Proof Research, a new company, manufactures carbon-fiber-wrapped barrels for rifle builders. The concept itself is not new, but Proof has developed a proprietary wrapping process devised to fix issues that the industry had encountered with previous designs. And thanks to its acquisition of a barrel manufacturing plant, Proof has complete control of the process, ensuring that the wrapping mates well with its steel barrels.
While barrels are the company’s primary focus, complete custom rifles also are available for hunting, target and tactical applications. In addition, Proof builds AR-platform rifles in various calibers.
Proof’s January 2013 demonstration at the Clark County Shooting Complex in Las Vegas, Nevada, gave me the opportunity to get some trigger time with the company’s firearms. Along with several bolt rifles, there were AR rifles in both .308 and .223. The bolt rifles feature Defiance Machine actions, and the AR rifles are built on Mega Arms monolithic upper receivers. All have barrels of various lengths wrapped in carbon fiber.
I found that each of the rifles was well built and the barrels unique in appearance—the pattern in the carbon fiber looks more like camouflage, not like the geometric pattern we’re used to seeing. When I picked up the rifles, their reduced weight was immediately apparent. Mounted in carbon stocks, these firearms are incredibly light, which will make them very easy to carry into the backcountry.
I was able to fire several groups with no visible, heat-induced stringing. In the case of the 18-inch, .308 bolt rifle, I fired a 25-round string, with all shots impacting in a nice little group. Subsequently, the barrel was cool to the touch. Testing Proof’s AR in .308 produced the same results. It functioned perfectly and was accurate and comfortable to shoot. No stringing due to heat was evident, and recoil control was excellent.
The AR is headed my way for a complete test for a future issue of Special Weapons for Military and Police. In other features, we’ll be testing Proof’s bolt rifles. Stay tuned. For more on Proof Research, visit proofresearch.com or call 406-756-9290.
Check out page two for more photos!