It's hard to be unhappy with a rifle that, right from the box, comes complete with a mounted and bore-sighted scope-ready for the range, except for ammunition. Savage's model 93 R17 XP Snow Camo, chambered in .17 HMR, comes complete with a 3-9x40 mm scope bore-sighted at the factory-a nice touch that saves time on the range.
The entire rifle-stock, barrel, action and scope-is covered with a Realtree snow camo finish. The 5¼-pound rifle has a five-round detachable magazine, 22-inch button-rifled barrel with a 1-in-9-inch twist, swivel studs, as well as Savage's adjustable AccuTrigger. The rifle rises to the shoulder comfortably, feels well balanced and all of the rifle's controls function smoothly.
A Simmons Blazer 3-9x40 mm scope with ¼ MOA adjustments came mounted on my test rifle and the factory bore-sighting put my first group only inches from the bullseye. Group sizes at 50 and 100 yards were excellent, falling well under an inch at both ranges. In fact, most of my groups at 50 yards looked like one ragged hole measuring a little over half an inch with an occasional flyer, which I blame more on a lapse in my concentration than on the rifle. At 100 yards, the Savage delivered groups averaging a little under an inch-performance equal and in many cases superior to many .22 magnum rifles I've fired (whose velocity is a close cousin to that of the .17 HMR). It was a pleasant surprise to find that the scope included with this rifle package features ¼ MOA adjustments, which give you plenty of precision when sighting in this rifle at 100 yards-doubly so because Savage's model 93 R17 XP Snow Camo is easily capable of such impressive accuracy at this distance.
Perfect for plinking as well as hunting varmints or small game, the .17 HMR-chambered Savage gave Camden Munro, 10, of Firestone, Colorado, no trouble whatsoever. “There's no kick at all,” he said. “The bolt moves smoothly and it's easy to squeeze the trigger.” Camden found it easy to work the rifle's bolt and safety. As with any new rifle, after he inserted and removed the magazine a few times, that movement quickly became almost second nature for Camden.
The AccuTrigger-which broke cleanly and predictably at just over 3 pounds-is easily adjustable down to about 2.5 pounds. It's also easy to set the Savage's trigger pull higher or lower. After removing the stock, all that needs to be done is to insert the adjustment tool and turn. That's all there is to trigger pull adjustment, and as long as you don't use brute force on the spring, it's highly unlikely that you'll set the trigger to an unsafe level.
“I like the rifle's finish,” said Camden, who added that he could imagine the rifle blending into the woods on a hunt for small game or varmints. The Realtree camo finish seemed to be durable, surviving an accidental slide or two across the heavy steel shooting benches at the range without any ill effects. “I think other kids would like this rifle. It's got a real light kick and the bolt is easy to work and smooth,” said Camden.
This was the first scoped rifle that Camden had ever fired-he was happy with the scope's performance. Initially, Camden said he preferred shooting rifles with open sights, but as he became more accustomed to shooting with the scope, both his accuracy and confidence improved. After shooting the rifle for a while, Camden, who passed his hunter safety test last year, said that he could see himself using a scope when he's able to hunt in the near future.
Firing from sandbags on the range, the Savage was a joy to shoot. In fact, that's probably my largest complaint-that it's too easy to fire lots of ammunition through this rifle! The Savage proved to be equally comfortable and easy to hold when fired from the standing and kneeling positions.
After firing about 30 rounds on the range, we experienced one case extraction issue. No matter how many times we worked the bolt, the rifle would not extract that particular case. The case was easily extracted with the help of a ballpoint pen; there were no other functional issues with the rifle.
The Savage 93 R17 XP Snow Camo is an accurate rifle that practically jumps out of the box begging to be shot. The included factory-bore-sighted scope transforms this rifle into a package especially suited for your first varmint or plinking rifle. With the excellent accuracy that this rifle is capable of at 100 yards, it's great for use in the field for small game or varmints, and its reasonably light weight make it suited for a full day of field carry.
Average of five, five-round groups at 100 yards; fired from a rifle restHornady XTP 20 grain: 0.95 of an inchHornady V-Max 17 grain: 0.875 of an inch
Savage Model 93 R17 XP Snow Camo
Caliber: .17 HMR
Barrel length: 22 inches button rifled, 1-in-9 inch twist
Magazine capacity: 5 rounds
Weight: 5.25 lbs
Sights: 3-9x40mm scope, mounted and bore-sighted