Savage Model 99R 250-3000 Headspace Problem?


March 12, 2008, 10:35 PM
I have a Savage Model 99R in 250-3000 made in 1954. It has a 1 in 14" twist. Back in the 1960's when this rifle was shot regularly it was pretty darn accurate. Over the years I have not used it much but started shooting it again over the last year or so. I could not get it to group. Sometimes it would shoot a fairly tight pattern and then one shot would be several inches off. Other times it was all over the place. I then gave it a thorough cleaning including copper removal. I also replaced the old scope on it and it seemed like it started shooting much better for a while but now it's back to the same old problem of inconsistency. I only shoot reloads, 87 gr. Speer, WLR, 32.5 grs. of IMR 3031 and W-W or R-P cases. New brass does ok but after the second or third time it's fired it may develop a hairline ring on the case about 1/4" from the head which may eventually crack or break if shot again. Would this indicate that I have a headspace problem or is this somewhat common in this vintage rifle? Is there something else I need to check? Any information will be greatly appreciated.

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March 12, 2008, 10:46 PM
So have you actually had a case head separation? Brass run through my 243 has a ring on it, but it's just the way that the chamber is cut and the new factory brass adjusting to the chamber. Run a dental pick or some kind of feeler down into the case and see if you can feel the ridge above the case head. There might not be one. The ring doesn't necessarily mean there's a problem. As a general practice to make the brass last longer you should either be doing a partial resize with your full length die or get a neck sizing die. It could be that the headspace is a little on the generous side, but that's not that uncommon and if you're neck or partial sizing you brass will be fine for several reloads. I guess the long and short is that none of what you described would have me worried and I'd just work around it.

March 13, 2008, 12:08 PM
Thanks Strongbad.

I sent you a PM.

Take care.

March 14, 2008, 08:55 AM
very likely it has a headspace problem - it is common in 99's. my 99f td in 300 savage has headspace issues. it develops the ring on the first firing and by the second firing it is clearly obvious. on factory loads the primer backs out upon firing.

i used a medium load, and then wiped the cases w/ lube, and then fired them. that fireformed the cases to my rifle. i have to do a fl size by the 4th firing, but my cases are good for about 6-7 firings.

note that sticking lubed cases into a rifle is an unorthodox practice and will increase the stress on the locking lugs tremendously. the only other fix i know of is to have a 'smith set the barrel back or rebarrel the gun.

good luck!

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