The Bergara Premier Divide Bolt-Action Rifle: Full Review

Unveiling the Bergara Premier Divide Bolt-Action Rifle: Full Review

Estimated reading time: 11 minutes

The highly anticipated Bergara Premier Divide lineup is on the market! Having started shipping earlier in 2023, this bolt-action rifle has been near the top of my excitement list since its announcement. Designed to bridge the gap between a tactical and hunting rifle, the Bergara Premier Divide weighs in at just 7.2 lbs.

Boasting Bergara’s proprietary CURE Carbon Barrels and a custom AG Composites Chalk Branch carbon stock, this rifle brings together cutting-edge technology for an unparalleled shooting experience. With features like a threaded barrel, AICS magazine compatibility, a Patriot Brown Cerakote finish, and a 20 MOA top rail, the Premier Divide stands out as a premier choice, seamlessly blending performance from the mountains to the range.

Bergara Premier Divide Specifications: 

  • Caliber: 308 Winchester
  • Operation: Bolt Action
  • Barrel Length: 22″ 
  • Barrel Material: Cure™ Carbon
  • Twist Rate: 1:10″
  • Weight: 7.2 lbs 
  • Overall Lenght: 43″
  • Magazine Pattern: AICS
  • Stock: AG Composite 100% carbon-fiber with cheek riser
  • Receiver Finish: Patriot Brown Cerakote®

Premier Divide Out of the Box

From the factory, the Premier Divide comes packaged in a foam box with a single 5-round Bergarra magazine, thread protector, owner’s manual, a sticker, along with an installed 20 MOA rail and ported muzzle brake. The Premier Divide is available in 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, and .308 Win which is what I used for this review. The two 6.5’s have 24″ barrels with 1:8 twist rates and weigh in at 7.4 lbs whereas the .308 has a 22″ barrel, 1:10 twist, and weighs 7.2 lbs. 

Unveiling the Bergara Premier Divide Bolt-Action Rifle: Full Review
Unveiling the Bergara Premier Divide Bolt-Action Rifle: Full Review

One quick thing I thought was worth mentioning is that Bergara includes an interesting 20 MOA rail with this rifle. While I love the inclusion of a 20 MOA rail as it gives a more usable adjustment range on a scope, I am not a fan of the symbol on the middle of the rail. Since this is not a continuous Picatinny rail section, multiple one-piece scope mounts or QD mounts will not fit. Luckily, I was able to make my Larue SPR 1.5 mount work, but it was just mounted further back than I would have preferred. I understand that most people will be using two-piece scope rings to keep the overall weight down and this will never be an issue for them, but I would like to see a full-length rail that is more accommodating.

Scope mount rails can't go where the Bergara symbol is forcing me to mount the scope further back
Scope mount rails can’t go where the Bergara symbol is forcing me to mount the scope further back

Stock

The Bergara Premier Divide earns its “Premier” title for good reasons, and one of them is the exceptional stock it boasts. Partnering up with AG Composites, the custom Chalk Branch stock features a unique Erosion Rogue Camo finish and is 100% carbon even utilizing an adjustable cheek riser. This bridges the divide between traditional hunting rifles with the more functional competition rifles in a much lighter carbon package. The cheek riser is both comfortable and able to provide a good cheek weld even when using higher-mounted scopes on QD mounts. As a guy who runs these sorts of setups to easily swap thermal scopes between guns, this is much appreciated. 

AG Composites Chalk Branch 100% carbon stock featuring a Erosion Rogue Camo finish
AG Composites Chalk Branch 100% carbon stock featuring an Erosion Rogue Camo finish

Handguard

The handguard for the Premier Divide looks great and is functional. Stretching past the magwell, the handguard tapers down to remain compact. The bottom is slightly rounded while the overall shape is more boxy. I find this to provide great surface area when shooting off of bags or barricades. Also, this style provides a lot of surface area for a good offhand grip if needed. The carbon stock of the Premier Divide acts as a reliable insulator, maintaining a comfortable grip even in extreme temperatures, contrasting with metal chassis that can become unwieldy in such conditions.

The flat-ish bottom even rests well on boxes of ammo
The flat-ish bottom even rests well on boxes of ammo

It also features two sling swivels which allow for comfortably mounting both a bipod and sling. 

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Dual sling swivels for mounting bipods and slings
Dual sling swivels for mounting bipods and slings

Action

The two-lug system of the Premier Divide incorporates a distinct floating bolt head, guaranteeing contact with the lug abutments in the action. Additionally, it integrates a cone-shaped bolt nose to facilitate smooth cartridge feeding and a spring-loaded sliding plate extractor positioned in the front of the lower locking lug. This action combined with the Bergara magazine fed without issue throughout my testing. The bolt head, non-rotating gas shield, and bolt shroud undergo a full Nitriding process, ensuring extreme durability. 

The bolt for the Bergara Premier Divide
The bolt for the Bergara Premier Divide

Constructed from stainless steel, the one-piece bolt body features a rear pad designed to accept the threaded-in bolt handle. This handle is knurled and works without issue. 

Knurled bolt knob
Knurled bolt knob

Trigger on the Premier Divide

Incorporating a Trigger Tech Primary Trigger enables the utilization of the patented Frictionless Release Technology, enhancing performance and accuracy for the end-user by eliminating both creep and heavy trigger pulls. These triggers are fantastic and offer pull weight adjustment from 1.5-4 lbs. Using a trigger puller gauge, I found mine to consistently break at 3.5 lbs pre-set from the factory. 

Unveiling the Bergara Premier Divide Bolt-Action Rifle: Full Review
Unveiling the Bergara Premier Divide Bolt-Action Rifle: Full Review

Magazines

Bergara designed the Premier Divide to run off AICS magazines which is much appreciated due to their wide availability and history of reliability. From the factory, Bergara includes one of their own 5-round AICS magazines. 

5-round AICS Bergara magazine
5-round AICS Bergara magazine

Yet, among my preferred AICS magazines, the MDT Poly/Metal mag stands out. This magazine seamlessly combines the lightweight attributes of polymer with the strength of metal. It incorporates nitride metal feed lips, enhancing longevity and durability. Additionally, the magazine includes a transparent window for easy monitoring of remaining rounds. I’ve employed these magazines across multiple rifles without encountering any issues. A reliable enhancement for those seeking to accommodate more than five rounds.

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Using the MDT Poly/Metal AICS magazine
Using the MDT Poly/Metal AICS magazine

Barrel

Continuing the trend of premium features, the Premier Divide utilizes its carbon fiber CURE barrel. These are optimized to yield an “ultralight, stiff, straight, rugged barrel, shot after shot.” For those who want to deep dive into how these barrels are made, Bergara has a whole page on their website describing it HERE

Bergara CURE carbon fiber barrel
Bergara CURE carbon fiber barrel

This carbon barrel shot great and features 5/8 x 24 threads for using other muzzle brakes or suppressors. I shot this rifle quite a bit suppressed without an issue. It sounds great and shoots fantastic.

The muzzle brake included with the Premier Divide
The muzzle brake is included with the Premier Divide

Premier Divide Precision

Aiming to test the precision of the Bergara Premier Divide, I used an assortment of various Hornady ammunition. I proceeded to shoot 3-round groups from 100 yards. I was able to get multiple sub-MOA groups and was even able to get a 0.36 MOA group shooting Hornady Black 155gr A-MAX. Bergara is known for their barrels, and when paired with the right ammunition, the Premier Divide shoots! The picture and table below display my results:

Ammo Type3-Round Group Size in MOA
Hornady Black 155gr A-MAX.36
Hornady Superperformance 168gr ELD Match.54
Hornady Match 178gr BTHP1.20
Hornady American Whitetail 150gr InterLock 1.26
Hornady Precision Hunter 178gr ELD-X1.70
Shooting groups with various Hornady ammunition
Shooting groups with various Hornady ammunition

Bergara Premier Divide Performance

Throughout this review, I was able to put around 200 rounds through the Premier Divide. Most of the ammunition used was 150gr Hornady supplied by Ammuntiontogo.com. They are the official ammo sponsor for this review and offer a wide selection of competitively priced ammunition. For this review, I ordered some ammo and it was on my doorstep within the week. Easy to use online website, insanely quick shipping, and competitive prices. Go check them out! 

This rifle shot great, and I had no problem shooting out to 500 yards. I did so repeatedly, along with many of my buddies. The manageable recoil impulse, coupled with a comfortable stock, made for a delightful shooting experience. Although the included muzzle brake effectively reduces felt recoil, it kicks up a significant amount of dust. Choosing a suppressed setup not only enhances the shooting experience by making it cleaner and quieter but is also considered a courteous practice. If you haven’t explored suppressors yet, it’s genuinely worth your consideration.

Kicking up dust
Kicking up dust

My one issue came from what may have been a dirty trigger. In a windy and dusty environment, dirt thoroughly caked the internals, potentially resulting in two light primer strikes. Now this could have been due to a hard primer, but I think the grit was more to blame. Either way, re-chambering the round and pulling the trigger again was enough to set the rounds off. 

Getting down and dirty with the Premier Divide
Getting down and dirty with the Premier Divide

Summary of the Bergara Premier Divide

The Bergara Premier Divide is a standout bolt-action rifle, balancing traditional aesthetics with modern functionality. Weighing only 7.2 lbs, it features a custom Chalk Branch stock with an adjustable cheek riser for adaptability. The rifle’s smooth action, with a two-lug system and cone-shaped bolt nose, ensures reliability. Crafted with a stainless steel bolt body and fully Nitrided components, it excels in durability. The advanced Trigger Tech Trigger eliminates creep for enhanced accuracy. A premier choice for diverse shooting scenarios, the Bergara Premier Divide exemplifies innovation and craftsmanship in the world of bolt-action rifles. Priced at $2950 MSRP, the Bergara Premier Divide stands as a premier choice for a versatile rifle capable of handling everything, from backcountry adventures to the shooting range. 

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  • Keith May 4, 2024, 10:51 am

    Wish it were chambered in 30.06. It’s a good looking weapon, just not my caliber.

  • Heavyguns31 April 29, 2024, 8:50 am

    That’s pretty sweet. I just got the B14 HMR from Bergara on 300 WM. I haven’t landed my Night force 2.5-20 to shoot it yet. I did take the rifle apart to look around. They had overspray of the black webbing stock paint on the bedding blocks so it probably wouldn’t have been mated well, so I cleaned that up. Also the stock screws were way under the 55 inch pounds they spec…so before I hit the range I’m glad I checked that stuff out. I read it’s been a perpetual problem from them. Simple fix but really shouldn’t be leaving factory like that. Nice looking gun!

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