Gun Digest

New Rifle: Christensen Arms Mesa Long Range

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Christensen Arms has expanded its bolt-action rifle collection to include the Mesa Long Range, a little number tailored for precision work both at the range and in the field.

Christensen Arms has had a busy year, adding some notable new pistols and AR-style rifles to its catalog. But the Utah-based company hasn't turned a blind eye to its high-performance bolt-action rifle lineup, with a recent and intriguing new addition: the Mesa Long Range.

The new Mesa Long Range rifle puts the company's materials know how to work to produce what looks to be a true tack-driver. And it comes at a relatively reasonable price for a Christensen rifle. While the bolt action should be a hit with long-range shooters of every stripe, its late-summer release definitely shows the company has its sights set for those aiming to take distant cracks at elk, deer and other critters.

The heart of the Mesa system is an attractive carbon fiber composite stock — black with a gray webbing pattern — that offers shooters a rigid base for precision work, and a key adjustment to ensure a proper fit to their frame. In particular, the adjustable cheek riser facilities a solid weld to the stock and proper eye alignment with the optic. Interestingly, the system operates with spacers, which, while perhaps not as easy to tune on the fly, should add an element of ruggedness to the rifle, maintaining fit even on the longest of hunts.

Christensen Arms has opted for a stainless-steel barrel on the Mesa, button rifled. It adds weight to the rifle, which isn't a bad thing when it comes to precision work. The barrel is a medium Palma contour, so it should be a bit more manageable in the field, yet rigid enough to maintain accuracy. And it comes topped off with a slick-looking side-baffle muzzle brake, aimed at cutting down on felt recoil.

Like all of Christensen Arms' bolt-action rifles, the barrel is free floated, utilizing a unique pillar bedding system. The company uses Invar — a nickel-iron alloy — for its pillars because it does not expand or contract with temperature change, thus minimizing accuracy fluctuations that are commonly found in more sensitive materials. Furthermore, Christensen spot beds the area around the recoil lug to ensure the stability and rigidity of the system even further.

Presently, Christensen Arms is offering the Mesa Long Range in five caliber choices (6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win., 28 Nosler, 7mm Rem. Mag., .300 Win. Mag.), each with an optimized barrel length and twist rate for long-distance work. It also gives the shooter everything he needs to squeeze off the most accurate shot possible with its match-grade trigger, preset at the factory at 2.5 to 3.5 pounds.

The Mesa Long Range, relative to the rest of Christensen's catalog, is affordable with a MSRP of $1,595. For some shooters, that price still might be pretty steep. But, as always, precision comes at a price.


Mesa Long Range Rifle:
Calibers: 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win., 28 Nosler, 7mm Rem. Mag., .300 Win. Mag.
Barrel Length: 6.5 Creedmoor 26 in., .308 Win. 24 in., 28 Nosler 26 in., 7mm Rem. Mag. 26 in., .300 Win. Mag. 26 in.
Twist Rate: 6.5 Creedmoor 1:8, .308 Win. 1:10, 28 Nosler 1:9, 7mm Rem. Mag. 1:9, .300 Win. Mag. 1:10
Weight: 8.9 lbs. short action, 9.9 lbs. long action
Capacity: 6.5 Creedmoor 4+1, .308 Win. 4+1, 28 Nosler 4+1, 7mm Rem. Mag. 3+1, .300 Win. Mag. 3+1
Barrel Material: Stainless Steel
Stock: Carbon Fiber Composite
Thread Pattern: 5/8×24
Finish: Tungsten Cerakote
MSRP: $1,595

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