Christensen Arms is not alone in paying attention to Hornady’s latest releases. When the “Big Red ‘H’” comes out with something new, it’s not uncommon for the whole gun industry to respond. With the Ridgeline FFT, Christensen adds an impressive offering for fans of the 7mm Precision Rifle Cartridge.
 

Related: The New Hornady 7mm PRC and the Rifles Ready For It


The 7mm PRC is one of those new developments getting people excited, whether they be long-range shooters, hunters, or a combination of the two. Fast-twist magnums like the 7 PRC bring a new level of performance to the shooting world. Today we’ll see how Christensen’s Ridgeline FFT handles the cartridge on the range. 
 

Table of Contents

The Ridgeline FFT
The 7mm PRC
Optics
Bolt & Trigger
Gearing Up
Mountain-bound
Going Long
Pros & Cons
Conclusion

The Ridgeline FFT

 

Christensen Arms Ridgeline FFT 7mm PRC rifle
Comfortable to shoot, easy to carry, and not so long that it inhibits movement – the Ridgeline is ready to head for the hills. (Photo: Jeff Wood/Guns.com)


The Ridgeline series of rifles has been a standard-bearer at Christensen Arms with its carbon-wrapped barrel and carbon-fiber stock. The stainless-steel action at the rifle’s heart uses a fluted bolt with a carbon-fiber bolt knob, bedded into the stock with pillars. 

The Flash Forged Technology (FFT) further reduces the weight of the stock, which even uses carbon fiber for the magazine floorplate. The Ridgeline comes from the factory with a Trigger Tech trigger, known industry-wide for impressive quality.
 

Christensen Arms Ridgeline FFT 7mm PRC rifle
With its carbon-fiber parts and Flash Forged Technology, the Ridgeline tops out as low as 5.3 pounds, making it ideal for carrying on long hunts. (Photos: Jeff Wood/Guns.com)


The Ridgeline uses the same footprint and accessories as the popular Remington 700, which makes it easily outfitted with Remington accessories.

The 22-inch carbon-fiber-wrapped stainless-steel barrel is of a fairly robust profile, but the carbon portion keeps the weight very light. The muzzle is threaded 5/8-24 TPI with a side-port-style muzzle brake to help reduce recoil. As the Ridgeline FFT weighs as little as 5.3 pounds, I think the brake will be valuable with a cartridge as powerful as the 7 PRC.
 

Related: Christensen Ridgeline Rifle Review – Lightweight Bolt-Action Precision


The 7mm Precision Rifle Cartridge

 

Christensen Arms Ridgeline FFT 7mm PRC rifle
Hornady's 175-grain 7mm Precision Rifle Cartridge is ready to cover some serious ground, claiming a muzzle velocity of 3,000 feet per second. (Photo: Jeff Wood/Guns.com)


The 7 PRC is the middle sibling of Hornady’s PRC family, shorter than the .300 PRC but longer than the popular short-action magnum 6.5 PRC. Like a .300 Win Mag, the 7 PRC runs in standard long actions but has a great deal more horsepower than the older 7mm Remington Magnum.

Larger case capacities and all the right angles give the 7 PRC big advantages over some of the traditional magnums. The 175-grain load from Hornady boasts a 3,000 FPS muzzle velocity, which at my altitude stays supersonic beyond a mile, and at 1,000 yards it still carries over 1,200 pounds of energy.

These numbers are nothing to look down your nose at, particularly if you are a big game hunter searching the wide-open country of the West. Being just that kind of hunter, the 7 PRC caught my eye. I’ve used big 7s and .30-caliber magnums over the years, and the heavy-hitting song of bullets striking the target at those extended ranges scratches the itch of most any marksman.

This kind of ballistic supremacy does come at a cost, as overbore magnums and hotrods burn fast and hot. I’d expect to see a fairly short barrel life from using a cartridge like this, but it’s a price I’d be willing to pay for these kind of shots.
 

Related: Hornady Touts 7mm PRC Round Plus Reloading, Ammo, Security Lines
 

Optics


Since the rifle is compatible with Remington accessories, I installed a Leupold long-action scope base that I had lying around. I took the U.S. Optics TS-20X off the other Christensen Ridgeline I had and dropped it onto the FFT for a perfect fit.

With my scope installed, I wanted to see if the rifle fit me as well as the last one. I lifted the soft recoil pad to my shoulder and rested my cheek on the stock. The eye relief was great, and the lightweight rifle was surprisingly easy to hold up.
 

Bolt & Trigger

 

Christensen Arms Ridgeline FFT 7mm PRC rifle
I believe it will smooth out with use, but my first impression of the action was that the bolt was a tad loose. (Photo: Jeff Wood/Guns.com)


I ran the bolt and pressed the trigger a few times to get a feel for it. The longer stroke of the bolt gave me more time to feel its interface with the action. It felt just a little loose to me, but it also could be just long-action slop. 

There was a touch of a bind if I gave the bolt anything less than a straight push, and the lift seemed to require more effort than I expected. Looking at the cocking piece and cam surface areas of the bolt made me think that it will likely smooth out with some use.
 

Gearing Up


I installed a bipod for front support and cracked loose the muzzle brake, because I definitely wanted to shoot this thing suppressed. I also installed a Quake Industries stock pack, which gave a little better positioning on the rifle, as well as adding some storage capacity. 

Once everything was installed and kitted out, I weighed the rifle to see how much it had gained. The hunter in me was pleased to see the total weight was still only 8 pounds, 10 ounces.
 

Mountain-bound


With a few boxes of 7mm PRC Hornady Precision Hunter 175-grain and Hornady 180-grain Match ammo in hand, I headed to my mountain hideaway. Not just because I don’t care for public ranges, but I still have an elk tag in my pocket. The 7 PRC would handily take down an elk up in these mountain canyons, so I went prepared in case I happened into some.
 

Christensen Arms Ridgeline FFT 7mm PRC target
Not a bad first grouping, but for the price, I'd honestly expect this rifle to start out a bit tighter. (Photo: Jeff Wood/Guns.com)


I’d bore-sighted the rifle before leaving the house, so once I had a target hung at 100 yards, it was time to get this thing zeroed. The first few shots went off smoothly, and I made a few adjustments to get my scope properly set. I fired a couple of three-shot groups to gauge accuracy of the rifle. The better of the groups measured around 1 MOA. 
 

Going Long

 

Christensen Arms Ridgeline FFT 7mm PRC rifle
With all my accessories on board, the Ridgeline FFT still only weighed 8 pounds, 10 ounces. (Photo: Jeff Wood/Guns.com)


I also measured the muzzle velocity using my MagnetoSpeed chronograph, since actual muzzle velocity is critical to calculating drop for the longer shots I had planned. Once I had that data, I entered it into my TRASOL ballistic calculator to populate a drop chart for longer ranges.

Satisfied with that, I decided to see if the PRC was ready to go long. The snow-covered ridges were littered with rock piles and trees. I picked out a fairly clear rock with just enough dirt around it to spot my impact, should I miss. My rangefinder came back with 486 yards, and according to my drop I would need to correct 1.8 MRAD for a hit. 

I evaluated the wind both near and far as I turned the elevation into my turret. The wind always drifts up this canyon this time of day, so despite not feeling or seeing much, I held .4 right into the perceived breeze and settled in behind the rifle.

I repeated this process multiple times at distances from 500 to 1,100 yards with predictable results. A rifle like this and good ballistic data can be extremely effective at hitting targets.
 

Pros & Cons

After spending some time with this rifle, I feel I’ve been able to tell what I like and don’t like. While there are many things I appreciate about this rifle, I’ve also shot many other rifles that were more accurate with the first few shots from the barrel. According to Christensen, there is a 50-round break-in process, so it may be the case that mine needed a few more to tighten up. 

Pros

  • Smooth Trigger Tech trigger 
  • Reliable three-round magazine 
  • Outstanding balance
  • Lightweight and manageable
  • Muzzle brake effective at softening recoil

Cons

  • Bolt could be smoother
  • 22-inch barrel may be too short for some tastes
  • For the price, would appreciate a .5-MOA instead of 1-MOA guarantee
     

Conclusion


The Ridgeline FFT in 7 PRC is a great option for those looking to take heavy game in rough country, particularly if you intend on covering lots of miles and steep climbs along the way. It’s comfortable to shoot, easy to carry, and not so long that it inhibits movement. Christensen Arms and Hornady have made a great combination here.

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