May 2nd, 2018

PROOF Research Video Reveals Carbon-Wrap Barrel Technology

Proof Reseach carbon fiber barrel wrap aerospace composites

Montana-based PROOF Research has released a revealing new video showcasing carbon fiber firearms technology and the company’s barrel-making process. Viewers will find the 8-minute film an intriguing introduction to composite barrel-making, which employs aerospace carbon fiber wrapped around a steel barrel core. The video showcases the high-tech machines used at PROOF’s production facilities.

Proof Reseach carbon fiber barrel wrap aerospace composites

PROOF’s CEO Larry Murphy explains that PROOF’s barrel technology is state-of-the-art: “What PROOF Research is doing is bringing disruption into our industry. We’re doing things that have never been done here before. That’s going to help the warfighter, and it’s going to help the average hunter … it’s going to do a lot of things.” The video shows how the company employs aerospace-grade, high-temperature composite materials to build match-grade carbon fiber-wrapped barrels, and composite rifle systems.

Proof Reseach carbon fiber barrel wrap aerospace composites

Dr. David Curliss, General Manager of PROOF Research’s Advanced Composite Division, and former head of the U.S. Air Force High Temperature Composites Laboratory, explains how aerospace expertise helps in the development of PROOF’s firearms-related products: “We are able to provide premier materials for PROOF Research for firearms barrels applications as well as the aerospace market. We’re probably the only firearms technology company that has composite materials in orbit around the earth.”

Proof Reseach carbon fiber barrel wrap aerospace composites

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September 13th, 2016

Norm Crawford Wins Wimbleton Cup with Composite Barrel

Norman Crawford Proof Research Wimbleton Cup 2016 Camp Perry
Tech Milestone — Norm Crawford won the 2016 Wimbledon Cup at Camp Perry using a carbon-fiber composite barrel. That’s a first for composite barrel technology.

With a score of 200-16X, Norman Crawford won the Wimbledon Cup Match during the 2016 National Long Range Rifle Championships using a 32″ Proof Research carbon-fiber composite barrel chambered in .284 Shehane. The Wimbledon Cup Match, a prestigious 1,000-yard shooting competition, dates back to 1875. The current course of fire consists of 20 timed shots, fired from prone. Crawford’s win represents the first time in the Cup’s 141-year history that it has been won with anything other than an all-steel barrel. The Proof Research barrel features a steel core with an external multi-axis carbon wrap.

Crawford’s Wimbledon Cup win really is an important technological milestone. Crawford’s performance may encourage other competitors to consider steel/carbon composite barrels for a variety of shooting disciplines. Without question, composite technology barrels offer significant weight-savings over conventional all-steel barrels. And Crawford proved that a composite barrel can deliver winning accuracy, at least in a sling/prone discipline.

Norman Crawford Proof Research Wimbleton Cup 2016 Camp Perry

“I don’t know of anyone else in this sport using a carbon fiber [composite] barrel,” said Crawford, who has been shooting Proof composite barrels since 2013.

“The benefits over a steel barrel are that you get a larger-diameter, stiffer, faster-cooling barrel that weighs less than a standard, medium Palma-taper barrel. [There is] no real downside I’ve been able to identify in three years of shooting them. All five Proof barrels I own are capable of winning any match — providing I do my part.”

A 30-year Army vet and former Army Special Operations Sniper, Crawford has been shooting competitively since 1990. He has won many major titles, including the NRA National Long Range Championship in 2005. His 2016 Wimbledon Cup victory was his second — Norm also won the Cup in 2003. A three-time member of the U.S. Rifle Team at the World Championships, Crawford also used a Proof Research barrel to tie the national record for a 600-yard Any Gun, Any Sight competition in North Carolina last November, one of five national records he has set or tied during his shooting career.

Proof Research CEO Larry Murphy praised Crawford: “We are honored that Norm chose our barrel to go up against the best shooters in the world with. By putting our barrels to the test in intense competition, he pushes us to do our best as well.”

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
October 2nd, 2013

Lothar Walther Bi-Metal Barrels Are Lighter, and Shed Heat Better

Less weight plus better heat dissipation — Sound good? Here is an innovative barrel technology that promises worthwhile performance benefits for hunters or match shooters. Lothar Walther (LW) has developed a new bi-metal barrel system that cuts weight dramatically while promising significantly-enhanced heat dissipation.

Walther’s Ultra-Lightweight Barrels combine steel with lightweight alloys. This results in a significant weight reduction without the use of carbon fiber, epoxy binders, or other heat-retaining materials. Beginning as an LW50 stainless blank, the barrel is precision-machined to remove excess weight. An outer casing of light-weight alloys is machined and the two are fitted together without adhesives. Basically you end up with the steel inner barrel inside a larger-diameter fluted aluminum outer barrel (see diagram). This gives you the ‘best of both worlds’ — light weight for ease of carry, and thick diameter for rigidity and enhanced heat dissipation. Near the action, the barrel remains all-steel.

The barrels come pre-chambered in your choice of caliber/cartridge, from .22LR up to .338 Lapua Magnum. Walther chambers the barrel — but a gunsmith is still required to finish the shoulder so that the headspace is set correctly for your action. These barrels are not inexpensive. A typical bi-metal Walther Barrel runs $850.00 – $875.00, for barrel lengths from 22″ to 30″. Threading for a muzzle brake or suppressor (if desired) is normally included in that price.

Lothar Walther ultra lightweight bi-metal barrel

Aluminum thermal conductivityWe haven’t tested one of these bi-metal composite barrels, but the potential for significant weight savings is obvious — aluminum is a lot lighter than steel. What’s more, a metals expert we contacted said that a bi-metal system employing fluted aluminum over steel, if assembled properly, could dissipate heat much better than steel alone (given the same diameter). Stainless steel has a thermal conductivity factor of 16. Aluminum has a thermal conductivity factor of 250.*

Our expert also pointed out that some other composite barrel systems on the market actually increase heat retention because they place insulating materials next to the inner steel barrel. (Carbon, Fiberglass, and Epoxy are all considered “insulating substances” as they have very low thermal conductivity*.) The LW system of aluminum over metal should avoid this mistake, our expert believes. Lothar Walther says: “Unlike solid steel barrels, this barrel sheds heat fast. VERY FAST!”

Half the Weight of Conventional Barrels
How much weight can you save? With a 1.200″ shank diameter and a muzzle diameter of 0.850″, the LW Ultra-Lightweight Barrel is less than half the weight of a standard varmint barrel of the same size. Walther claims its UltraLight Barrel can be “carried for long distances and stand up to heavy firing.” This, LW says, makes these barrels “perfect… for varmint and tactical uses”.

Pre-Chambered Ultra-Lightweight Barrels Available in .22 to .338 Calibers
Lothar Walther offers Ultra-Lightweight barrels in a full range of calibers from .22LR to .338. Each Ultra-Lightweight Barrel comes complete with chamber, crown, and breech threads. These barrels are fluted by the factory. If you order a LW Ultra-Lightweight barrel, Lothar Walter provides the services of a specialist trained in building guns with these barrels. To order one of Lothar Walther’s bi-metal barrels, CLICK HERE or contact Lothar Walthar at the address below:

Lothar Walther Precision Tools, Inc.
3425 Hutchinson Rd. – Cumming, GA 30040
Phone: 770-889-9998 | Fax: 770-889-4919
E-Mail: lotharwalther [at] mindspring.com
Website: www.lothar-walther.com

*Thermal conductivity is the quantity of heat transmitted through a unit thickness in a direction normal to a surface of unit area, due to a unit temperature gradient under steady state conditions. The factor values are based on this formula: W/(m.K) = 0.85984 kcal/(hr.m. °C). Here are thermal conductivty values for common materials: Aluminum, 250; Brass, 109; Steel (Carbon 1%), 45; Stainless Steel, 16; Carbon, 1.7; Brick dense, 1.3; Concrete (medium) 0.7; Epoxy, 0.35; Fiberglass, .04.

Story tip from EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 6 Comments »
May 13th, 2012

Lothar Walther UltraLight Barrels — Less Heat, Half the Weight

We’re excited when major barrel-makers offer new technologies that promise worthwhile performance benefits for hunters or match shooters. Lothar Walther (LW) has developed a new bi-metal barrel system that cuts weight dramatically while promising significantly-enhanced heat dissipation.

Walther’s new Ultra-Lightweight Barrels combine steel with lightweight alloys. This results in a significant weight reduction without the use of carbon fiber, epoxy binders, or other heat-retaining materials. Beginning as an LW50 stainless blank, the barrel is precision-machined to remove excess weight. An outer casing of light-weight alloys is machined and the two are fitted together without adhesives. Basically you end up with the steel inner barrel inside a larger-diameter fluted aluminum outer barrel (see diagram). This gives you the ‘best of both worlds’ — light weight for ease of carry, and thick diameter for rigidity and enhanced heat dissipation. Near the action, the barrel remains all-steel.

Lothar Walther ultra lightweight bi-metal barrel

Aluminum thermal conductivityWe haven’t tested one of these bi-metal composite barrels, but the potential for significant weight savings is obvious — aluminum is a lot lighter than steel. What’s more, a metals expert we contacted said that a bi-metal system employing fluted aluminum over steel, if assembled properly, could dissipate heat much better than steel alone (given the same diameter). Stainless steel has a thermal conductivity factor of 16. Aluminum has a thermal conductivity factor of 250.*

Our expert also pointed out that some other composite barrel systems on the market actually increase heat retention because they place insulating materials next to the inner steel barrel. (Carbon, Fiberglass, and Epoxy are all considered “insulating substances” as they have very low thermal conductivity*.) The LW system of aluminum over metal should avoid this mistake, our expert said. Lothar Walther says: “Unlike solid steel barrels, this barrel sheds heat fast. VERY FAST!”

Half the Weight of Conventional Barrels
How much weight can you save? With a 1.200″ shank diameter (except Savage) and a muzzle diameter of 0.850″, the LW Ultra-Lightweight Barrel is less than half the weight of a standard varmint barrel of the same size. Walther claims its UltraLight Barrel can be “carried for long distances and stand up to heavy firing.” This, LW says, makes these barrels “perfect… for varmint and tactical uses”.

Pre-Chambered Ultra-Lightweight Barrels Available in .22 to .338 Calibers
Lothar Walther offers Ultra-Lightweight barrels in a full range of calibers from .22LR to .338. Each Ultra-Lightweight Barrel comes complete with chamber, crown, and breech threads. These barrels are fluted by the factory. If you order a LW Ultra-Lightweight barrel, Lothar Walter provides the services of a specialist trained in building guns with these barrels. To order one of Lothar Walther’s bi-metal barrels, CLICK HERE or contact Lothar Walthar at the address below:

Lothar Walther Precision Tools, Inc.
3425 Hutchinson Rd. – Cumming, GA 30040
Phone: 770-889-9998 | Fax: 770-889-4919
E-Mail: lotharwalther [at] mindspring.com
Website: www.lothar-walther.com

*Thermal conductivity is the quantity of heat transmitted through a unit thickness in a direction normal to a surface of unit area, due to a unit temperature gradient under steady state conditions. The factor values are based on this formula: W/(m.K) = 0.85984 kcal/(hr.m. °C). Here are thermal conductivty values for common materials: Aluminum, 250; Brass, 109; Steel (Carbon 1%), 45; Stainless Steel, 16; Carbon, 1.7; Brick dense, 1.3; Concrete (medium) 0.7; Epoxy, 0.35; Fiberglass, .04.

Story tip from EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing 15 Comments »
May 9th, 2012

Composite Barrel Technology from Teludyne Tech Industries

straightjacket teludyne composite barrelTeludyne Tech Industries manufactures a unique sleeved barrel system which, Teludyne claims, offers significant advantages over conventional steel barrels. Teludyne’s StraightJacket® Barrel System features a three-part composite construction. In the center is a conventional, relatively thin-contour steel barrel. Around that is fitted a 1.25″-diameter metal sleeve (shroud) running from action to muzzle. In the “gap” between the inner steel barrel and the outer sleeve, Teludyne pumps in a proprietary media. This lightweight fill material provides rigidity with reduced weight, and it also helps to transfer heat away from the inner barrel tube. The outer sleeve can be aluminum, carbon steel, stainless steel, or titanium — as the customer specifies. (Titanium offers an impressive combination of strength, light weight, and corrosion resistance).

straightjacket teludyne composite barrel

Teludyne claims that a composite StraightJacket barrel is as stiff as an equivalent-diameter large-contour steel barrel, but much lighter in weight. Teludyne declares: “By pressure-fitting our thin-walled machine tubing onto your barrel and then filling the void with our proprietary media creating a new monolithic structure, we retain the necessary flexibility but add the accuracy-enhancing rigidity.”

straightjacket teludyne composite barrel

The StraightJacket system has been around for a few years, and the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has been testing Teludyne barrel prototypes on a variety of platforms. There have been some promising tests that show improved accuracy over long strings of fire. This has been attributed to enhanced barrel cooling. Teludyne also claims StraightJacket barrels are more accurate than conventional barrels — at least conventional factory-grade barrels. That may be a stretch. However there is some hard evidence that a composite barrel can maintain good accuracy for more shots because the composite design sheds heat better.

straightjacket teludyne composite barrelYou can read more about StraightJacket barrels in the GunsAmerica Blog. Testers for GunsAmerica saw improved accuracy in Savage and Sako .30-06 rifles which were retro-fitted with composite barrels. With StraightJacket barrels installed, Both rifles fired impressive 5-shot groups at 500 yards: “Target after target … came back on both rifles with both guns shooting into an inch to an inch and a half at 500 yards, and it didn’t seem to matter how many rounds of standard Hornady [ammo] we put through the guns. In total, [the tester] shot 160 rounds through two guns … most at 500 yards in light to no wind on a 90° Florida day.” If those results can be believed, Teludyne may be on to something. Groups in the 1.5″ range at 500 yards are competitive with quality benchrest rigs, yet the test rifles were “box-stock” except for the composite barrels.

Fitting a StraightJacket Barrel to your Rifle
Teludyne StraightJacket barrels can be fitted to most common bolt-action rifles along with AK series rifles. Also dedicated complete uppers are offered for AR platform rifles. Send your gun to Teludyne in South Carolina and Teludyne will install the composite barrel and ship your rifle back to you about four weeks later. Centerfire bolt-action prices start at $649.00 for steel or aluminum outer sleeves. Rimfire installations cost $699.00. Titanium-shrouded barrel systems are $799.00 installed. These prices include a removable, threaded muzzle brake.

StraightJacket Barrels for Biathletes
Our friends Lanny and Tracy Barnes, Team USA Biathletes, have used Teludyne composite barrels successfully in international competition. The ‘Twin Biathletes’ have endorsed the product: “We have had outstanding groups [with the StraightJacket Barrel System] and it didn’t seem like the cold had an effect on them at all. Our first races were in Canada where it was -15 to -25 degrees Fahrenheit. While everyone else’s groups seem to spread open off of the paper, we were laying the shots down right on top of each other. After the races Tracy flew right over to Italy and the race officials were really impressed with how it shot. Your Straightjackets are really turning heads. We are excited to make history this winter and in the next Olympics in 2014. Thanks — Tracy and Lanny Barnes.” This Editor talked with Lanny at SHOT Show and she confirmed that the barrel really seems to work for her discipline. She called it her “secret weapon”. The composite barrel saves weight (over a similar-diameter all-steel barrel), and it seems to be less affected by hot/cold cycles encountered during biathlon events.

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