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Thread: New savage 99

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    New savage 99

    I stopped at a yardsale yesterday to look for treasures and found one .
    An early savage 99 in .303 , appearance wise and mechanically it's in very nice condition .
    But the bore isn't so good , it's bright and almost shiny , however the
    Rifling is just plain wore out .
    I don't have a bore scope to get a real good look at things , at the muzzle the rifling is just a bare trace . With a light I can make out a little better rifling further down but it could just be wishful thinking on my part .

    The older fellow who owned it is also a cast bullet shooter and freely admitted he had tried just about every cast bullet you can think of in it and was never able to get it to shoot . He never tried any jacketed bullets in it though.

    The price was right on it @ $400. So even if it won't shoot jacketed bullets either I am still in the win column with the low serial number , rifle lenght barrel and very good condition it'll make a very pretty wall hanger .
    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    A guy could have it counter bored. May hurt value a little but to me as a non collector I'd rather have a gun that shoots than one that is 100% original but only good as a conversation piece.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    I am not a collector either , I'm also not against counterboring it if there is enough rifling left to make it shoot again .

    I think the first order of business is to try some jacketed bullets and see what happens .
    If it's less then a success I'll try to round up a bore scope and get a better look at things

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    Also can consider a JES rebore.

  5. #5
    Boolit Man





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    I have one that the bore needed a serious cleaning, also a .303. It looked like the rifling was gone. It was loaded up with crud and was not shiny at all. After several good bouts of cleaning the rifling is present although not perfect. Rebore would be worth considering.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Markopolo's Avatar
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    I would say a SERIOUS scrub of the barrel is in order, along with a real look. Pound cast, and then see for yourself if a correctly sized Boolit can spin... I never write off a gun unless I have done everything I can first. I have had several “shot out” barrels come back to life with a real scrub, and a correctly sized Boolit from a pound casting. It’s up to you.. you could have a 400 dollar wall hanger, or with some work, a real treasure!!!!!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The picture above was from a under 20 dollar scope.... no reason not to have one,

    Just me..

    Marko
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    I will love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy pertnear's Avatar
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    No matter the bore condition, a Savage 99 of the vintage & condition you describe is a steal at $400.

    Original barrels can still be found for the 99 from parts rifles. I recall seeing a .22 Savage hi-power barrel for sale on this forum not too long ago.
    Visit my fictional blog "The dr Chronicles" about a laid-back Texan named dr - Enjoy!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Dan Cash's Avatar
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    John Taylor of this forum is your reline friend. A rebore on the rotary magazine 99 is problematic. Reline and chamber back to .303 Savage and have fun. Even a change to .30-30 is not likely to work well. I tried it once and feeding was very unreliable.
    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the trouble with many shooting experts is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    The bore is very clean , I should be ashamed to say this but I'm not.
    I'd say it's cleaner then any rifle I own. I ran a few patches threw it and not a single one came out with any hint of dirt , dust or fouling .
    Nothing except good old hopps.

    I ran a wet patch down it last and gave it a few strokes with a nylon brush , I'll let it sit a few hours and see if there's anything that loosened up .

    A cheap borescope would be nice , at the moment I'll have to hold off getting one . This wasn't a planned purchase , more of a ... oooo shiny and pretty , me like purchase .
    The budget is going to need some time to recover .

    I do however have a set of borrowed dies , and a few cases on the way . Once they are here I'll try it for myself and see what happens .
    Then go from there .

    Not being a collector I kind of still sit on the fence when it comes to things like this .
    I have little concern as to value , I also lump myself into its much better as a working rifle then a 100% correct wall hanger group .
    I also don't want to mangle up a very nice rifle with a 4 digit serial number.

    I am almost sure that a counter bore will be the minimum to make it shoot , but I'm not 100% sure so I'll put some effort in before taking that step .

    I am against a re-bore , I have a whole myriad of reasons that are all my own .

    If a re-line is possible and needed I wouldn't be against that.
    I don't know anything about re-lining a high pressure center fire though. And I'm still a long way away from having to consider it as an option .

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

    stubshaft's Avatar
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    Another vote for JES rebore. 35/303 makes a great cartridge.
    If God didn't want man to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them out of MEAT!

    The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master



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    Here is what I would do.
    I would shoot three rounds, then measure
    the inside diameter of the case necks.
    Then cast a bullet of that diameter or a tad less.
    I would use linotype at first.
    Load the ammo and see if it will chamber.
    Then shoot for grouping
    Let us know what you find out
    Mike
    NRA Benefactor 2004 USAF RET 1971-95

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    If you are going to try jacketed bullets, use 311 or 312 diameter as that is what was originally used in the 303 Savage.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  13. #13
    Boolit Master


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    "The older fellow who owned it is also a cast bullet shooter and freely admitted he had tried just about every cast bullet you can think of in it and was never able to get it to shoot . He never tried any jacketed bullets in it though."

    Just because he was older and tried a lot doesn't mean he knew what he was doing. It's surpsining to me how my Lyman manual from the '70s tells you to size to groove diameter and a lot of casters from that generation bought it.

    The .303 Savage is a .308, but I would recommend .311 at least, seems to do best for me in almost all .308s. PPU makes the brass now, so not hard to get. My .303 is a 99H (saddle carbine variant). I'd like very much to have one like yours, I think you did well.

    Did the seller have any brass, dies or molds?

    The rotors for Savage 99s aren't quite as caliber specific as many think. Gary (gnoahh) on here is the most knowledgeable guy I know with regards to 99s and has at least rebarreled some using rotors for other cartridges and could tell you better than me.

    I think you can get that old rifle to shoot Ok without resorting to jacketed bullets. I wouldn't rebore it. I think you could reline it to the same caliber and a guy who's good at doing it will be able to make it seamless enough to where you'd have to look very closely with a magnifying glass to tell it had been done.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I wonder what the previous owner was able to get accuracy wise. Maybe it'll shoot 3moa and he wasn't happy with it.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Petander's Avatar
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    What has eaten the rifling if it's been shot cast only?

    Are you absolutely sure it's not full of lead instead of lost rifling? Sometimes people keep shooting "shiny clean" barrels and completely fill them up with lead. I have done that.

    If the previous owner couldn't get it to shoot cast,it could be simply leading. Lots of it.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    .

    Nice rifle, similar to the .303 Model 1899-H Lightweight Carbine I glommed @ a local Cabela's about 3 years ago, tagged just under $350.

    Mine shoots goodnuf @ 100yds.





    This was with new factory Hornady .308" 150gr ammo.




    Of course, the reason I got it so cheap is that it was D/T'd for a scope and the stock & barrel were covered with sticker residue & white paint splatter that (I guess) Cabela's didn't think could be saved, and so just put it out as-is.

    The "mess" took me under 30mins to clean up, once I got it home...………..

    I even have the correct Lyman tang sight for it.



    .
    Last edited by pietro; 05-28-2019 at 07:26 PM.
    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master



    M-Tecs's Avatar
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    Cleaning rod damage at the muzzle is common. A 303 Savage with a shot out bore not so much. That would take at least 6,000 plus rounds of jacketed ammo and even than the throat would be errored and the rifling still should be strong. First step if it was mine would be cleaning with a product like Wipe Out or Bore Tech Eliminator until all fouling stopped coming out.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Congrats on a good buy for a good gun and a good cartridge! I have one like that and I sometimes shoot cast in mine. But, with speer 130 fn jackets and a slightly full case of H335 yields 1 inch groubs. I don't shoot that load often but when I do take the gun for a hunt/walk that is the load in the beast. 26 inch barrel on mine and a dented receiver to boot! You will enjoy it more as time passes by!
    Look twice, shoot once.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    After a few hours setting I ran another tight patch down the barrel .
    Still squeaky clean . I am very confident that the barrel is as clean and lead free as it can get .

    As to why the bore might be shot ,. I'd lean towards it being a result of spending the first 50 odd years of its 120 year life with corrosive primed ammunition .

    The previous owners accuracy report was ... tumbling and zero stability no matter the size and weight tried . @ 100 yards he couldn't keep 2 out of ten shots on a three foot square target .

    Even with that said ,. I can still see some rifling down there , so I do hold out some hope . I'd be pretty darn happy if I can counter bore it and shoot 5-6 inch groups at 100 yards .
    Pretty terrible accuracy yes ... but still shoot able for my needs .

    And hey , like mentioned above there's a chance the old timer didn't have a clue on what he was doing .
    Hope for the best and plan for the worst .
    I need to shoot it for myself first , and I think the easiest place to start is with a few rounds duplicating the factory load it was intended to fire for a benchmark test

  20. #20
    Boolit Master redhawk0's Avatar
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    Hey redneck1....are you using regular Hoppes #9 or are you using the Hoppes Lead formula. I've noticed the Lead formula definitely cuts through the lead better than #9.

    You might also try a few wet patches of Kroil and let it overnight. See if that can "creep" under any fouling and loosens up more.

    redhawk

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check