Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

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DocRock
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Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#1 Post by DocRock » Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:32 pm

I have always wanted a 99 and one in .308 strikes me as very handy, especially with a 20" barrel. GB purchase. This one looks to have been ridden hard and put away wet more than once but bore is allegedly bright and shiny. Lots of surface rust freckling on barrle and receiver. Wood finish looks pretty awful. Plain Jane 1967. Good for a winter project. Will strip and redo the wood and see what can be done with cold bluing, but may have to send it it for a proper job.
Screenshot_2019-11-18 Savage 99E 308 Lever Action 1967 VG 20” C R OK - Lever Action Rifles at GunBroker com 840752796.png
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claybob86
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Re: Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#2 Post by claybob86 » Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:43 pm

Rescuing an abused firearm is a worthwhile project! Keep us posted on your progress!
Have you hugged your rifle today?

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Re: Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#3 Post by Pete44ru » Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:58 pm

.

At least it's not a grey rat - CONGRATS ! ! :)

.

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ollogger
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Re: Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#4 Post by ollogger » Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:11 pm

That is the kind of 308 I've been looking for! most of them are pricy ( at least around here ) no matter what the condition is
Have had a few in 308 over the years & your right its a very handy all around gun, keep us posted on the restoration


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Re: Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#5 Post by Mainehunter » Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:17 pm

She looks good to me! I would make up some loads or run a box or two of ammo and see how she shoots!

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Re: Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#6 Post by wm » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:44 am

I think you got a winner. A little TLC and getting to know you time at the range and you should be ready for hunting season next year!

Wm

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Re: Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#7 Post by OldWin » Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:24 pm

I had one in .308 that was cut to 18". It was a wonderful shooting rifle and was a joy to carry.
I would have it today but it was a detachable magazine model and didn't feed as well as a rotary so I passed it along. Always kept an eye out for a good candidate to make another.
"Oh Bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered another round.

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Re: Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#8 Post by M. M. Wright » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:38 pm

You could always rust blue it. Brownells sells all the stuff you need and you only need to boil it in distilled water. I've made a tank from an old chevy tappit cover. Just welded up the holes and put it over two burners on the stove. Might not be long enough for a 99 though but would be a great excuse to cut that barrel off anyway.
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Re: Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#9 Post by Sixgun Sr » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:44 pm

I said this on another post...back in the day the average working class guy bought a Winchester or a Marlin.....Savages were mostly bought by uppity types....management , business owners...and the like.---6
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Re: Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#10 Post by DocRock » Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:42 am

Sixgun Sr wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:44 pm
I said this on another post...back in the day the average working class guy bought a Winchester or a Marlin.....Savages were mostly bought by uppity types....management , business owners...and the like.---6
The 99 may have been bought by "uppity types", but from 1946 onwards, working class guys had an option from Savage: the Model 340, the Miller beer of mid-century bolt guns. I have two, an original 340, no suffix, in 30-30, and a 340 E in 222 Rem.

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Re: Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#11 Post by Bill in Oregon » Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:52 am

Is it even conceivable that ANY lever gun could truly be an "ugly duckling"? 8)

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Re: Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#12 Post by Sixgun Sr » Wed Nov 20, 2019 11:32 am

Bill in Oregon wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:52 am
Is it even conceivable that ANY lever gun could truly be an "ugly duckling"? 8)

Yes Bill........and I'm sure you will agree........I don't even know what they are called but some company "tacticalizes" a '94 with some really stupid looking kind of plastic stock and one of those modern sight gizmos.---6
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Re: Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#13 Post by GunnyMack » Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:10 pm

Sixgun Sr wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 11:32 am
Bill in Oregon wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:52 am
Is it even conceivable that ANY lever gun could truly be an "ugly duckling"? 8)

Yes Bill........and I'm sure you will agree........I don't even know what they are called but some company "tacticalizes" a '94 with some really stupid looking kind of plastic stock and one of those modern sight gizmos.---6
Someone somewhere made a lever AR, real or photo shop I don't know but it was as ugly as a clinton/ pelosi crossbreed! And that is FUGLY!!!
There is only one Earth. Do it a favor? GET OFF.

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Re: Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#14 Post by KeithNyst » Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:20 am

That will be a very nice deer rifle. It looks like it's a Model 99E from the late 60s/early 70s. The 99E was the economy model of the 99s introduced in 1960. It continued to have the lever safety on the right side (while the other models moved to the top tang safety), and did not have the round count window after 1960. The 20" barrel makes it a sweet handling rifle. You will enjoy it, ugly or not.

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Re: Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#15 Post by marlinman93 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:47 pm

Doesn't look too bad in the one image posted. I'd either clean it up, and not go too far, or send it to somebody who does nice restoration work to make it look perfect again. Al Springer at Snowy Mountain could make it look factory original for a very reasonable price.
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Re: Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#16 Post by 4t5 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:00 pm


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Re: Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#17 Post by DocRock » Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:31 pm

Making headway on this and will post pics - the outside of the barrel is tragic. Have stripped the stocks back to plain (very plain) beech and stained a light walnut. Will Tung Oil finish. Spent hours and hours with a diamond file, emory cloth, jewelers buffer, and steel wool on the barrel which was deeply pitted from the front sight ramp back to the forend screw receiver. Took it from very badly pitted, to "frosted" and the cold bluing came out better than I expected, but it will never be a looker. Bore is clean and bright but there appear to be tight spots under the buckhorn sight dove tail and above the forend screw receiver. Wont get to shoot it for a while, so no idea of accuracy.

But I have a mystery and I'm hoping a Savage 99 resident expert might happen by to help.

The 20" barrel is marked Model 99E and Westfield MA. It has the rounded short forend, nasty pressed checkering, pistol grip beech stocks, consistent with a Model 99E carbine. The serial number on the receiver starts 1,115,xxx, consistent with 1966/67 production. However, the lever code boss is "L" for 1960 and the receiver has the lever catch safety, which Savage stopped using and replaced with a shotgun style top tang safety in 1960, with the move to Westfield. The lever catch safety is integral to the receiver, so it's not a later replacement. And the serial number indicates manufacture at least six years after the end of the lever catch safety receivers....

Mysterious
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Re: Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#18 Post by DocRock » Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:28 pm

Worked on the bluing. Not exactly beautiful but I'd say she's gone from Ugly Duckling to Miss Congeniality...
E0043C05-4F33-4ADE-8FEE-61326BB9BBE2.jpeg
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Re: Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#19 Post by Pete44ru » Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:17 am

DocRock wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:31 pm

But I have a mystery and I'm hoping a Savage 99 resident expert might happen by to help.

The 20" barrel is marked Model 99E and Westfield MA. It has the rounded short forend, nasty pressed checkering, pistol grip beech stocks, consistent with a Model 99E carbine.
The serial number on the receiver starts 1,115,xxx, consistent with 1966/67 production.
However, the lever code boss is "L" for 1960 and the receiver has the lever catch safety, which Savage stopped using and replaced with a shotgun style top tang safety in 1960, with the move to Westfield.
The lever catch safety is integral to the receiver, so it's not a later replacement.
And the serial number indicates manufacture at least six years after the end of the lever catch safety receivers....

Mysterious



I would opine that Savage was using the "parts bin" system for assembling rifles (like Winchester, Colt, Ruger & others), and that the earlier-type receiver was still in the bin when the rifle was later assembled as a Model 99E.

Odd, but very possible.


Also, a light bore lapping with a lead slug might alleviate those tight spots.



.

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Re: Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#20 Post by DocRock » Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:45 pm

Pete44ru wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:17 am
DocRock wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:31 pm

But I have a mystery and I'm hoping a Savage 99 resident expert might happen by to help.

The 20" barrel is marked Model 99E and Westfield MA. It has the rounded short forend, nasty pressed checkering, pistol grip beech stocks, consistent with a Model 99E carbine.
The serial number on the receiver starts 1,115,xxx, consistent with 1966/67 production.
However, the lever code boss is "L" for 1960 and the receiver has the lever catch safety, which Savage stopped using and replaced with a shotgun style top tang safety in 1960, with the move to Westfield.
The lever catch safety is integral to the receiver, so it's not a later replacement.
And the serial number indicates manufacture at least six years after the end of the lever catch safety receivers....

Mysterious



I would opine that Savage was using the "parts bin" system for assembling rifles (like Winchester, Colt, Ruger & others), and that the earlier-type receiver was still in the bin when the rifle was later assembled as a Model 99E.

Odd, but very possible.


Also, a light bore lapping with a lead slug might alleviate those tight spots.

.

That seems the most likely explanation. My research suggested that the lever code boss is an absolute dating mechanism but a parts bin mashup is the only thing that makes sense. I had wondered whether this rifle was "assembled" from others at a later date by an intrepid home smith, but the 1960 or older receiver is serialized for 1966/67 which means it's either counterfeit (which is really very unlikely !) or the factory serialized a receiver from the parts bin or the back shelf in 66/67.

Good suggestion on lapping the bore, thanks.

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Re: Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#21 Post by KeithNyst » Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:17 pm

DocRock wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:31 pm

But I have a mystery and I'm hoping a Savage 99 resident expert might happen by to help.

The 20" barrel is marked Model 99E and Westfield MA. It has the rounded short forend, nasty pressed checkering, pistol grip beech stocks, consistent with a Model 99E carbine. The serial number on the receiver starts 1,115,xxx, consistent with 1966/67 production. However, the lever code boss is "L" for 1960 and the receiver has the lever catch safety, which Savage stopped using and replaced with a shotgun style top tang safety in 1960, with the move to Westfield. The lever catch safety is integral to the receiver, so it's not a later replacement. And the serial number indicates manufacture at least six years after the end of the lever catch safety receivers....
The model 99E (made from 1960-1984) kept the lever safety; never moved to the top tang safety. I'm thinking the lever boss code may be a partially struck U, which would track to that serial number range (1967). Pressed checkering on the 99E was not added until 1966.

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Re: Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#22 Post by DocRock » Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:49 pm

KeithNyst wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:17 pm
DocRock wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:31 pm

But I have a mystery and I'm hoping a Savage 99 resident expert might happen by to help.

The 20" barrel is marked Model 99E and Westfield MA. It has the rounded short forend, nasty pressed checkering, pistol grip beech stocks, consistent with a Model 99E carbine. The serial number on the receiver starts 1,115,xxx, consistent with 1966/67 production. However, the lever code boss is "L" for 1960 and the receiver has the lever catch safety, which Savage stopped using and replaced with a shotgun style top tang safety in 1960, with the move to Westfield. The lever catch safety is integral to the receiver, so it's not a later replacement. And the serial number indicates manufacture at least six years after the end of the lever catch safety receivers....
The model 99E (made from 1960-1984) kept the lever safety; never moved to the top tang safety. I'm thinking the lever boss code may be a partially struck U, which would track to that serial number range (1967). Pressed checkering on the 99E was not added until 1966.
Well, that makes even more sense. Exactly the expert knowledge that I was looking for, thank you.

Went at the bore today in earnest with JB Comound and a bronze brush wrapped in bronze wool. There was a good deal of lead in the bore just ahead of the chamber. I went through about fifty patches and a ton of bronze wool, but the tight spots are gone and the bore is like a mirror now. I've got two coats of Tung Oil on the stocks and they already look better.

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Re: Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#23 Post by DocRock » Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:11 pm

Three coats of Tung Oil starting to look good and bringing out the golden tones in the beech.
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Re: Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#24 Post by claybob86 » Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:52 am

Good work, thanks for the updates!
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Re: Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#25 Post by AJMD429 » Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:15 pm

4t5 wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:00 pm
You guy's mean one of these....
https://www.mossberg.com/product/464-sp ... fle-41026/
Thanks for just posting the link and not the actual picture. I had just eaten breakfast...... :|

As for the Savage....a perfect deer rifle....perfect functional firearm in the kind of condition that while you won't mind a ding or two, but you also will have pride in a well-done project, too.
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Re: Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#26 Post by Pete44ru » Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:23 pm

.

Take a tip from sad experience, and NEVER lubricate the magazine rotor (especially with WD-40) if you intend to use it in cold weather - unless, however, you desire a single-shot experience...…….. :(

(while it can be loaded when the rifle's warm, the rotor can later freeze in place, and not move until it thaws out.)

.

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Re: Savage 99 Ugly Duckling

#27 Post by DocRock » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:05 pm

Gave it 10 coats of Tung Oil and have done the best I can do with re-bluing. I'm pleased how it turned out.

Before:
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After:
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