Thanks for the responses.
Mtmuley- I have never owned a carbon wrapped barrel. I have not heard of many drawbacks other than cost. Although cost is one of the deciding factors, I would like input regarding why you think it is needless.
FWIW, Here's my understanding of the pro's and cons's of Carbon wrapped barrels...
Pro's: Lighter than full steel construction, Stiffer than full steel construction, larger diameter faster cooling
Con's: Carbon wrap is more brittle than steel, the barrel is far easier to damage or chip than a full steel barrel, Price, Larger diameter makes for fewer stock options. Not all sporter stocks will accept a barrel as large as most carbon wrapped barrels are. Drastically thinning the foreend of a sporter stock to accept a barrel this large can make them flexible, and I wouldn't really recommend it (personal thoughts). Next time you see a rifle with a carbon barrel, try to push the stock to the barrel, I bet you can... Try the same thing with a sporter rifle with a steel barrel and you will see what I mean... Foreign pressures from the stock to the barrel are not great for accuracy and repeatability when shooting...
Ultimately, the biggest thing to remember is that a carbon wrapped barrel that doesn't have a high quality steel barrel underneath isn't going to shoot well. You have to start with a quality barrel to finish with a quality barrel.
I have handled a few of the Fierce rifles. They seem like quality firearms. From what I understand, they are Sako 85 knockoffs being manufactured in Canada and assembled in UT. They are drilled and tapped for Remington 700 Long action bases (even on the short action rifles), and use most Sako replacement parts. Sako magazines are interchangeable. And Might not be a bad option as Fierce list 4 in the magazine for standard calibers while the Sako mags will take 5.
If you are interested, Sportsman's warehouse and Bob Wards here in MT both are putting a few Fierce rifles on the shelf. With a standard Steel barrel, most have been selling for somewhere right around $2000. The Bob Wards in Missoula had a Carbon Wrapped .300RUM in a really stupid thumbhole stock on the shelf for a while, not sure if it's still there or what the price was, but I want to say it's about a $800-1000 jump in store for the carbon barrel.
Were it my call, I'd either get a steel barrel and put the extra $$ into better optics, or if the budget allowed for the optics I want and the carbon barrel, I'd probably spend a little more and get a rifle from GAPrecision, H.S. Precision or another full custom. most of those start right around the $3K mark.
Out of curiosity how did you land on a flyweight 300 RUM?
I'd burn through that barrel in 3 years or less, and I don't really shoot that much. Even if all other things were equal that'd be a big reason even semi serious shooters don't carry carbon wrapped rifles around. For the price I'd want a known builder...GAP, Surgeon, Gradous, etc. but to each their own.
I think a light RUM would be a great rifle. Mine isn't bad at about 8 pounds with scope. Any lighter and a brake would be a good idea. I'm with MKotur325.Have a quality smith build you a rifle. mtmuley
The only real full benefit of a carbon barrel (some are wrapped, some are laid length wise) is heat dissipation. If you are shooting lengthy series from a bench or competition scenarios it is a big plus.....for hunt purposes the light weight can be attained without the need for carbon. I have nothing against them but for most hunting folks it is truly more of a gimmick than a necessity. If you want a GREAT lightweight rifle without carbon and aren't tied to a RUM look at the Seekins Element ( offering closest would be 300 WM and PRC and 28 Nosler) For reference nearly everyone one of the salesmen in our shop has at least one Seekins product.....great value.
I'll admit that I'm stuck on Savage, but I couldn't help but notice that the "Lightweight Storm" rifle that I bought for my daughter (.308) actually weighs less than their carbon-barreled Ultralight. Its also less that half the price. I could think of no reason to go with the carbon fiber version, though her barrel does heat up quickly, its of no concern for hunting, and not worth the extra $800.