Carbon Fiber Wrapped Barrel Durability Test

carbon fiber barrel 2

Proof Research posted this gem back in 2012. They proved that their carbon fiber wrapped barrels were strong and durable. They shoot three shots out to 100 yards. Unscrew the barrel and bludgeon a concrete cinder block.

carbon fiber barrel

Afterward they screw the barrel back in and reshot the target. Surprisingly not that significant of a shift in point of impact. Pretty impressive.



Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • Nicholas Mew

    Still waiting for carbon nano-tube.

    • Giolli Joker

      To do what? 🙂

      • gunslinger

        make a barrel?

    • Paranoid Android

      For a .9 Å barrel?

  • iksnilol

    Won’t the carbon keep heat in during sustained firing? Also, ten or five shots would have been better, you don’t shoot three shots and call it a group.

    Wouldn’t aluminum be better if you want to save weight? I know Walther Lothar does that.

    • Giolli Joker

      Carbon dissipates heat pretty well and can be stiffer than aluminum (and lighter).
      (and it’s way more cool… reduces drag, you know, to operate faster)
      Seriously, the weight saving can be good for hunters.

      • iksnilol

        I am for the weight savings but am worried about carbon keeping heat in and ruining the barrel during sustained firing.

        • Sadler

          PROOF barrels don’t last at all under sustained fire. There is no significant transfer of heat from the barrel to the CF, and then from the CF to the air, which is terrible. And there are tons of reports about the wrap coming unwound after a fairly short string of quick shots. And by “fairly short” I mean 10-20 shots. That’s unacceptable. With current technology, carbon wrapped barrels are just not viable. And most of the viability lies in the epoxies that’re used in CF.

          • Paul Epstein

            That’s literally directly opposite of what Proof Research says is the case with their barrels. Let’s be clear- are you accusing them of fraud?

          • Sadler

            Yes. The heat does not dissipate as quickly as they claim, otherwise you would feel the heat. Instead, it’s trapped in the barrel, and in the CF. Carbon fiber and the epoxy that binds it both have very low thermal conductivity, and essentially acts like a thermos around the barrel.

          • Dan

            i recall reading about some demo shoot, a CF barrel was being shown off by some really slow shooting. everyone was impressed by how light the barrel was, etc.

            then some guy came up and rapid fired a couple of magazines through it. within short order the barrel was smoking, then a bunch of steam and liquid came out and the CF came loose.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            Christensen barrel, I’d believe that. Proof barrel not a chance. I’c had mine far too hot to tough, took it to a 1400 round carbine class, suprise suprise it’s still just fine.

          • Sadler

            Even if Proof is running carbon fiber reinforced carbon (C/C), instead of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (which they have absolutely used as recently as 2012), which will stand up to heat, what you’re doing is wrapping your barrel in insulation. I have seen people argue that because C/C is used in racing brakes, it must be great in rifle barrels. But the reason it’s used in racing brakes is because if doesn’t deform when heated, not that it sheds heat faster than steel brakes.

            Now I get that you’re so protective of this company because you have purchased their product, hell I would be too if I spent that much money, but you need to realize that what they’re advertising is false. Wrapping either of the two major CF’s around your barrel will increase the time it takes to cool down. That’s not a debatable thing, that’s just thermal conductivity.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            “Now I get that you’re so protective of this company because you have purchased their product,”

            You couldn’t be more wrong. I got them as T&E where I had initially set out to prove they sucked.

            Your theories are nice and all, but the performance is there. Hate to break it to you. I wouldn’t buy one for a heavy use gun, but for bolt guns they are the shit. But do keep speculating. I’d be happy to keep shooting you down with real world experience.

          • Sadler

            Damn it, dude. Do you not understand what I’m saying? Ignore what I said about your purchase or whatever T&E, it doesn’t matter. I’m talking about their claim about thermal dissipation, which is 100% false, unless they are not, in fact, using any type of carbon fiber.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            Oh yea, I get it! You’re an expert who has never seen or touched one of these.

            I’m only some idiot who did testing with thermal and highspeed cameras, and have been shooting them for years.

            But thanks for the conversation!

          • Paul Epstein

            Look, I’m not associated with them, but everyone else who owns a proof research barrel seems to be disagreeing, so I think it’s prudent at this point to show some sort of evidence that the company in question has exactly the same problems we all agree most carbon fiber barrels do, because I’m simply not willing to make an assumption in the face of testimony to the contrary.

          • Sadler

            “Everyone” is one person in this thread. This is not a debatable subject. Even if whatever type of CF they use can now hold up to the heat, it does not shed heat faster than a standard barrel. If you want your barrel to cool down faster, increase your surface area, or create airflow around the barrel. Or put a water jacket on it, which does about the same as increasing airflow. But wrapping carbon fiber reinforced polymer or carbon fiber reinforced carbon is not going to do it.

          • Paul Epstein

            Carbon fiber conducts much better along it’s length than metal, and proof research specifically states theirs is arranged to conduct it outwards. That would, if you’re paying attention, cool it rather than insulate it. Again, unless you can show someone testing their claims and finding them to be false, I’m not taking what you say as truth- more so when you state it’s not a debatable subject, because it so clearly is. You’re saying they’re lying, in print, about every single claim they make regarding not just performance but the actual manufacturing of the barrel. So you need evidence, not just supposition based on other barrels.

            It’s not just this thread- everywhere else I’ve read online where they actually have one, instead of armchair engineering it, seems both positive and in line with the company’s claims.

          • JSmath

            Paul Epstein – you said pretty much everything I was going to say. Thanks.

            http://www.christinedemerchant.com/carbon_characteristics_heat_conductivity.html

          • Sadler

            My experience with carbon fiber composites comes from work in the aerospace industry. I’m not just spewing about something that I have no experience with, It’s true that individual fibers in carbon fiber composites have high thermal conductivity. So does graphite, as well as carbon nanotubes. That’s not what we’re dealing with, though. Composites do not have good thermal conductivity, especially C/C.

            I believe that Proof now uses C/C as as opposed to what’s generally just called carbon fiber. That is a step in the right direction, as it doesn’t fail in extreme heat, which is why it’s used in reentry vehicles. But it also doesn’t have good thermal conductivity, which is also why it’s used on reentry vehicles.

            Unless they’re lying about what material they’re using, they’re lying about thermal performance.

          • Paul Epstein

            Dude, you sound like you’re just mental. You’re GUESSING at what material they’re using, and how they’re using it, but you are then claiming they’re the ones lying about it?

            And the fact remains that you are not talking about having tested the material they’re using, even by proxy using someone else’s test of it, you are talking about how the material you’re familiar with behaves, and then making a really seriously questionable assumption about them being identical in properties despite being told they aren’t.

            You have no credibility, regardless of credentials, unless you are actually using data from the thing under discussion- it’s like a geneticist talking about how humans couldn’t possibly talk, because mice can’t, and they’re both pretty similar and the geneticist knows absolutely everything about mice.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            Super interesting claims bro!

            I’ll go let both of my Proof barrels know they suck… Although the 16″ AR I have around 3k down suppressed and has in all the time I’ve had it been able to shoot 3/8″ all day long will have a tough time believing random internet nobody’s claims.

            lol at your baseless trolling 😀

          • Sadler

            Do you think that wrapping carbon fiber around your barrel increases the speed at which your barrels shed heat, over a traditional steel barrel?

            Before you answer, think about this scenario. You have a cold liquid in an aluminum can, and the same liquid at the same temperature in a thermos. If you place them both outside on a hot day, which one will heat up faster?

      • dp

        What remains in question, as ‘iksnilol’ is alluding to, is transition of heat between metal core and non-metal jacket. It will not apparently be the same as between two metals,
        We are talking of relatively low heat input, if hunting arm is the target application. If you were aiming toward a semi-auto type of application the steel-aluminum might be wiser option. This was once tried (and failed) on AR10, I believe. But again, that was sort of radiator with fins as oppose to solid smooth jacket.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          Yea, I have yet to see him post a single thing on this based in actual experience.

          On the other hand, I iwn two carbon barrels. I have not found a difference in heat between them and steel.

    • An Interested Person

      The military seems to think they handle the heat plenty well, and the carbon is definitely lighter than aluminum.

    • JSmath

      Carbon (in carbon-carbon form) is amazing at dissipating heat, hence why space shuttles use it on their underside.

      • iksnilol

        Carbon-carbon?

        I don’t know what type of carbon they wrap barrels in. I just think that the type that is commonly used is a good insulator.

  • Patrick R

    Holy cow …. 2012 …. Sigh.

  • me ohmy

    pretty tough tube..

  • tt_ttf

    At Eurosatory I met some US guys proposing using sleeved Ceramic/Alloy composite barrels – they were ceramic alloy masters of heatsinks, ceramic armor etc

    Basically tunable harmonics with the inner and outer sleeves, wickedly low weight since most of it is aluminum but the insert can be made with just about any material even something real expensive or in larger size harder to work, so really long life is possible.

    Add to that the huge heat transfer ability to wick and control heat plus a really low CoE means little to no shape change