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Thread: Barrel's free floated vs Pressure pad supported

  1. #1

    Barrel's free floated vs Pressure pad supported

    Hi Everyone,

    Just a quick question but I was wondering if someone could help elaborate on a this subject for me. I have an old Sako AV in .270 winchester and after a particuarly wet outing I stripped it right down for a real good clean and noticed the pad supporting the barrel I had seen it before but not given it much thought. Now I understand that the idea with free floating barrel's is that nothing upset's the harmonic's in the barrel as the rifle is fired, however the barrel on my Sako is well supported by a 1 1/2" pad about halfway along the barrel and I know the rifle is a good 20ish years old so I was wondering if this pressure point bedding is old hat? Mind you I have no intention of changing the rifle as with my own load's it'll shoot under an inch at 100 yards off my carrysack (if I do my bit) and always under 1 1/2" with good factory ammo.



  2. #2
    I left my Sako .270, with Tom at Continental shooting of Dalry for a week, while I was on Arran, it was re crowned & free floated, (got rid of that nasty bit you described), totally different rifle when I got it on the range back home....ragged hole for five or more rounds, much better than the old two inch groups! Steve.
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

  3. #3
    Removed the pressure point on my 691, though it was shooting inch groups ok the POI started to wander as the forend seemed to be warping in humid weather altering the POI by as much as 3 inches so off it came and its been spot on ever since although not improving accuracy by any noticable amount still around an inch, certainly did it no harm.

  4. #4
    Ok it's your rifle and you can do with it as you wish however my most accurate rifle happens to have a tightly bedded barrel. Also I am currently repairing the barrel channel after a "enlightened" previous owner gouged it out to free float and as a result the rifle was very inconsistant.

    Now the first thing "I" would do in your postition is the check that the action is sitting fitting correctly in the stock. You might find that the stock wood has compressed slightly under the tang. Slacken the rear tang screw and see if it rises out of the wood. If it does then the bedding needs rectifying before you do anything else.

  5. #5
    I suppose full floating barrels got around warping wood. Now with all these plastic stocks, a well bedded action and barrel is fine. I have also heard of friends having absolute disastrous results after trying to free float barrels. I wouldnt personally do it at home unless i was confident that it would give the desired effects.

    I was thinking the other day that my trusty tikka 595 has a wooden stock and is floating but never moves. Am i lucky or is it a sign of the times with stocks which havent seasoned properly? Has my 595 done its 'moving' in a previous life?

    In answer to the question.. Bedding isnt old hat and either method can be great if done correctly..

  6. #6
    Check and see if your wood is contacting the barrel evenly in different weather if it is then probably best left alone,when i decided to remove mine it was applying pressure to one side of the barrel only to the point that the bluing was being rubbed away at that point.

  7. #7
    Thanks Guy's,

    The barrel does seem to be supported evenly judging by the even wear of the blueing over the pad and I've hadf it out in some fairly nasty condition's over the year without a any major poi changes that I couldn't put down to weather or operator weather. I have on other small question though, as the barrel is still original it has seen a lot of use over it's life and I think in the next year or so I may have to change it, if I do I was thinking of getting the pad removed and the action bedded would this be right as the pad would not match the new barrel and degrade accuracy. Also the previous owner chopped the barrel to 20" for the moddy which I don't like in the .270.


  8. #8
    Ahhh do you hand load?

    If so the 20" barrel on a 270 can be worked with by using faster burning powders like Hodgdons H-380. I have a BSA CF2 Stutzen which came with a 20" barrel and didn't like the huge fireball the slow powders produced, same could be said for most factory ammo.

    I would also do a deep clean of your barrel as you might be surprised at just how much jacket fouling has built up over the years. Just peering down the barrel it might look clean and shiny but believe me jacket fouling can give that shine as I found out with the Majestic 270 I brought a few months back. After a couple of days cleaning with P-H 009 and Forest Bore foam the rifling is about twice the depth now to that is was when I got the rifle. I too was considering a new barrel as it looked worn however a deep clean and de-fouling has changed all that.

  9. #9
    I do hand load however I have tried a few faster powder's without much success the best load I have is using RL-22 which is a slow powder as I understand it which explain's why the moddy is rather hot after a few shot's. I'm not sure how much velocity I'm losing but I do have a Chrono coming for my birthday (finger's crossed) in a few days which I'll use to compare it against a mate's PH .270 with a 24" barrel. Also I have given the barrel a 24hr soak using Forrest bore foam and then an evening of scrubbing and patching to get it as good as I think I can but the rifling still looks a bit light compared to my other rifle's. But all that said it took a very nice 7 pointer Red Staggie 2 month's ago at just over 200 yrds in some of the worst rain I have stalked in, so far.......


  10. #10
    Well H-380 behind a 130 Gr bullet worlked well for me and was also accurate and precise. I even shot it in competition at 600 yards and won with it after doing so the following year using the same rifle and load they changed the rules to ban it's use. This was a club competition. The load was :-

    48.0 Grn of H380 under a Sierra 130 Grn Pro Hunter or Nosler Ballistic Tip the PH load had a COL of 83.82mm (sorry was using a metric Dial vernier those days) primer was CCI 200. This load was safe in my rifle but may not be in yours verify the data from good published sources and start lower and work up .

    Now as for the cleaning I found that scrubbing, yes with a bronze brush with the P-H 009 then allowing it to saok for about 1/2 Hr then wiping out and THEN applying the Forest Bore Foam moved a lot but cleaning the bore when hot, right after shooting a few rounds or from boiling water, moved more gunk that was plated to the bore. The P-H 009 Nitro Solvent removes the burnt on powder residue allowing the Forest to get to work on the copper and as I said it took about 2 1/2 days of this to get that .270 Majestics bore clean.

    Using a strong light shone onto the side of the bore at the muzzle often shows the fouling and I continued to clean until all I could see there was the barrel steel. Of course this Majestic was about 60 years old and god only knows how many rounds have been through it or how it was cleaned. As the bore is not pitted one can only assume that it was cared for even if not cleaned properly or enough to removed the jacket material build up. Walking the line between cleaning enough and over cleaning is the thing.

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