Test: Bergara B142 Crest – A new bolt-action rifle with carbon stock for under 2,000 euro. How good is the hunting rifle?

Carbon fiber composites are now frequently used where components with low weight and extremely high rigidity are required. After the so-called carbon fiber or carbon fiber-reinforced polymers have long been established in the aerospace and automotive industries, some premium gun manufacturers have also been using the still modern material for a few years now. In the meantime, a number of renowned hunting rifle manufacturers such as Blaser, Sako and Rößler are already offering hunting bolt-action rifles with carbon fiber stocks as standard. The Rößler Titan 6 is priced at around 2,900 euros, while the Sako 85 Carbon Wolf costs a good 4,500 euros, and the Blaser R8 Ultimate Carbon with its thumbhole stock even around 7,000 euros. And it is precisely in this market segment that the barrel and gun manufacturer Bergara, based in the Spanish Basque Country, is now pushing forward with the B142 Crest which, with a price of less than 2,000 euros, is now set to conquer the “crest”. According to the manufacturer, the new Bergara rifle can primarily follow its destiny when hunting in the high mountains and in very extensive hunting grounds.

Bergara B142 Crest with carbon stock – Available in four versions: .308 or 6.5 Creedmoor calibers and with 51/61 barrel length

In addition to the .308 Winchester variant, the Bergara catalog lists the new B142 Crest in 6.5 Creedmoor. Both versions are available with 20-inch (51 cm) or 24-inch (61 cm) barrels. In 6.5 Creedmoor caliber, the twist length is 1:8 inches (203 mm), and in .308 Winchester, the 6 RH rifling ensure that in the barrel the bullet rotates on its own axis  once in every 10 inches (254 mm). In terms of price, the new B142 Crest models are the same – all four versions come with a recommended retail price of 1,998 euros (price may be different in your country due to VAT and import duties, anyway).

A total of six flutes increase the surface area of the barrel on the Bergara B142 and further reduce the weight of the bolt-action rifle in addition to the lightweight carbon stock. 

The centerpiece of the B142 Crest is, of course, the new carbon stock. This is made using the CF-RTM process (Carbon Fiber-Resin Transfer Molding). In this manufacturing technique, the carbon fibers are assembled by hand in a special mold and then injected with liquid resin. The resin thereby encloses the fibers, and the whole results in a very tensile and rigid component after curing. In this case, it is a one-piece stock, which Bergara calls a "monocoque" in reference to the term used in Formula 1 racing. 

Bergara includes two 10 mm spacers for adjusting the stock length-of-pull of the B142 Crest. 

The monocoque stock of the Bergara Crest is modeled at its rear end in a rich Monte Carlo design and is topped off by a fairly soft rubber recoil pad about three inches thick. The straight back of the buttstock is designed to be suitably high for aiming with a scope. It is somewhat wider on both sides in the upper third, so that both right-handed and left-handed shooters will find adequate cheek rests here. On the underside of the butt, a trough-shaped recess ensures that the rifle can be supported stably at the rear with an ear bag or the shooter's arm. At the forward end of the recess, the stock swells to form a pistol grip. The flanks of the grip fall out evenly on both sides and are an ideal fit for average-sized hands. Like the stocks of the B14 HMR and Wilderness versions, the new carbon stock comes with two interface types for attaching straps or accessories. While the manufacturer screws in a classic sling swivel on the underside of the buttstock, there are two of them on the forend. This allows a bipod to be attached at the front in addition to the sling, if required. In addition, there are attachments for QD sling swivels on both sides, both in the forend area and the buttstock, which engage via ball lock bolts.

The carbon stock receives its gray-spotted camo finish by hand. In terms of color, the unpainted matte black carbon surfaces and the brush dots applied in two shades of gray complement each other very well. The pattern is reminiscent of modern urban camouflage patterns and should also serve its purpose in the rocky high mountains. But where there is light, there is also shadow: the surface of the stock turns out quite smooth and offers wet hands only little grip.

Technical design and equipment features of the new Bergara B142 Crest bolt-action rifle in detail

Bergara equips the B142 Crest with an omni-directional brake on the 5/8-24 UNEF muzzle thread as standard.

The gray tones of the stock go very well with the Sniper Grey Cerakote coating, which protects the barrel and action from mechanical and environmental influences. As with all B14 models, Bergara screws the free-floating barrel into the action and packs a solid recoil lug in between. In the Crest model, Bergara relies on the typical B14 two-lug bolt in the style of the Remington 700. The Bergara bolt opens at a 90-degree angle and has an ejector in the recessed bolt face as well as a short extractor claw embedded in the left lug.

In the Crest, however, the bolt is still provided with spirally arranged milled flutes. These so-called “ice grooves” were originally intended to keep the bolt of military rifles operable even at extremely low temperatures or in the event of heavy contamination. In the meantime, however, hunting rifle manufacturers have realized that they can also save a few grams in weight. In the case of the Crest, the latter also applies to the six flutes on the semi-light barrel, which is still 17.8 millimeters in diameter at the muzzle. The improved heat dissipation thanks to the increased surface area of the barrel is likely to play a subordinate role in a gun for long-range and mountain hunting.

The action bedding on the B142 Crest is directly in the carbon stock, where the corresponding recess for the recoil lug is also clearly visible. 

The manufacturer embeds the Crest's action directly into the carbon stock. There it is held by two M6 screws that pass through the frame of the trigger guard, which is combined with the magazine well. Directly in front of the trigger guard is a magazine release lever that can be operated from both sides and easily reached with the index finger of the shooting hand. Ammo feeding is provided by an AICS-compatible polymer magazine that can hold three cartridges in either .308 Winchester or 6.5 Creedmoor. Out of the box, the test gun in .308 Winchester with 51-inch barrel and muzzle brake weighs 3,325 grams and has an overall length of 1,050 millimeters. Without the included spacers, the stock length is 350 millimeters. With these, it can be extended to 360 or 370 millimeters.

Because Bergara based the action dimensions and mounting holes of the B14 series on those of the Remington 700, aftermarket mounting bases or rails compatible with 700 short action systems will also fit the Crest, which was previously only offered in the two aforementioned standard calibers. Picatinny rails specifically designated for both the long and short B14 actions are available. The rugged steel rails are priced at 109 euros each and come from the Italian manufacturer Contessa. On the left rear of the B14 receiver is a rocker-type bolt release. On the opposite side, Bergara positions the ribbed lever head of the two-position safety, which can only be engaged when the lock is cocked and acts exclusively on the trigger. In the Crest, Bergara installs the in-house Performance trigger. The externally adjustable single-stage trigger is also found in the sporty models of the Basque gunmaker. On the test gun, the trigger pull scale showed an average of just over 750 grams. A value that, in conjunction with the absolutely crisp and smooth-breaking Performance Trigger, should convince even the hunter who is otherwise used to a set trigger.

Accuracy and functional test of the Bergara B142 Crest

The safety of the B142 Crest can be operated silently only with practice.

For the accuracy test, the Burris Six Xe 3-18x56 scope, which we have already tested in detail here, was mounted on the Contessa picatinny rail, which was previously screwed to the receiver, using a MAKuik 3 quick-release mount. Thus equipped, the Crest had to prove itself with a total of seven factory cartridge types. To say it right away, there were no problems here in terms of function: all cartridges used n the test were fed cleanly, ignited flawlessly and were then ejected without a hitch. Despite a little play, the bolt ran smoothly in the receiver. The trigger lived up to its name and performed in match quality. Finally, the very good trigger, together with the target optics, helped the Crest hit the 100-m target with a five-shot group that was clearly more than adequate for hunting­The testers achieved the best group with the 165 gr RWS Hit Evo Green with a diameter of 31 millimeters. As for the largest grouping achieved by the Crest, it was in the form of a 78-mm group with another of the total of seven test loads. But even that is enough for the preferred big game hunting in the mountains. The soft rubber pad already absorbs some of the recoil before it reaches the shoulder, making the Crest very comfortable to shoot. It is a well-known fact that the safety of a B14 can only be operated silently with practice, which unfortunately also applies to the new Crest.

Bergara B142 Crest specs and price

Bergara B142 Crest
.308 Winchester (6.5 Creedmoor also available)
Magazine Capacity:
3 rounds
Overall Length:
41.37”/1,050 mm (with 20”/51 cm barrel)
Barrel length:
20”/51 cm (24”/61 cm also available)
Barrel Twist:
254 mm (1:10"), 6 RH grooves
Trigger Pull Weight:
760 g
Test Gun Weight:
3,325 g
Links-/Rechts-Ausführung:Rechtssystem mit Universalschaft
Monocoque carbon fiber stock, two-lug bolt, fluted barrel, receiver with Sniper Grey Ceracote coating, 5/8-24 UNEF muzzle thread, omni-directional muzzle brake, AICS compatible magazine, enlarged bolt knob, adjustable trigger, two-position safety, drilled and tapped for mounting bases compatible with Remington 700.

all4hunters.com test conclusion on the Bergara Crest with carbon stock

The bottom line is that with the new B142 Crest, Bergara brings a relatively light and absolutely usable hunting tool to the market in the usual good quality of this manufacturer at a very reasonable price of under 2,000 euros for the class of carbon stock rifles. With this, the Spanish manufacturer puts a bold exclamation point as far as pricing for carbon fiber stock rifles is concerned and redefines the entry-level price in this category.

 What we liked:

 What we liked less:

Very decent build quality
Relatively smooth surface texture
Match quality trigger
Noisy safety
Very good price-performance ratio

You can find more information about the Bergara B142 Crest on the Bergara website.

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