Christensen Arms Modern Carbon Rifle

By Joe Ferronato

A good rifle doesn’t make you a better shot. It never has, and it never will. I’ve seen bad shooters print lousy groups at a hundred yards with high-dollar rifles. On the contrary, I’ve seen phenomenal shooters blow my mind with same-hole groups out of a cheap “starter” rifle. When you combine a good shooter and a good rifle, the results can be astounding. If you’re part of that former group, hit the range and improve your skills, or that expensive rifle your wife almost divorced you over, will just leave you pissed off because it didn’t make you shoot better.

I don’t consider myself a great shot or a bad shot, but I can hold my own at the range—and I’m more than confident pointing a rifle at game. Guys like Schoby and Don on the other hand, could be considered exceptional, and what they can do with a good rifle is nothing short of impressive. I say this because, Christensen Arms’ new Modern Carbon Rifle (MCR) performed at a level easily outreaching my skill, I’d be very interested to see what those guys could do with it.  

The fit and finish of this rifle is great, it’s designed for precision—while maintaining a light enough weight for the serious mountain hunter. The Flash Forged Technology (FFT) carbon-fiber stock is the foundation. FFT is a groundbreaking advancement for carbon-fiber manufacturing, creating lightweight and strong stocks. The stock is rigid and cut for precision with a comfortable pistol-esc grip and even a push-button adjustable comb, all made with the FFT carbon fiber.

The action is a 700-style and comes equipped with a 20-MOA rail on top for easy optic mounting, and it has an adjustable TriggerTech trigger that has a crisp break. The barrel is Christensen’s primary 416R stainless wrapped with aerograde carbon fiber. The company was the first to develop the carbon-fiber wrap job on rifle barrels, and have only perfected it as the years have gone on.

Unfortunately, Christensen tips these barrels with the side-baffle RFR brake instead of a suppressor—probably due in part to our lovely friends at the ATF—but I’m sure they hope you’re civilized enough to twist that sucker off and replace it with your own can. All joking aside, the RFR brake mitigates the felt recoil, but damn is that thing loud.

I recently spent a lot of time behind the MCR chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. Having a rifle that fits well is a necessity with precision shooting and with a push of a button, I found the perfect cheek weld, and the gun felt just like an extension of my body. 

On the bench while zeroing, the first three shots produced a sub-half-minute group—with factory ammo from Federal. Three subsequent shots confirmed zero and it was off to the races. The Creedmoor is inherently accurate, but it sure helps when you have a well-fitted, accurate rifle, too.

Outdoor Solutions has an excellent facility in Texas for those who want to work on precision shooting. The main range reaches out to a mile with steel targets, letting shooters really stretch the legs when conditions allow. On each target out to 1000 yards, the MCR held sub-half-minute accuracy with ease.

Beyond the benches, the range is set up for PRS-style positional shooting as well, including tank traps, barricades, downed logs, and tripod-supported stations. This style of shooting is arguably the best for hunters to test their gear and skills in more real-world shooting situations. The fit of the FFT stock made it easy to get comfortable in the uncomfortable setups. Seated with a tripod front support and my Eberlestock Freefall pack in the rear, I planted three shots on the steel at 1550, a new record for me. And no, I didn’t hit the mile…though I put in a good effort—I guess I’ll just keep practicing. 

Outdoor Solutions also has Total Archery Challenge-style courses where 3D archery targets are fitted with steel plates behind the vitals. Targets are placed throughout different courses in the canyons on the property. It allows the shooter to read wind, build a shooting position, and execute a shot like they’re hunting. The farthest target we shot on the course was nearly 600 yards. I’m not going to lie, it was just good clean fun, and there wasn’t a time where the MCR didn’t perform as needed.

Christensen Arms hit it out of the park with this rifle. Even with the company’s hiccups with production in the past, I’m certain that with their new team in place, Christensen customers won’t be disappointed. After my time behind the MCR, I realized my gun safe may just need one.

Cost: $2400

Pros: Lightweight, accurate, adjustable comb and trigger, looks cool.

Cons: Won’t make you a better shot.

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