Christensen Arms
Christensen Arms’ new AR-15 variant, the CA-15 Gen 2

Christensen Arms has put its design and materials know-how to work to produce a new generation of AR-15 and AR-10 rifles that come in among the lightest in their classes.

Versatile and adaptable, AR-style rifles have won throngs of fans through their ability to become nearly all things to all shooters. Whether sitting in a tree stand during the whitetail rut or at hand to protect hearth and home, few rifles boast a wider spectrum of use.

From a practical standpoint, there are other aspects of this style of rifle that have made it a prime choice, no matter its application — agility and weight. Once the platform is mastered, the AR becomes one of the fastest rifles to the shoulder and from target to target. It is able to place accurate shot after accurate shot on the fly and in the blink of an eye. On top of that, the tactical rifle is among the lightest available, giving its operators the ability to carry more kit, such as magazines, or carry the weapon comfortably for long stretches of time.

With these attributes in mind, Christensen Arms’ next generation AR-style rifles should prove intriguing for any shooter aiming to hit targets on the fly or measure gear in ounces. Drawing upon the Utah-based gunmaker’s vast materials knowledge, the CA-15 and CA-10 Gen 2 rifles are among the lightest rolling off production lines today.

The CA-15 (chambered in .223 Wylde) comes in under 6 pounds — 5.8 pounds with a carbon-fiber-wrapped barrel and 5.9 pounds with a stainless steel barrel. This is impressive, given many comparable Mil-Spec 16-inch-barreled AR-15s weigh in right around the 7-pound mark. Also, given the shootablity of the 5.56×45 NATO/.223 Rem. (both can be shot safely out of a Wylde chamber), kick shouldn’t be an issue, despite the rifle’s lightness, except for the truly recoil shy.

Christensen Arms
Christensen Arms’ new AR-10 variant, the CA-10 Gen 2

The CA-10 (available in both .308 Win. and 6.5 Creedmoor) outfitted with a carbon-fiber-wrapped barrel comes in at 7.2 pounds, making it among the lightest production AR-10s to come down the pike. Shooters opting for a stainless steel barrel won’t add much heft to the platform, as it still weighs in at just 7.7 pounds. This is no small feat for either material, given the .308 has an 18-inch barrel and the 6.5 has a 20-inch tube.

Much of the weight savings of the next-generation Christensen Arms black rifles appears to come from the newly designed handguard. In particular, the ample KeyMod or M-LOK slots along the 3 and 9 o’clock positions have removed material from the handguards, and, thus, weight from the rifle. At the same tick, the company has made the platform more user-friendly compared to the previous generation models, which were drilled and tapped for the addition of Picatinny Rails and had integral rails running on top and bottom.

Christensen Arms has retained the full-length top rail, and it continues to mill its top and bottom receivers from 7075 aluminum. Presently, both the CA-15 and CA-10 are available exclusively with direct impingement operating systems, which is a bit of a break from the past, if the company does not expand the options. The Gen 1 CA-15 could be purchased with a piston operation, though this feature would definitely add weight if it is ever offered for the Gen 2.

Some of the other notable features common to Christensen Arms’ AR-15 and AR-10 rifles include a BMC Gunfighter adjustable buttstock, a titanium flash hider on the carbon fiber barrel (stainless steel on the steel barrel), button rifling, a match-grade trigger and a match chamber. The CA-15 and CA-10 also both come in three finish options: black anodized, tungsten Cerakote or burnt bronze.

Acquiring the technology Christensen Arms has engineered into its firearms definitely takes shooters into a tonier neighborhood price-wise compared to the rest of the AR market. The CA-15 has an MSRP of $1,749 for the stainless steel barrel variant and $2,295 for the carbon fiber. The CA-10 has an MSRP of $2,595 for the stainless steel barrel model and $2,995 for the carbon fiber. But those who put a premium on the weight of their firearm, whether heading afield or thinking defense, might well put these rifles on their wish list.

Christensen Arms
CA-15 Specs
Caliber: .223 Wylde
Barrel Material: Carbon Fiber Wrapped, Stainless Steel
Weight: 5.8 lbs. (carbon fiber), 5.9 lbs. (stainless steel)
Barrel Length: 16 in.
Muzzle Thread: 1/2×28
Twist Rate: 1:8
Trigger: Match-grade, 3.5 to 4.5 lbs.
MSRP: $1,749 stainless steel barrel, $2,295 carbon fiber barrel

Christensen Arms
CA-10 Specs
Caliber: .308 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor
Barrel Material: Carbon Fiber Wrapped, Stainless Steel
Weight: 7.2 lbs. (carbon fiber), 7.7 lbs. (stainless steel)
Barrel Length: 18 in., .308 Win.; 20 in., 6.5 Creedmoor
Muzzle Thread: 5/8×24
Twist Rate: 1:10, .308 Win.; 1:8, 6.5 Creedmoor
Trigger: Match-grade, 3.5 to 4.5 lbs.
MSRP: $2,595 stainless steel barrel, $2,995 carbon fiber barrel


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