In one of the biggest innovations we’ve seen here at the SHOT Show, Savage has solved the problem of cycling .17 HMR ammo through an autoloader. Savage made several changes to their standard autoloader design to make the A17 more reliable, but the biggest addition on the rifle is a special lug that locks the bolt in place for a millisecond, delaying blowback to allow most of the gases from burning powder to dissipate. The slight delay allows the bolt to cycle reliably. The steel receiver and chromed components create a surface to further enhance cycling. The A17 comes with a 10-round rotary magazine and adjustable Accutrigger. It features a button-rifled barrel, and the one I tested shot smoothly and accurately.

Savage has also worked with CCI to develop A17 ammunition that shoots 100 fps faster than standard 17 HMR cartridges. At 2,650 fps it will help ensure cycling in the rifle under cold conditions and when the gun has seen heavy use and is fouled.