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Free Floating v Pressure bedding

Chip

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Free Floating v Pressure bedding
« on: September 13, 2011, 01:39:44 PM »
Ok guys, so it seems to me that one of the most common fixes for naughty acting Weatherby rifles is to either change the stock and free float it or free float it in the existing¬  stock and fix the action bedding.¬  Now I know the "company line" about how a barrel under a number 3 won't shoot as well if it's not pressure bedded and ya know what that's a load of BS pure and simple.¬  Supposedly lots of tests were done to figure this out and the conclusion was that the same contour barrel that the rest of the world can make shoot in a free floated barrel channel won't work with a Weatherby?¬  I gota tell you I for one think it's time to revisit that study and see if it's still even remotely valid.¬  There must have been something to it at one time or Weatherby wouldn't have gone that route right?¬  I understand a little bit of tip pressure can help out in the accuracy department and it's a trick I have used myself over the years but it generally was something I did to a gun that I was pressed for time on and had to get it to perform without all the stock work and load developement.¬  Speaking of load development, if they all were bedded the same at the factory it should be a lot easier to develop loads for them wouldn't you think?¬  So why not pillar bed and float them all to start with and be done with it?¬ 

Chip
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« Last Edit: September 13, 2011, 02:08:03 PM by Chip »

Re: Free Floating v Pressure bedding
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2011, 02:12:53 PM »
I put a b&c on my 243, free floated and bedded it, its a shooter now. The Timney was a nice addition also. I have some rifles from other manufacturers with sporter barrels on them that are free floated from the factory, they shoot very good.
Troy

Re: Free Floating v Pressure bedding
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2011, 03:21:08 PM »
I don't have a rifle that glass bedded or free floated, and I don't have a rifle that won't shoot a group of .75 or less. Not all my rifles are Weatherby's, but they all shot the 1 1/2" group or better. I have had to work up loads for all but 2 of them, and they shoot factory loads just fine. If you had to pay the money they ask for a Mark 5 and you feel you need to do that kind of work to get them to shoot, why do you buy them. Don't take offense, I'm just asking.

zonie

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Re: Free Floating v Pressure bedding
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2011, 05:15:16 PM »
Chip :   Correct me if I'm wrong Weatherby on some rifles have two little length wise forend pressure points one on the left side and one on the right.  To a casual observer I would only conclude it's to center the barrel in the channel.   Here's the rub I have especially with the splatter gelcoat or paint whatever they use it creates high spots or more specific there is only a very small part of the gelcoat touching the barrel and if it's on either the left or right ride where do you think the barrel shift is going to occur.  This has been a pet pieve of mine for awhile. 

The wood today is nowhere near as stable overall unless you were to buy a chunk of old growth that's been sitting in some barn naturally drying for about 7 years or more, and that's going to cost a bunch.  A prime example is go down and buy a kiln dried 2x4 pop a bundle open and see how long it takes to twist.  Nail it in place out of the weather and you are fine, let it sit in the bundle outside for a few days you got a bunch of returns. 

Composite stocks are only as good as the maker.  You can get really good ones and pretty cheap ones that flex all over the place.  Some people call them tupperware stocks.  Laminated are actually pretty good,  way more stable than less than best quality wood and far better than tupperware. 

Imo the only reason to put a pressure point in is cost and make the rifle look presentable.  In other words gaps in the barrel channel.  it's far easier to produce a rifle with a pressure point,  accuracy aside that looks good and sells.  On behalf of pressure points that are done right I find it's easier to find a good load quicker than a free floated.    I can tell pretty quickly if a rifle needs work or not.  One down side to pressure points is they are more reactive to rain if it's a wooden stock, and temp if it's a composite.  Rain gets in there and that wood isn't absolutely sealed it can  shift point of impact.  Heat makes composites more flexable and that's dependent upon how good the stock is,  even carbon fiber hand laid up stocks I've seen move in the heat.  Now if they have a pressure point in there it's going to normally be less pressure on hot days and more on very cold days.  I honestly think good wood is a little more forgiving in this respect so long as it sealed.  If you free float you  take most of  the  stocks bad habits out of the equation and if you load test to find the right load it's more consistant in the long haul.    The only time I'll free float is if the rifle is inconsistant at some point with a known accurate load.

I think it would be almost impossible for the ammo makers to come up with a consistant factory load that works with the same accuracy  everytime,  year in and year out.  Powder lots are similiar, but not exact.   Some of this loaded match ammo is pretty darn good, but it still can't compete with a guy that sits down and tweeks his loads to the ninth degree.  Then you have rifles that are a little finiky and only like certain bullets.  It would be hard to do.   

Chip

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Re: Free Floating v Pressure bedding
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2011, 06:16:23 PM »
Ron when I did my wood stocked VGL it got the whole barrel channel sealed up as well as the action bedded making sure that the tang wasn't in a bind and supported the first few inches of barrel on front of the recoil lug.. it just was never quite right before all that was done.  Yea I'm with you on the barrel contact with the side of the stock. It should not be touching at all or it should be touching at the same points with the same pressure.   The VGL shoots great now and it's going to get some time in the woods this deer season.  It's been a long time coming. I just haven't felt good about the way the rifle performed up until I got done with it early this year.  Sometime I will break it out of the stock and take a few pics of how crooked the flat bedding surfaces were in this wood stock.  All of this is why I prefere the Accumarks. Less messing around to make em shoot for the most part. 

Chip

zonie

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Re: Free Floating v Pressure bedding
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2011, 08:51:03 PM »
Chip :  It's amazing what a little elbow grease will do.  I was looking at a brand new rifle the other day and the bedding visually in the receiver area was so off,    I couldn't  believe a better known company would let it slide thru their QC.    My Kimber  84M Montana was about as perfectly bedded as I've seen,  and other Montanas  while still quite good wasn't as perfect as mine.   As good as some rifles reputations are there's still a few that get by that aren't as good as we would hope.  I guess that's why they make bedding compounds and guy's that like to tinker.  It does kind of gripe me a little we have every thing ran on computer machines, but the old world craftsmanship on productions rifles isn't there like it use to be.  They pay some guy 10 bucks an hour to screw a stock on with a pneumatic screw gun he grabbed from a bin,  and call it good.   If it comes back as defective  most don't,  the company is still money ahead.  I'm not singling out any specific company I think all the big ones are guilty  to a certain extent on their lesser models.  In really can't blame them it's business.  This is one reason I don't mind looking at older guns.  If you seen my 6.5x55 you would probably cringe it's as free floated as free floating gets, at least it shoots good.   

sseden

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Re: Free Floating v Pressure bedding
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2011, 10:24:35 PM »
Military sniper rifles are free floated arn't they? Syn. stocks and all. There must be a reason or they would not be doing it.

Pressure spots are to allow cheaper production cost in my humble opion. Bed them and float them. Your still going to have differences at point of aim because of altituide and temp. A 5% decrease in veocity because of cooler temps (burn rate) makes a difference in  POI because the barrel dynamics aka known as harmonics changes ever so slightly.

This is what happens when we sight in at 85 degress at sea level and move up to 9000 feet and we get a miss when we know we are zeroed both before and after the trip.

Just a thought!
I BET On Berger Busters

Re: Free Floating v Pressure bedding
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2011, 05:12:19 AM »
Chip, interesting post. I've been thinking a lot about this recently with regard to my Vanguard. I know my Vanguard is extremely accurate. However, I have great consistency issues with it. When I'm at the range I need to wait about 10 minutes in between shots or my groups get whacky. When I do let the gun cool completely, my groups are 1/2 moa or less. I do realize that you should let the barrel cool down some, but this goes beyond that. I'm concerned because of the possibility for a follow up shot being required in the field. I am hypothesizing that the current factory stock (Vanguard Synthetic) heats up easily and may swell causing my groups to go to crap. I've been looking at getting a B&C medalist with the full aluminum bedding block. I was wondering if simply bolting a stock like this on could potentially solve my problem, or if you think that it will require free floating regardless. This can probably be accomplished by removing some material from the inside of the stock, but I don't have any experience doing it so I'm not sure. Any suggestions?
Isaac

Chip

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Re: Free Floating v Pressure bedding
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2011, 07:16:20 AM »
FW, To answer your question.  At the moment the only Mark V I have is an Accumark. It's already bedded and floated the way it should be right out of the box. If I was looking at a wood stocked Mark V it would be pillar bedded and the barrel would be floated before it ever had a round put downrange. That's just the way I set my rifles up.   If you have stock rifles that have never been touched and all shoot 3/4 inch groups you need to go by a lottery ticket becuase you my friend are one lucky man.  Bustinbirds had an interesting take on accuracy and that is that his rifle is accurate if it is shooting out of a cold barrel everytime it fires, but if it's
not cold it acts a little ugly.  To me that is not what I expect in the field and I personally would probably not think of that rifle as being all that accurate.  Even though the target you shoot looks great.  If I need a follow up shot or even two I want those landing as close to the fisrt one as possible as soon as I can send it.
A correctly bedded rifle can do that weather that is with or without a free floated barrel or any pressure points it should not matter.  One that is not done right with a little bind in the action or a stock that contacts the barrel here and there on either side at random points in the barrel channel is not going to get that done. That sounds to me like what has been going on with a some of the Weatherby's, maybe quite a few ?   

Re: Free Floating v Pressure bedding
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2011, 07:39:56 AM »
Chip, thanks for the insight. I think I will eventually go with the B&C and see what happens. I've found that most of the time it's only the first shot that matters. I'm happy that my gun puts that first shot where it should go. For me this usually results in a dead animal, but if I don't do my job, the creature generally disappears into the thick cover before I ever get another shell in the chamber. To be clear, that second shot isn't so far off that I couldn't hit my target, but to me it is enough to be bothersome. Again, thanks for the input, it's good to hear from people who have experience in an area that you are seeking information.
Isaac

dubyam

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Re: Free Floating v Pressure bedding
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2011, 07:55:06 AM »
My opinion is that pressure points are a manufacturing cost issue.  Can a rifle be free-floated from the factory and work well?  Sure.  It's easily possible.  But with the stock materials used in rifles today, many of those same free-floated rifles will no longer be free floating when a little "grip" is applied as the rifle is being fired, or some deflection occurs when the forearm is rested on a fence rail, shooting sticks, or such.  Beyond that, since most factory rifles aren't bedded (or aren't bedded well), accuracy of floated barrels isn't always up to snuff.

So, what I see happening is that it's "easier" to make rifles 1" rifles by slapping them into moderately stable stocks with pressure points in the foreend, and no individual bedding work.  It's also more cost effective, in a mass-production model.  And so that's where most companies end up.  But, if you want the absolute best accuracy, Chip is right - properly bedded and floated, and loaded, a rifle will shoot to it's potential.  There again lies part of the equation, too, though, in that factory ammo and factory rifles are built to the "averages" and the attempt is not to make the most accurate rifle, but one that is relatively consistent and acceptably accurate across a wide range of variability in ammo and shooting conditions.
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Rick

Re: Free Floating v Pressure bedding
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2011, 09:35:44 AM »
I've found that a rifle shooting a variety of handloads that is pressure bedded provides the most reliable group, that is,  a 30-06 that I switch between 150 fr sp and 180gr sp needs pressure bedding., a 7mm with just 130gr spbt speers that gives it's best results by being freefloating,  Maybe another example of what the intended use of the rifle/load/use might be.  Single load free float; multiple loads pressure bed; or, match loads to particular rifle load scope combinations and free float.  Reqiires a few extra scopes, but of course that's just added fun.

Chip

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Re: Free Floating v Pressure bedding
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2011, 09:43:42 AM »
I just tried the the grip the barrel test on a few rifles to see if I could put enough squeee on them to get the barrel to touch or rather how much I had to put on them and I was a little shocked. ¬ Now I would first have to say that I don't see anyway a guy could get that much force on a barrel or that much force on a stock in the field. I had to put quite a little bit ofr squeeze on them. Of the rifles I tried A Tikka T3 lite
A Browning A bolt Micro Medalion, A Ruger 77 Mark II in a Hogue stock and An Accumark. ¬ The one most easy to push the stock into the barrel on was the Weatherby. Granted the Browning is a wood stock so that's not really apples to apples. ¬ All of these rifles are still living in the factory bedding. The Ruger has a full length bedding block in that Hogue and nothing else. Kind of interesting but not sure what it really proves as they all are shooters. ¬  ¬  ¬  ¬ 

Chip

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Re: Free Floating v Pressure bedding
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2011, 10:02:16 AM »
That's funny becuase I have had just the opposite thing go on over the years.  My Accumark  is a 7RMag and it will shoot everything from 140's to 175's at or under an inch no problems.  My 6mm will shoot 75-105 with no problems.  The 7-08 Abolt will shoot 140's and 154's to under an inch.  The T3 is a 270 WSM and it shoots sub moa with 130's and 150's  None of these rifles are contact or pressure bedded.  Maybe with factory ammo it makes a difference.  I sure don't have any problems with different bullet weights in a floated barrel shooting my handloads.   

Re: Free Floating v Pressure bedding
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2011, 10:43:45 AM »
What would be the best way to bed a free floated barrel? Bed the action and rear of the barrel ? Pillar bed ? As you know Im getting a .257 built so I want it bedded the best way. The barrel will be just a touch heavier than an accumark, I got a B&C stock with the large barrel channel for it ( accumark stock).
Troy