Is Carbon Fiber Used To Manufacture Guns?
Carbon Fiber and The Gun Industry
Carbon fiber is one of the strongest, lightest weight composite material that remains heat and corrosion resistant.1 It is one of the best choices for many high-performance applications, including the manufacturing of some of the most critical gun components. In fact, carbon fiber has been such an excellent material when it comes to gun parts, even the military has approved carbon fiber gun parts.2,3
Carbon fiber may require some rather ‘advanced manufacturing processes’, but it has become more and more prevalent in the gun industry for its incredible effectiveness. Another huge benefit of carbon fiber is its origin intention being ‘for aerospace’, meaning it was meant for extreme engineering!
Time to break down how carbon fiber is actually used in gun manufacturing…
Gun Manufacturing Using Carbon Fiber
Carbon fiber is most notoriously implemented in aerospace technology, and therefore is the result of advanced manufacturing process. Zoltek, a carbon fiber manufacturer, describes the process as partly “trade secret,” but revealing a variety of gases and liquids being used. They also reveal the manufacturing process to be part chemical and part mechanical.4 The manufacturing process for carbon fiber gun parts is the same. One of the first companies to get into carbon fiber gun part manufacturing was Christensen Arms. They produce a super lightweight, highly accurate carbon fiber rifle barrel. In fact, it was the first carbon fiber rifle barrel on the market.
Benefits of Using Carbon Fiber For Gun Parts
The lighter weight of most carbon fiber parts allows for designs that promote greater airflow around the barrel and other high temperature parts. In other words, carbon fiber ultimately improving heat endurance. Carbon fiber also tends to possess profound vibration absorption properties, which is why it has been used more profoundly for barrels and stocks. The right carbon fiber parts help minimize recoil and improve accuracy. Carbon fiber does not rust and has a warmer touch than cold metal (arguably improving accuracy). Additionally, carbon fiber is resistant to the wear and deterioration caused by cleaning chemicals.
List of Gun Parts Made With Carbon Fiber
The following is a list of parts and/or guns which have been known to be manufactured using carbon fiber. While this list is meant to be comprehensive, there are always new parts and new guns being manufactured, and therefore it is impossible to include every part.
- Carbon Fiber Rifle Barrels
- Carbon Fiber Stocks (Sporter, Thumbhole, and a variety of other options)
- Carbon Fiber Bipods and Stands
- Carbon Fiber Handguards (fore-ends)
- Carbon Fiber Freefloat Rails
- Carbon Fiber Magazines
- Carbon Fiber Suppressors
- Carbon Fiber Scopes
Note: Please contact us if you have any extra parts or guns to add to the list!
Some Last Thoughts On Carbon Fiber In Gun Manufacturing
Ultimately, carbon fiber is an excellent choice for the manufacturing of many gun parts, however, it is still a relatively new manufacturing material in the gun industry. While there are many reputable gun and gun part manufacturers who have implemented carbon fiber, it still has a long way to come before it maximizes its potential. The incredible, proprietary process to manufacturing carbon fiber, and its ability to maintain strength while retaining a light weight, makes it an excellent candidate for many gun parts. Some of the ways carbon fiber is implemented has been extremely innovative (such as the carbon fiber tension-wrapped barrel by BSF Barrels). The drawback preventing carbon fiber from totally taking over the gun manufacturing business is the expensive cost of carbon fiber composite. In time, carbon fiber will have more significantly worked its way into the gun industry as manufacturers find ways to offer gun parts in carbon fiber at cheaper prices.
1Zoltek. Carbon Fiber Manufacturing. Retrieved from: https://zoltek.com/company/
2Proof Research. Making Accuracy Commonplace. Retrieved from: https://www.proofresearch.com/the-products/barrels/
3Christensen Arms. Technology. Retrieved from: https://christensenarms.com/technology/
4Zoltek. How Is Carbon Fiber Made. Retrieved from: http://zoltek.com/carbon-fiber/how-is-carbon-fiber-made/
About the Author:
Mark Doberman, The Proprietary Gun Smith
The Proprietary Gun Smith is a marksman, expert gun handler, ammunition specialist, survival guru, and lifetime gun enthusiast. He owns (or has owned) nearly every legal firearm and ballistic available, has fired nearly every gun, and regularly consults professionally in the firearm world. He has studied firearms and similar tactical lifestyle for more than 40 years. In addition to writing for ArmoryBay.com, TheProprietaryGunSmith has guest written for more than a dozen other sites and/or magazines in the industry.
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