The company was founded by Dr. Roland Christensen, who was born in 1947 in Utah, and went on to earn a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Utah. After spending time in the military and more than a decade in various positions in the aerospace industry, Christesen founded his primary company – Applied Composite Technology (ACT Aerospace) – in 1985.

Christensen Arms opened its gates for business in 1995. It is based in Gunnison, Utah, and is considered to be one of the finest manufacturers in the business. This is due to Dr. Christensen’s work with carbon fiber in the medical and aerospace industries. He and his team yielded some of the lightest and most accurate firearms on the market, and nowadays the brand is famous for its AR-style rifles, bolt-action rifles, and unique pistols. The company’s lineup boasts some of the most advanced technology available for civilians today. Now let’s take a closer look at his revolutionary Christensen Arms.

Christensen Arms Bolt Rifles

The company currently has nine bolt-action rifles in its catalog. Each one of these is constructed with superior materials and careful attention. They even incorporate aerograde carbon fiber, Invar, and carbon fiber composites in their popular stocks. Likewise, you can find heat-treated 416T stainless steel and Ti-6AL-4V titanium their different action builds. I don’t know much about mechanical engineering, but it seems logical to me that decades of work in the aerospace and medical fields will teach you a thing or two about precision, pressure, and accuracy, whether in the micro or macro.

Because of this, Christensen Arms guarantees sub-MOA accuracy on its bolt-action rifles. According to the company, each firearm that leaves the facility meets the company’s rigid accuracy specifications.

Christensen Arms Ridgeline

This is a bolt-action rifle first introduced in 2015. Hunters took to it immediately, and since then it went on to become one of Christensen Arms’ top sellers. It has a carbon-fiber-wrapped barrel, a fiberglass carbon fiber reinforced stock, and a fairly attractive price to boot.

Caliber: 6.5 Creedmoor
Length: 43.5”
Weight: 6.3 lbs
Barrel length: 24”
Action: proprietary stainless steel bolt, available in short or long action
Stock: proprietary carbon fiber composite, sporter style
Capacity: 4+1 rounds
Trigger: match-grade, adjustable
Sights: none, but compatible with Remington 700 Optics Base
MSRP: $1995

Christensen Arms Ridgeline
Christensen Arms Ridgeline

This thing is light, but it has a kick to it. It’s the kind of rifle you could totally take on a hunt for big game, and – depending on your scope – make a nice clean kill. Once you have the optics zeroed in and after you break it in a bit, it really grows on you. After some time on the range, getting to that sub-MOA grouping is highly doable. It looks good, it feels good (texturing is spot on), and altogether it is a top echelon bolt-action rifle.

This is a model not really meant for competition and geared more towards the outdoors. There are those who would say that there is nothing unique about this rifle’s accuracy, and I am not about to contradict them. I don’t doubt that others have had a significantly different experience than I did. All things considered – for the time that I had it – I found that this rifle delivered on its promise, and this was true across the board.

Christensen Arms Mesa

The Mesa was released in 2016, and much like the Ridgeline, it was an overnight success. A no-nonsense hunting rifle which is enjoyed by hunters and precision shooters alike. Like the Ridgeline, it is by no means a competition rifle, but it is no slouch at the range. The sub-MOA guarantee the company makes was not made lightly. They knew they had once again produced a hunting rifle that is as accurate as they come. Relying on its lightness, its natural usability, and contoured barrel, this firearm is recognized for its consistently positive performance.

Specs for the 6.5 Creedmoor –
Caliber: 6.5 Creedmoor
Length: 43”
Weight: 6.6 lbs
Barrel length: 22”
Action: proprietary stainless steel bolt
Stock: proprietary fiberglass with carbon fiber reinforcement, sporter style
Capacity: 4+1 rounds
Trigger: match-grade, adjustable
Sights: none, but compatible with Remington 700 Optics Base
MSRP: $1295

Christensen Arms Mesa
Christensen Arms Mesa

When creating the Mesa model, Christensen wanted to provide a more affordable “entry point”. An easier way for hunters and shooters alike to become interested in the brand. And they achieved this without lowering their standards in any way, shape, or form. The Mesa was meant to be a traditional, straight-up, steel-barreled rifle. But since it is a Christensen Arms rifle, you get more than just a traditional list of features.

From things such as the side bolt-release button and the bolt’s M16-style extractors, to the aesthetic of the fluted bolt and bolt knob – there is a kind of polish about this gun that makes it more than your run-of-the-mill hunter rifle. And that’s precisely the point. You get something more, when you have the ability to invest. Is this the absolute BEST hunting rifle out there? Debatable. Is it one of the more affordable high-quality rifles out there? Definitely yes.

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Christensen Arms Modern Sporting Rifles

Three models of MSR – known as the CA series – are currently available through the company’s catalog. Their receivers are machined from 7075 Aluminum and they’re equipped with the now-standard Christensen features. They’ve got carbon fiber handguards, a carbon fiber picatinny rail, and Christensen’s sub-MOA guarantee.

CA-15 G2

Caliber: 223 WYLDE (5.56 NATO)
Weight: 5.9 lbs
Barrel length: 16”
Action: semi-automatic, gas-operated, direct-impingement
Stock: adjustable BCM Gunfighter
Capacity: 30+1 rounds
Trigger: match-grade, adjustable
Sights: none
MSRP: $1749 (stainless steel barrel), $2295 (carbon fiber barrel)

CA-10 G2

Caliber: 6.5 Creedmoor or 308 Winchester
Weight: 7.2-7.5 lbs
Barrel length: 20” (Creedmoor) or 18” (Winchester)
Action: semi-automatic, gas-operated, direct-impingement
Stock: adjustable BCM Gunfighter
Capacity: 30+1 rounds
Trigger: match-grade, adjustable
Sights: none
MSRP: $2595 (stainless steel barrel), $2995 (carbon fiber barrel)

CA-10 DMR

Caliber: Variety
Weight: 7.8-8.2 lbs
Barrel length: 18”-24”, depending on chambering
Action: semi-automatic, gas-operated, direct-impingement
Stock: adjustable Magpul STR
Capacity: 30+1 rounds
Trigger: match-grade
Sights: none
MSRP: $3245 (carbon fiber barrel)

Christensen Arms 1911s

There is a feeling you get after you spend some time with your weapon. And this is pretty much true to any firearm, providing it is not some unsafe piece of junk. You know that sensation, that confidence you acquire, when your handgun reacts precisely the way you want it to react? This is a shorthand description of what it feels like to bond with your firearm. In my opinion, this is something which is being offered to those who are interested in Christensen’s 1911 series of handguns. Obviously, this is not a “one size fits all” situation, but the company’s current collection of 1911s is one which will satisfy many a-shooter’s itch.

Built from stainless steel, titanium, and carbon fiber, these pistols are also covered by Christensen’s guarantee of accuracy.

A-series

Chambered in 9mm, this is a trio of pistols:
A4 – 4.25” barrel, with raised night sights’, 2 lbs
A5 – 5” barrel, with raised night sights, 2.2 lbs
A5-TR – 5” barrel, suppressor sights, tactical rail, and flared magazine well, 2.4 lbs

All are built with a skeletonized hammer and trigger, a full-length guide rod, proper checkering (or so I thought, YMMV), and premium materials for the slide, barrel, and frame. The magazine capacity is nine rounds (9mm). To paraphrase Ali, this thing floats like a butterfly, and stings like a deadly bee. MSRP $1995

G5

A second trio, also chambered in 9mm:
G5 – 5” barrel, raised night sights, 2.5 lbs
G5-TR – 5” barrel, suppressor sights, tactical rail, threaded barrel, flared magazine well, 2.7 lbs
G5 Ti – 5” barrel, titanium frame, carbon fiber grips, raised night sights, 2.2 lbs

All three come with the option of a Damascus steel slide, rather than the standard 17-4 stainless steel billet slide. Like the A-series, these are also skeletonized and have a 9-round magazine capacity (9mm), but unlike the aluminum A-series, the G5 provides a choice of stainless steel or titanium for the frame.
MSRP $2895 (stainless steel frame)
MSRP $4795 (titanium frame)
Prices including Damascus steel slide vary in accordance with the model

C4

A duo of shorter barreled 1911s:
C4 – 4.25” barrel, raised night sights, Damascus slide optional, 2.4 lbs
C4 Ti – 4.25” barrel, titanium frame, carbon fiber grips, raised night sights, Damascus slide standard, 2.1 lbs

MSRP $2895 stainless steel frame / $4195 with Damascus steel slide
MSRP $5095 titanium frame with Damascus steel slide / $3795 with stainless steel slide

Further Reading: Wilson Combat  1911s and Springfield Armory 1911s

Conclusion

Of course, no manufacturer is complete without faults. Christensen Arms is expensive, for starters. While it is true that certain models are more affordable, the price is altogether high. And yeah, there will always be those who maintain that you could get a better gun – or an equally good one – for a cheaper price. It is highly subjective, and should stay that way! I am not making any ruling here.

I am, and always will be, in favor of the hands-on experience. But there is no denying that Christensen Arms do bring something truly amazing to the table. A 1911 that weighs 2 lbs? Come on. Even the naysayers will have to admit to something regarding that one. But if this is a pistol you are interested in, get your hands on one and try it out.

Let’s put it this way. If you are already considering paying a relatively higher price for your next 1911, but are not interested in having one smithied from scratch and custom made to the tee – than Christensen is a seriously viable option. All Christensen Arms products come with a limited lifetime warranty, and their customer service seems to have a decent track record in the various forums. The cherry on top? They look great!

Thanks for joining us here at Gunivore!

Sam M

Sam is an avid firearms enthusiast who loves sharing his knowledge and experience with fellow gunivores.

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