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glass bedding and free floating barrel

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2009 at 10:42
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Can someone explain what all the hype is about glass beeding and a free floating barrel that I seem to read about everytime I research various rifles.  What is the reason for each and the advantages and or disadvantages.  Thanks for the help

Edited by Roy Finn - September/03/2009 at 17:41
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2009 at 11:52
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In general, glass bedding the action of a rifle mates the action to the stock so that there are no voids or spaces between the action and the stock. This should (when properly done) eliminate any chance that the action could move or shift in the stock during recoil, and helps to eliminate other variables that may effect accuracy. Think of it as the difference between a loose grip and a tight grip on a pistol during firing. While your first shot with a loose grip may be accurate, the grip will have to be adjusted between each shot and as the trigger is pressed the pistol has more opportunity to move in the hand as the shot is made shifting the point of impact (POI). With a tight grip it is more difficult for the pistol to move in the hand as the trigger is pressed, and after the shot the pistol is less likely to shift in the hand from recoil, and the sights should return to the same spot.
Free floating a barrel may or may not help accuracy, it depends on many things (type of rifle, barrel, stock, etc.). Free floating a barrel (in theory) eliminates any outside forces that may press on the barrel effecting the harmonics of the barrel and it's accuracy. An example would be a change of moisture in a wooden stock (rainy day vs dry day) which may change the amount of preassure the stock has on the barrel, and change the POI. Again free floating a barrel may not help some rifles, but in general it will.
Hope this helps.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2009 at 11:56
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Both are techniques that "can" increase a rifle's inherent accuracy.

Bedding perfectly mates the action to the stock.  Any "play" in the action allows things to move around, and that promotes inconsistency - which is bad.  Bedding the action takes any movement out and increases consistency - which usually increases the rifle's accuracy.  (Some rifles do not benefit from bedding - and many rifles suffer from bad bedding jobs.  If you get your actions bedded, make sure it is by a competent smith with experience and references.)

Free-floating the barrel means the barrel doesn't touch anything from throat to crown.  Anything that touches the barrel can throw off the harmonics (the way energy travels through the barrel) and "can" negatively affect accuracy.  But, many non-free-floated rifles shoot great.

In short, these are things that "might" improve the rifle's accuracy.  If the shooter isn't consistent and/or has bad shooting technique, bedding and free-floating won't fix the problem.

Likewise, some non-bedded and non-free-floated rifles are very accurate, and I wouldn't recommend changing anything - as anything you do might upset the balance that makes the rifle accurate.

If you want a little better accuracy from a gun, sometimes bedding helps, sometimes free-floating helps, sometimes a new crown helps, sometimes cleaning the barrel properly helps, sometimes reloads help, sometimes a better trigger pull helps, sometimes improved technique helps: there is no magic fix, but these "can" help.

If you are happy with how the guns shoots, don't change anything!  If you think it should be shooting better and you know you aren't the cause, these can help.

There is no magical solution to all inaccuracy, but these 2 things might help - But only if done right!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2009 at 11:58
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Free floating also helps because the placement of your hand on the stock of a non free floated barrel could create different amounts of pressure from shot to shot slightly pushing on the barrel changing your POI.  The same could be said when using a rest to shoot off of.  You may sight it in on a rest which could create a lot of pressure.  Then when in the field you may just be using your arm to hold the rifle up which could change your POI.

The whole point is to make the rifle itself as consistent as possible so each time the trigger is pulled the only possible inconsistency is the shooter.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2009 at 13:25
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I would like to say something... but it has already been said. 
Well, I will say this, every rifle I have, with the exception of 2, have been glass bedded and free floated.  Each, became more accurate and held tighter groups after bedding and free floating the barrel. 
Just my 2 cents...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2009 at 15:48
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Thanks everybody for your info.  It makes things much clearer to me now and has educated me.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2009 at 16:07
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Your welcome nightranger!
And to think; it only took four of us to answer two questions. LOL We must be gettin smarter.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2009 at 18:03
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Trays, I saw a guys bedding job (by a terrible smith) that significantly degraded accuracy, but i do agree that, in general, if well down, both will improve accuracy, all other factors being equal.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/03/2009 at 18:44
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Agreed...
I know a guy that does really good work. 
Lucked into finding him.  He did a couple of stock finishings for me.  Really cool guy.  Ill send ya a couple of pics soon.  Im breaking in my new AR this weekend.
C'ya!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/05/2009 at 13:14
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Here is one of the rifles he bedded and finished for me...

 
Mauser
30.06
Krieger #7 Barrel
Leupold Scope
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/05/2009 at 14:26
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Sometimes it seems as though everything you do does not help on a particular rifle. My last effort was an example. I pillar bedded, bedded the action and part of the barrel. This produced poor groups so I put clearance on the complete barrel and this didn't work. Took it to a gunsmith a couple times for help to no avail, he thought he found the problem, but it was back to it's old ways. The final straw was to instal a new barrel, but before that, in a desparation move, I fully bedded the barrel plus the action. Now it shoots 3/4 inches or better depending on the load. This does not work on all guns, but it has now for me on 2 model 70's. One is a 30-06 in a featherweight and the last is a model 70 in 300 Wby. The only thing I can figure is it supports a barrel that is too whippy??? By the way my brother in law did the very same job on a model 700 in 300 Ultra mag with the same results!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/05/2009 at 15:10
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One not of importance: if your barrel is garbage, all the tricks and voodoo one can muster will cause no appreciable increase in accuracy or precision.  If the barrel sucks, game over.

Another frequently overlooked problem area is the crown.  I've had rifles tighten groups with a new crown, sometimes it is just that simple.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/13/2009 at 14:30
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Trays, that is one nice stock job.  I really like the cheek and grip design.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/13/2009 at 16:27
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That rifle looks like fun to me.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/13/2009 at 16:40
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Its a lot of fun. 
I built it for my brother a couple of years ago.  He lets me hunt his property so I wanted to do something nice for him.  I gave him the gun and he loved it. 
He complains about the weight every time I see him, " man, i need a skip loader to carry that thing to the blind."  is one of his favorite lines. 
I keep asking for him to give it back but he just grins at me and walks away... Reckon he really dont care all that much about the weight.  Wink
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/13/2009 at 16:44
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He could join the trend and shorten the barrel.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/13/2009 at 16:46
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Originally posted by 3_tens 3_tens wrote:

He could join the trend and shorten the barrel.
Then I would have to shoot him...  Bandito
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/13/2009 at 16:51
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Originally posted by D. Bravo D. Bravo wrote:

Trays, that is one nice stock job.  I really like the cheek and grip design.
Thanks, the stock was custom made by a guy in Kansas.  I would tell you who he was but the second stock I got from him sucked.  It took him 6 months to fix it and then it wasnt ever fixed right.  He messed up 2 pieces of beautiful wood and never got it right.  Swore I would never send him anymore business.   Loco
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/23/2009 at 07:42
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Originally posted by Trays 7940 Trays 7940 wrote:

I would like to say something... but it has already been said. 
Well, I will say this, every rifle I have, with the exception of 2, have been glass bedded and free floated.  Each, became more accurate and held tighter groups after bedding and free floating the barrel. 
Just my 2 cents...

Forgive my ignorance,  but if you glass bed a stock, then isn't the stock and barrel in contact?  If so, how can the barrel also be "free floating" ?


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/28/2009 at 12:51
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Originally posted by Pilot Pilot wrote:


Forgive my ignorance,  but if you glass bed a stock, then isn't the stock and barrel in contact?  If so, how can the barrel also be "free floating" ?



Welcome to OT, Pilot!

When you bed an action to the stock, you can bed the action only, portions of the barrel only, or both.  You can bed the action without the barrel making contact with the stock.  In fact, most glass bedding jobs involve bedding the action only, and maybe the first couple inches of barrel in front of the receiver, with clearance left in the forend to "float" the barrel.  If there isn't sufficient clearance for floating in the forend channel already, you just wrap sandpaper around a dowel and sand open some clearance.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/28/2009 at 12:54
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Some that say free floating barrel do have as RifeDude stated a small portion of the barrel touch right at the reciever.  so ou could have a glass beded stock just for that portion.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/28/2009 at 13:26
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The Swiss K-31 I had shot pretty well when I got it and cleaned it up. I did notice though that it shifted in the stock a bit. I could wiggle it around. So I bedded the action. But I left the barrel alone because that rifle was purposely designed to have pressure on the front of the barrel. It shot a little better after that, but it wasn't like groups were cut in half.

I've never bedded my Rem. 700 actions since I've been satisfied with the fit of their H-S Precision stocks. I guess some shooters skim-bed them anyway. I think with that kind of stock (also the MacMillans) it's mostly important to torque the action screws the same if the stock has been removed.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/28/2009 at 15:00
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[/QUOTE]



When you bed an action to the stock, you can bed the action only, portions of the barrel only, or both.  You can bed the action without the barrel making contact with the stock.  In fact, most glass bedding jobs involve bedding the action only, and maybe the first couple inches of barrel in front of the receiver, with clearance left in the forend to "float" the barrel.  If there isn't sufficient clearance for floating in the forend channel already, you just wrap sandpaper around a dowel and sand open some clearance.
[/QUOTE]
 
I took 3 rifles apart this morning to take to the local Gunsmith to have braked. The Kimber SA had never been taken off the stock , by me anyway and I noticed a rub spot on the bottom of the barrel about 3 inches back from the tip of the stock...I could not believe that an expensive rifle like this had a problem, any problem!. I almost called Kimber but chose to just let it go...So this means that the barrel is coming into contact with the stock even though you can slip a sheet of paper inbetween barrel and stock easily...
 So should I sand it a little using the wooden dowel/sandpaper that Ted is talking about?
Thanks!
JF
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/28/2009 at 16:12
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The sandpaper around the dowel is a good tool to removing some additional material in the barrel channel.  However, some rifles actually shoot better with the pressure pad near the tip of the forend.  I know that Ruger did it for a while (unsure if they still do), and my first Remington a 700BDL in 30-06 had it too.  I know now from experience that Remington doesn't do that, maybe I just got a dud stock 16 years ago.
 
I bed all of my rifles that I get, and have had the opportunity to work with all kinds of stocks in doing so.  One thing I notice about bedding my rifles (even the aluminum bedding block stocks like H-S Precision and Bell and Carlson) is that it does make the rifle more consistant.  Generally that leads to better accuracy, but I mean "more consistant" in that my zero doesn't change from one range trip to the other.
 
I saw the biggest increase in accuracy in the sporterized 03A3 that I bedded after relieving some material in the barrel channel, which was contacting the barrel and throwing off the harmonics.  All of my Remington's (except my first) and Savages had the rifle bedded and trigger worked down before the first shot, so there isn't really much to compare accuracy to.  I will say though, through that and careful handloading I've managed to come across some pretty accurate rifles.  It probably is luck though.
 
I'll continue to pillar and glass bed my rifles and work on the triggers, mostly because I can't leave well enough alone.  I would also hate to think that I could be shooting a rifle that COULD be more accurate. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/28/2009 at 20:45
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This is an example of bedding the recoil lug and the chamber area
 
I use a dremel tool to remove stock material to free float the barrel
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