The new Savage B.MAG rifle is a completely new compact rimfire bolt-action gun designed specifically for the new .17 Winchester Super Magnum cartridge. The .17 WSM is a rimfire round that is capable of speeds to an amazing 3,000 fps. Click here for more on this new cartridge.
The B.MAG is an entirely new rifle, not merely a warmed over existing rimfire gun. According to Bill Dermody of Savage, there are “exactly zero” parts on the B.Mag that interchange with the company’s other rimfire rifles. In fact, Dermody suggested that the features of this new rifle more closely resemble their centerfire cartridge rifle line than the rimfire line.
This rifle uses a short action bolt with rear locking lugs for additional strength to handle the higher pressure .17 WSM. The rifle also has a “cock on close” action and hidden action screws.
The B.MAG uses a thread-in headspacing system that is very similar to the more expensive centerfire rifles in the Savage catalog. According to Savage reps at the SHOT Show, this headspacing system significantly enhances accuracy.
The B.MAG comes with the extremely popular AccuTrigger, which is a user-adjustable trigger that Savage uses on most of their rifles above the entry-level, budget guns. It does not require special tools for adjustment by the owner.
An eight-round, rotary magazine is standard on this rifle. The magazine is detachable and feeds from the center of the mag. It should be a relatively simple thing to make a larger capacity magazine, but there are no announced plans to do so. An extended magazine might be of some benefit to varmint hunters who are eliminating large numbers of pests at long range. I wouldn’t be surprised to see something like the Hot Lips magazines for the 10/22 from Butler Creek.
A black synthetic stock is standard with a matte blued finish on the metal parts. A soft-rubber butt pad caps the end of the stock. The B.MAG doesn’t have a lot of recoil, but the rubber butt pad is still a nice addition.
The B.MAG has a 22″ barrel. According to one Savage rep I spoke to, the total weight of the guns should be less than 4.5 pounds when the guns ship. Specific information on the barrel (twist rate, etc.) has not yet been announced. At the time of this writing, the gun is not yet listed on the Savage website.
Considering the speeds, and therefore pressures, the new .17 Winchester Super Magnum is generating, I am not surprised that this rifle might more resemble a centerfire gun than a rimfire. The Savage B.MAG certainly appears to be built with safety and durability in mind.
According to Dermody, the Savage B.MAG is expected to ship in the second quarter of 2013. Talking to Winchester Ammunition reps, they were certain the guns and ammunition would be hitting the shelves by the first week of April. The suggested retail price of the rifle is $349. While a bit more than many rimfire rifles, the price is certainly more affordable than most centerfire cartridge rifles.
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