In the past several years, Bergara has gained a reputation for building exceptional custom rifles. For those not familiar with the name, the company gets its name from its hometown, Bergara, Spain. Bergara has long been known for making some of the best rifle barrels in the industry. The company’s U.S. offices are located, just outside Atlanta, in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
With a very successful line of centerfire rifles, the company recently announced a new .22 rimfire rifle, the BMR, or Bergara Micro Rimfire. The BMR is a scaled-down version of their full-size B-14R. I recently received the new BMR as a gift and set out to put it through its paces.
The BMR is a feature-rich bolt action rifle that is available in .22 Long Rifle, .22 WMR, and .17 HMR. It is built around a smaller version of the proven B-14 line of rifles that are scaled for rimfire calibers. Unlike some rimfire rifles, the receiver and bolt are machined from carbon steel, not an alloy. The bolt handle and knob are proportional to the overall rifle. The safety is located in the same position as on a Remington 700, while the magazine release is an ambidextrous paddle located in front of the trigger guard. The trigger has a wide, smooth face, with no sharp edges or serrations. The trigger, on my rifle, broke cleanly, at an average of 2 lbs. 13 oz. with very little overtravel.
The precision 4140 steel barrel is 18” in length, features a 1:16” twist, and has a threaded muzzle for suppressor use. There is also a carbon-wrapped version for those wishing for a lighter-weight rifle. The barrel is free-floated in a Bergara synthetic stock that is tactical grey in color with black specks. The stock has raised and textured panels in the typical index locations. The overall weight of the BMR is between 5.5 and 5.8 pounds depending on caliber. The 18” barrel gives the .22 LR model an overall length of 38”. Each rifle comes standard with a 5 and a 10-round polymer magazine.
Along with the rifle, I was given a Hawke Optics. Hawke Vantage Optic was new to me so I did some research on the company. The company’s home is in the United Kingdom and they have been in business for over 40 years. They came to the U.S. in 2007 and have a significant market base. The Vantage IR 3-9×40 optic features a 1” tube, a 40mm objective lens, and an illuminated reticle. What makes this optic unique is that the reticle has holdover marks for .22 LR subsonic ammunition. This gives the BMR a feature set that is right up my alley.
Once we mounted the Hawke Vantage, we headed to the range. According to the specifications of the optic, the ballistic reticle is calibrated for a velocity of 1,057 fps. We chronographed both CCI Standard and Subsonic loads and found that the Standard load averaged 1,090 fps, while the Subsonic load averaged 1,081 fps. We elected to do most of our formal testing with the Subsonic CCI load.
We first zeroed the rifle at 50 yards at 9X magnification. If we did out part, the BMR consistently shot .5” to .75” 5 shot groups. What surprised us is how many times the little rifle would put three or four rounds into one ragged hole. The flyers could have been a result of the 22 fps extreme spread of the ammunition. In addition, we were fighting some significant wind. Overall, it proved to be exceptionally accurate.
Silencerco Sparrow 22 Suppressor
We then installed my Silencerco Sparrow 22 suppressor on the BMR. The Sparrow 22 was Silencero’s first product. I first wrote about this little can in 2009. The design features a monocore baffle with a patented Multi-Part Containment system. This system is comprised of two half tubes that fit around the core. The MPC contains the carbon and debris and makes removal of the core and cleaning easier. According to factory literature, the Sparrow 22 reduces the sound signature of the .22 subsonic round to 112 dB. I can tell you, it is quieter than many air rifles! At 50 yards, we did not observe any shift in the point of impact when the Sparrow 22 was installed. Silencerco Sparrow 22
After getting a solid zero, we moved to the rifle range that goes out to 400 yards. Every 100 yards, there are round steel plates suspended on hangers. This is where we would really see if the Hawke ballistic reticle works. I will tell you now that it does. Using the 100-yard hold-over, my first rounds on the 100 yard plate were spot on. While I was unable to go down range to measure the group, using a 40X spotting scope, we estimated my best 5 shot group measured less than 2 inches.
Moving to 200 yards, we found that the point of impact was consistent with the ballistic reticle. Groups average around three inches or so. What we did find was that the point of impact dropped 5”, or so, when we installed the Sparrow 22 suppressor. This is to be expected when 6.5 ounces is added to the end of the barrel. The shift was consistent and predictable, allowing for precise corrections.
The BMR is a quality rifle that provides the user with a shooting experience much like their precision centerfire rifles. While the overall size is reduced, I was very comfortable behind the rifle and the ergonomics were very good. The action was smooth and both the 5 and 10-round magazines feed flawlessly. The accuracy proved to be exceptional and the fun factor was off the chart.
Since receiving mine, I have shot the BMR more than any other rifle in the safe. Even my favorite Tactical Solutions X-Ring has taken a back seat to the Bergara. I am also giving serious consideration to buying another Hawke optic for one of my other rimfire rifles.
The BMR offers a lot of features for the price. It would make a great rimfire competition, as well as a small game, hunting rifle. It is also a great training rifle for new shooters, both adults, and youth. Given the cost of centerfire rifle ammunition, the lowly .22 Long Rifle can provide a lot of fun for just pennies. The Bergara BMR is the perfect place to start.
Bergara BMR Specifications
Barrel: Bergara Carbon Barrel. No. 6 taper
Twist: 1:16 for .22 LR and .22 WMR and 1:9 for the .17 HMR
Barrel length: 18” (.22 LR) or 20” (.17 HMR and .22 WMR)
Threaded muzzle: 1/2-28” with thread protector
Weight: 5.5 – 5.8 lbs. depending on caliber
Length: 36” or 38” overall
Mag capacity: 5 and 10 round magazine included
Scope mounts: 30 MOA Rail Included
Trigger: Bergara Performance Trigger. Compatible Rem700
Stock: Black with tactical grey specks
BMR Steel MSRP $565