Rifles > Bolt-Action

Savage 93R17 TR

Take an already accurate platform, add a tactical-style bolt and stock, and you’ll have a superbly accurate varmint buster.


Savage Arms has long enjoyed a well-deserved reputation for building accurate rifles. Ten years ago the company stood the industry on its ear with its revolutionary AccuTrigger, putting to rest the notion developed and promoted by corporate lawyers that the only safe trigger was one that could support the weight of the firearm. Just a few years prior to that Savage introduced the Model 93 series of rimfire magnum rifles. When the .17 HMR cartridge came out, Savage adapted its magnum rimfire to handle the new chambering in the form of the Model 93R17.

Last year Savage added a new wrinkle to the Model 93R17. Along with a 21-inch lightly fluted bull barrel, the company added an oversized tactical bolt knob and a tactical synthetic stock. Now it is unlikely that many tactical operators will choose the .17 HMR for serious purposes, so the question begs, why develop a tactical-style rimfire rifle? Aside from the “cool factor”—anything “tactical” seems to sell well—it’s one heck of a varminter.

It makes sense after all; the purpose of a tactical rifle is identical to a varminter—to place very accurate shots at longer ranges. This is precision field shooting at its best, and it isn’t done from a hasty offhand or slinged-up position. Nope, this rifle is typically shot from as rock steady a position as can be achieved—often from a makeshift bench or with a bipod. The bulky stock with a parallel toe, pronounced pistol grip and beavertail fore-end is specifically designed for this kind of shooting. Also, a sleek, rounded bolt knob isn’t necessary since this rifle will not be carried far by a sling, nor will it have to undergo the filth and horse sweat from being stuffed in a saddle scabbard. Why not make it oversized? It’s easier to grasp and provides a bit more leverage when things get hot and dirty.

The receiver is tubular and utilizes the root of the bolt handle for lockup. Dual extractors provide plenty of purchase on the cases, while a receiver mounted blade kicks them out with vigor proportionate to the operator’s bolt velocity. The barrel is pressed into the receiver and has generous cuts to accommodate the extractors. These cuts also vent gases from a ruptured case to each side and out matching ports along side of the receiver and away from the shooter. The rifle comes sans open sights, as is the norm today, but a pair of Weaver-style bases are included.

Fire control is, of course, provided by the aforementioned AccuTrigger system. The genius behind the AccuTrigger is its simplicity. A stainless-steel lever called the AccuRelease is under mild spring tension, holding it forward of the trigger blade. In that position, the top of the lever rests behind the sear, preventing it from any movement. As the AccuRelease lever is moved rearward during the trigger pull, the tip of the lever moves out of the way from the sear providing clearance for it to move as the trigger blade—which is user adjustable for weight—is pulled. That’s why an AccuTrigger can be set as low as 1.8 pounds and not get bumped off. The AccuRelease prevents any sear movement until it is moved out of the way during a normal trigger pull.

A five-shot detachable box magazine feeds the Model 93. It is held in place by a leaf spring that also serves as the magazine release lever. Though not terribly stylish, it is simple and reliable. I’ve been shooting this rifle for about a year, and there have been absolutely no failures to feed or problems releasing or seating the magazine. If I had to quibble, I’d ask for an additional magazine to come with the rifle.

The stock is hardwood and finished in a subdued matte black. It features a straight comb with just enough drop to clear the bolt—a drop of about 1/2-inch from comb and heel. The pistol grip is pronounced and very hand-filling. Shooters with smaller hands or shorter fingers may be tempted to take to the grip area with some sandpaper to reduce its girth. Up front the beavertail fore-end is flat and is equipped with two sling studs. As mentioned, the toe area of the buttstock is flat and parallel with the comb so that it may be better utilized on a padded rest. The stock is capped off with a nice recoil pad—though on a rimfire it seems unnecessary—so shooting this puppy is absolutely painless.

As I said, I’ve been shooting this rifle for about a year, so the range time was a revisit. With a Bushnell Elite 3200 5-15X scope, the rifle had no problem keeping all of its shots in less than an inch at 100 yards, as long as the wind was calm. It takes very little wind to blow those little 17-grain bullets around. Best groups came from Hornady Varmint Express .17 HMR ammo with an average of .482 inches for five, five-shot groups. Velocity was close to the claimed 2,500 fps—2,525 fps to be exact. I needed two range sessions to examine all of ammo because of incessant wind.

Earlier this year I had this rifle on a chiseler shoot. Shooting from an RCBS RASS shooting rest, I was able to tag pasture rodents out to 146 yards, measured by a laser rangefinder. With an MSRP of $489 and a street price in the low 400s, this tack-driver is an excellent addition to a varmint hunter’s battery.

Manufacturer: Savage Arms; (413) 642-4262; www.savagearms.com
Type: Bolt-action repeating rifle
Caliber: .17 HMR
Barrel: 21”
Rifling: 1:9” RH
Trigger: AccuTrigger, 3 lbs., 2 oz.
Magazine: Detachable box; 5-round capacity
Sights: None, drilled and tapped, Weaver-style bases included
Safety: Sear blocking lever on receiver
Stock: Black matte wood, tactical style; length of pull: 5/8”; drop at heel: 1/2”; drop at comb: 1/2”
Overall Length: 40”
Weight: 7 lbs., 8 oz.
Metal Finish: Matte black
Suggested Retail Price: $489

Savage 93R17 Shooting Results

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9 Responses to Savage 93R17 TR

frank wrote:
November 06, 2013

Just shoot my new savage 93r17 this is a great little shooter

tut wrote:
January 25, 2013

my 93r17 gv should be here next wed cant wait to affix a suppressor to it

Steve Southwell wrote:
January 17, 2013

On the first range visit,my 93R17GV showed promise, then went to pieces. Found that the factory fitted scope blocks did not fit properly. The radius of the block mating surface is larger than the receiver radius, causing the blocks to have some 'rocking' motion available to them. Have refitted them with epoxy to take up the gap (a bit dodgy, I know) and expect the problem will be gone on my next range visit.

M SHELTON wrote:
December 26, 2012


Mack Missiletoe wrote:
November 27, 2012

We went shooting the other day with some pistols (Ruger Mark III Target, Smith Model 60 3", and a rented Springfield XDs in .40) and my Marlin 25MN .22wmr (.22 Magnum). My Marlin is very similar to a Savage .22 Magnum or .17HMR. I introduced my friend to rifles and pistols this way. We had a blast! My friend is interested in .30 caliber rifles and I feel the Marlin rimfire was a great learning tool that was not too powerful that it scared him away from the sport. We shot over 200 rounds that day with my Marlin .22 Magnum. It did not overheat once. It was indoors and slightly cool. If we were shooting a .308 we would not have been able to shoot very often. There were 3 of us, so the rimfire was perfect. I have not shot .17HMR and cannot remember if it overheats, but a .22 or .17 bolt action rimfire should be in everyone's gun safe. They are affordable and easy to maintain.

BILL wrote:
November 07, 2012

Do they make this in 22mag?

Greg wrote:
November 06, 2012

I've had my 93R17 almost a year now. I absolutely love it. It is very accurate and you are so right about the wind affecting the round at long range, but it is still very accurate.

TW3 wrote:
November 06, 2012

I have been shooting my Savage 93 17 since 2009. Accuracy, etc. is splendid, but the magazine has always been a problem for me. Feeds well, but the alignment grooves and overly strong retention/feed leaf spring are continually irritating. Mag will not drop out when released.

Mungus Fractal wrote:
November 06, 2012

I agree , I have been shooting my 93R17 for about 5 years and it has been very accurate, very consistent and will lay a prairie dog town to waste with out making you deaf in the process. The wind has a large effect on the bullet downrange but the gun will do the job for a very long time. On a calm day you can take varmints out to 200 yards with just a little holdover. This is an outstanding little rifle at any cost but the fact that it is reasonably priced is a nice bonus. As for the ammo, the bullet is so small and fragile that ricochet has never been been a real concern with any reasonably clear background and terminal performance has proven to be excellent on small varmints. I'm having trouble justifying any other rimfire purchase because of this rifle with this round, it is really that good.