Bergara b14 rifles after almost 10 years from the release, reliability/accuracy/durability/features!

ssimo

Lil-Rokslider
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Sep 21, 2022
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271
Hello everyone, here i am again, last step before starting actually buying a lot of stuff in the process of building my next hunting rig. So, as far as the rifle goes, even if i am open to change my mind, i am leaning toward a B14 hunter in .308 (i would put it in a PSE composites e-lite stock) for my new build for many reasons (and price is not one of them) but it seems like recently, in forums, the bergara is considered a good budget rifle but the QC is not very good and, for example, Tikkas are a “much better” choice, “you can’t beat a tikka”, etc. At the same time, the majority of criticism towards bergara seem to come from who doesn’t own one and several posters on various forums, owning both a tikka and a Bergara, stated that they prefer the Bergara. So what’s the deal? For my hunting rifles i have always preferred a “cheaper” mass produced rifle because i think that these are very good tools, looking at function over cosmetics and being much more tested than less sold rifles, even much more expensive ones. For example, as my main knife i much prefer a cheap mora of sweden knife than a 400 euros luxury knife from a small brand simply because one is just a tool and it’s made to work, the other one goes beyond that and maybe the functionality has not been set as number one priority. The following points summarize how i think the bergara is in the main fields of what i consider important for a hunting rifle (reliability, accuracy, durability/overall quality, features):

-very good reliability with reliable feeding and ejection. Actually b14 actions seem among the most reliable in factory rifles on the market from what i read and experienced. While for example i have heard of many feeding issues with rifles from many brands, i have never heard any problem with B14 actions cycling.

-very good accuracy. I have seen some reports of b14s being pretty picky with ammo but even more reports saying the contrary. My B14 is pretty picky with ammo, but for me a 1.5 MOA group is a bad group so everything depends on the standards of the owner when calling a group “bad”. My b14 hunter, despite the 1:12 twist, seems to hate 150 gr ammo and shoots very well (0.3-0.6 MOA) RWS DK 165 gr and Geco teilmantel 170 gr.

-Good construction quality. It’s not a premium level quality, of course, but to me the Bergara seems to be a rifle built good enough to be considered good to go for any practical application and, since i consider hunting rifles “tools”, i don’t care much about refined cosmetic, finitures, etc. In other words, i don’t think the bergara b14 lacks build quality if you look at the functional side. I can feel it while holding a b14 and, for example, an xpr or a remington and also a cz 550: the bergara feels much more refined and solid and trigger, action and safety work very well. However, there have been some issues with the pot metal bolt shroud breaking or getting out of alignement in early 2018 models (like mine) but mostly with rifles shooting small primer 6.5 creedmore ammo (i have never heard of problems on a 308 rifle) and primers cratering (which, as i understood, is pretty common and it becomes an issue only in certain circumstances). These issues were not followed by a recall and seem to be pretty rare but bergara offers free MIM bolt shrouds to anyone owning a model produced before 2019.

-lot of features: for example, compared to a 1700 euros tikka t3x lite (yeah, in Italy a tikka t3x lite costs twice a b14 hunter), for example, a standard b14 comes with: factory cerakote treatment, no plastic parts (aside from the magazine), muzzle thread, better stock and recoil pad with more aftermarket support, better customer service. Bergaras and tikkas seem to have comparable accuracy (maybe a bit better with bergaras), trigger (maybe better on tikkas with the cheap trigger spring upgrade) and action (it is said the action is better on the Tikka but i tried both and i didn’t feel that much difference, both actions are very smooth).

What do you think about all this? I know this post is the definition of overthinking but we are here to discuss afterall, a passion is a passion because we invest in it definitely too much time and energies than we need! Also hunting season is closed here at the moment, otherwise i would be in my hills, stalking roes and boars ahah

p.s.: it would be great if, when replying, you could specify if you have any direct experience or not!
 

Drenalin

WKR
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
2,863
I hunted with a B14 Hunter in .30-06 the last three years. I never had a failure of the rifle itself. Accuracy was acceptable, but not great. Mine disliked all Hornady factory ammo I tried, and seemed to strongly prefer Federal Fusion 150 gr. I didn't love the stock, but fit and finish were fine. Ultimately, I think it's a good rifle at its price point, but there's nothing about it that truly stands out. For 2023, I've switched to a lighter weight, lighter recoiling rifle with a detachable magazine.
 

JGRaider

WKR
Joined
Jul 3, 2019
Messages
1,610
Location
West Texas
My buddy has a new B14 7mm08 that he took and whacked a huge aoudad with, shooting 140 AB's. After about 100 rounds the extractor broke, obviously the cases won't extract. We'll see how Bergara handles it.
 

EMAZ

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Mar 5, 2021
Messages
183
I think you covered it pretty well in your post…bergara vs tikka has been a value proposition discussion since the b14 first came out. Based on your reference to cost in euros, I assume your not in the US…when bergara first started hitting shelves in the states they came in priced nearly the same (generally just under) as the tikka t3, over time, it seems their price point has gone up but so has the newer t3x; overall seems they are now starting slightly more starting price here in the US.

I do think as a base to base comparison, you get trade offs between the two, but the bergara was a slightly better overall package out of the box and left stock imo. I’ve handled the bergara on more than one occasion, and likely would’ve gone that direction if they made a compact version when needing a rifle for my son…they didn’t/don’t to my knowledge, so tikka is the direction I went.

I think bergara has more than proven themselves with their barrels and is putting out a competitive product. Nice to have options that produce cost efficient results in the market.
 
OP
ssimo

ssimo

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Sep 21, 2022
Messages
271
I hunted with a B14 Hunter in .30-06 the last three years. I never had a failure of the rifle itself. Accuracy was acceptable, but not great. Mine disliked all Hornady factory ammo I tried, and seemed to strongly prefer Federal Fusion 150 gr. I didn't love the stock, but fit and finish were fine. Ultimately, I think it's a good rifle at its price point, but there's nothing about it that truly stands out. For 2023, I've switched to a lighter weight, lighter recoiling rifle with a detachable magazine.
Thanks for the reply my friend! I think something that stands out is accuracy generally, maybe yours wasn't an accurate one or maybe it's just picky with ammo and you didn't try the right one! My b14 hunter has a detachable magazine but yeah, coming naked at 3.1 kg is not the lightest rifle ever. If i had to climb mountains with it it wouldn't be my first choice but still could be used for it. I never had so much luck with 30-06 rifles as far as accuracy but probably it's just a coincidence!
 
OP
ssimo

ssimo

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Sep 21, 2022
Messages
271
My buddy has a new B14 7mm08 that he took and whacked a huge aoudad with, shooting 140 AB's. After about 100 rounds the extractor broke, obviously the cases won't extract. We'll see how Bergara handles it.
Sounds bad! Good for the aoudad tough
 
OP
ssimo

ssimo

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Sep 21, 2022
Messages
271
I think you covered it pretty well in your post…bergara vs tikka has been a value proposition discussion since the b14 first came out. Based on your reference to cost in euros, I assume your not in the US…when bergara first started hitting shelves in the states they came in priced nearly the same (generally just under) as the tikka t3, over time, it seems their price point has gone up but so has the newer t3x; overall seems they are now starting slightly more starting price here in the US.

I do think as a base to base comparison, you get trade offs between the two, but the bergara was a slightly better overall package out of the box and left stock imo. I’ve handled the bergara on more than one occasion, and likely would’ve gone that direction if they made a compact version when needing a rifle for my son…they didn’t/don’t to my knowledge, so tikka is the direction I went.

I think bergara has more than proven themselves with their barrels and is putting out a competitive product. Nice to have options that produce cost efficient results in the market.
Man the compact version exists, at least here in the european market! It's called b14 extreme i think. I am not interested in it because i often shoot medium range in open areas but for a specialized "woods" gun it would be great, even if i would probably go with a semiauto 308 or something like this
 

H80Hunter

WKR
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Sep 26, 2020
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I just had a 7 Rem Mag with 101 rounds through it replaced under warranty for the same problem. They handled it great but if this one breaks too I'll probably move on.
 
Joined
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North Carolina
I’ve owned both and still own two tikkas. My bergara took a shit at a prs match where I had constant failures to extract and eject. They sent me a new bolt parts kit and I fixed it and sold it.

From speaking with others that’s not super rare. It was miserable to waste half of every stage screwing with clearing a rifle. It was ok, was accurate with 130s, and decently smooth.

I prefer the tikkas In almost every category I can think of
 

MLGrace

Lil-Rokslider
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Nov 13, 2019
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Location
Arizona
I have had tikkas and currently have a Bergara B14 Ridge in 7mm-08. I am a handloader. It is well made, accurate and I have not experienced any failures in over 3 years. I used to have a Tikka in 270wsm and it never had a failure either. It was a death lazer for deer sized critters. Super accurate.
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2021
Messages
1,009
Just go Tikka. Bergaras CAN shoot well, but their refusal to stand behind a warranty means I'll never own another. Tikkas just DO shoot well. You can always hang a 10lb dumbbell off your Tikka if you want a heavy rifle.

Also, the bolt on my 6.5 HMR always snags on brush and opens up without me knowing it. Tikka bolt can lock closed with the 3 position safety.

Both have great aftermarket support.
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2014
Messages
609
Location
Montana
I’ve seen two broken bolt shrouds. Don’t know why one I was with and the bull was wounded then took another from my rifle. Buddy who shot him was so pissed. Was glad I brought mine so he could grab it. With a 355 6 point I think losing him would’ve ruined his mind
 

mxgust

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Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Messages
191
Location
Wyoming
I have a b14 in 300 WM and have had zero issues. Accuracy is good, it’s slightly picky with factory ammo but handloads have been very easy to get to shoot. To me the choice between this and a tikka was due to internal magazine length. I can load my WM long and shoot any bullet I want without running into length issues like you can in a tikka with a magnum. With a 308 you wouldn’t have that problem. I also just subjectively prefer the feel of the b14 stock over the tikka too but that’s easy to replace and I plan on replacing the b14 stock anyways. Mine is also cerakoted which is nice. I like the rifle, in this cartridge I would buy another and am happy with my choice
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2022
Messages
3
I have a Premier Approach in 308 and 300 rounds through it with 0 issues so far. Had it for 3 years now.
Also have a B14r with well over a 1000 through it with 0 issues.

Good friend had a B14 in 308 and if I am not mistaken he is at about 150 through it with 0 issues.

Another buddy has a B14 in 6.5, no clue on round count but it is about 5 years old and 0 issues.
 

Morabob

FNG
Joined
May 17, 2023
Messages
3
I have a Bergara B14 Hunter in 308. I've been happy with it so far, I don't have any gripes with the gun per se but there are a few things that would be nice to see, I'll highlight some of it's shortcomings and benefits. I'll work from the back to the front.

The Buttstock is rather hard and does nothing to absorb recoil but does give a good solid purchase to the shoulder. The stock is pretty solid and the grippy rubber overmoulding feels really nice in the hand although a little on the heavy side. It has some flex to it but the gap provided between the barrel and stock is generous and you would be hard pressed to accidentally cause it to not be free-floated. The sling studs are a pretty standard feature but nice to have, QD flush cups like are provided in the HMR series would have been a nice addition. The action is smooth but if you apply pressure either left or right you can get it to bind. The provided oversized bolt handle is quite nice and I really enjoy the purchase it provides over say a standard rem 700 style. It runs a 90 degree bolt throw which makes cocking the rifle a little easier than lower degree of angle bolt throws but more travel means you need smaller optics or higher mounting. It is built on a rem 700 styled action which leaves a lot of aftermarket rings or pic/weaver style rails available at attainable prices. The barrel's accuracy is pretty good with factory rounds, most of my groups have been 0.8" to 1.5" but that was without sandbags I have since swapped the scope and lightened the trigger pull. I might be able to accomplish some tighter groups as I believe I might have been flinching. Barrel comes with Cerakote coating which is amazing for the price point but no threaded barrel. I was able to reduce the trigger pull to 2.6# with a pretty crisp break with the stock trigger. With some serious fiddling I was able to add the magpul AICS magwell to the stock without any modifications to the stock, just a lot of hacking, chopping and grinding of the accessory magwell.

That said, I also own a Tikka T3x compact in 6.5 Creedmoor that I picked up used for $550 out the door with 1x 3 round mag and 2x 5 round mags. If I had to choose between the 2 I would choose the Tikka every time. Partially because of the cartridge as I much prefer to shoot the 6.5 Creedmoor, partially due to the fact that the trigger and bolt throw are just that much smoother and refined. I swapped in a new trigger spring (Harbor freight spring pack) into the Tikka and have it down to about 1.25# and the break is glass smooth. It is a little bit shorter, lighter, lighter recoiling, flatter shooting, 70 degree bolt throw, smoother action, better stock trigger, takes a stock limbsaver buttpad and it cost me significantly less. If it had a threaded barrel and Cerakote I'd consider it perfect.
 

Archer86

WKR
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Jun 28, 2019
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Greatest place on earth
I have a bergara wilderness ridge carbon and a hmr so far so good. Accuracy during break in was sub moa.. I have no complaints about the bergaras. Fit and finish is good on the 2 I have have not had any issues with them I will happily purchase another one if I decide to in the future I appreciate the cerakote on the bergaras as well

I also have a tikka t3xlite that rifle has been great as well. Not really a far comparison since the t3xlite was much cheaper but it has a Tupperware stock which is my only complaint about it and can be fixed fairly easy. It has always shot sub moa trigger was good enough for me from the factory and for my kids hunting rifle I don't want a super light trigger

I am not sure you can go wrong with either as far as issues go I think it can go for Any manufacturer they have issues somewhere along the line. If you search long enough you will find people that have had issues with every manufacture
 

BCD

WKR
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Jan 9, 2019
Messages
725
Location
Hudson, WI
I have a Wilderness Ridge in 308. I like everything about Bergaras except the weight. Most models are just too heavy, so I likely won't buy another. I should really try a Tikka but I just cant get past how ugly they are.
 
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