Savage Arms A17 – Q & A with Bill Dermody, Savage Arms Marketing Director

Savage A17 Rifle - A Shooting Star
Savage A17 Rifle – A Shooting Star
Savage Arms
Savage Arms

Suffield, CT -( Q: How did the A17 get its name?

A: Its name ties with the fact it’s an autoloading 17-caliber rifle. We went through a long list of possible names, but this one stuck. I think it’s catchy—something people will remember. Plus, the format lets us potentially expand the line with other calibers.

Q: What is different about this new rifle?

A: The A17 is the first high-performance semi-automatic rimfire specifically designed for the 17 HMR cartridge. There have been a limited number of other autoloaders chambered in the caliber, but they haven’t been built around it like the A17. So, it’s not just a new rifle for Savage, it’s a new rifle for the world.

Q: How is the A17 different from the competition?

A: It is important to note the A17 was not simply adapted to fire a magnum rimfire round. Other manufacturers have tried adapting straight-blowback actions over the years to convert their standard rimfire rifles to shoot magnum rimfire loads, but those guns never flourished. In fact, some of those old, adaptive designs even had safety issues. As a result, there isn’t much for competition in a 17 HMR semi-automatic, especially at this $465 price point.

Q: Why release a semi-automatic 17 HMR, and why now?

A: Experienced rimfire shooters know the 17 HMR cartridge’s power and flat trajectory make it easier to place accurate shots at long range compared to the 22 LR. So, we felt this popular cartridge deserved a semi-automatic platform. We had been throwing around this idea at new products meetings for seven years. The project finally kicked off in fall of 2012, and it took us 2 ½ years to finalize it. We also knew the time was right because we’d sat down with ammunition engineers at CCI and product managers at Bushnell to partner with optimized ammunition and smart accessories that work together to create a complete shooting system.

Q: What makes A17’s design different?

A: The 17 HMR cartridge is just too hot for the straight blowback action—a design that typically does not allow enough time for gases to escape down the barrel before cycling, which causes performance issues and even safety concerns. The A17’s unique delayed-blowback action is specifically designed for high-performance magnum rimfire cartridges to ensure safe, reliable cycling. The delayed blowback is a completely new design that solves the old problems of a semi-automatic 17 HMR.

Q: What features of the A17 are you most excited about?

A: Besides the action, the hard chrome bolt, case-hardened receiver, 10-round rotary magazine and button-rifled barrel boost performance even further, while the user-adjustable AccuTrigger provides a crisp, light pull for the best possible accuracy. The bolt also has two hooks on the bolt face. One is the extractor, the other is a stabilizer. Together, both keep the cartridge pointing straight ahead for reliable feeding. They’re all excellent features that make this rifle at great value at its relatively low suggested retail price.

Q: Does the A17 require specific ammunition?

A: No, the A17 provides safe, reliable operation with standard 17 HMR loads. That said, its unique delayed-blowback action performs to its peak with new CCI A17 Varmint Tip ammunition, which CCI developed specifically for the rifle. These rounds are hotter than standard ones, providing 100 feet-per-second higher muzzle velocities over existing 17 HMR products. Again, the rifle will work with any 17 HMR ammunition, but the faster CCI A17 loads will get the most from it.

Q: What else do you want us to know about the A17?

A: We are very excited about this product launch—it’s huge news for us. From here, the future A17 product line is only going to get bigger and better with new offerings that might feature a heavy target barrel, laminate stock and other options. To learn more and to watch a video on the A17, please visit our website.

SIDEBAR: A17 Technical Specifications:

  • SKU: 47001
  • MSRP: $465
  • Caliber: 17 HMR with SAAMI spec chamber
  • Action: Semi-automatic
  • Capacity: 10-round detachable rotary magazine
  • Barrel Material: High-luster black carbon steel
  • Rate of Twist: 1-in-9 inches, with six grooves in the barrel
  • Drop at Comb: 1 ½ inches from scope bases and 1 ¼ inches from top of receiver
  • Drop at Heel: 2 inches from scope bases and 1 ¾ inches from top of receiver
  • Handed: Right-handed only
  • Barrel Length: 22 inches
  • Overall Length: 42 inches
  • Length of Pull: 13 ¾ inches
  • Sights: Drilled and tapped for factory-installed scope mounts
  • Stock Material: Matte black synthetic
  • Trigger: Savage Arms proprietary AccuTrigger
  • Weight: 5.41 pounds

Learn more at

Savage Arms is a brand of Vista Outdoor Inc., an outdoor sports and recreation company.

Vista Outdoor
Vista Outdoor

About Vista Outdoor

Vista Outdoor is a leading global designer, manufacturer and marketer in the growing outdoor sports and recreation markets. The company operates in two segments, Shooting Sports and Outdoor Products, and has more than 30 well-recognized brands that provide consumers with a range of performance-driven, high-quality and innovative products in the ammunition, firearms and outdoor accessories categories. Vista Outdoor products are sold at leading retailers and distributors across North America and worldwide. Vista Outdoor is headquartered in Utah and has manufacturing operations and facilities in 10 U.S. States, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Canada along with international sales and sourcing operations in Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

For news and information visit or follow us on Twitter @VistaOutdoorInc and Facebook at

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Bobby Tackett

I’d like to know why savage puts cheap plastic stocks on alot of their hunting rifle cracked at the wrist while shooting it an my 11 try old granddaughter was fixing to shoot next that could have really injured her ..I was told at customer service the only thing they suggest was in purchase a new stock for a 160 dollars an the stock on the rifle new was cheap so why was the cheap stock placed on their to begin with..I’m planning on selling all our savage rifles I don’t want to risk my grandkids safety for cheap… Read more »