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reloading the model 99 Savage

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Mr. Completely, Oct 9, 2012.

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  1. Mr. Completely

    Mr. Completely Member

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    I have a 20's vintage .300 and a 60's vintage .308 I sure would like to hear from some 99 shooters about best powders and velocity(pressure) levels the action works best with as well as what powder works good in both cartridges.Also add your thoughts on 99 and its appeal in either caliber. Thanks M.C.
     
  2. Wil Terry

    Wil Terry Member

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    MINE shoot great with 748 and 150GR bullets in both cartridges. Other propellents have done well also. Time for you to consult your loading manuals, Sir.
     
  3. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    You need to be a bit cautious with your older 300 Savage and stick to under max loads as the linkage is not as robust as the 308 version. They will stretch the brass if pushed too hard. I stretched a few cases in my 250-3000 M99 back in the day.
    Just follow www.hodgdon.com recommendations.



    NCsmitty
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    +1

    The Savage 99 is a rear locking bolt design, and brass life will be short unless you watch your headspace adjustment on the sizing die, and keep pressures down.

    rc
     
  5. StretchNM

    StretchNM Member

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    +2
    I own two of them - a 1951 99EG and a 1964 DL, both in 300Savage. Funny, the newer DL ( a beautiful rifle and the most interesting rifle I own) has an oversize chamber and will ruin brass by the second or third firing. Since Lee doesn;t have a collet neck sizer for this caliber (and I'm too cheap to have them make one for me [$60]), I bought a Redding neck sizer. Handsome but a lesser die than a Lee collet die. So....I size the brass as minimally as possible, and keep the loads light. I believe the picture below is from the third firing:

    [​IMG]

    My loads for the DL center around 150gr bullets, Hornady's SP Interlocks, Sierra's SP Pro Hunter, and Hornady's RN Interlock. In order of bullets listed, best loads are 40.4gr AA2520, 41.4gr Varget, and 40.4gr IMR4064. Since I've kept the loads light, I'm now up to brass with 6 complete firings and no signs, external or internal, of case head separation. Keeping my fangers crossed :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  6. StretchNM

    StretchNM Member

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    Here's a fair picture of the DL model

    [​IMG]

    No good photos of the EG yet. It has a cracked stock that I repaired.
    Because of the way the stock mounts to the receiver, on some rifles the
    cheeks of the stock fit tightly against the sides of the receiver. With
    space between the stock and tang where the bolt goes through
    (mine is .016"), this forces the stock cheeks to take the brunt of the
    recoil. Hence the cracks seen on many rifles, of which mine is one.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  7. StretchNM

    StretchNM Member

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    I believe they made more 99's in 300Savage than any other caliber. The 308 was popular too, later. The 250-3000 model 99's command a premium price when you can find them. I spent alot fo time on Gunbroker, and still don;t own one! Of course, they are there, I just haven;t pulled the trigger on bidding for one yet.
     
  8. Mr. Completely

    Mr. Completely Member

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    Thanks for the response fellow members.I was under the impression you had to full length resize for a lever or auto,but I'll have to look more into neck sizing as I dont have any other rifles in these calibers as yet.Great pics Stretch! Good luck on your next 99. Thanks.M.C.
     
  9. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    I full length re-size every case for my .300 Savage '99 ! I've been told, and have read, one needs to FL size each case for a lever and an auto rifle, neck sizing won't accomplish whats needed for these rifles. I FL size for my '99 250-300 also. StretchNM, I've got brass from 5 and 6 reloadings, never had one separate like yours have, I use RCBS dies, always have.
     
  10. Hanshi

    Hanshi Member

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    I have a .308 and .250/3000 M99s. I keep loads under max and still get good velocities. I size the cases until they just will chamber. I also run all sized cases through the actions before final loading just to make sure. I get 2650 to 2700fps with 100grn bullets in the .250 and similar speeds in the .308 with 150grn bullets.
     
  11. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Had one in 243 win. Ok with my loads. Dont think it was from the 20's.
     
  12. StretchNM

    StretchNM Member

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    It isn't necessary to full-length size for levers. I have been neck-sizing only for both model 99's and, for much longer, for four different Marlin levers. Now, the shoulder will eventually flow forward a little, so a full-length sizing is sometimes necessary, whether you adjust the die for a full sizing or just enough to push the shoulder back. I've been FL sizing my 30-30 and 35Rem brass every tenth firing (with no annealing). Oh a guy might run into a lever rifle that has a nice, tight chamber, but even then, if it were me, I would not adjust the FL sizer all the way for a full sizing. At least, not unless the rifle's chamber demanded it.

    Now that model 99DL has a chamber and headspace issue. It expands so much that FL sizing works the brass too hard. It certainly isn;t the dies, no matter who makes them. I went with Redding for that rifle because, as I said, Lee didn;t make a collet die for it. Redding (I think RCBS might make one too) made a neck sizer, so I bought it - though it pained me to do so. Anyway, now I'm back up to 6 firings, so we'll see.

    Anyway, on these old rifles, you do have to watch the chamber and headspacing. I've read quite extensively on the model 99, and even with a nicely chambered action, writers are nearly unanimous in their agreement that it's best to shy from maximum loadings. Granted, the action is not built as solidly as a bolt action or a Marlin lever, but their reasoning focuses more on the generous chambers that Savage "put" into some of these rifles. Of course, I cannot vouch for their theories and experience, except that my DL model is certainly one of those rifles.

    That EG model of mine, even though it's 13 years "older", has no chamber issues whatever, but I still refuse to FL size (just as I do on all rifle calibers I handload for). FL sizing just works the brass too much for me whereas neck sizing does not.

    Auto loaders? That's different, I'm pretty sure. I don;t reload for my semi-autos, but if I did, I would expect to probably have to FL size them all.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  13. StretchNM

    StretchNM Member

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    Mr. Completely, there is another forum or three for the 99, and one especially that really dotes on all variations of this fine lever rifle:
    http://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/forums/40/1/Savage_Collectors

    The guys there are a tight-knit bunch, but they were reasonably helpful when I had a couple of questions about my rifles. One time, I broke down the bolt on the older rifle and, being dumb and a tad innatentive at that moment, I lost a wee little spring - a firing pin return spring. I searched and searched with magnets, and still have not found that bugger. Anyway, one of the mebers in that forum sold me a spare he had, and all is good now.

    They know their model 99s, inside and out, I think.

    Another good thing is to order the DVD: Disassembly/Reassembly of the Model 99 Rifle. For about $20 I think (maybe from Amazon - I don;t recall now), I consider it essential. The actions in this rifle vary. Both my DL and EG are two different beasts when it comes to the innards, and there may well be other variations Savage did through the years (especially later years before they stopped making them), but this video will get you comfortable during a complete breakdown no matter your model. They are a relatively simple affair anyway.
     
  14. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I partial full length size just enough to fit my shortest model 99 and get good results as far as case life. Also work well in my 300 SAV bolt frankengun.:D
     
  15. Mr. Completely

    Mr. Completely Member

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    Thanks again for respones fellow members, the more info the better.As was suggested by a fellow member I was looking in a reloading manual and IMR4064 looked nice for both cartridges,What is your opinion?
     
  16. StretchNM

    StretchNM Member

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    Speaking here only of 300Savage, because I have no experience with reloading 308:

    I think I have more IMR4064 than any other rifle powder - it is very versatile across so many different calibers. I would say start at about 36.0gr and make 40.0gr your absolute maximum with 150gr bullets until you can judge how your chamber is handling the load. I have gone as high as 42.0gr in my DL model (the one with the enlarged chamber and headspace) but had the beginnings of casehead separation on the second firing. So, your rifle is your rifle, which will be different than mine.

    In my "load notes" I have noted some quotes from Savage 99 afficionados and authors Ken Waters and Stan Trzoniec: Keep IMR4064 at about 40gr max; IMR4350 has never worked well for them in this cartridge; W760 is probably the best all-around powder for 170gr and heavier bullets; use short, flat-based bullets to keep from extending too deeply into case (note short neck on 300Sav); keep OAL at 2.600" or less; with 150gr bullets, sight-in 1.5" high at 100yds, bullet will then generally be dead on at 150 and about 3" low at 200.

    I have some Savage 99 articles saved as jpg that are very legible and good reading if you're interested. PM me with your email address. I got them from a very knowledgeable reloader and Savage99 afficionado on another shooting forum, and it's only right I should share them.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  17. Mr. Completely

    Mr. Completely Member

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    Thanks Stretch,I'm not a fast typer and it seems my posts expire before I post them.I'll try to respond again later
     
  18. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    I hate that. If it's a writing of any length etc, you/me/we should compose said work in a notebook or somesuch or at least "highlight and copy" within this compositional window and then if it's lost upon submit, open the message window again and paste and send/submit.
    Hey Stretch, nice rifle!
     
  19. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Guys---When you sign in up in the corner of the area is a check box that says "keep me signed in" just check it each time and you will stay on until you quit your web browser.
     
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