“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill. True to Churchill’s words, Bergara USA’s success comes from a combination of heritage-driven master-craftsmanship and embracing change. Honestly, in an industry ripe with countless nothing-new product offerings, Bergara has never been a company to rest on its laurels. For 2023, there’s another rock-solid offering from Bergara, the Bergara HMR Carbon Wilderness Rifle.
As an outdoor writer, I revel in opportunities to learn about, test, and review products, especially firearms, and the Bergara HMR Carbon Wilderness Rifle really piqued my interest. At first glance, two features on my test model chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, really stood out: the stock and the barrel.
Distinctly Bergara, the Carbon Wilderness Rifle stock was an HMR Premier Pro, synthetic and sporting an adjustable comb. It also featured Bergara’s popular soft-touch, woodland camouflage finish. Adjustable for length of pull and comb height, the stock included a ridiculously comfortable butt pad, rear and forward quick-detach sling mounts, a rear sling-swivel stud, and dual sling-swivel studs under the forend.
Equally impressive, and new for 2023, Bergara has taken the carbon-fiber plunge. The CURE boasts a carbon-fiber wrapped, match-grade, 22-inch barrel with 1:8 twist and button rifling. True to Bergara’s standards, shooters can expect sub-MOA accuracy with match-grade factory ammunition.
While I don’t consider the Bergara HMR Carbon Wilderness Rifle good looks debatable, aesthetics are not everything. Guts matter, and Bergara understands this simple truth more than most.
Up top, the Carbon Wilderness Rifle “guts” featured Bergara’s proprietary, single-piece B-14 Action–built on a Remington 700 short-action footprint–and a two-lug bolt complete with a sliding plate extractor. The action was tapped and drilled for rings and was compatible with a standard Remington 700 SA picatinny rail.
Down below, the Carbon Wilderness Rifle included a Bergara Performance Trigger and detachable-magazine compatible with AICS-type magazines; it also shipped with a five-round AICS magazine for 5+1 total ammunition capacity.
For accuracy testing, I installed a Firefield Stronghold 6- to 9-inch bipod and a Sightmark Pinnacle 5-30×50 first-focal-plane riflescope. Testing was performed using Hornady 147-grain ELD Match ammunition. The first shot was quite a surprise—as it should be—thanks to a light trigger-pull that broke cleanly. Bergara’s Performance Trigger is every bit a match-grade system, confirmed later with my Wheeler pull-weight scale. Through 15 dry-fires the pull-weight averaged 1-pound, 15.7 ounces.
Thanks to the soft-rubber butt pad and Bergara’s Omni multi-directional muzzle brake, recoil was mitigated and comfortable enough for all-day shooting. That said, the Carbon Wilderness Rifle is a lightweight rifle, so it definitely moved when fired.
Accuracy was impressive. I was able to eke out a .55-MOA, three shot group at 100 yards. Then, I turned my attention to an elk-shaped target at 500 yards. After walking shots in from the right because of wind, I managed to finish testing with two shots scoring within two inches of each other before running out of ammunition.
I certainly hope to add one of these rifles to my collection in the near future. Just when I thought a production rifle system couldn’t get any better, Bergara introduced the Carbon Wilderness Rifle, and I couldn’t be happier.
Specs: Bergara HMR Carbon Wilderness Rifle
ACTION: Bolt Bergara B-14 Bolt Action
CHAMBERING: (as tested) 6.5 Creedmoor
RECEIVER: Bergara Single-Piece B-14 Receiver w/Two-Lug Bolt and Sliding Plate Extractor, Remington 700 SA footprint
STOCK: Bergara HMR Molded Synthetic w/Mini Chassis, Soft-Touch Coating and Woodland Camo Finish
BARREL TYPE: CURE Carbon Fiber, #6 Contour, 1:8 Twist
BARRREL LENGTH: 22”
MAGAZINE: AICS-Style Detachable w/5+1 Capacity
TRIGGER: Bergara Performance Trigger, Average Pull Weight, 1 lb. 15.7 oz.
SIGHTS: None. Drilled and Tapped. Remington 700 SA Picatinny Base Compatible.
WEIGHT: 8.2 lbs.
ACCESSORIES: Rear Sling Swivel Stud, Dual Sling Swivel Studs in Forend; Rear and Forward QD Sling Mounts; Omni Multi-Direction, Multi-Ported Muzzle Brake.
1 thought on “Bergara HMR Carbon Wilderness Rifle”
The recoil calms down a lot with a good muzzle brake that is ported to direct gases … EVEN less recoil with a suppressor!
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