Last week at the 2015 SHOT Show, Savage surprised almost everyone with their release of a semi-auto 17HMR, that seems to function well and does not cause a huge hit on your wallet! The name of this rifle is the new Savage A17 semi-auto 17 HMR rifle.
We got a chance to shoot this new rifle on the Monday before the Show, during an event dubbed, “Media Day at the Range”. As we approached the Savage booth, I could hear the familiar sound of rimfire rounds going off in succession, with the faint sound of a metal plate getting smacked off in the distance. Will and I stood in the booth for a while, observing other folks shooting the rifle, 10 round magazine at a time. While we waited, the folks from the Kentucky Gun Company shot their video for their store’s site and their representative mentioned, on video, that they have 400 to 500 on order, which tells me I am not the only one who thinks this little rifle will be a hit!
Finally, when it was our chance to shoot it, Chris from Savage gave us a quick run-down of the rifle and the new ammunition it was shooting (more on that at a later date when we have more information). As he handed me one of the magazines, I recognized it immediately to be very similar to the Savage B.MAG magazine, with a rotary interior, but with a 10-round capacity. I spent a couple of minutes discussing the rifle with Chris, as he explained to me how to operate the rifle, including the option to hold the bolt open in a 10/22 type style, with a small button to release the magazine. After a few moments I got shot the rifle, putting a magazine downrange at the metal targets. Because the targets at these events are not really for accuracy, I concentrated on the other important part of the equation, functionality. My first ten rounds cycled through the rifle perfectly, flinging empty brass quite a distance from the action (10’+). It was a blast to shoot and functioned perfectly.
Watch our Video Report on the Savage A17:
Later that week at the show, we ran into Chris again in the Savage booth and spoke to him more about the A17 rifle. He gave us a quick run-down on the specs and how the rifle functions. He explained to us that Savage engineers developed a delayed-blowback action that works with magnum rimfire cartridges, like the 17HMR. The bolt is “hard chromed” with dual controlled round feed, that pulls bullets from a 10-round magazine, inside a case hardened receiver. It is your standard button barrel, and includes the adjustable Accutrigger. The barrel is 22″ long and the entire rifle is blued, except for the bolt and comes in a black synthetic stock.
When we were done going over the rifle, Chris showed us how to easily open up the back of the action and remove the bolt to access the barrel for cleaning (something any 17 rimfire needs at regular intervals). This makes it easy to run your rod, or bore-snake through without having to navigate around the bolt. I know it may seem minor, but for a guy who likes to clean his rifles properly, like me, the added access is an ingenious idea that is a long time coming in a semi-auto rimfire.
The scheduled release date is listed as March 2, 2015, with an MSRP of $465. (street price is expected to be below $400., depending on demand) and I expect it to be a popular rifle on the varmint fields this spring!