Bergara Rifles was nice enough to chip in with several other manufacturers to buy me lunch during the 2016 SHOT show. As you no doubt know, there’s so such thing as a free lunch. In return for tasty vittles, I was forced, forced I tell you, to fondle Bergara’s new Premier Series of rifles and engage in some pleasant conversation with several members of the Bergara and Dead Air team. Of particular interest is their new Premier line . . .
Bergara is perhaps best known for their barrels, but they made the move to start producing their own rifles around a year ago. Nick went and shot one of their Heavy Tactical rifles, and came away impressed. But for $4000, he better have been, right? Sensing that the market for custom $4000 rifles is somewhat small, Bergara has gotten their feet wet with “semi” custom bolt guns with their Premier Series of rifles.
The Premier series use a lot of the same parts from the custom line, including barrels, triggers, and to my eye, actions. But instead of building it how you like it, Bergara is creating some standardization that allows them to reach a lower price point. In the case of their LRP (not pictured), you get a Bergara action, barrel, and Timney 517 flat faced trigger screwed to a XLR Element chassis for a MSRP of $2190. Assuming the dealer network gets competitive, you might see real world pricing in the realm of $2000.
For just a touch more, $2640 buys you the pictured LRP Elite model which ditches the XLR in favor of a Mega Orias fitted with a Magpul PRS butt stock. Everything else stays the same for internals including the ability to be fed from AICS magazines, and the included 20 MOA rail. Unfortunately, all I was able to do was shoulder the gun, run the bolt, and bang away at the trigger at lunch. During that short test, I was impressed with the level of fit and finish I saw in the rifle. The bolt moves very smoothly forward and backward, while bolt lift and locking are minimal. As it uses a two lug bolt, throw is a touch long at 90 degrees, but I don’t find that to be especially concerning, and if you shoot a Rem 700 pattern, neither should you. As you’d expect from a Timney, the trigger is crisp with little to no overtravel.
Bergara plans to offer the LRP and LRP Elite in .308 WIN with a twenty inch 1:10 twist barrel. The 6.5 Creedmoor will be produced with a 22 inch 1:8 twist barrel. And yes, you read that correctly in the headline. Bergara has eschewed the .243 WIN in favor of launching 6 mm bullets from the necked down 6.5 Creedmoor case. The 6 mm loading will feature a 1:8 twist barrel, perfect for the heavy ~105 gr match bullets. Expect a little more work (ehhh a lot really) to get ammo for that gun, but when you do, it should make those heavy 6 mm bullets scream.
I’ve asked Bergara for a LRP Elite in 6.5 Creedmoor, and they’ve granted my request with a good deal of enthusiasm. We’re doing paperwork at the moment, but I should have a Premier LRP Elite in my grubby hands sooner rather than later. I’ve very interested to see what an extra $1000 buys you over the Ruger Precision Rifle I tested late last year, as they appear to be fairly similar in specs with only a few minor differences. Watch this space.