Christensen Arms Are Engineered for Excellence

Advanced materials and manufacturing methods produce lightweight, innovative firearms.

Christensen Arms Are Engineered for Excellence

Christensen Arms began creating lightweight firearms for hunting and competition shooting 25 years ago. The company could have gotten lost amid existing manufacturers but instead to set itself apart with new materials and technology.

A lot of companies say they’ll do those things, but Christensen Arms did it and is still doing it. Based in Utah, today’s offerings include bolt-action rifles, modern sporting rifles, rimfire rifles and modern sporting pistols with an array of custom flourishes.

Shooting Sports Retailer recently caught up with Roland Christensen, the founder of Christensen Arms, to talk about the company, it’s history and the innovative products that are moving it forward.


SSR: Thank you for taking the time to visit with Shooting Sports Retailer. Tell us a little bit about Christensen Arms and how you got started.

CA: I graduated with a doctorate in engineering and started a company in my hometown of Gunnison, Utah. That business used carbon fiber and composite technology in areo-space applications. As an avid hunter and shooter, and in an effort to diversify, I applied my expertise in composites to making my rifle lighter and more accurate with some of the same composite technology.


SSR: How did your background in the aerospace industry factor into the location and growth of the company? 

CA: Back in the 1970s, Utah became known for developing advanced composites due to its connection to the defense industry. In fact, south-central Utah is truly the home of the Christensen family. As such, my wife Julia and I have a long history of giving back to the community. It became our vision to have the companies benefit the local residents of the valley.  

Given the investments in technologies combined with our family roots, it was only logical that south-central Utah be the location for our cutting-edge sister companies and eventually the home of Christensen Arms in an effort to explore new materials and manufacturing methods. As a result of the success from our aerospace sister companies continually pushing the limits on composites and manufacturing, the transition to gun barrel and composite rifle stock applications using similar composites was much easier.


SSR: Utah definitely offers great opportunities for long-range shooting and hunting. Where do you do your field research, shooting and hunting? 

CA: We are fortunate to have a well-staffed engineering and product development department, along with company leadership that is always looking for innovative products and improving quality. At Christensen Arms, we are fortunate in a number of ways. We have employees who are willing to assist in the field-testing of new products. In Utah, as in many states in the west, we have excellent access to safe shooting areas that offer targets at extended ranges. Many of our hunting and long-range precision rifles are put to the test right here where they are made.


SSR: Christensen Arms offers a great variety of firearms. Would it be reasonable to say you offer something for just about anyone interested in quality, custom craftsmanship? 

CA: We have made a conscious effort to expand what we offer and have a firearm of interest to the widest possible range of needs and interests our dealers and customers may have. This includes every attempt to cover a broad assortment of calibers to meet a wide range of uses. In the last few years, we have taken the steps to offer our Mesa and Ridgeline in left-handed models. We began that introduction with short-action/non-magnums and recently expanded that to include long-action and long-action magnums.


SSR: Tell us about the newest addition to the Christensen Arms lineup, the Modern Precision Pistol. That’s quite a package. 

CA: We are excited to be able to introduce a new and innovative platform this year. The Modern Precision Pistol is based on the successful MPR (2020 Golden Bullseye Award). The MPP is a purpose-built, bolt-action pistol chassis. It will feature a 20-MOA one-piece optic rail, our adjustable side port brake, and our carbon fiber barrel. It will be available with a folding SB Tactical stabilizing brace and will include a number of calibers. The MPP is intended to take traditional pistol performance to a new level.


SSR: Christensen Arms components include titanium, carbon fiber and match-grade barrels. Will we continue to see these high-quality — and high-priced — components in the future? 

CA: Certainly. The one thing that will not change is our commitment to excellence. We have distinguished ourselves through the years with our use of high-quality components and modern manufacturing processes. Our dealers and customers can look forward to that trend continuing tomorrow and years ahead. After all, a firearm is only as good as the components that are used in its manufacture — as a result, we are committed to the best parts available.


SSR: How was the Ranger .22 rimfire rifle received? The caliber obviously holds a long, storied history. Was that something your customers requested? 

CA: The Ranger .22 rimfire has been a great addition to our product lineup. We are sensitive to dealer and customer feedback. Certainly, there was a demand for the rimfire model of our rifles. We have offered rimfire calibers in the past and the Ranger marks the return of the popular caliber to our lineup. In many of our markets, the opportunity to shoot a high-powered rifle at extended ranges simply does not exist. There has been a large increase in competitive shooting centered around the rimfire calibers in almost every part of the country. The Ranger features a very accurate carbon tensioned barrel, a Remington 700-compatible trigger, and it feeds from the proven Ruger rotary 10-round magazine. It is an accurate, lightweight (5.1 pounds) rifle that occupies an important place in our newest lineup.


SSR: The “Find my Firearm” feature on your website is easy to use. I changed my answers several times to see which guns you’d recommend. How has this website feature been received by your customers and visitors? 

CA: This new feature has been very valuable in assisting customers and dealers in the critical function of selecting the most appropriate firearm for their intended purpose. Customers who have used the new feature experienced great results, and their feedback has been very positive with many of them telling us it was very accurate and easy to use. In fact, many customers who have actually gone through the process ended up buying the firearm suggested by the Find my Firearm feature. As you can imagine, this will prove to be a great resource for those who are new or repeat owners of Christensen Arms rifles.  


SSR: Are there lessons learned during the pandemic that will help make the company stronger? 

CA: I think we can all agree that 2020 was a highly unusual year for all aspects of the firearms and ammunition industry. It has been a challenging environment all around, especially with the increased demand and need to expand production. Ammunition shortages and stress on raw material and component suppliers have posed challenges for so many manufacturers. Those who succeed under these circumstances will need to be flexible and creative. It has been evident that established industry partner relationships are invaluable to us all. Let’s hope the current environment is temporary, and we will see it get much better.


SSR: How has the growth of precision shooting competitions affected your business? 

CA: Precision long-range shooting is absolutely one of the fastest growing demographics in the shooting industry. There are many who are involved in formal competitions, and many more who are informally stretching their long-distance shooting ability at every opportunity. The platforms that lend themselves to long-range precision shooting are some of our fastest selling rifles. There are no season dates or bag limits for this discipline. What a great way to celebrate the Second Amendment, with a little trigger therapy.


SSR: I’m a customer. Tell me why I should buy and use your products. 

CA: It is the mission of Christensen Arms to offer world-class firearms, and then back them up with world-class customer support to our dealers and customers. We are working hard every day to provide a rifle that you are proud to own and shoot. Christensen Arms will be there to assist if needed while also pushing the limits on materials and design applications for your next favorite rifle.


SSR: Same question, but this time I’m a retailer. Tell me why I should be selling your products. 

CA: We feel a real responsibility to our dealers and distributors. We realize that we only succeed at our business as you succeed at yours. It has always been our goal to be one of the top-tier firearms companies and to provide top-tier support anytime needed. We continue to see unprecedented growth with each passing day and the recipe to continued success is our relationship with our dealers and distributors.


SSR: Technology and materials continue to evolve. What do you believe we will see in the next 10 to 15 years with firearms for shooting, self-defense and hunting? 

CA: Technology and materials continue to improve and change the world we live in. This will be especially true in the firearms industry in the coming years. We are very excited to see what the possibilities are for our industry. We have long been in the position to be an industry leader in the application of new materials and advanced processes. As the industry experiences new advances, we will be in a position to be a part of bringing it to our dealers and customers.


SSR: Thanks again for your time. Anything else you’d like to tell us about Christensen Arms?

CA: From where we are the future is very bright. We look forward to the challenges of the growth in production while pushing the limits in product development. We look forward to earning the continued support from our current dealers and customers while pushing our teams to grow the brand and expand the customer base every day. We truly feel fortunate to be a part of a great American tradition and hope that it will remain strong for many years to come.


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.