Savage Model 1899 barrel


December 19, 2003, 05:09 AM
I just inherited my great grand father's Savage model 1899 chambered in 303 Savage. it's 144XXX serial number so it doesn't have the V threads (oh yeah it's a take down). Well savage 303 is pretty expencive being it hasn't been in production for quite some time so I was wondering if anyone knows where I can get a 308 barrel or 30-30 or something like that so I can actually fire this thing some because it's in beautifull condition and I'd hate for it to just become a mantle piece. :(

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Mike Irwin
December 19, 2003, 10:50 AM
I hope you don't want to try to convert it to .308 Winchester! :eek:

You'd destroy it in a very few number of shots. The old guns simply can't stand the pressures than the .308 generates. When Savage chambered the .308 in the late 1950s they had to modify the receivers to strengthen them.

As for a .30-30 barrel, you could very likely have the existing barrel set back a thread and rechambered.

The .30-30 should feed off the .303 spindle with no problems.

Or, you could always have it bored out to .38-55. You probably will need a new magazine spindle for that, though.

If you want a different barrel, you're probably going to have to search for quite awhile. The .30-30 Savage hasn't been made since, I believe, just before WW I, maybe a bit later.

December 19, 2003, 02:47 PM
Thanks, I had no idea how damaging the 308 would be. I think it might be better if I just leave it be and maybe get a couple boxes off 303 and reload them a couple times and just leave it at that. Wouldn't want to bore it out and ruin my great grandpa's gun. Thanks for the info, I've had a hard time finding much out about the old models.

Mike Irwin
December 19, 2003, 03:39 PM

Can you post a couple of clear pictures of it?

I should be able to figure out what model it is from the pictures.

December 19, 2003, 03:51 PM
My grandfather left me a Savage 99 too. Mine is in .300 Savage, so ammo is not as big of a problem as .303, but it still is rather hard to find, at least locally. I do not shoot it very often.

I am going to suggest that you not monkey with it in any way. It is something that can not be replaced at any cost. At least thats my sense of it.

Just do like you said and get set up to reload for it if you want to shoot it.

Take care.

December 19, 2003, 04:03 PM
Sure thing Mike, it's still at my parent's house but I should be able to get a pic up tonight. If I recall corectly if you remove the forearm there is a P on the bottom of the barrel but I'm not certain.

Mike Irwin
December 19, 2003, 04:33 PM
Any markings under the forearm are normally just barrel proofs and floor assembly marks.

The early Savages, up through WW II, aren't marked as to their model. The only way to tell the difference is by physical attributes.

December 20, 2003, 12:17 AM
Ok here are the pictures sorry if they aren't the greatest was having troubles with the camera if there is any other part of the rifle specifically you want to see tell me and I'll post more but here are the two I'd assume you're interested in.

and the other

Mal H
December 20, 2003, 11:50 AM
That rifle does appear to be in very good condition, indeed. It appears to have the round barrel so it is most likely the A model. It was manufactured in 1912.

Jim K
December 20, 2003, 03:06 PM
Hi, Skofnung,

.300 Savage brass is easily made from .308 Winchester. Just size, trim and ream.


Mike Irwin
December 20, 2003, 03:33 PM

You change that gun in ANY way, and I will personally drive to wherever you are and slap you silly!

Given that it's nearly 100 years old, and Savage 99s were generally working guns, it's in exceptional shape. Hopefully the bore is crisp, as well.

The rear apeture sight on it is alone worth probably $200 to $250.

The rifle? In that condition, with a good bore....

It would probably be priced around $1,300 here in Northern Virginia.

The lever should be color case hardened. It's hard to tell the condition of the colors in your photo.

The bluing appears to be in good condition, and the wood is also in good condition. That also appears to be the original finish.

The stock, with that odd recurve on the underside, is known as a "Perch Belly."

Take steps to preserve this rifle. I'd suggest oiling the metal regularly and storing in a climate controlled environment. Even better would be storing it in a gun storage bag that has vapor phase inhibitor protection built in. Bianchi used to make these bags, but I don't know who makes them now.

December 20, 2003, 06:10 PM
Hello Killermarmot,
One word of advice about the takedown of the gun:
If the barrel to reciever fit is still tight,there is a piece of metal inletted into the forearm to aid in breaking them apart.Many of the takedown 99's you see have a chip off the side of the forearm where it slipped(mine did!).
303 Savage ammo is available from a couple of specialty sources (or go look in the oldest hardware store you can find).I wouldn't recomend altering it either.
I had one almost identical to yours down to the tang sight.Too bad I had to sell it a few years back to keep some bills paid!
I hope you enjoy the gun,Robert.

Mike Irwin
December 21, 2003, 12:04 AM

Marmot's gun isn't a takedown model. It's a solid frame. If it were a takedown model, with a good tight fit in that configuration, I'd take the price up a lot closer to $2,000 here in the east.

The take down mechanism was the true achillies heel of the Savage. Unlike Winchester takedowns, there was no adjustment method for once the barrel started to loosen in the frame, so you'll see a LOT of older Savage Ts that have had the barrel threads peined in an effort to tighten the fit.

My advice to someone who has a takedown is always... Don't take it down.

Additional "information" I put here is being redacted because I posted while in a state of being a complete and total brain-dead dumb a@@... :rolleyes:

December 21, 2003, 12:15 AM
Wow I had no idea of the value ofcourse I'll never sell it. It is a take down, cause well now that you say that ..ooops... I took it down last week just wanted to see how easy it was to use that little notch in the forearm. Everything looks good though the forearm is solid no chips or anything out of it, the fit is very tight. again, if it helps serial number is 144XXX. the barrel looks great, action is very smooth, and the magazine is in gorgeuos shape upon a quick visual inspection. I can get better pics if you guys are interested. Wow I think I may take it out once then just preserve it forever and pass it to my kids.

I'm tempted to ask you guys about my other two guns that belonged to my great grandfather. One is a marlin lever action model 1892 with octagonal barrel original bluing still on it. and a winchester 1897 12 gauge also in excelent shape.

December 21, 2003, 12:27 AM
I would imagine the bore should be in pretty good shape because my great grandfather rarely used it and my grandfather took two deer with it and after that it has been wrapped in a blanket in the attic of my parent's house for fifty years or more. I started to get into guns and my dad remembered he had them so I pulled them out and oiled them and have been using the winchester 1897 and teh marlin 1892 occasionaly but I'm probably going to just keep those oiled and put them away as well.

Mike Irwin
December 21, 2003, 01:51 AM
OK, I'm not having a good night.

The third pin IS there in the second photograph, denoting the take down model. I should have examined the photos a little more closely.

The takedown feature was introduced in the 1899A around 1909.

What's the barrel length on it? 22 or 26"?

There's another interesting aspect about this gun that you don't often see... The shotgun style buttplate with the perch belly. Most of the rifles you see that are this early have the crescent buttplate.

Despite my brain deadedness this evening with the "information" that I've previously given you, I still stand by my price assessment. If I were to find that rifle on a table in Northern Virginia or Pennsylvania at a gunshow, I'd expect to see a pricetag of between $1,500 and $2,000 on it.

I'd probably break my arm getting my checkbook out if I were to find one like this for under $1,200.

December 21, 2003, 05:57 AM
Don't know if this is of interest at all but here's a pic of the buttplate

and as far as barrel length I'm measuring it at 19" minus the threads so just under 20" total length for the barrel itself. Is that a little weird?

Mike Irwin
December 21, 2003, 09:24 AM
Ah, the "Stoned Indian" buttplate.

Yep, that's a shotgun style, as the crescents were also narrower, IIRC.

All in all, Marmot, you've got not only quite the family treasure, you've got a valuable rifle in its own right.

Treasure it!

December 21, 2003, 11:51 AM
Dog gone it Mike,
Wish you'd been around when I sold mine!
I could have made both of us happy.Mine went for about $450.00 with a box of Rem ammo,tang sight,and my copy of the 99er book.Mine was tight ,but had the forearm chipped and the finish wasn't that great.

It looks like grandpa had good taste in guns for sure.I was real young when one of my grandfathers died and his guns went to his brother.I later was given a Stevens mod 15 and a Colt Police Positive Special by Uncle Eddie but mom thought there was another rifle in a deer caliber and a shotgun too but I'm glad I got the two I did.I think the others had been promised to some of her cousins so at least they stayed in the family.
I don't know what happened to my other Grandfathers guns,he probably sold them off over the years.Oh well,I remember him and that's what counts.

December 21, 2003, 04:54 PM
Thanks for all the help guys, much apreciated.

Mike Irwin
December 21, 2003, 05:19 PM
At a gunshow in Northern Virginia today.

Guy had a number of Savage 99 take downs, including an 1899 made in 1909 chambered in .30-30.

Finish on both metal and wood was well worn. No chips out of the stocks, standard sights. Not nearly in the nice condition as the rifle KillerMarmot has.


Just shy of $1,500.

December 21, 2003, 10:19 PM
I load for my .303 with a 310 tong tool and a set of Lyman 190grain Lovell design molds. I have 20 rounds loaded and 3 boxes empty brass. Every few years or so I get the wild hair and s-l-o-w-l-y crank off a box at 50 yards with the weird huge erectiing peep sight on it. I was tempted to have it recambered as Mike said to 30-30 BUT hell I'd not shoot it any more and would devalue it. My rifle is NOT in as nice finish as yours and it's worth $900 here in Calif. Think that is an A model Carbine. Mine is too, but not a take down. I have the Stoned Indian shotgun butt on mine also. .303 Savage is a top nostaligia round , a bit more exotic than 30-40 , but less than .256 Mannlicher .

December 22, 2003, 08:23 AM
Yeah I think I'll pick up a box of rounds at the next gun show out in vallejo and take my time with em.

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