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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went to the range today and couldnt get any good groups from my American. Most all were 0.8"-1.5" with 5 or 6 different ypes of ammo.

Usually I can easily shoot at least 4 shots into one ragged hole, with the fifth just a tiny bit off, with a few different brands of ammo, but nothing like this.

I took it apart a few weeks ago and cleaned it, don't know if that had anything to do with it. I have taken it apart before though, and there's really not much to it. The crown looks fine, hasn't been dinged or banged or chipped or anything like that, very well taken care of.

I didn't crank the action screws, just twisted them an audible "click" or 2 past when they stop turning. Everything else on the gun is working fine so all I can think of is maybe since summer is here now and the air is alot more humid the wood has expanded (mine is and has always been touching a decent amount on the left of the barrel), and since it has expanded over the change of seasons is putting more force on the barrel than during winter and spring when the air was much more dry in my house.

Does this make sense?

Can anyone help me out here?

How do I go about floating the barrel? I know to use a deep socket with sand paper, but what grain paper, and how much clearance should I have, a business card or dollar bill? Do I float it right to the receiver or a few inches in front of it? How do I seal it afterwards?

lol.... sorry for all the questions but I am lost here kind of caught me off guard.

Thanks!!!!
 

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What do you mean by
I didn't crank the action screws, just twisted them an audible "click" or 2 past when they stop turning
Were you using an inch pound screw driver or just by hand?

As to floating, you basically, need to remove any wood that is touching the barrel.
Start with a course grit 80 - 100, then go to a finer grit.
You will have to decided how smooth you want the wood to be.
Stop when you can slid (2) dollar bills or a business card the entire length of the barrel without binding.
Yes you do need to seal the wood. Have you had the action bedded yet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
RimfireKid,

I was just tightening by hand. I really don't want to spend $75 on a dinky little torque wrench that I will rarely use.

It has not been bedded yet either.

Could it be the change in seasons that caused this? It has been a while since I went shooting.
 

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Rimfire gave you some good advice. You dont need to be a rocket scientist to float the barrel. Use the socket ( or sockets) for sanding block and go to it. Remove all the wood you need with the coarse grit, then finish off a little with finer grit, doesnt have to look like a fine violin when you get finished. Seal it with some TruOil or spar varnish. Paint the stuff on good with a 1" brush or so, let is soak in a little while, wipe off any excess. Do this twice, it'll be sealed for sure. Try the gun again. If no joy, then swap out your scope with a known good one, see if that works.
 

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My American would respond to making trial and error adjustment to the action screws. Never did have a combination of tightening back then front or the other way and as a result took some time but if I lucked into the right adjustment it came back just fine. My solution was to not take it apart again barring some mechanical need. It also liked that bit of extra pressure on the barrel at the forward lip of the stock. When I freefloated it the response was poor so I added some lift about 2" from the stock forend by way of a piece of those plastic ties electricians use to hold bunches of wire together. Ran it on a diagonal across the stock ,tightened er up and she appreciated it by going back to those good groups.
 

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CanuckShooter
Trying to guess what might be the problem without having more history is very hit or miss, but I have had guns go away like you describe from having a dirty barrel--lead ring. I have no idea how many shots you have fired or how you clean your guns, but if you could have a lead ring--must have a borescope to see it-- it will cause the problem. Try getting some lead remover cleaning solution and a new 22 brush and work the chamber area over--like 50 strokes in the chamber area and just in front of the chamber for an inch or so or get some lead removing cloth and work the same area over using a jag--50 strokes or more.
There are many people that will not agree with this, but most benchrest shooters probally over clean our guns because it does happen and guns will go away if you get a lead ring.
That is my guess
Jim :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am a new shooter, and am using a Hoppe's front rest with a rolled up sweater for a back rest. I can always squeeze and few real good groups out of the gun, but this time nothing was shooting good, I got one good group and that was it, everything else was crap.

There were 100 or less shots through it since cleaning.

It DOES take a lot of effort to slide 2 slips of paper all the way to the reciever.

I am just a bit scared to float it if it doesn't need it, but I mean what else could it be? The bore was like a mirror last time I cleaned it, so there shouldn't be a lead ring (I don't have anything great to clean the chamber with).

Should I definitely float it?
 

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Take it out a couple of more times and shoot it and see it improves. Could just be a fluke or weather conditions ect....
 

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Fear not...

CanuckShooter said:
I am just a bit scared to float it if it doesn't need it, but I mean what else could it be? ...

Should I definitely float it?
Nothing to be afraid of - in floating, you are creating clearance, not a precision fit. The point is to make sure the wood doesn't touch the barrel so that the barrel can vibrate consistently. There is a minimum clearance that is sufficient, more clearance isn't needed but doesn't hurt, either. So, so what if you take off "too much"? Nothing happens! And that is an unlikely scenario, anyway, if you're sanding by hand, as it is a bit tedious and you're probably not going to take off any more than you have to.

The other post about types of finishes brings up the good point about a topcoat finish such as varnish having a finite thickness that will need to be allowed for in the sanding. Figure .003"-.005" for the finish, which is about the thickness paper (low end) to business card (high end), so just use two business cards for checking clearance prior to finishing.

I disagree with Slingshot on the choice of finishes. Oil finishes such as Minwax and tung (not "tongue") are not very effective at retarding moisture exchange. (No finish, none, prevents it - the best ones just slow it down, which helps moderate the changes during wild humidity swings. And, FWIW, almost no product sold as "tung oil" actually contains tung oil!) A surface sealing finish such as varnish, polyurethane, or lacquer does a much better job, and since that is the whole point of sealing the wood of the stock, why not use something that works better? For a reference on this subject, see "Understanding Wood Finishing" by Bob Flexner.
 

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Hi Canuck,

I wish I could say from experience, but I think you may just need to float it good.

I have been having the same problem, but now that the weather's getting nicer, my problem is minimizing. Summers here tend to be warm and dry, whereas it's the winters that are humid, wet, cold and rainy. It's that nasty, cold humidity... you can almost feel the stickiness on the surface of the stock. :rolleyes: Bleck!

I've pretty much narrowed it down to a need to float my barrel (CZ Special). The stock is all over the tube. :rolleyes: Gotta get that wood off the barrel.

Bet that's your problem.
-S
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the input guys... I wasn't expecting so much...

I think I am going to try floating it in the next few days, and am going to do it with a finer grit of paper as not too overdo it and as slingshot mentioned to make sure it is symmetrical and pleasing to the eye.

I will post on how it's going!!

<fingers crossed>

Thanks again, and any more input is welcome!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok I have it all floated, and it looks nice and even and uniform, nice and smooth as well, now I just have to apply the sealer.

I bought this stuff at the hardware store near my house, it's called "Clear Preservative".... it says "a penetrating solution that protects wood, canvas, and rope against mildew, rot, mould, and fungus" also "for exterior use only, not for use in dwellings"

Did I buy the right stuff? If so, now i just paint on 2 coats, and how long do I let it dry after each coat? How liberally do I apply it?

Thanks again!!!
 

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I have never used it. Thee directions should tell you the drying time and the time to wait before applying the second coat. I would put on two thinner coats instead of one thick (heavy) coat. The thinner coats will dry faster. Good luck and you know that we expect pictures after this. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
I believe its the exact same type as the product on the bottom of this list:

http://coppergreen.com/Wood_Preservativ.htm

and this one:

http://www.pentox.com/EnZKN.html

Zinc naphthenate is the important ingredient in it, petroleum distillates as well.

Come on people... make me feel good about what I just did....lol

I mean, it's meant for wood, meant to protect it from moisture, etc under outdoor (humid) conditions, penetrates to protect.... no?

:confused:

If someone knows this won't seal it well enough for some reason, or is bad for the wood let me know.
 
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