I’ve noticed an interesting change in the rifle industry over the last number of months. Shooters want an accurate platform that is also lightweight. This backcountry type build is tough to do and also a huge shift from the “tacti-cool” market that was popular just a year ago. A carbon fiber barrel help make this possible.

We’re seeing shorter and shorter and lighter and lighter which is driving a lot of interest in the carbon fiber barrel – barrels that are eight ounces lighter than steel barrels.

At Horizon Firearms, we use carbon fiber barrels from PROOF Research on all of our backcountry builds.

The difference between PROOF Research carbon fiber wrapped barrels and other brands is the way they are built. And it’s a big, important difference.

We’ve received a lot of questions about this and noticed that many people think that all carbon fiber barrels are made with carbon fiber all the way through. That is not the case. Carbon fiber barrels are actually number three contour steel barrels wrapped in carbon fiber. For most companies though, this wrap is merely cosmetic—it’s a twill pattern meant to give the rifle a certain look.

A PROOF Research carbon fiber barrel is different because of their patented process.

Their process for making carbon fiber barrels actually begins with a match-grade 416R stainless steel barrel blank. The steel barrels are reduced significantly to decrease the weight, then the reduced barrels are wrapped in carbon fiber. The carbon fiber wrap is designed in a spiral pattern that creates a weave. This spiral pattern is actually what helps dissipate rather than insulate heat along the length of the barrel. The barrel will cool faster and that helps maintain accuracy over longer sessions of fire.

With PROOF’s carbon fiber barrel, you are getting that rigidity that you don’t normally get in other brand’s featherweight rifles. The barrel gets hot, the carbon fiber expands and this makes the barrel more rigid and stiff. The stiffer the barrel, the better the accuracy.

Accuracy in a lightweight barrel is great, but I also want repeatability.

I want a lightweight gun that I can take on a sheep hunt and shoot one round. I also want a lightweight gun that I can take to the range and shoot 30 rounds through and not have an accuracy problem. Most sheep hunt rifles are thin and lightweight and only good for that one shot. So repeatability is another reason why I like PROOF Research carbon fiber barrels.

PROOF Research is Horizon Firearms choice for carbon fiber barrels. In fact, we have designed one of our rifle models around this barrel, and we call it the Endeavor HZ. It’s mounted on iota’s lightweight KRUX stock. We typically have these rifles in inventory at any given time so contact us if you have any further questions about purchasing a lightweight custom rifle.