Is a proof research barrel worth it?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by odoylerules, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. odoylerules

    odoylerules Well-Known Member

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    Thinking about putting a proof research carbon barrel on my next rig. I'm building a long range hunting rifle chambered in 7-300. I really love the almost 2lbs of weight savings it'll get over a comparable barrel. This gun will be packed around the mountains.
    My question is for those that have them, was it worth the cost?
    How was accuracy, barrel life etc? Thanks
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  2. adam32

    adam32 Well-Known Member

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    Short answer...nope.
     
  3. 86alaskan

    86alaskan Well-Known Member

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    so, I'm not using a proof, but GA Precision currently has my 300WM build. I'm going to be using a christensen 24" 30cal barrel. It was way lighter than anything of comparable profile. I'm hoping for .5 moa when it's up and running. I can say that when my savage 260 barrel burns, it's going to get a proof. I think I've got enough time to save for that.
     
  4. Maxlab

    Maxlab Member

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    Accuracy and barrel life is just as good as any other quality barrel maker.
    You will save on weight, but they are pricey. Currently building a 28 Nosler with a Proof on it. Just really depends on what you want.
     
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  5. middleofnowhere

    middleofnowhere Well-Known Member

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    IMG_0927.JPG I bought a factory Ridgeline in 30 Nosler and shot pretty decent with factory 210 ABLR rounds. 3 rounds at 300 yds with the carbon wrapped barrel.
     
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  6. CA48

    CA48 Well-Known Member

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    Worth it for weight savings alone I would say no, you can always get a lighter contour steel barrel. I like my carbon barrel because it is aesthetically pleasing, much more so than a traditional pencil contour barrel. You can't really justify paying double the price for weight savings alone in my head. But if you have the extra $ to spend on your build get want you want and have no regrets. Accuracy and bbl life will be as good as any other custom bbl manufacturer. One advantage I would say over a traditional hunting contour bbl would be while doing load work or at the range practicing the carbon barrel won't open up groups as bad when it starts to heat up. Another is with the reduced barrel weight up front it allows hunting rifles with light weight stocks to balance better.
     
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  7. stwcattle

    stwcattle Well-Known Member

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    I really like my Proof Carbon wrapped barrel. .25 accuracy and weight savings make the price worth it for me. I have another one in for a 6.5x284 build and Im considering re barreling my med palma 300 Norma with a Proof Carbon, so for me the answer to you question is "yes".
     
  8. Jeremy338

    Jeremy338 Well-Known Member

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    The only problem I have with carbon barrels is after a 5 shot group the mirage is so bad your waiting awhile for the next 5. Not good for prs but fine for hunting. Jmo
     
  9. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    I thought it was ridiculous to spend that kind of money on a barrel. Then I did load development and ammo for a customers Proof rifle. Very nice. Then we built a 300 Norma imp, for a customer, on a Proof barrel. Very nice. Have another for a customer in process now in 338 Lap imp with a Proof barrel. I expect that it will be very nice as well.

    What I really like about the barrel is the way that it balances in a light weight stock. They seem to not get as hot. Not sure if the heat is dissipated or insulated. Either way they will shoot a string better than a like weight steel barrel. That is my experience.

    So after poo pooing them before I had first hand experience, I had to sheepishly admit that I would really like to have one of my own.

    Steve
     
  10. adam32

    adam32 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, longer answer...

    Are Proof carbon barrels good quality? Yes, most of the time.

    Are they lighter comparabl barrels? No, they are the heaviest carbon barrel on the market I'm pretty sure.

    Are they cheaper then comparable barrels? No, they are 30-50% more than other carbon barrels.

    Are they worth the extra cost? Imo, no. Especially when you can get other carbon barrels that are just as good AND lighter for LESS money.

    So why are Proof's so expensive? The name. Just like buying a CAT, an extra cost for the name.

    I think before Proof bought out ABS that Mike was making top notch fully custom barrels, now they are a production barrel with the same price. Just in my opinion.
     
  11. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    I know Mike is still part of the Proof team. Unless I am wrong they have taken Mikes process and greatly improved it from where he had it. They now also purposely make their own barrels from the start with the design of wrapping, instead of getting blanks and turning them down to accept the wrap. My understanding is that the end result is a truer bore now. Used to have stress and relief problems the old way. Not sure how others are doing the process but I know that Proof has it all in house from the start and their quality control is very good.

    Don't get me wrong. I can't say that the Proof is better than the rest as I have no experience with the rest. I can say that Proof barrels from my experience are very good. I do not recall hearing anything negative about them. I know some smiths do not like them as you only get one shot to set them up correctly.

    Steve
     
  12. Jeremy338

    Jeremy338 Well-Known Member

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    I run proof and Christensen. Christensen seems a lot lighter. Both brands shoot well. Surprised nobody had noticed the heat vapor issue.
     
  13. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    Opinions both ways. I don't own one. Researched the topic in the past before purchasing my last two barrels for backpacking rifles. Finally decided against carbon due to expense. Maybe shoulda, coulda, woulda...
    Remember Kirby Allen was thumbs down on carbon barrels due to added costs. He felt the weight gains were marginal compared to a lighter contour non-carbon barrel. He builds a lot of rifles. Dunno if his advice remains the same today.
    The guy laying out cash must decide for himself.
    I do believe load development for the stiffer barrels is less finicky.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
  14. brentc

    brentc Well-Known Member

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    It's personal preference. All of my rifles either have fluted or carbon wrapped barrels simply because it's my preference due to better handling characteristics. I don't like barrel heavy rifles. If Proofs are properly smithed they will perform just as good or better than anything out there. My three Proof barrels are capable of .5 MOA or better with most groups in the .2s and .3s from a bipod in the prone.