Christensen Arms MPP Review: A Long Range Precision Pistol?

by Jens Hammer

April 4, 2023

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Christensen Arms has been known for bringing top-quality machining and carbon fiber parts since 1995.  Their recent Modern Precision line of chassis-built bolt action rifles and braced pistols has received a strongly positive review among users.  Today I’m writing up my own review on the Modern Precision Pistol (MPP).

The Christensen Arms MPP is a bolt action pistol chassis based off 700 footprint featuring trigger tech trigger, AICS detachable mags and Christensen Arms carbon fiber wrapped stainless steel barrel.

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Christensen Arms MPP Specs

  • Caliber 6.5 CM / 300 BLK / 223 Rem / 308 Win
  • Action Bolt Action
  • Action Footptint Remington 700
  • Trigger Trigger Tech Flat Trigger
  • Sights 0 MOA Optics Rail
  • Barrel CA 416R Stainless barrel wrapped in carbon fiber
  • Barrel Length 12.5 in / 7.5 in / 10.5 in / 12.5 in
  • Magazine AICS Pattern
  • Weight 4.4 lbs

Christensen Arms MPP Background

Christensen Arms made waves in 1995 when they released the first carbon fiber barrel.  The weight savings, heat dissipation, and increased rigidity brought a significant performance boost to rifles thus equipped.  Early carbon fiber barrels lived up to the hype regarding accuracy and weight, but rumors persisted about durability.  Whether that was from actual users or those who didn’t believe carbon fiber (or polymer pistol frames for that matter) could possibly replace steel, it’s hard to tell.

Fast forward to 2021 when the MPP was released, and you see the current pinnacle of that technology’s potential: a purpose-built gun, designed from the ground up with the advanced barrel as the centerpiece.  Every possible advantage has been given to the MPP’s barrel, including hand lapping, a match chamber, free floating, and V-Block bedding the receiver.  Christensen Arms pulled out the stops in designing the Modern Precision Pistol (and it’s big brother the Modern Precision Rifle), but does that translate to the finished product?

Christensen Arms MPP Features

Christensen Arms MPP Weapon Features
1 Braces/Stocks

Rear picatinny attachment point for braces or stocks

2 Bolt Handle

Skeletonized bolt handle

3 Chassis

Billet Aluminum Chassis

4 Barrel

416R Stainless Steel barrel, wrapping in Carbon Fiber

5 Muzzle Brake

Threaded barrel with side-ported muzzle brake

Models and Variations of the Christensen Arms MPP

Christensen Arms makes the MPP in a few different calibers and barrel lengths. They also make a full sized rifle variation call the Modern Precision Rifle that is offered in several different barrel lengths and chamberings from 223 Rem to 338 Lapua. For those interested in a more competition ready setup, they make the MPR Competition.

Christensen Arms MPP –  Our Take

Shooting Christensen Arms MPP

My first exposure to Christensen Arms came just a couple years ago, when my brother bought an MPR in 6.5 CM.  He raved about it for months before I got to shoot it.  My first (short) range trip went well, but that’s not when I was truly sold.  That fall a friend made a shot on a moose at 223.1 yards, within an inch of his called shot on the bull.  He dropped like Mike Tyson had just sucker punched him.  So yes, I was excited to get the MPP in to run an extended test.

Christensen Arms MPP No Stock

The Christensen Arms Modern Precision Pistol is a wonder to behold.  The fit and finish are absolutely top-tier.  I laid the MPP down next to a few other new bolt-action guns I’ve received recently (prices ranging from $600-$3000) and the MPP absolutely dominates in visual presentation and hands-on inspection.

The MPP’s bolt really stands out, as it slides back and forth with silky ease.  The weight of this diminutive firearm it notable as well, as a 4.4 lbs gun capable of dropping North America’s big game is nothing to sneeze at.  The Trigger Tech Flat is a fantastic little “go-switch”, breaking crisply at ~2.5lbs.  No creep, no mush, just a clean pop right when you want it.

After adding a Leupold Mark IV 6-20x scope, I grabbed some ammo and headed to the range on the backside of my property.

MPP Target

I zeroed the MPP from a DeathGrip tripod, the first time I’ve done so.  My first group was one of the best I’ve shot.  The MPP quickly feels like an extension of your arm.  In fact, the Modern Precision Pistol is one of the most naturally comfortable guns I’ve shot in a while. 

This is totally and entirely true, until we hit the muzzle brake.  6.5 Creedmoor isn’t a massive caliber and doesn’t usually have an especially sharp recoil.  I consider it absolutely unnecessary to include such a massive muzzle brake on a gun like this, taking such a sweet shooting experience and turning it into a kick in the crotch.  When I replaced the brake with a suppressor, I felt like I was target shooting next to the Pearly Gates.  A bare muzzle, a flash suppressor, a linear compensator, all more comfortable than the muzzle brake, and with very little increased felt recoil.

It should come as no surprise that during the ~6 months I’ve had the MPP I’ve experienced no failures to fire, eject, feed, or chamber.  Bolt-action guns are built with fewer moving parts than a semi-auto, and that simplicity makes reliability easier to achieve.  When you consider the way the bolt glides back and forth, and the easy lockup of the bolt lugs into the chamber, it’s no surprise that Christensen Arms’ mini blaster has achieved flawless operation (so far).

Christensen Arms MPP Stock

The Modern Precision Pistol’s layout is familiar, due to the Remington 700 pattern base.  While we’d all like a true stock to be in place of the brace, SB Tactical’s FS1913A doesn’t stand out as a detriment to shooting the MPP well.  The Magpul MOE-K grip is a known commodity, providing a steeper grip angle that’s better for a shorter firearm.  Finally, the carbon fiber forend is a nice touch, both from a weight savings perspective and from a comfort point of view, as carbon fiber is easy on the hands when it’s especially hot or cold out.

Besides reliability (which is a pass/fail topic for me) the quality shooters want most is accuracy.  When you find a gun that is especially accurate in your hands, it can build itself into mythical status pretty quickly.  I can remember my dad (and brother, and Ranger buddies, and hunting partners) talk fondly about a specific gun that they shot really well.  No, really well.  The Christensen Arms MPP is quickly becoming that gun for me.  Where you want the bullet to go, it goes.  You want a tight group?  You get one.  Or five.  

Christensen Arms MPP Stock Folded

“Buy once, cry once”.  Also, “you get what you pay for… usually”.  There’s a fine line in buying guns, where good can be had for under $1K, great can be had in the $1-2K range, and above $2500 there is often little discernable difference in quality that most shooters will be able to notice.  The Christensen Arms Modern Precision Pistol comes in at $1999 currently, which I consider worth biting the bullet and grabbing.  I bought a comparable bolt gun this year for $800, and it’s really not comparable at all.  One final adage: “Beware the man with one gun, for he knows how to use it”. 

If you want one gun to hunt with, target shoot with, even compete with, the MPP is an awesome choice.  Light enough to pack anywhere, accurate enough to outstrip most shooter’s capabilities, and hits hard enough to drop pretty much everything.  This single gun pushes three others off my regular use list.

MPP Suppressed

Christensen Arms MPP Pros and Cons 

  • Weight – 4.4 lbs is excellent, and the gun is still very solid
  • Accuracy – This might be the most accurate gun I’ve ever shot
  • Trigger – I want this trigger in all my bolt guns
  • Fit and Finish– Build Quality is Top Tier
  • Muzzle Brake – Unnecessary for recoil, exacerbates already significant muzzle blast
  • Aftermarket Support – I hope you like what you see, there’s not much you can change

Report Card

Shootability

Everything is just right, except that muzzle brake.

B+
Reliability

Not just “bolt-action” reliability, but “quality bolt-action” reliability.

A
Ergonomics

Everything fits, I offer no changes to improve OEM.

A
Accuracy

Am I an amazing shooter, or is this a great gun? It’s the gun.

A
Value

$1999 is fair-to-good, which is a B+.

B+
Christensen Arms MPP Final Grade

Our Grade

A-

Reviewed by Jens Hammer

Reader’s Grade

A+

Based on 1 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Gun? Leave A Review

Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

Christensen Arms MPP Starter Pack

Make sure you have some good eye and hear protection on hand when shooting the MPP, especially if using that muzzle brake. It will be loud and if shooting prone or off a bench, probably throw some debris into the air.

  • Hearing Protection: If you are shooting the MPP with the supplied muzzle brake, you need to have good hearing protection. It is going to be very loud!
  • Eye Protection: Here are our recommendations for the best shooting glasses!
  • Gun Cleaning Kit: Here is a link to our article on gun cleaning kits you’ll need to keep your firearms maintained.  

Christensen Arms MPP Gun Deals

Here are a few deals we found on the Modern Precision Pistol.

Upgrades and Accessories for the Christensen Arms MPP

There is not a ton of aftermarket support for this rifle, but there are definitely things you will want to have and accessories to add. Start with a great optic to really maximize the precision this gun is capable of. Grab some AICS pattern magazines for your MPP caliber, either metal or polymer. Then, depending on legalities, perhaps get a folding stock or an arm brace.

Upgrades and Accessories for the Christensen Arms MPP

Sig Sauer Tango 1-10x scope
  • High Performance 10x optical system with low dispersion glass
  • Integrated thread in throw leaver for quick magnification changes
  • Illuminated MSR BDC-10 reticle with 11x brightness levels
  • Lay flat flip-back lens covers included
  • Dependable waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof performance
  • Includes ALPHA-MSR 1 piece aluminum cantilever mount
Check Price
MDT AICS SA 12-Round Metal Magazine with Binder Plate
  • AICS-pattern magazine
  • Compatible with short-action rifles
  • Durable, Nitride-coated steel construction
  • High-tensile steel spring
  • Steel follower
  • Precision-engineered feed lips
  • Binder floor plate
Check Price
Magpul PMAG 5 AICS SA 5-Round Magazine
  • rugged polymer body
  • improved floorplate
  • advanced follower
  • easy ID dot matrix
Check Price
A3 Tactical Skelestock
  • Machined aluminum construction
  • Folds right or left by simply flipping the hinge
  • 2 lengths available for individual customization
  • Fits multiple applications using A3 Tactical firearm adapters or Picatinny mount
  • Nylon 1/2″ riser cheek rest included with taller options available
  • Large anti-slip rubber buttpad
  • 4 QD sling mount locations available, 2 per side
Check Price

Best Ammo for Your Christensen Arms MPP

The Modern Precision Pistol is such a versatile firearm.  It can be used for target shooting and just as easily hunting in the back country. We are suggesting to have both match ammo for your precision shooting enjoyment and an excellent hunting round for your adventures. We found good deals on some of our favorite match and solid copper hunting ammo below.

Range Rounds

S&B 6.5 CREEDMOOR 140GR FMJ Ammo

S&B 6.5 Creedmoor 140GR FMJ

Marketplace
Cost Per Round
Optics Planet $1.20
Gun.deals $0.86

Hunting Ammunition

Barnes 6.5 Creedmoor 120 GR TTSX Ammo

Barnes 6.5 Creedmoor 120 GR TTSX

Marketplace
Cost Per Round
Gun.deals $1.60
Palmetto State Armory $2.00
Optics Planet $2.30

Other Bolt Action Rifles of its Class to Check Out

The MPP is not your standard bolt action rifle. If you like the light weight ideas of the MPP but want it in a more traditional package, we have a review on the Christensen Ridgeline.

Traditional Rifle Christensen Arms Ridgeline 300 WSM

Christensen Arms Ridgeline

Christensen Arms Ridgeline 300 WSM

The Christensen Arms Ridgeline bolt action hunting rifle chambered in 300 Winchester Short Magnum.

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  • Shootability A
  • Reliability B-
  • Ergonomics A
  • Accuracy B-
  • Value B

Our Grade

B+

Reader’s Grade

A+

Based on 1 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Rifle? Leave A Review

Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

If you like the chassis idea but want a longer barrel so you dont have the legal concerns of short barrels, the Sig Cross might be a good option for you to check out. 

Chassis Rifle Sig Sauer Cross

SIG Sauer Cross

Sig Sauer Cross

A super modern hunting rifle with all of the features and swagger of a tactical rifle, but in a lightweight mountain-ready package.

Check Latest Price

  • Shootability A
  • Reliability B+
  • Ergonomics A
  • Accuracy A+
  • Value A+

Our Grade

A

Reader’s Grade

A-

Based on 20 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Gun? Leave A Review

Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

How to Care for Your Christensen Arms MPP

There are many ways to clean a rifle. In this short video by MidwayUSA Larry Potterfield walks you through the process of cleaning your bolt action rifle.

Check out the links below for the manufacturer’s website and operator’s manual. We also found an interesting video EuroOptic did on the MPP that walks through some interesting use considerations.

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About Jens Hammer

Life is an adventure for Alaskan expat Jens Hammer-a.k.a. Rex Nanorum. He’s a combat veteran with the 2nd Bn, 75th Ranger Regt and has completed 5 tours between Afghanistan and Iraq. Now, Rex is a certified helicopter pilot instructor, salvage diver, commercial fisherman, and personal trainer. And Gun University contributor.

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