So I’ve been looking at barrels for my 300blk pistol build. Does anyone have experience with carbon fiber barrels? Are they worth the money? What benefit do they provide over a stainless or chrome moly?
I thought I’d pipe in and hopefully “bump” this thread so that others more knowledgable than me can pipe in… even if they say I’m completely wrong.
My limited experience is from two rifles: one with an old, inexpensive CF barrel (22lr), and one with a .75" steel barrel (7.62x39). When shooting that steel barrel (semi-auto) it gets hot (I should have gotten it fluted). I can’t imagine that a CF barrel would reduce the heat build up any better. The downside is the weight… although it reduces the low recoil of the 7.62x39 even more.
My 22lr CF barrel is low quality. However, it is darn light, and it shoots well. It is also freefloated. I am constantly worried about that barrel developing cracks or bends if I lean it against something for too long (like in a soft case leaning against the wall), or if I bang it against something by accident. I’m not worried about the 22lr overheating either.
IMO, for a rifle catridge such as yours or more powerful options, I would personally only get a CF barrel for a bolt gun which I was shooting relatively slow, and probably not planning on shooting more than a few rounds, e.g. sighting in, or where you might be hiking a lot before taking your one shot. I don’t know if you will experience any significant increases in accuracy with a CF barrel, or even a heavy barrel in a pistol configuration (don’t know your barrel’s harmonics), but would probably go for a slightly thicker fluted steel barrel (mostly for heat dissipation) if I just wanted some bling or had money to burn, and didn’t mind the weight… the weight might also reduce felt recoil.
Carbon fiber barrels are not 100% carbon fiber. They are a steel tube wrapped in carbon fiber. The “big” advantage is that you can get bull barrel stiffness with pencil thin barrel weight. The carbon fiber barrels typically deal with the heat better in that they dont hold their heat like metal does so they cool quicker and heat up less. One can “nick” the carbon fiber, but it is my understanding that they can be repaired with an approved glue. And no, they wont just unwind if nicked. As for your application, sure it would have a “cool” factor, but not sure the real benefit. In a pistol, your barrel is already going to be plenty stiff just because it is short (same diameter, shorter is stiffer, stiffer is theoretically more accurate due to barrel oscillations, but that is a whole long dissertation) and the blackout does not generate the heat (at least in my experience with my suppressed blackout) that some of the higher-intensity cartridges do.
Brian is darn spot on. The quality of the barrel will also be how good the liner is. Just as buying a regular barrel, it matters. The big advantages are heat dissipation and weight. As for quality, expect to pay more for it than the same quality steel barrel.
For your application, the savings would be weight, and the heat. Not sure how much weight you would save, and the heat can be mitigated other ways. A super accurate barrel would not be top on my list for that application.
Okay. As if those weren’t obvious puns! Good job.