Relic or User?


February 6, 2003, 07:50 PM
I'm about to get returned to me a rifle I gave to my dad many years ago, a Savage 99 in .303 caliber. Basically I have three pertinent questions:

Are cartridges for that caliber still commercially available? If not--

Can new brass be purchased? If not--

Are there any available cases which can be formed to make .303 Savage brass?

It is entirely possible that this fine old rifle has been relegated to the relic and curio realm. That's not all bad, but I'd sorta like to shoot the thing a time or two again.

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Mike Irwin
February 6, 2003, 08:21 PM
Yes, I think so, but they can be hard to find.

Yes, I think so, but they can be hard to find.

Yes, I think you can reform .30-30 Winchester.

Have a gunsmith give it a good once over, and if you can, put it into service.

The 99s are WONDERFUL guns.

February 7, 2003, 03:48 AM
"You make the .303 Savage from .220 swift cases. Anneal case neck and taper expand to .310" diameter. Re-anneal and F/L size in the .303 Savage die with expander removed. Trim to length, 2.015". Chamfer and F/L size again. Fireform in chamber. You may find that the .220's rim will need to be thickened to .060"-.063" "(This is usually done by carefully bending it.)
Quote from Handloader's Manual of Cartridge Conversions.


"Make from .30-40 Krag case. Lathe turn rim to .505" diameter. Swage head to .442 diameter. Trim to 2.01". Size F/L. Use .308" bullets."

Quote from Cartridge Conversions by George Nonte

Sounds like a major project either way.

February 7, 2003, 11:01 AM
Not cheap but Old Western Scrounger lists some loaded ammunition in .303 Savage.
I've seen it also in older factory boxes at gunshows.
Also some of the smaller ammunition makers may stock it.

February 7, 2003, 03:51 PM
I just looked up .303 Savage ammunition on Google search engine and found quite a few custom loaders who have it as well as several dealers who are selling old stock and some who have what must be newer ammunition. One company listed brass.

February 8, 2003, 03:12 AM
If my memory serves, many times it does not, the .303 Brit and the .303 Savage are not the exact same caliber. Fal308 referenced the .303 Savage and as I remember that is correct. The .303 British is somewhat different.

For Canada
Model 1899
Mfg: Savage Arms
Utica, Ny
Year of Mfg: 1914-15
Caliber: .303 Savage
.301 By Britain
Action: Lever
Length: 49.95"
Weight: 8.75lb
Barrel Length: 28"
Grooves: 6 RH Concentric
Magazine: Rotery Box
M-Velocity: 2,180fps W/180gr ball

Note: The .303 Savage is known in Britain as the .301 Savage to
differenciate between the British .303.


Mike Irwin
February 8, 2003, 11:09 AM
Your memory is correct, Jag.

The two cartridges are completely different.

February 8, 2003, 09:13 PM
Hey, Pistolsmith:

A very good tip to search Google. That site can find you anything!

I found several custom loaders, a few factory boxes (at about $45-60 a box) and some new brass offered for sale.

The new brass appears to be the least costly (about $25 for 20). That may be a bit pricey, but I don't consider it out of line for an item that seems to be getting rather scarce.

Guess I'll bite the bullet (oh, groan) and order some before the rifle even gets here.

Thanks, all of you, for your good assistance.

Mike Irwin
February 8, 2003, 11:22 PM

Hit a gunshow or two before you start dropping that kind of money for brass.

It's not uncommon to see .303 Savage ammo of relatively recent commercial manufacture.

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