Now in its 16th year, the NRA Golden Bullseye Awards represent the pinnacle of achievement within the shooting, hunting and outdoor trade.
In 2017, after years of record-breaking sales, many industry observers wondered what ingenious introductions might still be unveiled. After all, any product worthy of our gold standard must meet or exceed American Hunter’s expectations of innovation—and they absolutely must provide hunters with value for their money. But once again, we were surprised when we collected nominations and tallied our votes.
Rifle of the Year: Bergara B-14 The B-14 is Bergara’s production-line action, developed in-house and based on a two-lug system with a sliding-plate extractor and plunger ejector; a coned nose and breech produce smooth cartridge feeding and extraction. Its barrel is Bergara’s own, too, made from 4140 bar stock, and straightened and honed to ensure minimal deviation. Its two-position toggle safety does not lock the bolt. Its curved trigger, set at about 3 pounds, delivers crisp, clean pulls.
Built in Spain at the company’s modern factory, the B-14 delivers a level of quality and performance that’s hard to beat in its price range ($825-$1,699). Six models are available: Hunter, Ridge, Timber, Woodsman, HMR and BMP. Pick your poison as it concerns chambering, from .22-250 to 6.5 Creedmoor to .30-06, .300 Win. Mag. and more—it all depends what unit you choose and how it’s configured.
All B-14 rifles are capable of producing sub-MOA groups at 100 yards using factory match ammo. Executive Editor Adam Heggenstaller is partial to the HMR (Hunting Match Rifle) chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor (“Hardware,” April 2018).