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Author Topic: .17 Winchester Super Magnum and Savage B-Mag Rifle Range Report  (Read 3596 times)

Offline WindSurgeon

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I finally got out to shoot my new Savage B-Mag Rifle at the range.  As previously posted, I purchased the Savage B-Mag rifle about 6 weeks ago.  After a month of searching, my local Cabela's where I purchased the rifle, received 10 boxes of .17 WSM to stock.  I purchased 6 boxes of the 20 grain v-max tipped ammo (left four for the next guy) for $15.99/box. 

Rifle:

The B-Mag rifle seems well thought out.  I like that it has a standard (sort of) bolt action and that the bolt is easily removed like other centerfire rifles.  This helps with cleaning the rifle and making it safe without complex take down procedures.  There is a detachable rotary magazine that works well and it is nice not to have a magazine protruding from the bottom of the rifle. The barrel is free floated and it has weaver bases already installed.  It will accept other bases as well via removal of the weaver bases secured with four screws.  The B-Mag is extremely light.  I am guessing it is four pounds without a scope.

The rifle comes with an adjustable AccuTrigger system.  I set it to the lowest setting I could and it is very crisp for a $300 rifle.  Not a Jewel trigger, but at 2 pounds it breaks cleanly and similar to my adjustable Tikka rifle triggers set at 2 pounds.

Stock removal is not intuitive.  I made the mistake of looking for the traditional screws under the stock.  They are not found in the traditional locations.  I had to look to the directions for this information, but once understood, easy enough. You have to remove the trigger guard module before getting to the stock screws.

First negative about the rifle:  The stock is about a cheep feeling as it can get.  Hollow, molded plastic.  Can't wait until there is a nice piece of aftermarket furniture available.

Scope Mounting:

I mounted a Nikon Prostaff 3-9X40 I already had in my stash.  Standard hunting stuff.  When I bought the rifle, the Cabela's sales person sold me a set of Weaver medium height rings.  When I put them with the scope the scope was not high enough to allow the bolt to lift properly and interfered with bolt cycling.  After a few phone calls to local shops looking for the same rings in a high height, I went to my old standby and purchased a set of High Burris Z rings (I seem to always end up back with Burris or Leupold rings).  Presto,  bolt clearance issue solved. 

Go with a high set of rings.  It also helped with the alignment of my eye to the scope with the rifle shouldered.

At The Range:

After sighting in, I set out to shoot 5, 5 shot groups at 100 yards.  I used a Caldwell Benchrest front rest and a Protektor rear bag.  I did not set up the chronograph.

Best group:  1.25" max spread
Worst group: 1.5" max spread
Average group:  1.35" max spread

First, when I measured the two holes, I used a caliper, not software.  Second, I have to admit I was not using the tightest BR technique.  For shooting coyotes and prairie dogs under field conditions, this is acceptable from my standpoint.  If I were to really tighten up the variables in shooting technique, I think the rifle could do 1".  Savages have a good accuracy potential.  Lastly, I now wish I had my Chrono because I wonder about variation in ammo, round to round.  There would be three or four shots in a string under 1" and then one or two flyers.  I will Chrono next time out.

Handling:

The gun feels a bit better with the scope mounted.  Still light, it could benefit from a beefier stock and varmint contour barrel.  The action felt tight and cycles smoothly for an inexpensive rifle.  As indicated, the AccuTrigger feels crisp.

Second negative:  The last round in the rotary magazine would fail to eject in every instance.  Perhas this is called out in the IFU, but I have not read that far.  I had to drop out the magazine or pull the round out by hand.  A strange quirk after 4 prior rounds cycling well.

Overall:

I could not wait to get my hands on this new rimfire caliber and rifle.  My intended purpose for it is to shoot coyote on my suburban hunting property where it is illegal to use centerfire rifles (rimfire or shotguns only).  While coyote can be killed with .22 LR/magnum, .17 HMR, or shotguns, you give up either downrange energy, distance, or both.  The .17 WSM concept brings this closer to .17 Hornet performance at 3000 feet per second muzzle velocity and a 4" drop from zero at 200 yards.  For certain, I drank from the punch bowl on this new caliber.  After years of not getting them in close enough for my shotgun or watching them keep going after being hit with my .22 Magnum, .17 WSM has potential.

I will post something after I shoot at a coyote to let you all know how it fares.
« Last Edit: 03:54 PM, 09/01/13 by WindSurgeon »


Offline CaptainMal

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Interested in how this plays out.

That price is not much more than I have to pay for 17HMR right now. Accuracy, just looking at what you are getting, is not as good as my Marlin 17HMR.
Actually, it's near twice what I get but ... who cares? For what you will use it for and what I use mine for, MOA or close is all you really need.

Go shoot some song dogs and see if it has the "stuff" to put them down.
Participating in a gun buy-back program because you think that criminals have too many guns is like having yourself castrated because you think your neighbors have too many kids...

Offline WindSurgeon

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I agree that the accuracy is not great.  Hopefully, over time, better ammo and rifle variety will improve.  These are selling quickly right now and like the .17 HMR eventually Savage will improve the design and other manufactures will enter the market.


Offline langenc

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Thanks for the report. The last gun rag I got also had a report.

When doing groups and using the chrono, do you keep track of shots, as to where they printed in the string.

I sometimes have an extra target at the bench, and shoot one and then mark the bench target w/ a small 1 in the approx location that the bullet  hit the target, ditto 2, 3. 4, 5.

If one bullet is a UNcalled flier, you could check the chrono and see if it was the outlier in the fps sequence and that MAY explain the flier/group enlargener. I do the above without a chrono but have always though I would like to know fps wise about one or two in a group.
« Last Edit: 04:12 PM, 09/02/13 by langenc »

Online drgunlimited

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I handled one the other day and I was not impressed at all. Plasticky...pencil barrel.... felt like a youth gun... im 6'-4" so made it worse but I went from wanting one to wanting a different one....

Offline Sling

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My friend works at a gunshop and they received 5 Savages in 17 Winchester Super magnum. The rifles sold within 1 week but they all came back the week after. The rifles had to go back to Savage for repair. My friend runs a gunsmith shop and it seems that more Savages are getting repaired than any other. I just can`t get myself to buy such ugly guns.
2449yds & counting!

I`m not (Sling) on Snipers Hide!!!


Offline moorepower

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A friend of mine has one, and 1 of 3 shots fails to eject. FYI I love Savage rifles and have many.
Pat Moore


 

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