View Full Version : Free floating a barrel, how much is too much?

March 21, 2001, 01:32 PM

This may not be a fast or simple question. I just completed rebuilding a surplus Mauser 98 (gotta love 'em) action to .308 caliber. This is a bull barrel and the whole enchillata was dropped into a synthetic stock.

The barrel is floating about 1/4 inch off the barrel channel. It locks in nicely at the receiver and everything behind the front lug. I have floated barrels before in wooden stocks and these stand off about 1/32". The question is, is this amount of float excessive?

E. BeauBeaux
March 21, 2001, 03:04 PM
If you like the looks its fine. I usually bed the chamber and 2 inches in front. Many don't like to see alot of space, so the old rule of thumb is if a dollar bill can pass between barrel and stock it's just right. Really it's what looks good to you. Some of the new stocks I have see it's an inch or more between barrel and stock.

Badger Arms
March 21, 2001, 10:25 PM
I like a good bit of space for a few reasons. On varmint or other rifles where you will be firing 500 or so rounds in a session, you get better cooling. Also, a large gap eliminates the possibility of any barrel contact whatsoever under unusual or unexpected circumstances. Finally, you are able to run a rag down the channel to dry off any water that gets down there if you are in bad weather.

George Stringer
March 22, 2001, 08:01 AM
Stuckatwork, I don't think there is such a thing as too much as long as it shoots good. I normally float to the thickness of a business card but as Badger said there are advantages in having a larger gap. George

March 22, 2001, 09:41 AM
Thanks guys. I'm heading out this weekend to see how she does. I'll report back on it.

March 25, 2001, 02:05 PM

When dealing with barrels, sometimes free floating is a good thing, sometimes barrels are more accurate with a pressure point, usually applied at the tip of the fore end. Just so long as once you get the barrel set and shooting right, the harmonics are consistent and that you don't have any changes in the stock to affect the barrel.

Technically, you could mount the barrel totally freefloated, with just the action bedded in and have no loss in structural integrity.

Good SHooting