[Review] Bergara B-14 HMR: Best Factory Barrels?

If you’re looking for a starter long range rifle that is high quality, Bergara must be part of the conversation.

In fact, they are often the entire subject.

Made in Spain, Bergara is well known for having some of the best factory barrels ever made. And since the action is built on the Remington 700 design, whats not to love about it!

Bergara B-14 HMR
Bergara B-14 HMR and Athlon Ares BTR 4.5-27×50 Gen 2

Can to live up to the hype? What exactly is it good for? BPI was kind enough to send me a Bergara B-14 HMR in 6.5 Creedmoor so I could find out.

Table of Contents

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Bergara Who?

If you’re in the long range shooting community, you probably already know who Bergara is. But for the rest of the class — let’s introduce them.

There are certain regions in the world were firearms manufacturing has a long and powerful history. And by long I mean in some cases hundreds of years.

Basque of Northern Spain is one such area. Home of legendary historical firearm companies like Star and Astra, it is also home to Bergara. Both the town and the company.

Bilbao Spain
Bilbao the largest city in Basque, Spain

The B-14 line of rifles are all made in Bergara, Spain while the Premier line is made in the USA.

900
at GunPrime

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Features Broken Down

From top to bottom the B-14 HMR is really well thought out. It is very clear that the design team behind this rifle are true shooters themselves and packed basically every feature you could ask for in a single factory rifle.

Let’s go back to front on this.

Buttstock and Cheek Rest

The butt pad itself is very soft and does a great job of eating recoil. Overall length of pull is adjustable with spacers, simply back out the screws, remove the spacers, and tighten the screws back down.

Bergara and CVA Marked 3
(top) Bergara B-14 HMR and (bottom) CVA Cascade

This cheek rest is very nice, large, wide, and uses a screw knob for quick adjustment

Pistol Grip

I would like the checkering to be slightly more aggressive, but I found that it was good enough as is.

Bergara B-14 HMR side look and mags

Having a nearly vertical shape to the grip gives a great platform for consistent trigger pulls.

Trigger

This is one amazing trigger. Mine came set at about 2.75 pounds, is ultra crisp, and is just amazing.

I really enjoy using it and would put it on par with most upgraded aftermarket triggers.

Bolt/Bolt Handle

Since this is based on the Remington 700, we find a 2-lug 90-degree throw bolt. It works, it works well, and it is smooth to cycle. It fed every type of ammo I could throw in it and did so flawlessly.

I really like this bolt handle, it’s large and grippy. Perfect for my tastes.

Magazine

Something I really love seeing–a standard pattern magazine! The B-14 HMR takes AICS magazines and comes from the factory with a 5-round Bergara branded mag.

Bergara B-14 HMR magazines and bipod
Mmmm, magazines

I tried MDT steel mags, MDT polymer mags, and Magpul polymer mags–all of them worked perfectly. This is a true AICS pattern mag well.

38
at GunMagWarehouse

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Mini-Chassis

Designed for repeatable bedding and accuresy, the Bergara stock also features a mini-chassis designed into it. Very nice.

Bergara mini chassis

Barrel

The crown jewel of the B-14 HMR–this barrel is nice in every possible way. The finish is great, it’s free-floated in the stock, it comes threaded with 5/8-24″ threading, and even features a metal thread protector.

Bergara B-14 HMR threaded barrel (2)
Bergara B-14 HMR threaded barrel

Sling Studs and QD Caps

Flexing the “hunting” part of HMR the stock has 3-sling swivels (1 in the back, 2 in the front) and 2 QD cup mounts. This gives you a lot of options for slings and bipods. I did most of my shooting with a Harris bipod on the front sling swivel.

Range Report

I’ve wanted to get a chance at shooting a B-14 HMR for a while now and when the chance finally came along, I wanted glass that would live up to the rifle’s potential.

In the past I’ve been using an Athlon Ares BTR Gen 1, but Athlon recently released the second generation of the Ares BTR line and it seemed perfect for what the B-14 is designed for. Thankfully, Athlon was kind enough to send one out for testing.

Bergara B-14 HMR
Bergara B-14 HMR

The results have been outstanding.

Off a bipod, off a bag, prone on the ground, this rifle shoots outstandingly well.

Every cycle of the bolt was smooth and easy, every ammo tested extracted cleanly, everything just worked from start to finish.

Small Groups Only

Armed with two sets of plinking ammo and two sets of match ammo, I braved the hellscape of California’s deserts. And because I love shooting, I did it multiple times.

In all, I’ve put about 250 rounds through the B-14 HMR, while not a huge round count–that is a decent amount of time behind a long-range precision rifle to get to know it.

Bergara B-14 HMR side view
Bergara B-14 HMR side view

I really don’t have anything negative to say about it. This is simply a great rifle.

Let’s check the groups, we’ll go from big to small.

Hornady American Gunner 140gr

This was the largest grouping ammo, but that isn’t too surprising. Normally I get better results than this, but this isn’t bad at all considering this is the more plinking style of ammo from Hornady.

Bergara Hornady American Gunner 1.82 MOA
Bergara B-14 HMR shooting Hornady American Gunner 1.82 MOA

Still, pushing it to 600 yards was no problem and resulted in hits all day.

If you exclude the flyer on this group, it was sub-MOA. But I tended to get a flyer every time I shot groups with this ammo, so I think it’s just the ammo.

58
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Sellier & Bellot 140gr

Generally, I don’t like S&B 6.5 Creedmoor. Out of five 6.5 Creedmoor rifles I own, S&B has extraction problems in all of them. Bolt rifles and gas rifles. But… I bought a ton of it on sale and I’m still shooting it.

This Bergara was the first rifle that I didn’t have issues shooting this ammo. Not even a slight sticking, each and every round extracted with ease!

And the groups weren’t bad either, for plinking ammo.

Bergara S&B 1.66 MOA
Bergara B-14 HMR S&B 1.66 MOA

Sig Sauer Elite Match 140gr

I’ve always had great results with Sig Sauer ammo, I really think they are one of the most underrated factory ammo brands on the market.

This is arguably the best group I shot with the Bergara and I was very happy with it. Sub-3/4 MOA is a great group!

Bergara Sig Match 0.71 MOA
Bergara B-14 HMR Sig Sauer Match 0.71 MOA

I also pushed this ammo out to the 600 yard target with zero problems. Perfect hits every time.

24
at Primary Arms

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Hornady ELD Match 140gr

I count this as the best ammo, it was consistently under 0.75 MOA

But when I shot this group, I threw one. Totally my fault–so I removed it from the group measurement.

Bergara Hornady ELD Match 0.67 MOA
Bergara B-14 HMR Hornady ELD Match 0.67 MOA

And again, pushing the ELD Match to 600 yards was a piece of cake. This rifle can shoot, period.

Range day after range day, I really enjoy shooting this rifle. The features, the groups, it’s just great on every level.

30
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Athlon Ares BTR 4.5-27×50 Gen 2

I won’t keep you in suspense, I love this optic. The Gen 1 was good, for what I paid for it, but the Gen 2 blows it out of the water in every way.

In fact, it blows most of the competition in this price range away.

Bergara B-14 HMR and Athlon Ares BTR Gen 2
Athlon Ares BTR Gen 2

Construction is great, everything is clean and works well. What really gets me are the turrets and the reticle. Oh, and the glass.

First these turrets, they are just so crisp. So snappy. They are awesome.

The zero stop works great and is a nice hard stop but also easy to set, combined with how positive and loud the clicks are–it beats out anything sub-$2,000 I’ve tried.

Glass quality and light transition are outstanding. Although, it’s not a huge upgrade over the Gen 1. To my eyes, the Gen 2 is brighter–but only a little. This speaks to the glass quality that was already found in the Gen 1.

Athlon Ares Gen 2 zoom out
Athlon Ares Gen 2 at 4.5x

Finally the reticle, I’m really picky when it comes to reticles. Athlon has a huge range of reticles they use and offer the Ares gen 2 in both the APRS5 and APLR3.

Mine is with the APLR3.

Athlon Ares Gen 1 zoom in
Athlon Ares Gen 1 at 27x

To me it isn’t the perfect reticle, if I could choose again I think I would opt for the APRS5 since it is very close to the APRS1 in my Athlon Cronus. That said, the APLR3 is still a great reticle.

918
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

It’s clean, easy to use, and while the middle cross kind of feels a little large, it makes it easy and fast to pick up.

Really, it’s more about what you prefer in a reticle.

I still like the APRS1 found in the Athlon Cronus better, but the APLR3 is a very close runner-up.

Athlon Cronus BTR T1 - Zoom IN sized
Athlon Cronus BTR APRS1 Reticle at 29x

Something Extra

If you’re looking at the pictures and thinking “what on earth is that strange orange thing”, the answer is that it is a Flare Mini.

Bergara B-14 HMR and mini flare
Flare Mini from Caveman

It’s a simple little thing, a ring of special polymer that changes color when it’s over 131 degrees.

While not the most critical piece of kit, I’ve been using the ones Caveman sent us for a couple of reasons. First, so when I’m packing up I don’t burn my bags.

But mostly as a visual reminder to let my barrel cool off when I’m shooting groups. Especially when I’m testing stacks of ammo looking for what shoots well!

Flare Minis come in a few colors, personally I like the green best. But orange is their classic.

12
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Who Is It For?

The name of the rifle is the B-14 HMR. I don’t know what the B-14 means, but the HMR is for Hunting and Match Rifle.

From the ground up and even in the name the HMR is designed to fill two main roles–shooting paper targets and hunting. For the paper targets side, I love it.

Jonah Hill Excited

But it has some draw backs if you’re planing on hunting with it. It will shoot, we know that for sure. So ethical kills should be very easy to get in the bag.

The weight though… coming in at just under 10 pounds, this isn’t a mountain rifle–but it isn’t a beast either. If you’re shooting from a blind or don’t plan on stalking far, then this is a great rifle.

But I still see it better in a more match role. Granted, that comes from someone in the Western US where hiking up/down, in/out of canyons is standard for any kind of game.

Speaking of matches, how does it compare?

Head to any local PRS match and you’re almost always going to see at least one B-14 HMR there. And for good reason, it works.

The stock is great and allows for the use of slings and bipods, plus the action is wonderful and the barrels accurate.

Bergara B-14 HMR and scope

Throw a muzzle brake on the threads and tracking shots is no problem. But I really recommend a brake, it helps a lot. I threw on a VG6 6.5 Gamma.

72
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

If you’re a range or match shooter that wants the option of hunting, I would highly recommend the B-14 HMR. If you’re a hunter that wants to plink or run a match sometimes, you should think about the weight before committing.

As for the Athlon Ares BTR–I love it. I recommend it very strongly for the range or matches, but it’s a little heavy and overkill for hunting. That said, it’s still good to go!

By The Numbers

Reliability: 5/5

Perfect function. Even with ammo that I’ve had extraction issues with in other rifles, nothing stuck or bound in the slightest with the B-14 HMR.

Ergonomics: 5/5

Generally, I prefer a true chassis over a stock, but this one is actually really well executed. The pistol grip is nearly vertical, the cheek rest fits my face nicely, and the forend is flat for resting on a bag.

Bergara B-14 HMR and B-14r (1)
(front) Bergara B-14 HMR in 6.5 Creedmoor (back) Bergara B-14r in .22LR

And of course, it has a mini-chassis built in for all of the benefits that brings.

Accuracy: 5/5

This rifle shoots, period. I am very happy with the groups I was able to produce with a wide range of ammo options.

Customization: 4/5

Being based on a Remington 700 action you have a LOT of choices in stocks, chassis, scope mounts, triggers, and more. But the B-14 stops short of being a Remington 700 clone by using proprietary barrels.

You can get new barrels from Bergara, but that leaves you limited to their offerings.

Value: 5/5

If you’re going to really use this rifle as a platform to learn long range shooting then it is an amazing value. If this is just a weekend plinker, you might not get as much out of it.

Outside of a custom action rifle, I think this is the absolute best Remington 700 footprint rifle on the market currently.

900
at GunPrime

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Overall: 5/5

Conclusion

The Bergara B-14 HMR is a strong contender for the best value long range shooting platform. Based on the Remington 700 action you get your pick of almost any accessory but its Bergara’s barrels that really bring the HMR to a whole other level. I really had high hopes for the B-14 HMR and I’m happy to say that it didn’t disappoint even a little. It really lives up to the hype.

If you’re not ready to spring for a custom-built rifle, but still want the best of the factory options–this is the rifle you’re looking for. From PRS to hunting, it will get the job done.

What are your favorite bolt rifles? think there is something better on the market than the B-14 HMR? Let us know in the comments! For a lot more in long range optics, take a look at the Best Long Range Scopes & Optics!

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9 Leave a Reply

  • Sal

    I believe the photo is San Sebastian not Bilbao in the photo. Both are Basque.

    2 weeks ago
  • james hanson

    I am wondering about barrel life. I load 140 eld-m bullets at 2700fps. I have pugt 526 down range so far. any input is helpful. thanks,

    1 month ago
    • David, PPT Editor

      It's going to depend on what you find acceptable for precision, but generally, with 6.5 Creedmoor you're looking at around 2,500-3,000 for best precision results. After that, you're likely going to start seeing groups open up.

      1 month ago
  • Damian

    Have a sig sauer 100 in 6.5. Is this in the same wheel house or surpasses the sig?

    2 months ago
  • Garry Felton

    I was just shooting my new HMR B14 at the range today out to 1062 yards. It's an absolute laser! Outstanding handling & performance! I appreciate your review. The only disappointing part to me is the accuracy report showing multiple unacceptable groups. I have yet to shoot a single group that wasn't sub-MOA with this gun. In fact, it's average results after a few dozen groupings is .63" with many well under 1/2".

    2 months ago
  • James Gentry

    I can’t help but notice all the target pictures look the same. What really happened ?

    2 months ago
    • David, PPT Editor

      It's the same picture highlighting a different group each time. 4 types of ammo, 4 groups, 1 target, 4 pictures using RangeBuddy to measure each individual group.

      2 months ago
  • William Jesse Williams

    Does it come in a left handed throw?

    2 months ago
    • David, PPT Editor

      It does!

      2 months ago
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