.17 HMR Savage Model 93R17 Rifles
By Chuck Hawks
The Savage Arms Model 93R series represents the Savage bolt action entry in the great rimfire rifle sweepstakes. The 93R17 series is chambered exclusively for the .17 HMR cartridge. These rifles represent the pinnacle of rimfire performance as interpreted by Savage Arms.
I have written extensively about the .17 HMR cartridge elsewhere on the Rimfire Guns and Ammo Page, so I will not repeat the whole story here. It is sufficient to say that with a 17 grain Hornady V-MAX bullet at a MV of 2550 fps, the .17 HMR is the flattest shooting, longest range rimfire cartridge on the market. It is the most accurate (factory loaded) small game and varmint cartridge I can remember testing. A good shot with a good rifle can usually shoot groups around 1.0 MOA at 100 yards. The precision with which .17 HMR ammo is manufactured is incredible!
The Savage 93R17 line of rifles is an extensive one. Included are models offering standard contour and heavy (varmint) barrels, and stocks of hardwood, laminated wood, black synthetic, and camo synthetic. Regardless of material, 93R17 series stocks come with detachable sling swivel bases.
All Model 93R17 rifles share the same basic Savage 93 action. This rear locking, cock on opening design features dual extractors and a fixed blade ejector. Cartridges are fed from a removable 5-round box magazine. The two-position safety (push forward for "fire") is located immediately behind the bolt handle at the right rear of the action. The "bottom iron" is blued sheet metal, and the trigger guard is plastic.
From 2006 onward all Savage Model 93R17 rifles have come with the Savage Accu-Trigger. This is the best rimfire rifle trigger that you will find short of the Olympics, and nothing else in the 93R17's price class even comes close.
Barreled actions come blued or in stainless steel. All are supplied sans iron sights, but with Weaver style scope mounting bases--a good trade off.
At the top of the Savage 93 line are the Model 93R17-BTVS and Model 93R17-BVSS. They are varmint models equipped with a stainless steel barreled action and a laminated hardwood stock. This is a good combination; the laminated wood stock goes well with the satin silver metal finish. The heavy contour barrel is 21" long. These rifles measure 39.5" in length and weigh about 6 pounds. The BTVS is distinguished by a radical thumbhole stock with a ventilated forend, while the BVSS sports a more conventional Monte Carlo varmint stock.
The nice folks at Savage Arms were kind enough to supply Guns and Shooting Online with samples of the Model 93R17-BVSS and Model 93R17-BTVS rifles for detailed individual reviews, which can be found on the Product Review Page. The BVSS rifle also appears in the article, "Compared: Marlin, Ruger, and Savage .17 HMR Varmint Rifles."
The results of our shooting tests with the BVSS and BTVS are described in detail in the articles mentioned in the paragraph above, so I will not go into detail here. Suffice to say that these rifles upheld the Savage motto: The Definition of Accuracy.
Similar to the "BVSS" model but supplied with a less expensive blued barreled action and a walnut-finished hardwood stock is the Model 93R17-GV. The Model 93R17-GVL is the same rifle in left-hand configuration. Savage has long been a leader in offering rifles for southpaw shooters.
For those who prefer their varmint rifle with an injection molded synthetic stock, Savage offers the Model 93R17-FV with a blued barreled action and Model 93R17-FVSS with a stainless steel barreled action. Basic specifications otherwise remain the same as the models with wooden stocks.
These heavy barreled varmint models are probably the most accurate of all Savage rimfire hunting rifles. My testing has confirmed that a groundhog who reveals himself within the 165 yard MPBR of a varmint hunter equipped with one of these Savage varmint rifles is in mortal danger--at least if the wind is not blowing. (The light .17 HMR bullet is notoriously sensitive to crosswinds.)
Lighter and handier are the standard hunting rifles, the Model 93R17-F, 93R17-FSS, and 93R17-Camo. The "FSS" model has a stainless steel barreled action; the other two come with standard blued barreled actions. The "F" and "FSS" models come with black synthetic stocks, and the "Camo" version's plastic stock has a camo pattern finish. Otherwise, these models are identical. All have 20.75" medium contour barrels, are 39.5" in overall length, and weigh 5 pounds. These are the rifles for the small game hunter and varmint or small predator hunter on the move. Jackrabbits, foxes and coyotes, be warned!
The most upscale of all the Savage 93R17 Rifles is the Classic. This beauty features a highly polished luster blue barreled action with a 24" sporter barrel and a classic style walnut stock with wrap around checkering and a black forend tip. It is the smoothest and most refined of all Savage rimfire rifles and easily worth its 2007 MSRP of $495.
Savage offers the largest selection of .17 HMR rifles on the market. Savage Arms Corporation Chairman and CEO Ron Coburn has assembled an outstanding and dedicated team at Savage. They want to be your rifle company.
Note: Complete reviews of the Savage 93R17-BVSS, 93R17-BTVS, and 93R17 Classic rifles can be found on the Product Reviews page.
Copyright 2005, 2012 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.