Savage 99 300 Savage to 308?


January 13, 2010, 03:48 PM
While I recognize that converting Savage 99 rotary magazine action is acknowledged to be a major headache, what's the skinny on - what appears to be - a nearly non-invasive, simple conversion, such as 300 Savage to 308 Winchester?

Would there be significant differences in difficulty/complexity between side lever safety and tang safety models? Between brass rotor and aluminum rotor models?

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January 13, 2010, 04:06 PM
I think the two have the same rim size and cartridge diameter but I don't have a reloading manual here. I also think that a .308 is short enough to fit into a .300 Savage magazine. But I don't think I'd convert one even if I could. They aren't making 99 Savages anymore so the ones that are still out there will keep being worth more and more to collectors. I'd say if you want a .308 instead, you might come out better off to sell the .300 and just buy one. Otherwise, you're turning a potentially collectible gun into a "shooter".

January 13, 2010, 05:19 PM
Before you cut that Savage, have you figured out how to keep your kids someday (or anyone else who might later own that rifle) from chambering and firing a full power (60,000 psi) .308 Win. round out of a gun that was designed to handle the more mild (45,000 psi) .300 Savage?

I'm sure you would remember not to do that, but you can't set someone else up to get hurt.


January 13, 2010, 05:26 PM
Yeah...this is the old "I know it's your gun and you can do with it what you will" thread...but don't mess up that Model 99. You could probably buy a fairly nice .308 bolt gun for much less than the thing is worth as a .300. A lot of people love those things and if you reload, the .300 is pretty much just as good a cartridge as many commonly found on shelves today. Last time I was at Gander there were two or three selections of .300 Savage although I did not note the price.

Heck, they made the Model 99 in .308...maybe somebody would trade you for of all worlds.

January 13, 2010, 06:22 PM
if you have your heart set on a 308 Winchester lever rifle...find you a Model 88. Looks somewhat similar to that Savage, but you can get them chambered in 243, 284, 308 and 358 Winchester.

January 13, 2010, 08:43 PM
Of course, the Savage 99 was made in all of those calibers...

January 13, 2010, 09:27 PM
knew that they made the 99 in 243, 308 and 358 but DIDN'T know about the 284.

Of the two, my personal preference would be the 99. Of course, I wouldn't turn down the 88 either. :)

January 14, 2010, 02:11 PM
Many thanks for the information.

dagger dog
January 14, 2010, 06:25 PM
If deer or thin skinned game is the intended target for this 300 Savage Model 99 ,why change at all? This loading out classes the most used deer cartridge ever the 30-30 WCF. You have the advantage of a gang of different .30 cal bullets, plus the rotary mag is one of the most infallable systems going. Yes the .308 is hotter and more readily available over the counter, but the .300 Savage can be handloaded to near light weight .308 levels, plus it is a CLASSIC!

January 14, 2010, 06:31 PM
The .308 is about a 1/4" longer and the case shoulder farther out so the rotary spool would have to be reground. The stroke might have to be slightly lengthened for the bolt too. The easy part is rechambering. Don't do it.

January 14, 2010, 07:30 PM
Or you could just buy a new Browning BLR lever action in any of those calibers.

navyretired 1
January 14, 2010, 07:42 PM
You do know that the military used the 300 Savage as the base for developing the 7.62X51 or 308 Win. don't you. The reason any changes were made is, the neck was too short to give required tension on bullet to keep it from setting back in a magazine and shoulder angle was changed to keep the length from getting too long and provide more powder capacity for slightly higher velocity.
3oo Savage is an excellent cartridge which is talked down in this high velocity time.

January 14, 2010, 09:43 PM
It ain't talked down by people who have hunted with it! ;)

January 15, 2010, 02:15 AM
AHHHH... the blasphemy

July 11, 2010, 04:33 PM
This is an old thread, and possibly stale - but I thought I'd reply for the benefit of anyone else who may be thinking of converting a pre-1957 Savage 99 .300 Savage to .308 Winchester.

In a word - It's hard, if not impossible.

The older, pre-1957 Savage 99's, were of a certain length - for almost six decades.

When Savage decided to add the .308 Winchester (etc) to their list of chamberings for 1957, Savage LENGTHENED the action, also including the rotor, and bolt, to accommodate the longer cartridge(s). :what:

SO, although a post-1957 Savage 99 may be chambered to the shorter .300 Savage, the converse is not true - i.e., a pre-1957 Savage 99 may not be simply re-chambered for the .308 Winchester. :cool:

Unless, of course, the owner just happens to have a handy-dandy action stretcher. :p


July 11, 2010, 05:24 PM
I also doubt the steel quality and heat treating on the older .300 Savage guns was nearly the equal of the newer .308's and other calibers based on it.


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