Savage B 17 FV-SR: The Little Tack Driver

Savage B17 FV rifle with 3 boxes of ammunition

Savage Arms trotted out a whole new stable of rifles in 2017. Among them is the B—meaning bolt action—Series 17 FV-SR, chambered in 17 HMR. We took it for a spin, curious to see if the company’s rimfire rifles perform as well as its big-bore models that have earned some real estate in my gun safe.

Savage B17 FV right profile with aged wood plank background
The B17 stock is entirely synthetic, easy to clean, and hard to scratch.

The B17 FV has an entirely synthetic stock, all in black. Its traditional hunting rifle shape is accentuated by sculpted lines that give the appearance of a separate comb and buttpad. Other lines on the stock are placed to enhance grip. It’s lightly textured all over. Traditionalists may frown at the modern material and updated design, but I rather like it. It’s an easy-clean, almost scratchproof surface, and I tend to get my stuff scratched and dirty. So, in my opinion, it’s a winner.

The “SR” part of the name indicates the addition of a Picatinny rail and threaded barrel to the FV design.

The safety is Savage’s customary ambi design, a thumb-operated slider just behind the bolt, with the “fire” position clearly exposing red. The bolt is nicely textured, and the trigger guard has plenty of room for a gloved finger. Just forward of the trigger guard, in the bottom of the receiver, a 10-round rotary magazine seats flush with the stock. Those accustomed to Ruger 10/22 operation will find magazine loading and removal to be virtually identical.

Savage has raised the bar for stock rifles with its Acu-Trigger, which is included on this rifle. For those unfamiliar, it’s a single-stage, user-adjustable trigger with a safety block akin to that on a Glock pistol. Though I’ve never felt the need to adjust an Acu-Trigger, the option is there.

Savage B17 FV rifle with 3 boxes of ammunition
Three brands of ammunition were tested. All performed well, but the 17-grain Federal Premium V-Shok was exceptional.

The blued barrel features a 1-in-9 twist. The business end is threaded, and covered with a secure, but easily removed, protector. Unloaded, the B17 FV-SR weighs six pounds. It’s 39 inches long.

What this rifle doesn’t have is iron sights. There are two drilled and tapped holes for scope rings or a rail. Bushnell and Savage Arms are both subsidiaries of Vista Outdoors. Bushnell supplied its 3-12x 40mm model, quite a snazzy add-on for this modest caliber. It really is deserving of a review of its own, with its crystal-clear field of view and customizable zero elevation and windage turrets, meaning the zero I set on the scope matches the -0- marks on the turrets. It has parallax adjustment, too.

Three brands of ammunition were supplied for the test. Sent downrange were CCI’s 17-grain Varmint Tip, specially made for this gun, Federal Premium’s 17-grain V-Shok with a Hornady polymer-tip bullet, and CCI’s 16-grain TNT Green lead-free load. We fired groups at 25 and 50 yards, with 50 representing the accuracy test. Testing was done with and without a suppressor, in this case a Gemtech model.

Bushnell Rimfire Optics scope on a Savage B17 FV rifle
A nice rifle can only shoot as well as the optic on it. This Bushnell model can’t be beat for clarity and operational features.

Every brand produced a tighter group with the suppressor attached. Federal Premium V-Shok edged out the specialized A17 Varmint Tip load by a small margin. Both delivered consistently tight groups, with the V-Shok being especially impressive. Our accuracy test may have been confounded to some degree by gusting winds, but this performance was consistent on two different days at 25 and 50 yards, so it’s probably a reliable conclusion. Bringing up the rear was TNT Green, though its 2.2-inch, five-shot groups are still sufficiently accurate for all but small rodents at 50 yards.

Bolt operation and loading/ejection was consistently good. The magazine does require a firm push to seat when the bolt is closed and the mag is full, but that is to be expected.

Supporting the setup during this test was a Blackhawk Sportster Pivot Bipod, which was easy to mount onto the sling swivel. This shorter model of several in the product line works just like the big ones, with legs that spring out quickly when released, and the option to cant the rifle at will or keep it laterally fixed.

The B17 FV, or FV-SR, would make a rewarding move-up rifle for the young marksman who has mastered iron sights and shooting fundamentals. It’ll basically perform as well as the trigger-presser does. It’s also a great choice for farm and ranch use, where a red dot rather than a magnifying scope may make more sense for closer-range engagements. New shooters, too, can go from learning the basics to exercising the building blocks of long-range precision marksmanship on this rifle, sans the expense and recoil of centerfire setups.

Are you a fan of the .17 HMR? How about Savage’s Acu-Trigger? Have you spent any range time with the Savage B17 FV? Share your answers in the comment section.

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Comments (6)

  1. YUP: author missed the bullseye of target completely with two(2) brands of ammo, bucking wind.I guess.
    Am Savage afficianado for life so here are my 5 shot measurements using a el cheapo tactical BDC scope of 3x9x40.
    Winchester blah, CCI better than Blah, and Federals SOB’s surprised heck out of me.
    Worse group @50yards1,5″, best group under 1″ on hot calm day with bi-pod and no silencer.
    authors statement of best accuracy with silencer attached ( I had none available), tells me that perhaps a lower velocity round is needed or that particular weapon brl. Crown needs more break-in time, or it is touching the plastic stock and harmonics destabilized what are all ballisticly very similat designed bullets
    With Savage bolt 22 needed rounds accurate for headshots upon Euro Hares, cotton tails and small ruffed to big Blue grouse at 25 to 40 yards, so I am sure that with familiarity my 17 will someday be capable.
    If the new Ruger 22 Semi Hunter pistol can do it then the rifle even if in 17 and damn near same cost,should do so if not better.
    If not then why buy 17 except for over 50 -125 yards.

    That is if old eyes and arthritic fingers do their part..

  2. And the super good accuracy with the CCI and the federal were???????????????? It was the only thing I was looking for. So I had to read the article one and a half times to find out nothing.

  3. Did somebody forget to put the accuracy test results into this article? My old Savage non Accutrigger rifle does way better than 2.2 inch groups at 50 yards.

  4. I purchased a fantastic rifle Savage chambered in the .17Mach2 just a few years back and LOVED shooting that rifle (so did my young boy) but unfortunately none of the ammunition manufacturers make the .17mach2 round any longer. I am highly disappointed and now the rifle is just a dust collector in my safe… I won’t go down the road of .17HMR as I don’t trust the future of the .17 round, I surely don’t want two unusable rifles in my safe. Unfortunatley, I will just stick with my .22 rifle from now on.

    1. Patrick

      I have 2 (50 Rd) boxes of .17 Mac 2 ammo I bought by mistake sometime ago. Never been opened. You can have them if you can figure out how to get us together. I’m in Tx.

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