By: Warren Gray

Copyright © 2024

“The MgMicro Lite is a compact powerhouse of features. From the carbon barrel’s directional accuracy to the carbon-fiber buttstock and grip’s lightweight versatility,

every component is carefully chosen to enhance your shooting experience without burdening you with unnecessary weight…Its ultralight, magnesium, micro-chassis provides a foundation for unparalleled stability and accuracy.”

— Bergara Rifles website, 2024

On February 10, 2022, Gunpowder Magazine published my article on the “Bergara Premier MG Lite Rifle in 6.5CM,” an amazing, new, ultra-light firearm introduced at the 2022 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. As a retired military officer with special operations experience, and as a deer hunter and firearms enthusiast, I’m always on the lookout for something with definite military or special operations potential, and the innovative MG Lite was extremely impressive, tipping the scales at a mere 6.7 pounds, with an innovative, 22-inch, carbon-wrapped barrel.

It’s available in either 6.5mm Creedmoor (6.5CM), 6.5mm PRC, .308/7.62mm NATO, or .300 Winchester Magnum, and the U.S. Special Operations Command uses 7.62mm rifles, but is converting most of them to 6.5CM since 2019, because the Creedmoor chambering performs the best by far, doubling hit probability at 1,000 meters, increasing effective range by at least 40 percent, reducing wind drift by 30 to 40 percent, and retaining 30 percent more energy, all with significantly less recoil than standard, 7.62mm rounds.

The only drawback of this new rifle was the barrel length, which is fine for a civilian hunting rifle, at 22 inches, but how many ordinary hunters can afford a high-tech, $3,299 firearm? For military purposes, especially in the special operations arena, a shorter barrel is preferred, in an even lighter, more compact weapon. Maybe the design engineers at Bergara USA in Lawrenceville, Georgia (their primary headquarters is in Bergara, Spain), read my 2022 article, because at the latest SHOT Show in January 2024, they officially introduced the brand-new and improved, Bergara Premier MgMicro Lite rifle, chambered for .308/7.62mm NATO, 6.5CM, or 6.5mm PRC, with an 18-inch, threaded, carbon-wrapped barrel, and weighing only 5.8 to 5.9 pounds overall. This is absolutely perfect for a very lightweight, compact, special ops sniper weapon!

Bergara Premier MgMicro Lite rifle. Photo credit: Bergara Rifles

The MgMicro Lite is essentially a scaled-down, carbine version of the original MG Lite, coming in nearly a pound lighter and four inches shorter, yet almost identical in most other aspects, which is a fine thing, because the MG Lite was certainly a great design.

Aside from the super-lightweight, magnesium chassis, the rifle’s heft is further reduced by mounting one of Bergara’s new, high-technology, free-floating, No. 6 C6 “CURE” carbon-wrapped barrels with ColdBore technology, which is two pounds lighter than a conventional steel barrel of the same dimensions. According to their website, “Bergara cured the carbon barrel problem of inconsistency by getting steel and carbon to perfectly work together by managing heat.”

The CURE barrel is comprised of a Bergara Precision Barrel (premium stainless-steel) at the core, with threaded muzzle, surrounded by a layer of thermally conductive resin, wrapped in heat-dissipating, stainless-steel mesh, and finished with two additional layers of unidirectional carbon-fiber, and 45-degree-weave, anti-torsion carbon on the outside. This results in a barrel that’s exceptionally straight, rigid, lightweight, and rapidly dissipates the heat generated from multiple shots, reducing barrel temperature by an average of 50 degrees, which greatly improves accuracy.

Bergara MgMicro Lite CURE carbon-wrapped barrel. Photo credit: Bergara Rifles

The company proudly states that, “Bergara…has become the barrel source of numerous, top-tier gun manufacturers in both Europe and the United States…As Bergara rapidly grew, (we) then assembled a hand-picked group…who built the rifles used by U.S. Marines both in combat and competition all over the world. And still today, these Marines form the core of our production team.

“We inspect every (steel barrel) bar to ensure it meets a deviation of less than 4/1,000 (or .004) of an inch…Bergara uses three separate honing spindles that utilize diamond-tipped bits that polish the interior surface of the barrel to a mirror-like finish that is almost completely free of tool marks…A carbide rifling button is drawn through the barrel to produce…a groove diameter deviation of less than 2/10,000 (or .0002”) of an inch.” In addition, all Bergara Premier Series rifles are carefully built by hand.

The ultra-light, XLR ATOM magnesium chassis, including the side-folding, smoke carbon-fiber buttstock and hollow, smoke carbon-fiber pistol grip, is a mere 27 ounces, a full ounce lighter than that of the previous MG Lite rifle. It was specifically designed for backcountry hunters, and features an integrated, bubble level in order to enhance accuracy, and a Limbsaver recoil pad significantly reduces felt recoil.

Magnesium (chemical symbol Mg), the lightest metal found on Earth, is actually 34 percent lighter than aluminum, has a greater strength-to-weight ratio, and is more resistant to heat and vibration, but it’s more expensive to manufacture than aluminum.

The Bergara Premier, stainless-steel, bolt-action utilizes a two-lug system, with a separate, floating bolt head, a one-piece, spiral-fluted, stainless-steel bolt to reduce weight, and a cone-shaped bolt nose to ensure smooth feeding of cartridges into the chamber. The entire firing assembly can be removed without tools by simply twisting the bolt shroud, and the action is finished with Graphite Black Cerakote.

An externally adjustable TriggerTech Primary trigger is included, with Frictionless Release Technology, and the trigger pressure breaks cleanly at 2.5 pounds, eliminating creep and heavy pull weights for greater precision while shooting, and a two-position safety is part of the trigger assembly, with a skeletonized trigger guard.

Bergara MgMicro Lite TriggerTech trigger assembly. Photo credit: Bergara Rifles

The scope mount is compatible with standard Remington 700 bases with 8-40 screws, for ease and simplicity when fitting any desired scope, and there’s a five-round (10-round #BA0017 optional), AICS-style (Accuracy International Chassis System), detachable magazine in .308 or 6.5CM. The barrel and buttstock come in Graphite Black Cerakote finish, so the entire MgMicro Lite rifle already has a very military appearance, is already suppressor-ready, already chambered for SOCOM’s favorite new sniper round, and has the serious potential to be the lightest-weight sniper rifle in the world!

The 6.5mm PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge) is essentially a magnum version of the 6.5CM, firing exactly the same bullets, but approximately 200 to 250 feet per second faster, with about 20 percent flatter trajectory, less wind drift, and more energy than the Creedmoor at longer ranges. But the accuracy difference at 500 yards is minimal, the 6.5 PRC magazine holds just three rounds instead of five, and the 6.5mm PRC version has 38-percent more recoil. Ouch! So, the 6.5CM choice is a much better option overall.

Mark Huelsing, the host of the Hunt Backcountry Podcast, noted that, “The 6.5 Creedmoor is…terminally effective at 500 to 600 yards under most conditions…also, because this (MG Lite) rifle features a carbon barrel that is not cheap to replace…I can conservatively get twice as many rounds, and likely more, from the same barrel in a 6.5 Creedmoor…the importance of staying in the scope, seeing impacts, and being ready for follow-up shots…the lighter-recoiling Creedmoor keeps this lightweight rifle very shootable and easy to control.”

The brand-new Bergara MgMicro Lite, especially in its standard .308 or 6.5CM chamberings, is already shorter and much lighter than any existing military sniper rifle, including SOCOM’s FN Mk. 20 rifle, the Remington M2010 ESR, Barrett Mk. 22 ASR, or CheyTac M200 Intervention. With an MSRP of $3,099, it’s $200 less expensive than the original Bergara MG Lite, it’s also $1,400 (31-percent) less expensive than the existing Mk. 20 rifle, less than one-sixth of the price of the Remington M2010 ESR ($19,718) rifle or Barrett Mk. 22 ASR ($19,775) rifle, or just 27 percent of the cost of a CheyTac M200 Intervention ($11,388).

The MgMicro Lite is simple, rugged, reliable, and tremendously accurate, with three-shot groups averaging .48 to .65 minute of angle (MOA), meaning .48 to .65-inch at 100 yards, with Hornady AMAX 140-grain, factory ammunition in actual testing. In fact, Bergara guarantees accuracy of 1.0 MOA or less with standard factory loads, such as the Hornady Precision Hunter series, in their Premier series of rifles.

Bergara Premier MgMicro Lite rifle, with scope, bipod, and suppressor. Photo credit: Bergara Rifles

On January 4, 2024, Kevin Reese wrote for Hook and Barrel magazine, “Bergara MgMicro Lite: A Tiny Rifle with a BIG Impact…While it’s impressively compact, the MgMicro Lite rifle packs enormous, top-tier, rifle punch…producing match-rifle results…the rifle is incredibly light…Overall, the MgMicro Lite measures just 37 inches; however, folding the stock brings the rig’s compact profile down to a footprint small enough to fit in a backpack for pack-in hunting trips.

“I shot my test unit Bergara MgMicro Lite, chambered in 6.5mm Creedmoor… The match-grade, TriggerTech Primary Trigger was exceptionally crisp…I recorded an average muzzle velocity of 2,530 feet per second from the MgMicro Lite’s 18-inch barrel… Accuracy was exceptional. Using the bipod…I managed a 1/4-MOA (1/4-inch), three-shot group…(which) told me what I needed to know: the Bergara MgMicro Lite is capable of achieving that dreamy 1/4-MOA.”

I really like the concept of a possible future military, lightweight sniper rifle, in the form of the Bergara Premier MgMicro Lite in 6.5CM. It already has everything that a special operations sniper could ask for, being exceptionally rugged, reliable, lightweight, compact, portable, comparatively inexpensive, and extremely accurate (sub-MOA), all the way out to 1,500 yards.

As I previously stated about the MG Lite rifle, “If I had to carry a sniper rifle on foot over the towering, Zagros Mountains of northern Iraq (nearly 1,000 miles long and up to 14,465 feet tall, higher than Pike’s Peak, Colorado), my absolute, first choice would be the Bergara (MgMicro Lite.) Let’s hope that SOCOM learns about this rare gem of a high-precision rifle soon, and adopts it for frontline, combat duty.” This new, ultra-light rifle is about as good as it gets!

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Warren Gray is a retired U.S. Air Force intelligence officer with experience in joint special operations and counterterrorism, and is an NRA member. He served in Europe and the Middle East, earned Air Force and Navy parachutist wings, four college degrees, and was a distinguished graduate of the Air Force Intelligence Operations Specialist Course, and the USAF Combat Targeting School. He is currently a published author, historian, and hunter.