Bergara just announced the B-14 Squared Crest, an ultra lightweight hunting rifle with long range features. In this video, we’re giving you a hands-on look!
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About the Bergara B-14 Squared Crest
This new rifle is a unique combination of ultra lightweight rifle features. It has a Monocoque carbon fiber stock, B-14 action, 4140 chrome moly fluted barrel, and a detachable box magazine. It’s available in several calibers: 308 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC and 300 Winchester Magnum. Our test model is chambered in 308 Winchester.
THE NEW B-14 SQUARED CONCEPT IS ANCHORED BY A MONOCOQUE STOCK. CREATED 100% IN CARBON FIBER, THIS STOCK HAS AN INTERNAL SPINE THAT PROVIDES GREATER RIGIDITY AND STRENGTH, MAKING IT NEARLY INDESTRUCTABLE.
FEATURING THIS NEW STOCK, OUR B-14 ACTION AND OUR WELL-KNOWN BARRELS, WE’VE BLENDED ALL THE ADVANTAGES OF THE B-14 MODEL SERIES INTO SOMETHING UNIQUE, WHICH WE HAVE CALLED B-14 SQUARED.
Designed for the highest standard of mountain hunting adventures, the B-14 Squared Crest is an ultralight high-performance rifle inspired to meet the needs of the most demanding backcountry hunters. This 100% carbon fiber stock is designed with industry leading technologies to withstand anything you throw at it.
Barrel: 4140 CrMo Steel
Finish: Sniper Grey Cerakote®
Stock: 100% Carbon Fiber with Carbon Spine
Calibers: .308 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, 300 Win Mag
This gun comes with a threaded muzzle and thread protector as well.
What’s In the Box
Here’s what you’ll find in the box:
- B-14 Squared Crest rifle (shown with optional 20 MOA rail) – bolt is shipped in box separate
- Length of pull spacers
- Thread protector
- Owner’s manual
Break-In and First Shots
For break-in, I used Hornady factory 168 grain A-MAX ammunition. This ammunition worked flawlessly, and we used it for all shooting in this article!
I added the BANISH 30 suppressor from Silencer Central (we shot either with the Banish 30, or the brake, haven’t tested bare muzzle yet!) and a Vortex Viper PST 4-16×50 in order to get ready for break-in.
I’m working on my scope inventory, and just grabbed one of the lightest weight scopes I currently have. I’m hoping to show more light-weight variable power scopes this coming year, so stay tuned for that!
for break-in, I started at 100 yards with a simple process — three shots, clean, three shots, clean (for a number of cycles). I immediately liked the feel of the trigger and the rifle.
With the Banish 30 attached, I shot two sequential sub-3/4-MOA groups once the rifle was on paper!
The smallest group measured just 0.570″ for 3 shots. I’m very happy with that for a factory rifle with factory bulk ammunition:
I have a feeling that with some load development, this COULD be a sub-1/2-MOA rifle, I’m wanting to see just how well this rifle can perform!
Hunting Off-Hand 100 Yard Shooting Scenario
Following break-in, we did a team shooting exercise. We placed a steel target from D-M targets at 100 yards. This target was approximately the size of the vitals of an average deer, broadside, at 100 yards. We each took five shots offhand. I was surprised at how easy it was to land five-out-of-five hits on this steel target- that would be some dead deer if we were hunting! The rifle was very well balanced with the Banish 30 attached.
The setup above consists of:
This target configuration is VERY compact, and great when you want to setup something quick, and then have an easy tear-down as well. We are using this target a lot in the snow, especially where areas have to be left clear for plowing, as was the case for this “team competition” shooting session.
In the end, we fired the rifle both suppressed and unsuppressed from a variety of positions (bench and in field), shooting at various angles in different directions. Through all of this, we unanimously found the B-14 Squared Crest to be quite ergonomic and easy to shoot. Multiple Ultimate Reloader team members commented on the appearance, fit, and finish of the rifle while we were testing it.
Overall, I believe the B-14 Squared Crest to be a great option for a variety of different applications including hunting and long range target shooting. Unfortunately, Washington’s winter weather has made it impossible for us to conduct long range tests on a tight schedule, so we’re looking forward to that as the snow melts.
About the BANISH 30
I decided to test this rifle with the BANISH 30 because this is the combination I would hunt with.
From Silencer Central:
The most versatile suppressor in the Banish line, the BANISH 30 works with all of your rifle calibers from .17 to .30 caliber magnums.
When it comes to versatility and modular capabilities, the BANISH 30 can’t be beat. Recently reviewed in a featured editorial article in the NRA’s American Rifleman magazine, it works with your rimfire and rifle calibers from .17 to .300 Weatherby and can be configured in two different lengths.
All BANISH suppressors have been designed for unmatched sound suppression. (After all, the whole point is to reduce sound!) Internal testing shows that BANISH 30 reduces the report of a .308 by a whopping 34 decibels at a minimum.
The BANISH 30 comes as a 9-inch suppressor holding eight baffles, but if you’ll be shooting suppressed in tighter, confined spaces or hunting blinds, it can easily break down and assemble into a 7-inch configuration with six baffles.
This suppressor also weighs considerably less than most suppressors of similar size. This is because the BANISH 30 – like all of the other BANISH suppressors in the lineup – is made from a strong titanium alloy for unmatched durability at an extremely light weight. In the full configuration, it weighs 13 ounces; in the short configuration, it weighs just 10 ounces. You’ll be hard pressed to even feel it on your gun!
Unlike comparable models from competitors, the BANISH 30 is completely user-serviceable from both ends. It easily comes apart for cleaning in a tumbler, ultrasonic cleaner, or manually. Reassembly is a breeze due to the baffles being keyed and indexed for exact alignment.
Perfect for target practice, competitive shooting, or in the field while big game hunting, the BANISH 30 will reduce the sound signature and mitigate some of the recoil on your rifle.
All silencers require the purchase of a $200 Federal Tax Stamp.
We tested the rifle and BANISH 30 on our recoil rig and discovered several things. Sound suppression is slightly better with the nine-inch configuration compared to the seven-inch configuration. The same goes for recoil reduction. Even with these results, I still think the BANISH 30 in the seven-inch configuration is the way to go for lightweight hunting.
Here’s our video covering the Banish 30:
Though we mentioned it early on, I still wanted to take some time to go through the rifle in detail. The B-14 Squared Crest is centered around Bergara’s B-14 action. (This isn’t their premier action, but their regular one.)
This is paired with a 4140 chrome-moly steel fluted barrel. I especially like this for a lightweight hunting rifle and long range as you don’t have to worry about carbon barrels heating up. Carbon barrels are great, but they are also a bit more expensive and require some special considerations.
On the aesthetic side, the Sniper Grey Cerakote stood out beautifully against the winter snow. It has a blue hue to it which matches the paint job on the carbon fiber stock. We decided to test the rifle in 308 Winchester, a great all-around cartridge, though it is also available in 6.5 Creedmoor, a better choice for long-range shooting. 6.5 Creedmoor is good for up to a certain level of large game. It also has less recoil and better ballistics at 1000 yards compared to 308. If you want long-range capabilities and knockdown power, 6.5 PRC is a great option.
We have had great results with the Bergara B-14 HMR Wilderness in 6.5 PRC, achieving ⅓ MOA groups with handloads. It performed similarly to the Crest with the same factory ammunition break-in procedure. Here are a couple of stories featuring our Bergara 6.5 PRC HMR Wilderness:
And our best results with that rifle (same Bergara B14 action):
The above group measures 0.275″- very impressive for a factory rifle!
If you want the most knockdown power available in this platform, take a look at the 300 win mag. I find it interesting that currently there’s only one long action model in this lineup. I’m curious to see if Bergara will expand it in the future.
I am a fan of the ⅝ x 24 threaded muzzle. The rifle also comes with a compact radial brake. It is incredibly easy to get on and off. It doesn’t have to be clocked in any certain way and can be manipulated with an Allen key. Its contour also perfectly matches the muzzle.
I like to have my magazine pre-loaded when I go into the field. With an AICS box magazine, I can set the magazine and quickly load a round while keeping the rifle safe during transport. The 308 Winchester model comes with a 5-round AICS mag, but it will also accept a 10-round steel AICS mag.
This rifle weighs in at approximately 6.8 pounds, but varies slightly depending upon the caliber. This is impressive with the features included, like the detachable box magazine and QD cups for a sling.
The monocoque stock uses carbon CFRTM technology. Inside the stock is both foam-filled construction and a stiffening spine that goes all the way down. The monocoque has two components that lend it great strength and rigidity with minimal weight: a thin skin with material inside that lends support. The technology is used in many different applications, like automobile racing. This stock also includes spacers for adjusting length of pull. I personally like the rifle as it came out of the box, but everyone is different. It may be a bit short for my proportions, but I like a more compact hunting rifle.
Trigger Scan TS-11
Our Trigger Scan TS-11 gives a graph of force vs. distance of trigger pull. It can tell you peak force, travel to actuate, over travel, and other items which are otherwise difficult to measure.
The results of three successive Trigger Scan passes show things are very smooth with no grit. The trigger came set to minimum, with average peak force measuring 1.85 pounds. This is where I like to be for a hunting rifle. If I’m shooting targets, I use a much lighter trigger. In the field, I prefer a higher trigger pull weight for safety reasons, it just takes a bit of getting used to. Travel to actuate and overtravel were very consistent at 24 thousandths of an inch and 52 thousandths of an inch respectively.
Though this is really just an overview of the rifle, the B-14 Squared Crest is already an Ultimate Reloader team favorite. Everyone who picked up this rifle loved the way it shot, looked and felt. This platform provides some great flexibility with a balance between weight and features. It has a REM 700 inlet and trigger hanger allowing for tons of options for customization in addition to the threaded muzzle and detachable box magazine. Though for a particular customer, I especially appreciate the fluted chrome-moly barrel for lightweight repeatability.
Get the Gear
Bergara B-14 Squared Crest – MSRP starting at $1,999
Hornady 308 Winchester 168 grain A-Max Ammunition
Silencer Central has pioneered the Silence Made Simple program. Once you pick out a silencer from Silencer Central, they handle the paperwork, set up a trust, and send the suppressor to your door at no extra cost. The BANISH 30 has an MSRP of $979.
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