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Christensen Arms Ranger .22LR

The Ranger is an accurate, lightweight and consistent rifle that offers everything you could want from a rimfire, writes Bruce Potts

Christensen Arms Ranger .22LR

Christensen Arms Ranger .22LR

Overall Rating: 87%

Manufacturer: Christensen

Price as reviewed: £1,000

Carbon fibre barrelled and stocked stalking rifles are becoming commonplace these days, as their lightweight credentials and heat-dissipating properties are beneficial on any hunting arm. The .22 rimfire sector has not been left out either, and these new lightweight materials transform what is usually a compact gun into an even more svelte and great-handling vermin tool. (Read more on scopes for pest control.)

Christensen Arms from the USA manufacture noted carbon wrap barrel technology, and this new Christensen Arms Ranger rimfire in .22LR (on test), .22WMR or .17HMR is set to raise a few eyebrows. Comprising a short 18in barrel, carbon-wrapped to further reduce weight, coupled with a composite Sporter style stock, it weighs only 4lb 12oz. Even with a scope and moderator fitted, it’s by no means cumbersome in the field.

It also has a TriggerTech trigger, which contributes to the accuracy potential of this rifle, and cleverly the manufacturer has used the universal Ruger-type 10-shot rotary magazine system for cheap spare magazines from the limitless aftermarket supply.

The bolt action is pretty traditional in design but has Christensen Arms’ trademark small extended bolt, as well as a one-piece Picatinny scope rail, making this ideal for scope, night vision or thermal kit alike. Christensen also stands by its own sub-MOA assurances at 50 yards, and all for under £1,200.

Christensen Arms Ranger .22LR

Bruce positions himself on an old crofting wall as he looks for hooded crows

Need to know

  • Manufacturer Christensen Arms
  • Model Ranger
  • Type Bolt action
  • Overall Length 36.25in
  • Barrel length 18in carbon fibre
  • Barrel length wrapped stainless steel, ½ UNEF thread
  • Length of pull 13.75in
  • Weight 4lb 12oz
  • Finish Carbon wrap and black anodised
  • Calibre .22LR (.17HMR and .22WMR optional)
  • Stock Sporter composite
  • Magazine 10 shot (Ruger 10-shot rotary type)
  • Scope mounts Picatinny rail
  • Trigger TriggerTech adjustable
  • Price £1,199.99
  • Importer Highland Outdoors 01858 880491
Christensen Arms Ranger .22LR action

The well machined action proves reliable, while the TriggerTech trigger unit aids with accuracy

Christensen Arms Ranger in depth

Build quality instantly stands out as you pick up this rifle; it feels well proportioned and balances well. This is primarily due to the excellent stock that is made from a carbon fibre composite with a black and grey stippled finish. It’s a little slab-sided but proportionally it balances the rifle superbly and provides a very tough rigid platform for the barrelled action.

Consistent bedding is via pillars, so the stock screws exhibit a consistent torque setting, again great for accuracy. Being ambidextrous makes it ideal for any shooter or shooting situation, and I like the upright pistol grip with palm swells and open grip area as it feels very stable. A rear butt-hook achieves additional stability when shooting off a bipod, and the whole stock is just what you want on a hunting arm: rigid and comfortable. The length of pull was a tad short for me at 13.75in, but spacers are optional.

Christensen Arms Ranger .22LR

Positive bedding for action to stock helps with the consistent accuracy in the tests

Superbly light

Next is that intriguing 18in barrel. It’s a slim central stainless steel core with Bentz-type match chamber, wrapped in carbon fibre to a diameter of 0.858in. A section of barrel at the end is exposed for the ½ UNEF thread for moderator fitment. Again, it makes the Ranger a superbly light rifle and its tensioned construction certainly contributed to the accuracy in the tests.

A barrel is nothing without a good action, and the Ranger follows the traditional locking mechanism for a rimfire. But, keeping with the lightweight theme, it is made of aluminium with a semi-matte anodised finish and a one-piece universal fit Picatinny rail. The bolt is typical of this maker; very thin with a small bolt knob. It’s not my preference but works fine with a fast lock time and 80-degree bolt lift to disengage the lock-up. It has two opposed extractor claws that are very efficient at spent cartridge removal.

Trigger-wise, the TriggerTech unit is good with a precise 2lb 13oz pull. It adjusts (2.25 to 5lb) should you need to, and it’s accessible through an enlarged aluminium trigger-guard. It’s a bit ugly but makes sense. Safety is a simple side-mounted ‘forward to fire and rearward for safe’ unit, silent too.

I like the use of the universal and cheap Ruger 10/22 type 10-shot rotary magazines which, being a bolt action, performed more reliably than if on a semi-auto 10/22.


Christensen Arms has produced a very lightweight and modern-styled, on-trend rimfire that handles well with its great carbon fibre wrapped barrels. Accuracy was good with the selected ammunition and its overall sturdy and waterproof construction makes for a great pest-control gun.

  • Accuracy 18/20 Fed lead and it shot very well indeed
  • Handling 18/20 Very lightweight and nimble
  • Trigger 17/20 Good, predictable let-off
  • Stock 17/20 Stable and weather-proof construction
  • Value 17/20 Quite pricey but a good overall value
  • Overall score 87/100 Everything you want from a rimfire
dead hooded crow

There’s on less hooded crow attacking the lambs thanks to the Norma Subs at 65 yards

Field test

I was in Scotland so tested the Christensen Arms Ranger on targets and steel silhouettes out to 100 yards with subsonics and HV ammo.

The best groups went to the very quiet Norma Subs, with a 909fps velocity, 73ft/lb energy and lovely sub-½in groups. Eley Subs, normally good, shot well but at 1,004fps and 85ft/lb I had inch groups. Always good are the heavier CCI Suppressor loads, shooting consistent ½in groups at 932fps and 87ft/lb. Interestingly, the group sizes at 50 yards were almost identical.

I did try some HV loads; best were Federal 31-gr with again ½in groups and a speedy 1,277fps for 112ft/lb. The lead-free Norma Eco Power, 1,316fps and 92ft/lb, fared less well at 1½in, so stick to good old lead.

I next set out steel crows and rabbits out to 100 yards and proceeded to shoot at each using the differing stadia drop lines of the Meopta Optika 5 scope, with all hits spot on. Impressive.

Hooded crows were causing a nuisance on livestock, so I was tasked with a bit of thinning out along with some rabbits. I set myself up in the middle of the sheep field against an old crofting stone wall. Gralloch from a roe doe provided bait and soon I had my first hoody with a Norma Subsonic round at 65 yards.

The Christensen Arms Ranger is everything you want from a rimfire: accurate, rugged, very consistent and super-lightweight. I would add a couple of spacers to the stock to lengthen it for me and the comb is a tad low, but that’s about it.




The Ranger is an accurate, lightweight and consistent rifle that offers everything you could want from a rimfire, writes Bruce Potts