Christensen Arms Modern Precision Rifle Review

Christensen Arms Modern Precision Rifle Review
Christensen Arms' Modern Precision Rifle is long-range excellence.

Finding a rifle that does everything well has been a fool’s errand historically. For hunting, rifles need to be light and accurate. On the other hand, competition rifles need to offer flexibility while retaining accuracy across 10-­ or 20-­shot strings, usually at the expense of additional weight. There has been no solution to this impasse — until now.

Christensen Arms’ new Modern Precision Rifle (MPR) combines all of the features above into one very manageable rifle. Depending on chambering, the MPR is everything from the ultimate generalist’s rifle to a highly effective and portable long-­range tool.

The Balancing Act 

Every rifle comes with a set of features that may or may not apply to the intended application. When in doubt, most consumers default to the “more is better” philosophy, which usually adds expense and weight.

What makes the MPR so unique is that Christensen Arms kept just about every feature you would want on a rifle without making it excessively heavy. They were able to do this through use of carbon fiber and significant design work.


Carbon fiber is as diverse a material as metal. Just as there are an almost innumerable variety of metals and alloys, there are different types of carbon fiber and binding agents. There are varying techniques to shape and lay the fiber, with each method yielding different results.


As many readers already know, Christensen Arms is no rookie in the world of carbon fiber. Dr. Jason Christensen got his start in the medium several decades ago while making rocket fuselages and aircraft panels. He began experimenting with the material and rifle barrels back in the 1970s.

Christensen-Arms-Modern-Precision-Rifle-1
The hand-lapped, free-float, stainless steel barrel is wrapped in carbon fiber and complete with a custom muzzlebrake.

The MPR’s barrel is made entirely in-­house. Christensen starts with stainless steel bar stock, drills the hole for the bore, and then pulls a rifling button through it. The barrel blank is then contoured to a small diameter profile and then wrapped in carbon fiber. The barrel contour is already very light prior to wrapping and is safe to fire without the carbon-­fiber treatment.

There are different fibers and methods used on the barrel. Since carbon fiber is a much better conductor of heat than the steel it surrounds, some fibers are laid with an end butted up against the exterior of the barrel’s throat. These fibers effectively suck the heat from this portion of the barrel and channel it down the barrel and out near the muzzle. This helps to keep some of the mirage out of the scope by putting distance between the objective lens and the heat that the barrel generates.

The remaining fibers around the barrel add rigidity. The problem that skinny barrels face is that they lose rigidity when they become hot. This is why heavy barrel contours are popular with precision shooters. As they heat, they hold onto accuracy longer.


Original Chassis 

While the changes in the barrel alone let Christensen Arms’ MRP shoot akin to a heavy match rifle, it would be egregious to overlook the exceptional work that the company did with the chassis. It’s a miracle that they were able to make such a light chassis while retaining the ability to offer easy adjustments to both length of pull and comb height.

Christensen-Arms-Modern-Precision-Rifle-2
A minimalist approach to the MPR’s chassis design resulted in a substantial reduction in weight with little loss in stability.

Adjusting comb height and length of pull are vital elements to precision rifle shooting. A poorly fit rifle is uncomfortable and requires muscular tension to stay on target. Requiring muscular tension to hold the rifle on target leads to increased instability and fatigue on its user. As soon as the shooter’s head moves off the comb, it then takes effort to keep the eye centered directly behind the scope. This is one more detail to think about that keeps the shooter from focusing on other fundamentals.

The other damaging aspect of a rifle that doesn’t fit well occurs during recoil. If the shooter’s head is floating above the comb in order to see through the scope (which is what happens on just about every rifle that doesn’t have an adjustable comb), it’s almost impossible to see the round impact or miss the target.


Being able to spot the round’s impact is vital. Not only do you want to know whether or not the bullet struck its intended mark, you need to know what adjustments are necessary for a successful follow-­up shot. If the shooter can’t see where the bullet went, he’ll always be at the mercy of a spotter or friend to provide that critical information. This means it’ll take two shooters with their heads on straight to be effective in the field instead of just one with a good rifle.

Adjusting the length of pull and comb height on the MPR is pretty straightforward. Two screws loosen to allow either the buttpad or comb to slide back and forth or up and down, respectively. Tighten the screws when you find your sweet spot. The chassis’ toe is flat and threaded to accept a section of Picatinny rail for use with a monopod, if you’re into that type of thing.

Christensen-Arms-Modern-Precision-Rifle-3
Disassembling the MPR is simple. Remove 11 screws to separate the barreled action from the chassis and forend.

The chassis folds and is held firmly in place with a strong magnet. It is a simple yet elegant approach. The older I get, the more I’m interested only in chassis systems that fold. Moving the buttstock out of the way makes cleaning the rifle easier. I also love the convenient transport and storage that a folding chassis allows.

The forend on the MPR is my favorite of any rifle I’ve tested — ever. It’s long enough for any and all types of positional shooting. Throwing this forend across an oddly shaped rock pile or reaching for an ideally placed limb to use as a rest to stabilize the rifle is a snap due to the forend’s length. It is also flat on the bottom so any and all rests have a lot of surface area to contact. All the corners are rounded and the overall profile is slender, making this forend extremely comfortable in the support hand. Numerous M-­Lok slots are located on the sides and bottom of the forend for attaching any accessory that a shooter requires.

Christensen-Arms-Modern-Precision-Rifle-11
Ample M-Lok slots and a small length of rail provides a shooter the opportunity to add shooting tools to the MPR’s rigid carbon-fiber forend.

Meat & Taters 

The center section of the chassis is an aluminum housing that attaches the butt assembly to the forend while simultaneously supporting the action. It is the classic chassis arrangement.

Christensen Arms put a lot of effort into minimizing the chassis’ bulk and weight. The center section that supports the action is minimalist and very low profile. They did put a lip just forward of the magazine well, which allows the shooter to push the chassis into the forend rest to help gain extra stability.

Removing the barreled action from the chassis is easy. Eight small screws hold the forend to the aluminum center section. Remove them and the forend comes off. A small screw behind the triggerguard comes out allowing the triggerguard to slide forward out of the chassis, exposing the rear action screw. Remove both and the barreled action comes right out.

Christensen-Arms-Modern-Precision-Rifle-4
While the action resembles that of a Remington Model 700, the bolt body borrows its extractor design from an M16/AR-15 rifle.

The action has a Remington 700 footprint and a detached recoil lug. The bolt body has an M16/AR-15-­style extractor that rides atop the outboard lug, while the ejector is located opposite the same bolt lug. Extraction during testing was flawless, but rounds exiting the ejection port left at an upward angle that may contact the scope’s windage turret with long-­action cartridges.

The entire action body is stainless steel that has been nitrided. It is very corrosion resistant.

The short-­action model comes with a 20-­MOA bias scope base as standard, but the MPR accepts Remington 700 bases, so swapping out the base for a two-­piece or non-­biased rail is no problem.

The trigger that comes on the MPR is a standard-­model TriggerTech. It has a flat bow that gives the perception of lighter pull weight and is adjustable from 11/2 to 4 pounds.

Hands On 

I spent a couple days shooting the MPR in 6.5 Creedmoor. The rifle’s accuracy during testing was both excellent and consistent. Best groups hovered right around .5 MOA for five shots at 100 yards for all loads tested and everything else still averaged well under 1 MOA. It is important to note that I did not stop to let the barrel cool during accuracy testing (other than walking down to look at the target or to load the magazine). Hornady was the last load I used in G&A’s test rifle.

The decision not to let the barrel cool was deliberate. I don’t like to give any one rifle the advantage of an extra-­long cooling session between groups because it will likely result in an accuracy improvement, regardless of barrel type. I feel that starting the testing session with a good bore scrubbing and then letting the barrel cool completely between groups would have sawed another .1 to .2 inch off the group sizes.

Christensen-Arms-Modern-Precision-Rifle-5

With the results of our tests, I think the MPR comes closest to emulating the term “do-­everything” than any other rifle that I’ve come across. If I could pick only one rifle to use for dinging steel with my buddies to humping up the side of a mountain for elk, the MPR would be it. Its combination of light weight and a complete set of relevant features puts this one in a class by itself. 

Christensen Arms Modern Precision Rifle

  • Type: Bolt action
  • Cartridge: 6.5 Creedmoor
  • Capacity: 5 rds. or 10 rds.
  • Barrel: 24 in., 1:8-in. twist
  • Overall Length: 46.63 in.
  • Weight: 7 lbs., 8 oz.
  • Stock: Chassis; carbon fiber and aluminum
  • Grips: Magpul MOE-K
  • Length of Pull: 12.5 in. to 14.5 in.
  • Finish: Nitride (steel)
  • Trigger: Adj., 1 lb., 8 oz. to 4 lbs.
  • Sights: None
  • MSRP: $2,300
  • Manufacturer: Christensen Arms, 888-517-8855, christensenarms.com

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Tom Beckstrand and Neal Emery of Hornady highlight the 6MM Creedmoor ammo.

Century Arms Introduces a Heavy-Duty AK Rifle

Century Arms Introduces a Heavy-Duty AK Rifle

Chambered in 7.62x39mm with components machined from extremely durable S7 tool steel, a chrome-moly 4150 barrel and a carburized 4140 steel bolt.

Black Hills Evolution of Rifle Cartridge: .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match

Black Hills Evolution of Rifle Cartridge: .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match

David Fortier talks with Jeff Hoffman of Black Hills Ammunition about the evolution of the .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match bullet.

Gun Clips with Joe Mantegna - 94 WINCHESTER

Gun Clips with Joe Mantegna - 94 WINCHESTER

Joe Mantegna talks about the origins of the 94 Winchester rifle.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The Winchester .350 Legend straight-wall cartridge is ideally suited for hunting hogs and deer; here's everything you need to know to make it work for you. Rifle

.350 Legend Cartridge: Everything You Need to Know

Tom Beckstrand - April 02, 2019

The Winchester .350 Legend straight-wall cartridge is ideally suited for hunting hogs and...

How-To

9 Commonly Misused Gun Terms

Kyle Wintersteen

"Assault weapon." Sixteen-round "clip." A box of "bullets." When it comes to guns and gun...

The one glaring weakness in the .30-­caliber magnum cartridge lineup is best highlighted by examining the requirement around which Hornady designed the .300 PRC; the requirement came from the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). Rifle

.300 PRC Review

Tom Beckstrand - March 12, 2019

The one glaring weakness in the .30-­caliber magnum cartridge lineup is best highlighted by...

Whether you're going hunting or to the range, hitting your target is more fun when you have a zeroed rifle scope. Here's how to sight in your rifle scope setup in five quick-and-easy steps. How-To

How to Sight In a Rifle Scope in 5 Steps

Craig Boddington - June 04, 2018

Whether you're going hunting or to the range, hitting your target is more fun when you have a...

See More Trending Articles

More Reviews

The upgradable Tikka T1x .22LR rifle is a great place to start on the growth chart to precision shooting success. Reviews

Tikka T1x .22LR Review

Tom Beckstrand - July 29, 2020

The upgradable Tikka T1x .22LR rifle is a great place to start on the growth chart to...

In 2019, Remington hulked up the Model 783 and introduced a new model for varmint hunting, appropriately named the Remington 783 Varmint. Reviews

Remington 783 Varmint Review

Alfredo Rico - July 24, 2020

In 2019, Remington hulked up the Model 783 and introduced a new model for varmint hunting,...

At the 2020 SHOT Show, Kimber launched the Rapide Black Ice to much enthusiasm, and a new advertisement promoting it began appearing on the back cover of firearm publications, including this one. So, what makes this 1911 special? Guns & Ammo editors ordered one to find out. Reviews

Kimber Rapide Black Ice Review

Brad Fitzpatrick - July 13, 2020

At the 2020 SHOT Show, Kimber launched the Rapide Black Ice to much enthusiasm, and a new...

The Hi-Point 995 TS carbine has low recoil, is chambered in a readily available cartridge, and is more accurate than many would expect when shot using loads it likes. It is a good choice for anyone in search of an inexpensive recreational firearm, or one for self-defense. Reviews

Hi-Point Firearms 995 TS Camo WC Review

Proofhouse - August 03, 2020

The Hi-Point 995 TS carbine has low recoil, is chambered in a readily available cartridge, and...

See More Reviews

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now