Carbon Fiber Barrel Comparison

B23

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I haven't seen one "anti CF barrel" post here yet. Like others have mentioned I have CF wrapped barrels on a few different rifles and there's a good possibility I'll likely have another but again, like the others, it's purely for the aesthetics and no other reason because there really is no other, honest, reason. If someone wants a CF barrel because they think they look cool, that's reason enough and you won't lose you "man card" because of it. It's your money spend it how you like.
 

Goatie

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Oct 21, 2019
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Minnesota
I’ve owned two carbon 6 bolt action barrels and a Christensen arms barrel for an ar. Groups for each have been acceptable but the Christensen arms barrel would not feed for beans and I ended up sending it back.

I’ve read some of the articles being discussed in this conversation regarding rigidity, heat retention and weight benefits etc, and I’d say for the most part you’re not gaining anything with a carbon barrel other than aesthetics and thread abilities. However, when fluting a heavy ss barrel to get close to these carbon blanks you end up paying about $300 for fluting work so the cost between fluted/carbon is insignificant.

Side note, I also own a Draco’s 6.5 Grendel AR barrel that’s basically an aluminum sleeved blank. I really like it for its purpose and I’ve often wondered why that trend isn’t more popular for a heavier barrel look but lower weight option.
 

woods89

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With companies starting to profile with flared muzzles for suppressors, I really don't see a practical reason to go carbon. It's not a wrong answer, though, and if you want one, get one.
 

SaltyUte

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I looked hard into Proof and heard mixed reviews. Went with a Bartlien CF #13 for my 300 PRC build due to the 5R single-point cut rifling and availability. Lots of love for Carbon Six on this forum as well.
 

Tullis94

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I only have experience with 2 carbon barrels. A christensen and a carbon 6. The carbon six was a prefit in 7 saum. It shot amazing with very little effort. The christensen I could never get to shoot much better than 1". That being said I am not willing to pay the extra for carbon. They look amazing and most seem to shoot amazing from what I have read. I personally prefer a heavy sporter fluted, but plently of people think fluting is detremental to accuracy as well.
In a recent thread Ryan Avery said he is done with carbon in big magnums. I believe it was on his thread about his new +p 30 nosler.
 

rifletuner

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Dec 23, 2020
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My son has rifles with a Proof CF barrel in 308 win and a IBI barrel in 300WM. They both shoot well for strings of several shots. Never had an issue with a barrel walking POI due to heat buildup with the load development we have done up to this point.

Also, a lot of guys shooting NRL hunter matches are running CF wrapped barrels and they shoot up to 8 shots per stage (although the top guys are generally only shooting 4 shots per stage). So there is plenty of evidence that CF wrapped barrels work well for the majority of hunting situations.

Below is a picture of 3 shot group (target at 100 meters) that my son shot with his 300WM during our second session of load development last weekend. I felt the barrel after that group went down and there was noticeable heat from the CF exterior, so I imagine the steel interior was pretty warm at that stage.


IMG-8017.jpg
 

762 ULTRAMAGA

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Do you have testing results for your claim? Otherwise it's not much different than their marketing hype.

It's weird how anti-CF this thread has become. Just makes it seem like not a lot of people have real testing or knowledge about this technology.
I've personally spoken with barrel makers from Benchmark, and Rock Creek about their CF offerings, and both reps said exactly what I posted. That's why Bartlein uses a #4 contour as a blank, they've tested this and won't go any skinnier.
Sorry if this hurts your feelings
I know you don't want to hear it, but do some more research and you'll see that the guys on here with actual experience are giving you good info.
BTW another thing I disliked about my CF barrel was the insane heat mirage after about 3 shots, take that into consideration as well.. Or don't it makes no difference to me
 

WeiserBucks

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It's weird how anti-CF this thread has become. Just makes it seem like not a lot of people have real testing or knowledge about this technology.
This thread hasn't become anti CF, it's simply people telling the truth. If you want a CF barrel then go ahead and get one, you'll likely be completely satisfied with the way it shoots. Simply keep in mind that there's a lot of BS being pushed in the name of sales and marketing.

Let's put it this way, if a CF barrel offered every advantage that the MFG's claim then SS and CM barrels would be obsolete in every regard except for budget factory rifles.
 

mxgsfmdpx

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Just say you want it for the looks and that’s fine. Stop trying to justify it any other way.

I have experience with most of the big name carbon barrel makers other than carbon6. Give me a Sako (Tikka) or bartlein, stainless fluted barrel any day over a carbon.
 
OP
gtriple

gtriple

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This thread hasn't become anti CF, it's simply people telling the truth. If you want a CF barrel then go ahead and get one, you'll likely be completely satisfied with the way it shoots. Simply keep in mind that there's a lot of BS being pushed in the name of sales and marketing.

Let's put it this way, if a CF barrel offered every advantage that the MFG's claim then SS and CM barrels would be obsolete in every regard except for budget factory rifles.
I'm not asking for comparisons to steel barrels. I just wanted to compare the CF barrels.
Just say you want it for the looks and that’s fine. Stop trying to justify it any other way.

I have experience with most of the big name carbon barrel makers other than carbon6. Give me a Sako (Tikka) or bartlein, stainless fluted barrel any day over a carbon.
Looks definitely play a part in it. Putting a can on a pencil barrel looks strange to me. But I'm skeptical about both sides. I'm sure some of it is just marketing hype... but ALL of it? I find that just as hard to believe.
 

Mike D Texas

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May 16, 2021
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I only have experience with one carbon barrel, but based on my results it won’t be my last.

b1e26905faaaecdea42024ef4ab270db.jpg



This is from my 264 WMI, Proof Sendero at 28” with a suppressor. Reamer is built for 156 Berger EOLs. 3285fps while fireforming with reduced loads.

You will never convince be that a light profile steel barrel at this length with a can attached won’t have more whip.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

Ryan Avery

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I have been to three different carbon barrel manufacturing facilities, all three had a different way of doing it and all three said their way was the best. Graphite by itself is not an insulator but the resin they use to keep it all together certainly is. There used to be two carbon barrel companies now I think there are over ten. I have personally owned or shot(Helping Unknown Munitions on his load Dev rifles) well over fifty carbon-wrapped barreled rifles and I can say with certainty it's hit or miss with carbon barrels compared to good steel barrels. That said the best shooting rifle I have ever owned was a Red Rock Precision 28 Nosler with a Proof barrel.... BUT I have had several straight shit barrels from proof.

But to answer the OP's question from what I have seen with my own eyes I would get a Christensen's arms barrel..... GASP! HAHA. For its weight is going to be the stiffest. For those saying what about the Bartlein. I am sure it's a great barrel for a carbon barrel( been around two, one shot one didn't) but at four pounds there are lots of options.

I am building a 6.5 SAUM at the moment with a Benchmark Carbon... Only because it was free, if It was my hard-earned money it would have been a steel barrel from McGowan fluted by Kampfeild Customs
 

EM_556

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I would be careful with Proof Research Barrels. They have had a lot of quality issues lately. I am working through a build right now with a Proof and I had to pull it off and get a replacement due to quality issues from the factory. I'll give Proof credit that they took care of the warranty and replaced it, but still adds a lot of time onto the build.

My gunsmith also said that this is the 2nd Proof barrel in the last month having issues. He is no longer providing a 1/2MOA guarantee on their barrels.

Of course, when you get a good Proof barrel, they are shooters and a lot of guys never have issues. It just seems that there has been some quality concerns lately.

I would recommend going Bartlein if you have the extra money. May cause less headache in the end.
 

JDBAK

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Dec 12, 2019
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Any good options for a Tikka prefit in steel that will bell out at the muzzle for attaching a suppressor? I've been set on a CF barrel for suppressor and weight reasons. But maybe steel is still a good option.

Thanks
 

Gorp2007

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Any good options for a Tikka prefit in steel that will bell out at the muzzle for attaching a suppressor? I've been set on a CF barrel for suppressor and weight reasons. But maybe steel is still a good option.

Thanks

McGowan will do a custom profile for you, I think it’s an extra $35.
 

762 ULTRAMAGA

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Any good options for a Tikka prefit in steel that will bell out at the muzzle for attaching a suppressor? I've been set on a CF barrel for suppressor and weight reasons. But maybe steel is still a good option.

Thanks
Yes McGowan did an awesome job on mine and it's shooting everything I've tried in the .4s
My 18" factory contour flared to .730 weighs 2lbs even 20220118_162744.jpg 20220217_182130.jpg
 

Nateskate11

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May 2, 2022
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I am going to give my two cents from shooting matches and hunting with different carbon barrels.

Christensen - Call this one a wash. There are not many people buying aftermarket Christensen barrels. Their complete rifles are not inherently accurate and you generally hear of quality issues.

Bartlein - Bartlein make a great barrel. I do think they fall a bit flat on the carbon fiber side of things. They shoot great but if reduced weight is your goal they are going to weigh a bit more than competitors. It is basically appearance for a bartlein carbon with some slight weight reduction. Their roots are a steel barrel company and are just coming into carbon barrels.

Benchmark - They use like a blanket of carbon or something. Again.... this one seems more in the market for appearance. They shoot but you should probably just buy a steel barrel.

Proof - I think Proof is the standout in carbon fiber. They are a composite company and make stuff outside of the gun world with carbon. There is some technology and things backing it. I have never had any issues with the couple that I have had and currently own. I have one currently on my hunting rifle and I have used them on one of my match setups. The barrel is light but stiff. I have not experienced an issue in a match with heat mirage at all. If they had heat mirage after three rounds and started throwing shots after one stage nobody would be using them in matches lol.

I unfortunately do not have any experience with the couple other makers like carbon 6 or helix but would be curious to try them.
 

Ryan Avery

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I am going to give my two cents from shooting matches and hunting with different carbon barrels.

Christensen - Call this one a wash. There are not many people buying aftermarket Christensen barrels. Their complete rifles are not inherently accurate and you generally hear of quality issues.

Bartlein - Bartlein make a great barrel. I do think they fall a bit flat on the carbon fiber side of things. They shoot great but if reduced weight is your goal they are going to weigh a bit more than competitors. It is basically appearance for a bartlein carbon with some slight weight reduction. Their roots are a steel barrel company and are just coming into carbon barrels.

Benchmark - They use like a blanket of carbon or something. Again.... this one seems more in the market for appearance. They shoot but you should probably just buy a steel barrel.

Proof - I think Proof is the standout in carbon fiber. They are a composite company and make stuff outside of the gun world with carbon. There is some technology and things backing it. I have never had any issues with the couple that I have had and currently own. I have one currently on my hunting rifle and I have used them on one of my match setups. The barrel is light but stiff. I have not experienced an issue in a match with heat mirage at all. If they had heat mirage after three rounds and started throwing shots after one stage nobody would be using them in matches lol.

I unfortunately do not have any experience with the couple other makers like carbon 6 or helix but would be curious to try them.

I would imagine if any of the other carbon barreled companies shipped as many complete rifles as Christensen Arms does you would "hear" about accuracy issues about them as well. Other carbon barrel companies love to blame their barrel issues on the gunsmiths chambering job instead of the crap barrel.

Little know fact CA has a billion dollar composite company. ACT AeroSpace is their parent company. They just don't use it for their marketing hype.

In the end carbon barrels are a bigger gamble than good steel barrels.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 
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