The BUY USED GUNS Team Review the Savage 93R17 CAMO in 17HMR
Welcome and thanks for reading another BUY USED GUNS Review! We have had this rifle for the last six months or so and have been putting it through its paces. If you have been considering purchasing this rifle or are in the market for a new 17HMR rifle then read on! We have done our best to bring you the highs and lows of this neat little package from Savage. We hope you enjoy reading our review as much as we had fun making it.
What do I get for my money?
You can expect much the same as with most new rimfire bolt actions purchased today. You the get the rifle as pictured above (minus the scope, rings and bipod) with one 5-shot magazine, a set of black aluminium weaver bases and the usual trigger lock and manuals that seem to come with most, if not all Savage rifles. The included aluminium bases are a nice touch and make it that much easier to mount a scope and get out shooting.
We purchased ours for around the $450 mark last year (2014) so you could expect about the same taking into effect the rise and fall of gun prices in our country. We think this rifle is excellent value for money and with the addition of a half decent scope and rings you could be out there busting some bunnies for under $800 or even less if you want to settle for cheaper glass.
Size and Weight
Not much to touch on in this subject. Savage lists the rifle with a weight of five pounds which we verified ourselves. It is a lightweight rifle and easily carried for hours if need be. The barrel is a good length at 21 inches and overall the rifle is well balanced. The Savage 17HMR would be a great rifle for younger shooters who are still a bit limited in experience or are recoil/noise shy but want more power than a 22LR.
Shooting and Living with the Savage
With negligible recoil you might find yourself a little too trigger happy with the 17HMR. Unlike it's smaller and cheaper cousin, the 22LR, you will notice how much louder the 17HMR round is and how quickly the barrel heats up. We wouldn't recommend the 17HMR as a great plinking rifle but then that's not really what it's for. The 17HMR is in its element when parked up near a rabbit warren or spotlighting for foxes/cats and other small pests.
There is a lot of different elements that go into making a rifle enjoyable to shoot and the Savage is no exception. We have broken these down a bit for you.
17 Hornady Magnum Rimfire (HMR)
We hear alot of 17HMR v 22LR v 22WMR type questions and debates which are not easily answered or settled. The 17HMR has its benefits and drawbacks like any round. It is up to you as the shooter/buyer to do the research and decide if this little round is what you want and/or need. The 17HMR is going to shoot flatter and hit harder then the 22LR but that will come at an increased financial cost and noise. The differences between the 17HMR and 22WMR are arguably less noticeable. We won't go into the specifics of the 17HMR as this review is about the rifle, not the calibre. If you are unfamiliar with this little round we would recommend doing some research first. The 17HMR Wikipedia page would be a good start;
One thing we will say is the 17HMR should not be looked at as a replacement for the legendary little 22LR round, every shooter should have one.
Like most Savage rifles (maybe all?) the 93R17 comes equipped with the AccuTrigger. Most of you are probably familiar with this style of trigger so we won't go into a lot of detail. There is a great little video on the Savage website which explains it in detail;
You will notice the small blade in front of the trigger which must be depressed first before the trigger will move. This is a great safety which you will see on many other makes of rifles. The AccuTrigger is easily adjusted by removing the barrel and action from the stock and using the supplied tool to increase or decrease trigger pull on the trigger mechanism itself (explained well with the supplied manual). Our rifle came with a crisp trigger pull of around 2.4 pounds with a small amount of creep. We were happy with this weight for feral and bench shooting and felt no need to adjust it.
Unfortunately we did have a minor issue with regards to the supplied single stack five shot magazine. Occasionally a round would jam whilst trying to load from the magazine. It was almost always the first round however after a few hundred rounds have been cycled through the magazine and action it seems to have smoothed up a bit.
We weren't overly fussed on the small tab at the rear of the magazine well used to guide the magazine in. While it did help with stability whilst the magazine was loaded in the rifle, it was quite fiddly during rapid magazine changes. The magazine release lever is also quite thin and we are unsure of its quality and reliability over the life of the rifle, only time will tell! It performed its job well however as it easy to find with your index finger and the magazine dropped free every time. We did like the large red magazine follower as it can easily be seen through the top of the action to identify if you have any rounds left.
As you've no doubt noticed the rifle comes with a 'Woodland' camouflage plastic stock which compliments the satin/gloss bluing and makes it a very striking rifle to look at. We liked the pattern and as you can see below it blends in quite well. The fore end and pistol grip also have checkering either side which help in getting a firm grip on the smooth finish of the plastic stock.
We felt the stock (and subsequently the whole rifle) was let down a bit by the cheap and flimsy feel. No doubt it's a light weight stock which is appealing however we would not trust the stock for any harsh bumps/knocks or being dropped. Whether you feel this is a 'you get what you pay for' situation or not is entirely up to you as the buyer. We would recommend at least holding and having a play with the rifle before purchasing. There are aftermarket stocks available so it is not a deal breaker for us. The butt pad is just plastic which is more then adequate for the almost recoil-less 17HMR round.
Scope and Rings
The rings used and pictured are steel Leupold PRW rings. We have been using them on various rifles over the years and they have never let us down. They are sturdy and reliable, qualities you come to expect from Leupold. Our only complaint is you have to push the top half of the scope ring over the scope tube so it clips on. This could mark your scope however this has never happened to us (but we have heard of it happening).
The scope pictured is a Vortex CROSSFIRE II 4-12x44. This is Vortex's cheapest line of scopes and served us well on the Savage. We did notice the clarity dropped off a bit around the edges of the glass, noticeable more-so after looking through the scope for extended periods. The finish and overall quality of the scope was excellent and we enjoyed the smooth and easy turning of the magnification adjustment ring (unlike the stiff magnification adjustment on Vortex PST scopes). The turrets however were a little 'mushy' when adjusting and didn't really give positive clicks. This is a common complaint of cheaper scopes. If you are after a scope on a smaller budget make sure you check them out.
We spent many hours at the range testing the accuracy of this little rifle. Unfortunately however the results were average at best. Pictured below are our best groups and we know the 17HMR round is capable of a lot more. To be fair we could only manage to get our hands on about seven different types of factory 17HMR ammunition and these results are only from one rifle. The worst ammunition by far was the Remington Accutips which we used to sight the rifle in. We initially thought the scope mounts were loose, the grouping was that horrible! All testing of the Savage rifle was done with a front and rear rest from a bench at a distance of 50 metres.
We have seen Savage 17HMR rifles shoot much better than this, so our rifle is most likely the exception, not the rule. You may find the above accuracy acceptable, we personally would not. We did play around a bit with the torque of the action screws but this did not help.
The standout feature of this rifle has to be the glossy and smooth finish of the bluing on the metal work. It really gives the rifle a nice look and seems to be a quality finish. The bolt travel is smooth (initially a little stiff as with most new rifles) and the action locks up tight and solid. As we have already mentioned we felt the stock has let down the whole package a little with its cheap and flimsy feel.
Provided you treat the rifle well we are sure it will give you many years of trouble and hopefully rust free service!
We enjoyed our time with the Savage 93R17 in 17HMR and it deserves to be a consideration for anyone after a budget rifle chambered in this fantastic round. The rifle was let down by a few issues, the most disappointing being the accuracy. We have seen Savage Rimfires shoot better and we have certainly seen the accuracy potential of the 17HMR, it just wasn't here. Some more time on the range shooting different factory ammunition might have produced better results however we like our rifles to shoot a wide variety of ammunition well. We loved the whole look of the rifle, especially the camo pattern on the stock. Take note this is a well built and put together rifle, Savage have been making them for years and have quite an extensive range of rimfire rifles.
We hope you enjoyed reading our review. We will be sure to include more Savage firearms in our upcoming reviews, Savage make fantastic rifles and definitely deserve consideration! You can check out the full line-up of Savage rifles at:
- Quality finish on rifle
- Inclusion of ring bases
- Stock pattern is nice and blends in well with the Aussie bush
- Adjustable trigger
- Average accuracy
- Stock a little flimsy
- Feeding issues from magazine
Specifications (as listed by Savage and verified by the Buy Used Guns Team)
Overall length: 39.5 inches
Barrel Length: 21 inches
Barrel Twist: 1:9 RH
Weight: 5 pounds
Barrel Finish/Colour: Satin Blued