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Savage M93 in .17 HRM w/Simmons 4x12AO 8 Point scope

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Update click here

The Savage M93 was the third rifle in .17 Hornady Rimfire Magnum tested by the ODHA. This rifle falls in the middle of the other two ( H&R Handi Rifle & Anschutz 1517) in cost, at about $250.  The H&R Handy Rifle ran $160 while the Anschutz was over $600.

This particular Savage model has a heavy barrel, just right in my opinion, for a walking varmint or squirrel rifle.  I looked at the stainless/synthetic light weight and it just felt like plastic, not like a hunting rifle. This little rifle feels very good with the checkered wood stock and the finish is very good for an inexpensive rifle. 

The action and magazine function smoothly, but the trigger was terribly heavy. The stainless rifle I tried had a pretty good trigger, but I had to work on this trigger before I shot the rifle. I was able to get it to a tolerable pull with a lot of work.

The only other problem I had with the rifle was getting the scope mounted. This is not the fault of the rifle, just a problem with getting the right rings to fit a 40MM+ scope to the heavy barreled Savage.  The rifle comes with Weaver style bases.   I finally used a set of see-through rings (the kind I hate and never use) to mount the Simmons 8 Point scope. I wanted an inexpensive 4x12AO and this one works well with a cost of only $60.  It is no Leupold, but it will get the job done. Total package for this rifle & scope was about $325.

Boy am I going to eat crow on this report. The first groups I shot with the Savage were good (1.5" @ 100 yards), but not great. My buddy Bill Ashworth at North Georgia Sports in Comer, GA just couldn't believe the Savage would not shoot better than my test showed.  So, not wanting to make him feel bad, I decided to put better scope rings on the Savage and try it again.  Well, guess what, the thumb screws on the scope mounts were only finger tight!   I put a set of Millett Rings on the rifle and remounted the scope and made sure everything was tight this time. 

Man, did that make a difference! All the groups shot were under an inch.  Here is a target with three groups using two types of ammo.  The point of impact is a little different, but the groups are all great, measuring about half an inch.  The Savage outshot both the Anschutz and the H&R 17's.

The Simmons scope functioned well. It was clear and the AO made focusing easy at any range. The click adjustments worked as they should and you can turn the knobs with your fingers without tools.  If you mount a scope with a  40mm objective on the M93 heavy barrel, you will need a set of high Millett Angle-Loc rings to clear the barrel. Don, one of our readers, says the Burris High Z-rings puts a scope with a 40MM objective about 1/4" above the barrel of the M93 for perfect mounting.

The Good Things are the function, accuracy, balance & price.

The Bad Things are the heavy trigger, scope mounting challenge and the extra $100 more in cost than the H&R.

The Savage M93 is a great little rifle, and I plan to hang on to it a while.

Update

One thing that always pops up in any conversation about the .17 HRM rimfire is how the tiny 17 grain bullet will perform on game or varmints such as coyote, and will it blow up if it hits a blade of grass or leaves on the way to the target. I have done mostly target work with the .17 HRM except a squirrel and a crow.  Both were taken at about 50 yards and did a lot of damage. 

To see how tough the bullet is, I decided to see if the Hornady poly tipped bullet would shoot through the side of a 55 gallon drum.  I fired at the drum from around 25 yards and the bullet did not blow up, but put a nice quarter inch whole through both sides of the steel drum. I was shocked to see the performance of the bullet. I now plan to do some penetration testing with one inch thick pine boards and hope to take a coyote soon.  I am confident it will put a yodle dog down in shor order.

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