Gunsmithing  Proof Research Barrel, MY AX 308 has a new Tube.

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  • Apr 12, 2001
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    Proof Research sent over a 308 barrel, actually they sent it GA Precision and George had the guys spin it up for my AI Rifle.

    10153797_10152401611407953_8705830104403200044_n.jpg


    Stop by Mile High Today and Adam spun it on my AX. We had to be a bit careful and actually went under the recommended torque settings so, right now it's a bit of an experiment.

    1097248_731520723538120_3870521646395030879_o.jpg


    I then stopped by Trigger Time Gun Club to shoot indoors at 100 yards to see what it was like, just a quick try. Wasn't spectacular but it has a lot of promise. I think I am actually gonna break this one in as it was starting to tighten up. I only shot about 20 rounds. The best group my with FGMM 168s, followed closely by Hornady 178gr Superformance.

    1606265_10152402104352953_4976877264446671860_o.jpg


    I did get the barrel plenty hot to see if there was any noticeable mirage in the scope. (I also had the power cranked up all the way) and while I didn't see the mirage jump out at me I did experience a few of these fliers which I am attributing to either ME or a bit of reticle wobble in what would have been some light mirage. It was hard to say.

    This is just the beginning with very few rounds shot, and honestly it's a good start, especially since it likes 178s. I think those showed the most promise.

    I am gonna do a bit of a break in, and then hammer the shit out of this barrel to see what happens, to include adding a suppressor to it as George did thread it.
     

    lowlight

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    Seemed a bit snapper recoil wise, as I just shot it straight with no suppressor.

    Weight and we checked it, was only 1/2 lbs less than a stock AX with 24" barrel.

    Perception wise it feels better, maybe it's the balance, but also remember that scope weighted in at 3.5LBS with mount. That was weighted off the rifle. i believe the AX with Proof barrel was 13.1lbs versus 13.7lbs. So with scope, 16.6lbs.
     

    Wyfox

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  • May 24, 2012
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    Looking forward to more review on this, is the Proof a varm or sendero contour?
    I was really hoping for a full pound weight savings, at just 6oz savings I'm not sure it's worth it to me and it's going to be less with a 6.5mm bore. Glad your the guinea pig on this one so when I burn out my Creedmoor barrel on my AX I'll know if I should drop my pennies on one or not.
     

    jasonfaz

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    Wow. I was expecting more weight savings as well for the price of a PR barrel. Look forward to hearing more after you get a chance to put a few hundred down the pipe...
     

    lowlight

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    Quick update,

    shot the Proof some more Friday, really good results. I cleaned it thoroughly the night before, and again fed it the 178 Superformance which it really like. Over 2800fps with a 24" tube, 3 mils to 600 and 9.5 mils to 1100. Really good results. (Images and vid to follow)

    shot fast, shot often and bounced back and forth between paper and steel to test deviation.... Looks good so far.

    another cleaning, ( it's asking so I'm gonna respond) then retest other loads, but out of the gate, the Hornady rocks.
     

    agbm

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    CF barrels seem to really work, I will wait to see more results with your testing.
     
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    shoot4fun

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    Are they making barrels or wrapping someone else's?
    I like the concept of CF barrels from way back and my limited experience (rimfire) showed to be extremely accurate.
    The slight weight advantage keeps that from being a selling point so accuracy during long strings of fire and lack of mirage would be the top assets I believe.
    I am interested in what LL has to say about the application/value of the PR barrels. After all, they are not inexpensive.
     

    lowlight

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    The big plus is I think I am one of the first to use this with an AX ( at least it sounded like that)

    the trick is torquing it, which is a problem because you can't clamp it where one should. So we went way under the recommended 100# that an AI calls for. Where I believe it will shine if everything works out is, the new AT & AXMC. You don't need to go anymore than hand tight, the Quickloc holds it. So the benefits of the Quicloc will extend to using this barrel.

    Even though it saved less than I though weight wise, it balances the rifle and it certainly feels better overall.

    I am glad this became available to explore.
     

    ZombieMonkey

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    I'll be curious about further testing with the added weight of a can on the barrel. Might be worthy exploring on the AT once that comes in, I'm just a bit leery of the extra weight of a suppressor and the higher temperatures we see here in AZ.
     

    Bender

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    Proof Research Barrel, MY AX 308 has a new Tube.

    Would an aluminum wrapped barrel be a good idea? Aluminum dissipates heat faster than steel. Does the Carbon fiber dissipate as as fast as steel? If nothing else it looks sexy as hell!
     

    DAVETOOLEY

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    Quick update,

    shot the Proof some more Friday, really good results. I cleaned it thoroughly the night before, and again fed it the 178 Superformance which it really like. Over 2800fps with a 24" tube, 3 mils to 600 and 9.5 mils to 1100. Really good results. (Images and vid to follow)

    shot fast, shot often and bounced back and forth between paper and steel to test deviation.... Looks good so far.

    another cleaning, ( it's asking so I'm gonna respond) then retest other loads, but out of the gate, the Hornady rocks.

    Frank tell me it isn't true. You're cleaning barrels. One of the last bastions of "just shoot it" What's the world coming to.
     
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    DAVETOOLEY

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    I'll be curious about further testing with the added weight of a can on the barrel. Might be worthy exploring on the AT once that comes in, I'm just a bit leery of the extra weight of a suppressor and the higher temperatures we see here in AZ.

    One thing to consider when running a can or not running one is you don't have to stay with a Rem Vt. contour. Go with the largest profile your stock will accept. On an AI chassis that would be 1.250".

    In the interest of full discloser I have visited the plant.
     

    damoncali

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    Would an aluminum wrapped barrel be a good idea? Aluminum dissipates heat faster than steel. Does the Carbon fiber dissipate as as fast as steel? If nothing else it looks sexy as hell!

    Carbon dissipates heat faster than aluminum or steel. Quite a bit faster. BUT... the glue that holds the carbon together has traditionally been basically plastic, which is a very poor heat conductor. The plastic won in the past making the whole thing an overall insulator - less conductive than steel. Although the outside of the barrel might be cool (it's insulated, after all), the inside would be scorching hot - exactly the opposite of what you want. There are high conductivity "matrix" (the technical term for the glue) materials out there, but proof is not specific about what they're doing to remedy this problem, only that they have solved it. A little explanation would go a long way.

    The real test is the barrel's *internal* temperature after firing - on the surface of the bore. Until someone measures that and reports it, I'll remain skeptical, but hopeful. It *is* a solvable problem, and from what I've seen of proof's technological capabilities, they're not messing around - it's legit engineering. From the looks of the barrel, they're using a similar technology that we used when I was in the aerospace industry. It's pricey stuff because it requires some pretty skilled people to do consistently. You can't just hire someone off the street to do this stuff - you need trained technicians or the quality will be non-existent.

    There are other plusses and minuses to composites. Weight is an obvious benefit. Durability is a negative - they are notoriously fragile under impact. Whack the side of the barrel and you could wind up with an invisible de-lamitation under the surface that compromises the structural integrity without leaving a visible trace. That's probably not good for a barrel. But if it's protected by a float tube, then it could make sense in some applications. Cost is a negative, as I mentioned before. There should also be a change in barrel dynamics, which means loads that worked before might not any more. This could be a good or a bad thing. You'd have to test it to see.
     
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    lowlight

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  • Apr 12, 2001
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    The glue with this stuff is the secret sauce it's designed to help conduct the heat away.

    The internal temps are more spread out and not focused at the throat, they test this stuff both with thermal coupler readings and FLIR, and have been constantly working the resin to give them the desired results. Plus you have to remember they just bought the company that supplies Lockheed, etc, for stuff for the Stealth programs. It's not your typical resin or what you'd expect. This is not a garage based operation.

    I was out again today, using my suppressor and while I didn't get a chance test the difference on paper, i will say out to distance it's hammering with no vertical. I have been taping my shots on steel, the biggest factor has been how fast I am shooting these targets, however the results are consistent and definitely not wandering.

    I shot everything from 300 to 1150 today, with mag dumbs at 500, and 1050, other then me, they are all in there.

    10258377_734404999916359_6592385160171617872_n.jpg


    You might think you know what is going on, but these guys are not doing this for just our barrels, they have much bigger plans with military applications in mind.
     

    ZombieMonkey

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    Very nice, glad to see the weight of the can didn't change the results. I'll be watching here on the sidelines as you work on shooting the barrel out. Sounds like the only thing left is to see how the barrel fares over the course of its life. Has proof research offered any insight on barrel life vs standard barrels? Going to be needing a barrel for the AT in 260 here soon and with the life of the 260 barrel already being short enough not sure if it would be a wise move. May have to watch you burn this one up while I play the safe road for the next barrel. Definitely very interesting...
     

    lowlight

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    Here is a video from my Target Vision App, it's got some delay and no sound, as it was 1100 yards away over a Wifi Network, so bare with it

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    This was 10 shots in 1 minute, as noted the biggest factor was me shooting so fast that far away, as we still had a decent wind, but still all good hits
     

    FS1

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    Is there a reason they call it a carbon fiber barrel rather than a carbon fiber reinforced barrel?
     

    damoncali

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    Is there a reason they call it a carbon fiber barrel rather than a carbon fiber reinforced barrel?

    Neither description is accurate. The barrel is clearly steel, and the carbon they are using doesn't reinforce anything - it is almost certainly significantly weaker/less stiff than steel. Either that, or composite materials have changed DRAMATICALLY in the last 10 years.

    It's lighter, and if you believe the company, it allows for better heat transfer (and one would think barrel life). You can also build a very stiff barrel at the same weight as steel. It's the heat transfer claim that I'm wondering about. Given that the barrel is steel and the way heat transfer and erosion works, I'm a little skeptical that it will make a worthwhile difference for rifle barrels. For military weapon systems with a high rate of fire an expensive maintenance, I would think it would matter more. But this is all speculation on my part. If it works, it will be obvious.
     

    HodgdonExtreme

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    I'm confused on the physics here.

    How can it dissipate heat faster AND reduce mirage? Isn't barrel mirage caused by the barrel sloughing off heat?

    Am I tripping?
     

    lowlight

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    Who said it reduced mirage... however I will explain it like it said to me.

    Consider a Stainless Barrel, especially a thick one. It may take longer for it to heat up and show mirage, however at the same time it will retain the heat once built up longer, which is why some flute them to cut the surface area to help cool.

    With this, if you transfer the heat faster, you reduce the amount of time it will mirage. All of them, SS or Carbon Fiber wrapped will mirage to a degree. Spreading it out, moving it through is part of the process. So one that will be more efficient will get rid of it quicker
     

    HodgdonExtreme

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    Who said it reduced mirage... however I will explain it like it said to me.

    Consider a Stainless Barrel, especially a thick one. It may take longer for it to heat up and show mirage, however at the same time it will retain the heat once built up longer, which is why some flute them to cut the surface area to help cool.

    With this, if you transfer the heat faster, you reduce the amount of time it will mirage. All of them, SS or Carbon Fiber wrapped will mirage to a degree. Spreading it out, moving it through is part of the process. So one that will be more efficient will get rid of it quicker

    Thanks for the response, I misunderstood and thought reduced mirage was one of the claimed benefits.

    Your explanation makes sense - that mirage ought not last as long, if it can transfer the heat and dissipate it away faster.

    It would be great if you could comment further on perceived mirage differences as you test further.

    Thanks again.
     

    lowlight

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    In the field the first day with no suppressor I saw no mirage off the barrel, but the wind was pretty gusty.

    At the indoor range when I was zeroing and using different ammo, it appears to be some mirage with several "fliers" appearing, however after that Day I cleaned it and went to the 178gr Hornady and didn't see it.

    With my Suppressor on, even with a cover there was mirage but that was from the suppressor. It still comes out the front and back of the cover. But it wasn't enough to see an adverse effect. The next step is to test the deviation from a known suppressor vs what it was. My dope was off with the suppressor on, but I never rechecked my zero -- on vs off as I had no paper up that day. I believe there is at least a 1 Mil deviation from a Suppressor that is consistently a 3/4" lower POI shift from on to off. But that is speculation.

    Still with the can on, I was hammer with no wandering, I dumped about 80 rounds really fast, and when I can, I will edit and upload the videos, as I have been recording the shoots. Busy week, I have the 4 day class to prepare for.
     

    damoncali

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    Are the barrels compression molded? They look like it in the pictures. If so, that's a pretty neat tech, and opens up the door for some pretty innovative stuff as far flutes, cooling, etc. You could mold in flutes, for example. or make barrels with non-round cross sections. You could get pretty creative if you had a reason to.
     

    Jmilera

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    I don't think they are compressed, they are layered with carbon fiber or wound up.
     
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    lowlight

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  • Apr 12, 2001
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    Just a few of the hits on steel at distance

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    CoyotieKiller

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    Thanks for the info! Keep it up. I'm a hare's breath away from ordering a PR barrel for my 300 RUM, which I'll eventually be suppressing.
     

    hwgunner

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    I first want to say I am nowhere near the shooter you guys are but I already took the PR plunge. I wanted to build a 7mm08 and it just happened the only barrel PR had in stock was a 7mm 1.25 inch zero taper 22 inch long blank. Since I am a suckered for a bull barrel I was in. I just hope the Stiller action and AICS 2.0 stock make a good combo to mix with it. If I can get groups similar to the ones in the first post I will be stoked.

    Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk
     

    dworrel

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    I have 3 Proof/ABS barrels. One is a 300 WSM wrapped over a Rock barrel. One is a Benchmark that is nitrided and wrapped in 6.5-284 (bought here on SH). The third is a custom Proof build in 7WSM. All 3 shoot better than I do.
     

    dworrel

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    bm11

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    the trick is torquing it, which is a problem because you can't clamp it where one should. So we went way under the recommended 100# that an AI calls for.

    Frank,

    I remember someone with an engineering background telling me years ago that as long as everything was machined perfectly, that the torque doesn't much matter for accuracy. You could just about to hand tight, and be fine. The extra torque is to make sure it stays in place, but really 100 ft/lbs is way more than enough.

    I'm not an engineer so don't take those words as gospel, however, I have been doing my own barrel changes for years, and have done them a fair amount of times, and I generally only use 50-75 ft/lbs. The reason is that I have a hard time getting enough "bite" with my vise to get the full 100 ft/lbs, it slips unless I go through a lot of effort.

    I have not found any issues with 50-75 ft lbs in somewhere around 7000 rounds on two actions.

    -Bob
     

    ericthebeard

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    You do realize other people are using them.

    Caylen from Magpul is using them and he won the Oregon Sniper Challenge with it.

    At the PR1 class in Yakima this May there were two of the guys from Proof tuning up their skills on their full platform, in-house rifles. Those sticks, plus the full complement that Caylen utilized in the class (a 6.5CM, 300WM, and a 308) really shined. His 6.5CM was another full Proof build (Spec'd action from Defiance, composite stock, carbon barrel) and was VERY light to hold and felt very handy when briefly checking it out.

    Plus, the Proof guys were really great guys to have in the class to boot. I'm excited to see the things to come out of their shop...
     

    96C

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    Do we know if Proof will be selling barrels pre-cut for AI AT rifles? I've had my eye on the proof barrels for a year or so... They look and feel fantastic.



    Without looking into it too much, but speaking to the guys at SHOT about exporting - they said they didn't have an export licence at the time. Everything is so damn hard over here, can't see / touch anything before ordering...

    You guys have access to everything at your fingertips, we have to spend 400 thousand times more and roll the dice every time we buy stuff online from the other side of the universe.
     

    gewehr

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    I once thought carbon fiber barrels were a fad but it looks more and more like they are here to staye


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