1 reply [Last post]
Location: Boise, ID
Joined: 01/03/2004
Posts: 5
Free Floating Barrels - When is it not necessary?

I have read several articles about the subject matter above. It appears that the heavier barrels are all free-floating. However, there also seems to be some discussion on where the line is drawn on lighter barrels and whether free-floating is better than up-pressure on the barrel.

Any rules of thumb too follow?

Joined: 01/13/2004
Posts: 39
Free Floating Barrels - When is it not necessary?

It varies by barrel. It depends on how the barrel vibrates when shot. The way a barrel vibrates determines where the muzzle is the bullet leaves it. The more a barrel vibrates, the more wildly it moves around and therefore the less likely it will behave consistently to the extent that the muzzle is in same spot, so to speak, when the bullet exits.
There are different schemes of addressing this. One is to use a well made (consistent in vibrational characteristics among other things) barrel or a heavy (i.e. stiff) barrel that is free-floated. Free floating just lets a barrel that vibrates in a consistent manner do its thing without interference.
Similar to free-floating an extra stiff barrel is to full-length bed a barrel to add stiffness. This works best if the stock and bedding material are of stable material like carbon or fiberglass.
Another way is alter the harmonics of the barrel by either having it touch a stable stock at a point that alters the ways it vibrates or put a weight on the end of the barrel. The latter is what Browning calls its BOSS.
SO. Starting with a free-floated barrel is the easiest. If the gun shoots you are done. If not, then you have already done part of the work for trying different points of pressure up and down the barrel. If it still doesn't shoot and you are married to that gun, you can try full length barrel bedding.
Still no results, and you are gonna get shot with it if you can't make it accurate...then unbed & buy the aftermarket BOSS type thing.
Personally, I free-float everything and then adjust harmonics with different hand-loads.

Related Forum Threads You Might Like