Christensen Arms Ridgeline Review: Hands On With the 300 WSM

by coldboremiracle

November 16, 2022

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Carbon fiber has been steadily working its way into every facet of the firearms market. Christensen Arms is one of the most experienced companies using carbon fiber in their guns. I have long wanted to try one of these lightweight wonders and recently got my opportunity. Scroll down for my Christensen Arms Ridgeline review and read about my experience.

A lightweight bolt action hunting rifle from Christensen Arms. This one is chambered in 300 WSM.

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Christensen Arms Ridgeline 300 WSM Specs

  • Barrel Length 24 inches
  • Barrel Twist 1:10
  • Weight 6.3 pounds
  • Magazine Capacity Three (3)
  • Trigger Trigger Tech single stage
  • Stock Carbon fiber composite
  • Muzzle Threads 5/8-24

Some Ridgeline Background

Christensen Arms has long incorporated its aerospace carbon fiber technology into firearms. The Ridgeline rifle utilizes the carbon-wrapped steel barrels that Christensen is famous for. The Ridgeline uses Christensen’s custom 416R Stainless steel action, which shares plenty of dimensions with the very popular Remington 700 action. This allows the rifle to utilize many of the same accessories, such as triggers, scope mounts, and others.

The action is spot bedded into the carbon fiber composite stock; bedding pillars are used to increase the support for the action. This rifle is chambered in 300 Winchester Short Magnum with a twenty-four-inch ten-twist barrel. The Ridgeline is marketed as a lightweight hunting rifle built for the most demanding backcountry hunters.

Christensen Arms Ridgeline scoped up for review.

This comparatively lighter weight reduces fatigue on the shooter that has to carry it for long and steep hikes, but the Ridgeline does this without giving up performance.

Christensen Arms Ridgeline features

Christensen Arms Ridgeline features
1 Carbon wrapped barrel

Button rifled barrel blanks turned down and wrapped with carbon fiber.

2 Trigger Tech trigger

Comes standard in Ridgeline rifles.

3 Sub-MOA guarantee

Factory guaranteed to shoot sub-MOA accuracy.

4 Radial muzzle brake

Recoil-reducing, radially ported muzzle brake mounted to 5/8-24 threads.

5 Left-handed available

Some chamberings are available for left-handed shooters.

Models and Variations of the Christensen Arms Ridgeline

The Ridgeline is available in a few colors; either a black or green colored stock, with grey, black, or tan webbing. The barrelled actions are available with a natural stainless finish or a burnt bronze Cerakote. The caliber selection is impressive as well; you can get the Ridgeline in any of the following calibers:

  • 450 Bushmaster 20 in. 1:16 LH
  • 22-250 Rem 24 in. 1:14
  • 243 Rem 20 in. 1:10
  • 6.5 CRD* 20 in. 1:8
  • 6.5 CRD* 24 in. 1:8
  • 6.5 PRC* 24 in. 1:8
  • 6.5-284 Nor 26 in. 1:8
  • 26 Nos 26 in. 1:8
  • 270 Win 24 in. 1:10
  • 7mm-08 Rem* 24 in. 1:9
  • 280 Ack 26 in. 1:9
  • 28 Nos* 26 in. 1:9
  • 7mm Rem Mag 26 in. 1:9
  • 308 Win* 20 in. 1:10
  • 308 Win* 24 in. 1:10
  • 30-06 Spring 24 in. 1:10
  • 30 Nos 26 in. 1:10
  • 300 WSM 24 in. 1:10
  • 300 Win Mag* 26 in. 1:10
  • 300 PRC* 26 in. 1:8
  • 300 RUM 26 in. 1:10
  • * denotes left-hand availability

Christensen Arms Ridgeline –  Our Take

Christensen Arms Ridgeline bolt action rifle
Photo courtesy of Christensen Arms.

I have long eyeballed the Christensen Arms rifles; they are quite popular here in Christensen’s home state of Utah. Being a bit of a rifle junkie, I was drawn to them, but it has taken years for me to actually get one in hand and play with it as my own.

My Experience With The Ridgeline

When the Ridgeline arrived, I couldn’t wait to get it out of the box; the lightweight rifle is impressively light for its size. Its looks are deceiving. That’s a result of all the carbon fiber. The rifle was just plain handsome. After clearing it, I put it to my shoulder to see if it felt as good as it looked.

With the soft rubber buttpad against my shoulder, I ran the bolt to get a feel. The stainless two-lug bolt ran smoothly in the action; I noticed an M16-style extractor cut into the side of the bolt body. After running the bolt, I went for the trigger to see if this one felt as good as my other Trigger Tech triggers. I was not let down by anything on the rifle, which meant it was time to get it ready for the range.

I installed a Remington short action scope base with a 30 MOA cant in preparation for mounting the riflescope. I picked out one of my favorite scopes, the US Optics TS20X. I have swapped this scope back and forth between countless rifles countless times; it keeps on clicking away like a precise measuring device should.

I mounted the scope in a set of 34MM Vortex rings and did a quick boresight job on the kitchen counter. I added a bipod to the front sling stud, and all that was left was getting some ammunition for the rifle. The only factory ammunition I could get was Federal 180-grain soft point ammunition, but I’ve loaded 300WSM since it first came out around twenty years ago. So I descended into my reloading room to fashion up some of my favorite loads for the WSM, a custom load using the 190 Sierra Match king.

Before heading out the door to shoot, I also grabbed my Desert Tech Sound Suppressor (DTSS), which would make a great companion to the mighty short magnum.

Once at my shooting spot, I hung a target at one hundred yards. I got quite comfortable behind the rifle, the length of pull and cheek-riser fit me well It took a couple of shots to get the rifle zeroed, but once it was, I decided to shoot a few groups to see if it lived up to the sub-MOA guarantee from the manufacturer. The first three-shot group I fired was easily sub-MOA, but after firing two more shots, it opened up more than I would like to see.

Felt recoil from the rifle was very manageable; the brake did a fine job of taming the WSM. The trigger broke perfectly clean every time, making the whole shooting experience quite pleasant. I did notice a couple of times I felt a bind when trying to push the fat WSM cartridges up from the magazine; the short-action Ridgeline is a tight fit for the cartridge. The magazine itself was also quite short, my typical WSM loads were made much longer, but the Ridgeline didn’t have the room for such lengthy loads.

Shooting mat and ammo: more shooting for my Christensen Arms Ridgeline review
Photo courtesy of Christensen Arms.

After letting the rifle cool off for a while, I decided to take it out to some of the longer ranges we frequently shoot here in the high Rocky Mountains. The rifle did well shooting at targets out beyond six hundred yards; I can’t help but think the rifle’s accuracy seems to wander with longer strings of shots.

Christensen Arms Ridgeline Pros and Cons 

  • Very light and balanced – This is a great attribute for a full-size hunting rifle.
  • Well-built – American craftsmanship and high quality construction.
  • Compatability– Uses Remington 700 accessories.
  • Spotty accuracy – Accuracy can come and go depending on use.
  • Short throat and mag – Short freebore and mag box reduce 300 WSM potential.

Report Card

Shootability

Familiar functions and great balance.

A
Reliability

Shoots sub-MOA most of the time but has occasional feeding issues.

B-
Ergonomics

Very comfortable to shoot and a good fit. Easy to run.

A
Accuracy

Tends to lose accuracy with any long shot strings (depending on load).

B-
Value

If you get a good one, it can be a great value. If not, you’ll be left regretting the expense.

B
Christensen-Ridgeline-grade-card

Our Grade

B+

Reviewed by coldboremiracle

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Scoping with a Ridgeline: photo courtesy of Christensen Arms.
Scoping with a Ridgeline; these are gorgeous guns. This is not one of those times you want to spraypaint your rifle. Photo courtesy of Christensen Arms.

Christensen Arms Ridgeline Gun Deals

Christensen Arms Ridgeline 300 WSM Ammo

I only shot the factory Federal 180 grain ammunition, which shot sub-MOA for three shots most of the time. Handloads also shot that well; I have no doubt that with a little work, it might shoot better with some customized loads for the rifle. The ten-twist barrel is ideal for 175-200 grain bullets.

Polymer Tip Ammo

WInchester Ballistic Silvertip 180gr 300 WSM

300 Winchester Ballistic Silvertip

Marketplace
Cost Per Round
GunDeals.com $varies
Optics Planet $3.87

Hollow Point Centerfire

Federal-Power-Shok-300-WSM

Federal Premium Power-Shok

Marketplace
Cost Per Round
Gun.Deals Varies
Optics Planet $3.87
Christensen RIdgeway in the wild
The Christensen Ridgeline travels to many remote places. Image courtesy of Christensen Arms.

Christensen Ridgeline Starter Pack

Are you considering the purchase of a Christensen Ridgeline? If so, you’ll need more than just the gun to make it safely go bang. You’ll need proper protections, extra mags, and something to clean it with at the end of a long day at the range. Here are our recommendations:

  • Gun Cleaning Kit: Otis All Caliber Elite Range Box on Amazon or build your own personalized cleaning kit with premium components.
  • Shooting Glasses: All it takes is one piece of rogue hot brass, and you’ll learn the importance of shooting glasses. But not all glasses are built the same. See our recommendations for the Best Shooting Glasses.
  • Hearing Protection: Firing a gun without wearing proper ear pro can be very dangerous and detrimental to your hearing. Find out the best hearing protection for you in our full-length review.
  • Storage: Check out our article on the Best Biometric Gun Safes
  • Targets – If you’re wanting a great resource for shooting practice or zeroing your optics on your optics rifle or pistol, download our FREE Sighting in Targets below.

Christensen Ridgeline Accessories

A good bipod is a must. I used the Harris SL bipod, which is a fine choice, but the Spartan Precision Javelin bipod would also be an excellent choice and go well with the carbon fiber theme of this rifle.

Scope mounted to Ridgeline bolt gun

The factory muzzle brake worked fine, but I prefer a side-venting muzzle brake for hunting. The Patriot Valley Jetblast self-timing muzzle brake would be a good match for this rifle and keep the radially ported brake from sending dirt into the shooter.

A good sling would also be an excellent accessory for this rifle, built for covering rough terrain in rugged mountains. I would recommend a comfortable one like the Viking Tactics padded sling.

Accessories and Upgrades for your Ridgeline

Spotting scope
  • significant aid to dialing in and determining windage
  • Variety of high resolution options available
  • Lighter weight models are available for field use.
Check Price
Atibal Nomad binoculars
  • Fully Multi-Coated Lenses
  • Adjustable Eyecups & Diopter
  • Fog Proof
  • Water Proof
  • Shock Proof
Check price
Quality shooting matCheck price
Snake gaiters

Not everyone needs or wants them, but those who do, do. 

Check price

Other Hunting Rifles

If the Christensen Arms Ridgeline isn’t what you’re looking for, take a look a some of the other rifles we’ve reviewed.

Hunting RifleWeightOverall LengthBarrel LengthTrigger StyleThreaded BarrelDBM or Fixed
Sig Sauer Cross6.5 lb36.5"16" or 18"2-Stage MatchYesDBM
Bergara B-14 Ridge7.2-7.7 lb37.5"-44"18"-24"Single StageYesFixed
Tikka T3x Lite6.3lb - 6.5lb42.5"-44.5"22"-24"2-StageNoDBM
Springfield Armory Waypoint6.5lb-8.2lb43.5"-45.5"20"-24"Single StageYesDBM
Savage 110 Hunter7.25lb-7.55lb42.25"-45.25"22"-24"AccuTriggerNoDBM
Howa 1500 Hogue7.8lb-6.2lb38"-50"22"-24"2-Stage HACTNoFixed
Browning X-Bolt Speed6.5 lb42"-46"22"-26"2-Stage MatchYesDBM

Precision Bolt Gun Maintenance

Unfamiliar with cleaning and maintaining a bolt gun of this type? Give this a watch.

Suggested Reading

Bipod solutions for your rifle.

Best rifle scopes under $500.

Setting up your hunting rifle.

Shooting the Ridgeline at much greater distances.

Suggested Resources For You And Your Ridgeline

Looking for some more information on the Christensen Arms Ridgeline and its components? Check out the links below.

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About coldboremiracle

coldboremiracle is a self-taught "Freelance Sharpshooter" based in the Rocky Mountains. A true gun nut at heart, but has a passion for precision shooting particularly as it applies to hunting. When not at home or work, he is more than likely behind a riflescope in the high country evaluating the wind for the next shot.

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