I am not new to Christensen Arms rifles, I’ve been lucky to play with several of them over the last couple years. But today we are looking at a new to me rifle; the Christensen Arms MPR 6.5 Creedmoor.
The Modern Precision Rifle (MPR) is Christensen’s version of a light-weight sharp-shooting rifle. Whether it’s used for competition shooting or as a sniper rifle, the MPR brings some very modern touches to the precision rifle market. But are those features worthy of praise?
Christensen’s MPR is based around their stainless steel action, a two-lug action very similar to the very popular Remington 700 like many other modern actions. The rifle tested here is chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, using a short action bolt. Like most Christensen rifles, the MPR is heavily reliant on carbon fiber.
Its carbon-wrapped match-grade barrel is largely responsible for the rifle’s lightweight, as are other parts of the chassis. At the end of the barrel it is threaded 5/8-24 and is fit with a matching muzzle brake for additional recoil reduction.
At the heart of the chassis is an aluminum block where the action is mounted. And the handguard is bolted on to the front and is made from a carbon fiber shaped tube. The MPR uses the very popular AICS pattern magazines and they feed nicely into the magwell of the rifle. Inspecting the grip looks to be a basic AR-15 type pistol grip, this is a nice feature as you can install whichever one suits your fancy.
The folding stock hinges just behind the tang of the action, I really like the way they designed the hinge mechanism. It’s quite tight and locks up as if there was no hinge at all. Just be careful to keep skin away from the area while folding or you may bleed a bit.
Fortunately the butt stock of the MPR is completely adjustable, which makes it very nice to adapt to each individual shooter. The whole thing is pretty handsome and put together very nicely.
Surely I was going to need a good scope and at least a bipod to shoot this rifle well. I installed a Primary Arms ACSS Apollo 6-30X56 riflescope in a ZRO Delta Mount . To simplify I went with a Harris 6-9 bipod attached to the pic-rail on the bottom of the MPR handguard. For ammunition I brought along a few boxes of Hornady 140 grain match ammo. With everything put together, leveled and balanced I adjusted the rifle to fit me, and headed out for the range.
The Christensen Arms MPR 6.5 Creedmoor was plenty comfortable to shoot. It weighed so little compared to other similar rifles I have. As I sat behind it on a bench I ran the bolt a few times and felt the break of the trigger just to familiarize myself with it. Its bolt was easy to lift and snap shut, and the Trigger Tech trigger as usual felt outstanding.
I loaded the magazine and closed the bolt. As I broke the trigger everything felt right, the recoil was quite modest and running the bolt for round two sent the empty case flying. The M16 style extractor of the MPR does a great job getting brass out of the way for the next round.
I fired a few more shots and adjusted my scope to get a proper zero. At that point I tried to settle down as best I could and shoot a few good groups using both the Hornady and some Federal 130 grain match. I felt quite good about my shooting but I was not super excited about the grouping downrange, the first three groups of five-shots measured right around an inch. I tried again with my other ammo selection and got very similar results, my only hope is that perhaps this rifle doesn’t like what I feed it. And maybe there is something out there it will shoot better.
Into the snow
We decided to take the rifle for a hiking trip into the snow-covered Rocky Mountains, and I brought another type of Hornady ammunition to see if perhaps it faired better. With all my gear stowed on my back, my son and I headed into the cold.
The open country where we live makes an excellent place to hunt and shoot. Here in these breezy canyons I wanted to see how the MPR shot. Mainly to see how it would perform at longer distances and real-world shooting scenarios.
Normally this time of year I shoot at tiny snow patches in the dirt. But due to winter part 2, I was instead shooting at little dirt patches in the snow. The first target was about a three-inch muddy spot surrounded by white snow. I figured it would be easy to spot the impact and judge the shot.
After loading the rifle I steadied it and focused on my point of aim nearly four hundred yards away. I pressed the trigger and the suppressed gust of pressure echoed across the canyon. I’d added my Yankee Hill Machine R9 suppressor just to see if it helped the performance of the rifle.
The contrast of dark splattered dirt across the snow, and my hit was close enough to call it good in my opinion. So I continued my search for additional targets. We repeated the process until I had exhausted my curiosity and ammunition supply.
Pros and Cons
I’ll be honest up front, I wasn’t exactly sold on the aesthetics of this rifle when I first saw it. I couldn’t exactly say what I didn’t like about it. But it has certainly grown on me a bit over the last few weeks. Everybody else thought it looked great so I’ll assume its just my weird taste.
I was really hoping this rifle would shoot better than it did. To be fair it is not a new rifle so its possible that it has been rode hard and put away wet too many times. But a rifle like this should shoot half-MOA groups all day. I just couldn’t get it to reliably do that.
On the plus side, I really appreciated many of the rifles other qualities. The light weight is always appreciated. And its comfortable and adjustable chassis made shooting it very pleasant. Little features like the folding mechanism, great trigger, awesome cycling and threaded barrel made adapting the rifle to my purposes easy. And of course improved my shooting experience.
I must say that I liked this rifle more than I expected to. And yet I’m torn because I am simply uninterested in rifles that won’t shoot reliably sub MOA. I’m lucky to have rifles ranging from discount economy models under four hundred dollars up to production sniper rifles that cost seven thousand dollars. And even the cheap ones I can typically get to shoot consistently sub MOA and often 1/2 MOA.
The Christensen Arms MPR 6.5 Creedmoor surely could be an outstanding rifle, I’ve heard of others that shoot outstanding and accurately. If this one did, I think I’d be hard pressed to let it go. But with a street price just under twenty-four hundred dollars, I’d need more convincing.