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  #1  
Old 01-14-2019, 09:30 AM
dtalbot
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Looking - .17 HMR Auto



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Having retired this past year, I'm slimming down to the few tools for the last dance.
I've just about got all my bases covered, with the exception of the .17 HMR.
First off, I really want an auto instead of the bolt, personal preference over accuracy.
That said, I've been looking, for the last 6 months, at least. At this stage of my life, money is a factor, but not the deciding factor.
I was impressed with the A17 when it came out, but some of the reviews I've been reading question all the bestowed upon glory. Looking elsewhere, there really aren't a lot of players in this game. I started looking at the Browning T-Bolt, and I'm somewhat impressed, but don't want to spend $800, especially for the maple stocked rifle they flaunt. I see some are customizing the Remington 597 to shoot the .17 HMR, but are they reliable and are they a contender in this game?

I'd be interested in what the folks here have to say about the A17, the T-Bolt, or any suggestions related to my search. And yes, I've read a lot of the threads in the forum, but I need to move on this, not getting any younger.
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  #2  
Old 01-14-2019, 09:39 AM
octanejunkie is online now

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I bought one of these but haven't shot it yet
https://garrowdev.com/products/gfd-ar15-17hmr

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  #3  
Old 01-14-2019, 11:07 AM
B23
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I have a Savage A17 Target Sporter laminate and other than the trigger took me a little work (sanding, stoning, polishing) mine shoots very well and has run flawless. I've actually been very impressed with how accurate it is.

I think the biggest issue with them, in general, has been with the trigger because they aren't that great. The trigger in mine was heavy, crunchy, and had quite a bit of pretravel. All of which makes it much more difficult to shoot a rifle accurately. I tuned up the trigger in mine before I ever shot it, but I know there is no way I could have shot it nearly as well as I did, if the trigger had been left untouched. I had a couple Rem 597's that were the same way, trigger was pretty bad right out of the box but a quick swap for a VQ hammer and it turned my 597's into much better shooting rifles. The Ruger model 77 rimfires suffered from the same problem, out of the box, the trigger pretty much sucked but a quick swap with a VQ sear and they shot like a completely different gun.

The Jard trigger company now makes a complete aftermarket trigger assembly for the A17 that I'm sure will cure all of the trigger issues with the A17. They're a little expensive, but if you pay $400 for a new A17 and drop in a Jard aftermarket trigger for another $250, you'll have yourself a pretty nice little semi auto 17 HMR. Or, if you're very mechanically inclined and well versed working on triggers, you can tune up the trigger on your own and save the cost of the aftermarket Jard trigger, but I'll warn you, mine took a fair amount of work to make it good.

Also, I've heard nothing but good about the Garrow 17 HMR upper so if you already have a nice AR15 with a good trigger in it, that is certainly a good option as well.

There's also the VQ 17 HMR rifles and they're a very nice piece, just a lot more expensive. I recently saw a near new used one for sale and the guy was $950 which is a pretty good savings, considering I think they're around $1600 new.

IMO, the A17 Target Thumbhole or Target Sporter (same gun just different stock) as well as the Garrow Upper, if you already have an AR15, are the two best options for a semi auto 17 HMR.

Best of luck on whatever you decide.
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  #4  
Old 01-14-2019, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B23 View Post
Also, I've heard nothing but good about the Garrow 17 HMR upper so if you already have a nice AR15 with a good trigger in it, that is certainly a good option as well..
You will have to "modify" the lower, specifically fresh spring and the buffer, but this is not irreversible

I chose to build a dedicated rifle for the Garrow and estimate with the LaRue trigger and MOE lower parts kit on a PSA lower retriever I've got $900 into the rifle before sights / optics and fees.

There's a thread going right now about 17 HMR Scopes you might want to look at also

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  #5  
Old 01-14-2019, 03:43 PM
dtalbot
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Looking ....

Thank you both for the information.
As it relates the the A17; the biggest issue I've heard of is the failure to cycle. I don't know if this is ammo specific, or a fault of the design. In looking at some of the reviews, I'd noted that several had to return their rifles several times. Another issue reported was the rifle dropping the magazine repeatedly. As I stated, I was about ready to drop some money on one, but these are serious flaws.
I'd like to hear other folks experience with the A17, as well as other rifles, but the AR15 platform really isn't on my short list.
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Old 01-14-2019, 05:06 PM
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I think post #3 from B23 would serve as a good place to start. I don't have an A-17 and have also read about some of the problems. But, I have had some recent experience with Savage rifles. My friend bought a new cheap 17HMR, but I don't recall the model number. i just know that it was a really clunky obviously cheaply made crappy looking rifle. He was patient and got it all cleaned up and now shoots under 1" groups at 100 yds. Not long ago I bought a Savage Model 25 22 Hornet. Had to return it and they remade it twice; eventually sent me a new rifle that works perfectly and it's very accurate. Based on this experience, I'm thinking you could buy an A 17 and if you are patient you can end up with a good shooting rifle. Savage Arms is a good company and will help you get it right
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:09 PM
B23
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I have yet to experience any of the problems I've read about, that isn't to imply they don't exist, just that in the couple years I've owned my A17, I have not had any issues with mine.

Not sure if this has anything to do with it, but like I do with ALL of my guns, as soon as I got mine home I took it all apart and cleaned off, any and all, of the shipping oil they spray on them at the factory. I lubed the bolt per how Savage recommends, put it back together, torqued the action screws to 18 in.lbs, mounted the scope, and proceeded to shoot it. I can't recall if I've ever had a failure to feed, but I know I've never had any problem/s with the magazine falling out or there being a problem clicking it into place. I have a couple of the Butler Creek 25rnd mags and they run very well too.

Not to imply the A17 is perfect because I'm sure it's not but I think you'll be hard pressed to find just about any gun that hasn't or doesn't have some negative said about it.
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:12 PM
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Looking...

Thanks again for all your insight, this is the stuff I need to hear.
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  #9  
Old 01-14-2019, 08:57 PM
B23
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And FWIW, I just weighed my Sav, Target Sporter laminate and with the DIP Inc Picatinny rail, Weaver aluminium low rings, Leupold Vari X III 4.5-14x40AO scope, it weighs exactly 8lbs 4oz and that is with an empty magazine.

I'm seriously considering cutting mine back to 18 inches just to make it a little handier to use. I am no particular fan of barrels over about 20 inches on a rimfire.
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Old 01-15-2019, 01:06 AM
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One more A17...

I'm impressed with my A17: I've had it for several years, and picked it up before a lot of the more critical observations were widely described. Fortunately, I've not had any issues whatsoever. It's a very good, and very reliable shooter; I have a couple of the Butler Creek 25 round magazines, and they've been flawless as well. It's not quite as accurate as my bolt 17's, though that's not a surprise.

Most importantly, mine has an excellent trigger from day one, and it's both satisfying and a kick to shoot. Trigger's light, smooth and crisp, and I haven't (and won't) touch it because from what I read it's an anomaly. I don't want to jinx it... I try not to even make eye contact with it!

The laminate stocks and heavy barrels weren't an option when I got it, and I hated the plastic stock - it's now in a Boyd's laminate.

Were I to do it now, I'd certainly get a laminate stock and likely the heavy barrel, and pray for a good factory trigger (or put some effort into improving it if not).
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  #11  
Old 01-15-2019, 08:01 AM
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Thanks for your experience with this rifle
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  #12  
Old 01-15-2019, 09:06 AM
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Seems as though the trigger in the Sav A17 is either really good, or it really sucks, with nothing in between because I've heard of quite a few A17 owners that reported information, like Airtool, about their A17's having really good triggers. Then there are the un-lucky ones, like myself, that bought A17's with really sucky triggers.

For me, I'd much rather have a gun that shoots really well, but has a crappy trigger because I can fix a bad trigger a lot easier than I can fix a gun that doesn't shoot straight.
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:32 AM
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I have a Volquartsen .17 hmr and have used it for the last 6 years shooting sage rats in Central Oregon. I've put thousands of rounds through it. It's a great gun and you can't beat the Volquartsen lifetime guarantee.
I bought a Garrow upper back in November and I am still waiting for them to fix it. It's a nice looking piece of work but it won't fire semi-auto.
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Old 01-15-2019, 01:06 PM
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Looking ...

Volquartsen makes a very nice rifle, but out of my price range.
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Old 01-20-2019, 09:24 PM
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Iíve only had my Garrow upper out a few times and have been absolutely happy with it. Swapping out the buffer and spring can be done in about a minute.

Iíve also got a Remington 597 magnum in 17hmr. After installing the spring kit and Volquartsen hammer, the trigger is superb. Havenít blown my face off yet but I picked up a 22mag barrel just in case the 17 barrel didnít work out. FWIW, I swapped the 22mag barrel into the gun after my initial firing of the Garrow, I liked it that much.
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