The Savage B.MAG is the first factory rifle that is chambered in the new .17 Winchester Super Magnum. With the new B.MAG, Savage has created a rifle that has many features previously found only in their centerfire rifles, including their thread-in barrel headspacing system, rear-locking lugs, cock-on-close bolt and their popular AccuTrigger™. The magazine feeds from the center of a rotary magazine. The B.MAG has a light-weight stock, with a small, rubber, butt pad. Savage also added that the .17 Winchester Super Magnum was the reason for this brand new rifle, but it is a possibility that other popular rimfire rounds may be offered in this same rifle. The new Savage B.MAG has an MSRP of only $349.00.
When I arrived at the SHOT Show “Media Day at the Range”, it was in the 20′s with a cold wind blowing from the North. I was only there for one reason and that was to see the new Savage B.MAG and shoot the new .17 Winchester Super Magnum. When we were finally allowed to head out to the range, I made a beeline to the Savage booth looking for the new rifle. Their booth was stacked with boxes of the new Winchester round and they had a couple of the new rifles on their rack. I took some time to take some pictures before I shot the rifle. As I did, I took a look at it and noticed how much this rifle looked like one of their centerfire rifles. In fact, when the rifle was first shown in Mike Schoby’s video over on Petersen’s Hunting, many people thought it was a centerfire rifle, converted to shoot this new rimfire cartridge. The Savage folks explained how they built this rifle from the ground up for the .17 Winchester Super Magnum, specifically adding features from their centerfire rifles to handle the higher pressures and to maximize accuracy.
After taking the obligatory pictures, I finally got a chance to shoot the B.MAG. I loaded 8 rounds into the magazine and was pleasantly surprised that it fit flush with the bottom of the rifle. I hadn’t noticed it while taking the pictures, so seeing the nice fit made me like this rifle even more. After I chambered a round, I got comfortable behind the rifle and searched for a good target down range. There were clay shotgun targets scattered about, so I picked one on the 100 yard berm and proceeded to squeeze the trigger. I was slightly surprised by the shot, and the fact that I had hit the target! The kick was a bit more than I was used to from my .17 HMR, but felt more like my 5mm or even my .218 Bee light-loads. I started picking off the edges of clay targets from 100 yards, out to 200 yards. I finished up with 3 rounds into the 100 yard steel target and a bigger smile each time the report hit my ears. I was glad the rifle was accurate and sighted-in, but disappointed that there were no real targets to check groups. However, that option was to come later in the day!
After leaving the Savage booth, I headed over to the Winchester ammunition booth to shoot the rifle at some real targets. The wind had picked-up, so I wasn’t expecting much. However, as I shot at a small target at 100 yards, I was happy to see that my shots were falling within about one inch. I was not allowed to walk down and check my target, but it was not a one-time thing. I also shot at a metal coyote target that was set-up 100 yards out and watched the paint blow off at every shot, all within one small area. I was happy that this B.MAG shot as well as the first one I shot earlier.
I wanted to write a few more thoughts about the rifle itself. The Savage B.MAG is a nice little rifle. It weighs less than 4.5 pounds and has the feel of a nice walk-around varminter, as well as a fast pointing gun that can be used on a predator stand. The action and trigger are both smooth, so that adds to this rifle/ammo offering. All-in-all I feel that Savage has done a good job putting together this rifle and it is a good match for the .17 Win Super Mag ammunition. I am looking forward to seeing this rifle when it hits the market!
A fun little side-note. Leupold set-up some .17 Super Mag target turrets for the scopes that topped the Savage B.MAG rifle. They were set to make any adjustments needed quickly and easily. Their scope topping the B.MAG rifle made for a great little combo.
— Eric A. Mayer