Bergara BMR Review: A Rimfire Wonder
We put Bergara's rimfire BMR rifle through its paces and have a full review of this quality rimfire rifle.
Precision Rifle Expert
Licensed Concealed Carry Holder
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Most of us probably started shooting on one of the many rimfire rifles that have been produced since the round’s 1887 introduction.
Whether it be one of the countless versions of the Ruger 10/22, a bolt action Remington or Savage, or in my case a Browning Semi-Auto 22, the .22 LR has a storied history in the world of shooting, beginning as a basic training round and evolving into a favorite for competitive sports and leisure target shooting activities.
Its affordability and low recoil make it an ideal starting point for beginners, while its versatility keeps it relevant for experienced marksmen. The Bergara BMR (Bergara Micro Rimfire), our focus in this review, represents a modern interpretation of this classic caliber, blending traditional values with modern, competitive rimfire features.
The precision rifle shooting craze has spawned all kinds of alternate sports. The NRL 22 league is an extremely competitive sport that is hardly child’s play, and in that realm live some pretty impressive rifles. Our subject today, the Bergara BMR is one of the rifles you might find on the shooting line of a local NRL .22 match (along with others like the Tikka T1 and the Ruger RPR, more on that later.)
The Bergara BMR isn’t just an inexpensive complementary offering, like all Bergara rifles it comes with Bergara’s well-known high-quality barrels. The rifle is purpose-built for the competitions I mentioned above.
It offers excellent accuracy and reliable function without costing a fortune. It’s a rifle born from a heritage of accuracy found in the company’s centerfire offerings.
In This Article
- Includes Bergara’s renowned high-quality barrel
- Remington 700 Trigger Compatibility
- Adjustable Factory Bergara Performance Trigger
- Comfortable to handle, with a solid build and attention to finer details
- Weighs under six pounds, so it’s easy to handle
- Unlike some competitors like the Ruger RPR, the BMR offers limited modularity and customization options.
- Might be a bit heavy for smaller or younger shooters when firing from a standing position.
- Some cheaper ammo can cause minor functional issues
Often I don’t get the opportunity to review firearms for extended periods of time. It has been a refreshing change to be able to thoroughly test and evaluate a rifle.
As it turns out, I like the BMR far more than I thought I would, and it has earned a solid position in my gun safe. The kids love shooting the rifle whether it’s for fun or hunting, and both my wife and I can have a great time shooting the BMR as well.
You get a quality rifle with excellent features and performance without having to pay through the nose. I would absolutely buy the BMR again and would recommend anyone looking for a good .22 to do the same.
How where does Bergara’s BMR stand on our 60-point scale? Here are the scores:
For the accuracy tests, I set up targets at 50 and 100 yards under calm and windy conditions. Using the Harris bipod for stability, I fired five-shot groups with each type of ammunition, looking for consistency and precision with each group. This clearly showed the BMR’s capabilities across various distances and conditions.
I was quite impressed with how easy the BMR was to shoot well. Even with cheap bulk-packed ammo the rifle would easily shoot one-inch groups at fifty yards. That might not be competition accuracy, but I’m sure with a little refinement and practice we could close those groups up (and even more with some match ammunition.)
The Bergara BMR is pretty simple, with few fancy features I guess you could say. The rifle does feel great in the hands, the grip angle was comfortable for everyone from 10 years old and up. I will say it was a bit heavy to shoot from the standing position for some of the smaller kids. But it is a good compromise for all shooters, with all the controls being comfortable and easy to operate.
I just mentioned that the rifle is pretty simple, but it has everything right where it matters. The trigger is outstanding, the magazines function flawlessly and the Bergara quality barrel stacks shots together. I struggle to think of something missing from this rifle, as innocuous as the design seems I don’t know what I would change.
For a base rifle, the BMR has everything you want in a bolt action .22 LR rifle. It could perhaps use an adjustable stock, and maybe some different magazine options.
Fit & Finish: 9/10
It often seems like .22 LR rifles suffer from a little bit of the step-child syndrome. Oftentimes missing the refinement of more expensive models from the same brand. The Bergara BMR was certainly not that kid.
The fit and finish of the BMR were great, the action matched the stock perfectly. The metal finishes looked great, though I do prefer Cerakote over blueing. Magazine fit and bolt-function were better than expected, and the barrel threads all mated perfectly to their counterparts from other manufacturers.
During the last year or two of shooting the BMR, the only malfunctions I can think of have all been ammunition-related. We had a batch of particularly cheap ammo, that would sometimes require you to stop the bolt stroke halfway and start again. But with other brands, the rifle ran flawlessly.
I’ve never had to pry a stuck case from the chamber, or fumble with any magazine issues. When running cheap bulk-packed ammo from Federal and Winchester the BMR ticked away like a stopwatch.
Street prices for the Bergara BMR hover around $550 for the steel model, and $650 for the carbon model. These are very comparable to the Tikka T1X, which some people will say is one of the best. The CZ 457 is another well-known quality rimfire rifle that has a similar street price.
The only comparable rifle that I saw going for significantly cheaper was the Ruger RPR 22 LR, which seems to be safely under $500. These all make for a pretty stiff competition, and I like all four of the rifles mentioned. But the Bergara BMR is definitely on my list, and the only way one of the others would win my vote is if they came with additional features like a custom stock or something.
The Bergara BMR performs fantastic for the asking price, I was happy to have paid what I did for it. And felt I absolutely got my money’s worth.
1:16 RH 5 groove rifling
5 and 10 Round Magazines
All data from Bergara
Historical Context and Practicality
Bergara manufactures its barrels in the Basque city of Bergara, sharing its name with the barrels. Bergara rifles have been produced in Lawrenceville Georgia for several years and in a short time they have built a reputation for quality and accuracy.
Those who have experienced the Bergara treatment, seem to be quite affectionate of the brand. It’s not often you find a Bergara owner who is unhappy with their rifle. The reliable quality and predictable performance are extremely hard to argue with.
I’ve watched Bergara with great curiosity since its beginning, and having spent a great deal of time shooting comparable products I was excited to see how they stack up.
So I took the plunge and bought myself a Bergara BMR, and have spent a great deal of time shooting the rifle in the last year or so.
After so much time behind the rifle, I am excited to share my results with our readers.
Remington 700 Trigger Compatibility
Bergara’s Micro Rifle (BMR) uses its own dedicated action made from 4140 chromoly steel. Despite using a Bergara-specific action, the BMR is compatible with Remington 700 triggers.
This gives BMR owners an incredible selection of trigger options should they decide to replace the factory Bergara Performance Trigger. That said, after shooting the rifle for several years, I’ve seen no need to replace the factory trigger.
The BMR barrel is of course a Bergara barrel, a number four taper to be exact. The barrels are available in eighteen or twenty-inch lengths and chambered in .22 LR, 22 Mag, and .17 HMR.
The BMR’s .22 caliber barrels use a 1:16 twist, while the .17 HMR features a 1:9 twist rate. Since we are no longer living in the dark ages, the threaded muzzle is threaded ½-28 — so shooters can run their favorite suppressor.
The entire gun comes in under six pounds and thirty-eight inches or less. This makes it pretty petite compared to centerfire rifles, but not so much as to look like a youth model. Even so, my children have greatly enjoyed shooting the BMR — so much so that I’m not even sure the rifle is mine anymore.
The Bergara BMR is equipped with the Bergara Performance Trigger, known for its crisp break and consistent pull.
This trigger system is designed with a pull weight adjustable from 2.5 to 3.5 pounds, allowing shooters to customize it according to their preference and shooting style. Such versatility is especially valuable in competitive settings where precision and personal comfort are a must-have.
Additional features like both five and ten-round detachable box magazines, and the included 30 MOA scope base brings even more value to the BMR. While the dual extractors on the bolt ensure reliable cycling of cartridges.
When I first pulled the little rifle from the box, I guess you could say I wasn’t surprised. The gun looked and felt almost exactly how I’d imagined, with its build and feel immediately reminding me of other rifles in its class, such as the Ruger American Rimfire.
The stock texture was mild and useful with a solid rubber recoil pad at the back. The weight of the bolt gun felt like a 22 should. Grabbing the bolt handle and running the bolt felt better than I’d anticipated, many .22 LR bolt actions seem to bind due to their very short throw.
The BMR bolt felt very smooth and surprisingly robust, unlike some others that feel as though you might be able to pull the bolt out with the right tug.
However, the BMR stands out with its smoother bolt action and superior ergonomics, making it immediately apparent that Bergara has paid close attention to the finer details that enhance the shooting experience.
After inspecting the rest of the rifle I ran the bolt some more and tested the trigger. After a few of those, I was pretty impressed. I figured that though the rifle didn’t exactly look like a hot rod, it certainly had excellent handling and accuracy capabilities.
I really appreciated the 30 MOA scope base. It came in handy after I’d selected a scope for the rifle — a 30mm Vortex PST Gen2 3-15 — which gave the little rimfire shooter a great deal of elevation travel, and the 30 MOA base helped move my zero closer to the scopes mechanical stop.
The result produced a greater elevation travel within the scope, which allowed me to shoot further distances without running the scope to the top.
Since its release, Bergara has enhanced the BMR line with additional models. The Bergara BMR Carbon brings all the BMR features with the added benefit of carbon fiber parts. The carbon fiber-wrapped barrel shaves half a pound further from the rifle’s overall weight — other features remain basically the same.
The BMR Carbon model is available in the same barrel lengths and chamberings as the steel version, but features a black synthetic stock and aforementioned carbon fiber barrel.
Before taking the scope into the mountains to test and experience the BMR, I finished mounting up my Vortex scope. Using an old 30mm one-piece mount gave a great scope-height and eye relief. I also grabbed a Harris bipod to stick on the rifle for supported shooting in the field.
Shooting the BMR was going to be done primarily suppressed, so I grabbed my Yankee Hill Machine Phantom 22 suppressor. It turned out to be a spectacular fit for the BMR, and paired with a good bipod made range time unbelievably pleasant.
All that was left was ammunition. I had been building up a supply of Federal Automatch for a while, so my range sessions included the AutomMatch along with some Eley and CCI Mini Mags. While these aren’t exactly high-end ammunition lines — and I didn’t test with subsonic ammunition — they are what would likely be used the most in the gun.
I conducted a series of range sessions using various ammunition to see how the BMR shot with such common fodder.
After a few outings myself doing everything from plinking squirrels to clay targets, I decided I needed to involve my kids as well. The BMR shot better than I expected, keep in mind I have never been a big .22 LR shooter.
Most of the shooting I’ve done with rimfires was as a kid, trying to burn down a brick of ammo with a 10/22.
Our Perfect Camp Rifle
The BMR is impressively precise for a .22 LR. Around camp we can take out squirrels at 60 and 70 yards, and plink targets even further out.
During a family camping trip last summer, my two youngest nearly ran me out of ammo shooting cans off a berm. My daughter got quite good at taking cans down from a hundred yards.
We turned it into a mini-competition between the kids, taking several shots through the BMR at one hundred yards followed by a transition to the .22 LR pistol to take down cans set at ten and twenty yards.
Beyond camping, I’ve used the little BMR as a hiking rifle in the high country during my summer strolls to keep the dog happy. Marmots are one of my favorite prey, and taking them with the BMR was a little harder than I expected, not because I couldn’t hit them but because it required headshots.
My youngest successfully hunted his first rabbit with the BMR from about 45 yards away. The satisfaction was palpable as he gnawed pan-fried rabbit drumsticks cooked over the fire, and his grubby little hands went right back to the BMR for his quest against those cans.
Strengths and Weaknesses
The BMR has some good aftermarket support, and its compatibility with common accessories helps make a case for it as well. For the price, you get a lot of quality and performance.
I really like the trigger, and the fact you can upgrade it if you want makes it even better. The factory-threaded barrel is also a great feather in the BMR cap because everybody shoots with suppressors these days.
Good magazines are a must, and rimfires tend to suffer in that area sometimes. But the BMR mags seem to do fantastic. The overall reliability of the whole rifle really speaks for itself.
If there is a weakness for the BMR, I suppose it would be modularity. There isn’t a lot you can do to customize the rifle like you can with the Ruger RPR. But there are not very many other things I can nitpick about this rifle.
Ruger RPR 22 LR
I’ve already mentioned quite a bit about the Ruger RPR 22 LR, so you probably already know what makes it a good alternative. Modular design, 10/22 magazines, M-Lok handguard and lots of customizability are all great features of the RPR. We will be reviewing it soon, so watch for the RPR review.
I’ve also spent some time shooting the T1X from Tikka. Like the BMR, the T1X has a great trigger like most Tikka, and a detachable box magazine. The T1X is well known for great accuracy and there are several different models which feature threaded muzzles.
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