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Old August 25, 2019, 10:01 AM   #1
Dennis Bates
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Free floating barrels on bolt rifle

HI EVERYONE,
I'm new to forum, happy to be hear.have question about buying another bolt action rifle , my friend said to buy a Remington because its very accurate and
there so many after market parts etc.etc.
But what I've found out is that there barrels are not free floting,I though accurate rifles to must be free floating.Need help in responding to Remington's
none floating barrel.
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Old August 25, 2019, 10:10 AM   #2
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It depends on the rifle, some Remington's are floated, some are not. GENERALLY speaking free floating yields best accuracy, but not always. If everything is bedded right you can get good accuracy with several methods. Free floating is the easiest way to go about this.

In 2019 I wouldn't recommend a Remington.
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Old August 25, 2019, 01:48 PM   #3
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My knowledge gleaned from many years of old farts writing about it is that free floating is mostly helpful with heavy, non tapered barrels. These things have less deformation and vibration and more consistent vibration when fired. Any barrel contact can make these barrels less stable. It's generally said that narrow barrels, ordinary, untuned factory barrels are a lot more prone to wider wavelengths or whatever should be used, and hence can spread groups. By applying pressure to both sides of the barrel channel, vibration is dampened from both sides as well as vertical. So some people put a bit of wood to each side of the barrel channel at about 5 and 7. It can be done on synthetics. Others just put a bump on the bottom of the channel and a few ounces of pressure. Both are supposed to press on the barrel and lessen the wobble of the bore.

People are going to shout that this is all Poop. Whatever, this is what has been said in the past by the old masters.

On a semiauto or other non-bolt action free floating is the only way that you can keep the barrel from inconsistent contact with other parts. Many if not most currently designed good rifles of other than bolt construction have a free floated construction feature.
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Old August 25, 2019, 01:55 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum.

Some rifles do have free floated barrels, some don't.

Ruger M77 uses some contact in the forestock. If you remove it, you void their accuracy warranty.

In talking with Melvin Forbes (New Ultra Light Arms) the other month,
he believes that a stiff composite stock benifits from full length bedding.
And not to bother trying on the factory plastic injection molded stocks.
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Old August 25, 2019, 02:46 PM   #5
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A stock without a barreled action has a fore end that will bend relative to the receiver section axis with any force applied to it. Those forces are variable in direction and amount.

If you don't want enough clearance between fore end and barrel to ensure nothing changes the repeatable natural resonant and harmonic frequencies and directions a free floating barrel's muzzle axis vibrates at from shot to shot, then you'll have to accept some shots not going to call whenever anything in the stock fore end touches the barrel.

If you cannot shoot your stuff precisely enough to tell the difference, so be it.

All barrel lengths and profiles are 100% repeatable in their own single resonant and several harmonic frequencies.

Match 7,62 M1 Garands shot half MOA test groups at 300 yards with 30 to 35 pounds of pull down force on their lower bands. Ditto with M14NM rifles

Last edited by Bart B.; August 27, 2019 at 03:32 PM.
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Old August 25, 2019, 03:37 PM   #6
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Old August 25, 2019, 04:17 PM   #7
HiBC
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Just another opinion:

There are more than one systems that work.
What was pretty good for a pre-64 Model 70 (for example) was pretty good.Wood stocks,fully bedded,maybe forend pressure.

Lets not forget a 1 MOA production rifle was a fairly rare treasure pre-64 .
Truing the face of the receiver along with reasonably square threads gives the barrel/receiver joint a foundation. With that foundation,free float can work very well.IMO,its the straightest path to good results. IMO,the excellent accuracy delivered by quality free float AR type rfles is testimony.

But truth is,not every factory bolt gun has a true and square front recever ring.


If the barrel to receiver fit resembles a loose fencepost,and the scope sits on the receiver...the barrel vibration may be erratic.A shim in the barrel channel can preload the loose fencepost off to one side,and it will shoot better.

Sometimes.I believe the compromise with barrel to forend contact is any force on the forend is transmitted to the barrel. Particuarly from a sling wth a relatively slender forend hunting rifle .

Last edited by HiBC; August 28, 2019 at 04:22 AM.
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Old August 25, 2019, 09:19 PM   #8
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personalities

My understanding of the Remington (and others) is that there is a bit of a "speed bump" at the tip of the for end that provides a bit of up tension on the barrel. You can generally feel if you rifle has a speed bump at the tip by running your finger down the barrel channel when the action is out of the stock.

A "free floated" barrel should usually shoot better due to the elimination of bad harmonics caused by erratic or inconsistent pressure on the barrel in the stock, but I would say that is true only if the rest of the action/receiver is properly bedded. Proper receiver/action bedding does not always occur on a production rifle. Removing the speed bump at the fore end tip on a rifle that is not well bedded at the receiver is often a invitation to poor accuracy......ask me how I know. As a modification, free floating the barrel, either by mildly opening the barrel channel and/or removing tension at the tip, usually has the best results when a follow up bedding of the action is done.

Conversely, on a production rifle with so-so accuracy, a bit of up tension added at the fore end tip, (if it is not already present) something like a shim from a cut up credit card, will often show marked improvement in group size. If the rifle responds well enough to an experimental shim at the tip, epoxying the shim in neatly is often enough for to solve problems for field accuracy.

Modern production tolerances and design have solved some of these issues for the current rifleman. The various mechanical bedding systems and more refined quality synthetic stocks have resulted in very accurate, affordable rifles right out of the box. Much as I hate to admit it, a Ruger American, a poly stocked Savage, etc, all likely would shoot circles around the rifles in camp of my youth.
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Old August 25, 2019, 09:35 PM   #9
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I've always found that a floated barrel gives better accuracy. But, it depends on the stock. My last 700 was an SPS model, that stock was so flimsy I ordered a new B&C after I shot the rifle. The groups went from just over 1" to about 1/2"

You have to have a good stock to begin with or nothing is going to help.

I find no fault with Remington rifles, everyone I've owned shot great. They may have needed some accurizing but they were good shooters afterwards.
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Old August 27, 2019, 09:50 AM   #10
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Does a variable pressure point anywhere on the bolt actioned barrel degrade accuracy?

That's what those barrel bedding spots in stock fore ends are. There's no way their pressure on the barrel will be consistent from shot to shot

Best answers come from match winners and record setters

Last edited by Bart B.; August 27, 2019 at 03:24 PM.
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Old August 27, 2019, 12:41 PM   #11
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"...must be free floating..." Floating a barrel guarantees nothing. Every rifle is different. Some will like a floated barrel. Some will not. Even two identical rifles of the same make and model can have a different preference, but it usually varies by manufacturer. And there's no way to tell without trying it.
Fortunately floating a barrel is an easy DIY thing and it's just as easy to put a pressure point back in if accuracy doesn't get more consistent. A wee dab of bedding material just aft of the end of the forestock will do it.
Accuracy guarantees are daft. Normally, you'll find it's with very specific ammunition. Doing anything to a commercial hunting rifle usually voids the warrantee too.
"...was a fairly rare treasure..." Still is.
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Old August 27, 2019, 02:01 PM   #12
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A friend said, "Boats float"; and then I have one rifle that has a barrel and stock that is one piece. To most it appears to be different, The front stock is the recoil lug meaning the receiver, barrel and front stock is one piece.

And then there is the last 6 barrels I will ever install, I had a thought and then got over it, I thought about hanging the barrel on a sling because the barrels have never had support, anywhere from front to back, they have always been screwed into the receiver without support.

And then there was the 270; to strengthen the stock I glassed a trigger guard (Mauser) housing into a stock. And then the man called to tell me how accurate the rifle was and then informed me he cleaned the rifle

He said he began to believe he would never get it apart.

And then was a 7MM57, it is a 100% bedded rifle, it shoots one hole groups.

I have always been the fan of bullet hold, I loaded a box of 7MM57 ammo for the Mauser with more bullet hold than the Hornady Cam Lock bullet puller can pull. A wild guest-i-mate would be 100 pounds+, just imagine what I could do if I used neck tension instead of bullet hold.

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Old August 27, 2019, 03:43 PM   #13
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The free-floating barrel does not necessarily yield the tightest groups. However, It will be the most consistent-shooting rifle with regard to wooden stock warpage, various shooter holds, rests, sling pressure, etc. I like at least 1/16" of separation from the forend.

Almost floating is worse than having a pressure pad. Barrel vibrations will throw bullets at an angle, usually away from the barrel touch-point.

If you want a pressure pad, for some reason, it needs to have adequate pressure, say 3-8 lbs, depending on diameter of the barrel.

(I only have one rifle with a pressure pad, that being a Ruger 10-22 with a bull-barrel and Deluxe stock...only because the 10-22 only has one stock screw, so the pressure-pad is needed to keep the rear of the action tightly pressed into the stock. I use about 6 lbs of upward pressure to assure that. The barrel is also bedded for about 3 inches, starting ahead of the barrel dovetail block.)

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Old August 27, 2019, 05:03 PM   #14
Bart B.
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Interesting calculator to learn how free floating barrels vibrate:

http://www.geoffrey-kolbe.com/articl...vibrations.htm
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Old August 27, 2019, 06:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
free floating yields best accuracy, but not always.
Spot on reply.
At this date I would cautious think about a Remington purchase. Maybe wait a bit longer.
As told: "Remington Arms recently applied for bankruptcy."
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Old August 27, 2019, 07:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Fortunately floating a barrel is an easy DIY thing and it's just as easy to put a pressure point back in if accuracy doesn't get more consistent.
Putting a pressure point back in a stock may be easy, but duplicating the precise pressure and the accuracy of what you removed when you free floated the barrel, is not easy.

you might get lucky and find the right spot early on. It also possible you might try dozen of things and never exactly match what the rifle did before. It's a trial and error process and you'll have to do a bit of shooting each time you change anything, to see what (if any) different results you get.

Free floated barrels from the factory on mass production sporting rifles are a way to reduce costs. Not only does the factory save money fitting the stocks, it also lets them get away with less than fully weatherproofing the wood.
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Old August 27, 2019, 07:52 PM   #17
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I’m in the camp that believes a free floated barrel is not always necessary, but I’ll save the technical explanation. I have fully bedded rifles that shoot great, and fully floated rifles that shoot great. Don’t worry about that when buying because you’ll never know till you shoot that specific gun.

My advice, if you’re willing to spend Remington money... that money is better spent on a Winchester, Tikka, Browning, or CZ rifle... any day and twice on Sunday.

Get a well made gun, shoot it, and go from there.
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Old August 27, 2019, 07:55 PM   #18
Bart B.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briandg View Post
My knowledge gleaned from many years of old farts writing about it is that free floating is mostly helpful with heavy, non tapered barrels. These things have less deformation and vibration and more consistent vibration when fired. Any barrel contact can make these barrels less stable. It's generally said that narrow barrels, ordinary, untuned factory barrels are a lot more prone to wider wavelengths or whatever should be used, and hence can spread groups. By applying pressure to both sides of the barrel channel, vibration is dampened from both sides as well as vertical. So some people put a bit of wood to each side of the barrel channel at about 5 and 7. It can be done on synthetics. Others just put a bump on the bottom of the channel and a few ounces of pressure. Both are supposed to press on the barrel and lessen the wobble of the bore.
The old "masters" I learned the advantages of free floating barrels clear of bolt gun stock fore ends were classified by the NRA as "masters" because their rifles were the most accurate and shot the highest scores. With a variety of barrel lengths, profiles and weights.

Their barrels were never touched by stock fore ends that bend from rifle weight and sling tension. The barrel's wobble and wiggle of the bore axis at the muzzle was very repeatable in direction, frequency and amplitude from shot to shot; impossible with any fore end to barrel contact.

I'm not aware of any fore end contacted bolt gun barrel shooting under half MOA at any range past 200 yards, one third MOA 200 yards and closer, with 10-shot groups.

What is an "untuned" barrel? One with an adjustable weight at the muzzle to change the barrel's resonant and several vibration frequencies vertically so slower bullets leave at higher angles to the LOS to positive compensate for their greater drop at target range

Last edited by Bart B.; August 27, 2019 at 10:42 PM.
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Old August 28, 2019, 04:04 AM   #19
Nathan
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Frankly, on a stock rifle, that is not a decisive factor to me.

The things that once made Remington desirable really are falling away today. They used to have good accuracy, good enough triggers and good enough actions.

Savage and Howa as well as others are really beating them now. I would look at those 2 now.
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Old August 28, 2019, 06:18 AM   #20
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Assuming a scope,line of sight is from the receiver. Bore axis is in the barrel.
A light facing cut on the front receiver ring, can make a full 360 degree foundation with the barrel shoulder.Drawn up tight,the barrel and receiver become as one.

That facing cut is seldom done after the warpage of heat treat.

A good,solid barrel receiver joint is key to making free-float work.

Without it,the joint wobbles like a table with one leg too long. The root cause of the wobble is the table leg is too long(or the barrel/receiver fit is poor)

What do we do when we are at a restaurant and the wobbly table is annoying?

Put a bar coaster or napkins or a matchbook under the table leg. BINGO!

The wobble is gone! The shim worked!! .And so shimming table legs and rifle forends becomes the new standard.

In fairness,and deference to Mr Oheir, at some time the Gentlemen in the accurizing shop were faced with the SMLE,tasked to make it shoot for snipers and matches.

Long,skinny barrel and wood to the muzzle,free float was not too practical.

So under the proper phase of the moon,salamander lips,bat wings,and incandations were used to make the SMLE shoot rather well,for a while.

Remember,the military Mauser did not seat the barrel against the receiver ring.

Commercially,Winchester came out with the free float barrel in 1964,and people hated the aesthetics of it. Best thing that ever happened to Remington.
I remember when the High-buck,Cadillac fancy dream rifle,the German made Weatherby Mk 5,proudly guaranteed 1 1/2 MOA accuracy for 3 shots.

Today,a decent mechanic can buy good quality AR parts,and if the upper front receiver face is true,He/she can get a good barrel from even a moderately priced outfit like White Oak,and a solid free float forend ,say a Yankee Hill,Maybe an Aero lower, and hobby build a sub-MOA free floated rifle (using match grade ammo) a high percentage of the time. No salamander lips or bat wings or incantations,just properly assembling quality parts.

And,with minimal shifts/variation,it will shoot true with a bipod,or a sling,or on a bench,or offhand.

Free floated. No bar coasters in the forend,

It works with bolt guns,too.if upsteam you build them so they don't need patches to take the wobble out. It also helps if the bedding is stress free.

If the guard screws start to snug,and you get two more turns before full torque...that's a sign the receiver is being bent to fit the stock. Not best.

Last edited by HiBC; August 28, 2019 at 06:24 AM.
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Old August 28, 2019, 09:26 AM   #21
Bart B.
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I hope everyone realizes the barrel will start bouncing off any fore end touch point before the bullet leaves its muzzle. How much external resistance there is to the fore end bending will change the fore end pressure on the barrel. Barrels start wiggling as soon as the bullet leaves the case.

How you hold a rifle resting on bags atop a bench effects fore end contact point pressure on the barrel. As does sling tension in field positions.
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