Christensen 280ai or build with proof research barrel?

Which barrel maker

  • Christensen arms

    Votes: 5 22.7%
  • Proof research

    Votes: 17 77.3%

  • Total voters
    22

Couch11b

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2017
Messages
91
im struggling with a decision to just buy a Christensen Arms ridgeline in 280ai or build my own using a proof research barrel? Really consistency is the only deciding factor. Would like to hear from some of those that have experience with one or the other. This is a hunting rifle. No need for bench rest precision or anything like that. Cold bore shot info would also be helpful. Thanks
 

L.Sherm

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LRH Team Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
2,340
Personally I like to have control over how much freebore and neck dia, not buy the gun and find out the chamber dimensions are not what I want. It does make a difference. Find a good Smith that has the reamer to match the bullet you want to shoot or send a dummy round to JGS or Manson's and have your own reamer built and buy a Proof.
 

dirtytough

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Joined
Oct 18, 2006
Messages
260
Location
Nodak
I don’t personally own one but I’ve shot with 4 different buddies that have ridgelines and they all shot way better then I expected. 2 were shooting .5-.75 3 shot groups with factory ammo. The others were slightly better with handloads.

The one buddy shooting a 6.5 Creedmoor with factory ammo had first round hits on a 16” target at 1000 yards. He had never shot beyond 400 prior to that.

I’m not a Christensen fan but it really seems like they shoot now days. I wouldn’t be scared to buy one. All that being said if you don’t mind spending more for a custom then go custom.
 

Couch11b

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Joined
Aug 19, 2017
Messages
91
I think I may build a proof barrel on a defiance action I have two other rifles on those actions and they are hard to beat.
 

lancetkenyon

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Joined
Jun 3, 2013
Messages
2,630
Location
Arizona
I have a custom .280AI. It cost way more than a CA Ridgeline with using an R700LA. It weighs 6lbs 12oz w/o scope. 8lbs 13oz all in. It shoots mid/high .1s with two different loads.
R700LA w. CF tac knob, alloy bolt shroud, fluted bolt, TI firing pin
26" 1:9" Proof Sendero Light plus Hawkins 3 port brake
Manners EH1
Rem factory alloy BDL
Shilen Match trigger


I have shot two different CA Ridgelines in .280AI. Both shot high .2s to low .3s. Cheaper, slightly lighter if I remember right too. I have shot 5 or 6 other Ridgelines in different chamberings as well. All shot sub .5 MOA pretty easily with good handloads.

Is saving money and having the same rifle as 100s of others is worth giving up .15" in accuracy, go for the CA. They are very good shooting factory rifles.

For me, I like my one of a kind tack driver.
 

Kimber7man

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LRH Team Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2008
Messages
752
I’d say one of the reasons the new Ridgelines shoot so well is their Triggertech trigger. A great trigger makes it easier to shoot consistently accurate.
 

Beardeddeer91

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Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
232
Location
Alabama
All depends on your budget. If your fine spending the $ to do a build then go that way. A proof barrel on a custom action is arguably about as good as it gets. I would prefer a proof carbon barrel over a Christensen carbon barrel.

If you’re on a budget then the ridgeline is a good choice. I’ve shot several and as others have said, all of them were 3/4 MOA or less. A good value for $2000 or less.
 

Couch11b

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2017
Messages
91
I really appreciate all the advice it’s a hard choice. Thank you all
 

dgarrett

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Joined
Dec 2, 2012
Messages
382
The Ridgelines are a great buy for the price with all the features they provide......I had a 300 win built with a Rem 700 action all trued and fluted and bolt and handle all dolled up... I put a CA heavy Carbon Barrel on it and a Timney Trigger. Used a Ridgeline Stock and Bottom Metal plus their tune-able Titanium Break.. Rifle was 9.5lbs scoped with HST Vortex ... I was around $1000 more to have it done then just buying a Ridgeline...This gun really shot well... But if I had to do it over I would just buy a Ridgeline
 

lancetkenyon

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Joined
Jun 3, 2013
Messages
2,630
Location
Arizona
Nosler .280AI brass
Fed GM210M
60.3 H1000
160 TMK
2991fps
.169" @100
2.9" @ 851

Nosler .280AI brass
Fed GM210M
58.0 RL23
175 Berger Elite
2975fps
.199" @ 200
2.7" @ 921
 

rfurman24

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Joined
Aug 29, 2010
Messages
2,753
Location
Kansas
I like a custom as much as the next guy but if CA chambers in the cartridge you are after then it will be very hard to justify the extra cost of a custom. As far as the trigger TT triggers are ok but if people would actually run a fully adjustable trigger with max over travel or a Bix n Andy for a while I think most would never go back. More dwell time is never a bad thing. There is a reason you will not find a trigger on a benchrest shooting line with no over travel.
 

browning442

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Joined
Mar 2, 2011
Messages
473
Location
Montana
FYI i have two 280 AI's.... one built on a remington 700 trued up and 25" douglas barrel. I got the build done for about $1,300 then added a triggertech for another $125. Mine's an 8.5 twist and it is right on the edge of stabilizing the barnes 168 LRX (i haven't gotten them to shoot in my 7mag or other 280 ai either though).

It shoots 160 federal trophy bonded tipped reloads @ 3105 fps.

Other one was a savage with a criterion prefit i did.... 26" heavy sporter. Shot the Sierra 165 Gamechangers at 3155 fps, just started to see pressure.

A few things come to mind and one has been mentioned:
1. Twist - not sure what CA does in their 280 AI, but a custom would allow the twist you wanted.
2. Freebore - not sure what to expect with the CA, you could have your custom throated accordingly to the bullets you wanted to shoot.
3. Barrel length - self explanatory

RL26 gets 50-100 fps more than any other powder i tried (7828ssc, 4831sc, ramshot mag). RL26 isn't the most temp stable but isn't the worst. It really makes the 280 AI shine in my book. Shooting it is a pleasure compared to a true magnum.

Best of luck... I don't think you'll go wrong either way.
 

browning442

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Joined
Mar 2, 2011
Messages
473
Location
Montana
By the way, great choice on the cartridge. If you handload, and i'm biased here.... but i think it's the ideal cartridge for a deer/elk combo rifle. 7 mag performance without the recoil or blast of of a belted magnum is a win/win. Add factory brass choices and even loaded ammo... not much there isn't to love in my biased book.
 

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