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Carbon Fiber Barrel vs. Stainless steel

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by juandelaselva, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. juandelaselva

    juandelaselva Boring Sandy Gresham Member

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    Short question:
    Do you know if the carbon fiber barrels have the same sort of longevity as a stainless steel barrel, or will we find out in a few years that carbon fiber barrels were a short lived fad?

    Long question:
    I am considering getting either a stainless steel fluted bull barrel, or a carbon fiber barrel. The carbon fiber barrel is a carbon fiber "pipe", say 1" diameter, with a thin (0.125"?) wall thickness. Stretched within this "pipe" is a stainless steel tube... hard to call it a barrel... more of a straw. Will the tensioned "straw" cause, over time, the carbon fiber pipe to compress, shrink, creep? Carbon FIber is GREAT in Tension..., and also really good in shear... in compression? It is essentially the compression strength of the epoxy/glue that holds it together. Do any of you have experience with CF? I know bicycles are made of it... but don't have one of those, and don't know the longevity of it. What if I store the gun in an un-airconditioned warehouse in the mojave? Will that cause the epoxy to creep? What if I go shooting in northern Alaska? Will the cold cause the epoxy to embrittle... and break if I drop it against a rock?

    I "know" with stainless steel.... it is solid. The issue is weight. The stainless steel rifle weighs 7.5 pounds EMPTY. The version with the carbon fiber barrel weighs a mere 5.25 pounds.

    If you have experience with the carbon fiber barrels, or know of studies regarding their long term performance in the heat and cold, please let me know.


    - John