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Thread: to float or not to float that is the question

  1. #1

    to float or not to float that is the question

    hi there.

    sorry if this has been covered a lot on here but here goes

    i hope to soon have in my possesion a parker hale 1100 lightwight in .308. itching to get it but waiting for my fac to come back. only 7 weks to go.
    when looking over the gun i noticed that it has defineatly not got a floating barrel. would you suggest floating it from the outset or see how it shoots first. the forend is slim with a schnabel tip.
    the only concern i have is taking wood away and the forend not being stiff enough. i probably wont ever use a bipod if that helps.

    regards pj1

  2. #2
    Test it first and if it shoots straight leave well alone !!!!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by pj1 View Post
    hi there.

    sorry if this has been covered a lot on here but here goes

    i hope to soon have in my possesion a parker hale 1100 lightwight in .308. itching to get it but waiting for my fac to come back. only 7 weks to go.
    when looking over the gun i noticed that it has defineatly not got a floating barrel. would you suggest floating it from the outset or see how it shoots first. the forend is slim with a schnabel tip.
    the only concern i have is taking wood away and the forend not being stiff enough. i probably wont ever use a bipod if that helps.

    regards pj1
    I have a CZ452 .22lr, when I first zero'd it in I wasn't too impressed with the groups. It managed 1" groups at 50yds which is pretty mediocre compared to what people told me a CZ 452 .22lr should be capable of.

    Then someone told me to check to see if my barrel was floated, to be honest I didn't have clue what he meant. Then he told me to check it with a piece of paper down the full length of the barrel to make sure the barrel didn't touch the stock.

    Unfortunately it did.

    So....

    I took the stock off and using a piece of 1/2" copper pipe with a piece of sandpaper wrapped around it I took my time and sanded the barrel clearance under my barrel till it was a good 2mm clear of the barrel down the full length of the barrel. I re-assembled the rifle and took it down the farm to test it. The groups are now literally bullet on bullet at 50yds with eley subs.

    It makes sense really too. If you use a bipod and you have a tight hold of your rifle, each time you take a shot the barrel is touching the stock and is being flexed a little each time.

    If I were you I would do as the guy previously said. If the gun is giving tight groups (Sub 1" at 100yds) leave it alone. If its any bigger than 1" I would start with floating the barrel.

    Obviously reloading a custom load will have a dramatic effect on your loads grouping, but you should ensure your barrel is floating prior to any load development.
    Last edited by robbobsam; 06-02-2011 at 20:58.

  4. #4
    SD Regular johngryphon's Avatar
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    Yes floated in conjunction with a superior bedding job done by an EXPERT will give you a tack holer if its barrel/trigger and you are all good.

    Remember a cigarette paper thickness on a dry day may not be there out on the hill in the rain all day with a wood stock.....do it!

  5. #5
    I free floated my 17hmr and .223.....both shot superb before....and still shoot superb....the only reason I did it was so I can drop the actions out to clean and they go back in the same spot...oh and also cos I just had to mess with my guns lol

  6. #6

  7. #7
    When I bought my .222 Rem (Rem 700 BDL), I couldn`t get a group better than an inch, with any brand of ammunition, from cheap to expensive. A guy at the club, suggested that I get the barrel "glass bedded" After I got it back, the groups opened up to two inches: I felt a bit dejected and accepted the groups, begrudgingly. My gun dealer employed a new gunsmit who did a few jobs for me; muzzle brakes, mount bases etc and I liked his work. I told him about the problem that I had with my .222 Rem. I brought it to him and he examined the gun. Apparently the guy who did the glass bedding made a pigs`s mickey of the job. The barrel has now been floated and groups are down to a half inch with Privi 50 FMJs. Just make sure that who ever does the work for you, knows exactly what he is doing...

  8. #8
    thanks for replies so far. i dont have an age for the rifle it understand its 1980 to early 90s. it looks very little used only a few marks on the extractor. it has a recoil lug which goes through the stock similar to a sako 75 or 85 etc. would you float up to this and would bedding the rifle be complicated by this

  9. #9
    pj1,

    I would give the barrel a clean, check the action screws are tight then go shoot it and see how it does. That's the Steel cross bolt your talking about and it's a Mauser feature . I believe you will find that the stock is bedded at the front of the receiver and the barrel has a pressure bedding point a bit back from the tip of the forestock. That's the std set up it seems for the 1100 Lwt. Find the load it likes and go shoot. Mine happens to like the 130 Grn Hornady over BLC-2 powder:-


    The three up higher ringed was a load using the Speer 200 grn bullet and this rifle does not like it much.... Obviously. That target and groups was shot at 82 yards prone and rested on a fore bag using an old Nikkos Sterling 4x32 scope with tripost reticle..

    On mine I stripped the old factory finish off and it was worn and chipped in a few places and this is what I found underneath:-





    I am not a follower of the free floated mantra. However it's your rifle so it's up to you .

    Oh yes I would guessimate the rifle was made in the early to mis 1980's if it's a P-H 1100 Lwt and not one of the Gibbs cobbled up ones.

  10. #10
    thanks brithunter

    thought you might reply. i popped into the gun shop the other day to check it definatley said parker hale on top of the barrel and it does. i will do as you said. give it a good clean and see how it goes. i dont as yet home load so could you suggest some factory fodder. i have used federal and geco in my .243.
    im also thinking of having it screw cut. would love to use it without but most of my stalking is relativly close to villages so dont want to upset the locals. what are your thoughts. should i see how it shoots then screw cut it. th e gun shop have offered to do it. they did my 243 and it shot lovely so i have good trust in their work

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