In Praise of Newer Rifles

Christensen Arms Model 14 MPR, chambered in 6 Creedmoor and fitted with a Sightron S1 4-12x40 scope.

The Christensen stock’s length of pull and comb height are established, then locked in place with ingenious steel mechanisms, which in turn are fastened solidly with two (2) Allen screws each.  No accidental maladjustment here.  You then fold the stock to reduce length, and when you open it again, you know it is exactly right with no fiddling necessary.

The MPR comes with an accuracy guarantee which is, like most such, meaningless.  But, it’s expected these days, so they do it.  For the record, it is either three shots into one inch (1 MOA) at 100 yards, or a half-inch, depending on model and caliber.  These are meaningless because there are so many caveats and conditions attached that such accuracy, or the lack thereof, is almost impossible to prove one way or the other.

The 6 Creedmoor ammunition and brass from Hornady is as good as factory ammunition gets, and mated with the Christensen MPR gives you a devastating combination, right out of the box.

Christensen gives a formula for properly breaking in the barrel, then requires the rifle be shot with “high quality match grade” ammunition, under suitable conditions.  All this for three shots into an inch?  Anyway, I shot both factory and handloads, into five-shot groups, and they all did more or less what was expected, which is 1 MOA.  No complaints.  One notable trait is that all the groups went into exactly the same spot on the target, regardless of bullet type, weight, or velocity.  That is the sign of an inherently accurate rifle.

It also has an exceptional trigger pull:  A tad under three pounds, and as crisp as the legendary Sako of years past.

This traditional Alpine backpack from Jagdhund is made to accommodate a short rifle carried in the pack rather than on a sling. This is a great way of conveying your rifle up a mountain, leaving both hands free, and rifle and scope are protected. The pack also makes a good rifle rest.

Most of my rifle-loving acquaintances, even those with a penchant for the older, finer stuff, have at least one modern rifle kicking around.  The Christensen MPR would be a prime candidate for that role, if price—they start at about $2,500—is not a factor.  And I highly recommend the 6 Creedmoor cartridge.  Little recoil, fun to shoot, and very effective.

Gray’s shooting editor Terry Wieland never met a good rifle he didn’t like.  Well, hardly ever.  And it only took 30 years, but some composite stocks have (almost) won him over.  No, he’s not selling his lovely walnut, but carbon fibre is growing on him.