Savage 99, rebarreled to 260 rem?


January 6, 2013, 03:59 AM
I have always had a weakness for the old Savage 99 with the rotary magazine.

What would be the challenges to rebarreling a 300 Savage to 260 Remington and retain the rotary Magazine?

( for the record only a non-collectable, beat up, unloved donor rifle would be used for this project)

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Jim Watson
January 6, 2013, 09:07 AM
The challenges would be getting a 2.8" cartridge in a magazine meant for 2.6".
I think Savage lengthened the magazine when they added .308 and .243.

And putting about 15% higher chamber pressure in an old gun.
Savage is a good stout lever action but even though the .300 Savage was a hot round in its day, it is not as heavily loaded as the current generation.

January 6, 2013, 09:26 AM
Saami pressure rating for the 300 Savage is 47,000 PSI, and the 260 Rem runs at least 60,000 PSI. With no locking lugs on the bolt, older M99 actions rely on the lever lock, and I can tell you from experience that running high pressure in an older M99 can spring the action and the best case scenario is stretched cases and possible case head separation. You would need to handload to lower pressures than factory. I believe Savage reworked the newer M99 models to provide enough to handle the 243 and 308 pressures. Those likely could be reworked to 260 Rem.
I would leave it in the great 300 Savage.


January 6, 2013, 09:55 AM
A 260 Savage 99 would be a nice gun, but I would definitely convert one that started life as a 243 or 308. A 358 would also work, but they are definitely collector's items and you'd have to be crazy to pay a premium to buy one and then alter it.

I suspect that 243 and 308s will be collector's items too in the near future. Look at the money "unloved and beatup" old Winchesters draw these days.

Monster Zero
January 6, 2013, 10:51 AM
No disrespect, but... why?

Just go buy a new rifle.

January 6, 2013, 12:13 PM
A Savage 99 in ANY caliber is a classic that should be kept that way IMHO!
Nuff Said!

January 6, 2013, 05:23 PM
If the 300 Savage is truly "a non-collectable, beat up, unloved donor rifle "needing a new barrel, why not go to the 250-3000 Savage? The pressure levels should be similar to the 300 Savage. It's bore is close to the 260 that you want, and while it's doesn't have the velocity and weight of the 260, the 250-3000 is not a bad round. I would think that it would fed from a 300 magazine. The cartridges are similar in dimensions.

January 6, 2013, 07:05 PM
Leave the original '99 alone, its earned its keep. If you need a hot rod, they're out there go find one! It might be a ragged example, but its a .300 Savage, leave it alone, none better, why tear it up?

January 6, 2013, 08:55 PM
None taken Zero,

They stopped making the Savage 99 in 1998.
This project is aimed at having what I think would be an outstanding classic deer rifle in a very good modern caliber.

A 260 Remington (or the 6.5X55) is an excellent hunting caliber.

The old style 99 in a featherweight, take down model, just makes me happy. :)

The reason to do it is the same as putting a new Corvette Motor into a 1972 Corvette or a Subaru WRX motor into a Porches 914. You get the item you really wanted, the way you wanted.Yes I am a founding member of the $100 saddle on a $5 mule club...

From a simple cost factor, buying a new left hand Model 10 in 260 Remington would be the way to go.... But what is the fun in that? I have a couple left- handed Savage bolt actions, a model 10 and a 116 in 223 and 300 win mag....

I do like the old Savage cartridges and do plan in time on adding a couple of "classic 99s" maybe a 300 and a 250-3000 Savages to the gun safe.

January 6, 2013, 09:06 PM
It would seem to be easy enough to rebarrel any of the 308 class 99 to 260 Rem.

The main features I am looking for are, rotary magazine with round count, non-tang safety and the slimmer earlier walnut stock.

January 6, 2013, 10:37 PM

The rifle:
From the Monroe gunshow I got a 1918 Savage 99 take down 250-3000 for$175 dickered down from $200. I then unscrewed the take down barrel.

The barrel
From Ebay I got a 6mm PPC take off barrel with 460 rounds fired, 5.1 pounds, 21.5", one 14" twist, Stainless Steel Shilen for $75 + $12 shipping = $87.

The reamer
From Pacific Tool and gauge I got a 6mmBR reamer with .272" neck and throated for 87 gr Vmax [Fb .085] for $138 + $9 ship = $147

The machine work:
a) I cut the chamber, shoulder, threads, extractor relief, shank relief, bolt head relief, and loading finger relief.
b) I made wedges to hold the receiver in the mill vise. I used a late model Sav99 as a drill patter. I drilled and tapped and used Weaver mounts meant for a Sav99.

I took it to the range and shot 5 groups.
One was a 0.1" 3 shot group at 50y.
One was a 0.3" 3 shot group at 100y.
Some of the groups were not so good. The 1 in 14" twist will not stabilize a 75 gr Vmax, but it would stabilize a 65 gr Vmax.

This is the old Sav99 that is not good for modern pressure. So I kept it down to ~ 80kpsi:) the threshold of CCI 450 primers piercing. The action stretches the brass .003", so that is not practical.

What does it all mean?
The Sav 99 is a horrible horrible gun to rebarrel with the breech cuts.
Get a Sav 110, 98 Mauser, or Rem 700 that get rebarrelled with just the lathe.
Avoid 1903 Springfields, Mosin Nagants, 1885 falling blocks, and Sav99s.... unless you really want to fool around the breech on the mill.

I have a couple Sav99s of mine waiting for rebarrelling. They can just wait a while longer.

January 9, 2013, 07:18 PM
Did a little more research into the "old" 99. come to find out that it was chambered at one time for 284 Winchester...

It seems the 284 win came out with serial numbers above 900000.

I an still working towards a 260 Remington,,,, but if the over all length issues can be worked out a 6.5X284 could be tempting.

No, I think a 260 Remington would fit nicely between a 223 and a 300 win mag

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