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Going Long Range in the Lone Star State

Testing new rifles from Christensen Arms in Texas.

Going Long Range in the Lone Star State
(Photo courtesy of Tony Jenniges)

Deep in the heart of Texas lies the Guitar Ranch. Like most ranches throughout the expansive landscape of Texas, the Guitar Ranch began by running cattle, with acres and acres of west Texas hills for livestock to roam. When the incredible people at the ranch aren’t tending to their herd, they take time to be gracious hosts of guests there to enjoy other things they have to offer, more specifically, their long-range shooting course. This made it the ideal location for Christensen Arms to host their event in conjunction with Outdoor Solutions. Just a short distance from the ranch headquarters lies a shooting house with a range that extends up to 1 mile long. Continue down the road just a little further and there are various 3D targets scattered throughout the hills. The perfect spot to put the new Christensen Arms rifles to the test.

Rifles on a shooting bench
(Photo courtesy of Tony Jenniges)

We spent most of the first day in that shooting house sending rounds downrange. The Outdoor Solutions team was there help us sharpen our long-range skills, which began by zeroing the rifles. First up, the Modern Precision Rimfire (MPR). I won’t lie you to you guys, when the day began and I knew the rimfire was up first, all I wanted to do was hurry up and get that done so we could play with the “big kid” toys. Boy did my attitude change quickly. The first five shots out the cold barrel, with a rifle that just had a Zeiss scope put on the day before, all went into a hole smaller than a dime at 25 yards. It was borderline unbelievable the consistency we were getting. But that’s only 25 yards, right? How hard could that be. Walk it back to 50 and try again. Well, we did just that, and guess what, the hole only increased from a dime to a nickel. From that point on it just felt like we couldn’t miss with the MPR. We shot it at distances of more than 150 yards, even with gusty Texas wind. I spent a lot of time behind the trigger of the MPR that day and I can confidently say it is one of the most impressive rimfires I have had the pleasure to shoot.

Shooter with with rifle on tripod
(Photo courtesy of Tony Jenniges)

Time to break out those ‘’big kid” toys I mentioned. There were two other rifles on deck for us that day. One being the Modern Carbon Rifle and the other being the Ridgeline. The Ridgeline has been out for a bit now and is a proven shooter, so I won’t dwell on that much, but just know, it’s still a major player in the long-range game. The Modern Carbon Rifle is the new kid on the block at Christensen Arms and has a long line of excellent rifles to live up to, but does it? To start, the aesthetics of this rifle are some of the best I have ever seen. The carbon stock is incredibly lightweight and looks just as good as it feels. The finish is top notch and the addition of the M-LOK equipped forearm and integrated picatinny rail set it over the top. The real question is does it shoot as good as it looks. Yes, yes it does. We had the MPR from getting zeroed to ringing steel at 1,000 Yards in no time at all. Shot after shot just seem to find its mark, even up to 1,550 yards. The action is buttery smooth and trigger break is crisp. The MPR was on par with my impressions of the MCR from just a short time earlier that day. Halfway through the day and I already have shot 2 of the most impressive rifles that I can remember. Now let’s take the MPR to the hills and put it to the real test.

Christensen Arms Rifles on a shooting bench
(Photo courtesy of Tony Jenniges)

The Outdoor Solutions team had the genius idea to take 3D archery targets and mount a steel plate behind the vitals to make a lifelike rifle target that sings when you hit it right. They scattered these throughout the red dirt canyons at the Guitar Ranch, ranging from 100 yards to 800 yards. These targets weren’t just set out in a clearing ready to be shot; Greg and his team wanted this to feel like real hunting, so they tucked them into the cedars, hid them under the mesquite and blended them into the shadows.

Our job as the hunters was to show up to the designated shooting location and find the target as quick as possible by glassing the targets, getting the range, working up DOPE and reading wind, then put a shot in the vitals. We were dealing with gusts over 30 mph that day, which made the use of spotter vitally important. We spent an entire day out in those hills ringing steel at all distances with the MPR and it was a flawless performer. If you shoot rifles enough, you know what is like to find a gun that just speaks to you and feels so right every time you pull the trigger. You develop a sense of connection with this inanimate object, and that’s exactly how I felt by the end of that day. Every time I went prone, set up the bipod, or settled the stock to my shoulder, I was 100% confident I was going to hit what I was aiming at.

shooter eyeing long range target
(Photo courtesy of Tony Jenniges)

I feel like I do need a bit of a disclaimer here. Shooting long-range is about as fun as it gets, but as hunters we need to establish a line between a good shot and an unethical shot. In my opinion, that line is around the 500-yard mark, and that is for an experienced, trained shooter in ideal conditions. To me, the thrill of the hunt comes in the chase and getting as close as possible to your unsuspecting target. So, while I enjoyed perfecting my skills and putting them to the test on 3D targets out to 800 yards, I will leave distances like that for foam and steel.

The entire lineup that Christensen Arms brought with them to The Guitar Ranch was impressive. The performance was undeniable, and the feel was world class. You can be confident that if you were to pick up one of the new offerings from Christensen Arms, it will exceed your expectations. The facilities and people of The Guitar Ranch were exactly what you would expect from a top-notch Texas resort, graced with southern charm and good food. The Outdoor Solutions team were some of the most knowledgeable long-range instructors I have worked with and really made you feel confident before throwing you into the fire. I walked away from the ranch a much better long-range shooter then I was walking in. Now I need to go clear a few days on my calendar to do it all again next year.

New for 2024 Christensen Arms Rifles

Christensen Arms Rifles on a shooting bench
(Photo courtesy of Tony Jenniges)

MPR - The Christensen Arms Modern Precision Rimfire rifle boats a lightweight carbon fiber tension barrel for incredible accuracy in a .22 LR. Featuring an adjustable folding stock on a billet aluminum chassis, this rifle offers ergonomic comfort and adaptability for shooters of all preferences. With a sub-MOA guarantee and an adjustable match-grade trigger, it ensures consistent, reliable performance shot after shot. The FFT (Flash Forged Technology) carbon fiber handguard comes with a M-LOK mounting system and the FFT carbon fiber cheekpiece ensures a perfect fit every time. $1,250

MCR - The Christensen Arms Modern Carbon Rifle sports a threaded Aerograde carbon fiber barrel, ensuring lightweight maneuverability without compromising on accuracy. Built on a FFT (Flash Forged Technology) carbon fiber composite stock, this rifle offers exceptional strength and rigidity while maintaining a featherweight feel, weighing in at under 7 pounds. Its sub-MOA accuracy, paired with an adjustable Triggertech trigger and adjustable cheek piece guarantees consistent shot placement and reliability in various shooting conditions. The forearm features an integrated M-LOK mounting system and pic rail for bipods and other accessories. $2,400




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