Christensen Arms Ridgeline Review

Very accurate with factory ammunition — even better with reloads. This is still our winner.




We tested this Christensen Arms Ridgeline in the November 2020 edition. If you haven’t already seen that issue, we urge you to go back and take a look. Without repeating everything from the first review here, suffice it to say that we were impressed with the Ridgeline. Our group of testers was able to work with a carbon-fiber barrel in detail for the first time. We liked the weight and its thermal characteristics. It was a bit slower to heat up, a bit faster to cool down, and didn’t start throwing flyers like some rifles we have seen in the past. Overall, that wasn’t a problem in these two groups, with even the wasp-waist-sized barrel on the Bergara holding its zero as it got warmer. We also really liked the versatility of the detachable muzzle brake (like the Browning X-Bolt and the Weatherby). For our ears’ sake, we wouldn’t want to hunt with them attached, but they sure were nice to have during extended firing sessions with good hearing protection.

Action TypeBolt
Overall Length43.75 in. with thread protector
Barrel Length24 in., 1:8 twist
Overall Height w/o Scope Mount6.25 in.
Weight Unloaded6.3 lbs.
Weight Loaded6.6 lbs.
Sight RadiusNA
Action FinishStainless steel
Barrel FinishStainless steel and carbon-fiber wrap
Magazine Capacity3
Magazine TypeInternal box with hinged baseplate
StockCarbon-fiber composite
Stock Drop at Comb0.6 in.
Stock Drop at Heel0.8 in.
Stock BeddingSpot bedding
Stock ButtplateLimbsaver
Stock Length of Pull13.75 in.
Receiver Scope-Base PatternSTD 6-48 Remington 700
Trigger Pull Weight3.1 lbs.
SafetyTwo-position rocker
WarrantyLimited lifetime for original owner
Telephone(888) 517-8855
Made InUSA, Utah

We have fired thousands of 6.5 Creedmoor rounds downrange over the last several years. We have used more permutations of components than we care to count in testing a number of rifles from 100 out 1100 yards. Wondering if the 6.5 PRC might have much of the same promise of the 6.5 Creedmoor, we bought dies, several different kinds of powder and primers along with a number of different bullets and went to work assembling reloads. We did initial testing on several bullets and finally selected two designed for hunting — the factory 143-grain Hornady ELD-X and Berger’s 156-grain Berger EOL Elite Hunter (26550). We wanted to see if the 6.5 PRC had enough horsepower to push the heavier bullet. Then we used brand-new data from the online Hornady reloading manual #11, always starting low and staying well within their limits on powder charges. We worked with the two 6.5 PRCs from this second test (the Christensen and the Seekins) as our test beds. Not wanting to favor either platform with details like overall length, we stayed with factory dimensions on bullet-seating depth for all test rounds. We assembled two sets of four rounds (three for group, one for a called bad shot) for each load combination, shooting one set through the Christensen as well as the Seekins. Then we loaded six more sets of the best loads for each bullet and tested them head to head with three groups fired per rifle. All in all, we tested 37 different loads. Details are tabulated in the chart. Cumulative totals for the loads documented herein have the Weatherby with an average group of 1.33 inches (using their factory ammo), the Seekins at 0.92 inch and the Christensen Arms at 0.64 inch.

Our Team Said: The Weatherby shot well, the Seekins shot very well, but the Christensen shot a bit better and, with the other factors mentioned, remains our choice as winner in this hot 6.5 class.

More broadly, of the five rifles in this two-test series, we awarded four A grades and a B+ to these outstanding long guns. Stocks, triggers, weight, balance and accuracy were uniformly very good. If these were numerical grades, we would have been looking at a high of about 96 to a low of 88.

As a general rule, the rifles liked the RL26 powder better with the Hornady 143 ELD-X bullets. The Berger 156-grain Elite Hunter bullets (we also shot the 153.5-grain Long Range Target) did well with the RL26 but really started to shine with the H1000 powder. We had one series of five three-shot groups using the Berger 153.5s and the Christensen Ridgeline that averaged 0.474 inch, with the small group being a mere 0.029 inch. Nothing measured over .600 inches. We actually had to measure the outside diameter and subtract out .264.

YMMV, but our data from the 156-grain Elite Hunter and the Christensen rifle show some incredible figures. This cartridge, so loaded, from this rifle, this day (how’s that for hedging?) would still deliver 1500 foot-pounds of energy (what many consider to be the minimum for elk) at more than 700 yards. It maintains the 1000 foot-pounds of energy considered to be the minimum for deer to over 1100 yards. Now, if you want to shoot a whitetail at that distance, we need to talk, but it carries enough energy to do the job that far away. At 1500 yards, the bullet is finally starting to approach the transonic velocity range. And the 6.5 PRC does all this without punishing recoil. Our industry sources tell us that, while not exactly a nice, sedate 22 Hornet, the 6.5 PRC shouldn’t be a horrible barrel burner either. We guess we’ll just have to shoot it some more and find out. Only time will tell, but we think Hornady may well have struck gold a second time with the 6.5 PRC.

Related Articles

Weatherby Mark V Backcountry Review
Seekins Precision Havak Pro Hunter Review

Action TypeBolt, Mark V 6-lug
Overall Length44.5 in.
Barrel Length/Twist24 in., 1:8
Overall Height w/o Scope Mount6 in.
Weight Unloaded5.6 lbs.
Weight Loaded6.0 lbs.
Sight RadiusNA
Action FinishMcMillan Tan Cerakote Steel
Barrel FinishMcMillan Tan Cerakote Steel
Magazine Capacity4
Magazine TypeInternal, hinged floorplate
Stock MaterialAG Composite carbon fiber
Stock Drop at Comb0.6 in.
Stock Drop at Heel0.3 in.
Stock BeddingSpot bedding with pillars
Stock Buttplate3D Hex Recoil Reducer
Stock Length of Pull13.75 in.
Receiver Scope-Base PatternWeatherby Mark V
Trigger Pull Weight2.3 lbs.
Safety2-position rotating switch on bolt shroud
WarrantyNone written
Telephone(307) 675-7840
Made InUSA, Wyoming


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