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-Hi

After taking apart my Ruger Hawkeye African I noticed it has a pressure point that is located near the forearm with the rest of the rifle being free floated.

As far as I can tell after doing some research, firearm manufacturers discovered that a total free floated barrel would not shoot all ammunition reasonably well. They discovered that by placing a small pressure point near the forearm it would allow most factory ammunition to shoot reasonably well.

My question is since I do reload and varying powders is a way of matching barrel harmonics should I remove the pressure point for better accuracy?

Thanks

Riobert
 

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Robert,

This question will be hashed back and forth for many years, likely as many more as have already gone buy.

I have NEVER had a rifle shoot worse after floating a barrel while most have shot better.

If I were shooting competition where a sighting shot or several were allowed before the scoring shots were fired, or if the stock was such that it would simply not move, I'd agree that barrel pressure might possibly be an accuracy advantage.

However, when hunting there are no "sighters" allowed and for that reason I am very concerned about the point of impact on that first shot.

This is the same reason I hunt with a fouled barrel as I have seen first shots from a clean barrel land outside the expected group/point of impact.

So, I float my barrels, and foul them before heading into the field.

After fouling I take electrical tape and stretch a piece over the muzzle to keep anything from entering the barrel. The rifle remains in this condition unless fired or if I end up getting soaked and need to make sure my barrel is still in good condition. If the barrel is cleaned, it is a gain fouled.

I have floated my RUGER HawkEye 300 win mag, in spite of the RUGER instructions not to do so. I guess a 5/8" - 100 yard group will do with a 165gr Nosler Partition at 3318fps. This is a composite stocked rifle.

Were the rifle a wood stocked model, I'd first glass bed the action and then float the barrel.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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Robert,

This question will be hashed back and forth for many years, likely as many more as have already gone by.

I have NEVER had a rifle shoot worse after floating a barrel while most have shot better.

If I were shooting competition where a sighting shot or several were allowed before the scoring shots were fired, or if the stock was such that it would simply not move, I'd agree that barrel pressure might possibly be an accuracy advantage.

However, when hunting there are no "sighters" allowed and for that reason I am very concerned about the point of impact on that first shot.

This is the same reason I hunt with a fouled barrel as I have seen first shots from a clean barrel land outside the expected group/point of impact.

So, I float my barrels, and foul them before heading into the field.

I want nothing in a position to apply pressure in anyway to my barrel!

After fouling I take electrical tape and stretch a piece over the muzzle to keep anything from entering the barrel. The rifle remains in this condition unless fired or if I end up getting soaked and need to make sure my barrel is still in good condition. If the barrel is cleaned, it is a gain fouled.

I have floated my RUGER HawkEye 300 win mag, in spite of the RUGER instructions not to do so. I guess a 5/8" - 100 yard group will do with a 165gr Nosler Partition at 3318fps. This is a composite stocked rifle.

Were the rifle a wood stocked model, I'd first glass bed the action and then float the barrel.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the reply

I would totally agree about the fouling shot. I have four other caliber rifles and all but one will throw the first shot out of the POI unless fouled. So yes, even when testing I always use a fouling shot before testing my designated load.

I have seen many of the discussions and you are correct, they are all over the place on whether to float or not.

I agree that for the most part the pressure points for people who reload are not helpful. I am going to have the barrel floated and probably glass bedded.

Thanks

Robert
 

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Robert,

Wish you were close by, I'd gladly help with the bedding and floating process for just the cost of an Acuraglas kit. Been there and done that a bunch!

Reason I say to bed first and then float, is to help maintain proper action and barrel position until the glas is in place at which time you can go ahead and float the barrel without fear of the barrel being out of position in the stock.

Once had a heavy barrel Remington 700 in .223 on which the barrel sat out of center in the stock. Shimmed the barrel into proper alignment while the action was glassed, and once the bedding was complete and hard, the barrel could be floated without having a huge gap on the one side.. It was just that for whatever reason, the stock to barrel pressure was forcing a miss- alignment of the action in the stock. I suspect the stock had experienced some warpage after it was inletted.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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I've done free-float and glass bed jobs on dozens of Ruger M77's, never have I EVER had one shoot worse afterwards, and I can't honestly say that I remember a single one that didn't shoot better, even just a little. A local gunshop's staff smith shop used to call me any time they needed a Ruger bedded because they didn't care for doing the work on them (gotta hold your tongue right to get them assembled with that angled action screw), so I got a lot of work bedding Rugers and alleviating that "pressure point".

One thing I've noticed, without question - is that the pressure point of the stock on Rugers don't seem to be intentional. It's not always in the same place, not consistently sized, and has no intentional designed-in dimensional variance (meaning if there was an intentional "lump" right there, it isn't obvious. Largely, it seems like the contact is incidental - and accidental. I called Ruger a few times to ask about it - I've never been told that they intentionally add a pressure point.

Keeping that pressure point does, however, ensure one thing - get that barrel hot and it'll walk. Doesn't matter much for cold bore, one shot kill hunters, but if you ever throw follow-up shots downrange, as in the instance of colony varmints, that forend contact is a big no-no.
 

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The main thing that I'm concerned with, RUGER or other brands, is the fact that, and I'm talking hunting weight and style rifles here with typically slender forends, any change in hold that may apply a bit of pressure different from the "normal" can send the point of impact high, low, left or right.

Float that barrel and the factor of hold/stock barrel induced pressure will NOT be an issue no matter if the barrel is hot or cold, the weather conditions hot or cold, wet or dry etc. etc.

Took me a bit of thinking, but I devised a method to float a RUGER #1 forends, where the forend retains it's solid attachment, but the barrel is floated.

AS the above poster indicates, I have never had a rifle that I floated shoot worse, while doing so has cured a bunch of issues.

With the RUGER American, the designers were smart enough to have the barrel floated right from the get go. Smart move and MANY of those rifle shoot more then great. Mine does!!!!!!!!!

However, my RUGER HawkEye 300 win mag all weather had a formed in pressure point at the forend tip of the composite stock. Took a lot of sanding to get that removed, by this rifle also shoots GREAT.

Dealing with a RUGER 77/44 and it's composite stock as we speak. This stock was applying more pressure to one side of the barrel then the other, and with the flex evident in this stock that simply can not be an accuracy plus.

At this point have not found a need to bed the composite stocks, but floating is standard operation procedure!!!!!!!!!

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 
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