Carbon or Steel?

Tree61

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Nov 25, 2021
Messages
20
Location
S. Texas
OK, I’m sure this has already been around, ran into the ground, and you guys are probably tired of it, but I’m shocked that I can’t find any YouTube videos on the pros and cons of carbon versus steel. I just bought my first rifle with a carbon barrel and I’m not sure what I think so far. The first two or three shots are cutting the hole and then after that I just pray I can shoot MOA. My dry fires look great.
It’s my understanding that the rifle has a thinner than usual stainless barrel wrapped around with carbon fiber. If that’s the case, wouldn’t the thinner barrel heat up very quickly and then stay insulated by the carbon fiber? Are any competition or match shooters using carbon? Is anybody in the ELR world using carbon? This is a hunting rifle but I want to be able to go to the range and shoot three or four 5round groups at different targets/distances but I just can’t seem to keep it accurate past three shots. I don’t want to show up looking like Mr. Gadget, but I’m thinking about buying a barrel cooling fan contraption so I don’t have to wait 20 minutes for each shot if that’s the issue.
I just got the rifle in a couple weeks ago(used) and picked up two boxes of ammo off the shelf to just get acquainted with the system until my ammo arrives here in a couple days. Currently it is 165g Hornady American Whitetail and 165g Federal W/ Barnes TSX from the store for just getting used to the gun with. Waiting for my 5 boxes of ELDX 200g to get here before I chrono and get dope. So, is carbon really good for a few shots and then it’s time to put it up? I’m ok with that if that’s the case. Just wondering if it’s me…

Christensen Custom 300WSM
Harris Bipod
Christensen Brake
Gen II Razor
Warne 34’s
Rem 700
 

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StanleyActual

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Jul 9, 2021
Messages
511
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Idaho
OK, I’m sure this has already been around, ran into the ground, and you guys are probably tired of it, but I’m shocked that I can’t find any YouTube videos on the pros and cons of carbon versus steel. I just bought my first rifle with a carbon barrel and I’m not sure what I think so far. The first two or three shots are cutting the hole and then after that I just pray I can shoot MOA. My dry fires look great.
It’s my understanding that the rifle has a thinner than usual stainless barrel wrapped around with carbon fiber. If that’s the case, wouldn’t the thinner barrel heat up very quickly and then stay insulated by the carbon fiber? Are any competition or match shooters using carbon? Is anybody in the ELR world using carbon? This is a hunting rifle but I want to be able to go to the range and shoot three or four 5round groups at different targets/distances but I just can’t seem to keep it accurate past three shots. I don’t want to show up looking like Mr. Gadget, but I’m thinking about buying a barrel cooling fan contraption so I don’t have to wait 20 minutes for each shot if that’s the issue.
I just got the rifle in a couple weeks ago(used) and picked up two boxes of ammo off the shelf to just get acquainted with the system until my ammo arrives here in a couple days. Currently it is 165g Hornady American Whitetail and 165g Federal W/ Barnes TSX from the store for just getting used to the gun with. Waiting for my 5 boxes of ELDX 200g to get here before I chrono and get dope. So, is carbon really good for a few shots and then it’s time to put it up? I’m ok with that if that’s the case. Just wondering if it’s me…

Christensen Custom 300WSM
Harris Bipod
Christensen Brake
Gen II Razor
Warne 34’s
Rem 700

Yeah CF is typically strictly for hunting rifles where weight is a concerns. PRS / ELR want the barrel heavy for weight and they’re gonna take Longer to heat up. No one wants to spend that kind of money on a barrel they’re just going to smoke in a couple months worth of matches and range time.

Im Not sure about CA barrels, but from what I understand some CF barrel manufactures leave more “meat” on the barrel than others which prevents the barrel from walking when it gets hot. Obviously magnums are gonna get hotter even quicker. My buddy just picked up a CA ridge line in a 300PRC we got it dialed in the other day and managed to confirm his zero with a 5rd group that measures in the .4’s @ 100.

I would probably treat it just Like a would a SS (Rem Varmint / Sendero) and smaller contours and fire no more than 3rds at a time before you let it cool down a bit.
 
Last edited:

Tree61

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Joined
Nov 25, 2021
Messages
20
Location
S. Texas
Thanks a bunch. I certainly understand if this is a topic that has been run into the ground and I appreciate your feedback very much. I think I’ll just take one or two shots a day on the same target to see.
 

StanleyActual

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No problem man. You can shoot more than. Just keep your strings of fire down to 3rds or so before you let it cool for a few minutes.
 
Last edited:

gearguywb

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May 7, 2020
Messages
339
Location
KC
Good thoughts above.

I don't shoot 5 shot groups out of hunting weight rifles. 3 is certainly sufficient to test groups/dope/etc.

I generally take two rifles to the range at a time when testing/load development. Swap back and forth to allow sufficient cooling time while not just sitting there waiting for time to pass.
 

Shane Lindsey

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Jul 13, 2010
Messages
1,879
I am beginning to think the walking is more due to mirage.
Three shot groups have mislead me so started doing 4-5 for the final load dev. That is when I start to see the walking.

If I shoot slow and give it a rest, it stays fine. After carrying heavy rifles for a few years, carrying a not so heavy one is much preferred. Jury is still out whether a 10.5 pound RUM with the carbon barrel vs the 10.5 pound RUM without is any more/less accurate. It sure looks and feels sexy though...

You mean one of these??? We’re all gear queers in this forum🤪

89C8C14F-0456-49BD-9633-0833DABE9E7C.jpeg
 

Shane Lindsey

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It is good enough for what it is. It eats the 123 batteries though. When out in the winter doing load dev, it really works well. At the indoor range at 70 degrees, better than nothing, it is what it is.
 

Canhunter35

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Joined
Jun 13, 2017
Messages
3,102
I have a proof, it never walked accuracy wise, I couldn’t get 180eldms to shoot and the first question they asked was if it walked, I can’t remember the reason, but there’s something the in the construction of a carbon wrapped barrel if done wrong it’ll walk. With mine I switched to 180hybrids and have never looked back.
I would contact Christensen, it shouldn’t walk, and see what they say
 

Tree61

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2021
Messages
20
Location
S. Texas
I have a proof, it never walked accuracy wise, I couldn’t get 180eldms to shoot and the first question they asked was if it walked, I can’t remember the reason, but there’s something the in the construction of a carbon wrapped barrel if done wrong it’ll walk. With mine I switched to 180hybrids and have never looked back.
I would contact Christensen, it shouldn’t walk, and see what they say
What caliber are you shooting?
 

LongBomber

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Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
796
Location
Fernie BC, Canada
I am beginning to think the walking is more due to mirage.
Three shot groups have mislead me so started doing 4-5 for the final load dev. That is when I start to see the walking.

If I shoot slow and give it a rest, it stays fine. After carrying heavy rifles for a few years, carrying a not so heavy one is much preferred. Jury is still out whether a 10.5 pound RUM with the carbon barrel vs the 10.5 pound RUM without is any more/less accurate. It sure looks and feels sexy though...

You mean one of these??? We’re all gear queers in this forum🤪

View attachment 315764
I have to agree, after having a couple carbon barrels and shooting in lots of different conditions, I think it is the mirage as much as it is the barrel heating up and walking. In conditions prone to mirage I can visibly see over an moa of mirage in 4-5 shots off a carbon barrel in a magnum cartridge. I have 2 300wsm, both in barrel contours that are very close, one a carbon one stainless. The mirage from 4-5 shots in the carbon is about the mirage from 10-11 shots in the stainless.
 
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