Bergara BMR Carbon (image courtesy JWT for
Bergara BMR Carbon (image courtesy JWT for
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The break of a trigger. The fall of the rifle’s striker. Wait a bit…a puff of dust. A scurrying prairie dog. A miss. But not by much, and the next .22LR round from the Bergara BMR Carbon rifle would be already on its way.

Bergara BMR Carbon Rimfire Rifle .22LR
Image courtesy JWT for

I’ve found prairie dog “hunting” with a .22LR to be one of the best overall marksmanship challenges available, and certainly one of the most fun. They’re small, moving targets of varying size at a range of distances.

You’ll be shooting too fast and at too many targets to use a laser range finder on each target. You’ll shoot from the bench, from a tripod, from a fence post, from the kneeling position or off-hand.

With a center-fire rifle, you can challenge yourself by getting out past the 400-yard line. With a .22LR, you’ll be challenged at every distance from 50 to 250 yards, and maybe even further.

Bergara BMR Carbon Rimfire Rifle .22LR
Image courtesy JWT for

So If I want to test myself and a rimfire rifle, I take it on a prairie dog hunt. Ever since my first prairie dog hunt a few years ago, I’ve been hooked. I’ve been quite a few times now since then, and each year I meet a few friends in Wyoming for a dedicated two-day hunt. This year, I brought the Bergara BMR Carbon rifle with me.

It did not disappoint.

The BMR Carbon is Bergara’s crossover rimfire rifle. It’s great for rimfire varminting and designed to fit under the $1,200 MSRP price point (to include both the rifle and scope). It’s also a solid choice for competition in the NRL22 Base Class.

Bergara BMR Carbon Rimfire Rifle .22LR
Image courtesy JWT for

With its 18″ barrel and light weight, I knew it was fun to shoot, but at first, I seriously doubted it had the chops for longer range varminting or competition.

The day I was to leave for Wyoming was a hectic one, and I barely had time to sight in the rifle before I had to get in the truck and head north. During sight-in, it didn’t group well. In fact, the very poor groupings forced me to bring two rifles. I was looking at 4-inch groups and larger at 100 yards using CCI Standard Velocity ammunition. Considering the size of a prairie dog, that wouldn’t do.

With the big change in environmentals from central Texas to southeastern Wyoming, I re-zeroed once we got there. It was shooting a little better. And then a little better, and then even better than that. I kept shooting. By the end of the first 50-round box, that little gun was printing a lot of 1 MOA groups. Well now, that would do just fine.

Zeroed at 100 yards, I would soon be getting regular hits on prairie dogs at 200 yards and beyond, as long as I got the wind right.

Bergara BMR Carbon Rimfire Rifle .22LR
Image courtesy JWT for

The bench back home verified the results. Shooting from a Caldwell Stinger shooting rest with a Nightforce SHV scope mounted and at 20X magnification, my 5-round 50-yard groups were all just under 1″ with readily available and inexpensive CCI Standard Velocity ammunition.

Bergara BMR Carbon Rimfire Rifle .22LR
Image courtesy JWT for

Newly-acquired Lapua Center-X ammunition really showed what this rifle can do, printing extremely consistent .5-inch groups under the same conditions. Apparently, like every other barrel on earth, the BMR Carbon just needed a bit of warming up.

Bergara BMR Carbon Rimfire Rifle .22LR
Image courtesy JWT for

Part of the reason for that accuracy is a darn good factory trigger. It’s user-adjustable and with the turn of a hex wrench, I was able to dial it down to a few ounces shy of 3 lbs. As it is, the trigger is crisp and clean, with very little squish or grit.

What’s particularly great is that, if for any reason you want to swap it out, the Bergara BMR is compatible with most aftermarket triggers. I can directly confirm that it works with Jewell, Timney and Trigger Tech aftermarket triggers.

Bergara BMR Carbon Rimfire Rifle .22LR
Image courtesy JWT for

The other part of the rifle’s accuracy comes from the barrel itself. Bergara started out as a barrel company and they take pride in their quality. This particular version is their twill-weave carbon fiber tube wrapped around micro-grooved steel.

Bergara BMR Carbon Rimfire Rifle .22LR
Image courtesy JWT for

For general plinking and varminting, the carbon fiber barrel is the way to go. It’s very light, with the entire gun weighing in at just 5 lbs. It’s nothing to carry, but weighty enough to stay still on a bag.

That said, those of you considering using a BMR for competition should probably choose the stainless barrel version instead, as the $90 you’ll save would probably be better put to use toward the highest quality optic you can afford. The stainless barrel will only add about half a pound to the rifle’s total weight.

No matter which barrel you choose, the BMR comes threaded and ready for whatever silencer you may choose. For this gun I put on an Underground Tactical “Little Puff” model for almost all of the shooting. The only time I took the silencer off was to measure groups.

Bergara BMR Carbon Rimfire Rifle .22LR
Image courtesy JWT for

A precise rimfire rifle is fun, but a silenced precise rimfire rifle is an absolute joy. When using any subsonic ammunition, the loudest thing I heard was the sound of the striker falling after I pulled the trigger.

For varminting, that’s particularly fun, as misses appear as nothing more than dirt kicking up around the animal. I had several instances of prairie dogs jumping over to inspect where the round had struck the sand near them. Since the bolt has a 90 degree throw and short travel, along with virtually no recoil to take the shooter’s eye out of the glass, follow-up shots on the curious critters were quick, fun, and — more often than not — lethal.

Bergara BMR Carbon Rimfire Rifle .22LR
Image courtesy JWT for

Included with the BMR are two single stack magazines, one 5-rounder and one 10-rounder. They slip right in with a solid push, and pop right out with the press of the ambidextrous paddle release. You can find additional magazines online for about $35.

Bergara BMR Carbon Rimfire Rifle .22LR
Image courtesy JWT for

When it comes to reliability, the BMR Carbon rifle performed flawlessly. I now have well over 500 rounds through it…probably closer to 700. The vast majority of that was shooting CCI’s 40gr Standard Velocity ammo, but I also shot the Lapua Center-X rounds, Herter’s Target Rimfire ammunition, and a 50-round box of some ancient mystery load marked only “Olin Corporation” that chrono’ed at a little over 1,400 fps.

Bergara BMR Carbon Rimfire Rifle .22LR
Image courtesy JWT for

I had no issues of any kind. Not a single round failed to load, fire, or eject. Most of that shooting was done with the Little Puff silencer attached and I didn’t clean the gun, at all, not even once, for the entire review. I lubed it a few times with CLP.

That is outstanding reliability in a rimfire although, to be fair, most of the issue with rimfire reliability is in the ammo, not the gun.

Bergara BMR Carbon Rimfire Rifle .22LR
Image courtesy JWT for

If I had any complaints about the BMR at all, it’s the stock. The lack of bedding wasn’t much of a concern as there was very little recoil to move the gun around inside of it. No, it’s the geometry itself wasn’t ideal.

For any scope with a large diameter bell, you’re likely going to have to install high rings on the stock 30 MOA base, as I did with the Nightforce SHV I used for the prairie dog shoot and throughout this review. That puts the eye up pretty high, and the comb of the stock is a bit low, meaning for most shooters the cheek-stock weld is a bit precarious. Of course, that’s easily fixed with an aftermarket adjustable cheek piece or, better yet, a kitchen sponge and some duct tape.

Bergara BMR Carbon Rimfire Rifle .22LR
Image courtesy JWT for

There’s no feed ramp, but the action doesn’t put the round perfectly in line with the bore upon entry, so there is a concern that a soft lead bullet may deform a bit upon entry.

For the last several years I’ve gone out on hunts with guide Cole Kirchefer and I’ll continue to do so as long as he’ll take my money. The number of vermin Cole has available for targeting in Wyoming and Nebraska is simply staggering.

I always do a two-day hunt. I love shooting, but by the end of the second day, I’m almost tired of it. Almost. Smacking those little devils at 250 yards with the BMR Carbon rifle never really gets old.

Bergara BMR Carbon Rimfire Rifle .22LR
Image courtesy JWT for

The BMR Carbon can be found easily online for $650, and the stainless barreled version for a Benny under that. In that price range, either Bergara BMR rifle is an excellent value.

Specifications: Bergara Micro Rimfire (BMR)

Action: BMR
Barrel: Carbon Fiber Bergara 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 – 5.4 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
MSRP: $659

Ratings (out of five stars):

Style and Appearance * * * *
The carbon fiber wrapped barrel blends well with the flecked paint stock. The finish is smooth and even throughout.

Customization * * * *
Threaded barrel, user adjustable trigger, and the ability to swap in Remington 700 compatible triggers add a solid extra star above average.

Reliability * * * * *

Accuracy * * * *
1MOA groups for a rimfire at this price point is excellent.

Overall * * * * 1/2
The Bergara Micro Rimfire is a great value. Both versions are light, with the BMR Carbon’s weight distribution and feel being just about perfect. The precision this relatively inexpensive little provides is plenty to be competitive in its class, and capable of whacking small game and varmints well past what most folks think is even possible with a rimfire. The next step up in precision rimfires comes with a very big step in price, and it’s hard to argue you’re not getting more than you paid for with the BMR.

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  1. Few people of the Hillbilly crowd realize that if you put garbage ammo into your gun garbage bullets come out of it. There is a vast difference in rimfire ammo quality and most people will not spend $22.00 a box for quality ammo.

    Shooting varmints like Wood chucks with a .22 rimfire is inhuman and if they were not classified as varmints it probably would have been outlawed decades ago.

    The rimfire makes a poor varmint rifle because of wind drift. Even a constantly shifting 5mph wind with the accompanying mirage plays havoc with accuracy at as little as 50 yards. Take it from me, for the past 9 years I have been participating in .22 rimfire bench rest shooting and before that shot several decades of 3 position shooting with rimfire rifles. In my boyhood years I shot woodchucks with the .22 rimfire and found its killing power totally inhumane and largely ineffective.

    The weight of this rifle makes it a joke for anything but recreational beer can shooting at the dump. Any person skilled in competition knows that light weight and target shooting does not make for a good competition gun. Remember when you touch the trigger the gun moves even if the trigger goes off at 1 ounce and the gun weighs 13 lbs or more and you are even shooting off of a $1,200 dollar one piece rest (rifle cradle) with the forearm locked in place between pressure pads.

    If you are a recreational shooter (weekend sandbag plinker) save your money and buy a Ruger 10/22, at least if you get a lemmon you can replace the barrel yourself with an upgraded custom target grade barrel.

    Remember too that exceptional rimfire accuracy not only comes from using high priced quality ammo but having a barrel with a tight match chamber and that usually means a single shot weapon, not a repeater, even a manually operated one. A true custom undersize match chamber is set up for a narrow range of expensive target grade ammo and Walmart garbage is so oversize you cannot seat a round in the chamber even if you used a sledge hammer. I am not being facetious in the least.

    • What would you know about it? You’ve never done any of it. Everyone here knows you quickly scan an article, Google the subject, throw together a half ass response (everyone that actually knows something about the subject is, kind of, sometimes, feeling sorry for you Duncian, I mean you can’t help your ignorance) and then you are pretty much dismissed. That has to be demeaning. Especially after so many times.

      • Once again Flag Waver your knowledge of firearms is so limited I have yet to see you post an in depth article on anything related to firearms. Screaming insults only proves you are incapable of posting anything of technical value.

    • Your nut house get wifi again dacian? Nobody needs the accuracy of a bench rest rifle. More accuracy means more children dead and at longer distances! How dare you possess something so dangerous and selfish. You need to hand them over to the government immediately. Any denial means you support the child deaths!

    • You are certainly not going to debunk your reputation for being wrong about things this time around.

  2. That’s darn cheap for a carbon barreled gunm.
    My first.prarie dog hunt was with a 10/22 and open sights.

    • Was actually my first thought, is the price of carbon fiber barrels coming down or is this more because of it being 22lr? Either way one to watch for.

  3. Nice looking rifle. Would you take a Tikka T1 over it?

    Also, are the prairie dogs tasty or merely pest control?

    • Pest control. They can carry, and are susceptible to, bubonic plague.
      Lewis & Clark wrote that they ate one on their journey. They didn’t mention anything outside of that.

    • Love the Tikka but haven’t shot the T1 enough to have an opinion.
      You leave them where they lay. The raptors swoop down for them and the other prairie dogs start eating them as well. They’re all gross.

    • I have a Tikka in.17HMR, very accurate and fun little rifle. I also have 3 centerfire Bergara’s, really like them too.

  4. What do you do with ’em when you’ve shot them? Eat them? Are they a pest? Do they damage anything? Bubonic plague carriers.? Didn’t know that so I would suppose that you do not eat them.
    Personally if they carry bubonic plague I wouldn’t even touch them and neither would you if you’d looked at the history of bubonic plagues or GOD’S PESTILENCE.
    I worked in the FOOD HYGIENE sector as an AUTHORISED MEAT INSPECTOR, Animal Welfare Officer., Veterinary Auxilliary and Food Hygienist for 25 years and they are all interconnected and learnt all about it.

    • They dig holes big enough for horses and cattle to step in and break a leg. Left unchecked they’ll turn an entire pasture into a minefield in short order.

  5. How would the Bergara compare to the CZ threaded .22lr rifle?

    • I haven’t seen that level of precision with the CZ, but I’d never tell someone not to buy a CZ rimfire. I’ve sold a lot of personal guns over the years, but never those.

    • I have a CZ, a friend has a BMR. I would describe them as being very comparable, a lot would depend on exactly which model you get. It would be very difficult to go wrong with either.

  6. I took a buckhorn sighted 10/22 to an Appleseed Shoot. My eyes aren’t young enough for that quite honestly! The longer sight radius of the Stevens 85 I brought made an immense difference. I’m thinking of designing and making something for my 10/22 so that it can have full radius sighting and preferably a peep as well.

    • Andrew, I recently found a Ruger 10/22 International on the used rack. Perfect condition. Scooped it up quick. Agree with you. Receiver mounted peep sights on this one.

      Off subject, but may be of interest to the TTAG family. In my county. A large up tick in vehicle and residential burglaries. It usually happens every summer. A large number of juveniles are unsupervised for 90 days. Larger than normal here, now. I expect it’s the same elsewhere. Bring your firearm in at night if you don’t on person carry your handgun. Or, if you’re like me, bring in your rifle as well as your on person handgun. And lock your vehicle anyway. We also had two home invasion robberies. Opps, I’m sorry. Attempted. On going investigation, but I learned a little. Neither gang/drug related. Score. 1st incident. One bad guy DRT. Second escaped. For now. Good guys, all accounted for with no injuries. 2nd incident. One bad guy suffering four (4) GSW. Still burdening us with his presence. Second suspect escaped. For now. Good guy (a local retired firefighter), one GSW to the shoulder. Expected to recover. All others in the domicile safe. Be vigilant.

      • I’m afraid with the economy the way its getting robberies are going to become more prevalent.
        Wont be long before the refrigerator and freezer will be targeted.
        As for myself, I leave my car unlocked, theres nothing in it and no use buying a window glass that got busted.
        That and my car isnt ” steal me” appealing so I dont worry about that.

        • Some relatively isolated local homeowners have been known to buy a cheap used car and leave it unlocked in the driveway with keys on the seat and some gas in the tank. In the hope that should some escaped convict wander onto their property, he’ll take the proffered easy option over attempting a break-in.

    • Tech Sights has a good peep sight product for the 10/22. Small adjustable peep at the rear of the receiver, skinny target post up front. All set to use the standard mounting holes already tapped.

      • That’s what I put on my 10/22. I started with a scope but it made the carbine awkward and heavy-ish. The scope works much better on my Winchester bolt gun.

  7. Good review. I’ve been turning more of my attention toward .22 LR. By happy coincidence, I’ve recently done new business with two LGS (local is relative) that are Bergara dealers. Unfortunately, both are a long turn around road trip. That adds a good $200 to the purchase price. Thanks Joe. Fortunately, I love a good gun deal so much the road trip is half the fun. Yeah, I know I can get it shipped local, but if I do that I won’t be able to eat fried shrimp and grouper fingers at the Lighthouse Restaurant on the Suwannee River. The waitresses there call you Darlin’. They don’t care how you identify. And I get to talk to good people I don’t know in gun shops. And, more often than not, learn something from them. Usually nothing to do with a firearm, but often to do with history. This is what the left does not understand. Even if they do, I believe they despise the idea of it. But, I believe the POG understand. That makes the left afraid. But, I digress. Everyone should own a quality rifle and handgun in .22 LR. Again, good review.

  8. I’ve sold a few of these and have had positive reviews from customers. Great price point with a carbon fiber barrel. The biggest complaint is they didn’t design this to use the Ruger 10/22 magazines like their BXR semi auto rifle. It would have been nice to have the 9rd & 15rd mags on the magnum versions. If I get one (it would be a .17) I might custom machine a new trigger guard & modify the stock to accept the proven Ruger magazines.

  9. If you want to see just how good the B14 could be check out Kenny from Desert Precision Gunworks aka Eagle Eye Shooting on YouTube. For not much money he has a B14 within a whisker of a Voodoo or RimX 22’s.

  10. JWTaylor,
    I have been considering buying a bolt action .22LR.
    Thanks to your review, I think I just found my next purchase.

  11. What I want to know is what do you do with the prairie dogs after you shoot them?

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  14. I have one and love it. Bolt was a little sticky at first. Stock is lackluster but I built it up with a titan cheek riser.

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