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Old March 17, 2013, 06:17 AM   #1
Outfish Oz
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Join Date: March 16, 2013
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Howa hogue stock on a Weatherby Vanguard

Hi all

I quite like the look and feel of the howa hogue stock. A local gunsmith told me that fitting a howa hogue floating stock on my weatherby vanguard (normally bedded stock) would not be a problem. He did suggest once I made the swap, to take my rifle to the gun range and double check the sighting in. Which I did.

Ever since I swapped to the floating stock on my vanguard though, I can't group within 3-4 inches. I can't even get enough consistency in my shots to see if the scope requires adjusting... Prior to switching stocks, I could do three shots in a one inch group every time with my vanguard 22-250 using the same ammo at 200m.

Is the vanguard just not meant to have a floating barrel?

Some advice here would be great.

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Old March 17, 2013, 08:03 AM   #2
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Hogue makes 2 stocks, one with pillars, one with a full aluminum bedding block. In my experience the stocks with a full bedding block tend to shoot right well. It is rare to see a rifle that does not shoot at least as well after free floating the barrel, but sometimes, especially with thin barrels a little upward pressure on the barrel helps.

I'm sure with some tweaking your rifle could be made to shoot as well with the Hogue on it, but it would be an easy decision for me to put the factory stock back on it. You could spend $100 in ammo and another $200 for a gunsmith to get it shooting how you want it to shoot. Of all the aftermarket stocks a Hogue is my last choice.
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Old March 17, 2013, 08:42 AM   #3
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I've got one rifle that shoots worse when free floated, so I went back to the factory stock (with pressure point at forend tip). I have another rifle that I put a Hogue (full bedded) stock on and it shoots great, and much better than it shot in the factory stock. jmr40 doesn't like Hogue stocks, but I'm fine with them. They are a bit heavy, however.
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Old March 17, 2013, 07:14 PM   #4
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That Vanguard barrel isn't thin, and it will shoot better if properly floated, but there are a few steps that need to be taken to get it right.
The stock needs proper fit and torque, if the barrel is touching any part of the barrel channel then it isn't free, and wont group tightly.
Thanks for coming!
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Old March 18, 2013, 12:56 AM   #5
Metal god
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The stock needs proper fit and torque, if the barrel is touching any part of the barrel channel then it isn't free, and wont group tightly.

I would add the old dollar bill test is really not enough room . Meaning if a dollar bill slides freely between the barrel and the stock but just barely thats not enough room . If you can force the barrel and stock to touch by pinching them together with your thumb and fore finger . IMO there is not enough room between the barrel and stock or the stock has to much movement . This could mean the stock is not ridgid enough or is not torqued down properly .

Just my .02
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Old March 18, 2013, 03:33 PM   #6
Outfish Oz
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Thanks for all the feedback, might just throw the old factory stock back on I think. Cheers
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Old March 18, 2013, 04:04 PM   #7
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The stock that comes on the Howa Hogue rifle is NOT the full length bedding block model. The ones without the bedding block tend to flex alot. So much that I'd be willing to bet the stock is touching the bottom of the barrel whenever you sit it on a rest. If you're shooting off bags, try moving the front bag back from the forend of the stock toward the action and see if your groups tighten up. I have a Howa .25-06 that I ordered as a barreled action and bought the Hogue full-length aluminum bedding block stock for it. Even with it I felt the need to trim a little of the overmolded rubber material out of the barrel channel. It consistently shoots sub-MOA with factory ammo. It might help to trim material out of the barrel channel of your Hogue stock until you're unable to make the barrel and stock touch by squeezing the two together at the forend. Also loosen your action screws a little and check how much side to side play you have. If the action easily moves side to side that could be a problem. A few layers of electrical tape can temporarily shim it up tight to see if it makes a difference. And those action screws need to be torqued to 50-55 inch pounds, says Howa/Weatherby. Snug the back one first, then the front, then torque the back before the front. Your Vanguard is the same action as a Howa, so any stock you find for a Howa will fit your rifle. If your'e not satisfied with your factory stock or the Hogue, I suggest either getting a Hogue w/the bedding block, or a Bell & Carlson Medalist.
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22-250 , floating stock , hogue , weatherby vanguard

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