What are the best Bergara rifles around?
Bergara first appeared on the scene in the U.S. in 2013 with small batches of outrageously accurate precision rifles and has gone on to be widely adopted by competitive shooters, law enforcement, and hunters. But who’s behind these fine rifles and which of these quality rifles are for you? We dive deep into the best of the Bergara rifle lineup.
Using Bergara’s Premier bolt action and a Grayboe fiberglass stock, the Highlander runs a TriggerTech frictionless trigger and is offered in seven popular calibers including 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .300 PRC, and .28 Nosler.
As its name would imply, this is a well-built mountain gun with weighs as low as 7.2-pounds while balancing the lightweight with an Omni muzzle brake on a stainless-steel threaded barrel that, if removed, can be used with other muzzle devices or a suppressor for those seeking some quiet time.
Another of Bergara’s Premier series guns, the Approach has a Grayboe stock and TriggerTech trigger pack and is offered in eight, often traditional, centerfire calibers to include .22-250, .308 Win, and 7mm Rem Mag. Originally introduced in 2019 with an FDE finish, it now sports a graphite black Cerakote scheme and Omni muzzle brake.
Going even lighter than the Highlander while keeping the company’s Premier bolt action, the Mountain 2.0 gets down into the 6-pound range by using short (22-to-24-inch) No. 3 taper barrels and a 100 percent carbon fiber stock by AG Composite. Rugged, it has a stainless-steel bolt body and a spring-loaded sliding plate extractor. It still shows up in all the popular long-range calibers including 6.5CM, 6.5 PRC, .300 Win Mag, and .300 PRC.
A heavier offering, the Ridgeback is a Premier bolt action system rifle that has a Grayboe fiberglass stock with adjustable cheek piece and length of pull spacers that fully supports M-LOK accessory rails. Ditching the more traditional hinged floorplate as seen on legacy bolt guns, the Ridgeback uses an AICS detachable mag and mounts a medium Palma taper barrel.
Weight is 10-pounds, but this gun delivers at distance and was recently expanded to include .28 Nosler variants, a round that is gaining in popularity.
A design that blends a match gun and a hunting rifle, the HMR Pro has a full-length integrated mini chassis to support its No. 5.5/6 taper free-floating barrel. The molded stock has integrated QD flush cup sling mounts and swivels and is adjustable for both length of pull and cheek rise.
This 9~ pound dream gun is one of Bergara’s most popular Premier series bolt-actions and is offered in no less than nine different calibers, all using AICS pattern mags. This is one of the company’s newest designs, only introduced in 2019.
Using an adjustable XLR Element 3.0 chassis stock with an AR-15 style grip and 24-to-26-inch stainless steel No. 6 taper barrel, Bergara’s Long Range Precision 2.0 model is sweet.
Another of the company’s Premier series guns, it has an aluminum chassis, Timney flat trigger, and threaded barrel. The LRP is available in 6.5CM, 6.5 PRC, .300 Win Mag, and .300 PRC. For those curious, the original LRP was very similar but used a legacy version of the XLR stock, was not offered in as many calibers, and had a Dead Air muzzle device.
First introduced at the end of 2014, Bergara’s B-14 series is not quite as finished as their Premier bolt-actions, but that does not mean that they are not capable. Super smooth and guaranteed to be “1 MOA or better” accurate with factory ammo, these Spanish-produced guns have gained a following.
When first debuted, the typical B-14 was the Timber series which used a throwback Monte Carlo oil-finished walnut stock with raised comb and cheekpiece and checkering on the forearm and pistol grip– a gun that would have blended well at a hunting camp in the 1950s– and the plainer synthetic-stocked B-14 Hunter.
However, these days the line has been expanded with more contemporary variants like the BMP (match gun with full chassis, fully adjustable stock, and AICS mags), HMR (brown flecked adjustable composite stock, adjustable trigger, mini chassis), and Ridge (synthetic stock, calibers such as .450 Bushmaster, threaded barrel).
Speaking of entry-level, the B-14R series rifles — with the “R” meaning “rimfire”- have all the features of the B-14 match style 700-footprint centerfire rifles but shoot the lighter and more economical .22LR rounds.
Currently, the B-14R is available in two formats: the first with a carbon fiber Bergara barrel and the second with a stainless barrel. The difference is that the CF barrel slices off weight, dropping more than a pound when compared to the stainless B-14R for an extra $100 on the asking price.
Regardless, both models use a mini-chassis HMR stock, have a performance trigger, threaded 18-inch No. 6 Taper barrel, and use AICS style mags. And in big news, Bergara this year plans to expand this series to include both .22WMR and .17HMR caliber variants as well, which is sure to be welcome in small game circles.
The company’s only semi-auto, the BXR was introduced in 2019. Using some Ruger 10/22 compatible components such as mags and triggers, it is billed as ideal for plinking and small game hunting while still being a stiff leg up from mass-produced big box .22s.
It is available with either Chromoly steel or carbon fiber tensioned steel barrels and comes standard with Bergara’s adjustable synthetic tactical stock and a 3.5-pound trigger.
The Bergara Micro Rimfire is up for either .22LR match use, with a 10-shot mag, or hunting, with a 5-shot mag. As in the B-14R, it is offered in both a super lightweight (5-pound) carbon fiber model as well as a more standard variant with a 4140-steel barrel.
They use Remington 700 compatible trigger packs and have a 30MOA top Pic rail for optics
Who is Bergara?
Some regions specialize in making or crafting a particular product.
For instance, Detroit, home to Dodge, Ford, and GM, long had a reputation as a carmaker. Seattle, likewise, had a reputation as the aviation hub of the country due to Boeing’s location near that rainy metropolis.
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania is known for Amish furniture and quilts while nearby Bethlehem was once the steel capital of the world.
In many of these cases, the reputation came easy because tradition and family ties kept successive generations working in the same industry. You worked at the shop because your dad worked at the shop, like his dad before him, and so on, stretching back into the past.
This “tribal knowledge” saw a love of the trade and history of a well-made product handed down like a torch from one branch of the family tree to another, ensuring continuity to its legacy.
In such regions and hailing from such families, you were almost destined to become a steelworker, car builder, or furniture maker from birth.
In a similar vein, the Bergara region of Northern Spain, in the country’s famed Basque Country, has been world-renowned as the location of fine firearms producers for centuries. The Basque gunmakers have built a near-legendary following over several generations akin to the best that Liege, Birmingham, Oberndorf, and Hartford/Springfield had to offer.
For Bergara as a company, their start came from barrels.
It is All About the Barrels
Before the company started making their own top-shelf precision rifles, Bergara manufactured high-quality rifle barrels for some of the best-known gun manufacturers in the world– and for good reason, as Bergara treats barrels as the heart and soul of a good rifle.
Using advanced barrel manufacturing techniques, state-of-the-art CNC machinery, and an old-world commitment to quality, a rifle barrel must reach a high bar to earn the name Bergara.
Starting with a straight bar of high-performance cylindrical steel, Bergara begins with an inspection process that makes sure the raw material meets a linear deviation of less than .004 of an inch– a key quality control aspect that many other barrel makers fail to meet right off the bat.
After all, you cannot have an accurate barrel without first having a straight barrel.
Next, while it’s commonplace for barrels to be made by drilling a hole in the center of the barrel blank, then hammer-ream it out to the required diameter, Bergara takes a different approach.
Using three progressively larger diamond-tipped honing spindles that leave an interior surface that has a mirror-like finish rather than the less than desirable tool-marked bores often seen in reamed barrels, Bergara barrels start their life ahead of the game.
Then comes a rifling process that uses a carbide rifling button and produces a groove diameter in the bore with a deviation of fewer than .0002 inches. That is two-10,000ths of an inch—we are talking microns here. After this comes a proprietary high-temperature stress-relieving process.
In short, Bergara uses modern techniques to reliably duplicate the legendary hand-lapped barrels of custom gunsmiths in a process that is scalable and affordable, putting a factory-produced rifle in your hands today rather than make a would-be buyer cool off for a three-year waiting period with the custom barrel smith and at a fraction of the price.
Speaking of custom smiths, barrel maker Ed Shilen– whose barrels won no less than 13 world records, enshrining him in the bench rest hall of fame– helped Bergara develop their barrel manufacturing techniques.
Little wonder the company’s motto is, “Our barrels make the difference,” backed up by the fact that Bergara goes well beyond what many other barrel makers do when it comes to crafting their high-quality rifles, backing up to a history of precision with real-world performance.
But are Bergara rifles any good?
Expanding from their European roots, Bergara USA, based in Lawrenceville, Georgia, has been a staple of the American rifle market for a decade. To help make sure they had the right people on the ground, one of the company’s first key hires in the States was the former Production Chief and Chief Instructor for the U.S. Marine Corps’ Precision Weapons Section.
For those not aware, the PWS crew are the hard legs that build the precision rifles used by Devil Dogs both in stateside and international competition but also in combat deployments. As the company expanded, more PWS alum has been brought on to fill key positions, bringing literal lifetimes of real-world experience in some of the scariest places on earth to the company.
Besides their pedigree and skilled gun gurus at the shop, Bergara rifles have consistently beaten out many of their rivals’ factory rifles in tests by independent judges, are among the “usual suspects” at Precision Rifle Series (PRS) club events, and clock in with professional hunters and demanding sportsmen operating in some of the most extreme environments.
Able to consistently make sub-MOA shots, these rifles are almost outlandishly accurate for the price.
Last year, Alabama Arsenal took a $1,000 Bergara Wilderness HMR in .300 PRC and made a 1-mile shot after warming up by busting clay pigeons at 1,000 yards.
When it comes to elite users, police tactical teams, including Atlanta Police SWAT units, are increasingly moving to Bergara-made guns.
If you still are not sure, do not just ask us, run it by the more than 20,000 folks in the Bergara Enthusiasts group.
In short, there’s more than marketing speak behind Bergara’s rifles.
- American Rifleman, Terry Weiland, Spanish Shotguns: Fine Gunmaking in the Eibar Region, August 28, 2020
- US Department of Defense, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jennifer Lebron, Marines Keep Weapons On Target, Oct. 2, 2018
- Bergara, The Bergara B-14 Hunting and Match Rifle (HMR) Wins the Outdoor Life Editor’s Choice Award, January 8, 2018
- Police Mag, Cobb County S.W.A.T. Team Receives Bergara Custom Rifles, November 11, 2015
- Police Mag, Atlanta Area SWAT Unit Receives Bergara Rifles – Weapons, August 19, 2015
- Facebook, Bergara Enthusiasts
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