Georgia Patent of the Month – August 2022

Carbon fiber rifle barrels have been around for 30 years now, growing from just small caliber rifles to larger, more powerful options. Carbon fiber rifle barrels cool faster than traditional steel barrels and better maintain their mechanical properties over time. Despite these advantages, the heat of a gunshot can still be too much for a traditional carbon composite, causing the structure to weaken and soften. Steel barrels are less susceptible to the same heat generated. Blackpowder Products, Inc., combined these benefits, creating a hybrid carbon-steel firearm barrel with the best of both worlds.

Their design is effective for bolt action rifles as well as those that fire rimfire and centerfire ammunition. The inner barrel is made of a pre-machined and rifled steel barrel. By shaving it down to a smaller size, the barrel can be made significantly lighter. The removed portion is replaced with a composite tube which slips over the machined steel barrel. The two pieces are then adhesively bonded.

This composite portion is made of multiple layers of carbon fibers and fabric prepregs. These layers are stacked at a variety of fiber angles to create the needed balance of stiffness and strength. A metallic weave is positioned between the two layers, creating an effective thermal conductive layer. This unique design aids in the thermal transfer of heat as it passes from the chamber to the muzzle end of the rifle barrel. The final product is both significantly lighter and more equipped to handle the heat and stress from firing ammunition.

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