Review: Bergara B-14 Ridge Carbon Wilderness

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posted on July 1, 2024
Review Bergara B 14 Ridge Carbon Wilderness Lead

For the past couple seasons my elk hunting partner included a lightweight, skeletonized, PRS-looking rifle with an overall weight below 10 pounds. Although space-age looks do not turn me off, the chance to test and hunt with Bergara’s latest Nutrisystem rifle, the B-14 Ridge Carbon Wilderness, hinted at a return to tradition. The appearance of the rifle resembled those of seasons prior, before my recent modernistic detour. Despite time-honored looks, the Ridge Carbon Wilderness veneer is the only traditional aspect of the rifle. It incorporates a host of Bergara’s latest innovations along with Bergara-proven components that this expanding company has been noticed for going on a decade.

Bergara B-14 Ridge Carbon Wilderness bolt action rifle facing right.

The reason you first consider the Ridge Carbon Wilderness is weight savings. Whittling that weight down below 7 pounds arrives from several factors, and all maintain accuracy. The Ridge Carbon Wilderness for testing arrived in the .300 Winchester Magnum caliber. I admit to nudging Bergara for the heftier caliber for a future elk rendezvous. It is the largest caliber offered, yet still weighs only 6.7 pounds. The other four calibers available, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .308 Winchester and 7mm PRC, range in weight from 6.4 to 6.6 pounds. This easily includes them in the mountain rifle category, but embrace the weight savings whether walking to a whitetail stand or while stalking pronghorns across sagebrush flats.

Since my rifles serve double, triple and more duties, I outfitted the Ridge Carbon Wilderness with a Sig Sauer SIERRA6 BDX 3-18x44mm riflescope and sling. In the mountains I tend to leave the bipod off for additional weight savings, but with the riflescope and a full magazine of three .300 Winchester Magnum cartridges, plus one, my rifle weighed 9.5 pounds. Despite less life ahead of me than behind me, I can still manage that weight while hiking up to 8 miles a day in the mountains along with a full pack.

The first thing you notice about the rifle is its conventional look and feel. The stock is described as “American style” with a sleek profile and easy to shoulder feel. Remington-like checkering aids in a firm pistol and forearm grip on the stock. The entire stock features Bergara’s SoftTouch finish for added comfort, yet a commanding charge of the firearm. Weight savings can be felt in the composite stock, which Bergara terms a “proprietary blend.” Regardless of secrets, one look and a test aim of the Ridge Carbon Wilderness will have you thinking about cycling a few cartridges through the system.

Bergara B-14 Ridge Carbon Wilderness hinged floor plate open with bolt open.

Try to ignore the barrel on the rifle. It wholly adds to additional weight savings while preserving accuracy. Built in the Bergara barrel plant in Bergara, Spain, the CURE barrel is a No. 6 carbon fiber-wrapped barrel embedded with stainless steel strands.

The benefit of this carbon and steel innovative process is seen in rapid heat dispersion. Heat from the shot is transferred from the chamber down the barrel for efficient temperature control. This technology ensures bullets impact in the same location from a cold bore as one heated with several shots.

While breaking in a new barrel, my old-school tradition prods me to shoot five to 10 rounds and then clean the barrel for a gradual path to accuracy. I still follow that rule and it allows the barrel to cool between shooting sessions. Nevertheless, I was shooting in summer heat that does not always facilitate quick cooling. It did not seem to matter as groupings stayed on course throughout shooting sessions.

Barrel length on the .300 Winchester Magnum test rifle was 24 inches while other calibers varied from 20 to 24 inches. Overall length on the test rifle was 44 inches with the .308 model only measuring 39.5 inches. All barrels arrive threaded ⅝x24 inches with an Omni muzzle brake attached to aid in recoil reduction, plus thread protection when a suppressor is not attached. My hunting plans include utilizing the Silencer Central Banish 338; it turned on and off effortlessly during additional range time.

Although some believe the heart of a rifle is the barrel, most point toward the action or launch pad as the headquarters for accuracy. Bergara united the Ridge Carbon Wilderness with their proven B-14 action that has Remington 700 features throughout with a Bergara uniqueness.

Bergara B-14 Ridge Carbon Wilderness bolt removed from rifle.

Rugged begins to describe the 4140 chrome-moly action with one-piece construction, a two-lug arrangement, coned bolt nose and a secure bolt stop. A sliding plate extractor guarantees cartridge feeding with smoothness you would expect from a pricier rifle. Cartridges are fed effortlessly through the breech and extracted via a hinged floorplate. The .300 Winchester Magnum, 7mm PRC and 6.5 PRC models hold three in the magazine compartment while the 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Winchester hold four. For weight savings, Bergara threads, tapers and flutes the bolt. And for a final protective personality, a Cerakote Sniper Grey finish guards the action. Removing the bolt is simple by pushing a bolt-release lever then giving the bolt an effortless rearward tug.

Bergara’s proprietary Performance Trigger serves as launch control on the Ridge Carbon Wilderness. The trigger is factory set at 2.5 pounds and broke cleanly at that weight confirmed by my trigger tension scale. There are no surprises, just clean sendoffs to your projectile of choice and highly adjustable for personal preference. Trigger weight changes do not require firearm dismantling. Access the Allen key screw through the trigger guard. The trigger range is 2.5 to 4 pounds. A two-position toggle thumb safety on the rifle’s right side initiates sendoff.

The rifle includes a Quake rifle sling and thread cup for the barrel in addition to an Omni muzzle brake. For $1,499 retail price, with better deals likely from online shopping, you receive out-of-the-box precision in a featherlight rifle package. Move over PRS, your time is up.

Bergara B-14 Ridge Carbon Wilderness .300 Winchester magnum accuracy results chart.

Technical Specifications
Type: bolt-action rifle
Caliber: 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .308 Win., 7mm PRC, .300 Win. Mag. (tested)
Barrel: 24"; CURE No. 6 carbon-fiber, 1:10" RH twist; threaded 5/8-24" w/Omni muzzle brake
Trigger: Bergara Performance Trigger, single-stage; adjustable, 2.5 lbs. to 4 lbs. pull weight
Safety: two-position toggle
Sights: none; drilled and tapped for M700 bases; 6-48/T-15 screws
Stock: straight comb; composite; 13.5" LOP
Metal Finish: Cerakote Sniper Grey
Overall Length: 44"
Weight: 6.7 lbs.
Accessories: Quake rifle sling, barrel thread cap
MSRP: $1,499; bergara.online/us

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