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Thread: Free float or tension screw #1

  1. #1
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    Default Free float or tension screw #1

    I see that there are basically two methods for "accurizing" the Ruger #1.

    The one is to free float the forend... only.

    And the other is to free float the forend, AND add a tension screw/Hick's devise from the hanger to the barrel.

    I understand "free floating."
    But what I don't understand is why, after doing all the work to "free" the forend (which is attached to the hanger) from barrel contact would someone then go and once again make contact by installing a tension screw?

    When one free floats a bolt gun they don't then go and install a tension screw.., so, why do it with a Ruger #1?

    I got marked improvement just by shimming and "light" sanding, I don't understand the reasoning of following that up by once again making ANY contact with the barrel?

    Can anybody explain this ? Has anybody just "floated their #1 barrel and not installed the "tension devices?"

  2. #2

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    There have been rare instances when I have free floated a barrel only to have the groups open up conciderably. My honest opinion is that 99% of the time free floating/ glass bedding is the right answer. However the whole concept of barrel harmonics boils down to having the bullet exit the barrel at the same point in the harmonic vibration each shot. I have actually glassed in a pressure point on stocks forends to get them to shoot good. I have floated hundreds of barrels and can count on one hand the number of guns that shot better with a forend pressure point. Most if not all of them were Winchester model 70's.

    I'm not sure I like the idea of installing a tensioning screw in the front end of the forearm on anything! That sure couldn't help the looks of your Number 1.

  3. #3
    Member e45colt's Avatar
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    Default As I understand it

    It's all about barrel harmonics or the vibrations of the barrel as the effects of round ignition, recoil, and the bullets travel through the barrel, causes resonance. Think of a tuning-fork.
    Application of pressure anywhere along the barrel will change the harmonics, as will different bullet weights and diiferent pressure loads (powder levels).
    Each rifle is unique, some will respond well to slight forend pressure where another will drift.................the key is patient and methodical experimentation........of what works for your individual and unique rifle.

    Ed

  4. #4
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    Default

    Float it. The tension screw is a gimmik; don't buy it. J.

  5. #5
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    Default tension screws

    Hey,

    I have no intensions.., (no pun intended) of installing a screw into the forend hanger. I should have clearified that the screw, when installed doesn't go in the forend stock, rather it is installed in the hanger, and thus is hidden.

    As I had said, I've gotten great results just by relieving the wood contact between the forend and the barrel.., but that only makes sense.
    I simply cut a piece of aluminum coil stock ( same as used for flashing purposes in building construction) to fit the end of the forend hanger.., between the hanger and the stock. I then very lightly screwed the forend back into place, but before it got tight I wrapped a piece of 220 grit sand paper about 10" long by 1 1/2" wide under the barrel with the "cutting surface against the inside of the barrel channel in the forend. This way I could hold the ends of the paper, and in a sawing motion, work the sand paper along the conture of the barrel as I slowly continued to tighten the forend screw. I then resealed the sanded wood. Now she's and the gun no longer torments me with vertical stringing.

    But apparently, some are of the practice, once they have gone through their own method of floating the barrel of the #1, sometimes even glassing between the wood and hanger, then install some form of tension device, be it a "Hick's" or a simple set screw. It's this step where the logic gets a little fuzzy to me. Sure, with a bolt gun, a little "bed" just ahead ot the receiver, is understandable in a "floated" barrel configuration. But when the screw is installed in the #1's hanger it is at least 5" ahead of the receiver. I suppose that this could be likened to a "capo" on a guitar.., but I never liked that idea either. But sometimes, as with the model 70 example, changing the point from which these vibrations originate, could change the dynamics considerably.
    Guess I'm still a believer in working from a fully floated platform.

    As for "harmonics," we should be able to "tune" the barrel with load development.., Yes?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by 358wsm View Post
    Hey,

    I have no intensions.., (no pun intended) of installing a screw into the forend hanger. I should have clearified that the screw, when installed doesn't go in the forend stock, rather it is installed in the hanger, and thus is hidden.

    As I had said, I've gotten great results just by relieving the wood contact between the forend and the barrel.., but that only makes sense.
    I simply cut a piece of aluminum coil stock ( same as used for flashing purposes in building construction) to fit the end of the forend hanger.., between the hanger and the stock. I then very lightly screwed the forend back into place, but before it got tight I wrapped a piece of 220 grit sand paper about 10" long by 1 1/2" wide under the barrel with the "cutting surface against the inside of the barrel channel in the forend. This way I could hold the ends of the paper, and in a sawing motion, work the sand paper along the conture of the barrel as I slowly continued to tighten the forend screw. I then resealed the sanded wood. Now she's and the gun no longer torments me with vertical stringing.

    But apparently, some are of the practice, once they have gone through their own method of floating the barrel of the #1, sometimes even glassing between the wood and hanger, then install some form of tension device, be it a "Hick's" or a simple set screw. It's this step where the logic gets a little fuzzy to me. Sure, with a bolt gun, a little "bed" just ahead ot the receiver, is understandable in a "floated" barrel configuration. But when the screw is installed in the #1's hanger it is at least 5" ahead of the receiver. I suppose that this could be likened to a "capo" on a guitar.., but I never liked that idea either. But sometimes, as with the model 70 example, changing the point from which these vibrations originate, could change the dynamics considerably.
    Guess I'm still a believer in working from a fully floated platform.

    As for "harmonics," we should be able to "tune" the barrel with load development.., Yes?
    I've accurized a bunch of #1's over the years. If I didn't get the accuracy I wanted after floating, I might resort to the tension screw as a next step. But so far I haven't had to do that.

    Before free floating however, I always glass bed the forend to keep it from shifting around once the barrel is floated. More important for some reason is to also relieve the wood along the rear edge of the forend where it normally contacts the front of the action. You don't need much- just a hairline of clearance. You won't even notice it visually when you do it right, but galldarned it, that sure makes a difference.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I've accurized a bunch of #1's over the years. If I didn't get the accuracy I wanted after floating, I might resort to the tension screw as a next step. But so far I haven't had to do that.

    Before free floating however, I always glass bed the forend to keep it from shifting around once the barrel is floated. More important for some reason is to also relieve the wood along the rear edge of the forend where it normally contacts the front of the action. You don't need much- just a hairline of clearance. You won't even notice it visually when you do it right, but galldarned it, that sure makes a difference.


    BTW-

    The easiest and most effective way to glass bed that forend is to only bed the two little flats at the base of the hanger and the tip of the hanger. To avoid shifting while bedding, I first inset a small brass screw in each of thes places flush with the original wood surface. Next I inlet the wood around the screws without disturbing the screws. After liberally coating all metal with a release agent, I carefully put in just enough bedding material to fill the inlet and screw the forend firmly into place to suck the heads of the brass screws up tight against the hanger.

    Once that is set, I free the forend and carefully relieve the wood at the rear of the forend.

    Only then do I finally free float the barrel.

    Easy and reliable.

  8. #8
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    Default Barrel "tuning"

    A barrel isn't quite like a tuning fork in one important way: with a short tuning fork the whole fork vibrates while with a barrel there are one or more null spots as a standing wave is induced by firing. You want to shift the muzzle close one of the null spots by "tuning" the barrel's vibrational frequency. The Boss deal on the end of the barrels attempted to accomplish this tuning.

    Of course everything has to be consistant also - changing dampening from a loose forened is not good so glass bedding can really help with some guns.

    Just a thought - has anyone tried the Boss thing on the end of a No. 1 barrel?
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