By Devin Martin

For 125 years, Savage Arms has been making high quality firearms. They are rightfully celebrating their longevity of excellence, with a limited edition, 125th anniversary Model 110 rifle – only 1,894 of which were manufactured. Definitely a collector’s piece!

Inside of all that exclusivity that Savage Arms exudes, is a little revolutionary gem – the Savage A series: A17. Savage has five outstanding .17hmr caliber rifles that have completely changed the narrative surrounding varmint poppin’ mini-ammo.

Savage Arms is the first firearm manufacturing company in the world, to make a semi-automatic rifle with a 10-round rotary magazine. This rifle weighs less than 6 pounds and has a 22-inch button barrel, which helps with accuracy at longer distances. Also, the A17 has a delayed blow-back which, again, aids with accuracy and staying on target for follow up shots. The Savage A17 possesses an adjustable AccuTrigger. For what you ask? What else? More accuracy! Whatever you are shooting at, from prairie dogs and coyotes to paper at the shooting range, the pioneering semi-automatic Savage A17 is a stellar choice for staying on-mark.

I guess you could call the .22 caliber ammo the big cousin of the 17hmr since many major firearms companies make a .22 caliber rifle and/or pistol – including Savage Arms. Although, .22 caliber ammo is a little cheaper and easier to come by, there’s no denying the 17hmr’s value as a small game varmint cartridge. This benefit is somewhat tempered by the fact that the bullet has only been in existence for 17 years, which gave the .22 a huge head start in the sporting gun marketplace. Despite being a little late to the party, Savage Arms creatively put together a high-quality, and effective, semi-automatic rifle specifically designed for .17hmr that retails for around $400 bucks. With that support for the cartridge, who knows what the possibilities could be with this relatively young mini-ammo?

While the Savage A17 is absolutely a fun gun to shoot – aesthetically speaking, it may not be the studliest looking rifle around. However, at the end of the day it was designed to be an inexpensive and practical target rifle which it accomplishes very well. After market support hasn’t been too forthcoming with the design yet as customizability options have been limited to a few different laminate stocks, and the A17 Target Thumbhole. Hopefully, with time that will change.

As far as reliability and accuracy, I think you would be hard press to find a better rifle in the .17hmr caliber. Savage put forth some real ingenuity in developing the first ever semi-automatic rifle, and made it ultra-accurate, and reliable. With its carbon steel frame, the A17 is lightweight and durable.

Deemed “not suitable for semi-automatic use” by a big brand firearm company, Savage Arms, has not only found good use for the light weight .17hmr cartridge – they are showcasing it in fashion that is unprecedented. Time will tell what’s in store for the .17hmr and the A17 by Savage.