Need gunsmith, Savage 99 trigger


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joewildlife
November 7, 2006, 12:30 PM
Hi folks, first visit, first post!

I have zero gunsmith experience outside of normal take-down and cleaning of modern shotguns. Evidently, the local 'smith doesn't have any experience either judging from the hack job he did when drilling and tapping a shotgun recently.... I'm very intimidated by the exploded view of the 99 and don't think I can handle this...

I inherited an old Savage 99 that needs a good takedown and cleaning (inspection, maintenance and tune-up) and really needs some trigger work. It has a very very heavy trigger with lots of creep. I can't shoot it worth a darn because of this.

Do we have any good gunsmiths here or some recommendations? I'm in SE Missouri and have a feeling I'm going to have to ship this off.

Your thoughts, please!

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Joe Demko
November 8, 2006, 01:26 PM
I can't help you with adjusting the trigger, but you may be able to improve things a little by giving it a good hosing out with a gunscrubber type product followed by a shot of one of the dry film lubes.
If the gun hasn't been well cared for, the chances are that it contains a fair amount of congealed lube, dust, and grit.
I have a Savage 99 that I love dearly, but when I got it I had to clean a lot of old gunk out of it.

Jim K
November 8, 2006, 01:44 PM
DO NOT mess with that trigger, and don't let anyone else do it until you check him out. In that rifle, the firing pin extension (Savage calls it the "hammer") is held back by the sear. The sear disengages as the lever is closed, until at lockup time there is only a small sear movement needed to fire the rifle. Too many "gunsmiths" have tried to reduce sear engagement, with the result that the rifle fires before it is locked, wrecking the rifle. A small amount of careful stoning can reduce the creep, but NEVER shorten the sear or the sear engagement area of the "hammer."

I agree with hosing out the gun with a good penetrant/cleaner (I like G96 Gun Treatment for that kind of job) rather than trying a disassembly. It is not an easy gun to work on.

Jim

rbernie
November 8, 2006, 01:47 PM
Given it's 80+ year production run, it should come as no surprise to learn that there are (at least) two major variants to the Savage 99 trigger design and several minor revisions within each variant. There is no way to really give accurate detailed guidance on how to disassemble and tune your trigger group without knowning which variant and revision you have.

Having said that - you can easily clean the fire control group and evaluate its status via the removal of the buttstock. Just unscrew the buttplate screws and drop the buttplate, and then remove the action bolt (you'll need a long flatblade screwdriver) to pull the buttstock off the action. At that point, you'll be able to see into the guts of the workings and give it a good cleaning and oiling (I use brake cleaner to flush 'em out and aerosol CLP to re-oil 'em).

mainmech48
November 8, 2006, 02:55 PM
FWIW, you might want to remove the wood before you start hosing the action down with solvent. Many of the older wood finishes like linseed oil, shellacs and lacquers can be seriously damaged or even stripped by many common solvent products, especially the more effective ones.

Another option, albeit a somewhat novel one, would be to remove the wood and soak the whole action (in the open position, if possible) in a bucket of "Dunk-Kit" from Cylinder & Slide. Made for handguns, but works extremely well on the really cruddy stuff that builds up in them after extensive use.

Soak it as long as necessary, even overnight, sloshing it around in the bucket from time to time and blow the residue out with compressed air. Wipe with a soft rag and you're done. The product leaves a lubricating and preservative film in the metal which doesn't seem to gum or dry out.

A cheaper option could be a bucket of plain ol' kerosene, if you've got a well-ventilated place like a detached garage to do it in. Same basic drill, but you'd have to apply a good lube/preservative after it was blown-out and dried. DO NOT TRY THIS WITH GASOLINE OR ANY OTHER HIGHLY VOLATILE SOLVENT!!

Agree about the trigger. Also think that there may well be a mechanical issue here due to wear, tear and/or time, too. Some phone calls and/or emails to a few of the custom gunsmiths who specialize in fine rifles and advertise in "The American Rifleman" et al might get you a solid referral to someone who does good work on the '99s.

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