Bergara Ridge Carbon Wilderness Lightweight Hunting Rifle – Ultimate Reloader

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This year at SHOT Show, we saw Bergara’s newest offerings. The Bergara Ridge Carbon was one I thought offered great value at an affordable price, warranting a closer look. 

 

 

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About the Bergara Ridge Carbon Wilderness

Guy Miner already has his eye on this lightweight hunting rifle for the budget-conscious outdoorsman. There are several caliber options—.308 WIN, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC and 300 Win Mag—with MSRP starting at $1599.

Weight varies by the different configurations, but starts at 6.4 lbs. A carbon fiber barrel, hinged floorplate and synthetic stock help keep this package light. The omni brake comes standard.

Our 6.5 Creedmoor test model holds four rounds in the magazine.

From Bergara

The Wilderness Series® Ridge is designed for the serious hunter. Those who brave the elements and need an accurate rifle that can keep up, without the extravagant price tag. Now, we’ve added our proprietary-blended carbon barrel. We can tell you the weight savings will gain you a few extra miles on foot. Or that the increased accuracy will add to your confidence. But, there’s also nothing wrong with simply one-upping your buddies.

BERGARA CARBON BARREL

Bergara’s reputation is based on the best drilling, honing, and rifling processes that guarantee sub-MOA precision. The No. 6 carbon fiber barrel with 410 stainless is equipped with a threaded 5/8-24 Omni muzzle brake, in (20, 22 or 24 inches, depending on the caliber).

ONE PIECE B-14 ACTION

All Wilderness Series rifles are complete with our own super-smooth B-14 Action in Sniper Grey Cerakote®finishes for advanced protection in extremely harsh weather. This two-lug system with a sliding plate extractor and a coned bolt nose and breech to ensure a smooth feeding and extraction of the cartridge.

HINGED FLOOR PLATE

A hinged floor plate is standard with our Ridge Carbon Wilderness rifle. (4 standard capacity & 3 magnum capacity)

What’s in the Box

Here’s what you’ll find in the box:

  • Ridge Carbon Wilderness Rifle (no rail) 
  • Thread protector
  • Owner’s manual

Setting up the Rifle 

I decided to mount a Leupold VX-5HD 3-15 x 44 scope with side focus.

This amount of magnification allows for short and mid-range deer hunting, but with more power than a traditional 3-9x. This scope is also waterproof and fogproof.

My rifle came with a 20 MOA rail installed, but this does not come standard. I decided to use Hawkins Precision’s long range hybrid rings.

These precision machined hybrid rings replace the rail and have a built-in 25 MOA cant as well as an integrated level. 

After mounting the scope and ensuring proper torque, I headed out to the range.

Sighting In

We set up at 100 yards with a Sinclair rest and boresighted the gun. My first shot wasn’t on target, so I boresighted again to realize I was slightly off. To boresight a bolt gun, you remove the bolt and look through the barrel at your target. When the barrel is aligned on the target, you look through the scope without moving the barrel. If the reticle is not on the center of the target, adjust the elevation and windage knobs until it is. 

I shot two three shot groups after getting sighted in. The first measured 0.825”; the second measured 0.502”. 

I did notice some thermal shift with the carbon barrel. This is something I’ve found with every carbon barrel I’ve worked with. As this barrel warmed, it had a tendency to shoot slightly higher than the cold bore shots. I zeroed to the cold bore. Even with this very slight shift, the gun is more than accurate enough to ethically harvest large game. 

Shooting 

We placed a small steel IPSC target from D-M Targets at 100 yards for testing. This is about the size of deer vitals.  While this isn’t incredibly far, we’re limited at where and how far we can shoot due to fire danger this time of year. I fired both off a barricade with a bag and from the unsupported standing position.

I assumed a CMP high power target stance for greater stability over a traditional hunting stance and successfully engaged the IPSC with three successive shots. I’d be comfortable shooting a deer from this position with this rifle out to 150 yards though the rifle itself is capable of shooting much further.

To get an idea of what it would be like to hunt with this rifle, I carried it for a hike along the steep mountainside. It was incredibly comfortable to carry — I didn’t feel burdened or weighed down at all. 

TriggerScan

I used the TriggerScan TS-11 to profile the rifle’s trigger.

All scans looked very consistent with a peak force averaging 2.0 lbs, travel to actuate about 0.029” and overtravel at 0.050”.  I did notice an adjustment screw, but 2 lbs is an appropriate and popular weight for a hunting trigger. The graph had no jagged lines which indicate grit, Overall, I was very pleased with this trigger. 

Conclusion

Earlier this year we reviewed the Bergara B-14 Squared Crest. This rifle features a carbon stock with steel barrel with a box magazine compared to the synthetic stock, carbon barrel and internal magazine of the Bergara Ridge Carbon Wilderness. As a hasty comparison, the Squared Crest weighed 8.88 lbs while the Ridge Carbon weighted 8.31 lbs.

These rifles both had different optics mounted, so this isn’t a perfect comparison, but the Squared Crest definitely has more heft to it. If you’re looking for a lightweight hunting rifle, the Bergara Ridge Carbon Wilderness is a great option. I would think about another heavier option like the Squared Crest if weight doesn’t matter to you and you’re shooting a caliber like 300 Win Mag. While I tested the 6.5 Creedmoor version of the Ridge Carbon, I think the 6.5 PRC would be another good choice. 

Get the Gear

Bergara Ridge Carbon Wilderness

Find Leupold dealers here! 

Hawkins Precision’s long range hybrid rings

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Thanks,
Gavin Gear

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