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Thread: Any 300 Savage fans in the crowd

  1. #1
    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    Default Any 300 Savage fans in the crowd

    For our anniversary last weekend my lovely bride surprised me with a nearly new shape Savage 99. I had been wanting a 99 for some time but wasn't willing to settle for just any old rifle, how she knew which one to pick I'm not sure but she hit the nail squarely upon the head. I don't care for the tang safety models, wanted walnut instead of birch, had to have a brass counter, was only interested in the earlier calibers, and prefered that it not be tapped for scope use. I know I'm a picky fella, but by golly she found a rifle that fit all of my criteria and got it for me. The only things wrong with it, and they aren't really wrong, was that it had a good set of sling swivels added in the past, and three little dings in a row on the side of the butt. Every thing else about it is spotless and the rear swivel was installed on center even, the front is a barrel band so I don't have to worry about the forend cracking from the stress of a sling.

    She he surprised me with it at the gunshow in Palmer by insisting that I buy a sack of 300 savage brass. Me having dense moments at times, kept telling her that I didn't have a 300 savage! She finally came out and told me that I indeed did have one and I should buy some brass and dies. I managed to find 60 cases and a set of dies for a reasonable price and hustled home to load some ammo.

    I had a real nice old redfield reciever sight I have been saving for a while in my toolbox that I promptly installed. I stuck a slotblank in the rear dovetail and swapped the front bead out for a Sourdough of equal height. Laced a brand new tan latigo sling through the swivels and was all ready to go.

    I loaded a pretty good array of bullets from 150-180gr with 3 or 4 different powders and we beat feet for rabbit creek Sunday after lunch. I must say, after firing 40 rounds through it, what a pleasure. I'm even surer now that my days of big magnum cartridges are numbered, I still like speed in my small bores but the big boomers are gathering more and more dust these days. The darn thing shoots very well too, as good as I can do with hunting style irons anyways. 1.5-2.5" at the hundred yard mark for five shot groups will work for me and what I have planned for this rifle.

    I have already reloaded some of the brass from last weekend, with an array of different bullets of course this time 125, 130, and 150s from different makers. Can't wait to get back to the range and shoot it some more. I bedded the contact surfaces of the buttstock and massaged the trigger to a creep free 3lbs after we got home, should prevent cracks and maybe shrink the groups a little with a better trigger. We are headed to Kodiak the first week of December for a deer hunt and this will be my rifle for the trip, hope to tag a couple nice bucks with it.

    So aside from bragging on my wife I started this thread to ask about any of you fellas' experience with the 300.

  2. #2
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    Watta story, with promise.

    I've no experience with 300 Savage OR a 99, but it sounds like I've missed something.

    Older guns, the ones that worked, have a lot of appeal.

    SOTN
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  3. #3

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    If I were you Kid I'd keep em both.....the wife first and the rifle second. I have always and forever wanted the exact gun that you have! Back when I was much younger and rifle hunting in northern Missouri, one of the land owners that hunted with us had such a gun. Towards the end of my years of hunting on his property he became to old to hit the woods with us and passed that gun on to his grandson. Ammo became hard to find in the ma & pa gas station/convenience stores in the area so Jack asked me to load some ammo for grandpa's gun. He loved that gun but aside from it being the gun grandpa used he didn't know what he had. He had a real hard time parting with it even for a couple of weeks so I explained to him the need to have the gun in hand if I were going to "Taylor make" him some hand loads. He simmered down when I told him that I only needed the gun for the initial loading and would never take it again.

    I just looked in my very first ever Hornady reloading manual and on the 300 Savage page was the load info for his grandpas gun. There was also a notation that says "shot through Roger Long's chronograph...Sierra 150 gr BTSP 2758 ftps. I can remember my thoughts after reading those numbers them many moons ago. Equal to the .308 with bullets up to 150 gr. What a gun....what a cartridge!

    Your a lucky man Kid! I both envy you and am happy for you at the same time! Let us know how your hunt with the new/old rifle goes!

  4. #4

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    Congrats! My time with 99's and the 300 stretch back to 1960 +/- a year or so. Memory gets a little thin at my age. Over time I've owned or shot the caliber in a variety of models including not just several 99 models, but also the Rem 760 and a couple of bolts. Dandy in all of them, but at its best in the 99. I prefer tang safeties because I'm a lefty, but make an exception for the 99R.

    I've settled on the 165 grain bullet as the ultimate for the 300, giving the right mix of vel and trajectory. I kinda let the individual rifle pick which 165 is which, because all I've tried worked great on game.

    And yup, it's receiver sights for me, though I zeroed in on an array of beads rather than partridge on the front. I don't cover the target with the bead like so many folks, rather I use the top edge as you would a partridge. Used that way, the bead gives me a much finer aiming point for long range precision. The guys I grew up with and their fathers all shot 99's with receiver/bead, and watching them make some incredible long range shots naturally inclined me that way.

    One thing worth pointing out that you haven't ventured into yet with your 300- It's a dandy round for heavier cast bullets. I prefer 180's and heavier to anything lighter. Get one with a fairly blunt nose, and you'll have trouble telling it from jacketed bullets on game within trajectory limits. I never push for super vels with cast bullets for game, using Lyman #2 and gc's for a little expansion with a whole lot of penetration when started in the 1500-1600 range. I expect accuracy in the same realm as jacketed bullets. Only round that might be a little better than the 300 with cast is the 303, because it seems to like heavier bullets more than the 300. But "better" is in the eyes of the beholder on that count. The 303 can't touch the 300 with jacketed in my opinion.

    Great score, both the 99 and the wife. Almost 45 years ago I married a gal who grew up in her family's sporting goods store. Didn't realize how important shared interests were back then, but now I realize how fortunate is the guy whose wife thinks all this outdoor stuff is NORMAL and loves it herself. Here's hoping your own marriage is headed for more decades than you can count on one hand!

  5. #5
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Dream rifle

    I love the Savage 99, though I do not have one. I would prefer one in 250-3000 or .308 but would even take one in .303 or whatever.
    My B-I-L, a gun collector, is on an RV tour of the L48 and is keeping an eye open for me as he frequents shops and shows of various kinds. Keeping my fingers crossed!

    You are a lucky man all the way around!

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    There's a picture of John Nosler alongside a massive mule deer. He was a towering man, the deer dwarfed em. In his hand......a savage 99 in 300 savage. Wish I could find that picture to link to the forum, it's priceless IMO.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    There's a picture of John Nosler alongside a massive mule deer. He was a towering man, the deer dwarfed em. In his hand......a savage 99 in 300 savage. Wish I could find that picture to link to the forum, it's priceless IMO.
    I've seen that picture! I'm thinking it was in one of their reloading manuals! Yup that picture blown up would work on any wall!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    ...massive mule deer.
    In a lot mule deer country the 99 was kind of a "94 on steroids" performance-wise. The 94 might have the cowboy image and myth, but the guys who knew guns and grew up around mule deer preferred the performance of the 300 and accuracy of the 99. It more than doubled the effective range of the 30-30 in capable hands.

  9. #9

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    My dad and a friend of his started using the .300 Savage in the 50's for deer and antelope in Montana and Wyoming. I still have it and plan on blasting something with it some day. My Dad's buddy dropped 5 caribou with his on a open tundra pond one winter, back in the 60's. The case interests me as it does move a 150 grain bullet pretty good.

  10. #10
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    In a lot mule deer country the 99 was kind of a "94 on steroids" performance-wise. The 94 might have the cowboy image and myth, but the guys who knew guns and grew up around mule deer preferred the performance of the 300 and accuracy of the 99. It more than doubled the effective range of the 30-30 in capable hands.
    Yup very true. Too pricy to replace a 94 as an every day saddle rifle but sure nice for deer and almost mandatory for antelope hunting. 94s were the everyday cowboy rifles in Arizona because the Jewell Box (big pawn shop in Phoenix) had soaped in their window ďPick any Win 30-30 $19.95Ē for years and years, not that 94 was better than the 99 just 94 was good as well as cheap and easy to get.

     
    300 Savage is right close to 308, most look at those little cases and have no idea what a performer it is. Most also donít know 300 Savage was the starting point for developing the 308. Dandy round and very well matched to a fine old 99 lever.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    In a lot mule deer country the 99 was kind of a "94 on steroids" performance-wise. The 94 might have the cowboy image and myth, but the guys who knew guns and grew up around mule deer preferred the performance of the 300 and accuracy of the 99. It more than doubled the effective range of the 30-30 in capable hands.
    Good point BB:

    More poop than a thutty Ė thutty, and pointey bullets, too.

    Still, when I came up here, (I hafta measure from then, because, there was no Beeg Game hunting where I grew up, WHEN I grew up. )

    I thought they were too Ugly, and like you said, they had no Cowboy Image.

    I should have payed more attention, I reckon.

    I have a question on your using cast bullets in a 300 Savage. I shoot cast bullets in 30-30, 7x57, 280 Rem, 7mm Rem Mag. 7mm Wby Mag, and did, in 338 WM when I owned one..

    Iím wondering how well cast bullets can work in a case with so short a neck. So far, Iíve managed to keep the gas checks out of the powder space. EXCEPTING, for ONE bullet I tried in the 338.

    How do you feel about that? Ever had any trouble with them coming off in the 300 Savage, or any cartridge? Is that an issue, in your experience?

    Thanks
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  12. #12

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    Never had an issue with it in the 300, or the 243 for that matter. But I'm using Lyman #2 which is fairly soft and allows a good crimp of the GC compared to hard bullets, and I'm not trying to recreate jacket bullet velocities.

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    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies fellas, I think I will keep the both of em for as long as I can.

    Funny that I was inches from buying a clean newer production 99 in 308 this summer. It was the 1980s econo model, birch stocks, no counter, tang safety with a poor set of factory irons. I talked myself out of it as to me the 99 is about nostalgia and class, and although the 308 is a fine cartridge it just doesn't turn my crank.

    I did find a good load for 165s and 180s using accurate arms 2700, funny what you'll turn to when the old standbys are hard to find. The book doesn't show either load with that fuel as being tops in the speed department, but accuracy is good and I see no need to try to turn this into a 30-06, I have a few of those already. With 150gr bullets I tried both 4320 and H4895, both gave satisfactory results with 4895 showing better groups. Kinda neat to put a couple inches in the powder measure, load a couple boxes of ammo and find that you had enough left in the hopper to load another 2/3 of a box!

    i have tried so far 150s from hornady, both spitzer and RN, 165 Sierra btsp, 180 norma semi spitzer BT, and 180 Speer RN and btsp. The other that I decided to load up last minute was the 150 Nosler Accubond, holy smokes did they shoot, I had one cluster of 5 in a half dollar! That's about all this guy can do with irons. This week I'm going to try 125 and 150 ballistic tips, 130 TTSXs and since Brownebear mentioned it maybe some cast from my 173 Lyman mold. I'm certain any of the projectiles I've listed will work just fine for deer, but that wouldn't be much fun if we just used what we knew worked!

    Oh BTW my 99 is a 1949 production EG with the 24" barrel and integral front ramp. If I could figure out how to post pictures from this "Smart" phone I would as I don't have a computer anymore, maybe someone can walk me through it if it's possible.

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    I have an actual model 99 built in 99 with an octagon barrel brass counter an all, probably one of the most accurate guns I have, but it's only a 30/30 . In your collective experiences what is the heaviest game you might chance with it.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arleigh View Post
    In your collective experiences what is the heaviest game you might chance with it.
    Anything you'd shoot with a Winnie 94. Lotta moose taken with the 30-30 over the years, but by guys who got close and placed their shots well.

    In contrast I've had to do some serious tracking to "clean up" a couple of times after an idiot I know took long shots at elk with his 94 saddle gun. Not a condemnation of the caliber, but of his judgement and (lack of) shooting skills. He "cut hair" alright, but a 50BMG wouldn't have dropped those elk any better with his hits.

  16. #16
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    I would have no qualms whatsoever in using a 30/30 for moose, caribou, blackbear, and deer provided the range is kept short. The 30/30 is a wonderful caliber that gets poopooed by folks for being underpowered, but it has been getting the job done for almost 110 years now so it must not be too bad. Also the bullets used in 30/30 were perfected eons ago and work great at the speeds it's capable of.

    The 30/30 was actually my first choice of calibers for a 99, not that I'm upset with my 300, but that for iron sight ranges for me it would have provided plenty of power and I'm all set to load for it having a pair of 1950s era marlin sporting carbines so chambered. I always thought the little saddle ring carbine 99s were cute and have wanted one for years in 30/30, as opposed to the more common 303sav which is hard to find cases for.

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    My father in law has a 99 that was his Dads horse gun and spent all of it's life in a scabbard. It was made over a hundred years ago and the action is still butter smooth and tight compared to my Winchesters and Marlins which were made in the early 70's and 80's.

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