about 150 yds too. Kinda fun to watch them explode.

January 3, 2005, 01:42 PM
Are you shooting reloads in the new gun? Do you full length resize or neck size? If you neck size only, you need to be reloading once fired brass from the new rifle before the accuracy will be there. Just a thought.

Also, some rifles with a thinner barrel profile need the pressure point at the eend of the forearm. I am not familiar with the rifle you mentioned. What kind of profile does it have? If it is not a bull barrel, you might need to leave it there. You can always sand it out and use business cards to get the most accurate thickness and then use some bedding material to replace it with if you decide to experiment with it. I have a few rifles that are short barreled and very thin. These rifles shoot very poorly without some pressure out at the end.

January 3, 2005, 02:18 PM
It is a bull barrel. It is the same as the PSS but has a different stock. And cost's $150 cheaper. So far it shoots great. It will shoot better than me. I have a set of RCBS X SB dies. I havent neck sized as of yet. But what I am doing now I get very good results but I plan on trying just neck sizing sometime. The X dies allow you to resize without trimming. Kinda cool.

January 4, 2005, 12:47 AM
I like the x dies myself. I would suggest trying it like it is for a while. Then if you decide to try an experiment, you will have a good base to measure against. Sand the forearm out and try it. If you don't like the results, then add business cards to the forearm and retry. Add cards until you get diminishing returns. See which one shoots the best. If it is the cards, just measure them and bed to that dimension. If it shoots better free floated, just simply refinish the forearm of the stock. Good luck and good shooting.

January 6, 2005, 06:14 AM
You said that this is a varmint hunting rifle. As such, it may need to print the first shot at the same point, regardless of how the forend is supported, the weather, etc. If you fired the rifle from the same rest, the rest at the same position on the stock, and without any sling pressure, it may not make any difference whether the pressure point is there or not.

However, I've hunted varmints, albeit with wooden-stocked rifles, but have found that point of impact varies less, regardless of how rifles are supported, if the barrel is free-floating. For varmint rifles, when you don't have a lot of shots to correct for p.o.i. changes, free float if you can get acceptable accuracy. If you're shooting lots prarie dogs and p.o.i. for the first few shots aren't as important as group size, that may be a different story.

For the record, I've never found a centerfire rifle that shot better with a pressure pad. That doesn't mean that I didn't have to change my seating depth to account for vibration differences, but I usually just free-float and bed a new rifle, then work my loads up afterward.


January 6, 2005, 06:56 AM
I definatly make sure of consistancy. Meaning where I place the rifle, no sling at all, where I place myself, feet, cheek, finger etc. I know the way the rifle is, it is capable of sub M.O.A. easily. If for some reason it gets off for any reason I will probly float it. Everytime I shoot it, it is the same, no resetting of the scope. I had to once becouse of some of the eariler shots were off becouse of me getting used to it and I was pulling a tad. My brother has a Rem. 6mm in the same config. but about a 1970's era rifle or 80's and it is floated and it doesnt shoot any better. I load for both and shoot both, and have shot his longer than my newer one.

January 6, 2005, 10:55 AM
As long as the rifle shoots to point of aim regardless of whether the forearm is rested on a hard surface or soft, and your groups don't start stringing diagonally or vertically, don't worry about free-floating.


May 18, 2005, 11:58 PM
so far so good. about 200 rnds and still consistant. I have thought of making it completely free floated but so far I have decided not to. I caint believe that a non floated barrel can make a 3/8" group at 100yds. am I the only one with a non floated barrel and still shoot this tight of group?

May 19, 2005, 01:18 AM
Some rifles do and others don't. It will always be that way. I have some that are floated and they shoot as well as can be expected of a rifle, but I have two that demand the upward pressure at the end of the forearm to shoot well. Just give it what it wants and it will shooot.

May 19, 2005, 05:18 AM
Crashland73: Just remember that you don't shoot groups on game/varmints; you just need to put the first shot at the same POI as the last time you went hunting/shooting. Regular wood stocks with pressure pads don't usually do that, but they often make tighter groups.

If I had to sacrifice, say an EXTRA .5 minute in grouping ability (.375 + .500 = .875 min) for the knowledge that the rifle will put that first shot where I want it, I'd make the sacrifice. Why? Because the farthest shot from the POI would only be HALF as far from the POI as the size of the group ((.875/2) =.44 min.), and most shots would be closer than that.

However, if a rifle prints POIs 1.5" away from where I sighted it in two months ago, the farthest shot would be (1.5 + (.375/2))= 1.69 min away at 100 yards. That would make my rifle a much more accurate hunting rifle, since I could count on the first shot being about 1 1/4" closer to the POA (point of aim) than the other rifle.

The point is that the change of POI from stock warpage with a pressure point is that FULL distance away from POA (plus 1/2 average group size, while the average grouping ability places bullets only HALF that distance away from POA.

So, even though the rifle doesn't group as well, my chances of a clean kill are better because the rifle is shooting closer to where I'm looking. This assumes that both rifles will print the first shot within the group.

BTW, my varmint rifles also group under 3/8 minute, free-floated, using tailored handloads.


May 19, 2005, 06:03 AM
The only way I would hunt with that heavy ol' thing is to throw it up on my trucks hood with my bench rest. that crappin thing weighs to much for my back to hold it upright LOL! As far as POI each time, I have quite a few targets that proove that it is consistent. I have cut the x out with one shot, and that is 99% of the time a 1st cold shot of the day and even follow ups. the only way that I would ever use it for anything but turning paper into dust is to see a varmit or deer cross the range. I have scholiosis sorta bad and it is difficult to even go hunting but I DO have a 4 wheeler so's to just in case LOL!

Hunter Customs
May 19, 2005, 07:56 AM
I believe if you check with Remington you will find they do recommend a pressure point at the front of the forearm on their rifle stocks. I believe their theory on this is it helps in stabilizing the barrel. I can't argue with their thoughts on this as I have several rifles made by Remington with the stocks just as they came from the factory, all have the pressure point. All have produced very good accuracy results. I have an older Remington bull barrel 243 that I've used to shoot coyotes at 400 plus yards, these shots were made from a rest. At 100 yards this rifle will produce 3/8th of an inch 5 shot groups, it has the original stock with pressure pad.
From my experience with Remington rifles I would recommend to leave the stock on your rifle as is.
Bob Hunter

May 19, 2005, 08:34 AM
TRY IT free floating before you remove any material from the stock. Put a couple thicknesses of matchbook cardboard or similar under the action to space it up out of the stock, just enough to float the barrel. Then shoot it and see what it does. If it is better then cut the material out of the stock, if it isn't put it back the way it was and be happy.

Free floating the barrel doesn't always help, and I certainly wouldn't free float it without trying it first with some process that won't prevent me from putting it back to original.

May 19, 2005, 10:53 AM
Since 1964, I must have played with 30 or more rifles in various calibers, including many on the Rem action. My experience is that each gun is an individual. Many, but not all, worked best with free floated barrels. Some, especially the bull barrels, needed a small pressure point at the front. My thought was it helped to support heavy weight barrel and reduce torque effect on action during firing. Playing with rear bedding, front bedding, pillar bedding action, etc. takes time and effort. It is easier and quicker just to free float barrel and go so that is the approach most often recommended.
As others have posted, I would suggest trying it as is first. If you are not satisfied, then you can free float barrel, pillar bed action (if not already done by factory), rear bed barrel, front bed barrel, experiment with more/less front barrel pressure, etc. until you find what you want or decide to try another gun. In any case, have fun.

Good shooting and be safe.

ps: Didn't notice but are you using factory ammo or handloads? Handloading is a full other dimension and is also lots of fun or headaches, depending on your viewpoint.

May 19, 2005, 04:13 PM
The ONLY Remington bull barrels that have a pressure point are the old varmint BDL's with wooden stocks and the new, laminated stock (eg., VLS) models. None of the "P" models or the VS/Sendero use a pressure point; they're free-floated.

I free-floated my .243 VLS with the use of a Dremel with flexible shaft and large sanding drum. Per a few others posting here, the pressure point won't remain constant under all weather and humidity conditions.

May 19, 2005, 06:45 PM
Pressure points in factory rifles help to minimize problems due to "factory bedding" woes. They serve to stabilize the barrel vibrations and any action movements. By doing so, they make the rifle more tolerant of ammunition variations, especially going between bullet weights.

A special case: In accurizing Ruger 10-22s with only one action screw, it's essential to have a forend pressure pad to stabilize both the barrel and the receiver, otherwise, everything teeters on the action screw. I developed a bedding system for the rifle that was published on RimfireCentral.com and the old Shooters.com. My tips helped to create the "do-it-yourself" 10-22 improvement craze that has escalated beyond belief.

When striving for tight groups, pressure pads can help, but many of the best bolt action target rifles have barrels that are free-floated. Literally all of the best RIMFIRE benchrest rifles are free-floated.

Free-floated barrels work best with very high quality ammunition. In centerfire, that generally means reloads that use cases fired at least once in the same rifle and have seating depth set according to the position that turned in the best test groups.

If factory ammo is to be used in a rifle, or you expect to change bullet weights without re-sighting, by all means keep your pressure point. But, if you're likely to shoot small varmints at long range with handloads and have a regular wood stock, the advantage of POI retention afforded by free-floating is BIG.


May 19, 2005, 08:44 PM
I use only reloads with it. I have no complaints so far with the way it is being haveing the forend with the point. I was just kindof bumfuzzled is all.

May 20, 2005, 07:02 PM
More than enough opinions already, but I can't resist. If you have a wood stock, it will change point of impact with temperature, humidity, and time. Maybe not a lot, but if you're picky, too much. Free floating has seldom made my 700s more accurate for a few shots, but for year after year consistency, you need it freefloated. Regarding three shot groups, a lot of rifles won't do well longer than that, but if you shoot A LOT of three shot groups, and they are all where you want em, including that first shot from a cold clean barrel, you are there.


May 20, 2005, 09:12 PM
It is definatly consistant on the 3 shot groups. I dont always do 3 sometimes I do 5 and sometimes if I take out the x with the first shot I quite there on that target and go to the next. And I do that quite often I might add. I wont do anything now. If it starts to vear off anytime, I will definatly consider floating it.