If you missed my last article on the Bergara BMP, do yourself a favor and go check it out after this one. I was pleasingly surprised by the that rifle, the very first Bergara I’ve had the pleasure to shoot. So it should come as no surprise that when this HMR showed up, I was quite excited to see if it too would exceed my expectations. What I couldn’t have anticipated was how deep down the Bergara hole I would fall.
The Bergara B-14 action is the heart of many of their centerfire rifles, the HMR model is one of those. The B-14 action shares some the best features with the Remington 700 action, which allows it to utilize the large aftermarket support that it inherited from Big Green. A two lug ninety-degree bolt throw locks up the one piece bolt into the action, it is retained by a left-hand side bolt stop machined into the back of the action. The B-14 uses a trigger of Bergara’s making, but can be easily replaced by one of the many suitable aftermarket options. I found it to be completely unnecessary as the factory trigger feels fantastic. The safety is located just right of the bolt shroud, in a standard pull for safe, push for fire configuration. Underneath the action is the detachable box magazine, a standard AICS pattern. The rifle came with a five round, but I also ran some of my ten-round Magpul units as well. The mags are released in typical fashion by pushing forward a catch at the front of the trigger guard. The match grade barrel is of a heavy contour, and threaded 5/8-24 at the end. It came with a nice radially ported muzzle brake, or it can be removed to install a suppressor which is a better idea. The 6.5 Creedmoor model I tested featured a twenty-four inch barrel with a 1-8 twist, which is ideal for stabilizing most factory loads. The B-14 is perfectly rounded out with a quality twenty moa scope base, and a handsome sniper grey Cerakote finish.
The molded stock is built around Bergara’s mini-chassis, and host a few of its own features. It has a fully adjustable length of pull and adjustable comb, the former is adjusted by removing or adding spacers. The comb is adjusted with a wing-nut on one side of the buttstock, both are easy enough to adjust and I believe that Bergara got it right by making the comb adjustable while taking the simple spacer path for the LOP adjustment. There are sling attachment cups at both the front and rear of the stock, as well as double front sling studs if you choose to go that way. The whole thing is finished with a cunning paint scheme that is only flashy to the human eye.
A good rifle needs a good scope
I was very excited to get this rifle warmed up, but first I needed a good little scope to mount on it, I chose the US Optics TS25X.
The TS series of US Optics scopes are lightweight and have all the features a rifleman needs. I mounted the scope in a pair of Warne rings, and bore-sighted the rifle before heading out to shoot it. I picture this rifle as a perfect companion for a hunter who means real business, someone who aims to get what they’re after. The five to twenty-five power range of the TS25X gives serious marksmen all the power they need and the JVCR reticle is handy for measuring corrections at whatever range a hunter may need them. The hunter I have in mind must be a serious one, because at just under twelve-pounds he is going to need to be serious to pack this around.
Once the scope was mounted and leveled, I threw on one of my Harris bipods and stuffed the rifle in a case.
The sun had been shining all morning long, and the wavy rays of mirage were quite visible on the flat desert plain where I lay. My shooting mat was already warm to the touch as I prepared to fire my first shots, I lay there stuffing a few cartridges into the magazines for the HMR. The cartridges were Winchester Deer Season Copper Impact, quite a mouthful if you have to repeat it more than once so remember that. This ammunition featured a one-hundred twenty-five grain Copper Extreme Point bullet, a lead free projectile that utilizes a red polymer tip but is NOT made by Hornady.
After loading my magazines, I laid behind the rifle and peered through the scope at my distant target. Moisture began to accumulate on my cheek as I rested on the stock of the HMR, slowly adjusting my hold to get the very best and solid position. The curved shoe of the trigger felt perfectly mated to my finger as I pressed, and I watched the impact of my very first shot impact through the target. My bore-sight job had been on-point, as almost no adjustments were needed. I sent a couple magazines of ammunition through the rifle, quite please with the results. Running the bolt on the rifle was smooth and easy, extracting spent cases with ease. The brass piled up so neatly next to me as to think someone had placed them there with care. I pushed the rifle out another couple hundred yards, with hits coming easily as I went. The feeding and ejection of this rifle are very reliable, as is the clean break of the trigger. After a couple boxes of ammo spent, I was very happy with the HMR.
A few days later I took the rifle to another one of my spacious hides, the high alpine forests of the rocky Mountains. There I wanted to see how the HMR would fair as a rugged mountain rifle, as I knew that walking back and forth from a truck to a blind wasn’t much of a challenge. The thin air at nine-thousand feet taxes your lungs and circulatory system for sure, but it also helps bullets fly better and farther. So I figured this was a place the HMR would shine, perhaps reducing my effort by exchanging the distance of walking for distance covered by bullets. Continue Reading Here…