jaia, and all,
Great thread and thanks for sharing. I just bought a 455 Varmint in .17 HMR and am going to go through a similar curve; I kinda got the same bug and this is the latest toy for the shop. At any rate, I thought I would share something with you (and all) as you, jaia, have come to pressure bedding in your ad hoc target rifle. I am 53 years old, and I too have heard the "free float" your barrel for accuracy from the time my first beer was popped.... But I digress, I ran across this rifle in a pawn shop back in 1986 and it became somewhat of a puzzle to unravel:
"Hey... Wait a minute, that's not a CZ 455."
And your right; it is a Win 52B custom target rifle in a prone stock. Over the years I still have no idea whom, or from where in the country it was put together. I do know that it started life as a barreled action sold through Al Freeland back in 1950. His shop records reflect the sale, but not to whom it was sold to; God, wasn't America once great!
For the record: it weighs in at over 13 pounds. It sports an Eric Johnson 5 star, 8 land, 28 inch .995 bull barrel. A speed lock was added to the bolt, and the trigger was made by Henry C. Wright under his patent #, 2126075, ser. # 39 C1. The only part that has not been molested in some way is the action receiver itself, unless you consider the single shot phenolic floor plate plugging the magazine well as being molested. I added the Redfield Olympic peep sights, and the barrel does have the mounts for an O'l school target scope. May someday I'll run across one.
What might interest you is the way the gent bedded the stock:
The action is held in by two screws, one down from the top at the rear (not seen), and the forward action screw seen about 4 inches in front of the trigger guard. The front of the barrel has a barrel band that pulls the barrel down on two adjustable pressure points (you can see these in the picture).
Here's the other side:
And a closer look at the bottom fore-end:
Note the barrel ring with a threaded stud hanging on the barrel:
And here is the bedding in the stock (or lack there of):
Only one small patch of some type of resin seen in the middle of the photo; the small tit (bump) lives in the forward mag well screw hole. The wood dowel seen is a repair I made to a blown out screw hole holding the trigger guard on. The rifle stock does not have any other bedding done, it lives torqued down to the wood; and quite well I might add.
Near as I can tell, the idea is so a shooter can make a slight pressure adjustment at the front in a diagonal direction so that a sight system can achieve dead reckoning on the x-ring. In other words, if your tearing the edge of the x-ring, but can't with 1/4 MOA adjustments on the sights get dead in the center, you can make a pressure change moving the point of impact in a direction other than just up or down.
How does it work?... I have no idea. With the peep sights I can make one ragged hole at 25 yards, and at 50 yards dime size is possible, but take a quarter with you.
When I first bought the rifle, me and the Joe's around the campfire (think beer cooler here), were perplexed at such little bedding in the stock, and the fact that a target rifle was not a free floated barrel. We were always under the assumption that is partly why one buys, or wants, a bull barrel. It is obviously much harder to turn a bull barrel into a tuning fork.
Over the years I have come to the conclusion that one can free float a barrel if one wants, but with a pressure bedded barrel and action it is much easier to achieve fantastic accuracy. I am happy to see you too have gotten there.
As per my CZ 455, I bought it with the SST. Done removed almost before the first round was shot; maybe a novel idea, and I could see one in a hunting rifle, but the trigger had to go. I put in a Timney that dropped right in; not as sweet as the Wright, buy does allow a shot to be made without any knowledge to the rifle. If you are still playing around with 3 1/2 pound pull triggers, do yourself a favor and get a target trigger. It greatly aids in eliminating the finger factor. The Timney was simple, and I didn't have to do another trigger job: it gets old re-engineering stuff form others because of scum-bag lawyers.
For now I am going to leave it as is to gain a baseline with one exception, I have the stiffer striker spring coming in the mail from J & P. In time it will get some form of bedding. It will probably see a Lija in .22LR in the future as it is in my nature to buy stuff like that. The first thing I would like to try is a simple dampener up in the front forearm of the Varmint stock: I am thinking just a thin piece of rubber. My fear is that, in .17 HMR, I won't be able to see any improvements being made without long distances. Then as you know other factors, like wind, can cause you to question your results. My guess is that I can see a CZ Varmint barrel in .22LR in my future before just tearing head long into a full blown rifle project.
One last thought, and I know many will come to this on their own in time. I bought the CZ 455 because of the action. Unless you go Anschutz, you can not buy a .22LR action anymore. The 455 is an affordable platform which in two minutes I can have just the action and bolt in my hand. The thing is a bloody tinkers' dream... and a solid action to boot. To be honest with you, I would have spent the money I paid for the rifle on just the action and bolt alone. Move over 10/22, there is a new Sheriff in town.
Again, thanks for the thread and your time posting. It is good see that somethings in this country have not changed over the years, accuracy being one of them. Oh, and by the way... you shoot just fine Mate; I don't want to stand down range of you.
On to the next Caper,
Edited by CarolinaChuck, 17 August 2013 - 11:08 AM.