I just came off of a five day hunting trip in deep South Texas in the some of the best White Tailed Deer Country in the world and I took my custom Model 70 Stainless in .300 Ultra Mag. It has a fluted Krieger #6 barrel. It is a tack driver.
Here’s the problem, it weighs a ton. Great for shooting off of the bench but, for quick target acquisition in the field; the rifle leaves something to be desired. Spending hours upon hours upon a tripod glassing and thinking about a solution to my dilemma I thought of Christensen as I has seen several articles about their carbon fiber process. I am giving serious consideration to having my barrel re-done in carbon fiber (i.e. turned down and carbon fiber wrapped). Please give me your thoughts.
In terms of weight reduction, what do you think I can achieve?
What do you think of their process and the quality of their barrels? Does Christensen have competitors and, if so, who are they.
Thanks in advance.
May the wind be in your face and the sun at your back.
P. Mark Stark
You pose an interesting question here. Let me tell you that I have had extensive experience with Christensen barrels because they are based in my backyard (Fayette, Utah) and I think you had better be careful. They are pretty shady people over there. Yes, their barrels do cool off very fast, and they are stiff, but they often don't do to their rifles what they say they do. If you plan to have your custom barrel sent to them to be wrapped, it should be fine although I would try to identify it in some manner so that YOUR barrel gets sent back to you. I say this because they have been known to take factory ripped barrels and wrap them and then tell you it's a Shilen!! So you could send them your nice barrel, and it might get "accidentally" switched and you would recieve a shotty Winchester barrel instead. If you are thinking of having them build you a complete rifle, may I just say, "Watch your back Jack". I have had the bad luck of working up loads for these guns for a few of my friends over the years and what I've seen would scare you. They will charge your upwards of $2100 for a blueprinted Rem 700, with glass and pillars, a Jewell trigger, a Christensen stock, and a wrapped Shilen select match barrel. But what you actually end up with is a Rem 700 that has only had the locking lugs lapped and the threads, bolt face, and reciever face have not even been touched. Their pillars and glass job consist of one dab of glue behind the recoil lug, and pillars which haven't even been sanded flush. Their Jewell trigger is often just a reworked factory trigger or at the most, just a Timney. And their Shilen barrel, just a wrapped factory throwback. You can look in the barrel with a borescope and see the hammer forging marks and chatter marks clearly! Real Shilen match barrels don't have that! I have had the owners of these guns actually go down to Fayette and demand these things get fixed, and they eventually were. After about 9 months! Keep in mind that the first wait was 6-12 months! So it could take up to two years to get one done right! Just goes to show that to sell product, you just have to have good marketers not good ethics. Oh, by the way, the lightest gun they make comes in under 4 3/4 pounds. It is based off the Remington Titanium action, their own stock, and their wrapped barrel. If you know your guns, you know Remington only makes that titanium in a 30-06, 270, and 260. Christensen takes the 30-06 action and then tries to make a 300 ultra work through it with no modifications. One does not have to be a genius to know that isn't going to work. But if you try to tell Christensen that, they will tell you it does work and your just an idiot who isn't getting a refund! That hurts because they charge $3200 for the oversized paperweight!
I hope this helps you with your decision. -goodgrouper
Be very careful with a carbon wrapped barrel. Despite what folks say about these carbon wrapped barrels. The reason they fill cooler on the outside is because the carbon wrap is actually an insulator and it keeps heat in.
I've seen 5 of those carbon wrapped barrels of which 3 of them were Christian Brothers where they've gotten so hot, the carbon wrap began to bubble up.
The military has tested these carbon barrels extensively and all have failed there tests. They refer to them as bubble wrap after testing.
Advanced Barrel Systems has come out with a new type of carbon wrap that is showing a lot of promise.
Don't be fooled or mislead that they dissipate heat quickly, because they don't. If you don't shoot a lot of rounds and you keep your barrel somewhat cool, then it should work fine.
Just my $0.02 worth.
Distance is not an issue, but the wind will make it interesting!
I find trends in the shooting industry fascinating. Didn't we all run out awhile back and have our barrels cryogenically frozen to remove inherent stress in the steel? Now we're inducing stress in our barrels by wrapping them in stiff carbon fibers...
My vote goes to heavier rifles with free-floated stainless barrels for accurate long-range shooting, leaving the lighter rifles for carry in the deep woods and shooting in the open out to 300 yards or so ...
STL. Principal Consultant and Managing Partner - Association of Bifurcated Tangential Ballistic Apologists, LLP.
Thank you all for your comments. I really appreciate your thoughts.
I had a nice visit with Mike Degerness with Advanced Barrel Systems, Inc. and he seems to be a good egg/straight shooter (pardon the pun). As soon as funds permit, I will possibly order one of his barrels and thus have a switch barrel rig.
My overriding goal is to have a rifle that I will not hesitate on taking a 400 yard shot in the field that also does not feel like an artillery piece to haul around.
May the wind be in your face and the sun at your back.
P. Mark Stark
The reason I ask is that it is totally practice to built a 30" barreled sporter weight rifle that will weigh in between 8.5 and 9.5 lbs depending on scope and fluting options.
My Allen Magnum Extreme Sporters use a 30" #6 contour Lilja or Pac-Nor Super Match barrel and even with a Laminated Thumbhole stock these rifles come in at less then 10 lbs.
Going with a quality composite and a heavy fluted #6 barrel of still 30" you can get them down in the 8 1/2 lb range easily.
And as far as accuracy goes, 400 yards would be a chip shot I assure you off a steady rest. My accuracy goal for these rifles at 500 yards is sub 2" groups for three shots. They generally do much better then that.
As long as your rifle is fitted properly with top quality componants, there is really no need for a +10 lb rifle for shooting out to 500 yards.
Now for shots farther then this I full advocate heavy rifles.
I guess we just need to know your idea of what a heavy rifle weights.
What does your M70 tip the scales at?
Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.