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Thread: An interesting Savage 99 project

  1. #1
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    An interesting Savage 99 project

    Well...here's something completely different. My good pal Randy Robinett has been on the lookout for a decent shooter grade Savage 99 in 250 Savage for quite a while. He recently snagged one complete with a period correct Weaver steel tube K6 and started right in on shooting it. Long story short, he got the thing shooting honest 3 shot groups under the magical 1" mark...a heck of an accomplishment for a gun like this with a two piece stock. In our conversations, we started talking about how these guns tend to crack the butt stocks behind the rear tang since that and the lower receiver cut are what the factory uses as the recoil bearing surface. The stock on this gun was perfect in those areas, giving more creedence to the fact that it hadn't been shot much. One thing led to another and pretty soon we decided to see how much, if any, tweaking the 'bedding' could help. Looking back, I think R.G. sucked me into this project because he knows I'm a sucker for any orphan gun and "That will never work!" type of stuff...Randy coined that phrase, by the way!

    The original attachment method for the butt stock uses a long, flat blade screwdriver slotted 5/16" bolt with a washer that sits against a ledge. Not a lot of purchase or load bearing area and being wood, it compresses over time...more on that later. The agreed-upon approach was to fit a pillar into the stock. First, I enlarged the 5/16" hole to 3/8" using a long drill bit. Then, with a 3/8 '" pilot in my 3/4" counter bore and a long drill bit extension, enlarged the hole in the stock to 3/4" all the way into the area where the lower receiver butts against the stock. This had to be done in sections as the hard walnut would build a fair amount of heat in the counter bore.





    Made the pillar from some 3/4" 6061 T6 round. The undercut areas are of different diameter to help hold as much of the bedding compound as possible in each area as it made it's long trip down the stock. One end is cut with a 11/16" end mill to match the curve of the receiver. When epoxied in the pillar was backed up about .075 to allow a good amount of bedding material between the pillar and the receiver.







    The stock bolt is 5/16" but it's a goofy 22 TPI thread. The 22 tpi was 'standard' on lots of British stuff but the British 22 tpi is a 55 degree pitch. This Savage uses a normal 60 degree pitch. I cut the 5/16X22 tpi threads on a shortened 5/16" shank bolt and also on a piece of 5/16" solid rod to use as a guide rod for installing the pillar.



    Allowed the pillar to set up for 48 hours, then did the bedding. The guide rod did double duty as it gave me something to rap on to free the receiver from the stock. Hopefully.....

    Here it is as it came apart, prior to clean up. You can see where the little 'shelf' of the rear of the receiver was bedded also. I shortened the area of stock ahead of the 'shelf' as the operating lever was rubbing on it.



    The next area was the fore end. Randy had discovered that the original screw was stripped and only a couple of threads were holding it. It mounts to a spud dovetailed into the barrel with some pitifully small 8-40 threads. The cause of the issue was that the hole in the fore end was positioned too far forward from the factory by about .090 so the screw went in at an angle. Here's a rough idea how far it was off.



    I taped the fore end up to minimize any damage to the checkering and using an old trick Stan Ware taught me, put some heavy wax on a new 3/8" plunge cut end mill, centered it on the mill bed and went down in there. It did nick a couple of spots but overall, not too bad. Figuring it needed a bit of old school panache, I did the screw escutcheon from brass. Randy had supplied me with a new factory fore end screw.





    Unfortunately, the threads in the barrel spud were really loose and in the end, I cut down a shoulder bolt and threaded it a bit oversize in an attempt to tighten up the fit.



    The barrel spud. In the second pic, you can see a little rubber insulator I put over the spud to act as a vibration insulator. Between the bottom of the spud and the fore end screw recess, there's some soft rubber washers to eliminate any hard contact. I stacked some up until there was a small. amount of barrel clearance. This extra clearance made the longer fore end screw necessary.









    There's about .015 clearance around the top tang now. The lower receiver carries all the load and transfers it to the pillar and stock.



    Outwardly, it still looks relatively untouched. Did it make it any more accurate? Heck...Randy had it shooting better than any Savage 99 has a right to before it came to me......for all I know, I may have made it worse! It's been a real treat to work with Randy on this project. We both have enough 'twisted sister' in us to enjoy stuff like this!

    A classic-cool rifle in every respect. It will get back into the field in Randy's hands and account for quite a few more deer...just like what it was designed for!



    Good shootin' -Al

  2. #2
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    LOL! I've bought two of the blooody things in the last year just because.....they're so friggin' kewl

    haven't even shot 'em so GOOD ON YA'S! who are doing with them what they were designed for

  3. #3
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    Very nice work! Congrats !
    I have a Savage 99 take down chambered in 300 Savage that I picked up a few years ago. Just couldn't resist it. Was very pleasantly surprised when it shot factory ammo under 1". Close enough for rock and roll on Tennessee whitetails.

    Rick

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greyfox View Post
    Very nice work! Congrats !
    I have a Savage 99 take down chambered in 300 Savage that I picked up a few years ago. Just couldn't resist it. Was very pleasantly surprised when it shot factory ammo under 1". Close enough for rock and roll on Tennessee whitetails.

    Rick
    Most of the old solid frame 250 99 rifles in nice condition will shoot 3 shot groups in the 1 inch range if fed bullets under 100 grains. The ones with rotary magazines were 14” twist. I had a pair of them and after a little bedding on the forends they both shot nearly as good as my little 250 that I made up on a 700 action. I believe the rotary magazine models were discontinued in the mid 50s. At that time three models were offered. The F (feather light) EG (schnable forend) and G (a wider varmint style forend. In my opinion they were the last of the real 99s.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by martin zuck View Post
    Most of the old solid frame 250 99 rifles in nice condition will shoot 3 shot groups in the 1 inch range if fed bullets under 100 grains. The ones with rotary magazines were 14” twist. I had a pair of them and after a little bedding on the forends they both shot nearly as good as my little 250 that I made up on a 700 action. I believe the rotary magazine models were discontinued in the mid 50s. At that time three models were offered. The F (feather light) EG (schnable forend) and G (a wider varmint style forend. In my opinion they were the last of the real 99s.
    has at least one of every caliber chambered in the 99's. It's quite a collection. He has doubles in a few of them. He's still buying. I've only ever owned one, a 308 clip model. I thought it a bit rude to shoot so traded it off. I've always admired them though.

    Pete

  6. #6
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    99

    My dad bought a 99 in 300 savage. he was gonna take it deer hunting. He cant leave his little pet 243 remington 700 at home. That savage has one of those new scopes on it. I think its a lyman 2.5 power. I bet all you can see is fur in the scope at 100 yds. Doug

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by martin zuck View Post
    Most of the old solid frame 250 99 rifles in nice condition will shoot 3 shot groups in the 1 inch range if fed bullets under 100 grains. The ones with rotary magazines were 14” twist. I had a pair of them and after a little bedding on the forends they both shot nearly as good as my little 250 that I made up on a 700 action. I believe the rotary magazine models were discontinued in the mid 50s. At that time three models were offered. The F (feather light) EG (schnable forend) and G (a wider varmint style forend. In my opinion they were the last of the real 99s.
    I was mistaken about the model with the wider varmint style forend, I believe it was a model R not G. As I said earlier the rotary magazine 250’s were 14” twist. As a general rule bullets over one inch would not stabilize very well. Some would and some wouldn’t. When Barnes brought out their 80 gr 25 cal I tried them and did not shoot very good. They were 1.062 long so I made up a simple jig for my small lathe and took off the poly tips witch made them just under one inch. Problem solved.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by martin zuck View Post
    I was mistaken about the model with the wider varmint style forend, I believe it was a model R not G. As I said earlier the rotary magazine 250’s were 14” twist. As a general rule bullets over one inch would not stabilize very well. Some would and some wouldn’t. When Barnes brought out their 80 gr 25 cal I tried them and did not shoot very good. They were 1.062 long so I made up a simple jig for my small lathe and took off the poly tips witch made them just under one inch. Problem solved.
    have new shaker boards ready for putting in jackets and leads 1000 jackets and 1000 leads in 30 minutes 1 814 335 0450 c. for 68 gr. and 105 slick.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Casner View Post
    My dad bought a 99 in 300 savage. he was gonna take it deer hunting. He cant leave his little pet 243 remington 700 at home. That savage has one of those new scopes on it. I think its a lyman 2.5 power. I bet all you can see is fur in the scope at 100 yds. Doug
    as long as he has him some tipover or see-thru Weavers he's good-a-go even when she fogs all up on him, plus he can hunt with 'er that way and take them brush shots

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillBrawand View Post
    have new shaker boards ready for putting in jackets and leads 1000 jackets and 1000 leads in 30 minutes 1 814 335 0450 c. for 68 gr. and 105 slick.
    for 6mm and 6.5

  11. #11
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    99

    LOL Al, Im glad you get my old school humor. I think that old Lyman is called an Alaskan. Ive got acouple of 4xs and 6xs. Pretty good old scopes. Doug

  12. #12
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    Cool

    And shaker for 30 cal.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by billbrawand View Post
    for 6mm and 6.5
    ad shaker for 30 cal.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greyfox View Post
    Very nice work! Congrats !
    I have a Savage 99 take down chambered in 300 Savage that I picked up a few years ago. Just couldn't resist it. Was very pleasantly surprised when it shot factory ammo under 1". Close enough for rock and roll on Tennessee whitetails.

    Rick
    Cool, Rick - roger the precision requirements!RG

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by martin zuck View Post
    Most of the old solid frame 250 99 rifles in nice condition will shoot 3 shot groups in the 1 inch range if fed bullets under 100 grains. The ones with rotary magazines were 14” twist. I had a pair of them and after a little bedding on the forends they both shot nearly as good as my little 250 that I made up on a 700 action. I believe the rotary magazine models were discontinued in the mid 50s. At that time three models were offered. The F (feather light) EG (schnable forend) and G (a wider varmint style forend. In my opinion they were the last of the real 99s.
    Martin, good points - especially the twist rate! I believe that mine is a 1975/76 production, and that the detachable magazine was introduced about that time, possibly about 1968. Your post below was most excellent - where marginal stability is concerned, shortening the OAL, by only 1/16", CAN be/IS a big deal - it's worth [the equivalent of] almost a full inch of twist requirement!

    My pal, Tom, brought me a Dec. 1975 Guns & Ammo, in which Howard E. French did an "evaluation" of a Savage 99CD (exactly the model I have). In it, he states, " The test rifle sent to G&A was the newest in a long line of Sav. 99s, and is listed as the 99-CD. This features a detachable clip instead of the original rotary magazine . . ."

    I purchased this rifle with two partial boxes of "factory ammo": one Win. S-X 100gr. Silver-Tip; one Rem. 87 gr. SP.
    The 100gr. Silver-Tip shot about what I expected - 3-shots about 2"average; the Rem. 87gr were much better, at right around 1.0". After burning through that ammo, I proceeded to load & shoot some 88gr FB, which I had made using one of two point-dies purchased from David Detsch, which were made & used by his father, Clarence (I believe the originator of carbide dies), who liked 25 Cals.!

    Initial groups were quite pleasing - way good enough for hunting - MUCH better than my expectations!! I believe that Al's efforts will pay off by eliminating the persistent first shot "flier" - regardless of barrel condition (col-clean/dirty-clean) always the group wrecker.

    As Al pointed out, this rifle was purchased to shoot - not to look at. RG
    Last edited by R.G. Robinett; 10-17-2021 at 10:53 AM.

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