The Bergara Premier Series rifles are basically custom rigs that you’re not allowed to pick the colors on. The barrel is better than production grade, the stocks used are high quality Grayboe fiberglass or AG Composites carbon fiber, the action is Bergara but it’s essentially a really nice custom Remington 700 style and the trigger is made by TriggerTech. The bolts are fluted and some of the models feature fluted and threaded barrels. These guns literally have all the features people have been using to customize Remingtons for the last 30 years or more.
The Highlander that Bergara sent me was the first Highlander they built in 300 PRC. At least that’s what they said. They told me to put it through its paces in Africa and that’s just what I did.
Before leaving for Africa, I had Superior Ammo work up a load. I wanted to shoot the heavy Berger 230 grain Hybrid OTM to take advantage of the cartridge’s horsepower and the rifle shot a group average of .626” with the load we settled on. That’s damn good for a 230 grain bullet moving at over 2,900 feet per second.
The first shot I took in Africa with the Highlander happened when a buddy and I lay prone in the dirt next to one another. We ranged his Kudu at 550 yards and my waterbuck at 475. Both were nice mature animals, so we agreed to shoot with my friend firing on the kudu at my report.
A waterbuck is a big animal. I’d say it’s similar in size to an elk and they’re known for being very tough. Shot placement is key. I fired my Highlander with my friend shooting his Bergara custom at the sound of my shot. I heard both bullets strike the animals, and watched my waterbuck go down where he stood. I shifted slightly to watch the kudu as he ran down the mountain toward the waterbuck before he cut left and died 30 yards from my animal.
There wasn’t an animal I shot at on that trip that escaped the Bergara…including an ostrich that was well over 1,000 yards away. Another friend even borrowed my rifle to shoot his own kudu on the last day of the trip. The rifle did it’s job exceedingly well.
Here’s my conclusion. If you follow the Field Ethos Sunday Q&A you’ve seen me recommend the Bergara Highlander almost every time someone asks what their first long range hunting rifle should be. It’s because I’ve put several of them through their paces and know them to be supremely accurate killing machines that can take a lot of abuse. I haven’t found a single thing I don’t like about these rifles.
Very accurate. Very durable. Custom features and not overly heavy.
This is one of the few rifles that I can’t think of anything I’d change. I 100% recommend this one.