Most hunters grew up with a .22 rifle. For me, it was a Winchester Model 61, but for many gen-Xers, it was a Marlin Model 60 or a Ruger 10/22. Regardless of your generation, it’s unlikely you grew up with a .22 rifle like the Bergara B-14R Carbon. The Bergara is not your run-of-the-mill .22 rifle. It is a purpose-built, precision shooting machine—and one of the best shooting .22 rifles I’ve ever fired.
Bergara B-14 R Specifications and Overview
Weight: 8.1 pounds (advertised) 8.29 pounds (actual)
Barrel: 18-inch, Bergara carbon fiber wrapped w/1 in 16 twists, threaded at ½-28
Action: B14R (left-hand version in .22 LR only)
Trigger: Bergara, single stage (2.5 pounds as tested)
Finish: Black Cerakote
Stock: Bergara HMR stock
Capacity: 10 (AICS-style .22 LR)
Available Chamberings: .22 LR (tested), .17 HMR, .22 WMR
Price: $1329.00 ($1349.00 left-hand)
Bergara offers a full line of rimfire rifles that includes two semi-automatics and four bolt-actions. In the bolt category, the four options include two BMR and two B-14R rifles. The BMR rifles are of a more traditional design and are compact and lightweight when compared to the B-14R rifles. The two B-14R rifles have a long-range precision-rifle vibe. Both the BMR and B-14R rifles are offered with either a steel or carbon barrel.
The buttstock on the B-14R Carbon has a quick-adjust comb. Richard Mann
The cylindrical action used on the Bergara B-14R is dimensionally identical to a short-action Remington 700, right down to the action screws and recoil lug. This makes the action compatible with aftermarket Remington 700 stocks. Similarly, the action will also accept Remington 700 scope bases and aftermarket Remington 700 triggers. Out of the box, the B-14R comes with a single-stage Bergara trigger, which tripped crisply and consistently at 2.5 pounds. The 18-inch barrel is a carbon fiber wrapped 4140 chrome moly Bergara barrel with a match chamber, and the muzzle is threaded at a ½-28 pitch. It’s shipped with a thread protector, comes with a one-piece optics rail, and the bolt has a floating head, an oversized knob, and a cocked indicator.
The stock is identical to the stock used on the Bergara centerfire B-14 HMR rifle, which is a popular rifle for long-range shooting. This means that if you have one of those, the B-14R rimfire could effectively serve as a sub-caliber trainer. This stock features an adjustable length of pull with spacers, and a quick-adjust comb to help your eye find the center of your optic while maintaining a good cheek weld. There are also two forward sling swivel studs – one for a sling and another for a bipod – and a single rear stud. The stock also has quick-detach sling sockets on the right and left side, at the butt and forend. The grip is at nearly 90° and the rifle feeds from an AICS-sized, 10-shot magazine.
How the Bergara B-14R Performed During Our Riflescope Test
I tested this rifle during our 2022 riflescope test. I mounted every riflescope we evaluated the B-14R so I could evaluate the adjustment capabilities and precision of the optics. In total, I evaluated 18 different scopes and fired more than 400 rounds of Federal Gold Medal Target. I picked this load because it delivered the best precision in the test rifle. It averaged right at a half-inch for five, five-shot groups at 50 yards. I tested two other loads, and the average for all groups fired with all three loads was a respectable 0.618-inch.
As good as this is, it’s not the best performance I’ve seen from a .22 rifle. A Vudoo Gun Works Raven I once tested averaged less than 4/10ths of an inch for 15 groups with three different loads. However, a new Vudoo rifle will cost more than twice as much as the Bergara B-14R Carbon. Is 2/10ths of an inch worth $1500? That’s an important decision because $1500 will buy a lot of .22 LR ammunition and/or a very nice riflescope.
Just as important as on-target precision is reliability. The rifle didn’t have a single hiccup during the whole test or after the 100 extra rounds I fired beforehand. I never oiled or cleaned the rifle, or so much as wiped the dust off it.
What’s the Bergara B-14R Meant to be Used For?
NRL22 matches are becoming quite popular. In the Base Class, the MSRP of your rifle and riflescope combination cannot exceed $1200.00. That places the B14 R Carbon in the Open Class right out of the box. But its configuration and capability for fine precision should allow you to perform admirably there. On the other hand, not all of us like to participate in formal competitions; we’re happy to impress ourselves or our friends while plinking at the range. In that venue, you should be able to show off rather spectacularly with the B-14R.
The Bergara B-14R Carbon was used to test all the riflescopes in the Field & Stream 2022 Riflescope test. We shot this rifle a lot. Richard Mann
There is of course small game hunting, and this rifle has some application there as well. Though once you add an appropriate optic to the rifle, it would be a bit too heavy and cumbersome for traipsing through the squirrel woods. However, on a gopher or prairie dog town, this rifle would be a terror out to the ballistic limits of the .22 LR—or the 17 HMR and 22 WMR, which are alternate chamberings.
Read Next: The New .22 Competition Craze
When it comes to guns, there’s one undeniable fact: Every hunter needs a good-shooting .22 rifle. The Bergara B-14R Carbon may not have the nostalgic appeal or off-hand nimbleness of the Marlin model 60 or Ruger 10-22 that your daddy grew up with—it’s more of a Gen-Z rifle for the new millennium. But it does have the ability to deliver extreme precision on target and offers a lot of adjustability for shooter comfort.
The post Rimfire Rifle Review: The Bergara B-14R Carbon appeared first on Field & Stream.
Articles may contain affiliate links which enable us to share in the revenue of any purchases made.