Savage A17: The Semi-Automatic .17 HMR Rifle

posted on October 13, 2021
Savage A17

Most enthusiasts get behind a rimfire .22 during their baptism on the firing line. The diminutive cartridges are a pleasure to shoot, accurate with practice and relatively inexpensive—virtues tailor made for fostering a lifelong passion for firearms and marksmanship. It doesn’t take long, though, before the more powerful centerfire cartridge’s allure proves too hard to resist.

As a result, many rimfire rifles and handguns are relegated to second-tier status. Hornady changed that in 2002 when it introduced the .17 HMR (Hornady Magnum Rimfire) cartridge. “Its trajectory is twice as flat as its .22-cal. sibling over 150 yards, and it carries nearly two-and-a-half times the energy as the .22 LR cartridge,” Dave Campbell reported for American Rifleman. “Velocities in the 22" barreled rifle were nearly 2,400 f.p.s. with Hornady 20-gr. V-Max ammo, and the 14" barreled G2 generated a consistent 2,100 f.p.s. Accuracy from both rifle and handgun were sub-3/4 m.o.a., as long as there was no wind.”

Manufacturers quickly designed and offered guns for the new cartridge, but when it came to producing a reliable semi-automatic for the rimfire there were problems.  “…[O]ften the action would open while the pressure was too high, endangering the shooter. A couple of companies attempted to market such a semi-automatic .17 HMR but had to quickly recall the rifles and shelve the project because of this very problem,” Campbell explains in another story. “Along comes Savage, and its solution to the bolt-opening problem is remarkably simple: Delay the opening of the bolt until the bullet has left the barrel and pressures have decayed to a safe level.”

The delayed-blowback system of operation the Savage A17 semi-automatic line—introduced in 2015—works extremely well and has a proven safety and performance record. The rifles have quickly become some of the company’s most popular. They are chambered in .17 HMR, feature a 10-round rotary magazine, wear the company’s famed user-adjustable Accu-Trigger and are available in seven different models.

The basic version, the A17 seen above, has a 22" free-floated barrel in black, with 1:9" rate of rifling, black synthetic stock, sling studs and high luster finish on the receiver. Weight is 5.63 lbs. and MSRP comes in at $519.

Other models have nearly identical features, with the exception of the stock and even barrel profile. Savage currently offers the standard A17, but also Overwatch, Pro Varmint, Sporter, Target Sporter Laminate, Target Thumbhole and heavy barrel versions. Whether you want camouflage, a thumbhole or laminate for furniture, it’s available from Savage.

The A17 Pro Varmint, which has a rail atop its receiver for mounting optics, is the most expensive in the line. Its MSRP is still only $709. All other models ship from the factory with two-piece bases installed.


Eaa Girsan Untouchable Mc1911 Range Tested 2
Eaa Girsan Untouchable Mc1911 Range Tested 2

Range Tested: EAA Girsan Untouchable MC1911

Among EAA Corp's. product line, the Girsan Untouchable MC1911 stands out as being an incredibly competitive offering within the M1911 world, as it offers a finish level and a feature set that's unheard of at the gun's price point.

Review: Benelli ETHOS Cordoba BE.S.T.

The Benelli ETHOS Cordoba BE.S.T. is proof that Benelli has taken an already-great shotgun and made it even better.

Remington Supports Hospitals, Disease Research With Gun Club Cure Ammo

Big Green's Gun Club Cure ammunition sales, combined with Remington's annual Shoot to Cure charity fundraiser, have raised more than $35,000 for children's hospitals and disease research.

North-South Skirmish Association Revolver Match

The North-South Skirmish Association is a competitive shooting organization dedicated to the active use of Civil War-period arms. "American Rifleman Television" had an opportunity to get a closer look at the group's revolver matches at its Fall National Skirmish.

New For 2024: Daniel Defense H9

Though Hudson Manufacturing met its demise in 2019, new for 2024, the H9 design has been revitalized by Daniel Defense, marking the company’s first foray into the conventional handgun market with the Daniel H9.

Vista Re-Files Notice To Committee On Foreign Investment Over CSG Sale

Vista Outdoor announced it had voluntarily withdrawn and re-filed its joint voluntary notice to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a move that allows committee members additional time to conduct due diligence on the proposed sale of The Kinetic Group to the Czechoslovak Group (CSG).


Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.