View Full Version : Free floating or bedding...

July 18, 2007, 03:41 PM
OK, OK< I know you should do both for maximum accuracy potential, but which of the two do you think is more important to rifle accuracy as a first step.

July 18, 2007, 03:45 PM
It depends on the rifle and how well the action & recoil lug-to-stock fit is already naturally, from the rifle design and machining tolerances. But generally speaking, free floating a barrel (if it's not already) will likely do more to prevent stringing & erratic groups than bedding the action/chamber.

July 18, 2007, 04:13 PM
Why half a$$ it? Bed the action and the first inch or so of the bbl, so there will be a solid platform to free float the barrel.

July 18, 2007, 10:53 PM
Free floating "GENERALLY" give the best accuracy. I have a Ruger model 77 (old model) that likes some pressure under the forend for best accuracy. There are no hard and fast rules, just whatever work is the rule.

July 18, 2007, 11:01 PM
Then I completely free-float the barrel from that point forward. I've never had a problem with the technique.

Art Eatman
July 19, 2007, 09:07 AM
While I agree with G98, in the context of the original question I'd say that the free-floating would be the first step. It takes little time or effort. If the results make the performance satisfactory, you can stop there.

I have several rifles that are sub-MOA without glass bedding, but they're more for hunting than for any serious target work.

But if you're really after the most you can get from your rifle, don't stop with the free-floating...


July 19, 2007, 09:12 AM
I believe the responses so far are pretty spot on for MOST rifles, but some of the thin, whippy barrels might benefit from pressure at the tip of the forearm. Just some food for though.

Chris Phelps
July 19, 2007, 02:35 PM
Free-floating the barrel generally gives the best accuracy, but more and more we are seeing rifles like the 10FP and some of the Remington SPS rifles rolling out of the factory... they are free-floated, but the stock is so weak that, when shooting from a bipod, the barrel will sometimes hit the stock.

Of course, those are the stocks you ditch as fast as you can, anyway... so I guess the rule still stands.

July 20, 2007, 12:53 PM
I'm a great believer of free-floated barrels, but all my hunting rifles are bedded, most are pillar-bedded or have an aluminum bedding block.

IMHO, it's important to glassbed and free-float a rifle that you intend to have for a while. That way, point of impact doesn't change with the weather and rarely needs to be sighted in...just checked every year.

By glassbedding the receiver, cleaning oils don't get into the wood to cause rot, and recoil doesn't batter the stock bedding points, causing the receiver to be set back and the screws touch the wood.

Pillar bedding today's laminated stocks is a very good idea because I suspect some tendency for round-bottomed receivers to push the sides of the stock apart just enough to create accuracy variations. The Birch layers seem to be softer than good walnut. Pillar bedding cured the problem on my laminated Rem 700.

The ultimate solution is an HS Precision stock with the bedding block. I purchased it used, not because pillar bedding didn't work, but the HS was lighter and I bought it used...for peanuts.