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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

My father in law has a new to him savage 99 in 303 savage, and the barrel I believe is shot out/bad cleaning practices. The bullets key hole really bad. I tried .308,.310,.312,.314 cast bullets all key hole. Leading me to believe the barrel is done. Now we are looking to reline it but don't know where to turn. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance,

Kieran
 

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Replacing a barrel is $$$. Especially if you had to machine a barrel blank to fit. You could have it relined for about 1/4 what you would spend on an entire barrel.

I can't see that Numrich Gun Parts lists a barrel for the 66. You might see if there is a Savage Arms forum and float the question to those guys to see if anyone has such a barrel.

All Availble Savage Gun Repair Parts-Bob's Gun Shop,Stevens Gun Repair Parts- Springfield Gun Repair Parts.  Stevens Factory Gun Parts, Savage Factory Gun Repair Parts, Springfield Factory Gun Repair Parts, Stevens 22 Rigfle Parts, Stevens Double Sho definitely ask this guy if he has a Savage 66 barrel
 

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what weight were your bullets? does it look (shot out) are there any grooves and lands left? does the crown look ok? i think the bullet for that rifle was 190 grains. most of the rifles i have played with that had dim shallow rifling would still shoot point on with a properly sized bullet of the correct length for the twist
 
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hoss, my 32-40 savage 1899 has a turrible-lookin' barrel, deep grooves but pitted and dark. won't shoot cast boolits worth owl spit, but it'll shoot a purty group with jacketed--i tend towards .322's. yer 303 might shoot jacketed .308's ok, or it might prefer .311's (7.65 argentine, 7.65 mosin, er 303 brit bullets), and since yer not facin' a tube magazine, no problem shootin' pointed ones (except overall length, which'll hafta stay just over 2-1/2". of course, relinin' the critter and rechambering to 250 savage or 25-35 might be a hoot.
mind yer topknot!
windy
 

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I had John Taylor re-line my .32 Special M94 a few years ago. Was about $275.00 if I recall. I had several other shooters look at the muzzle in bright sunlight and they could not tell that barrel was re-lined. Great way to put and old rifle back into service.

See: Taylor Machine
 

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Before I went to any expense there are things to learn. Slug the barrel and findout what the true bore size is. Second, have a gunsmith recut the crown. Then if the bore size is correct and the crown is right, try some factory loads. I can't imagine a .303 levergun has had enough use to be "shot out". Crown damage much more likely from cleaning rod wear or just a lousy barrel improperly bored originally or some very poor handloads. While it is having the crown recut have the headspace checked. Yoiu didn't say what year it was manufactured. If may be a very early one just suffering from very old production standards too.
 

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Hey Hammer,

Did you really clean it? It may be severely "copper" fouled. Sweet's 7.62 Solvent does a good job of removing copper fouling.

Agree with your original post, the previous owner may have "hurt" the barrel.

Later, Mark
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys for all of your inputs. So far these are the reasons why I think it is shot out. The crown is fine so no damage there. Of the bullets we shot some were recovered and had zero rifling on the bullet. It looks like it just ping ponged around in a tube before hitting the target. To me that suggests a barrel WAY too big. And if .314's are doing that then thats a problem. I dont think jacketed would fair any better due to being even smaller at .308. The weight of these bullets are 176gr. So to me relining is the cheaper and best option. I cant remember what it was slugged at as this has been a multi month ordeal.
 

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I can't imagine shooting out a .303. I suspect that the former owner had the barrel bored out to a larger cal. Since relining will require a gunsmith, have it checked to see what cal. it really is. Would like to know how your project turns out.
 

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I'd inspect the barrel and the crown before doing anything. I'd pay particular attention to the crown and muzzle areas. A damaged crown can cause this sort of problem and is relatively easy and inexpensive to resolve. If that is not the problem and there are still lands and grooves try different diameter bullets of proper length.
 

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I can't imagine shooting out a .303. I suspect that the former owner had the barrel bored out to a larger cal. Since relining will require a gunsmith, have it checked to see what cal. it really is. Would like to know how your project turns out.


That's all the more reason to slug the bore - maybe it really isn't a 303 anymore.
 

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If your reeel careful with a good dial caliper you can easily get a groove diameter to within .001". Just make sure the reverse jaws are in the groove. (impossible with microgroove barrels) AC
 

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Is there any rifling visible in the barrel? If indeed, the barrel is bad, then I either reline or rebore to another caliber. But first, I do a little more cleaning and experimenting.
 

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Slug the Muzzle first...
THEN ...

Do a pound cast on the leade....

So.. If the rifling at the muzzle looks good and is the right diameter.....

So.. Measure the diameter at the muzzle and at the leade...

If the Muzzle is quite a bit larger than the leade - it's going to misbehave no matter what you do.... sometimes, this can be sorted out by recrowning or counterboring the muzzle a little bit.....

Now.. If you do the pound cast on the leade and it's very long and very large diameter.... indicating very worn in the leade... Likely you need to move to a long, heavy, FLAT base bullet.... as in a 200 grain Woodleigh or something along those lines...

This was a very common with old military rifles... The leades got really, really worn out over time - and they wouldn't shoot AT ALL with boat tail bullets... wouldn't shoot at all with lighter, shorter bullets.....

Now.. With cast - IGNORE the size it says on the barrel... You ONLY go with the diameter of the leade (Assuming you can get it to chamber)..... If you can't chamber a bullet that large - then you go with the largest bullet you can reliably chamber and hope for the best....

Realistically, though....
Step 1... Figure out what the problem is
Step 2... SELL THE GUN
Step 3... With this LEARNING under your belt - make sure you inspect for that defect on the next one....
 

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+1 on John Taylor. He did an 1895 Win for me a few years ago; quick turn around and impeccable work. Another option for re-line or re-bore is Norman Johnson [email protected] He is in Turtle Lake, North Dakota and does some excellent work.


See: Taylor Machine
 

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If you've recovered .314" bullets that don't show any rifling marks is sounds like the barrel has been bored out. You may have a 323-303 or 338-303 or some such. Ken Waters talked about doing that with an 8mm sporter with a ruined barrel. He left the chamber alone and had it bored out to .338". Slugging the barrel and doing a chamber cast will tell you what you have.
 
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