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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Familiar functions and great balance.
Shoots sub-MOA most of the time but has occasional feeding issues.
Very comfortable to shoot and a good fit. Easy to run.
Tends to lose accuracy with any long shot strings (depending on load).
If you get a good one, it can be a great value. If not, you’ll be left regretting the expense.
Reviewed by coldboremiracle
Based on 0 Reviews
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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.
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.
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
Not everyone needs or wants them, but those who do, do.
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 Rifle||Weight||Overall Length||Barrel Length||Trigger Style||Threaded Barrel||DBM or Fixed|
|Sig Sauer Cross||6.5 lbs||36.5"||16" or 18"||2-Stage Match||Yes||DBM|
|Bergara B-14 Ridge||7.2 lbs -7.7 lbs||37.5"- 44"||18"- 24"||Single Stage||Yes||Fixed|
|Tikka T3x Lite||6.3 lbs - 6.5 lbs||42.5"- 44.5"||22"- 24"||Single Stage||No||DBM|
|Springfield Armory Waypoint||6.5 lbs - 8.2 lbs||43.5" - 45.5"||20"- 24"||Single Stage||Yes||DBM|
|Savage 110 Hunter||7.25 lbs - 7.55 lbs||42.25" - 45.25"||22" - 24"||AccuTrigger||No||DBM|
|Howa 1500 Hogue||7.8 lbs - 6.2 lbs||38" - 50"||22" - 24"||2-Stage HACT||No||Fixed|
|Browning X-Bolt Speed||6.5 lbs||42" - 46"||22" - 26"||2-Stage Match||Yes||DBM|
Precision Bolt Gun Maintenance
Unfamiliar with cleaning and maintaining a bolt gun of this type? Give this a watch.
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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