The Rimfire Report: An Accurately Priced 22LR Bolt Gun – Bergara BMR

Luke C.
by Luke C.

Hello and welcome back to another edition of The Rimfire Report! Last week we talked about the full-size 22LR trainer, the Bergara B14R. Bergara’s B14R offering is somewhat of a rare breed of rifle – it’s not exactly handy, or cheap, and I don’t think it’s supposed to be. The B14R is a perfect replacement for those looking to train for positional shooting for a PRS match, or for just getting more use out of your expensive Remington 700 chassis system. A far more affordable and handy option is the B14R’s little brother, the Bergara Micro Rimfire (Bergara BMR). The BMR features a lot of the same features that make the B14R great, but in a completely dedicated rimfire system that just happens to use a few key components that make it just adjustable enough for the end user to tweak it to their needs and preferences. Today we’ll check it out and I’ll give you my initial impressions on the micro-sized Bergara BMR.

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The Rimfire Report: An Accurately Priced 22LR Bolt Gun: Bergara BMR

Specifications

The BMR (Bergara Micro Rimfire) is more or less a direct competitor of the Tikka T1x when it comes to NRL22 competition rifles. The rifle comes in at a very acceptable price for a “precision” 22LR rifle with an MSRP of $565, which will leave plenty of room to choose a scope with an MSRP of under $485, which would allow the rifle to compete in NRL22 base class competition (cap is $1,050 combined MSRP).

Firing Pin Indicator
Firing Pin Indicator

The BMR has the same match chamber as its larger B14R cousin, but a lighter #4 barrel taper which is readily evident as soon as you pick it up out of the box. In addition to the bolt and action being different than the B14R, the BMR action is not a Remington 700 pattern, but it does accept Remington 700 triggers, so just make sure you’re not planning on trying to stuff this thing inside of your PRS chassis – it won’t work.

  • Barrel: The 4140 steel barrel features a matte blued finish and is designed with a No. 4 taper, providing a balance between rigidity and weight reduction.
  • Twist: The rifle features a 1:16″ twist rate for .22LR and .22WMR, ensuring optimal stabilization of projectiles. For the .17HMR variant, the twist rate is 1:9″.
  • Barrel Length: The BMR is available in two barrel length options, 18″ or 20″, allowing shooters to choose their preferred balance between maneuverability and velocity.
  • Threaded Muzzle: The rifle is equipped with a threaded muzzle measuring 1/2-28″, providing compatibility with a wide range of muzzle devices and suppressors.
  • Weight: Weighing between 5.5 and 5.8 lbs (2.5 – 2.7 kg), the BMR is incredibly lightweight, enhancing its portability and ease of use in the field.
  • Length: The rifle measures either 36″ or 38″ overall, striking a balance between compactness and shooter comfort.
  • Magazine Capacity: Each BMR rifle comes with both a 5-round and a 10-round magazine, allowing shooters to choose the appropriate capacity for their specific needs. Spare Magazines usually cost around $40 from various online retailers
  • Scope Mounts: The BMR features a 30 MOA rail, ensuring sufficient elevation adjustment for long-range shooting and scope compatibility.
  • Trigger: The Bergara Performance Trigger, compatible with Rem700, offers a responsive and consistent trigger pull for enhanced accuracy.
  • Stock: The BMR features a tactical grey stock with black specks, providing a visually appealing and functional grip for shooters.
  • MSRP: $565
The barrel is free-floated all the way to the receiver

First Impressions

Bergara’s commitment to making a name for itself in the rimfire market is evident in the BMR’s construction. Despite the light overall weight of the rifle, it feels very robust, matching the high standards set by other renowned Bergara rifles like the B14 HMR and B14R. Feather compared to my B14R! Overall, the build quality is very good and matches the B14R. The combination of a lightweight but solid feel is quite nice and made me at least feel like the rifle should be accurate.

Before I went to the range, I decided to do something very uncharacteristic and disassemble the entire gun. Having had recent experience moving my B14R to another chassis, I wanted to see what the major differences between the B14R and the BMR were. Removing the action from the stock I found the front action screw to be very tight probably somewhere in the realm of 50 or 60-inch pounds. The rear action screw came off easily with virtually no resistance, I’m not even sure if it was tightened down at all. The QC on these processes could be better. The B14R, also from Bergara arrived and felt very well put together from the factory, however, the price difference may be coming into play here. The B14R is $1000, and the BMR is not even $600.

The "bottom metal" is actually made out of plastic
You can replace the stock trigger (which breaks at about 2.5 lbs) with any off-the-shelf Remington 700 pattern trigger.

I removed the rail next. The rail itself, constructed from cast alloy, is at 30MOA of elevation and worked pretty well with my Maven CRS.1 3-12×44 scope giving me about 1/4 of clearance above the barrel. The rail was tightened on decently, probably around 15-25 inch pounds but lacked any sort of thread locker on the screws which is something I think might be advisable if you’re not planning on removing the 30MOA rail. The trigger is identical to the one from my B14R. I took off the pic rail and found screws that were moderately tightened.

The BMR stock isn’t anything to write home about. It’s made of plastic and comes in the typical Bergara tactical grey with black specs. The grip angle is good for a wide variety of shooting positions but might suffer during a PRS event or if shooting from prone consistently. I eventually reassembled and torqued down everything to 25-inch pounds using my Wheeler FAT Stix kit. Overall, I’d give the construction quality and assembly of the BMR somewhere around an A- or maybe a B+.

While it's plastic, the stock feels really solid and features the classic grey splatter pattern Bergara is known for.

Range Time/Experience

Like the B14R, I wanted my first outing with the BMR to just be a basic function testing, zeroing, and regular ammo grouping session. Like last time, I brought my gold standard for bolt-action rimfire guns CCI 40-grain Standard Velocity and got to work zeroing the rifle. The Maven CRS.1 worked pretty well for this task since I zeroed the rifle at 50-yards, but getting a good group in at a true 100-yard distance proved to be difficult due to a combination of the CRS.1 unforgiving eye box at 12X magnification, and also just being less magnification than I’d like for putting serious groups on paper.

Two groups on the top were shot with CCI Stanard Velocity 40-grain, while the bottom two groups were shot with CCI Mini-Mag 40-grain. Both groups were shot from 100 yards using the Maven CRS1. 3-12x44mm from the prone position using a bipod.

I grouped the Bergara BMR with the Maven CRS.1 shooting from the prone position and attempted to group the rifle at 100 yards and wound up getting about 2 MOA groups as my best with CCI Standard 40-grain. While I’m certain the rifle is capable of performing even better with match ammo, which we will test out in a future article, I think what was holding me back the most was the choice of optic for grouping. A 5-25×56 or something similar would have been a much better choice for putting groups on paper and that’s exactly what we’ll do when my shipment of match ammo arrives for both the BMR and the B14R.

Aside from a few hiccups when it came to extracting spent casings from the chamber, the BMR performed flawlessly with reliable ignition of both CCI Standard Velocity, Mini-Mags, and Aguila Super Extra. In addition to the accuracy and reliability, with the rifle being so lightweight, the addition of a bipod and higher magnification optic wouldn’t be too much of a deal. As configured, my rifle weighs a touch over 7.5 lbs with a bipod and a medium magnification scope. With the level of accuracy I’ve been getting out of this thing with just standard velocity bulk 22LR ammo, I’d say this is probably a top contender for a quiet, bolt-action squirrel or target gun if NRL22 isn’t your thing.

Final Thoughts from My First Range Sessions

While the BMR proved its reliability with consistent ignition and consistent groups from its steel #4 taper barrel, some minor issues were encountered during spent casing extraction which could be a concern for those looking to compete with this rifle. Nevertheless, the BMR’s lightweight nature allows for easy maneuvering, and integration of accessories such as a bipod and a wide range of optics including some of the bigger scopes used for longer-range 22LR shooting competitions.

All of these add-ons complement the BMR without significantly compromising its overall weight since it’s so light already. Considering the great accuracy attained with CCI Standard Velocity bulk 22LR ammo, the Bergara BMR emerges as a strong contender for those seeking a quiet and precise bolt-action rifle and hopefully in a few weeks when we test it out with match-grade ammunition and a better optic, we can further prove that the Bergara BMR might just be one of the best value options out there right now for 22LR bolt-action rifles.

Overall, the Bergara BMR has impressed me so far with its solid performance, and potential for even greater accuracy when paired with match-grade ammunition and a more suitable optic. This is one of those rifles that I could really see myself shooting a lot long range just because it’s so light and handy, unlike the more expensive B14R which is basically a boat anchor with a rifle tied to it when compared to the nimble and featherlight BMR. As always, I’d like to hear your thoughts and opinions on the Bergara BMR and of course, if you’ve had first-hand experience with it, please let us know your thoughts down in the comments!

Check Prices on Bergara BMR Rifles

10-round mag
5-round mag
The Rimfire Report: An Accurately Priced 22LR Bolt Gun - The Bergara BMR

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Luke C.
Luke C.

Reloader SCSA Competitor Certified Pilot Currently able to pass himself off as the second cousin twice removed of Joe Flanigan. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ballisticaviation/

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4 of 7 comments
  • Mystick Mystick on Jul 11, 2023

    That price really isn't that bad, I have held and fired out to 300 yards a super-accurized 10-22 that no longer had any Ruger parts that came in around $2k, maybe a little more.

  • Matthew Matthew on Jul 11, 2023

    I don't consider myself some amazing shooter, but you really need a much higher power optic to "putting groups on paper"? The highest power optic I own is a 12x on the long end. My 10/22 with Tac Sol threaded barrel is running a Bushnell 4x32 Rimfire scope and I can pretty easily shoot ~2MOA groups at 100yds with CCI standard. A can on can shrink that to a little under 2. Also I can't really tell what the groups are for the minimags on the bottom. I guess I see two groups on the left? The top two groups are ~2.5MOA, not 2MOA.

    That seems like pretty disappointing accuracy, even with CCI Standards.

    My 10/22 is optics limited at 4x. At 50yds, or a 100yds with a higher power optic, CCI Suppressor with a can on will shoot under 1.5MOA at 50yds and the same at 100 on a relatively calm day with a higher power optic. I can sometimes squeeze 1.5MOA groups at 100 with very careful shooting. Without the can group sizes grow about 20% (so still under 2MOA, just not a ton under). I've got some match ammo like Eley. Yeah it'll shoot better than the best CCI I have. But not enough better to be worth me spending any money on it. I don't shoot matches. Just a ton of range plinking and way too many groundhogs, and the now discontinued Winchester 42gr LHP subs and CCI 45gr suppressor are my go to on the latter. And whatever will run well in my 10/22 for the former.

    My 22" standard profile Howa in .223 has no issues shoot well under 1MOA with Sierra 69gr BTHP and a 4-12 Bushnell Engage off bags. Same from prone and a bipod. My 20 Howa 6.5 grendel will do the same with 120gr Sierra BTHP. But that is with a Sig 3-9x40 as I used that rifle for deer hunting.

    • See 1 previous
    • Matthew Matthew on Jul 14, 2023

      @Justin Doc Phew. A little. I guess the TL-DR is, is the author just a really bad shot, really bad eyesight, or are they making excuses for a rifle that isn't very accurate?

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