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Savage 99 project

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Blanco, Jan 27, 2012.

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  1. Blanco

    Blanco Member

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    quite a few years ago I inherited a Savage 99 lever gun from my granddad. I have shot this rifle a handful of times and it is an absolute tack driver. Probably the most accurate rifle I own at 100 yds.
    My grandad got this gun for my grandmother to shoot way back when they were traveling all over the United States hunting. Though my grandmother loved the traveling she just didn't care for the hunting part of it.
    My grandad went to a lot of trouble to modify this gun so she could shoot it. Though my grandad was great in my eyes he was never accused of being light handed. He whacked a couple inches off the stock and looks like he drifted the sights out with a Chevy axle.
    He worked the oilfields and the old Savage rode in the truck with him for quite a few years. I love the old gun but to be honest it looks like it was used as a crowbar. It has been laying around for a few years and I have decided to restor the thing to something closer to what it should be.
    It has some heavy rust pitting, although cosmetic it makes it hard to repair.
    So I have decided to go a bit new-tech. I stripped it down and got a new plain walnut stock, which i have fitted quite nicely.
    I have filled in the rusty spots with Devcon. (this stuff is amazingly tough)
    and I have taken a file to the dovetails to bring them back to usable state.
    I ordered and just recieved a bottle of the Cerakote air cure coating. I also found a set of Burris see thru scope mounts for it on E-bay.
    I have stripped almost all the old bluing off in preperation for the Cerakote.

    I know some of you purists will bash me for doing this... I don't really see the harm in it. I will be bringing it back to a very usable state. Since it is a sentimental piece it will wind up going to my son one day. I have no interest in collectabilty or value since I have no plans to sell it.
    I will post up some pictures to track the progress
     
  2. Blanco

    Blanco Member

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    pictures as promised

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  3. Hanshi

    Hanshi Member

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    The 99s are among the very best rifles ever made. With such heavy use and no real care, I think you will bring this fine rifle back from the brink. They were meant to be used and this one still deserves to be. Good luck.
     
  4. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    Don't worry what the purists think, as it's your rifle, and I for one, am glad that you want to rejuvenate the old 99. I'm curious what the caliber it's chambered for?
    Many of us here will be waiting to see the fruits of your labor, when you feel that you're done. Thanks for sharing so far.


    NCsmitty
     
  5. Blanco

    Blanco Member

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    Thanks NC Smitty
    Its chambered .308Win
    I kinda figure from the caliber and the short plain fore end it was probably built real late 60's early 70's?
    Anyone have access to SN info?
     
  6. Blanco

    Blanco Member

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    I have been scouring the internet looking for replacement sights for this 99
    I like the idea of a plain folding leaf type sight. Yet I still kinda like the idea of the original spring loaded type with adjustable elevator.
    Any ideas ??
     
  7. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    I'll say a prayer for you!
     
  8. Blanco

    Blanco Member

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    I need all those I can get ... Thanks
     
  9. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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  10. Blanco

    Blanco Member

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    Thanks Smitty
    Mine has a letter N stamped above the lever boss on a flat in the reciever. The only way to view it is with the stock off...
    If That is the place to read it?
    If so, mine is a 1962 manufacture date
     
  11. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    I guess you know as much about as I do. Would you say that the time line of 1962 or so sounds about right, if it was bought new?


    NCsmitty
     
  12. David Sinko

    David Sinko Member

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    Very interesting. I have been attempting to re-stock a 99E .300 Savage and I must say that it is a nightmare of a project and I wish I had never wasted the money and time. I bought a laminated stock and forend set and it has taken me forever to fit. Accuracy is horrible and I'm not sure what to do about it. I think the forend needs a pressure point somewhere but I don't know how to go about it. Maybe one day when I calm down I'll take a closer look at it.

    I also have a '56 vintage 99F .308 Winchester that I got for a good price. The metal finish is worn but not abused. I managed to split the stock by twisting it ever so slightly while removing it. Obviously these stocks are very sensitive to being twisted. I repaired it with Acraglas and some threaded brass rods, and while it doesn't look the greatest, it will never break again. If I had the money I'd have it re-stocked by a professional stock maker who knows how to make these rifles shoot. I can not find anybody who knows anything about accurizing a Savage 99.

    Both of my '99s have Williams aperture sights. Their sights for the '99 are excellent and far better than the original rear or anything that folds. Since you are making an extensive project out of this, why not upgrade the sights too? My .300 has the XS post frot sight with the white stripe, which is the best front sight I have ever used on any iron sighted field rifle.

    Good luck. You are far more daring than I am with these rifles. I'm still afraid to attempt to disassemble mine!

    Dave Sinko
     
  13. Blanco

    Blanco Member

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    Who knows I may yet regret it....
    I plan on using my see -thru scope mounts. I would like to keep the iron sights simple and easy to use.
    Correct if I'm wrong but it would be hard to use the see thru with an appeture sight?
    I like simple, and a folding leaf and a white post or dot front would make me happy!
     
  14. Blanco

    Blanco Member

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    Time for an update
    It was fairly warm here tonight so I decided it would be good to spray my project with the Cerakote. The instructions state to soak the parts in a solvent tank for 30 minutes or longer to remove all traces of oil. This was not an option for me so i brushed everything down with lacquer thinner and wiped until everything was clean. I used gloves so i never touched the parts after cleaning. I chose to try the air cure Cerakote.
    This stuff is supposed to be ready to use out of the bottle -- no thinning.
    I have to say this stuff is not like paint, it's more like ink. It covers the parts much more rapidly than I thought it would.
    First impression..... I am amazed my little 99 already looks like a different and new gun.
    the color in the pictures does not do it justice. It really is Graphite Black!

    have a look

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  15. Blanco

    Blanco Member

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    After a bit of dry time (bout 1 hr ) parts were dry enough to bring inside.
    There is also an 870 that i sprayed at the same time.
    The small bottle has enough product to cover 4 guns... No Joke. Had I known I might have found some more stuff to spray with Cerakote.... Hmmm I do have an old junky 22 pistol ! ............

    [​IMG]
     
  16. tahoe2

    tahoe2 Member

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    Blanco

    That looks like it's coming along nicely ! Can't wait to see it. Mine is a 1953 model 99E. They are great old guns. Mine was also a hand me down and still groups pretty good with my handloads, 1-1/4" to 2" @ 100yds. Again, can't wait to see it !!

    firearms 097.jpg
     
  17. Blanco

    Blanco Member

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    The fill in I did on the rust pits worked out exceptionally well. I was worried that using the epoxy to fill would not work out. You can't tell anything has been done to it.
    Now I have to wait for 5 days before I start the re-assembly.....
     
  18. Clark

    Clark Member

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    To drill and tap a 100 year old Savage 99, I made wedges so I could clamp the receiver in the vise. Then I drilled the hole pattern that the Savage factory later used on 99s.
     

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  19. northwoods99

    northwoods99 Member

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    Blanco nice looking project. I am with NCSmitty don't worry about the purist. The 99 is a nice gun and with yours having family history even better. Good luck love the pictures.
     
  20. David Sinko

    David Sinko Member

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    How did the Cerakote finish turn out? Are you satisfied with it? And did you disassemble the rotary magazine when you applied the finish?

    Dave Sinko
     
  21. Blanco

    Blanco Member

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    I stripped everything out. Just left the barrel attached
    So far I am very happy with the Crea-kote. Some things to consider...
    I only sanded the surface and used Scotchbrite with lacquer thinner. Cera-Kote reccommends sandblasting and soaking in degreaser.
    When you sprey Cera-Kote have enough things to spray to use up all or most of the product in one session. Once the bottle is open use it all or dump the leftovers.
    Don't wait till the next day and try a second coat. Cover all parts on the first spraying, and be done.... trust me on this.
    I will let you know how good it is after a week or so
     
  22. stan rose

    stan rose Member

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    No rush, but isn't it time to reassemble? Again I do not mean to rush you, just excited to see the finished project!
     
  23. Blanco

    Blanco Member

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    Your right Stan.
    I actually started to do it last night, But I have been a bit pre-occupied with my Citori. I did rub a coat of Danish oil into the stock while I was doing the Citori.
    I wanted to make extra sure the Cerakote had plenty of time to cure too.
     
  24. David Sinko

    David Sinko Member

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    Is this the first time you ever disassembled the rotary magazine or do you have experience with this? A local gunsmith tells me that he has experience with this and that he has all the necessary slave pins for reassembly. I told him I would like to have my Featherweight parkerized the next time he does a bunch of AKMs but so far he seems to be ignoring me. The route you took seems tempting, providing I could get the gun back together and the rotary magazine functioning properly. I had my .300 reblued a long time ago by Behlert Precision and one of their young gunsmiths told me that getting it back together again was the single most difficult thing he ever did in regard to any reassembly project.

    Dave Sinko
     
  25. Blanco

    Blanco Member

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    It won't be easy
    But I have found that if I set my mind to it I can do anything... Determination .. and I did take it apart, so hopefully I will remember!
     
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