Range Report: Christensen Arms Ridgeline FFT in 7mm PRC

For many, your first thought may be “Who is Christensen Arms?” According to a company statement: Christensen Arms was established in 1995 and is based in Gunnison, Utah. The company stands on its claim of always made in America — from the first prototype to its state-of-the-art current production models and remains “focused on incorporating top-tier aerospace materials and processes into production, resulting in some of the most lightweight, precise, and accurate firearms in the industry and around the globe.” That’s some great marketing speak, but I was more interested in how a Christensen Arms gun performed in the field.

My first experience with Christensen Arms began last year when I put the Mesa FFT chambered for the well-versed .300 Win. Mag. cartridge to the test — in Africa. The rifle performed wonderfully (as did the cartridge).

Christensen Arms Ridgeline FFT rifle in 7mm PRC with a Lucid binoculars
If you’re a hunter who appreciates a quality, lightweight rifle that provides exceptional accuracy out of the box, look no further.

Electing to try the Christensen Ridgeline FFT, I soon had the rifle in hand to begin prepping for my African Plains game hunt. Christensen Arms broadened its rifle lineup in 2022 to include models utilizing what it calls Flash Forged Technology, or FFT.

Flash Forged Technology

What does this technology consist of? According to Christensen Arms:

“With a sleek monocoque shell design that takes its cues from the aerospace industry, Flash Forged Technology eliminates up to a full pound of unnecessary internal weight (compared to traditionally manufactured carbon fiber composite rifle stocks).

Other manufacturers stick to old-school methods and simply “overbuild” a product to meet safety standards, resulting in a product that’s unnecessarily heavy, cumbersome, and inconvenient… When we created Flash Forged Technology, we broke the status quo and not only built products that exceeded crucial strength and safety margins — we did it in a way that was lighter, stronger, more durable, and more environmentally friendly.

Thanks to FFT’s ability to be broken down and reused as new materials, we’re able to operate with 100% zero-waste manufacturing without producing harmful toxins and emissions. This new technology allows us to reduce our environmental impact to protect our lands and wildlife for ourselves and the people who come after us — all while putting a better product in your hands.”

Christensen Arms Ridgeline FFT rifle with a box of Hornady Precision Hunter and Outfitter ammunition
Both of Hornady’s primary hunting loads for the 7mm PRC, the 160-grain CX and 175-grain ELD-X, were put to the test.

In a nutshell, FFT allows Christensen Arms to build rifles that are significantly lighter than those made using traditional construction techniques.

Ridgeline FFT Features

The Ridgeline FFT in 7mm PRC features a Christensen Arms 416R stainless 22-inch barrel with carbon-fiber wrap, threaded muzzle, side-baffle brake, and 1:8 twist. Accuracy is backed by a sub-MOA guarantee.

An enlarged ejection port allows you to easily load the rifle. Unlike many of its competitors, the Ridgeline FFT comes with an internal box magazine that holds four rounds (three rounds of 7mm PRC) and an FFT hinged floorplate. The bottom metal is made from billet aluminum, and the floorplate release lever is located within the trigger guard.

Receiver on the Christensen Arms Ridgeline FFT rifle
All Ridgeline FFT rifles use a flattened, skeletonized bolt handle and an interchangeable FFT bolt knob, along with dual lug, spiral-fluted bolt.

TriggerTech triggers are standard, and offer a smooth, crisp break that improves accuracy. The 7mm PRC trigger broke at 3.2 pounds for an average of 10 presses on a Lyman digital trigger gauge. The trigger guard offers enough room for a gloved finger.

Aside from the Ridgeline FFT there are several additional Christensen Arms models that are also enhanced with the Flash Forged Technology including the Mesa FFT Titanium, Mesa FFT, Ridgeline FFT Titanium, and Ridgeline FFT Scout. In addition to the test gun in 7mm PRC, the Ridgeline FFT is also available in no less than 23 other chamberings, as shown below.

Christiansen Arms Ridgeline FFT Specifications

  • Type: Centerfire, bolt-action rifle
  • Calibers: .22-250, .243 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, 6MM CRD, 6.5 PRC, 6.5-284 Norma, 6.8 Western, .26 Nosler, .270 Win., .270 WSM, 7mm-08, 7mm PRC, .280 Ackley Improved, 7mm Rem. Mag., .28 Nosler, .308 Win., .30-06, .300 WSM, .300 Win. Mag., .30 Nosler, .300 PRC, .300 RUM, .450 Bushmaster
  • Capacity: 4 (standard) or 3 (magnum cartridges, including 7mm PRC)
  • Barrel: 416R stainless 22-inch barrel with carbon-fiber wrap, threaded muzzle, side-baffle brake; 1:8 twist
  • Overall length: 42″ (7mm PRC model)
  • Weight: Starts at 5.3 pounds (cartridge dependent), 5 pounds 13 ounces (7mm PRC)
  • Stock: Christiansen Arms FFT carbon fiber
  • Action finishes: Natural Stainless, Burnt Bronze Cerakote, or Black Nitride
  • Stock finishes: Carbon with Gray Accents, Carbon with Green & Tan Accents, Sitka Subalpine, or Sitka Elevated II
  • Trigger: TriggerTech Field adjustable (2.5–5.5 pounds)
  • Sights: None; drilled and tapped for Remington 700 bases
  • MSRP: $2,049

On the Range With the Ridgeline

With the Ridgeline FFT in hand, I went through the barrel break-in procedure recommended by Christensen Arms. Proper barrel break-in consists of a series of shooting and cleaning sequences. Although many different break-in sequences exist, Christensen’s procedure has been developed over the last 15 years. It’s simple and has a track record of providing excellent results.

Test target showing the accuracy of the Hornady 175-grain ELD-X ammunition
The Hornady 175-grain ELD-X provided outstanding accuracy with this sub-MOA group being fired at 100 yards.

Factory-recommended break-in involves firing numerous three-shot groups with cleaning and scrubbing the bore with a nylon bore brush and solvent patches after every six rounds. These steps are well defined on the Barrel Break-In section of the Christensen website. Once I completed the barrel break-in, I began testing two primary factory loads courtesy of Hornady ammunition.

With no plans for my hunting excursion to include game larger than Wildebeest or Kudu (at least in the Eastern Cape), I elected to test Hornady’s two primary hunting loads for the 7mm PRC. First up was the 160-grain CX in the Hornady Outfitter line. Second, the 175-grain ELD-X from the Hornady Hunter Precision line.

While the Hornady ammo performed wonderfully — both grouping in the 1 MOA range — the most consistently-accurate load as of this writing has proved to be the Hornady 175-grain ELD-X bullet. This was especially true at 200 yards where I fired numerous three-shot groups that were sub-MOA (under 2 inches at 200 yards). The 160-grain CX was a close second. I would have no problem using either load.

Felt recoil experienced with the 7mm PRC cartridge in the Ridgeline was minimal despite being so lightweight. All Christensen Arms Ridgeline FFT rifles come with a removable stainless-steel side-baffle muzzle brake. I can report the recoil is in the same class as say the .270 Winchester.

Optic Selection

Range testing of the Ridgeline FFT began by outfitting the rifle with the Lucid L5 4–16×44 rifle scope in second focal plane. Leupold medium height Mark 4 Rings were used to secure the scope to a standard, Remington, long-action, Picatinny one-piece base.

Lucid Optics L5 SFP 4x-16x rifle scope atop a Christensen Arms Ridgeline rifle
The Lucid Optics Model L5 SFP 4x-16x has served me well on numerous big game hunts.

The Lucid L5 rifle scope with 30mm tube offers precise 1/8 MOA windage and elevation adjustments on lockable, tactical-style turrets. A side parallax adjustment along with the ocular diopter adjustment provides for a crisp target image over the entire magnification range of 4x-16x. I utilized this same Lucid scope last year on a Christensen .300 Win. Mag. when hunting the Kalahari Region of northern South Africa and experienced excellent results.

As of this writing, the Christensen Arms Ridgeline FFT, Hornady 7mm PRC ammo, and Lucid L5 optic with all components performed well and will be taking the long flight across the Atlantic to the Eastern and Northern Provinces of South Africa in late summer of this year.

Are you a hunter or long-range shooter? How much are you willing to pay for accuracy? Have you fired the 7mm PRC? What was your impression? Share your answers int he Comment section.

  • 3-shot sub-MOA group fired from 225 yards using Hornady’s Precision Hunter 175-grain ELD-X
  • Test target showing the accuracy of the Hornady 175-grain ELD-X ammunition
  • Christensen Arms Ridgeline FFT rifle with a box of Hornady Precision Hunter and Outfitter ammunition
  • Christensen Arms Ridgeline FFT rifle on an animal skin
  • Christensen Arms Ridgeline FFT rifle in 7mm PRC with a Lucid binoculars
  • Hornady 7mm PRC cartridges on the shooting bench with a Uncle Bud's shooting bag
  • Receiver on the Christensen Arms Ridgeline FFT rifle
  • Christensen Arms Ridgeline FFT rifle laying across a bed of desert rock
  • Lucid Optics L5 SFP 4x-16x rifle scope atop a Christensen Arms Ridgeline rifle

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