August 5th, 2018

Semi-Auto 17 HMR Rifle — Savage’s A17

Savage 17 HMR .17  A17 A-17 varmint hunting semi-auto rifle accurateshooter.com

One of our favorite cartridges for small varmints is the 17 HMR. Yes, the newer 17 WSM rimfire has better ballistics, but 17 HMR ammunition is considerably less expensive, and you have a much larger selection of rifles and pre-chambered aftermarket barrels. And out to 150 yards or so the 17 HMR is great on ground squirrels and prairie dogs.

If you are looking for a 17 HMR varmint rifle, one rig you should definitely consider is the Savage A17. Now that this model is offered in a nice laminated thumbhole stock, you can get a fine little 17 HMR rifle for about $450.00. We much prefer the laminated stock A17 over the basic Tupperware version.

Savage A17 thumbhole stock

How does an A17 shoot? That question was answered a couple seasons back by Varminter.com in a First Hunt Report. Accurate and affordable, the Savage A17 is also the first .17 HMR to feature a delayed blow-back action. Eric Mayer, Editor of Varminter.com, put the semi-auto Savage A17 through its paces.

CLICK HERE for Savage A17 First Hunt Report on Varminter.com

Mayer wanted to see how the new Savage would perform, accuracy-wise, and he also wanted to see how the A17 fared in the field. Mayer achieved one-MOA accuracy with the Savage A17 using the latest CCI-brand ammo, and he demonstrated the A17 is wickedly effective on ground squirrels. Below we’ve provided highlights from Varminter.com’s Savage A17 First Hunt Report.

“I [collected] as many versions of the currently available .17 HMR ammunition as I could get my hands on. I had already picked-up and tested the new CCI A17 ammunition, so I filled up my ammo safe with other CCI ammunition, as well as Hornady and Winchester, including the lead free 15.5 grain NTX versions, also from Hornady and Winchester. After spending some time at the bench, I saw that this rifle shot the CCI A17 ammunition best, with most groups hovering right around 1″ to 1.20″ at one hundred yards, and some of the other ammo choices in the 1.25″ to 1.50″ range. This was with a warm barrel and in-between cleanings during the break-in process.”

Savage 17 HMR .17  A17 A-17 varmint hunting semi-auto rifle accurateshooter.com

Mayer found the A17 was easy to maintain: “I was very impressed by the ease of pulling the rifle apart for cleaning out in the field. Even with the scope mounted, I was able to quickly and easily remove the parts needed to give me complete access to the barrel through the breach, so cleaning was a breeze.”

A17 Reliability Lessons — Seat Those Rotary Magazines Correctly Folks
Some early A17 purchasers have noted occasional failures to feed. We believe this is because the magazine was not fully seated (and locked in place) in the firearm. The experience of Varminter.com’s Editor seems to confirm this. Mayer reports “As I began to shoot the rifle, I experienced what a few others have reported, with the magazine falling out while shooting. I quickly realized that I was not snapping the magazine into place every time. I found that popping in the magazine while the bolt was pulled, or locked back, resolved the issue. I did have a few failures to feed, but only on some of the older ammunition I was shooting, namely the first year Hornady ammo and the lead free ammo (which is about 3-4 years old). The newer ammo did not have any issues and functioned well, even while shooting some 10-round ‘mag-dumps’. The trigger is on the heavy side.”

A17 Reliability Shown in Video
The Savage A17 went through a very thorough manufacturer’s testing process before it was released to the market. In fact Savage put over 500,000 test rounds through A17 prototypes. When AccurateShooter.com tested the A17 at Media Day — it worked flawlessly, so long as you make sure the magazine is fully seated. We had zero issues, making us think that reported issues may be related to “driver error”; specifically not seating the magazine properly. Watch AccurateShooter.com video with rapid fire sequence.

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January 13th, 2018

Bunny-Busting with Savage A17 in 17 HMR

Varmint hunting Savage hunter A17 17 HMR California Varminter

There’s a nice article in the Western Powders Blog that any varminter will enjoy. In this hare-raising tale, gunwriter Jim Waddell explains how he used a self-loading Savage A17 rifle to take care of a serious jack-rabbit problem on a rancho in California. “[My friends] purchased a huge amount of acreage that had some existing alfalfa fields and [surrounding sagebrush]. Sagebrush is home to jack rabbits. Lots of jack rabbits. The previous owner of this property didn’t do any varmint or predator control[.] The ink wasn’t dry on the escrow papers before [my friends] started asking for help shooting rabbits. A problem in taking these critters is it has to be done at night when they come out to feed as they lay low in the bush during the daylight hours.”

Varmint hunting Savage hunter A17 17 HMR California Varminter

Savage A17 Comes to the Rescue
Initially Waddell and some friends took on the jack-rabbit hordes using Ruger 10/22s and a .44 Magnum Marlin lever gun. Neither option was ideal. The .44 Magnum just couldn’t keep up the desired shooting pace (it took too long to reload) ant the .22 LRs were too anemic. So Waddell decided to give the more potent 17 HMR a try. He acquired a Savage A17 and went back for a second bunny-busting session. He came away convinced that the 17 HMR cartridge in the modern semi-auto Savage works great for small varmint control.

Varmint hunting Savage hunter A17 17 HMR California Varminter

Waddell writes: “I wanted more than a .22 after seeing the problems my pals had with their [10/22] bullets not anchoring the rabbits. Armed with my new Savage A17 it was time to head back to the alfalfa fields. This time my hunting partner was Dan, my son-in-law from Seattle. We hunted for four nights. Each night was either raining, windy or both. My question about whether or not rabbits would be out in the weather was answered immediately. They were everywhere. As miserable as the weather was, we got all the shooting we wanted and that Savage rifle was up to the task. We got so many rabbits it was impossible to count.” CLICK HERE for the full account of Waddell’s jack-rabbit adventures on the California rancho. It’s worth a read. Here is a sample:

Wabbits, Wabbits Everywhere — Even Running Right at You
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a sea of rabbits as far as the lights would shine and when the light beams hit the bunnies, they became confused and as often as not, would run right at the lights so a good percentage of our shots were literally in spitting distance. It was also a new experience shooting at targets that are running TOWARD you. Most of us who’ve done much hunting for game or varmints have experienced moving targets but how many of those targets are coming at you?

Read Full Story on Western Powders Blog »

Permalink - Articles, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
August 26th, 2017

17 HMR Spotlight — Affordable Ammo and Accurate Varmint Rifles

Savage A17 varmint rifle 17 hmr rimfire

Everyone should own a rifle chambered for the 17 HMR. This is an inherently accurate cartridge, with minimal recoil. The 17 HMR, loaded with 17- or 20-grain bullets, is effective on small varmints well past 150 yards. The ballistics are way better than the .22 LR and .22 WMR. There are also a variety of good factory rifles available, including Savage’s innovative A17, now available in a nice, thumbhole laminated stock. And most importantly, the ammo is becoming more affordable. You can now get good 17 HMR ammo for under twenty cents per round.

The laminated thumbhole stock version of the Savage A17 is a great carry-around varminter.
Savage A17 varmint rifle 17 hmr rimfire

Savage A17 varmint rifle 17 hmr rimfireThere are great deals to be had right now on 17 HMR — you can pick up a 50-round box for under $9.00. A couple seasons back you might have to pay $12-$15 for the same stuff. The best deal we’ve found is at Midsouth Shooters Supply, which has Hornady 17 HMR ammo loaded with 17-grain V-Max bullets, for just $8.69 (17.4 cents/round).

Here are other current good deals, as found with the WikiArms.com ammo search engine:

Federal 17 HMR, 17gr TNT (50 rd), $8.99 at Outdoor Limited
CCI 17 HMR, 17gr V-Max (50 rd), $9.49 at Outdoor Limited
Hornady 17 HMR, 20gr XTP (50 rd), $9.99 at Outdoor Limited.
CCI 17 HMR, 20gr Game Point (50 rd), $10.24 at Bud’s Gun Shop

Volquartsen 17 HMR dustin ellermann

A while back we tested a variety of 17 HMR ammo types in a pair of 17 HMR rifles, a Ruger 77/17 and a Volquartsen (above), chronographing the ammo samples in both guns. Here are our chrono test results.

17 HMR data chrono chronograph

Dustin Ellermann (past Top Shot Champion) has tested both normal and subsonic 17 HMR ammo in another Volquartsen rifle. He got the best accuracy with the CCI-brand A17 ammo, which is optimized for the Savage A17 rifle. This impressive 100-yard group was shot with A17 ammo:

Dustin 17 HMR CCI suppressed ammo ammunition

Dustin 17 HMR CCI suppressed ammo ammunition

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Hunting/Varminting 3 Comments »
October 5th, 2016

New Savage A17 Target Sporters with Laminated Wood Stocks

Savage A17 semi-auto delayed blowback 17 HMR

The Savage A17 earned honors as American Hunter’s 2016 Rifle of the Year. And now this popular auto-loading 17 HMR is even better. Savage Arms has released two new “Target Sporter” versions with heavier barrels and beefier, laminated wood stocks. We particularly like the new Thumbhole version, shown below. MSRP is $631.00 but ‘street price’ will be much lower.

Savage A17 semi-auto delayed blowback 17 HMR

These new models feature 22″ button-rifled heavy barrels for improved accuracy and Boyds’ gray wood laminate stocks for improved ergonomics. As with all A17s, the new wood-stocked Target Sporter models feature a case-hardened receiver, chromed bolt with large charging handle, 10-round rotary magazine, and user-adjustable AccuTrigger.

Features & Benefits
• First reliable semi-automatic rimfire specifically designed from for 17 HMR
• Delayed-blowback action for safe, reliable cycling
• Hard chrome bolt with oversized bolt handle
• Case-hardened receiver and 22-inch button-rifled barrel
• 10-round rotary magazine

The A17 platform is the first delayed-blowback, semi-auto rimfire designed espressly for the 17 HMR cartridge. The unique delayed-blowback action allows safe, reliable semi-auto cycling with normal 17 HMR loads. We tested the original A17 and it proved accurate and reliable (so long as you made sure the magazine is completely seated). In fact, the A17 we tested flawlessly powered through multiple magazines in rapid-fire. Savage has modified the magazine well slightly to enhance reliability (see below). Now it’s easier the get the mag seated — the key to 100% reliable cycling.

Savage A17 semi-auto delayed blowback 17 HMR

How the A17 Works Using Interrupter Lug
For the A17 series of auto-loaders, Savage engineers invented a new delayed-blowback action that employs an interrupter lug to hold the bolt closed for a few milliseconds. Savage engineers scrapped the standard straight-blowback approach, which ejects spent casings via overpressure during firing. In its place, they opted for an interrupter lug that locks the bolt until peak cartridge pressure has passed. The timing system prevents the bolt from opening prematurely, effectively putting an end to ruptured cases. By doubling as a firing pin block, it also prevents out-of-battery firing with an open action.

Savage Interrupter Lug A17

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July 29th, 2016

Quality, Affordable Laminated Wood Stocks for Savage A17

Boyds stocks laminate laminated wood varmint thumbhole hunter stock

The Savage A17 17 HMR rifle was named American Hunter’s 2016 Rifle of the Year. And we understand why. This little rifle is a hoot to shoot. The model we tested proved reliable and quite accurate with the new 17 HMR ammo developed by CCI expressly for the A17. After the first production run Savage made a few tweaks to the A17’s magazine well; this has resulted in very good reliability with current models.

When the A17 was released, a rather whimpy, Tupperware stock was the only option. The Length of Pull (LOP) was a bit short for a full-sized adult and the short, narrow fore-arm was less than ideal when used with a front rest or sandbag. Savage now offers laminated wood stocks from the factory, but most of the A17s that have been sold to date have the black plastic stock. But don’t worry… you can re-stock your A17 for under $130.00.

Now, thanks to Boyds Gunstocks, there are some good, very affordable stock options for the A17. Boyds has introduced Savage A17 replacement gunstocks in multiple styles: Savage Classic, Featherweight Thumbhole, Heritage, Platinum, Prairie Hunter, Pro Varmint, and Varmint Thumbhole designs. Five of these styles are shown in the photos above. Nearly all of Boyd’s laminated wood Savage A17 stocks are just $129.00 with a few left-hand versions priced at $144.00 (still a bargain). For field use, we like the Varmint Thumbhole because it has a comfortable grip and a longer, straight fore-end that works well with either sandbags or bipod. For target work, we favor the Pro Varmint stock. This stock features a relatively straight toe on the buttstock that is very steady on a rear bag.

Boyds stocks laminate laminated wood varmint thumbhole hunter stock

Boyds plans to offer a variety of options for their Savage A17 stocks. These will include new custom wood options, custom length of pull, and an adjustable comb. In addition, as with other Boyds stocks, a wide selection of laminated wood colors are available. Boyds recently released eight new laminate wood color options including Sage, Prairie Wind, Ripple Timber, Ripple Forest Camo, Ripple Blaze, Ripple Royal Jacaranda, Ripple Sky and Ripple Zombie.

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April 17th, 2016

17 HMR Savage A17 Field Test

Savage 17 HMR .17  A17 A-17 varmint hunting semi-auto rifle accurateshooter.com

Varminter.com recently released a First Hunt Report on the new Savage A17 rifle. Savage’s new semi-auto .17 HMR has caused quite a stir. Accurate and affordable, the Savage A17 is also the first .17 HMR to feature a delayed blow-back action. We think the A17 may be the most important new rimfire rifle of 2015, so we were pleased to see that Eric Mayer, Editor of Varminter.com, put the new semi-auto Savage through its paces.

CLICK HERE for Savage A17 First Hunt Report on Varminter.com

Mayer wanted to see how the new Savage would perform, accuracy-wise, and he also wanted to see how the A17 fared in the field. Mayer achieved one-MOA accuracy with the Savage A17 using the latest CCI-brand ammo, and he demonstrated the A17 is wickedly effective on ground squirrels. Below we’ve provided highlights from Varminter.com’s Savage A17 First Hunt Report.

(more…)

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January 15th, 2016

Savage Arms Announces New-for-2016 Products

New for 2016 Savage Arm Rifles .22 WMR Magnum

Savage Arms, now part of Vista Outdoor, will be offering many new guns for 2016. The big news is the A22, a .22 WMR version of Savage’s popular A17 semi-auto rifle (chambered in 17 HMR). Also debuting for 2016 are more variants of A17 and B.MAG rifle series, plus as all-new Model 42 Takedown shotgun-and-rifle combination gun. Along with the all-new models, Savage will add new chamberings to existing rifle types. For example, Savage AXIS and AXIS II rifles will soon be available chambered for the popular 6.5 Creedmoor.

Savage New Product Highlights for 2016

New for 2016 Savage Arm Rifles .22 WMR MagnumSavage A22 Magnum in .22 WMR (NEW)
The new A22 Magnum is chambered for .22 WMR (Winchester Magnum Rimfire) and features the same, innovative delayed-blowback, semi-automatic action as the original A17 (which was chambered in 17 HMR). We expect the new A22 to be popular with varminters who prefer to shoot a bigger, heavier bullet, or who find .22-caliber barrels easier to clean.

Savage Model 42 Takedown (NEW) — .410ga and .22 LR
The Model 42 Takedown is a break-open combo gun that fires rimfire rounds from the top barrel and .410 bore shotgun shells from the bottom. It breaks down with the push of one button and includes an Uncle Mike’s Go Bag for transport.

New for 2016 Savage Arm Rifles .22 WMR Magnum

Savage A17 — Wood Stock, Bull Barrel
New-for-2016 A17 target models feature heavy barrels for increased accuracy and gray wood laminate stocks improved feel and handling. We feel the new laminated stock really improves tha A17 as a general purpose varmint gun.

Savage B.MAG — New Stocks, Heavier Barrel Option
Savage’s B.MAG was built around the 3000 fps 17 Winchester Super Magnum rimfire cartridge. For 2016, three new models have been added to the B.MAG lineup: Target Beavertail, Heavy Barrel, and Sporter.

6.5 Creedmoor Chambered Rifles
Savage Arms has added nine new rifles chambered for the popular 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge. They include the new model 16 Lightweight Hunter, AXIS, AXIS LH, AXIS XP, AXIS XP Camo, AXIS XP Stainless, AXIS II XP, AXIS II XP Stainless and AXIS II XP Hardwood.

See New Savage Guns at SHOT Show
Savage’s new-for-2016 products can be viewed during SHOT Show at the Vista Outdoor booth (#14551). Product photos and specs will appear on SavageArms.com after the show.

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November 30th, 2015

Boyds Introduces Wood Replacement Stocks for Savage A17

Boyds stocks laminate laminated wood varmint thumbhole hunter stock

The Savage A17 17 HMR rifle is one of our favorite new products of 2015. The model we tested proved very reliable and quite accurate with the new 17 HMR ammo developed by CCI expressly for the A17. While the factory A17 stock is not bad, the Length of Pull (LOP) was a bit short for a full-sized adult and the short, narrow fore-arm was less than ideal when used with a front rest or sandbag.

Now, thanks to Boyds Gunstocks, there are some good, very affordable stock options for the A17. Boyds has introduced Savage A17 replacement gunstocks in multiple styles: Savage Classic, Featherweight Thumbhole, Heritage, Platinum, Prairie Hunter, Pro Varmint, and Varmint Thumbhole designs. Five of these styles are shown in the photos above. Nearly all of Boyd’s laminated wood Savage A17 stocks are just $129.00 with a few left-hand versions priced at $144.00 (still a bargain). For field use, we like the Varmint Thumbhole because it has a comfortable grip and a longer, straight fore-end that works well with either sandbags or bipod. For target work, we favor the Pro Varmint stock. This stock features a relatively straight toe on the buttstock that is very steady on a rear bag.

Boyds stocks laminate laminated wood varmint thumbhole hunter stock

Boyds plans to offer a variety of options for their Savage A17 stocks. These will include new custom wood options, custom length of pull, and an adjustable comb. In addition, as with other Boyds stocks, a wide selection of laminated wood colors are available. Boyds recently released eight new laminate wood color options including Sage, Prairie Wind, Ripple Timber, Ripple Forest Camo, Ripple Blaze, Ripple Royal Jacaranda, Ripple Sky and Ripple Zombie.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 4 Comments »
November 23rd, 2015

Bargain Finder 10: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we have launched a “Deals of the Week” feature. If this proves popular, we’ll try to run this every Monday. Here are some of the best deals on hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Remington — $100.00 Cash Back on Rem 700 BDL and CDL

Remington 700 Black Friday $100 Off special

Remington is running a Black Friday factory mail-in rebate program. This can save you $100.00 on Remington 700 CDL and BDL rifles. Remington is also offering $50-$75 Rebates on Rem 700 SPS, Rem 700 ADL, and Rem 783 rifles. CLICK HERE to download PDF Rebate Form.

2. Bruno’s — Krieger Barrels $25.00 Off Plus FREE Shipping

Krieger Barrel Deals of Week $25.00 Off special

Krieger makes some of the very best barrels you can buy. With demand for Krieger cut-rifled barrels being so high, you can expect to wait 3 months or so for a new barrel. Or, you can order from a vendor that maintains Kriegers in inventory. Right now Bruno’s is offering $25 off all Krieger barrels in stock, plus FREE shipping. A variety of lengths/contours are available in .22, 6mm, 6.5mm, 7mm, .308, and .338 calibers. CLICK HERE for Barrel Inventory list.

3. Brownells — Magnetospeed Sporter Chronograph $159.99

Brownells Black Friday Sporter Chronograph

You won’t find a better deal on a Magnetospeed Chronograph anywhere. This chrono fits to your barrel so you don’t have to walk downrange to fiddle with a tripod-mounted unit. As part of the Brownells 3-Week “Back to Black” promotion, this Sporter Chrono is marked down to $159.99 for the next few days. Don’t hesitate — this is a killer deal on a very good product.

4. Southern Shooters — Savage A17 in 17 HMR

Savage A17 varmint semi-auto Rifle Blow-back delayed

The Savage A17 is an impressive new semi-auto rifle. With its delayed blow-back mechanism, the A17 can safely handle the added pressure of the 17 HMR cartridge (unlike some previous designs). Though some owners have complained about a stiff trigger (and hard-to-seat magazines), overall the A17 is a very good design — a great choice for small varmints.Now you can purchase one for under $355.00. Southern Shooters is currently offering the A17 for just $352.62. The A17 was named Guns & Ammo Rifle of the Year.

5. Botach Tactical — Double Rifle Padded 36″ Case with Straps

Molle Gun Case Tactical Double Rifle Bag Botach

Here’s a nice case for short carbines or hunting rifles. This double Gun Case will transport TWO (2) 35″ rifles inside the main double compartments. This is a nice set-up for hauling a couple of varmint rifles or an AR with a collapsible stock. Three large external pockets will carry magazines, range-finders and other gear. This rugged case includes nice padded shoulder straps so you can carry your rifles backpack-style. Right now this double gun case is just $49.00 from Botach Tactical. That’s $99 off the original price. The case is offered in tan, OD green, or black.

6. Amazon (EuroOptic) — Zeiss Victory Laser Rangefinder

Savage A17 varmint semi-auto Rifle Blow-back delayed

A few years back, we comparison tested four laser rangefinders — a Nikon, Leica, Swarovski, and Zeiss. To make a long story short, three out of four testers preferred the Zeiss PRF Victory. While larger and heavier than the Leica CRF 1600, the Zeiss Victory PRF was easier to hold steady, and it ranged as well as the Leica (and better than the Swaro and Nikon). Now the Zeiss Victory is on sale for $649.00, making it $150.00 cheaper than Leica’s CRF 1600. With this price advantage, we think the Zeiss is the smart choice (unless you need an ultra-compact unit). A recent LRF comparison test in the UK reached the same conclusion.

7. Brownells — Stripped AR Lower Just $39.99

Anderson AR15 stripped lower $39.99 bargain

This is the lowest price we’ve seen on a lower with a solid warranty. This Anderson Mfg. Lower sells elsewhere for up to $79.99. If you’re planning a budget AR build, you can start with this inexpensive lower and put the money you save into a top-quality barrel.

8. Bullets.com — Thanksgiving Ultrasonic Cleaner Sale

Bullets.com ultrasound ultrasonic deal bargain Black Friday

For Thanksgiving Week, Bullets.com has slashed prices on all its Ultrasonic Cleaning Machines. These start at just $31.95 (for 1 pint capacity), and run up to 9 liter capacity for the biggest jobs. We like the 2.5 liter unit which has been marked down to $89.95 from $199.95. That’s a good price for a 2.5 liter machine.

9. Bushmaster — $200 Cash Back on Select AR & ACR Models

Savage A17 varmint semi-auto Rifle Blow-back delayed

Looking for a Black Rifle on Black Friday? Here’s a sweet deal from Bushmaster. Now through November 30, 2015 you can save $200.00 on a variety of semi-auto “modern sporting rifles” from Bushmaster. This includes AR-clone rifles as well as Bushmaster’s gas piston operated ACR series rifles. You save $200.00 through a $50 Rebate combined with a $150.00 Black Friday Bonus.

10. Gander Mountain — $20 and $50 Discount Coupon “EARLY20″

Gander Mountain Coupon Code

As a lead-in to Black Friday, Gander Mountain is offering online shoppers $20.00 off a $100.00+ purchase and $50.00 off a $250.00+ purchase. Simply use Code EARLY20 during checkout. This coupon works through midnight on 11/24/2015. Also, during Black Friday (11/27/2015), Gander Mountain will offer big discounts on Liberty Gun Safes.

Credit EdLongrange for finding the Bushmaster Rebate Offer.
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