Tale of a Bergara Mountain Rifle

Murtfree

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Aug 23, 2019
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I recently purchased a Bergara Mountain Rifle in 280 Ackley for an upcoming Backpack hunt. I have plenty of rifles I built over the years but most tipped the scales in excess of 9 lbs so I wanted something lightweight; close to 7 lbs would be ideal. I really didn’t want to go through another build process with all the good factory rifles available today. I heard good things about the Bergara Premier Mountain Rifles and decided to pick one up. First impression everything looked good but not impressed with the weight. Advertised weight was less than 6lbs 5 oz and mine weighed in a 6lbs 11oz; so much for keeping the weight near 7lbs total. But told myself I could live with it if the rifle was a tack driver. I started working on some handloads and was very impressed with the ballistics of the cartridge which were very near 7 Rem Mag, but accuracy wasn’t what I was hoping for. Close to MOA but not quite, always 2 together and then a flyer. Not the .4” a average group size mentioned in the literature packed with my rifle. I figured I would try a bedding job which I always do to a new rifle but didn’t in this case because I was hoping for .4 MOA out of the box like the literature stated. When I removed the barreled action from the stock I believe I found the potential problem. Apparently the CNC inletting wasn’t exact and instead of the recoil lug sitting snuggly in the stock against the bedding block, there was excess “play” and the front action screw was taking all the punishment and beating against the pillar cracking the stock. I was able to verify this with some experimentation with and without action screws. So I began the process of glass bedding last evening and hopefully tonight I can clean everything up now that the epoxy cured and get it back together again. Hopefully this will get me those .4“ average groups Bergara claims for this rifle. Take away for me on this, don’t be lazy and properly bed all rifles before working on loads. Pictures attached showing the crack from the action side and bottom metal side of stock, which was not there before I fired the rifle. Also pictures of the groups I was getting; Hopefully things will tighten up and the third shot will group with the other two.

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Apollo117

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Jan 22, 2018
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Nice job on the troubleshooting. I suggest contacting Bergara to see if they will replace the stock. Bedding compound or not, I wouldn't want a crack in my stock.
 
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Murtfree

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Aug 23, 2019
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If you bought the rifle new, did you contact Bergara yet?
I contacted Bergara by email with questions about the rifle when I first purchased it and got no response. So I chalked it up to another company that has poor customer service
 
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Murtfree

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Nice job on the troubleshooting. I suggest contacting Bergara to see if they will replace the stock. Bedding compound or not, I wouldn't want a crack in my stock.
I guess I could try to see if Bergara would replace the stock but I received no response from them on other issues. I have enough faith in my ability to fix the stock that I originally felt it wasn’t worth my time trying to deal with them. But I assumed they would want me to send the entire rifle back and that isn’t something I would be willing to do. I have stocked and bedded dozens of rifles over the years and worked for a custom rifle stock company for many years. I cut the entire cracked area out of the stock and replaced it with Deacon Aluminum. I’ll post pictures later when I get it cleaned up and finished
 

ss13

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I wouldn’t accept the cracked stock. I’d be calling and speaking over the phone.
 

fightthenoie

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Feb 17, 2017
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I have the exact same rifle. It shoots factory Nosler 140gr Accubonds and 140gr E-Tips half MOA very reliably and 162 ELD-X factory in the .2-.3's. It's stupid accurate. The most accurate rifle I own, and I own 3 Tikka's as well. I can reliably replicate the sub 1/2-MOA group represented in the test target they sent with the rifle (they used 140 AB factory ammo). I have not yet worked up a hand load, but I'm excited to this winter. I haven't bedded it or done anything to it. It wears a Maven 2-10x38 in Warne rings.

I bought the gun used, the original owner having put <80 rounds through it. After I got it, I noticed the stock was cracking along the comb of the stock. Not sure when or how it came about. I called Bergara and they were very helpful. I had a hunt coming up the following week and they bent over backwards to get a replacement stock out to me and sent me a label to ship the cracked stock back. They sent out notification of shipment of the replacement stock in the same email they sent the label, so they didn't even require me to send my stock in first.

They didn't ask how it happened, they didn't ask how long I had the rifle, they didn't ask for the serial, and at no point did they try to pin it on me or try to avoid standing behind their product. I will forever look at Bergara first when I get a hankering for a new factory rifle.

I had the stock Tuesday the following week, swapped it out, confirmed zero, went and killed 2 whitetail in MN.

They are a small company so maybe they suck at staying on top of emails, but they will take care of you if you call them. I mainly talked to a guy name Nathan, and he was stellar.


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CorbLand

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Not to hi jack the thread but who makes Bergara stocks? I looked into this a bit ago and couldnt find any information on it.
 

jfs82

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Jan 13, 2019
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The one time I contacted bergara with a question, about an issue I could have easily dealt with but wanted to make sure I did it the way they recommended, they responded immediately and took care of it for me rather than me doing it. Mine is a b14 ridge, Im pretty new to shooting compared to most on here and Im getting .5moa on 5 shot groups. I'd call them.
 
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Murtfree

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Thanks for the input. Maybe I didn’t give Bergara a fair shake by emailing them, I am used to getting crappy service from most companies today and just figured they were like all the rest. I will try calling them tomorrow and see what they say. As far as the stock goes now, I am sure it is stronger than when I first received it, crack is gone and now it is properly bedded, relieved and floated (Last 1/2” of chamber area was making stock contact). I am fairly sure this rifle will be as accurate as the rifles other members have described since it didn’t do too bad considering the defect.


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Murtfree

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Aug 23, 2019
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Nicely done. Does the bottom of the lug have clearance? Just wondering...
Yes, the lug only makes contact with the bedding/stock on the rearward side. It is relieved on the bottom, sides and front.
 

MattB

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You want crappy service? E-mail instead of call. Almost guaranteed.
 

Watrdawg

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Thanks for the input. Maybe I didn’t give Bergara a fair shake by emailing them, I am used to getting crappy service from most companies today and just figured they were like all the rest. I will try calling them tomorrow and see what they say. As far as the stock goes now, I am sure it is stronger than when I first received it, crack is gone and now it is properly bedded, relieved and floated (Last 1/2” of chamber area was making stock contact). I am fairly sure this rifle will be as accurate as the rifles other members have described since it didn’t do too bad considering the defect.


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I recently bought a Premier Highlander and had issues with the internal magazine and chambering rounds. I contacted Bergara and they were great to work with. The guy I dealt with is Oliver Potts. Here is the email address I used to get to him <[email protected]> They took care of my issue very quickly.
 

Watrdawg

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The Highlander is probably the most accurate rifle I have. However, I'm still on the fence about it. Website description states the magazine capacity is 3 rounds in 6.5PRC. That is incorrect. It only holds 2 rounds. Feeding is also rough. It's smoothing out a bit and ammunition type plays a big part in this. Shooting Hornady 143gr ELDX and it feeds fine. This is because of the tip of the round. I'm also shooting Copper Creek 140gr Berger Elite Hunter ammo and because it is an all metal jacket without a tip like the Hornady round I have to really drive the bolt home for it to feed properly. The 140gr Berger EH is really accurate out of this rifle though. I can keep 5 rounds within .5" easy at 100yards.

If the feeding issue doesn't get any better I may sell it and go with a Seekins PH2 in 6.5PRC.
 
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Murtfree

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Today I had a great conversation with a customer service rep at Bergara. I wasn’t sure why I was calling because I was fairly certain I wouldn’t be returning the stock since it was repaired and bedded now. If I returned it I would have to start all over again and rebed the barreled action. But I wanted to hear what they would have to say and was very pleased with the reps suggestion. After I explained the situation to him, he informed me that the stock is a warranty item and if for any reason it fails over the life of the rifle they will replace it at no charge. All I have to do is call them to get an RMA number and they will send out a replacement to me as soon as they receive the damaged stock. He understood that I was hesitant to return it after the work I put into it and suggested that I could try it with my repair. And if anytime in the future it recracked I could choose to send it back at that time. That was a suggestion I could certainly live with as I doubt the stock will recrack since I’ve done many stock repairs over the years and have yet to have one fail. But it’s nice to know I have a back up insurance policy should a problem arise. Glad I made the call.
 

OXN939

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Today I had a great conversation with a customer service rep at Bergara. I wasn’t sure why I was calling because I was fairly certain I wouldn’t be returning the stock since it was repaired and bedded now. If I returned it I would have to start all over again and rebed the barreled action. But I wanted to hear what they would have to say and was very pleased with the reps suggestion. After I explained the situation to him, he informed me that the stock is a warranty item and if for any reason it fails over the life of the rifle they will replace it at no charge. All I have to do is call them to get an RMA number and they will send out a replacement to me as soon as they receive the damaged stock. He understood that I was hesitant to return it after the work I put into it and suggested that I could try it with my repair. And if anytime in the future it recracked I could choose to send it back at that time. That was a suggestion I could certainly live with as I doubt the stock will recrack since I’ve done many stock repairs over the years and have yet to have one fail. But it’s nice to know I have a back up insurance policy should a problem arise. Glad I made the call.
Very interesting thread. Glad you got in touch with them and that things worked out for the best (so far). Correct me if I'm wrong, but both owners of Premier Mountain rifles on this thread have had their stocks crack. Two data points is obviously not a lot, but enough to raise an eyebrow for sure. Is y'all's overall impression of the stock that it's poorly made?
 
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Murtfree

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Very interesting thread. Glad you got in touch with them and that things worked out for the best (so far). Correct me if I'm wrong, but both owners of Premier Mountain rifles on this thread have had their stocks crack. Two data points is obviously not a lot, but enough to raise an eyebrow for sure. Is y'all's overall impression of the stock that it's poorly made?
It my particular case I don’t believe it was a failure of the stock itself but of the inletting. I don’t think any manufactures stock could have withstood the beating this stock took in the same area. There was a lot of recoil force being concentrated to a small area (1/4 inch action screw- thankfully there were aluminum pillars) where the stock web is very thin. If the force would have been applied to the stock at the recoil lug there wouldn’t have been an issue. That area of the stock is built to take the abuse. This situation reinforces my thoughts that all rifles should be properly glass bedded before shooting. Even with todays precise CNC inletting of stocks, mass production assures that not all will be perfect. Bedding makes that precise fit that can be achieved by no other method. Can’t speak for the other gentleman’s stock that cracked along the comb, that is a strange one
 

fightthenoie

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Feb 17, 2017
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I don’t see it as a trend. It’s just the ugly underbelly of carbon fiber. In a thread about cracked stocks, the folks with anecdotes about cracked stocks will show up. Thousands of uncracked stocks out there will stay silent or scroll past the thread. I will probably be bedding my stock now though. I’d like to know your protocol since I’ve only bedded one stock in the past and it was wood.
 
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