Q: In articles I've often seen mention of "barrel" harmonics, but they never seem to explain what they are? Can you please explain exactly what kind of a tune the barrel plays?
A: Of the many forces that affect accuracy, barrel vibration is probably foremost. When a gun is fired, the barrel whips about. This vibration, or barrel harmonic causes the muzzle to describe an arc, and at some point along
that arc, the bullet exits the muzzle, Dwell time, then, would affect where along that arc, the bullet leaves the muzzle, resulting in the different points of impact for identical loads. Barrel bedding,fore-end tip pressure points, and free floating are methods used to gain optimum accuracy by dampening these vibrations to get the bullet to leave the muzzle at exactly the same point in the arc every firing.