Review: Savage B Series Rimfire Rifle

Review: Savage B Series Rimfire Rifle

Through the years, Savage has produced numerous bolt-action rifles chambered for standard and magnum rimfire cartridges. The new B Series is the latest. It is available in .17 HMR (B17), .22 Long Rifle (B22) and .22 WMR (B22 Magnum). Each of those is offered in four variations: synthetic stock (F), synthetic stock with a varmint-weight blued steel barrel (FV), the same configuration except with a stainless steel barrel (FVSS) and a threaded version (FV-SR) with a blue varmint-weight barrel.

The B Series rifle is not to be confused with the Savage B-Mag in .17 WSM. The bolt of the B-Mag has a couple of rear-located locking lugs, but since the .17 HMR and .22 WMR deliver considerably less back thrust against the bolt during firing, on the B Series the engagement of the root of the bolt handle with a slot in the receiver is enough to contain them. While not as strong or as rigid as a lug-locking action, this type of system has been used successfully on millions of rimfire rifles for well over 100 years.

The gun is drilled and tapped for Weaver scope bases, which are provided with the rifle. The roomy trigger guard accommodates gloved fingers, and the rifle features Savage's excellent AccuTrigger.
The gun is drilled and tapped for Weaver scope bases, which are provided with the rifle. The roomy trigger guard accommodates gloved fingers, and the rifle features Savage's excellent AccuTrigger.

The front, non-rotating section of the bolt contains dual-opposed extractors. And while the face of the bolt is deeply counterbored, the bottom section of its wall is machined away to allow the rim of a cartridge to slip beneath the extractor claws during feeding. Other interruptions in the counterbored wall are for passage of the firing pin and the extractors.

You can tell if the gun is cocked by checking to see if the firing pin is protruding through the rear cap of the bolt. The position of the cocking cam protruding through the side of the bolt can serve the same purpose. The bolt handle is angled to prevent interference by a low-mounted scope, and fine-cut knurling on its knob offers comfortable, no-slip grasping.

To install the bolt in the receiver, first make sure the firing pin is positioned topside and slide it in while fully depressing the trigger with the safety disengaged. The receiver consists of a steel tube with a synthetic housing containing the various safety and trigger components bolted to its bottom.

After the shank of the 20.75-inch barrel is threaded and turned into the receiver, it is held firmly in the proper headspace position by the barrel nut for which Savage centerfire rifles are known. Measuring 0.805 inch at the receiver and the muzzle, the non-tapered barrel is fairly heavy for a rimfire-size rifle. The rifling twist rate is 1:9, and a target-style crown should do a good job of protecting the rifling when accidentally banging the muzzle against a rock in the field.

The body of the rotary magazine is made of a synthetic material, and it holds 10 rounds. A lug on its backside rests hard against a spring at the front of the trigger housing. The front of the magazine is held in place by the engagement of a flexible tab with a mount that is bolted to the bottom of the receiver. Pressing on the tab releases the magazine, allowing the spring to push it down far enough for to be grasped by the shooter's fingers.

A fully loaded magazine is quite easy to insert to latch engagement on an open bolt, but it does require quite a bit of pressure when the bolt is closed. It becomes much easier when downloaded to nine rounds.

While the rifle functioned flawlessly for Simpson, he noted the .17 HMR magazine proved fairly difficult to load.
While the rifle functioned flawlessly for Simpson, he noted the .17 HMR magazine proved fairly difficult to load.

The magazine is not easy to load. A profane word or two along with shoving each cartridge down and to the side against the spring tension of the rotating follower works best for me. Even then, the fumble factor remains quite high.

One of the great things about Savage's fully adjustable AccuTrigger is that it's not expensive to produce and therefore can be used on an inexpensive rimfire rifle like the B Series. It is also one of the safest designs to come down the pike.

Should the trigger be accidentally pulled without the AccuRelease lever of the finger piece being depressed, the lever physically blocks movement of the sear and holds it there. If at that point the lever and the trigger are pulled, the rifle still won't fire; the lever has to be reset by opening and closing the bolt. Once that's done the rifle can be fired by simultaneously pulling both the trigger and the lever.

You can tell the gun's condition by looking at either the rear cap of the bolt or the position of the cocking cam. The B Series features a sensible sliding tang safety.
You can tell the gun's condition by looking at either the rear cap of the bolt or the position of the cocking cam. The B Series features a sensible sliding tang safety.

Trigger pull weight on the test rifle averaged 33 ounces with a variation of only three ounces. It was quite smooth with no take-up and only a slight trace of overtravel. The two-position tang safety worked as well.

As with most black synthetic stocks, the one on the Savage rifle won't win a beauty contest, but it is quite rigid, and I like the way it feels when shouldered. It has posts for quick-detach sling swivels, and the trigger guard is plenty roomy for a gloved finger.

At about its midpoint, the receiver rests atop an integral pillar in the stock, which is hollowed for passage of the rear action bolt. The front action bolt turns into a receptacle that also secures the front magazine mount to the receiver. This makes for extremely rigid attachment of the barreled action to the stock. The barrel free-floats, and interchangeable barrel channel inserts allow the same stock to be used with both standard and heavy barrel contours.

Savage B Series Rimfire Rifle Specs
The B17 FV rifle I shot weighed 6 pounds, 3 ounces with its included two-piece Weaver Grand Slam scope mounting base installed. The addition of a 6-18x40mm Bushnell Rimfire scope in steel Grand Slam rings increased its heft to seven pounds, 13 ounces. Its weight makes the rifle steady atop sandbags, and yet it is not excessively heavy for a day of carrying over hill and dale.

I fired close to 300 rounds during testing and didn't encounter a single issue with function. Cartridge feeding from magazine to chamber was flawless, and operating the bolt smartly piled spent cases about five feet away and slightly behind me. The .17 HMR does not generate a lot of heat, and that along with an average ambient range temperature of 54 degrees eliminated the need for any barrel cool-downs.

I cleaned the bore at about the 150-round mark and then again at the very end of the test session. My Lyman Borecam won't squeeze into a .17 caliber bore, but the absence of dissolved copper fouling on cotton patches wet with Barnes CR10 indicated extremely smooth button rifling. The .17 HMR does not foul as badly as faster cartridges, but it will leave a lot of copper behind in a rough bore.

That night I had a dream. Before me were thousands of flickertails just begging to be shot. Resting atop a couple of sandbags was the Savage B17 FV. And behind me, a long conveyor ran all the way to the CCI ammo factory.

Savage B Series Rimfire Rifle Accuracy

Recommended for You


Review: Performance Center-Thompson/Center LRR

Alfredo Rico - April 09, 2019

Thompson/Center and S&W's Performance Center team up to build an entry-level long-range...


3 Great Takedown Survival Guns

David Fortier - March 19, 2015

When I decided to review three different rifles chambered in .22 LR and geared toward survival...


.17-Caliber Reloading Data and History for 5 Cartridges

Layne Simpson - June 05, 2019

Some history and reloading recipes on five popular .17-caliber cartridges, including the .17...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Delta 5 - Daniel Defense's New Precision Bolt Action Rifle

Those looking to explore precision rifle shooting without going broke will be well served by Daniel Defense's new Delta 5.

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Tom Beckstrand and Neal Emery of Hornady highlight the 6MM Creedmoor ammo.

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Keith Feeley of Tactical Solutions sat down with Michael Bane at SHOT Show 2018 to talk about the new X-Ring Takedown SBR .22LR rifle.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories


Marlin Model 1895-.444 Marlin

J. Scott Rupp - May 29, 2019

The Marlin Model 1895-.444 Marlin is a handy, powerful rifle capable of taking down elk,...

Shooting Tips

The Rundown on Runout

Joseph von Benedikt - May 13, 2019

A simple test shows how runout can affect the accuracy of your rounds.


.22 Nosler vs .224 Valkyrie

Brad Fitzpatrick - May 02, 2019

For decades, things were quiet on the .22 centerfire front. Starting in 2017, shooters were...

See More Stories

More Rimfire


Review: Remington 597 Kryptek .22 LR

Stan Trzoniec - February 22, 2019

For the $289 price tag, the Remington 597 Kryptek .22 LR is a bargain in fit, function and...


Review: Rossi RS22

Stan Trzoniec - February 12, 2019

The Rossi RS22 boasts a smooth trigger pull, and weighs just a tick over five pounds.


New Rimfire Rifles for 2019

Philip Massaro - February 28, 2019

Philip Massaro examines eight new rimfire rifles that were revealed at SHOT Show 2019.

See More Rimfire

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.