Another innovative company that I came across in the NEXT section of Level 3 of SHOT Show 2018 exhibition was Jones Arms. It is easy to simply pass by their booth because the most interesting product they have is not something that immediately catches your attention. At first glance, it looks to be just another AR-15 based PCC barrel. When the company officials handed me the barrel, I was shocked because it weighs a fraction of what you expect such a barrel to weight.
Jones Arms barrel has a 16″ overall length making it legal for rifle builds. However, the actual rifled part which is made of 4150 chrome moly steel has only 5.5″ length. In order to get the 16″ overall length, they added an aluminum sleeve which was explosion welded to the steel portion via a niobium spacer. Explosive welding is a process of bonding metals when one of the metals is forced into another driven by the energy of an explosion. Of course, it is not just a random explosion but a precisely measured one done in a controlled environment. This method of metal bonding creates a strong and clean joint at the molecular level.
The Jones Arms also states that they can change the ratio of the aluminum sleeve and actual barrel length upon customer request. This barrels should be a useful product for those who are looking for a lightweight blowback PCC build. The impressions from holding an upper receiver with this barrel installed (and with Jones Arms lightweight handguard) is quite unusual, too. It feels like there is nothing past the point where the actual steel barrel ends.
The Jones Arms 9mm barrel weighs 13.7 oz and the company targets to refine it and make even lighter – 13 oz. These barrels will be available by spring 2018 and the initial price estimation is $190. There will also be versions chambered in .45 ACP and 10mm Auto.