Semi-auto rimfires have been around for ages and are immensely popular, but they’re designed on a straight blowback system. That system works great for a .22LR, but the popular .17 HMR has much more energy and creates much more pressure that a straight blowback system just can’t handle safely. Proper timing is critical to keeping the pressure under control, and Savage has finally created a way to shoot the .17 HMR out of a semi-auto safely.
The Savage A17 uses a unique delayed blowback system to handle the higher pressures — the mechanical delay allows just enough time for some of the pressure to bleed off before the next cartridge is chambered. It’s a completely new rifle built for peak performance, with features like a hard chrome bolt, case-hardened receiver, 10-round rotary magazine and button-rifled barrel.
The A17 also has Savage’s popular AccuTrigger, offering a crisp, light pull for superb accuracy.
Though this gun should work with any factory ammo, CCI, owned by Savage’s parent company ATK, has developed a specific .17 HMR load called the CCI A17 Varmint Tip ammo that’s designed for perfect feeding and function. It produces muzzle velocities 100 fps faster than other .17 HMR loads with the same bullet weight.
The A17 is supposed to hit dealer shelves in March 2015, and MSRP is around $470, which means you’re likely to find it for around $400 as a real-world price.