Bergara LRP Elite (courtesy Tyler Ke for The Truth About Guns)

As a small child, not even firmly in the double digits for age, my parents attended a conference for work hosted at the Broadmoor Hotel. To this day, I’ll never forget the bacon they served for breakfast. It was otherworldly in texture and flavor, no doubt wasted on my yet-to-develop palate. At the time, I didn’t fully understand the concept of a luxury hotel. All I knew was that the bacon was first class . . .

Over the years, thanks to parents who wanted me to taste the good life to instill some drive, and a day job that has forced me to travel to great American cities, I’ve wined, dined, and slept at some of our nation’s finest.

At various points along the way, I’ve felt as if I was playing dress up with other people’s money. On my own dime, my wife and I rarely reach beyond the Hampton Inn. Similarly, TTAG has afforded me trigger time with the finer ballistic things in life — without the financial commitment required to play in the big boy club. Never has that been more evident than my time spent with Bergara’s LRP Elite

Bergara LRP Elite (courtesy Tyler Ke for The Truth About Guns)

Bergara (of Bergara, Spain) specializes in manufacturing precision firearms barrels. With Bergara Rifles (of Duluth, Georgia, USA), they aim to stick those barrels on receivers and stocks to create highly accurate rifles. Naturally, Bergara is happy to build you a custom rifle to spec, but their bread and butter is semi-custom rifles featuring precision button-rifled barrels, squared receivers and a stock of your choosing.

On the low end, you’ll find the B-14 Hunter,: a ~$800 rifle that sports a Bergara barrel, trued receiver and a pillar-bedded Walnut stock. The Bergara Premier Series (starting at $2190) is wedged between the B-14 and the high-end BCR series ($3000+). The Elite version of the LRP will set you back $2640. So what does five percent of median US household income buy you?

Bergara rifle (courtesy Tyler Ke for The Truth About Guns)

For starters, a parts list that reads like a who’s who of the firearms industry. Starting at the butt, there’s Magpul’s PRS stock, fully adjustable for length of pull and comb height. The LRP Elite’s PRS stock is the gold standard for reliability and stability in world of chassis fitted guns, and you’d be hard pressed to find a similarly equipped gun that doesn’t sport one. As we’ve come to expect from Magpul, it works well for the task at hand. While it isn’t adjustable for lateral offset on the cheek riser like a KRG or cant like a Tubb gun, it still works very well.

Moving forward, you’ll notice a generous AR 15 style palm swell. Made of rubber, grooved for your fingers and textured, the swell does a swell job of filling the palm; it works well for those that shoot with their thumb crossed over the back in a traditional grip, or off the right side if you happen to listen to the current crop of tactical rifle instructors.

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Bergara fit the LRP Elite with Timney’s flat faced trigger. It performs like every Timney trigger I’ve ever tested: zero takeup, a glass-rod-crisp break and zero overtravel. The factory unit tested was set at three pounds, though it can be tuned down to a pound-and-a-half or up to four pounds. I chose not to mess with it; three pounds is right in the sweet spot for a trigger meant for practical, tactical, or hunting usage.

Bergara LRP Elite (courtesy Tyler Ke for The Truth About Guns)

Above the trigger: Bergara’s Premier Action, built to the Remington 700 pattern specification. Craptastic this action is not. The bolt rides as if the pieces are made of oiled glass. There is very little slop even at full extraction. Running the bolt home is like shutting the door on a bank vault. Locking it like closing the door on a 7 series BMW. Bolt lift is smooth requiring a single digit to actuate. Fitted to the top of the action: a Picatinny rail with what appears to be a 20 MOA rail, perfect for stretching the elevation adjustment of today’s optics.

Forward of the receiver: Bergara’s stress relieved, button-rifled and honed barrel. This entire package is locked securely into a Mega Orias chassis that feeds from the included five round AICS magazine. (The Orias tested is one of the KeyMod varieties, though Mega offers it in M-LOK flavors as well.) Out front: a Dead Air Muzzle Brake that’s ready to go for the Sandman Series of silencers.

The LRP Elite is offered with a twenty inch 1:10 twist .308 WIN barrel, a twenty two inch 1:8 twist 6.5 Creedmoor barrel, or a twenty four inch 1:8 twist 6 mm Creedmoor barrel. The rifle Bergara sent TTAG was chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. As a point of reference, the parts on this rifle with their associated MSRP are listed below.

  • Mega Orias – $808
  • Magpul PRS – $255
  • Timney 517 – $140
  • Dead Air Brake – $89
  • AICS Magazine – $65

The sum total of the parts listed above is about $1350. Pull that out of the $2640 MSRP for the LRP Elite and you’re left with $1290 to drop on a receiver, barrel, buffer tube, grip and Picatinny rail. Given that most squared and trued Remington 700 actions will set you back north of $500 (much more if you’re feeling spendy), quality barrels blanks are at least that much, and getting a gunsmith to put it all together with some degree of care isn’t free, and you can see (if you squint just right) that <$3000 is the price you have to pay to put quality rifle components together.

140 AMAX and ELD

Bergara assembled top tier components into a shootable package. So it should come as no surprise that their LRP Elite is an absolute hammer. Shooting all manner of factory 6.5 Creedmoor ammo, my worst 100 yard five shot group off a bipod and a rear bag was ~1.5 MOA, loading Winchester’s 140 gr. SMK. I was only able to do that once. Most of the groups from that ammo hovered around 1.25 MOA. All of Hornady’s factory ammo from the 120 gr. A-Max to the 143 gr. ELD shot sub MOA for five shot groups all the time, every time.

Bergara LRP Elite (courtesy Tyler Ke for The Truth About Guns)

When I was chatting with the marketing team at Bergara, I made it clear that I wasn’t interested in a fresh off the rack rifle. I wanted something with some city mileage on it. The team didn’t disappoint. The rifle that showed up at my FFL was filthy, as evidenced by the muzzle brake you see above.

It turns out that I got their traveling demo rifle, the firearm that gets trundled around to dealers and distributors for exhibitions. Nobody could tell me how many rounds had been down the tube; I got the feeling that nobody really cared to figure it out.

Never once did I clean the LRP Elite, baby it, or give it any of the tender loving care that most people would give to a rifle that costs $2500+. Every group you see was shot hot and dirty, and it still continued to perform. I shot up a lot of TTAG’s ammo budget on this gun, The LRP Elite never gave me anything other than consistent sub MOA performance.

Bergara 120 AMAX - 475 yards

For most of my rifle reviews, I’ve been stepping back to the 475 yard line (a convenient location under a big oak tree). As you can see, when I did my part, it was still boring, turning in sub-MOA groups. The one above was a personal best at a touch over 3/4 MOA. The rest were in the .8 to .9 MOA range. I walked the gun back to 660 yards which is more a test of shooter than rifle.

Bergara 140 AMAX - 660 yards

As anybody who’s shot at 600+ yards will tell you, wind becomes a big factor. As you can see, I didn’t do the best job of working the wind, which was gusting from five to twelve miles per hour. That said, the slick little 6.5 bullets cut through the wind well. That lone guy out on the left side was the result of the wind dropping to basically nothing the second I broke the shot. I put up a 1.7 MOA five shot group in variable winds at 660 yards with factory ammo. Given what I saw in all the testing I’d done, I knew as soon as I went downrange to check my target that the LRP Elite had done its part.

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Try as I might, I simply can’t find fault with Bergara’s LRP Elite. Yes, it costs a pretty penny, and I anticipate someone will ask what this rifle does that a Ruger Precision Rifle can’t. To quote Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, “I know it when I see it.” The truth of the matter is that the RPR was accurate in my hands. And a hell of a deal at the price point.

When you want to start seeing consistent sub MOA groups in a shootable rifle, you have to pony up the money to make it happen. In this case, it costs about $2600 dollars to purchase an out-of-the box tack driver. Beyond that, the Bergara is miles ahead of the rest of the factory options when it comes to final fit and finish. Everything just clicks, and without knowing the price tag, it is apparent that you’re dealing with a rifle that required a good deal of man hours to finish out. A sterling effort.

SPECIFICATIONS: Bergara LRP Elite – 6.5 Creedmoor

  • Weight 10.5-11.1 lbs depending on barrel length
  • Detachable 5 Round Magazine
  • Timney 517 Flat Trigger
  • Barrel Length 20” in .308, 22” in 6.5 Creedmoor, 24” in 6mm Creedmoor
  • Barrel Taper #5
  • Bergara Premier Action
  • Mega Orias Chassis Stock
  • Dead Air Brake/Suppressor Mount
  • Calibers/Twists: .308/1:10, 6.5 Creedmoor/1:08, 6mm Creedmoor/1:08
  • MSRP: $2640

RATINGS (out of five stars):

Fit, Finish, Build Quality * * * * *
The attention to detail in finish was on par with the custom rifles I’ve had the opportunity to fondle, and the moving pieces slid together and locked up like the pieces in a finely-built German sedan.

Reliability * * * * *
What’s not to love about a bolt gun? The LRP Elite fed and fired flawlessly over several hundred rounds of mixed factory ammo, never once giving me trouble.

Customization * * * * *
With a Picatinny rail along the top, you’ll have no trouble fitting the optic and rings of your choice, and the Key Mod chassis allows the addition of any number of lights, laser range finders, and widgets you desire. As a demonstrator rifle, this one was fitted with the Orias Night Vision Mount ($99) that allows the forward mounting of NV illuminators. It’s the only thing you could possibly add.

Shootability * * * * *
While I’m not a chassis man myself, I can’t fault Bergara for selecting the Orias and PRS combo. I had no trouble fitting a bipod and shooting from prone, seated and kneeling. Barrier shooting was no problem as well. The Magpul PRS has a bit of a reputation as being heavy, and it does a good job of counterbalancing the twenty two-inch barrel sticking out the front. While I wouldn’t pick this as a walking and stalking gun, it is well suited for the intended purpose.

Accuracy * * * * * 
Simply phenomenal. The worst group I ever shot was ~1.5 MOA with Winchester’s 140 gr. SMK load. I’ve had sporadic luck with it in other guns so I’m not knocking any stars off. Fed a steady diet of Hornady factory ammo, this rifle was an absolute hammer, turning in consistent sub MOA performance in all conditions.

Overall Rating * * * * *
A sensibly priced tack driver from a company that builds some of the world’s best barrels.

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27 Responses to Gun Review: Bergara LRP Elite

  1. You may have left the impression that these firearms are built in Spain. They are not. They are built in the USA. The group is composed of ex mil armorers with decades of experience with the best of our troops. Might want to visit these guys.

  2. Okay, so what will this gun do that RPR won’t?

    For that price, there are plenty of guns that will shoot better, including the RPR that was reviewed here. I don’t rank the Bergara in the same league as other premium precision rifle based on the performance here. Even those price competitive with the Bergara, like the FN SPR, perform better without the 6.5 CM chambering advantage that decreases group sized based on bore diameter alone, not to mention ballistics. Sub-moa for a modern rifle, particularly one with a trued action and chambered in 6.5 CM, is not that hard to achieve.

    Your comment that, “you know it when you see it”, doesn’t cut it. How does a .9 mo rifle justify a $2500 price tag?

    • It isn’t. Price and value aren’t the same thing. My factory stock Remington 700 SPS shot better than that.

      • True story. I’m shooting a 6.5 CM out of a Savage action with a criterion barrel. That cost me much less and spanks what this gun will do. Sub-MOA is not as impressive as it used to be.

    • For $2,640 I could re-barrel the Savage 11 .243 I have, get a new and better scope, 20 MOA rail, reloading equipment and reload .243 for the MSRP of the LRP and probably still have money leftover for a Mcmillan stock.

  3. “Vergara’s Premier Action, built to the Remington 700 pattern specification. Craptastic this action is not.”

    If they fixed the inherent design flaws in the 700 action, then great. If it can still go boom when chambering a round, or walking safety on with a loaded chamber, or switching the safety off, or any other way other than depressing the trigger with the safety off, craptastic is the least of it’s sins.

  4. Thanks for the review, they are my favorite part of TTAG.

    Looks like a sweet gun, and the actions of Bergara’s are like butter. With that being said, I’m a little disappointed in the 100 yard groups. If the gun was shot dirty, that’s all well and good, but I’d like to see it shot clean. Maybe you could accuse me of babying guns, but I’d swab that barrel with TLC after 25-30 rounds and go for 1/2 to 1/3 MOA and then start working on reloads.

  5. Interested in getting a bolt action in 6.5 CM, any recommendations that could go sub MOA for under $1k with factory ammo? Looks like a Savage may be the best option.

    Use would be 100-600y target shooting.

    • Savage might be your best option, or you could hold off and try to get your hands on a RPR. Both do really well, and offer plenty of DIY customization.

      • +1 on the Ruger Pecision Rifle in 6.5. Frank G. over at Snipers Hide did a nice video review of one. There are also a lot of quality aftermarket upgrades if you want to tinker. Ruger hit a grand slam with this rifle.

  6. I’m not gonna lie. I love the reviews, they are my favorite part of the site. That being said I think the review on this is faulty. If it had been an AK or AR or other short range defensive weapon, testing a filthy gun for reliabilty would make total sense. In this case when it is an expensive precision instrument that is being tested for its precision not reliabilty it should be done in a precise manner with a firearm that is broken in but as clean as possible. I’m left wanting in this situation.

  7. Not interested. My Savage .308 can outshoot this $2600 “semi-custom” rifle (~$500). My Tikka T3 in 300 WSM can also beat it (~$800). If I’m paying $2600 the rifle better be capable of shooting under 1 MOA.

  8. “Never once did I clean the LRP Elite, baby it, or give it any of the tender loving care that most people would give to a rifle that costs $2500+.”

    Running it dirty and as-is is fine, Tyler, but in my opinion, the review would have been better if after the first round at the range, you had given the rifle a thorough and proper cleaning and retested it again to see if that may have impacted the accuracy.

    My .02 and worth less that half that amount…

  9. It is nice when you can move the bolt easily with one finger and not disturb the rifle. Other than that, you could get an RPR and put a high end barrel on it in any chamber ing from 6mm to 7mm-08. You would then have a nice tactical looking ergonomic bolt action rifle that shoots sub moa. I’d do 7mm-08 since it is supersonic for about 300 more yards than 6.5 creedmore and has about the same recoil. Not sure why the obsession with theses new rounds that aren’t as good, other than the fact they make match ammo for 6.5, which is nice for non reloaders.

  10. I find reviews of these types of firearms interesting, but for unfortunately for me I don’t really have anywhere nearby where I can shoot past 25 yards, and the only rifle range nearby is only open certain times of the year.

  11. Not impressed with the Bergara bbl on my CVA ML’r but I’d give them the benefit of the doubt. If I was going to spend that kinda money and I have several times, I want an accuracy guarantee and it would have to be better than .9 or .7 MOA. I will not have a gun that won’t shoot 0.5MOA or better.

  12. tyler, thanks for your insightful comments on bacon and BMW’s. Have you ever shot a gun before? There is no such thing as a “semi custom” rifle. these are assembly line guns. and they are guaranteed to shoot under an inch or your money back. you have done this company a disservice by writing this article.

  13. “Pull that out of the $2640 MSRP for the LRP Elite and you’re left with $1290 to drop on a receiver, barrel, buffer tube, grip and Picatinny rail.”

    I’m confused. Why does a bolt action rifle need a buffer tube? Also, isn’t that picatiny rail part of the Orias?

  14. Jk,

    The chassis utilizes a buffer tube but no buffer is used….Its just a tube so you can use AR style butt stocks. The pic rail is for night vision and is a chassis add one I believe. The writer also for got to mention you get a very nice hard case with custom cut foam and the money back garrentee for accuracy. I also think the premier actions are actually based on the savage actions and have savage inlet bolt spacing. I have also heard they are made for Bergara by stiller. I like the RPR, however I feel after shooting both rifles I have come to the consensus that the Bergara is of higher build quality and construction overall. It also has a more “tuned” barreled action than the RPR. That being said I would not pay MSRP for one of these.

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