Bergara rests quietly in the southwest region of Gipuzkoa territory, near Spain’s northern border, in a small town of nearly 15,000 citizens. Even the town’s 750-year history is fairly quiet with the exception of Spain’s 19th-century Carlists Wars. For three-quarters of a millennia, Bergara has been known for merchant business and more importantly as culture dedicated to unsurpassed service.
Why is this important? Because, in 1969, the fine folks in Bergara jumped into the hunting and shooting game with muzzleloaders, followed in 2004, with precision barrels. As a testament to the integrity and passion of the town’s residents, Bergara quickly became the premier barrel manufacturer with its machined products showing up in every corner of the globe. It didn’t take long at all for Bergara to lay claim to their rightful reputation as the best production barrel manufacturer on the planet.
By 2006, Bergara had diversified manufacturing to include rifle production. By then, Bergara barrels had been in play on hunts, shooting ranges and battlefields with the kind of results some folks have staked their lives upon … and are still here to tell their stories. Indeed, for the past decade, Bergara has built quite the reputation for unrelenting quality, precision performance — cornerstones of a legacy any producer would be proud to own.
More recently, Bergara USA has grown the company’s firearm offerings to include rifles for every demanding shooter, from hard-working, blue-collared enthusiasts to discriminating professionals with a penchant for custom luxuries. Over the last few years, Bergara has also stretched its tactical legs with heavy barrel and BCR variants employing Macmillan and CADEX chassis.
While AR-15 rifle sales stabilized at the end of 2016, heading into 2017, as a result of America’s current political climate, tactical rifles (and project chassis) picked up some major steam. Several manufacturers, including Bergara, saw the tactical bolt-gun rushing headlong into the station and were ready with amazing systems like the BCR-30 Heavy Tactical, Premier LRP, Premier LRP Elite and my personal favorite (mostly because I can afford it on a writer’s budget), the B-14 BMP.
Honestly, with a MSRP of $1,699, Bergara’s B-14 BMP seems like it offers your precision shooting enthusiasts the best bang for their hard-earned bucks; of course, you can’t make a statement like that without taking a more in-depth look.
Bergara Is All Business
While Bergara is renowned for precision barrels and has assumed a leading role in the world of custom rifle building, the B-14 BMP (short for Bergara Match Precision) is inarguably a perfect storm of affordability and custom build quality in a production rifle.
The B-14 BMP system is built upon a precision-machined 7075-T6 aluminum chassis, skeletonized to reduce weight and deliver what feels like an exceptionally well-balanced rifle system.
Bergara’s tactical-styled MSR chassis includes an M-Lok compatible accessory attachment system along the length of the forend, comfortable polymer AR-style pistol grip and a sling swivel stud, perfect, in my opinion for a bipod since the chassis also includes integrated flush cup sling-attachment points.
While the current stock allows a wealth of adjustments both in comb height and length of pull, it’s also designed to be replaced easily with an array of AR-platform stock and buffer assembly systems, including A4-style, Luth-AR MBA-1 and many others. As a side note, I am particularly impressed with the comfort and ease-of-adjustability of the Bergara’s included B-14 BMP stock.
As one might suspect, the B-14 BMP’s barrel is produced by the company’s world-famous manufacturing facility in Bergara, Spain — a testament to Bergara’s desire to deliver world-class precision to America’s blue-collared backbone. The B-14 BMP reviewed here is chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor and boasts a Bergara #5 24-inch, 1:10-twist, button-rifled, matte blue, 4140 CrMo stainless steel match-grade barrel, complete with 5/8-24” threading and a thread protector which I replaced immediately with a ZRO Delta Cowl Induction Muzzle Brake. Seriously, I’m in love.
The B-14’s action is exceptionally smooth and the company attributes this to their two-lug system with a Sako-style extractor, as well as a coned bolt nose and breech. I would also attribute this to headspace, although I did not take gauges to it. I would think they likely focus on popular “go + .002” headspace to achieve this, but I did not confirm. Either way, cycling the action, both in chambering and extracting, is exceedingly pleasant and speaks to the level of quality I would expect from Bergara.
A Legacy On Target
Sure, Bergara’s B-14 BMP looks good and delivers big on enough features to raise the eyebrows and heart rates of precision shooters at every experience level but good looks, bells and whistles don’t mean a “thang” if she ain’t got that true precision bang!
To start, I mounted a Sightmark Pinnacle 5-30×50 TMD First-Focal-Plane riflescope; I like the illuminated Mil-Dash reticle and rock-solid zero stop. I also added a Harris bipod and Tactical Tailor squeeze bag to ensure my bench shooting results were as accurate as I could make them in a real-world shooting application.
Again, I used a ZRO Delta Cowl Induction Muzzle Brake to reduce recoil and minimize barrel lift so I could watch splash. For testing, I ran Hornady 140-grain ELD Match Ammunition. Previous testing of this ammo seems to make reloading almost obsolete — I’ve been impressed with its overall performance.
Settling in behind the Bergara B-14 BMP was not unlike the feeling I get riding up on top match-grade rifles like my personal McRees Precision BR-10 and G-10 systems. After some minor comb-height and length-of-pull/eye-relief adjustments, the B-14 fit perfectly in my shoulder and delivered an immediate, crisp sight picture.
With my natural point of aim established, bipod loaded, muscles relaxed, sight alignment and sight picture spot on, I settled the pad of my finger on the trigger. I inhaled and exhaled a couple more times, found my natural respiratory pause, then squeezed … BOOM! The shot surprised me, as a good shot should in most respects. The trigger, just a hair under 3 pounds with short travel, broke like ice. While ZRO Delta’s CI brake helped immensely, it was an incredibly comfortable shooting experience and I have to imagine, shooting would have been exquisite even without the brake.
As I normally do, I shot a full box of ammunition (20 rounds) while also sighting-in and setting my zero-stop before stopping to clean the barrel as part of my break-in process. Once cleaned, I generally clean again after every 40 rounds until I send 150 rounds or so downrange; however, this time, after my initial set, I ran the chrono then settled back in to focus on grouping. The results were as impressive as that first shot!
While Hornady calls out 2,710 fps and 2,283 ft./lbs. of energy for 140-grain 6.5 Creedmoor ELD Match ammo from a 24-inch barrel, my performance repeated at 2,719 fps and 2296 ft./lbs. of energy. My personal experience is that results generally fall below called-out specs; I was pleasantly surprised. Grouping at 100 yards was also impressive at just a hair under ½MOA. I was doubly impressed with my three-shot 3-inch group at 750 yards! I’m not sure I could expect better results than that from any production rifle, especially at Bergara’s price point! At the bench, the B-14 shot like an absolute dream!
Bergara, Full Boar
As a hardcore hunter, there’s no better way I can think of to test a rifle’s performance than by putting meat in the freezer. To test the Bergara B-14 BMP 6.5 Creedmoor in the field, I booked a thermal hunt with Three Curl Outfitters near my north-central Texas home. I switched out the Sightmark Pinnacle 5-30×50 for a Pulsar Trail XP50 Thermal Riflescope. With a detection range of 2,000 yards (identify at 1,000 yards), 640 core and 640×480 AMOLED display, I was hoping an electro-optic of that caliber would allow me to make long shots on feral pigs.
The rifle performed flawlessly again. In the dead of night, Three Curl Outfitters owners and guides, Charles Spiegel and Brett Jepsen, delivered the goods I needed when they spotted a boar 1,000 yards away, led a long stalk, then got me into a solid prone position on a high spot some 250 yards out. Like the bench testing, I took my time, squeezed the trigger and sent a shot that instantly leveled the boar. He never took another step.
Unfortunately, the mature boar was one of only two presenting a shot opportunity that night and the other was my fault. I took too long to set up and he wandered into the woods. Still, for my purposes, the Bergara B-14 performed as flawlessly in the field as it had on the range.
With all the Bergara greatness built into the B-14 BMP, what’s the downside? There are two things your customers may determine could be improved.
First, the chassis and 24-inch barrel make this rifle a bit of a precision shooting beast. Not in a bad way, it’s roughly the same size as most other 6.5 Creedmoor MSRs with 24-inch barrels. However, adding the ZRO Delta CI brake made it longer than would fit in my longest case, a full-size, heavy-duty Plano Field Locker. In fact, I had to remove the butt plate and lay the rifle diagonally to fit it in the case. To remedy this, a folding stock would be ideal. Of course, Bergara already understands this concern and is about to unveil a folding stock replacement.
A second concern is barrel finish. While the finish is quite rugged, it’s susceptible to rust. I shot the B-14 BMP in light rain and thought I had dried it effectively. However, after a week on the road with the rifle in a case, I retrieved it and found light surface rust on the barrel. It wasn’t a major issue. I light cleaning removed it in just a few minutes, but it’s definitely something worth ensuring your customers know about. This is firearm maintenance 101. If your customers know they may encounter a similar issue, they can easily prevent it or, at worse, they’ll know there’s an easy fix. Seriously, there was obviously zero effect on performance but it’s worth noting.
Through all of my experiences with the Bergara B-14 BMP, impressed is a gross understatement. The rifle shoots like a top-shelf custom build and definitely can take the grit of off-the-grid action.
In a nutshell, this rifle is the best production model precision bolt-gun I’ve ever had the pleasure of lining up behind. Sub MOA shooting was a breeze and in the right conditions, I continue to see ½MOA groups. That’s something I expect from custom builds but honestly never expected from a production run.
This rifle is more than a keeper. It should be the apple of your customers’ eyes if they are in the market for the unmistakable quality and precision Bergara has become known for — and at a price they can realistically afford.