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Free Floating, Bedding and Other Intimidating Stuff

Old 02-22-2010, 02:25 PM
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Spike
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Default Free Floating, Bedding and Other Intimidating Stuff

My rifle is consistently shooting 8 inch groups which is less than desirable. Assuming it's not the shooter, I've been looking at various possible issues and have found that the possible causes are nearly infinite and likely more expensive to have fixed than simply buying a new gun.

That said I am still considering self help ideas and had some questions. All input is appreciated.

First, I just tried "the dollar bill test" which my gun failed miserably. So I am considering doing some filing on the wood stock.

Second, I have also read about glass and pillar bedding and would consider doing one or both of these if there is a likelihood of increasing accuracy.

My questions, then, are as follows:
  1. Are free floating and bedding done together or are they alternatives to each other? It seems to me that bedding will simply re-establish contact between the stock and the barrel.
  2. Is there any signficant benefit to doing both glass and pillar bedding? Glass bedding looks like it could be done fairly easily but I'm not sure I have the right tools for pillar bedding.
  3. Besides these potential fixes and making sure the gun is clean, checking scope mounts and experimenting with different loads, are there any other fairly simple things to do that might improve accuracy?
Thanks!
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:23 PM
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1) "alternatives"
2) Significant benefits include maximizing consistency
3) Barrel re-crowns aren't too expensive. These groups are so bad, it would be something I'd have checked out.

And what RR said...he shoots a lil...
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Old 02-22-2010, 05:13 PM
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It's a WBY Mark V 7MM Mag. I shoot hand loads of 140 gr. Nosler partitions with IMR 4831 powder. Scope is a Leupold Vari-X 3x9. The gun and scope are about 30 yrs old and gun has a slight amount of rust pocking in a few places.

The trend I've noticed is that as I continue to shoot several rounds it drifts though not with any consistency. It basically just jumps around giving large groups. If I let it cool down and then shoot it, it will be close to zero. By the 3rd shot it will start moving considerably (1-3 inches). I can't really afford and don't need a new gun right now and I'd like to make this one work. It meets my hunting needs (or I borrow my dad's .243) but I'd like to have more confidence in it.

Thanks for the feedback by the way. This is new territory for me as you can tell.

Last edited by Herron; 02-22-2010 at 05:17 PM. Reason: Forgot to say "thanks"
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Old 02-22-2010, 05:26 PM
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It sounds like the problem is you are getting the barrel hot when you are shooting it. If the stock is touching as the barrel heats up it will put pressure on the barrel and cause your groups to open up. If you let it cool before shooting again your groups will be better. When hunting you will not be shooting several shoots at a time.
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Old 02-22-2010, 05:50 PM
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Appreciate the input Jeff. I suspect it might have to do with the barrel heating up as well. If that's the case, do you (or anyone else) know if there's an easy remedy (other than sitting and waiting several minutes between each shot to let it cool)?

Can I simply file the stock to float it? Should I try (with great care) to bed it?

As a point of reference, I watched a brief video on the Midway Arms sight of the bedding process and they made it look pretty straight forward though it looks like they applied the bedding along the entire barrel portion of the stock.

Again, thanks everybody.
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Old 02-22-2010, 06:49 PM
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yep....you answered your own question...sounds to me as the barrel is getting hot and that'll start throwing your shots...

other things that come to mind...scope check? bases and rings tight? shooter problem?? (no offense meant..but ive seen alot of guys with guns bigger than they could handle and they couldnt shoot it very well at all..and i dont know your experience so no offence is meant..ive just seen it alot..and seen them shoot the first few fine and after that they start flinching like you wouldnt believe..)

barrel washed out?? 30yr old magnum, id take it to a gun smith and have the bore and throat checked...you admitted to getting it hot and keep shooting it...that in itself done regularly is heck on a bore/throat...as is improper cleaning methods (scratching the throat/bore with a rod or cleaning tip or brush etc...

or, bore needs a proper cleaning because its badly fouled...

8" groups...id say that theres much more to look at before bedding, floating, etc....

did it ever shoot well??? have you tried working up different loads?


i dont mean to insult you in any way...you could be an expert marksmen and gunsmith that already checked all that or thought of it all...i dont know you...just throwin all that out there...
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:33 PM
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Mauser06 - no offense taken and thanks for the feedback. I've checked the mounts so I don't think that's the problem. I'm probably going to start first with a good cleaning including a copper solvent. I don't think my solvent (Hoppes #9) addresses the copper issue. Hopefully that will go a long way towards correcting.

At the same time, it's hard to discount the barrel heating correlation. In other words, it seems like this is another part of the problem (even if the barrel is clean) and it would seem there might be a fix for barrel heating (besides sitting and waiting). I would think that this rifle should be able to give me a good 3 shot group assuming I do everything right.

While I am no shooting expert, I do not experience this with my dad's 300 Mag. or .257 (or lighter calibres for that matter).
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:50 PM
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im assuming your 8" groups are at 100yds?? not complaing about 8" groups at 500yds or anything right? lol


do you know the rifles history at all? how much has it been fired? etc?

the more i think about it, the more im leaning towards barrel is damaged or washed out...crown or throat damage, bore washed out, ridiculous amount of fouling...i have a gut feeling its something along those lines...

ive shot decent groups with loose scope rings...ive shot decent groups with a rifle that was barely bolted onto its stock! i about beat my buddy with that rifle...i do his shooting for him as he cant handle recoil and is not a very good shooter from a bench...he can kill deer..but cant shoot for squat to check his rifles zeros...when i found that bolt that wasnt the right size for the rifle and barrel/action moving atleast 1/4 from the stock, i wanted to beat him with the rifle...but, it shot fine! i was surprised...but wasnt happy that he KNEW about it and let me shoot it like that...taht bolt could easily gave out and WHAM..barrel, reciever and scope in my face...


ive never fired successive shots to actually see how it does effect accuracy...and different barrels and calibers will react differently...ive shot them WARM and as they heat up you can watch your shots "string"

anyone that cares about their rifle wont shoot it while its hot...and anyone serious about shooting a pretty little group wont shoot their rifle while its hot...accuracy suffers and it can ruin a rifle fairly quickly...

solution? simple...open the action, put the rifle on safe and wait till its cool...not enough patience to wait a few minutes or so (depending on weather..) take another rifle or 2 to shoot while the other cools down...

if im serious about shooting groups or testing a load for accuracy, i wont fire another round until my barrel is the same temp as everything else...


for cleaning, try one of the foaming bore cleaners...you can pick it up at walmart or most anywhere...follow the instructions...do it twice or 3 times if its bad...thats the best stuff ive found to get a bore back to bare metal....and its not a harsh chemical..some of the "good stuff" out there will also eat your rifle if you let it sit too long etc...get it in a little nook or cranny somewhere and its ruining your rifle..

if cleaning doesnt help, and letting the barrel cool down between shots doesnt help, and there isnt any loose screws/bolts on the scope or rifle, id take it to a gunsmith to have it inspected..a quick look with a bore scope and they can tell you if theres a problem inside..i hate to say it, but im leaning towards that going to be your problem....or your rifle really hates being fired while its hot....ive never done anything past a light warm so i cant say what effects a hot barrel will have...so you might get off lucky and not need a new barrel...
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:47 AM
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My 7 ended up liking a different load all together. It will not shoot the 140s with any powder I've tried. But it does a decent job with H4831 pushing 150s. I'd check the scope, check the scope mounts, check the scope again, make sure your action screws are tight
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:01 AM
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Just a little more background. I was taught to shoot 3 shots then let the rifle cool down. Is this a good rule of thumb or no?

As I indicated above, this rifle doesn't follow this 3 shot rule but it seems to work for the others I shoot.
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