“Best in class” just about says it all. It announces to the world that you stand head and shoulders above your peers. To those companies whose products are featured herein, we say, “Welcome to the ‘best’ class.”
Rifle of the Year: Savage Arms A17
With a muzzle velocity surpassing 2500 fps, the .17 HMR deserves a good semi-auto rimfire to shoot it and the Savage A17 at $465 is that rifle. Unlike straight blowback actions that open too quickly, the A17’s delayed blowback action does not open until pressure has dropped to manageable levels. The bolt has what Savage calls “dual controlled-round feed”; the extractor captures the case as it exits the magazine and holds it on the bolt face. Another stabilizing hook opposite the extractor on the bolt face also helps control the cartridge. What’s more, the 10-round rotary magazine solves feeding problems with rimmed cartridges, surmises Field Editor Bryce M. Towsley (“Hardware,” June ’15).
The rifle is “amazingly accurate,” writes Towsley: “I held three-shot groups easily to sub-MOA with several different ammo products. My best 50-yard group measured just .15 inch.
“The Savage A17 runs well,” he writes, “and given its outstanding accuracy, I think it’s going to become a favorite among hunters. Thirteen years after the .17 HMR arrived on the scene, it’s about time.”
Editor's Note: Winning products must be tested by the editors, meet or exceed expectations on innovation, and provide hunters and shooters with value for their money. NRA Publications will present the annual Golden Bullseye Awards at an invitation-only breakfast during the 2016 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Louisville, Ky., May 20-22.