.17 hmr Savage I saw yesterday...

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by polishshooter, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    OK, guys, I am still on my quest for my walking around rifle for P-dogs...but only because the sale on my Mom's house hasn't closed yet...legal issues with one of my sisters who owns a 20% share...which I hope DOESN'T screw up the deal...:cool:

    The frontrunner is still the .222 Sako with the 12x Leupold...I stopped in last week and he still has it at $1000...

    ...so when I have the cash I could make him a low offer and work from there, but don't want to seem TOO interested...;)

    But I have been hitting every shop I see on my travels, and except for a SWEET Model 12 takedown modified that fit me like a glove and is one gun that I have always wanted for $400 that had me salivating...:p But would still leave me looking for a light 100-200 yd varmint rifle...

    I have found nothing to challenge the Sako or the Remingtom .222 with the same Leupold as choice #2 at $875 which seems high....

    But yesterday I drove past a billboard for a gunshop in some small town I must have driven past 8000 times over the past 10 years and punched it in the GPS and I was 8.5 miles away with an hour or so to kill...;)


    SOooo...not much that caught my eye EXCEPT a sweet used Savage bull barrel Stainless 17 HMR, with accutrigger, and the brown laminated thumbhole stock that fit me well, with a bipod (caldwell I think) but with an intriguing 6x24X Bushnell Illuminated Retical scope on it, with mil-dots AND some wierd windage or elivation reverse triangle stuff in the lower scope which must be some kind of BDC.

    Everything like new condition, fit me like a glove, I know it is "Over scoped" but I DID like the image in the scope...


    $471. (ALL his guns end in "1" like the S&W Governor he had was $681 not $689 like everyone else, so I know where to go to save $8....:D)


    I could buy IT and then the Model 12 and spend about the same money...


    Does the Savage sound like a good deal?

    Advantages: I already know the .17 HMR will kill P-Dogs impressively out to 150+ as long as you call the wind, and my buddy's Savage is accurate as heck...

    Advantage: I don't have to find the time to handload for the .222, much less work up a load

    Advantage: Though I like to be different, and my buddy already has a laminated 17 Stainless Savage (Gray, and not thumbhole, and his trigger kind of sucks and he kicks himself for not waiting a year for the accu-trigger so I could get mileage out of that:p) Plus the scope....

    Advantage: I could still buy the Model 12 for the same outlay of cash....


    Disadvantages: The 17 gr .17 in that South Dakota Wind versus the 45-50 grain .222....

    Disadvantage: There are a couple of Savages with us already but no SAKOs...

    Disadvantage: No sentimental mileage with my wife....and her memories of shooting her Grandpa's .222...

    Disadvantage: I LIKE old rounds and have always liked the.222 or the Hornet (BESIDES the Swift) and the .17HMR is still "newfangled.....";)


    Tell me what YOU would do in the same boat.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012
  2. UncleDannie

    UncleDannie New Member

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    I used a .22-250 Remington for varmint hunting, very accurate for P-dogs. Having said that, the .17 is intriguing, and the price is very good for the amount of weapon you get. Over-all operating costs, I would go with the .17. The .222 is kinda expensive, and the Savage is a good rifle. You also get better bragging rights with the .17 with you buddy.
  3. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    I did some long range testing of the .17 HMR when it came out and bought my first one (Marlin bolt gun), it is the 2nd most accurate rifle I own next to my .22 target rifle but at anything past 100m or so was terrible. I took it out to 230 yds but could barely keep it on butcher block paper, it crapped out pretty bad by 125yds in light to no wind conditions. The .222 is a proven accurate round much more capable at longer ranges.

    But the biggest one for me is that .222 can be reloaded! I've only got one and it's in an O/U rifle/shotgun combo with a 20g. But from what you said, it may be a disadvantage; .17 is buy, shoot, forget.

    Not discrediting the .17 HMR though, it's a very successful cartridge; it's just severely limited in contrast to the .222

    This dilema has been solved by buying both! Maybe I just got lucky but the Marlin I got in .17 is stupid accurate for $200 it's hard to beat. Let us know what ya get!
  4. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Yeah aa I've heard from others too that the Marlin is as accurate as the Savage, and my most accurate .22 is a Model 25 Glenfield I've owned since I was 12 that pops dogs nicely out to 50 or so, just a little longer from some sort of rest....from the bench it shoots a hair over 3/4" at 50 with the basic Remington golden bullet HPs...and looks and feels eerily simiar to their "new" .17....;)

    And I've seen their newest models have some kind of knock off "accu-trigger" like the Savage....



    I was just about settled on the .222 over a .17 until I found that Savage though...it was sweet...:confused:


    And Dannie I already have my Bench gun for P-dogs, my Swift...but am looking for a lighter walking around rifle to shoot from crossed sticks or a walking bipod....we do a lot of walking too, and coming up over a new ridge and seeing another town on the other side with hundreds of "new" dogs looking at you is a thrill too....last year my buddies got a lot that way with their .17 and a K-Hornet, out to 150 or so, the Hornet out to almost 200, while I stood around mostly watching and only getting the occasional stupid one up close or the "yipper..."with the Glenfield.:p:mad:;)

    They both let me try both rifles and I was popping them too with them from the tall bipod, and the Swift worked well for it too, just got a little old lugging around a 12+lbs rifle for very long!:eek::p
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012
  5. gun runner

    gun runner Former Guest

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    I would go with a .223 for a varmint rifle. Ammo is cheap
  6. kentuckyrifleman

    kentuckyrifleman Member

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    Polishshooter,

    I really like your storys about praire dogging in SD. I would love to do that sometime. It is like we are there with you. I am so jealous.

    Do you go every year? How much do you think it would cost me? Do you have any advice for someone who is going for the first time? I guess me and my buddy would share gas. Do you guys stay in a motel? I think you need a hunting licence, right? How many PDs do you guys get out there?

    Thanks Polish.
  7. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    20oz plastic soda/water bottles make perfect sized practice targets for p-dogs BTW!

    the marlin I have in .17 will literally cut the same whole at 50yds, no joke! Remington ammo is ironically the most accurate; I say ironically because Remington has the absolute worst .22 rimfire stuff out there IMO. But their .17 HMR ballistic tip is unbelievably accurate and consistent from lot to lot, I think a box of 50 is around $17 now.
  8. gun runner

    gun runner Former Guest

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    12+ lbs? You should take a look at the Savage model 25 lightweight varminter. VERY accurate rifles. I own two .223 calibers
  9. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    I have a Savage .17 HMR but with the black polymer with a sweet 17 scope on it. It is very accurate out to 100 yards, I don't know about any further because 100 is as far as I have fired it. I have never been prairie dog hunting so I don't know what it will do to them, but it is murder on squirrels.
  10. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    it makes bunnies explode, a prairie dog within range doesn't stand a chance against a .17 !
  11. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    KY, this was my third year. My buddies were doing it for about 4-5 years before they talked me into going...It is a BLAST.

    It really isn't "Hunting," but more like "Target Shooting with Live Targets."

    Or as I like to call it,"Whack-a-mole with Expensive Rifles.":D

    You can hunt P-dogs in virtually any state with a prairie west of the Missouri River, don't ask me why. Maybe they can't swim?

    We go to South Dakota because that is where they have always gone with another guy who has since stopped going and they kept bugging me, so I just kind of joined the "stooges," I guess I am their "Shemp.";):D:D

    The South Dakota Nonresident Predator/Varmint license costs $37 for one year. I believe it allows you to shoot badgers, Coyotes, Wildcats, or whatever else qualifies, etc, along with P-dogs, but all we shoot is P-dogs.

    If you call ahead and book ahead, most motels will give some sort of discount for doggers. But the BAD news is the best shooting corresponds with the tourist season near the Badlands, Rushmore, Sturgis, etc, that the "no-tell" motels raise their rates ALMOST as high as the big chains!''The first time we made no plans and we paid $80/night per room for a not very impressive Econo Lodge:mad:...the next year $55/night at a comparable Motel 6 we booked in advance, and this year $49/night at a local motel my buddy tracked down, treated us like kings, had a map ready for us of dog towns on Federal Land, a real nice guy that we will use from now on....

    On Federal Land (Which is ALL around there!) it is free shooting, for two years the season started June 15th, but now there is no closed season, and for a $10 fee for a map the nice Ranger Ladies will gladly map out the best and most active dog towns for you. The BAD news is while 3 years ago you could drive all over the prairie, the last two years the rules (Obama?:mad:) are you cannot drive either with a vehicle or ATV more than 30 feet off a "marked roadway" which means two track, on Federal land, so you have to ask them nicely where the most active towns you can reach by roads are.

    But we have yet to see a ranger out there, and this year we got out there later and saw a lot more "Doggers," diving ALL over the prairie with heir 4x4s and ATVs, which we understood to be illegal under the new rules, and the big town we shot over was very confusing on the "marked" two track a mile or so past three or more "forks" from the last "marked road"


    On PRIVATE land there is no season, and can drive wherever the rancher will let you, but you must have permission, and doggers guard "their" ranchers with a vengeance. (Think Fisherman guarding their favorite "hole.":p) In many states ranchers are charging doggers to hunt, which I don't get, why have to PAY to do them a favor? Ours doesn't.

    Yeah we have our own "rancher," who three years ago gave us GREAT shooting, but poisoned his towns in 2011, but when we called this year said they were back and we shot a few for him, (mostly with my Glenfield out the windows of the 4Runner:p) but they were not "back" enough to set up over....

    We use my RASS Shooting Bench at our "base camp," near where we park, usually on a ridge overlooking a town we have spotted from the truck with binocs....we all have lawn chairs (my canopy chair is best, there is NO shade on the prairie!) and we have a cooler well stocked with water and Gatorade on ice, and this year we bought a case of MREs for lunch, which worked well for the 5 days we were out there.

    We do NOT go for body count, like a lot of guys who shoot thousands of round per shooter. About half of the shooting is from the bench, one shooter, alternating, with the other two spotters/abusers:p. We also rotate rifles, every body takes a turn with each other's rifle, untio the barrel heats up, then we rotate another rifle into the mix...

    But every so often either after a spectacular blow up kill, or some other break, one or the other of us will go for a walk, and either another will go with him and one "holds down the fort" and shoots in the other diirection while they walk, or all three of us will go, which may take another hour or so, shooting "targets of opportunity."

    It really isn't "hunting" because we don't get up at o-dark 30, LOL We get up whenever, wander over to one of thetwo ;) restaurants and eat a good country breakfast somewhere between 8:30 and 10:30, (depending on how much whiskey we drank the night before!:eek:) Decide where we are going today, usually are shooting somewhere between 10 nd 12, and shoot until about dark, then come back, walk to one of the two restaurants and eat a steak or a burger, then clean the rifles back at the hotel, then break out the whiskey and cigars, and sit around telling lies until bedtime!

    As for money, it pretty much is how much gas it will take to get there ( I am lucky, I drive the company car so they pay for gas, I pay taxes on it later....), $49/night for lodging, the license, and your share of the food/drink bills...I generally pay for one or two fairly expensive meals becasue of the booze:p, and two less expensive Breakfasts and/or lunches. Bring your own bologna sandwiches for lunch and dinner and you could save even more. (I did that the first year, LOL;))

    As for shooting, we are NOT like a lot of doggers that go for body count, we killed maybe 700 or so among the three of us, over 5 days of shooting. We always tell each other THIS year we are going to keep track but the shooting alternates between really lazy and methodical slow shooting about one shot every 5-10 minutes, to fast and furious, as fast as you can get another round in the chamber until the barrel gets too hot to touch, and we always forget to keep track....:p:D


    I took 450 Swift reloads with me and brought back a few over 200 unfired...we shot maybe 300-400 .22-250 through their 2 different rifles, and maybe another 200-300 .223 through their 2 different .223 Varmnint guns.

    I shot maybe 50-100 rounds of .22lr through my Glenfield, and they each shot maybe 100 rounds through through each of ones .17hmr and the other's .22 K-Hornet.

    I had my AR-15 with me I used the previous two years with about 300 rounds and didn't even take it out of the case....


    I guess I could save a little more money by missing less, and buying cheaper cigars and whiskey, LOL;):D:D

    But it is a great time, relaxing and fun at the same time, shooting nice rifles at small targets in the wind, in good company, in beautiful "Big Sky" country!;)
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012
  12. kentuckyrifleman

    kentuckyrifleman Member

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    Thanks a lot Polish. That answered lots of my questions. I printed out what you wrote. So you dont' take your new 4x4 out there? DO you think I could go in my 2x4 truck? I seen your pictures and it doesnt' look like there are trees to winch on:)
  13. GunHugger

    GunHugger Well-Known Member

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    polishshooter,

    I thought I might add a few things to think about on that Savage you are looking at.

    First, the one in question with the thumbhole stock...it might just be me but I really find that stock to suck. You need really high rings to make up for the stock with no drop at all. I don't like a high scope and I don't like that style of stock, very hard to shoot from a rest. My opinion only.

    [​IMG]

    I own a Savage 17HMR, I bought it right after they started making them and have shot it a lot, hunting and target shooting. Mine is way before the "Accu-Trigger" but they can be improved with a simple shim which I did right after I bought it. (I can explain how if anyone wants to do it)

    It's very accurate...most of the time. Wind is not friendly to such a light bullet but it's speed sort of makes up for it... somewhat. It has no problem shooting a 3/4" group at 100 yards if there isn't a strong cross breeze.

    It's hell on small game and will blow up the small critters so it's not a good squirrel gun at all IMO. Some guys say they are if you only head shoot them. Well...could be.

    I would much rather have the 222 over the 17HMR. The 222 is a great round that seems to be a dying caliber for some reason. You don't need to reload because there are now many good 222 factory loads that shoot real good, Hornady is one.

    If you look at the ballistic chart for the 17HMR you see that it's semi flat out to 125 or so then it drops quickly. If your P-dog hunting is within 200 yards it will work but you will have to know your range and holdover well.

    [​IMG]

    Here's pic of mine.
    [​IMG]

    I did have more to say but my phone rang three times while trying to post this, spent an hour on the phone and forgot what else I had in mind. :D Now I have to get out of here and get some things done.
  14. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    Gunhugger, thanks for the pics, especially that chart.

    I'll have to get a picture of my marlin, I put a weaver K4 scope on it and a bipod along with buttstock double mag holder, sling and camo'd the thing out completely. Unbelievably accurate rifle for $200!
  15. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    used some 'non permanent, removeable' camo from Sportco and used a piece of paper cut out like a leaf/branch as well as some mesh to create the pattern. Minor wear on the paint in places but it's held up, the photo is after about 7 years after the camo job.
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