Carbon fiber is an amazing material to use in firearms. The benefits on a basic level are that it’s lightweight, durable, and accurate. They have a higher strength-to-weight ratio than most other metals, which is why it’s a perfect material for gun barrels.
Carbon fiber isn’t sensitive to temperature changes and chemicals the way that other materials are. That’s why the innovation of carbon fiber in firearms, although fairly recent, is an incredibly important part of the rifle industry that originated with a brand that was ahead of its time. The company is Christensen Arms. Let’s learn a little bit more about the first carbon fiber weapon — and a new one from Sig Sauer that you are going to want to own.
Christensen Arms Led the Way in 1995
Christensen Arms has only been around since 1995. That’s when they developed the first carbon rifle barrel made out of this miracle fiber. The company worked within the aerospace industry, and had access to advanced materials that hadn’t been used in the firearms genre before.
The carbon fiber barrel on the rifle they came up with helped increase its accuracy with a lightweight body frame that was unlike anything used before. But man, oh man, is carbon fiber strong — five times as strong as regular steel with a more rigid composition that won’t break down. Most traditional barrels are made out of carbon steel (iron and carbon) or stainless steel. Those have a tendency to break down from use, chemicals, or can be affected by temperatures changes that go high or low.
The carbon fiber that Christensen Arms uses is considered “multi-directional” or composite technology. The layers of carbon fiber are able to then conduct heat away from the barrel more effectively during use. All the carbon fiber is carefully constructed around a piece of 416R stainless steel. It’s exactly what is needed for a high-quality precision based rifle.
Christensen Arms is able to offer an extensive line of carbon fiber based rifles for hunters or precision shooting sports. All of their modern sporting rifles have signature barrels that not only look sharp, but deliver on performance quality as well. Rifles with carbon fiber materials tend to be a little more expensive than traditional guns, but they are well worth it for the advancements in technology the gun provides.
Sig Sauer Steps Into the Ring
Sig Sauer is another brand that has been able to use carbon fiber in some of their firearms. At the end of last year, they came out with the Ultralight S101 Highland XTC Carbon Fiber Rifle. This is a light-weight record setter for the brand, weighing in at only 5.4 lbs. As a bolt action rifle, this model is built with a patented “Diamond-Like-Carbon” surface coating to evade erosion. You can use this gun in any type of climate with ease.
Carbon fiber is definitely the wave of the future, and if you don’t have a rifle like this in your collection yet, it’s time to make plans to buy one.