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With the recent firestorm of active shooter incidents and brazen acts of terrorism on U.S. soil, America needs law enforcement more than ever before. When a SWAT team is called in to a crisis situation there are typically two units: an entry team to assault the target’s position and a sniper/observer team to neutralize the threat if the suspect tries to kill or injure the victims.

Since an active shooter situation can end before the SWAT team arrives, increasingly street officers are being armed with rifles and being trained to take immediate action instead of simply sitting on their hands and waiting for SWAT.

Traditionally law enforcement snipers have used rifles similar to the Remington® M24 Sniper Weapon System, but there is a new contender on the range and it is rapidly becoming the new benchmark in LE rifles: the Bergara LRP rifle system. In less than a year, Bergara USA has received multiple agency awards to outfit SWAT Sniper teams across the country. So why exactly are all of these LE agencies lining up to get Bergara rifles?

Tied for first on a SWAT Team’s list of sniper rifle requirements are accuracy and reliability, both qualities that Bergara has in spades.

Ed Shilen inspecting a Bergara barrel

It all starts with the barrel. When Bergara set out to design its center-fire rifle barrels it teamed up with legendary barrel maker Ed Shilen. Shilen’s barrels have won 13 world records and he was inducted into the bench rest hall of fame. Shilen helped Bergara develop manufacturing techniques that would allow them to make custom quality barrels at production barrel prices. Bergara uses a proprietary triple honing process and diamond-tipped bits that create a mirror-like finish on the bore. The company then button rifles the barrels, keeping the deviation of the groove less than .0002”.

Dan Hanus at the range with one of his custom rifles

Just as important as the barrel is the rifle the barrel is placed in and how that rifle is put together. Meet rifle production manager, Dan Hanus. Hanus is the former chief instructor and production chief of the Marines Precision Weapons School in Quantico where the sniper rifles he built led to the demise of many a jihadist. Hanus learned in the Marines that there’s a right way to build sniper rifles and to take no shortcuts when it comes to the tools we put in our soldiers hands.

The approach he takes to building a Bergara rifle has been described as obsessive and each rifle goes through a series of 16 steps that others in the rifle industry have painted as crazed, compulsive, redundant, nitpicking or all of the above. Hanus pays no mind and does all of these as routine.

All of this attention to detail adds up to a rifle with the reliability of a Kalashnikov yet the guarantee that it will shoot sub-MOA groups. Bergara stands by this guarantee and forbids any rifle from leaving the factory unless it has first passed an accuracy test. A test target ships with each rifle guaranteeing its accuracy.

To top it all off, Bergara works with each agency and each SWAT team to determine exactly what rifle system they need.

Cobb County Police Department inspecting their new Bergara Rifles

“We work in detail with them and find out exactly what type of situations they most commonly use their rifles in, what style of stock their shooters are most used to (chassis or solid stock), as well as things like weight needs, night vision, thermal attachments, etc. With a purchase like this it’s critical to ask the right questions so that we can choose a set up that fits an agency’s needs 100 percent,” remarked Dan Hanus.

“We know they are not only using this rifle to protect their fellow officers, but they are using it to protect each one of us. With that in the back of our minds, making sure every fine detail is taken care of for every one of the shooters is paramount to Bergara. We don’t see this as a one-time sale but instead as a long term relationship where we’ll take care of each shooter and each agency for a lifetime.”



Click here to learn more about the Bergara LRP rifle systems.

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  1. I had to laugh when I read about the rifle having “the reliability of a Kalashnikov”.

    THIS IS A BOLT ACTION RIFLE! It better be at least as reliable as a Kalashnikov.

    Also, I don’t like ADS posing as articles.

    Robert F.- I know you were very clear that this is sponsored content – with a warning, and text in a different color. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with having such content. I just don’t like it.

    • Although, I will note, it isn’t marked as sponsored content on the main page.
      It’s only AFTER you’ve clicked on it that you find it’s an advertisement.

      If that is a sign of the direction this site is taking, I’ll be absent in the future.

      • If people abandon this excellent pro-gun site just because they’re annoyed that Robert et al. occasionally include a sponsored article that they could easily skip over without reading, how do you think Robert will pay to keep this site in operation?

        Would you continue working at your job if you didn’t get paid for it? Ridiculous.

        Websites have to be monetized, otherwise they are just hobbies. RF does a pretty good job of keeping even the monetized information pertinent and interesting. If you disagree, there is a little arrow to the right of the screen -> click it and move on.

        • The entire thing as discussed Cops is total BS. They are NOT “snipers”. Perhaps designated marksmen.

          And as typically shot is a couple hundred yards they do not need to be wasting taxpayer resources on multithousad $ toys (nice stuff but in this application Johnie Rambo toys). If can’t they visually ID the target with naked eye likely shouldn’t be shooting anyhow.

          • It is settled science that the equipment determines to skill of the participant. Better guns; better marksmen. Technical advancement trumps skill and cunning, every time.

            Says so on the internet. If it wasn’t true, it would be illegal to be out there.

        • Cliff H, I support websites that do not deceive visitors into clicking on links that look like articles, but are actually ads.

          Some of the sponsored content on TTAG is clearly marked on the main page, but this one was not. This crosses the line into “clickbait”, and as some ads/sites are paid based on clicks, this is not acceptable, in my view.

          Clearly labeled, it’s my choice on when, how, and how often I support a site with my clicks. Disguised as content and making me click to find out, which then gets them paid, it’s NOT my choice, and I will not frequent sites where clickbait-type advertising is used. YMMV, each to their own, etc.

    • If more of us were armed and competent, we would need far fewer police.

      Wait a minute, I think I see what is happening here. The more of us who are armed and competent, the less police we need. And that leads to unemployed police men and women. Could that be why police (especially police chiefs) want us unarmed … as job security? I shudder the thought that police (or at least police chiefs) value their paychecks over our lives — especially when they could work in other fields.

      • Maybe not true. How many folks here say things like,”my gun is just for me and mine”. How many advised not getting involved when the lady was being attacked on the cops lawn?

        A very large portion of our society simply can’t handle firearms and need to be able to call on help. My sister had a stroke and is physically incapable of self defense.

        We need cops. We just need laws that make it difficult to arrest, prosecute or sue the law abiding that have legitimate DGU’s.

        • Exactly what jwm said. I’ve heard that refrain many times. If I’m off duty I’ll still take personal risk to help others who are legitimately in need (or at least appear that way).

          I’m pro cop and pro gun, although most police chiefs are just pro cop. I’m fine with less police, as long as police can actually do their jobs like deporting violent felons and shooting a minority if it’s actually justified.

      • The stronger, more resilient, and more confident we are in every area of life, the less we need government in general.

        Maybe that is why the media tries to frighten us all the time. The well armed, financially secure, happily married, physically fit, and confident man (or woman) just doesn’t have much need for the state.

        On the other hand, the frightened, broke, indebted, unarmed, sick, emotionally unstable, single mom constantly demands more and more government.

        Why do you thing the Big Gov. types constantly encourage (1) college students to get deeply into debt (2) credit cards, and overextended mortgages (3) civilian disarmament (4) no fault divorce (5) crappy diets (6) the sexual revolution?

        The stronger the People get, the weaker the State is. The weaker the People become, the stronger the State has to be.

    • We may not need more cops, but we certainly need cops.

      Who else can we count on to write those tickets for an illegal left turn?

  2. Not sure if their accuracy has improved from the last TTAG review I saw, but for $3K a bolt gun better shoot under 1 MOA. I don’t think Bergara currently meets that spec.

  3. Bergara rifles are great and I’d love to have one, but c’mon — Lon Horiuchi didn’t need a Bergara to kill Vicki Weaver when he was a member of the FBI’s Hostage Murder Team.

    • Ralph, Vicki Weaver was holding a loaded baby.

      What gets left in a baby diaper qualifies as lethal biological warfare…

      • As a veteran father and grandfather I have to agree with this. babies are potential weapons of mass destruction that are spewing nasty fluids in every direction.

        • Yup. I’ve changed my share of diapers and have to say that sometimes I (briefly) considered throwing out the baby and starting over from scratch.

    • That is what I was thinking. You could buy a SAVAGE, a thousand rounds of ammo, and a good scope for the price of the Begara. And have enough left over for beers after the training

  4. Jeez, all that taxpayer money for some expensive rifles that do a marginally better job than a Savage or a Ruger for 1/10th the cost.

    Thanks big government.

    • That was my first reaction too. Is it really necessary to spend this much taxpayer money, rather than getting a good Remington or Ruger bolt rifle? At what distance are police snipers actually using their rifles? I read once that anything over about 100 yards is actually extreme long range in domestic law enforcement.

      • Yeah, most of the distances that police are shooting at are between 50-75 yards. At those distances, you don’t need a sub MOA rifle fitted with an $800 scope to boot. My best guess is that if there was a hostage situation and the hostage was being used as a shield, then I could see the need for the absolute best, but really, how many local police SWAT snipers are actually given the order to take that shot? Usually, that’s when the Feds bring their sniper boys in to do the job.

        • The feds only show up when it’s their party (i.e. Waco) or there’s a huge amount of time in standoff. Almost all hostage situations are handled by local / state police.

          That said, at ranges around 100 yards the difference between a ‘good’ rifle and a hella-expensive premium rifle just isn’t going to make the difference. It’ll be the shooter’s skill (and the fact that the rifle is properly zeroed!)

  5. Seems like an AR-10 in .308 would serve as both a patrol rifle and an “accurate enough” sniper rifle, yes? Offset iron sights for when you don’t need the scope?

    • I was thinking the same thing.
      These guys aren’t shooting half a mile.

      Besides, if there’s more than one radical Islamic jihadist to shoot, I don’t want a “bolt action” anything.

      • I have yet to find a single inccident/anecdote/report of a police sniper taking a shot that couldn’t have been done with an off-the-self AR-10 and a decent optic – a firearm that would have way more mission flexibility.

        • I spoke with a police/swat sniper who said all he has ever done is look at people through the scope. All intelligence gathering, no actual shooting. He said a rifle scope was really good at helping see through windows and way into dark rooms.

          So then we’ve settled it: Short barrel AR-10 with a nice scope and offset iron sights.

          Next question?

  6. If they’re just going to sit around the perimeter and not take ANY shots for three hours, does it really matter what kind of rifle they have?

    • Of course it matters! If the po-po are going to stand around for hours, they have to look good dontcha know.

  7. There is a bench rest hall of fame? Can I visit? What city is it in? Is it next to the third string quarterback hall of fame?

  8. We know that some law enforcement aren’t able to procure a Barrett (unintended consequences of legislative overreach) so they’ve got to pursue other options I guess. Anyone think this is at least part of the connection?

    And I don’t mind the ad either since it was specifically marked as such AND we get to comment under it anyway. Maybe they’d pay even more to disable the comments so we can’t make fun of them 🙂

  9. Didn’t we recently have an event where a cop with a rifle in the trunk fired three shots at a mentally disabled target, miss twice and hit a bystander instead? Yep. I really want to reward cops with 3X more expensive rifles they can accidentally (incompetently?) kill me with.

    Bergara and and the guy making barrels should be ashamed to provide anything to agencies sworn to violate the civil and 2A rights of the populace. But hey, there’s money to be made..and who cares about all that other stuff? Barret does,

  10. I agree that we don’t need more police.
    It would make me happy to see certain laws removed from the books, and an end to iron fisted rule from the authorities.
    I remember how much more freedom there was for people in the 1970s and 80s. The Bush and Clinton administrations is where the loss of personal freedom started. The War on Drugs was where it began. I remember hearing the news media pointing it out that things were going to change for the worse. One could argue that a large loss of our freedoms occurred in the 1930s with Roosevelt and his policies to get the nation out of the Great Depression, however I’m not that old and wasn’t witness to that time period like I was in the 1970s.
    Now with the Patriot Act and the refusal by authorities to correctly stereotype the correct people, ie islamic looking people rather than old ladies and people in wheel chairs. Coupled with domestic spying programs, and everything from banking laws preventing a person keeping his money private to GPS in our cellular phones, freedom and privacy have evaporated.

    • “The Bush and Clinton administrations is where the loss of personal freedom started.”

      Some people would say that the loss of freedom started when the Federal Government decided that nobody could make whiskey without paying a Federal tax.

      The President at the time was George Washington.

    • I have had many an FN, Savage, and Winchester Model 70. Some of them were very good rifles. The very, very good ones could shoot just over 1MOA with factory ammo. Now, with a good float, bed, and trigger job, some of them could push 1/2MOA with hand loads. But that wasn’t the norm. That’s what it usually took to get them to 1MOA.
      I’ve seen Bergara rifles shoot that 1/2 MOA with factory ammo right out of the box. Weather that’s important for the application is a whole different question. But there’s no comparing the out of the box accuracy of Bergara with any of the biggest companies’ standard bolt gun.

  11. Agree. It wasn’t too long ago RF and the Gang sent us notice they were needing ideas of how to make the blog self-sustaining. Ads and promos might be annoying, but are we all willing to support a subscription-only forum?

  12. Seems to me after building a couple long range parts guns that a model 700 fitted with any name brand barrel works well, not having the credentials makes it hard to prove!
    Parts alone costs were, 500.00 Stock, 600.00 for the Action, 400.00 Shilen Barrel, 400.00 for McGowan Barrel, scope 500.00 A Timney Trigger! these at retail prices, imagine you could cut cost to about 45% if you manufacture everything! (Prices rounded up).
    Both rifles shot MOA or less.
    Take a trued 700 action, a Douglas, Shilen, McGowan or any other barrel deemed worthy, H&S Stock, Torque the screws and add a good scope of choice! Wa-La, you now may have a Moa rifle. is it better? don’t know, does it shoot well? yup
    The true question is How much they play with their standards vs bigger paycheck!

  13. When is the last time a SWAT team ( or whatever they want to call themselves ) ever made a kill shot on a bad guy from 100yds or more? What a bunch of macho, testosterone fueled BS. They can’t buy MRAP’s or tanks anymore so they are buying Long Range “precision” Rifles to do what with? Stand outside a gay nightclub in Florida for 3 hrs while all the gun shot victims bleed to death because they don’t have clear shot from 1000yds away?

  14. I dont know if my information is accurate, but I read a while back that any law enforcement or SWAT type target shooting engagement has never been performed at distances longer than 100-yards and likely never will for legal reasons. It makes sense to me to that long range precision shots even during a time of civil discontent should not be considered by any agency unless the policy is to consider the civilian population enemy combatants where shooting and killing unintended targets is an accepted part of the plan. So I dont buy the reasons why law enforcement insists that they require these near bespoke precision target shooting rigs. The terrorist threat is overblown hyperbole, scare mongering for the masses to get this equipment, systems, and instruments in place that will ultimately be used as tools to control all of us via threat of force and monopoly on use of violence. It’ll surely be called “law and order” and be “legal”. Terrorism. . . yea. Federal grants pay for all these tacticool goodies.

    It is still the safest time in the past 100 years to be in law enforcement. Our sky isnt falling and frankly if it does it will be the machinations of the state that will be the root cause of it, and I suspect is much the reason why they are procuring all kinds of cool ass boom-toys as a contingent just in case.

    The law enforcement officials at the top where it counts dont agree with the idea of full freedom of the citizenry, they believe in only as much liberty as will allow them to maintain control of it all. If it tests or taxes their ability to control it, then they dont believe it should be permitted or accessible by the greater unwashed. They are ‘control’!

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