Savage 99 conversion questions

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superchicken
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Savage 99 conversion questions

Post by superchicken »

Hi all,

Questions for the Savage aficionados on here. If you had an old 303 Savage 99 with limited value for collectors and a poor bore, what would you consider converting it to? I know that folks have rebored these to a 35/303. But could you convert it to another medium bore cartridge that had better brass availability? Is this limited by the larger case head size in the 303 and extractor set up? If so what's involved with changing that. I know cartridges like 358 are out for these older actions because they are a bit shorter than the newer actions. One thought would be 38-55. I am brainstorming and any ideas would be appreciated.

Muchas gracias,

SC
BenT
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Re: Savage 99 conversion questions

Post by BenT »

As far as boring out the existing barrel and not changing bolt face then you are limited to 32-40 , 32 special, 35/30-30 and 38-55. JES can rebore that to 38-55 , that is what I would go to. I believe you can use the same magazine spool.
superchicken
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Re: Savage 99 conversion questions

Post by superchicken »

Thanks, Ben. I just did a little Google-fu. It looks like the rim diameter for 30-30 and 38-55 are 0.001" bigger that the 303, but the issue would be the base diameter of the brass. From what I've seen the 303S is 0.442", while the 38-55 and 30-30 are smaller at 0.422". Would is have to set the barrel back slightly to convert to these calibers or what? Are their other options that would work better?

SC
Ray Newman
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Re: Savage 99 conversion questions

Post by Ray Newman »

I think it would probably be easier and cheaper to reline the barrel to retain .303 Savage calibre. Buffalo Arms has Privi Partisan brass for US$. 65 per hundred.

Buy 100 or two hundred and you will be set for awhile. In the last year or so, a few .303 Savage shooters commented here that Privi .303 Savage is good brass.

http://www.buffaloarms.com/303_Savage_R ... x?CAT=3835

I always heard that the problem with converting a Savage 99 was finding someone who has the experience and knowledge to do the work, especially if any alteration to the magazine spool will be needed.

If you consider a liner, contact John Taylor --Taylor Machine, Puyallup, WA -- at 253-777-7792. John has done work for me and I highly recommend him.
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superchicken
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Re: Savage 99 conversion questions

Post by superchicken »

Thanks, Ray. I did a little more digging. Based on the base diameter of the case, and I think you may be right. The best bet is probably lining the barrel. I'll do some digging, but I would probably change the caliber for better brass availability. I don't think its gonna get any better for the old 303.
Merle
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Re: Savage 99 conversion questions

Post by Merle »

Ray Newman wrote:I think it would probably be easier and cheaper to reline the barrel to retain .303 Savage calibre. Buffalo Arms has Privi Partisan brass for US$. 65 per hundred.

Buy 100 or two hundred and you will be set for awhile. In the last year or so, a few .303 Savage shooters commented here that Privi .303 Savage is good brass.

http://www.buffaloarms.com/303_Savage_R ... x?CAT=3835

I always heard that the problem with converting a Savage 99 was finding someone who has the experience and knowledge to do the work, especially if any alteration to the magazine spool will be needed.

If you consider a liner, contact John Taylor --Taylor Machine, Puyallup, WA -- at 253-777-7792. John has done work for me and I highly recommend him.

In the past I had gotten ammo & brass from Graf's reloading. It's worth checking into.

Assuming you want to go with minimal work (& risk) I would consider using the 303 Savage case, with the mouth opened up to take 32 Special, etc. This is pretty much the same as taking a 348 Winchester out to 450 Alaskan. Depending on the bore pitting, you may have to go bigger than 32 caliber. That could be your final decision. :o
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KeithNyst
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Re: Savage 99 conversion questions

Post by KeithNyst »

Selway Armory has privi partisian .303 savage brass in stock for $53/100
hfcable
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Re: Savage 99 conversion questions

Post by hfcable »

Ebay often has savage 1899 barrels in 303

here is one:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Savage- ... SwFNZWzMyt

only at 53$ so far

this is what I would do. much cheaper.
cable
M. M. Wright
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Re: Savage 99 conversion questions

Post by M. M. Wright »

I vote for changing the barrel and keeping the caliber the same. I've had some experience altering those rotary magazines and it ain't easy.
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earlmck
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Re: Savage 99 conversion questions

Post by earlmck »

I have two of those 1899's that started life as 303 Savage. One still is and is one of my favorite shooters (a very big thanks to PRVI for that new 303 brass!). The other, while still marked 303 Savage on the barrel, shoots the 35 Remington cartridge (nice chamber, nice new bore). I have no idea who did the gunsmithing on this rifle as I bought it at an estate auction thinking I was acquiring a 303 Savage rifle (you can imagine my surprise!). The rotor still feeds 303 Savage fine, so I am thinking there was no work done on it to accomodate the 35 Rem case. And it feeds standard-length 35 Remington cartridges fine but if I load shorter than standard, as in using some of my 357 revolver bullets, the shorter cartridge moves forward in the rotor under recoil and will jam up if I loaded 5 cartridges. I can get away with 2 of these "shorties".

If that were my rifle I'd be thinking of options that stayed with the 303 Savage case, now that it is readily available for a reasonable price.
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marlinman93
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Re: Savage 99 conversion questions

Post by marlinman93 »

Might consider the .35 Remington. It's a shorter case at 1.92" vs. 2.05", but with the larger .35 bore it should end up working. A re-bore and re-chamber would get it, but unsure how the rotary mag would work, or if it might need and modification for the case diameter?
Another option would be to simply reline the bore, and have the chamber sleeved at the same time, so it could be reamed for a common caliber like .30-30. Any gunsmith who can reline a barrel wont have a problem boring and sleeving the chamber first, so it can be done correctly.
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superchicken
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Re: Savage 99 conversion questions

Post by superchicken »

Thanks all.
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