Bergara is a rifle company frequently discussed on Rokslide, and until now, I had never explored their lineup of hunting rifles. In early 2023, I saw a media release on their latest offering, the B14 Squared Crest. The images depicted a short barrel and action riding in a unique-looking carbon fiber stock. The specs offered more details of the rifle featuring a short overall length, moderate weight, and a variety of cartridges to choose from.

Bergara B14

At a late winter hunting show I had a chance to talk to Bergara about the new rifle and how it might fit into my style of hunting in western Montana and north Idaho. My preferences in rifles usually gravitate to ones that are quick handling and functional at close range. Although long-range opportunities exist in the terrain I hunt, quick off-hand shots at close range occur more frequently. I wanted a rifle that was easily mounted to the shoulder and a barrel that wasn’t so long it became a burden in the thick brush. Weight was also a consideration as a backpack hunter. A rifle shouldn’t be a burden to carry into the backcountry, yet it needs some heft for stable shooting i.e. a rifle that is stable and easy to shoot in most field positions.

Bergara B14 Details


The heart of this rifle is the Bergara B14 action. It is available in a long action or short action configuration and is patterned after the Remington 700. It comes from the factory with a removable 20 MOA picatinny rail mounted on the action. The bolt is fluted and polished, has a sliding plate extractor, and a single ejector. The bolt shroud is metal, open on the underside, and has a cocking indicator visible when the firing pin is cocked. The action is finished in a subtle grey Cerakote.


The barrel is 20 inches in length, chromium-molybdenum steel, and manufactured by Bergara in Spain. The contour is similar to a lightweight varmint contour and sports six moderately deep flutes. The muzzle is threaded 5/8-24 and comes with a radial-style Omni muzzle brake in addition to a plain end cap thread protector. The muzzle brake adds an extra 1.37 inches to the length of the barrel. The test rifle is chambered in a 6.5 PRC with a 1:8 twist rate.


The stock is 100 percent carbon fiber and is made using a resin transfer molding process that makes it light and rigid. The grip is vertical with a moderate palm swell. The comb is high with ample bolt clearance and is slightly negative in slope relative to the bore. The inletting is generous in the barrel channel with lots of clearance and a slop-free fit in the action area. This stock has front and rear flush cup sling mounts on both sides and three traditional sling studs. The recoil pad is soft for maximum recoil reduction and can be removed to add additional .45-inch length-of-pull spacers (two are included). The finish is raw carbon with a grey and black painted pattern.


The trigger is fully adjustable between 1.5 and 3.5 pounds, and the test rifle arrived set at 2.5 pounds. The trigger requires periodic maintenance and can be removed, cleaned, and lubricated.

Bottom Metal

The bottom metal is M5 and comes with an AICS magazine. The 6.5 PRC magazine is metal and holds three rounds. The other offered cartridges come with 5-round magazines.

Scope and Rings

I chose to use Hawkins Precision Hybrid low rings instead of the supplied Picatinny rail. The Bergara action is a Remington 700-style clone, so the rings are an easy fit. The scope used for testing is a Tract Toric UltraHD 2.5-15x with a 44 mm objective lens. The complete rifle with scope and rings weighed 9.48 pounds.

Performance and Overall Impressions

The rifle arrived in early spring before the start of bear season. The fit and finish are top-notch, as the application of the Cerakote is flawless. The paint scheme on the stock looks sharp but is a little slippery when used in the rain. The bedding of the action in the stock is tight and wiggle-free. The cycling of the action is smooth, with the feeding of loaded rounds flawless in the tested conditions. Extraction and ejection of fired brass have been trouble-free as well.

The stock design is stiff, light, and comfortable to shoot. The vertical grip fits the hand well with an easy reach to the trigger, which permits a very controlled straight squeeze.  The comb height allows for a quick and repeatable cheek weld. There wasn’t a need to smash my facial bones into the stock to spot hits at distance as the rifle recoils in a very controlled manner. The traditional sling swivels were removed for a cleaner forend as they would sometimes get snagged on rests. Overall, the stock is a great feature of this rifle.

Muzzle Device Options

The rifle was shot with several configurations of muzzle hardware. The factory Omni brake controlled the recoil very well and wasn’t extremely loud, although it did displace dust and snow when fired in the prone position. The threaded end cap shortened the rifle’s overall length and produced the most recoil. A Thunder Beast Ultra 5 suppressor was used on the rifle, too, and it worked well with the short, stiff barrel, keeping recoil and muzzle blast to a minimum while still maintaining a shorter-length firearm.

Bergara B14 Weight

In real-world hunting scenarios, groups at longer distances start to open up when rifles get too light. The extra weight seems to muffle the twitches and tremors of the shooter when adrenaline is flowing and the heart rate is elevated. Conversely, a long-barreled heavy rifle can be unwieldy when carried in the mountains. At 9.5 pounds, this rifle isn’t considered ultra-light, but it isn’t heavy. It falls into that sweet spot where shootability and packability are evenly balanced.

The accuracy of this rifle is fantastic. Using Hornady Precision Hunter ammunition with 143-grain ELD-X bullets, groups varied between 0.32 and 0.54 Minute of Angle (MOA). Using Federal Premium ammunition with 130-grain Terminal Ascent bullets, groups were in the 0.73 to 0.82 MOA range. I have not hand loaded for this rifle, but I suspect the same accuracy could be easily attained or exceeded if one wishes.

All season, I carried this rifle in hand or strapped it to my pack on long hikes into the backcountry, and it was never a burden. The shorter overall length made for a quick-handling rifle, and it was easy to navigate brush with it strapped to my pack. I prefer to carry my rifle in hand by gripping it under the action for the likelihood of a quick close-range shot. For me, rifles with AICS magazines can be problematic for carrying as they protrude out the bottom of the rifle at the natural balance point.  It also tends to snag on clothing and gear at times and rattles when inadvertently bumped or handled quickly.


I am impressed with the Bergara B14 Squared Crest. Its compact build and unique carbon fiber stock are versatile enough for most of my hunting. The action, crisp trigger, and fluted steel barrel offer excellent accuracy in factory ammunition. The M5 bottom metal with AICS magazine isn’t my favorite configuration, but it isn’t a deal-breaker. Weighing around 9.5 pounds with a scope, it balances portability and stability, making it ideal for backcountry hunts. The B14 Squared Crest is a promising addition to the hunting rifle market.

As of this writing, Bergara announced a carbon-barreled version of the B14 Squared Crest. It offers a reduced weight (around 1 pound in the 6.5 PRC) and several new chamberings. Bergara also mentions a conversion kit for the M5 AICS bottom metal to a floorplate style of bottom metal, which would make this rifle even more appealing to the mountain hunter.

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Josh Boyd
Josh is a lifelong DIY backcountry hunter who enjoys the challenge of rugged and wild country. Preferring minimal equipment and support, his appetite for adventure has led to successful hunts of elk, mule deer, mountain goat, moose, antelope, black bear, and whitetails. As a freelance writer, Josh’s adventures have been documented in popular print media such Bowhunter Magazine, Bow & Arrow Hunting, Extreme Elk Magazine, and Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal as well as multiple articles on over 200 days spent in the field every year in the mountains of Western Montana hunting, skiing, hiking, biking, and working, Josh is continually investigating and pushing the limits of the equipment. Josh works with the U.S. Forest Service specializing in watershed restoration, hydrologic data collection, and snowpack information, putting him in the backcountry in a variety of conditions throughout the year.