Recently, I had some GREAT times shooting with Seth Gardner of D-M Targets. Towards the end of our shooting trip, Seth setup a precision rimfire rifle, one of his Rimfire Spinner targets, and some small targets out to about 85 yards. 10 minutes later I exclaimed: I’VE GOT TO GET SETUP FOR PRECISION RIMFIRE! The fun is hard to describe until you shoot this kind of setup.
Fast forward to today, I’ve made great progress towards my rimfire goals. And at the heart of this new setup is my all-new Bergara B14-R precision rimfire trainer. In this article/video i’ll go deep into this new rifle platform, and share both data and insights regarding how well it shoots. Let’s get into it!
Bergara: Substance, Style, Value
Prior to writing this article I’d only had a couple hands-on experiences with Bergara rifles. Both were chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, and both were very accurate (about 1/2 MOA without a bench rest). Furthermore, the B14 HMR Platform is a great all-around formula spanning hunting and long-range target work.
Here are some things that make the B14 HMR stand out:
- Stock design and features (adjustable LOP, QD cups, AICS bottom metal, Adjustable Cheek Riser, …)
- Quality (it’s apparent once you pick one up)
- Remington 700 footprint action (pick a trigger, stock, …)
- Cost: Street prices less than $1000.00
For these reasons, I’ve wanted a Bergara for a long time. But I didn’t expect that my first Bergara would be a rimfire model!
Introducing the All-New B-14R
At the 2020 SHOT Show, Bergara announced an exciting new rifle in their lineup: the B14-R trainer! The concept? Take the formula from the B14 HMR lineup of rifles, and adapt it for 22LR. The result? A rifle you can shoot all day long without wearing out your arm, or your wallet! And it looks/feels like a centerfire long-range precision rifle. And that’s what makes this rifle a GREAT training platform for serious long-range shooters.
From the Bergara product page:
B-14R Bolt Action .22 LR
The Bergara B-14 R Bolt Action Rifle in .22 LR is the latest offering in our ever-popular B-14 series of rifles. With the collective of our expert team, we have designed and built an accurate full size .22 precision trainer. The Bergara B-14 R Bolt Action Rifle in .22 LR has been in the making for several years now. We set out with a goal to help set the bar with the .22 shooters in mind. The Bergara B-14 R has been a product that our customers and enthusiast have been requesting for quite some time, and with the growing NRL22 and PRS .22 competition matches, we believed that the time was right to introduce a rifle of this nature.
This rifle is designed as a true rimfire “trainer” is that it works within the dimensions of a REM700 platform, allowing shooters to have a similar size and feel to their centerfire rifle, or even set up as a clone to their centerfire to train with. It, therefore, fits REM700 compatible stocks, bases, and triggers.
This being the case, it gives a perfect platform to allow any shooter the ability to customize their rifle with all kinds of compatible accessories already on the market. The magazine is a single stack .22LR mag that is built within the same dimensions as a standard short action AICS mag.
With the growing popularity of long-range shooting, this gun allows shooters to practice their disciplines at a more affordable price and in areas where longer ranges may not be available.
Bergara B-14 R Specs:
- Caliber: 22 Long rifle
- Action: B-14 R
- Barrel: 4140 Bergara barrel (optional carbon barrel with 4140 core)
- Twist: 1:16
- Barrel length: 18”
- Threaded muzzle: 1/2-28
- Weight: 9.25 lbs.
- Length: 38” with spacers
- Mag capacity: 10 round magazine
- Scope mounts: 6-48 screws, Rem 700 compatible
- Stock:Bergara’s HMR stock Molded with mini-chassis, integrated OD flush cup sling mounts and swivel mounts, adjustable cheek piece and length-of-pull. Full-length integrated mini-chassis for repeatable bedding and supports fully free-floated barrel.
B-14 R MSRP – $1150
In short- this is a well built precision rifle that’s chambered in 22LR, and perfect for long-range training, small varmint hunting, and generally having FUN!
TriggerScan Profiling Bergara’s Adjustable Trigger
The TriggerScan TS-11 from DVORAK Instruments is the world’s best tool for profiling triggers. I ran a 3-scan pass on the B14-R trigger with the pull weight set to minimum, and produced the following data:
This trigger works well, and mine was adjustable down to just over 2 lb peak force for pull weight. You can see how consistent this trigger is by how well the scan graph plots overlap! This trigger is great for an out-of-the-box rifle like this, and it’s great to know that I can always swap out triggers and use the same exact Remington 700 compatible trigger that I’m running in my match guns.
Setting Up the Rifle
Above you can see the B14-R as I set it up for the testing/shooting I did:
- Athlon Midas TAC 6-14x50mm first-focal plane scope with MK Machine throw lever and Lone Star bubble level
- SilencerCo Omega 300 with 1/2 x 28 direct thread mount
- Harris S-BRM 6″-9″ bipod with aftermarket swivel tension lever
I couldn’t wait to get the B14-R out to my new 50 yard ridgeline range to see how it would perform with premium 22LR ammunition.
The ammunition tested was as pictured above:
Even with some wind and heat boil, it was no problem to get good groups with any of the ammunition tested. Here are a few example groups from 50 yard testing.
Lapua Center-X Suppressed: Minimal Wind/Boil
SK Match Unsuppressed: Minimal Wind, Medium Boil
SK Match Suppressed: Medium Wind, Minimal Boil
Using Ballistic-X, I calculated the stats for the best group, 5-Shots with SK Match ammunition at 50 yards:
That is impressive! Obviously the ammunition and rifle are both very consistent.
Overall, I found the rifle to shoot very well both suppressed and unsuppressed with little no no POI shift with the suppressor attached. With optimal conditions, I think the groups would get even better! I’m going to try for 10 shots under 0.250″ which feels possible using this rifle and assortment of ammunition.
Average velocities for all of the ammunition fell between 1087.4 FPS and 1098.4 FPS, perfect for suppressed shooting!
|SK Standard Plus||1098.4||12.8|
|Lapua Center X||1085.0||5.0|
SD numbers varied between 5.0 and 13.5 FPS which are all good, and down right great (Lapua Center X).
*Note: I only shot one 5-shot string for each type of ammunition- I’ll be going more in-depth to check these results in future stories!
Shooting the B14-R
The B14-R is a great shooter, and for me it felt very familiar. Just like shooting one of my center fire match guns, but without all of the recoil.
Once I shot this rifle suppressed, I didn’t want to take off the can. It’s so quiet you don’t need hearing protection (and I’m pretty picky about that). The 18″ barrel really works well with the suppressor to help keep the overall length reasonable, and balance is spot-on.
I have done quite a bit of shooting off “barricades” (using PRS nomenclature) and the rifle worked great with my Fortune Cookie bag in a variety of situations. This was especially true when hunting rock chucks with the B14-R- my side-by-side became the shooting platform most of the time!
Closing Thoughts, More to Come
The Bergara B14-R has exceeded my expectations! This rifle feels right and shoots great. I literally can’t wait to get more steel targets setup, and to go deeper into calculating dope for the ammunition I will shoot with this rifle. Perhaps I’ll think about competing in an NRL22 match at some point. If you are looking for a rimfire trainer, look at the Bergara B14-R for sure. It checks all of my boxes for this type of rifle!
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