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G-MAN

Got a Savage 99

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I just picked up a Savage 99C made in the mid 70s and chambered in 308. Action is slick as glass and the overall condition is very good. The color case hardening on the lever is still dark and "colorful."

Not to put down the genius of John Browning, but the Savage 99 action seems very, very advanced considering its basic design was conceived by Savage in 1892 and finalized by 1895. With the bolt locking up essentially the same way a falling block single shot does, it's easy to see why there was no trouble eventually chambering the 99 in 60,000+ psi cartridges like the 308 and 243.

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G-MAN,

Who was the principle designer of the 99? It sure it a pretty gun!

Wayne

Arthur W. Savage. The 1895 and 1899 were the guns that got Savage Arms started. In fact, the first 5000 or so 1895 models were actually built by Marlin under contract until Savage could get his own tooling and equipment up and running. You can tell a Marlin built 95 because of the "JM" proof mark on the barrel.

Here is an 1895 that was made by Marlin:

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What did Marlin originally chamber this rifle in?

I'm not sure of all the different chamberings, but I know 30 WCF (30-30) was one and several other Winchester and Savage cartridges. Savage had smokeless rounds in mind from the start for this rifle.

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G-Man,

Nice looking 99C, the 99's are starting to get harder to find and the prices are going up. I have a 99E as my go to deer hunting rifle. It is in .308 Win as well and with the right handloads is very accurate.

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I have a 99G (takedown) .300 Savage made in 1928. I just got it about two years ago, but it goes on almost every range trip.

What a nifty rifle.

You are right- Look at it's contemporaries, and while they are all wild west cool and I like them, it's clear the 99 was ahead of it's time.

I wanted either a .250 or .300 Savage caliber for nostalgia's sake, but I'd like to have another in 308: A lightweight 22" barreled one in .308 that had a hard life would be about right. I think one could be re-made into a lever action semi-scout rifle.

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I finally got to shoot the 99 over Thanksgiving while I was at my uncle's farm in VA. What a sweet shooter! Recoil was pretty mild--much milder than bolt action 308s I remember shooting and certainly milder than my Ruger No. 1 in 30-06.

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I ran across several books today, including one on the Savage 99 called "The Ninety-Nine" by Douglas P. Murray, and got to thinking about G-Man's thread here. There was a question asked above and I found the answer in the first few pages of the book as soon as I cracked it open, so thought I'd pass the info along even though it's been a while.

That's a great book by the way, even though the last edition (that I know of) was done 26 years ago, while 99s were still in production. There wouldn't be much to add since not much changed in the last few years of production. I remember being disappointed when I got this book because it was a lot smaller than I expected. I had expected something along the size of a Collector Grade Publications book, so was surprised to see a little 6x9 book a little over half as thick as I pictured. But it had all the info I expected and more, and breaks down every single model variation.

Anyway...

This question was asked:

What did Marlin originally chamber this rifle in?

Marlin started making the Model 1895 for Arthur Savage in his .303 Savage caliber. Union Metallic Cartridge company made the ammunition. Serial numbers ran from 0-10,000, although they think only around 5,000 1895s were made.

Savage incorporated his own company in 1894, and reorganized in 1897. It appears they didn't actually make anything until January 1899, when the Model 1899 (99) was introduced. It was made first in .303 Savage. In 1900, it was offered in the .30-30. The .25-35, .32-40, and .38-55 were offered in 1903. This was somewhat in the reverse of the Winchester 94, which was introduced in .32-40 and .38-55, then the .30WCF a year later.

I knew the 1892 Savage was designed as a military rifle using cartridges the length of the .30 Army (.30-40 Krag) and competed against the Norwegian designed Krag for U.S. adoption, but I had forgot until reviewing the book (if I ever knew at all) that the follow-on commercial Model 1893 was designed for the little .32-20 and had a much shorter and trimmer action.

I bet the Savage 1893's receiver is half the length of the 1892's. The 1893 might could be mistaken for a single shot. It had a five shot rotary magazine.

The military-intended 1892 is a clumsy-looking fence post of a rifle with a half-ring lever like on a Martini-Henry, long 28-30" barrel, magazine hanging low (it was an eight round magazine) and heavy, clunky, stock and full-length musket forearm. The 1893 looks really sleek and handy in spite of having a fairly long barrel also. It reminds me of a Ruger #1 in profile. I bet that 1893 could be a really neat gun if made today in pistol-length cartridges. I'd like to see them made today in the usual pistol calibers, plus other short ones like the .44 AutoMag or .500 S&W. The rotary magazine would handle pointed bullets fine, for cartridges like the 6PPC, .221 Fireball, or WSSMs.

And in a takedown? Woo-ee!

While dreaming of what might have been:

I remember once reading that Savage made some prototype 99s in the 1950s or 60s with a longer receiver to handle .30-06/.300 Win Mag length cartridges. I have a slight memory of Savage selling one at auction in the last few years, but could be dreaming.

That long action 99 could be neat too.

The 99C like G-Man's with a detachable box magazine came out in 1965. Per the book: "First major change to the 99 frame design in 66 years of production". It also says that checkering pattern was introduced in 1976 and discontinued after 1979, although it seemed to me they were made longer.

They were $134.50 in 1965.

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A nice 99 takedown in .250 in Kokomo? I'll be keeping my eyes open for that!

Maybe you should have kept quiet about that one. We might both regret it for different reasons.

I haven't shot my 99 takedown .300 since...this afternoon.

OK, OK, before that, it was...yesterday!

A .250 would be neat.

If you've poked around about 99s any, you might read that the takedowns lack accuracy compared to non-takedowns. I'm not sure about that. I am more than pleased with mine, and it seems other TD owners are too. If they give up accuracy compared to the others, those must shoot awfully well. OK, I can see that if someone clumsy had one apart a lot, they could loosen up.

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