Savage 1899 & 99 Gunsmithing - Graybeard Outdoors
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Default Savage 1899 & 99 Gunsmithing

Dear Guys,

I have been looking hard at a couple of old Savage 99As in .30-30. Problem is, they were made in the 1930s, and if there is the slightest problem with them, I'm not sure who or where I could get them worked on.

So, I spent an hour on the internet, looking for some gunsmith or gunsmithing shop that declares or advertises itself to be an absolute expert on these rifles. I was really surprised to find that I could turn up none. Not a single one.

These were a million of these Savages made. They have achieved cult status. They are highly sought after as both collectors and shooters. About a half a million of them are getting old and worn out. And yet, nobody out there openly advertises himself as an Expert on these rifles? What gives? There has to be a huge demand here for expert work here?

Mannyrock
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: Savage 1899 & 99 Gunsmithing

I really don't have an explanation but the 99 is not in production and most gunsmiths can do most of the work needed.. There likely isn't enough work on them to be supporting a shop. Parts availability and price are limiting factors. Plus they seldom wear out!. I've several including several take downs (the most troublesome) and though I don't use them alot, there are seldom problems I can't resolve myself i.e. stock issues.. I've even got an early interrupted thread takedown thats not been a problem! If they price is right don't hesitate..

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2013, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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Default Re: Savage 1899 & 99 Gunsmithing

GunNut,

Thanks for the reply.

About 12 years ago, my wife went crazy at a gunshow and bought an old take-down 99, in 300 Savage. (I told her not to!)

Well, we found out that it fired and ejected OK, but that when levering a round into the chamber, there was a real hard "stop-and-hitch" just as the round was entering the chamber. Upon research, we found that this is not uncommon with the take down models, because something in the take down connection wears out and eventually creates problems. It can only be fixed by a really good gunsmith.

The internet was in its infancy, but after a long search, we found a guy somewhere in New England, who worked on nothing but 99s. He did everything. Total rebuilds, total spring replacements (including the rotary spring), rebarreling, relining, conversions, the works.

I talked to him on the phone, and he told me that he could fix the problem, but that it took rewelding and metal work, and would cost about $300. He also said it would take four to six months wait time, because he was working 6 days a week and could not keep up with the demand.

Since she only paid $700 for this rifle, she decided to sell it.

The gunsmith was pretty old, and so I imagine he is out of business now. But, I'm surprised that nobody has taken his place.

I've never been a gunsmith, but I have some practical advice to someone getting in the business. Doctors and lawyers learned this a long time ago. Doctors and lawyers routinely work 12 hours a day, 5 days a week, plus a full or half day every weekend. That's what it takes to be successful in the business. But, they finally came to the conclusion that if they had to work those horrible hours, then they might as well specialize in something narrow. Specialization results in higher fees per hour, plus repeat type work, creating efficiency. The really good specialists are always covered up with work.

Were I just a young gunsmith starting out, I would buy buy several worn out 1899s and 99 Savages, and totally and thoroughly master them. Learn to take them apart and put them back together, replace every spring, correct simple and complicated problems, including headspacing issues and rebarreling, and then put a big website on the internet.

Owners of older Savage 99s (especially the 1899s) are like antique car owners. They are fanatically in love with them, and will spend whatever it takes to get them fixed.

I'll bet the work would come pouring in.

I recognize that the ones made in the last 30 years of production rarely have problems, but the ones made during the first 60 years of production normally do. Especially the ones in .30-30 (which are in very high demand), routinely have headspacing issues and worn out parts. (I guess that during the Depression, they got shot alot!)

Oh well, just my thoughts.

Mannyrock

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 12:05 AM
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Default Re: Savage 1899 & 99 Gunsmithing

I agree mannyrock, to an extent.. Gentleman such as Turnbull and company have sort of specialized in retsoration.. but of any brand. I still feel just the 99 or 1899 to be too narrow.. I've never had many problems with the 99. Wear can happen of course but I've seen some so worn they were a little scarey to shoot but shoot they did.. The takedowns caused many problems as the initial ones used an interupted thread which quickly wore with use. Most were not used but the problems caused Savage to change to a continuess thread and I've not seen one of those worn out.. Have seen a few damaged.. I've only a few 99's left, a couple of takedowns (one a 250-3000 the other a 22 hipower), a couple of 300's and a 30-30. I prefer old winchester boltguns but appreceate finely made rifles and 99's surely classify..

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: Savage 1899 & 99 Gunsmithing

Don`t look for problems when non-exist. At the moment anyway. If those 99`s are in working order, grab them and run. Don`t look back either.
Guys that own one or more know what I`m talking about. My are old ones (pre-mil) work like a charm. Rest assured while you thinking about this or that, somebody else will snatch them up!

" The best part of the hunt is not the harvest but in the experience."
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 03:03 PM
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Default Re: Savage 1899 & 99 Gunsmithing

Savage may be right,, just buy what you want and have fun. The 99's are still fairly cheap but prices are starting to rise.. better buck up now.

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The 2nd amendment to the constitution of the United States of America-
"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."
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-06-2019, 06:10 PM
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Over the decades I've bought eight Savage 99C's, including four in 308 Win. One of the latter was bought new, and with Williams aperture rear and ramp front sights, Williams see-through scope mounts, and a Lisenfeld 3-9x42 scope (German no. 4 reticle) installed, has performed greatly on wild hog with Sellier & Bellot 180 gr. eXenergy bullet factory ammo.
I never fired the other 99Cs in 308 Win, bought used, and instead had them rebarreled for respectively 260 Rem., 338 Fed., and 358 Win. The 308 Win. barrel (22") from one of them, never fired by me, has an excellent bore, like-new bluing, and the front sight intact. Anyone looking for such a barrel for a Savage 99 can reach me at [email protected].
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-27-2019, 09:08 PM
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Musskatnuessler,
Not to hijack the thread but I'm interested in knowing where you got the 358 barrel and/or had the work done.
Want another 358 and the wait for an original is extremely long and arduous.




JD

USAF Ret 1977-97 Civil Engineering
Desert Storm @ Qatar
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-01-2020, 01:05 AM
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I rebarrelled a Sav 99 in 250 Sav made in 1917 to 250 Savage in September to hunt in October.
I put a Bartlein barrel. I put a post WWII forstock on it so I could use a bipod.
I put a SWFA ultralight scope on it.

I am no gunsmith, just an amateur. Think how much a pro could do.
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