Savage Arms A17: Semi-Auto 17 HMR Rifle

At the recent SHOT Show, Savage Arms announced a new semi-automatic rifle chambered for the .17 HMR round. The new Savage A17 rifle was specifically designed for the .17 HMR, so it is expected to avoid the problems that Remington experienced with the 597 rifles.

Let’s take a look at the new A17 rifles…

According to Savage, the company designed a unique delayed-blowback system to properly control and use the pressures and bolt velocity generated by the .17 HMR round. The 17 HMR has been particularly troublesome for some manufacturers to get right in an auto loader. See the “semi-auto problems” section below for more information.

These rifles use a polymer stock – black being the only color initially. I would expect some of the standard hunting camo patterns would be available later if the guns sell well.

The A17 uses a 10 round rotary magazine. The adjustable AccuTrigger is standard on these rifles. Take a look at the following video from IraqVeteran8888 about the A17 rifle:

New CCI A17 Ammo

Savage states the A17 rifle will safely and reliably work with any standard 17 HMR loads. However, Savage Arms worked with sister company CCI to develop a special load for this rifle. The new CCI A17 ammunition is said to be 100 fps faster at the muzzle than loads from other ammo companies.

CCI A17 Ammo

Using a Varmint Tip bullet – a 17 grain polymer-tipped hollow point – this round generates 2,650 fps at the muzzle. Although it is still a bit out of reach, this does put the 17 HMR closer to the 3,000 fps generated by the 17 Winchester Super Magnum that uses a 20 grain polymer-tipped bullet.

Savage A17 Specifications

Caliber17 HMR
Barrel Length22″
Twist Rate1:9″
Overall Length42″
Weight5.41 lbs
Actiondelayed blowback
Magazine Capacity10 rounds
Finishhigh luster black with matte black stock

Semi-Auto Problems

Savage is not the first to bring a semi-automatic 17 HMR rifle to the market. Previously, Remington sold the semi-auto Model 597 in .17 HMR. Unfortunately, there were problems with this gun, and Remington recalled all of the rifles without any repair options. Likewise, rifles made by Magnum Research and others were pulled from the market.

The higher pressure and nature of the pressure curve generated by the 17 HMR is such that simply modifying existing .22 LR rifle designs have failed. Savage engineers redesigned the operation of the rifle to account for the pressure differences. This video explains the problem and how the company addressed it:

Currently, Volquartsen sells the semi-auto TF rifle in 17 HMR. According to the Volquartsen website, the rifle uses a counterweight system to handle the pressure and bolt velocity.

Alexander Arms also builds a semi-auto 17 HMR gun. The AAR-17 is an AR-style rifle that was built from the ground up around the cartridge.

The problem with both the Volquartsen and the Alexander Arms rifles is the price. The Volquartsen carries a retail price of $1,200 while AA is asking $1,210 for theirs. While both of these guns are exceptional rifles, most consumers will find the Savage Arms A17’s street price much more palatable: around $400.


Savage A17 Thumbhole Sporter

Just weeks before the 2016 SHOT Show, information about two new A17 rifles have leaked from Savage Arms. Both rifles have wood laminate stocks that are gray in color. One of the two is a thumbhole type stock, while the other is more traditional. As more details come out, I will make sure to update this page.

Last Update: October 17, 2022

By Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, amateur historian and - most importantly - a dad. He's done a lot of silly things in his life, but quitting police work to follow his passion of writing about guns was one of the smartest things he ever did. He founded this site and continues to manage its operation.

52 replies on “Savage Arms A17: Semi-Auto 17 HMR Rifle”

Two Savage A17 rifles…
– both functioned well with all .17 ammo.
– had to be sure the mag was seated well or it would pop out when fired.
– 3/4″ groups with scope at 50 yards.
– trigger is terrible!
The adjustment did nothing to change the heavy pull weight.
No gage but it has got to be over 5 lbs and is rough.

Like the rifle but something has got to be done to make the trigger function better.

Since there are no after market triggers available I am going to take the rifle down
and polish trigger components.

Thanks for the feedback!

The trigger sounds like a real problem. I hope they get that sorted quickly.

Was there a problem with the magazine, or was it just a matter of getting used to seating it?

I usually take a little metal off where the trigger screw adjustment is. It allows the spring more room to be adjusted lowering the weight. Always worked for me.

Richard, I do not think there is a problem with the mag.
If popped out the first time I shot the rifle.
After that I made sure it was seated good and had no problems.
The mag itself is a little difficult to load but finally figured that if you roll the round a little when it is
depressed in the mag it is less difficult. The mag is not the quality of the Ruger 10/22 mag.
The Only real problem I have with the rifle is the trigger!
This may be tempered with the fact that I shoot after market triggers in almost every thing I have but this stock one is really bad.
I check with the manufactures of triggers and so far no one has plans to make one for the A17.
Maybe I will wait until I have 500 run thru it before I tear it apart and polish?

Savage says there is a mag problem. They are sending out different mags because the originals wont work!!!!!!!

Hi, are they saying the reason for the magazine falling off is because the magazine is faulty, are they doing anything with the trigger?

I was sent 3 mags to replace the 3 original mags. They all failed the same way. Customer service said the improved mags were not changed inside. I compared the original and improved mags with a micrometer and they were all the same. So Savage were just stalling till they could figured out the problem. They sent me a tag to send in the rifle and six mags. I was told six weeks till I get it back. That is way to long for a brand new rifle. Customer service says the rifle will be completely inspected , but did not say anything about the trigger.

I have the same issue with the trigger assembly. I did take mine out and polished what I could and it did lighten the pull to a more comfortable, effortless pull. I think that the part that bugs me the most is the loud spring that provides the tension for the accu-trigger blade. Sounds like an old screen storm door opening when you depress it. LOL

Another problem I had was the over abundance of what looked like white lithium grease inside the action. The complete disassembly of the action is a bit of a bear with a scope attached. After I cleaned all of the grease out and applied a thin film of gun oil the action cycled much more nicely.

The A17 is definitely a fun gun to shoot and much more reliable than I thought. The magazine does seem to be made cheaply and I had the same issue when firing it for the first time of not making sure the mag was securely seated and it fell out after the first shot. For the price you cannot beat it.

Did you find that the trigger adjustment did nothing to affect the pull?
I am considering cleaning the action then using graphite for dry lube and see how it functions.
Should get less dirty?
Glad the trigger polish job helped.
I will do it to my rifle first chance I get.
Sure wish someone would make a good after market trigger for it!

Ben how many shots did you fired with your rifle, mine I would pushed it in and it would come loose after every other shot and drop the magazine, I had 21 misfire in a one day old rifle.

The magazine problem shows up after firing 75 to 100 rounds, you are right regarding the magazines not been high quality, if they fix this rifle problems it could be a great rifle.

I am disappointed in this Savage product! Mine only gets 2.5″ group at 50 yards. Tried 3 scopes. My bolt Marlin will drive tacks.
Trigger. I plan on polishing it.
You can engage “just the outter”triger until it stops then finish shot by squeezing the inter trigger.
It is much lighter but long pull.

May even bed action?

Just a note , Savage said they have been having trigger issues also as well as mags falling out. They said they replaced my trigger assembly with a new version.

I figured out that when the slide is open the magazine clips in better, its when you put the magazine in with the slide closed it doesn’t clip in all the way and will feed the first bullet, and then pops out. I guess get into the habit of having the slide open when you put in a fresh magazine?

Comments are closed.