Precision Pistol Goes the Distance

Christensen’s lightweight Modern Precision Pistol merges the tactical and hunting markets.
Precision Pistol Goes the Distance

Christensen Arms, of Gunnison, Utah, was founded in 1995, and has its high-tech roots in the aerospace industry, which helps explain why the company developed the first carbon fiber rifle barrel.

Probably best known for their bolt-action hunting rifles, many made for longer-range hunters, Christensen Arms debuted the Modern Precision Rifle several years ago, a lighter-weight hybrid of sorts that was embraced by both hunters and competitive shooters because of its portability and impressive accuracy.  

I actually shot and reviewed the Modern Precision Rifle when it was first launched, and it was extremely accurate. One of my first groups with the rifle measured 0.5 MOA — at 510 yards. 

Recently, Christensen Arms debuted that rifle’s “little bother,” the Modern Precision Pistol, a magazine-fed bolt-action built with a pistol-length barrel of between 7.5- and 12.5-inches, depending on the chambering. The MPP features a folding pistol brace, 416R Stainless Steel Aerograde carbon fiber-wrapped barrel, a 7075 billet aluminum pistol chassis, and numerous other higher-end features. 

So, I was very interested to see what Christensen accomplished with the MPP. The gun I had delivered for testing was chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor and sported a 12.5-inch barrel. 


Lightweight and nimble starting at 4.4 pounds, the MPP will make a great truck gun and will be a pleasure to use in even a very claustrophobic hunting blind. And don’t let the smallish size and shortie barrel fool you. The MPP is accurate. 

I mounted a riflescope on the MPP because I wanted to see what the firearm could do at the 100-yard mark. A red-dot as an optic would have made a certain amount of sense for this shorter-barreled firearm, too. But, for myself at least, a red-dot wouldn’t really provide the basis for me to truly discern the MPP’s accuracy potential. 

I choose a VX-3HD 3.5-10x40 scope from Leupold, a rugged optic I’ve used and trusted on several hunts. The scope features precise controls, pulls in a good deal of light, and presents sharp images. And, the eye relief was perfect for the MPP with the brace fully extended. 

At my outdoor range, I used three brands of 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition to test the MPP’s functionality and accuracy: Hornady Outfitter firing a 120-grain GMX bullet; Norma Ammunition’s Professional Hunter loaded with the 130-grain Scirocco II bullet; and the Sig Sauer Elite Hunter round featuring a 130-grain Controlled Expansion Tip bullet. 

The MPP’s accuracy shooting from a rest at 100 yards was impressive, especially considering the firearm’s barrel is just over a foot long. With all three brands of ammunition, my five-shot groups consistently hit the 0.80- to 1.25-inch mark. But I recognized a problem early on, too — with me more so than the MPP. 

I tend to shoot fast, and while my first three rounds were often spot on, rounds four and five definitely opened up my groups. The short barrel on the MPP heated up fast, especially when I put rounds through it quickly, and made for larger (though still noteworthy) groups. 

So, I decided a better measure of the MPP’s accuracy would be three-shot groups before the warming barrel started to affect the trajectory of the bullets leaving the muzzle. Here, the MPP was sub-MOA during three different range sessions, including a three-round group at 0.45-inch firing the Hornady Outfitter and another group at 0.63-inch with the Sig Elite Hunter. Norma’s Professional Hunter scored two three-shot groups just shy of an inch, too. 

It should be noted that while the shorter barrel does heat up rather quickly, it also cools down within a couple minutes, thanks no doubt to the stellar job Christensen does with the carbon wrapping of its barrels. 

The MPP’s bolt cycled smoothly through my shooting, and the five-round magazine fed nicely without a single malfunction. With an empty magazine in place and the bolt back, the shooter can also drop in rounds and load them into the chamber without difficulty — not always easy to accomplish with some other bolt actions. 

The Trigger Tech “Flat” Trigger on my MPR snapped off at a crisp 1 pound, 7 ounces according to my Lyman digital trigger pull gauge. The pistol brace folds back easily for storage or use in tighter places. There is a handy section of rail beneath the front end of the carbon fiber handguard for installing accessories. 

But don’t place your hand too far forward on the handguard. The MPP’s muzzle brake works fine, but it does angle gases back toward the shooter. I had my hand up too close to the muzzle a couple times and got a nice little jolt of very hot gas on my fingers — not enough to burn the skin, but it sure did wake me up. 

Cost and Quality

The MPP is not inexpensive with an MSRP north of $2,300. So, your likely customer base for his particular firearm, no doubt, will be those shooters who not only can afford this level of quality but expect to pay for such quality. Of course, stress the MPP’s accuracy and make sure you mention the high-tech features in the talking points, as high quality and high tech are often first cousins.

“The Modern Precision Pistol was released as a close companion to the highly successful Modern Precision Rifle, and intended to occupy a place in the firearms market that was not being well served,” says Stephen Graham, senior vice president of marketing for Christensen Arms. “It shares the same features such as the carbon wrapped barrel, carbon fiber handguard, Christensen Arms action with the enhanced bolt release, and our highly effective side-port brakes.” 

Graham suggests that sales staff stress the unique combination of qualities and features found in the MPP, which make it a natural for both the hunting and the tactical consumers.

“The MPP offers a combination of size, weight and accuracy that is not found elsewhere,” he says. “It packs utility, portability, accuracy and a lightweight platform into a single product. The hunters have need for a smaller, portable firearm with enough energy to take care of business. Tactical folks like the small, compact package in calibers that will allow them to accomplish the chosen mission.

For displaying the firearm for the more tactical-minded customers, consider setting up an MPP with a compact optic like a Trijicon ACOG or a red-dot, and show off the rig with the MPP’s arm brace folder back.  

“However, in some markets, less tactical and more conventional, it may be more effective to display it with a conventional optic, in the brace’s fully extended position and highlighting the bolt-action receiver and the carbon wrapped barrel,” Graham adds.


Christensen offers retailers typical printed materials like product brochures. Account managers are always available to offer individual training on an as-needed basis, either in store or via virtual resources like Zoom.

“We also offer excellent technical support with our factory direct technical support phone number,” Graham says. “Trained and competent individuals are available to dealers and customers with one phone call. We also have account managers who are separate from the factory resources that can and will assist with dealer needs.” 

Christensen Arms is connected to a network of distributors that includes Davidson’s, Lipsey's, and Zander's. The most recent additions to this network were Bill Hicks, Chattanooga Shooting Supply and RSR.

“They all provide an excellent level of customer service, and their inventories of our products are getting progressively larger,” Graham says.  “Additionally, we do sell directly to certain FFL's that are members of some buy groups of which we are members. The best source of this information would be the account manager responsible to the dealer.”

Christensen Arms also launched a Dealer Rewards program several years ago. Program specifics vary slightly from year to year, depending on new products, inventories and other factors. The Christensen account manager assigned to the dealer’s area is the best source for program specifics.   

The MPP is available in .223 Rem., 300 Blackout, and .308 Win., in addition to the 6.5 Creedmoor model I tested.  Currently available barrel lengths are 7.5 inches for the 300 BLK model, 10.5 inches for the .223 Rem., and 12.5 inches for the .308 Win. version. 

If your establishment has a good mix of both the tactical and hunting crowds, you may find a strong market for the MPP, which offers features and capabilities both groups will appreciate.  


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.