Readers of these virtual pages will know from long acquaintance that I have a fondness for old guns, especially those that are icons of American gunmaking. The Savage 99 is one such. I’ve been watching for a good example for the gun rack here, preferably an older version in .300 Savage, .308 or .358 Winchester.
Introduced in 1899, five years after the better-known Browning-designed 1894 Winchester, the Savage had two key advantages over the Browning-designed rifle:
- The striker-fired 99 has a faster lock time than the hammer-fired Winchesters – lock time, for those not in the know, is the time between the moment the trigger releases the sear and the moment when the firing pin hits the cartridge primer. A faster lock time means less time for the rifle to wander off target once the trigger pull is completed.
- The husky Savage action allowed for more powerful cartridges to be used; the original versions of the 1894 Winchester and its counterpart, the 1893 Marlin (which later morphed into the 336) were limited to lower-pressure rounds like the .30WCF, while the Savage would handle rounds like the .308 and .358 Winchester.
The old Savage is a neat old rifle. This gun was also one of the introductory arms for the .250-3000 Savage cartridge, the first commercial rifle cartridge to break 3000fps velocity (this the name) but if I do procure one of these, I’ll probably go for the more common .300 Savage, which packs nearly the punch of a .308. The proprietary Savage round seems appropriate for this iconic old Savage rifle.
I’m keeping my eye on the various auction sites. There are still a few open spaces in the Casa de Animal gun racks.