Carbon Fiber Wrapped Barrels

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by 30 Caliber Mag Fan, Dec 22, 2004.

  1. 30 Caliber Mag Fan

    30 Caliber Mag Fan Member

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    Friends-

    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.
     

  2. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Writers Guild

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    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
     

  3. Jeff In TX

    Jeff In TX Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  4. STL_Shooter

    STL_Shooter Well-Known Member

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    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 ...
     
  5. LDO

    LDO Well-Known Member

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    junk-kinda looks cool though and thats what really counts-dave
     
  6. 30 Caliber Mag Fan

    30 Caliber Mag Fan Member

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    goodgrouper, JeffInTex and STL-

    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.

    Again thanks.
     
  7. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    30 Cal Mag Fan,

    How heavy is your 300 RUM?

    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?

    Good Shooting!!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  8. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

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    Goodgrouper,

    Just a word of caution, while you may have some good points on your post from past experience, if someone from Christensen read that, a lawyer could be ringing you..You better make sure you are spot on the mark when making allegations as strong as that, unless you specify you heard this from the grapevine..You are basically telling the public that CA is outright lying to the public it is selling to, and youre not being to vague about what CA is lying about..if you don't have proof, you could be sued..I have nothing to do with CA, never have, this is just an observer with a point of view..Just be careful eh..

    JR
     
  9. brian b

    brian b Well-Known Member

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    JR,
    This is a subject I have to agree with Goodgrooper on, last year I had a friend that gave me his 300rum that he had paid Christensen $3500 to build he was not happy with the 4 to 6" groups that it was printing,he gave me the gun and said do whatever you have to do to make this gun shoot the way it was advertised. The spec's on his invoice said it would be a REM. action pillar bedded in the LSS stock with a Jewel trigger and a custom carbon wrapped barrel. after 3 shipments back they finally took off the timney trigger (not even as good as an ajusted factory REM.trigger) and really did a decent glass pillar bedding job on the 4th try.
    In my opinion you are better off getting a GOOD barrel and having it fluted for weight reduction rather than going the VooDoo carbon route. just my $.02 or $.03.
    B
     
  10. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Writers Guild

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    JR,
    No worries. See, in America there's this thing called freedom of speech, and I have plenty of proof to back up what I said. And anyways, things said on a forum are nothing more than heresay anyway. Thanks for your concern though.
     
  11. Shawn Carlock

    Shawn Carlock Sponsor

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    I would have to agree with the other guys. I have a worked on a couple of CA guns. Gun #1 would not shoot for crap, 2-3 inches @ 100 yards. My customer paid a scarry amount of money for the rifle in 300 Win Mag, custom barrel etc. The barrel still had the Remington factory proof mark visible on the barrel shank. I would also agree to skip the carbon route. I used to make some light weight rifles with carbon barrels. I used the Harris wrapped barrels that Wes made around his barrel blanks. Wes no longer makes the blanks. Most of them shot very well. The issue of heat distribution I have a different view on. Using a lazer temp guage I determined that in fact the carbon fiber wrap only insulates the heat into the barrel, the core barrel temp would be in the 250 deg range but you could touch the outside of the carbon wrap at around 130 or so. The core temp took much longer to cool than a regular steel barrel of the the same O.D. but not wrapped. I would stay away from them period, unless technology changes the carbon warp performance. If you want a lighter gun skrimp weight everywhere you can and go with the heaviest fluted barrel you can and still make your weight limit.
     
  12. demarpaint

    demarpaint Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the heads up goodgrouper, and using your right to free speech!!!!! There are enough rip off scams going on and giving us a heads up is much appreciated in this camp.

    Happy Holidays,
    Frank D
     
  13. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

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    Goodgrouper,

    I ain't no stranger to the ways of the good ole USA, born and bred, I just live here, so kiss my ass, theres also a thing called libel..haha..No, but just wanted make sure this wasn't opinion based on heresy, but factola, because to me if that's what these creeps are up to, then I'm all for shutting their doors..

    JR
     
  14. ultra300mag

    ultra300mag Active Member

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    I have personally shot a 300 Ultarmag from Christensen Arms for about 4 years with NO BUBBLING on the barrel. I shoot sub minute of angle 24/7 shooting Barnes Triple Shock bullets. I am not sure exactly what the weight difference is but I will tell you this you can definately tell the difference holding the same rifle without carbon wrap and that is not even after a days carry. I have shot Coues deer @500 yards and recently shot my bull elk at 700 yards. PM me and I will give you more details. I love mine!!!