Review: “Bergara Premier Canyon Rifle: A Heavy Hitting Lightweight”

December 22, 2023.

Review: “Bergara Premier Canyon Rifle: A Heavy Hitting Lightweight”

Mike Dickerson

Earlier this month Mike Dickerson of GunsAmerica did a review on Bergara’s Premier Canyon. The article both mentions the features and the Sub-MOA Accuracy. Below is some of his article.

“In choosing a hunting rifle, there’s often a trade-off between weight and accuracy. Ultralight rifles are a joy to carry, but many hunters struggle to shoot them as accurately as they can shoot heavier, more stable rifles. On the other hand, few hunters choose to scale tall mountains carrying a rifle that weighs north of nine pounds with optic and ammo. I’ve stalked pronghorn antelope with a 10-pound-plus rifle and, even on flat ground, it was not a fun experience. Bergara has struck a nice balance with its Premier Canyon bolt action rifle, which tips the scales at just 6.2 pounds, without an optic, in guns chambered for 308 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, and 300 Win. Mag.

Add a scope, rings, and ammo to the equation, and you have a rifle with just the right weight for carrying anywhere and making the shot when you get there. In guns chambered for 300 PRC and 28 Nosler, the Canyon weighs slightly more – just 6.5 pounds – thanks to a slightly longer barrel. Notably, the rifle is also offered in a 6.5-pound package chambered for the 375 H&H cartridge, which makes the Canyon a legitimate dangerous-game rifle.”

Canyon Action

“The heart of the Canyon is the well-designed Bergara Premier action. It’s a two-lug design with a fluted, one-piece, stainless steel bolt body. The bolt uses a separate floating bolt head that ensures solid contact with the lug abutments in the action, theoretically enhancing accuracy. The nose of the bolt is cone-shaped for smoother feeding of cartridges. Located within the front of the lower locking lug, you’ll find a spring-loaded sliding plate extractor. There are also twin plunger ejectors for reliable ejection of fired cases. Key components of the action, such as the bolt shroud, bolt head, and non-rotating gas shield, have been given a nitride treatment for durability and protection from the elements. The nitride treatment has the added benefit of being somewhat self-lubricating. A cocking indicator protrudes from the rear of the bolt shroud when the firing pin is cocked.

The bolt does not have the short bolt throw found on some rifles, but neither does it have the extreme stiffness you’ll sometimes encounter when operating short-throw designs. In fact, the Canyon’s bolt cycles with exceptional smoothness, with no binding, while providing ample scope clearance for most scope designs. That slick-cycling bolt stands out in a market dominated by less expensive rifles that often make me cringe the first time I work the bolt. The Canyon left me with a smile. If I had to find something to nitpick, the bolt handle knob could be slightly larger, but it is knurled for a sure grip in any weather.

With an action this smooth, it’s easy to run this rifle fast, and the Canyon feels well-balanced in the hands. The carbon fiber stock made the gun feel somewhat barrel-heavy initially, but the weight balanced out nicely once a scope was installed. The rifle is not equipped with sights. The receiver is drilled and tapped to accept Remington 700-style scope bases. My test rifle came with a pre-installed one-piece Picatinny rail, making it easy to mount a scope.”

“Even so, the Canyon turned in a very good performance with four tested factory 6.5 Creedmoor loads. I deliberately chose rounds with bullet weights ranging from 125 grains to 143 grains, and I quickly discovered that the rifle had a slight preference for heavier bullets. Federal’s 140-grain Fusion load and Hornady’s Precision Hunter 143-grain ELD-X load produced nearly identical results. The Federal load turned in 0.82-inch average three-shot groups with the best group measuring 0.54 inch, while the Hornady load shot 0.83-inch average groups and a 0.55-inch best group. That’s impressive for two loads using bullets with entirely different designs.”

“Features like fluted barrels, fluted bolts, Cerakote finishes, and carbon fiber stocks add significant cost to a rifle, and that’s reflected in the Canyon’s MSRP, which is either $2,475 or $2,525, depending on your choice of chambering. That’s not exactly inexpensive, but it’s on par with rifles offering similar features. It’s also something of a deal when you consider that this rifle is designed to go anywhere and do anything.”


To read the full article written by: Mike Dickerson, click the link: Bergara Premier Canyon Rifle: A Heavy-Hitting Hunter’s Gun (