Bergara B-14R

Simply the best in rimfire trainers

Everything came down to this shot. The felon was flanked on either side by hostages and there would only be the briefest of windows to make a single critical trigger pull.

I knew the range down to the tenth of a yard and I was confident. The only problem was the wind. It was whipping with a vengeance, a physical force like an invisible hand — calm one moment then raging the next. Of course, trouble never comes calling on a calm, 72º day.

The gun in my hand was comfortable like an old pair of boots. I’d handled this species of rifle on many real-world law enforcement missions, lying in the snow at 10 degrees below zero and steamy summer nights where the 300% humidity kept fogging the scope in spite of miracle coatings and constant wiping.

I pushed all this from my mind as the wind waned a bit and the trigger began to move almost unconsciously. Scientists have a name for this state: tachypsychia. This is when time slows down, you become hyper-sensitive to stimulus and it feels like you could play a hand of euchre between each heartbeat pounding in your ears.

The trigger felt good, the gun was solidly against my shoulder and I swear I could feel the lockwork slide forward to detonate the primer. In the blink of an eye, I saw my wind-call was perfect and the hostage-taker had a neat hole drilled in the middle of his forehead. I silently congratulated myself.

“Good shootin’ there, Tex, ” I mumbled while standing up and checking my cell phone in case our dinner reservations had changed.

Okay, frankly, this scenario wasn’t as dramatic as the previous 280 words might have indicated. The bad guy was simply a piece of paper and if I had muffed the shot, my only problem would be dreaming up a new opening scene for this review of the Bergara B-14R. However, allow me to explain why I choose such a dramatic tableau to grab your attention regarding a mere .22 LR bolt action rifle.

The Bergara B-14R — a rimfire trainer and competition rifle with visions of centerfire grandeur.

Getting Started

“It’s great rifle, supreme accuracy, top-quality, well-constructed, yada, yada, yada …” is how most of these reviews go. I get it. In every case — at least in GUNS — the writer isn’t wrapping a proverbial dog log in gold foil but reporting accurately on the positive features of our cover gun. However, in the case of the Bergara, there is more to the story — much more.

Bergara says the B-14R was designed as “the best production precision .22 possible for both beginners and seasoned competitors.”

Fair ’nough. Whether you’re competing in the National Rifle League (NRL), Precision Rifle League (PRS), or “Billy Bob’s Local Loco League Sagebrush Shoot” rimfire matches, the B-14R will handle things admirably. If you want better quality and more accuracy, you’ll have to find a Voodoo doctor-gunsmith who builds custom .22 rifles under a full moon.

However, the deeper part of the story is something Bergara glosses over until you dive deeper into their website. On page two where the detailed specs live, the company notes the gun is “an incredible accurate full size precision trainer.” Therein lies the beauty of this particular beast — it’s an ersatz Remington 700 platform with .22 LR guts.

The AICS-pattern magazines have a special 10-round inset to handle the .22 LR
cartridges while otherwise mimicking a short-action centerfire rifle magazine.

The operating controls are exactly where you’d expect them on a Remington 700.

The heavyweight HMR stock is adjustable for LOP and cheek weld. This isn’t a
lightweight gun and nicely duplicates the feel of its Rem 700 cousins.


Manufactured in Spain, the B-14R builds on the family of the Bergara B-14 centerfire rifle series. Available now in .17 HMR and .22 WMR, we’re sure the .22 LR version will outsell the others significantly because of the .22 LR chambering.

As mentioned, the platform fits nearly all Remington 700-pattern stocks, scope bases and triggers. The magazine well is standard short-action AICS magazine dimension though the rifle uses a special full-size magazine which holds 10 .22 LR rounds in a single stack.

The heavy HMR factory stock is no slouch in itself and offers LOP spacers, an adjustable cheek piece and flush-mount sling mounts. It’s solid enough to bludgeon a walrus and is covered in an attractive gray-and-black speckle pattern. The 18″ #6 taper barrel lives in a wide, free-float channel built on a full-length integrated mini-chassis for stability. The overall length is 38″ and the gun weighs a relatively heavy (for a rimfire) 9.2 lbs. The barrel uses a 1:16 twist and includes a 1/2-28″ threaded end with protector in case you want to install a muzzle device.

The action features a safety in exactly the place you’d expect on a Remington 700 and the bolt runs like ice in a hot skillet. During testing I had zero feeding problems nor other issues.

Our gun was mated with a Vortex Strike Eagle 5-25×56 First Focal Plane MRAD scope in Vortex rings. This scope is perfect for a rimfire gun as the parallax adjustment goes down to 15 yards, something to consider when shooting .22 LR, especially in practical competitions.

Okay, they weren’t real bad guys but Brent had flashbacks of missions past as
he buckled down behind the B-14R to engage a few paper “Tangos.” Note the
wind meter: 16.9 mph average, not good for a .22 LR!

In spite of awful wind conditions, Brent managed to tweak out a
0.961" group at 60 yards using mid-grade ammo.

The 30 lbs. of steel didn’t keep the portable target stand from rocking wildly at times.
It was critical to wait for lulls in the wind to get an accurate representative of the B-14R.

Range Time

I’ll say upfront I’m a bit embarrassed. Our test gun, rather than being a loaner from the manufacturer, is personally owned by our own ace photographer Rob Jones. As a major acolyte at the altar of accuracy, he is wildly frothy about the B-14R and graciously sent the gun to His Worshipfulness The Editor for a test run.

The reason I feel bad is because of the conditions. Due to deadlines, range schedules and Midwest springtime weather, I didn’t have the best circumstances to wring out the gun. In fact, if you’re slinging tiny, slowpoke — 40 grains at 1,200 fps — bullets in a 23-mph wildly gusting quarter-value wind, it’s not really being fair to the gun or ammo. But, as they say, “It is what it is,” and you push through because you have no choice. Deadlines wait for no one, even editors.

At 25 yards, I found the gun boring, as in “10-shots-into-one-hole” boring. Even with the wind ripping the baseball cap from my head and pushing a half-full box of ammo off the table, a full magazine routinely created a single large rent in the paper despite the gun being just a touch too long in length-of-pull. The stock includes spacers but since Rob was gracious enough to share his prize, I didn’t want to monkey too much with the set-up.

The problems started when I moved back to 50.1 yards as determined by my faithful Halo XLR 1600 laser rangefinder. My range is an open field surrounded by berms, so the wind was funneled right to where my portable shooting table was sitting. Normally stable enough for long-distance riflery, today’s wind had the scope reticle bouncing around like a bowling ball in a washing machine. This was compounded by the target stand which, in spite of 30 lbs. of steel resting against the legs, insisted on moving back-and-forth during the heaviest gusts. Trying to outwait the wind proved only marginally successful as I often rushed the shot whenever the wind slacked, resulting in a slapped trigger and an eight-ring shot.

After an hour of trying, I gave up and moved under the cover of the range shed porch where I commandeered a composite picnic table. Out of the wind, the heavy table provided a steady rest for my sandbags and rifle. The Halo XLR indicated the distance to target was 59.1 yards and I was 20º off perpendicular.

However, this caused another problem — the wind call. Now, protected against the gale, I couldn’t tell what the wind was doing. This meant I’d get a nice stable shooting position and perfect trigger pull but suddenly the round would go 2″ or 3″ off the mark because I couldn’t tell the wind was ripping downrange. My best five-shot group using Federal Target ammo measured 0.916” — truthfully, not too shabby for 60 yards in these conditions with a rimfire using non-match ammo but I still feel it’s not representative of the Bergara.

The .22 LR guns are notoriously finicky about ammo but the 14R didn’t seem to mind much. Other than the groups opening up a bit, it was generally happy with everything fed from a bouillabaisse of different manufacturers, velocity and bullet weight. A few twists of the .1 MRAD scope turrets and I would have been dialed in for any particular round.

The B-14R bolt continues building the dream of centerfire precision,
running like a bank vault with no play, binding or slop.

Aside from being a great .22 LR rifle, the B-14R accepts all Remington
700-pattern accessories such as aftermarket triggers and stocks.


I shared all this windy backstory to explain why you won’t have a humble-brag series of statistics documenting incredible shooting by the matchless editor. Suffice it to say I’m certain this gun is monotonously accurate and if I can put Rob off another week or so, I’ll wait for perfect conditions and see how precise this gorgeous peashooter can be at 100 yards and beyond.

The gun isn’t perfect — nothing is. Our main complaint, in the sense of trying to find something to grouse about, is the trigger is a little erratic, something Rob warned us about. Using my Lyman digital trigger gauge, the trigger averaged out in 10 pulls to 1 lb., 15.9 oz, except the few times it inexplicably rose to 2 lbs., 10 oz. To my non-calibrated Mark I finger, I never noticed these variations while on the bench. The trigger was otherwise slick with minimal creep, certainly good enough for most users since the limiting factor is usually the shooter rather than the firearm.

This minor oddity might go away after a couple hundred more pulls, but Rob mentioned he’s going to add a new aftermarket trigger when his baby comes back. After all, Remington 700 interchangeability is the key here, right?

In the end, if you’re seeking a great competition or training .22, especially as an “Understudy gun” for your Remington 700-pattern rifle, the Bergara 14-R offers exceptional performance and accuracy at a truly eye-opening price — $1,150.

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