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Discussion Starter #1
As much as I am sure I will illicit a few differing opinions, I am inclined to ask whether I should free float the barrel on my .270?

I tore it down for a number of reasons - to clean it from a day at the range, found the base screws were loose, and I am painting the stock.

Since I have it broken down, I am considering sanding down the two rest points on the forestock and floating the barrel. It shoots MOA or better (when I do my part), so I am not having any apparent issues with the way it shoots.

Do I use the old adage of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!", or do I say why not and go ahead and do it?

Any and all opinions will be considered.

Thanks!
 

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My 243 & 25-06 shot ok. An inch or better but a bedding job and a FF did make both of them more consistent and slightly more accurate. I just went ahead and did it To the new 30-06 before shooting which sometimes isn't good....
 

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A bit of a dicey one here; it shoots pretty well already which is a decent reason not to mess with it, but on the other hand if you're anything like most gun-nuts, being satisfied with a gun and not constantly thinking of ways to improve said gun is basically impossible. In the end it should be a decision that you feel comfortable with because you're gonna be the one who has to live with the results. If you do decide to float the barrel I would not just sand off the pressure points; I would also have the action glass bedded by a competent gunsmith. It will cost you a bit more but by doing that you are all but 100% guaranteed a more accurate gun.
 

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Check out YOUTUBE for glass bedding. There are a few video's that make it look fairly easy.

But, IMHO, if it ain't broke and you can get tight 1" groups at 100 yds.....
 

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I wouldn't touch a thing unless you got accuracy issues. My 30-06 and 308 shot sub MOA and my friend's 270 also shots sub MOA right out of the box.

I have 2 other "X" guns to play with, but so far I haven't been able to get to the range with them to see how they shoot.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I tend to agree with the "it ain't broke.." philosophy, but jbs04 hit the nail on the head with the wanting to tinker around to see if you can make it better.

I like the idea of bedding and floating, but have done neither before, so I would need some more education on the bedding part (how to do it - I mean).

Leaning towards putting it back together after I finish the paint job, and then see what happens.
 

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What kind of paint job? I am waiting for the weather to warm up to do my XL7 in a pine needle/straw camo.
 

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that is pretty good already, but i would do it. if it ends up not helping or hurting, you can always reverse it with shims. problem with pressure points is as the barrel warms it can cause groups to string.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
GJinNY said:
What kind of paint job? I am waiting for the weather to warm up to do my XL7 in a pine needle/straw camo.
I have put down a two coat layer of desert tan. Now I am torn between a pine straw and leaves using OD green, black, and brown, or a woodland pattern allowing the overspray to blend the colors. Tried to cut out a template for MarPat desert digi, but took too long to get a few of the templates cut out.

The pine straw (or cedar branches) and leaves would be the primary vegetation where I hunt in East Texas, so I am leaning that way.
 

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this is a pic of my .308 168gr barnes tsx handload group is .956 edge to edge, would be alot better if i was not shooting off a card table, i let a friend use my shooting bench. this was to test loads not to dial in my scope. I had to free float my stock because of it touching the left side of my barrel and would not hold a group at all. after i free floated it it would hold a nice group even when i would shoot 5 in a row.
 

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I will be sanding the pressure points on my barrel later this week. My .308 shoots fine for hunting applications but I strive for better. When I get it all back together, and if weather permitting, we are supposed to go shoot Sunday with some different ammo I've ordered in along with other I already have. I anticipate shooting 3 shots with every brand with an ample time between groups. I will be shooting:

Federal Power-Shock SP 150gr
Remington Core-Lokt 150gr
Hornaday Superformance SST 150gr
Fiochi FMJBT 150gr
Tulammo FJM 150gr
Federal American Eagle MCBT 150gr
Remington UMC MC 150gr

I will try to post with results/reviews of each brand, perhaps with pictures. And I will be shooting from a shooting bench on a shooting rest.
 

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Each rifle is different and absolutes will only get you into trouble - I say that absolutely. :D I have 2 30-06s that didn't seem to show a floating preference, but a 25-06 definitely preferred the forearm pressure of the original stock with the limited number of loads I put through it. With forearm pressure = ~1" groups; without pressure = ~3" groups. Fiddling with the load may get me my accuracy back, but it was easier to replace the forearm pressure to the barrel.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Great input and a good discussion.

Good shooting Sub95 - good argument to float the barrel.

Concov - look forward to hearing the results. My XL7 definitely prefers the Fed blue box in 130 and 150 gr. Handloading my own now, but it is always good to know I have a factory fallback.

Jayhawker - your first sentence holds a lot of truth. I think I am leaning toward floating the barrel and then replacing the rests if necessary, but the discussion is educational.
 

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Got my boyd's in and it after installing it, in noticed that it was already free floated. Is this unusual?
 

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Jayhawker said:
Each rifle is different and absolutes will only get you into trouble - I say that absolutely. :D I have 2 30-06s that didn't seem to show a floating preference, but a 25-06 definitely preferred the forearm pressure of the original stock with the limited number of loads I put through it. With forearm pressure = ~1" groups; without pressure = ~3" groups. Fiddling with the load may get me my accuracy back, but it was easier to replace the forearm pressure to the barrel.
I just can't wrap my head around why any rifle would prefer the forearm pressure. I'm not questioning you at all, I just don't know why that is the case for certain rifles. Is it just the flex of a thinner barrel? I'm actually thinking of sanding down the pads before I've even shot it. I'm waiting for a new trigger guard, and having the rifle sitting there apart is just making my tinkering gene become active...

Probably won't but it's tempting!
 

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Thanks Cubby the bad thing about them handloads i was shooting, i had a brain fart and never checked to see if they would fit in my magazine (doh) did them by barnes seat depth of .030 and.070 off the ring lands. so i seated the bullet deeper where they would fit in my magazine, and the holes were around 1.5" group so back to the drawing board.


only reason i can think of why them pressure points are there is because of the light barrel, as you shoot more in more ammo threw it the barrel will get hot and start to move around, with them pressure points there it should help with it not moving around, but i dont know.

my .308 will shoot under 1" groups with factory rounds, but my stock is free floated.

feds/barnes 180 mrx
winchester 180 lead silver box at walmart, around $18 a box
 

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The "X" gun barrels are not light barrels. The Model 7 or Ruger 77 Ultralight have light barrels.

The object of the pressure points is to dampen barrel vibrations and to try to get it to vibrate the same after every shot.

Unless the gun is shooting very erratic or overly large groups, I'd try something else before I removed the pressure points.Trying a different Ammo brand, bullet weight, COAL, powder type, etc., will often fix the problem and give the results needed.
 

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unbrideled,

I'm sure part of it is the load I'm using and the barrel harmonics that combination produces. Different powders and bullet weights might solve the issue and allow the barrel to be free floated, but if the original stock and its pressure points solved the problem, then I won't chase other solutions. I have too many rifles to pursue the perfect load for each.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I decided to shoot her first and see how she does before I do anything with the pressure points.

Also, attached some photos of the new paint job. The bolt is out while the bolt handle dries.

Two coats of desert tan, then I laid it flat on the bench and arranged some cedar branches randomly along the stock and scope and sprayed a light coat of camo brown. I moved the branches slightly and sprayed an even lighter coat of black.

Now I have to go shoot her and get her dialed back in.

Thanks for the discussion. I learn alot on this forum.



 

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Jayhawker said:
unbrideled,

I'm sure part of it is the load I'm using and the barrel harmonics that combination produces. Different powders and bullet weights might solve the issue and allow the barrel to be free floated, but if the original stock and its pressure points solved the problem, then I won't chase other solutions. I have too many rifles to pursue the perfect load for each.
makes sense to me. "Whatever works" is always my plan. The urge to tinker has gotten me in trouble before. It's just good to know the XLs can be put back to close-to-stock form if needed
 
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