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Discussion Starter #1
For 30 or more years I have had a Model 75 Winchester Target Rifle that has just been displayed, shown off and not fired. I recently removed the standard issue peep sight and installed a 8 by 24 power scope.

If anyone has knowledge of this or other target .22 LR rifles, I would like to know if you have knowledge on the following:
Does free-floating the barrel on such a rifle aid in shooting smaller groups at 100 yards ?

Respectfully yours,

Chuck
 

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Good rifles.
Weren't designed to be free floated, and to try it, will have to glass bed the action and probalby the rear 1-2" of barrel ahead of the reciever. If you don't, freeing the barrel will just put more weight/pressure on the action...need to give that action a good bed before subjecting it to the stress.

Long barrels can work with free floating, but I would try the rifle WITH the pressure point after bedding. Then free float. MAY find that you want toe pressure point...and can add it back in if need be.

MOST rifles will shoot well free floated, but once in awhile (esp. with older guns for some reason...probably action related) one needs that fore end pressure to shoot well.
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I still use some of the old external adjusting target scopes...and that may be one reason for the pressure point. Adding up to 2 pounds of sliding glass and steel to a BARREL does odd things to free flaoted barrels...exp. .22's that don't have a big action for bedding. Have come slowly to the conclusion that the old guys just may have had a reason for the way they bedded their rifles when using target scopes.
 

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Chuck,
have you tried the various brands of target rimfire ammo to see what they'll do in the rifle? If not, I would expend some energy in that direction. I have seen huge differences in some target quality .22's between different brands of even the match ammo.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Ribbonstone,
Thank you so much for answering my question with such clarity and knowledge, which I needed very much.
Examining my old, but beautiful, rifle made in 1936 ( I was made in 1934) I see exactly what you mean about forend "pressure points". My rifle has a built-in, designed-in pressure point in the form of a barrel band and a screw through the stock to apply the forend pressure you describe! It is better to leave well enough alone.
I also noted that the rifle has widely spaced pairs of screw holes for mounting the "old fashioned" externallly adjusted scopes you had also mentioned.
You had made me aware of things that needed consideration and I appreciate it very much.
Thanks from the Wild West where the buffalo useed to roam.
Chuck:D
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi KCIH,

Thank you for submitting your thoughts about freefloating a .22 target barrel. Please re-read your thread and you'll see that it did not address the question at all.
Rather, it addressed something foreign to the subject. This may be due to your propensity to "assume" what I was asking was not really what I wanted to know.
In reply, I want to say that I have at last count 18 different brands of .22 LR ammo that I have used in other of my .22 rifles. That is the very first thing I do when I begin playing with a new adult toy----determine which brand the GUN likes best in its present condition. THEN I sort out MY preference for which ammo that I will normally shoot----usually the cheapest Remington or Winchester ammo that I will buy several thousand rounds of when it is on sale. This pattern has been with me for more years than I care to state here. I feel it necessary to go through the process so I know exactly what the "penalty in accuracy is" by using "the cheap stuff' ( not to be confused with " the cheapest stuff".
I no longer comete in shooting matches except with my friend of 40 years who shoots with me for that same length of time. He must be a SAINT in order to put up with me.
My goal is to simply get the best groups possible with the thouseands and thousands of .22 LR rounds I have in inventory-----not the best groups possi9ble with expensive stuff I cannot afford.
Thanks again, KCIH, for your thoughts. Hopefully someone reading you and me will learn something useful.
Chuck:D
 

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Not saying that the rifle wouldn't shoot well glassed bedded and free floated...probably would...but that it would take some action work to get it running right. The action would need two good screws, a good glass bedding job (or pillars or metal "V" blocks), and some experimentation. Even then, would start with the fore end band and screw in place..."teaking" that band screw is part of the tuning process of these old rifles. Makes for a LOT of variables, becasue it's not just each lot of ammo, but the various tensions put on the barrel with that band.

To be honest...the old Winchesters were as good as any in their day...and better than most are today...but there is a reason you won't find them on a national level bench competition. While today's guns may lack the fine design and workmansip of the old ones, the chambers and barrels are better today.

Try Benchrest Central...have a rimfire board that actually does have some of the top shooters posting.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
FREEFLOATING .22 LR BARRELS

Hi RIBBONSTONE,
You've shown me a couple of new considerations and reinforced many of those I suspected as being a problem already.
When I last shot a Model 75 Winchester in competition as a member of an ROTC high school team in Chicago in 1948, I was not nearly concerned with these many nuances we've discussed here. A full-time Army Sgt. cleaned the guns, polished the guns, did all the work for us. We had free ammo, shooting jackets and all the appurances of the sport. I thought I was in heaven. Luckily for me, the Korean War broke out giving me the excuse I needed to drop out of school and join the Army. Korea was ****, but the Army was heaven to me and was an extention of my ROTC days----only BIG time guns and BIG time competition.
Thank you for the advantage of your vast experiences with this particular rifle. I shall seek out the reference you suggest, Sir, and shall think often of my (hopefully) new friend in Lousiana. Feel free to contact me directly. "Ain't this Shooters Forum Great ?"
Your friend from the Wild West,
:D chuck:D
 

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Chuck, free-floating barrels is a complex subject and I doubt that you will ever find 100% consensus on the issue of accuracy.

In my mind, free-floating barrels is much more useful to maintain a consistent point of impact over the years and seasons. So all my hunting rifles get this treatment. Some became more accurate, some became slightly less, the diffeerence was always well worth the rifle holding a consistent zero. Of course I'm more of a hunter than a target shooter so keep that perspective in mind when you read my thoughts.

You'll find nearly every bench rest competitor using rifles with free-floated barrels. However, they do a lot of work to tune their loads to the particular barrel. Also, bench rest guns by and large have custom, very heavy, solid actions which are designed to support the entire weight of the barrel. And they're almost always using synthetic stocks. Plus, they go through barrels pretty quickly, if it doesn't shoot it gets pulled and something else gets put on the gun. A good bench rest gun may have dozens or more barrels fitted to it over the course of the shooter's career. So it's probably an apples-to-oranges comparison with your older wood-stocked .22.

A good example of the opposite of a bench rest gun is something like the common Ruger 10/22. You have almost all the weight in the barrel, and the action is thin aluminum (and the stock is wood and the triggers are not too good, LOL). I ended bedding the barrel with neutral pressure and floating the action. There is not a whole lot else you can do in this case. It shoots alright and if I can find a better combination, I'll post the results.

With .22s, you have to consider that often you have a fairly heavy barrel around a small hole, as compared to say a .30 cal. rifle. So, barrel vibrations are probably not going to be as significant as a typical sporter.

Anyway, bottom line, if I had a nice old target gun like that, I wouldn't mess with the bedding. My 10/22, no problem, there's plenty more of them around if I screw it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
freefloating .22 LR barrels

Hi MikeG,
It is nice of you to share your thoughts with me. I'm not denegrating your thoughts as to how they pertain to a dinky little .22 LR, but I'm so very thankful to this forum for having had RIBBONSTONE answer also. He had experience specific to the POSSIBLE problem at hand. I was in a "what if" thought process, Mike.
Golly, I don't consider myself a "benchrester", nor do I consider myself a "competitor". I'm just a guy who likes to hit small targets at 100 yards or less-------like scaled down silouette targets, targets made from my digital images of kids' toys thence transferred to computer paper, targets too small to see at 100 yards even with a good scope by placing them inside larger targets that I can see, and stuff like that.
Strictly FUN stuff. No high pressure. No big deal if everything doesn't happen exactly the way I like it.
You made some good points to ponder over, Mike, and thanks again. It gives me confidence to know that when I need an answer to a question I can rely on you to answer the question rather than go off into left field somewhere so far that the ball gets lost. <grin>

chuck
:D :D
 

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Back "when" I shot Rem. 37's for ROTC...and when i couldg buy arifle for myself, bought a Rem. 513. Not nearly as good, but a good shooting rifle. Bought a Unertl 6X....later got a Lymand targetspot 30X...still have both of those scopes (a good taget scope will out last several rifles).

A 513 isn't going to respond to free floating very well...or at it won't for long. Not enough action to hold that long heavy barrel (esp. with all that scope bolted to the barrel). With a pressure point (I removed the existing one...so had to add a new one) it shot measurably better. In this case, a "dead" point worked better...for me, it was a shamped piece os shoe heel.

Have that old 30X on a rem. 540X...this rifle is about 33 years old. Better action for bedding, but needed to extend the action 'glass for 2 1/2" of the barrel to get it stable ove time. Shoots well (in the high 2's, low 3's) with good ammo even today.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
freefloating .22 LR barrels

Hi RIBBONSTONE,
AH-H-H how sweet is the memory back in Dayton, Ohio, in 1945, at age 11 when I took all my savings from doing farm work for my neighbors--------all $12 of it-------took a bus to downtown----and bought my own first .22 rifle----a Model 513 Remington rifle and one box of shells. I had enough left to get me home again from the change I had left !
Thank you for these rememberances, RIBBONSTONE.
Thank you for telling about how you went about freefloating/accuracizing that rifle.
Amazing moreso is how our society has changed so much where someone must be 18 years old or older to buy a gun. As an ex-cop, I've seen folks that shouldn't have been allowed to buy a gun at any age. When I stand in line to get my CCW/CCP permit renewed, I shudder that some of those in line with me are going to be allowed to carry a concealed pistol. But how in the world can anyone, ANYONE pre-determine who should be allowed to buy a gun or who should be allowed to carry a concealed pistol-----surely not me !
God bless you, RIBBONSTONE, and happy shooting!:D


:D Chuck
 

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For me it was trips to the local dump...encouaged by the local PD back then...to shoot rats. Kind of nasty, but great fun...plus, no "save the rat" types to complain. that 6X Unertl and the 513 was NOT the best for running rats, but sure was fun...and deadly. When I had the $, would use good ammo...EZX's ring a bell? Still have some "Hi-Power" ammo in it's blue and white box (and in little letters, mentions the "Federal Cart. Co."...was thier first effort).

Sometimes had no car and no ride...but would just put the rifle in a case and get on a bus. No one thought twice about it....DON'T TRY THIS TODAY!
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All is not lost....there are still paper cased shotgun shells to be had...and if you've never enjouyed the SMELL of freash fired paper 12ga., you are missing somthing that will stick with for a plesant smile... like the aroma of Hoppes #9 does for some of us.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
FREEFLOATING .22 LR BARRELS

Hi RIBBONSTONE,
I didn't have a scope until I was 16, working full time in a factory running a punch press in Chicago in 1948.
An uncle had a place on the Rock River in Rockford, Ill. In those days everyone always had a small coffee can with left over grease fat in it. I'd shoot a hole in the rim, tie a rope to it and throw it down the 30 ft. garbage dumped there as "fill". These huge river rats would crawl over their dead brothers until there wasn't a way to get at the grease ! Then I'd have to throw the can somewhere else. .22 shorts and remaining very still resulted in many dead rats.
I'd wrap my 513 in newspaper, tie it with string and ride a bus anywhere.
The smell of burt gunpowder after a kiill on a cold, crisp, clean air morning is something I'll never forget either.
Mom would give me a quarter every Sunday for the collection plate in church. I'd sit midway down the pews so there would be change in the collection plates no matter from where they began collecting. I'd put in the quarter and take out a 15 cents, because a box of shorts cost me 15 cents in 1944 and 1945.
:D chuck:D
 
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