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I am considering acquiring a Savage 99 and would like some input from guys with experience regarding this rifle. Likes / Dislikes... calibers. reliability, accuracy.
Thanks in advance. MH
 

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Avoid the Lllama "Made in Spain" models. They will have a serial # starting with "L" and be marked "Made in Spain" on the barrel.
 

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Avoid the Lllama "Made in Spain" models. They will have a serial # starting with "L" and be marked "Made in Spain" on the barrel.
I've never seen one of those........apparently, I'm better off doing so........

Now, about the 99.....I have one I bought out of a pawn shop last year. It's not the first one that I have ever owned. This one is a 99EG in 300 Savage with a 1953 date code. It was in near new condition, and am I glad I bought it. It shoots wonderfully with Remington factory 150 gr Corelokts. I'm waiting for deer season to get here so I have a chance to use. I'm happy......
 

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Don't think you can go wrong with either caliber. I just bought an 1899 made in 1913 in 303 Savage. I would not advise the 303 unless yoy reload as ammo is scarce and expensive. As far as the 1899/99 goes, it is a fine, unique levergun that with its rotary magazine allows you to safely use pointed bullet. A smooth action and elegant design also make it attractive. One thing to look out for is cracks in the stock near the tang and in the wrist. While not a deal breaker, they are something that seems common and could be an issue(or bargaining chip). All in all, another great American levergun!!
 

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The Spanish 99s had a detachable box magazine vs the internal rotary magazine of the American models. They were the last run of 99s and have a "C" suffix. Production was moved to Spain sometime in the '80s.

Here is a good article about the 99 in it's various forms.

http://www.riflemagazine.com/magazine/pdf/risepartial1.pdf

 

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I have a preference for the the Chicopee rifles made in the 1950's before the move to Westfield. These are the pre 1,000,000 rifles with the safety on the lever. The lever safety, for me, allows for a low scope mount. With the tang safety find I need to mount the scope higher to access the safety, so put a peep sight on those. 308 are common in the lever safety style, 243 a bit rare. My Chicopee rifles are all 99Fs in 300 Savage, which generally can be had for about $75.00 less than a 308, or $150 than a 243 in the same condition. They are 100% reliable, grouping is at 1.5 inch at 100yd. Prefer the 99F (feather weight, slim 22 inch barrel, stock hollowed out) as a carry rifle because they weigh about 6lb 3 oz, which about 1lb. 4oz less than an EG (24 inch barrel). The 99F carriers about a $75.00 premium over an EG. An R should price out the same as an EG, but an RS with factory peep sight and swivels about a $150 premium. The R-RS is a heavier rifle than an EG, with a 24 inch moderate taper barrel and heavier, almost beaver tail stocks, and is considered the target rifle of the group.

The 99A is the saddle carbine of the group, without pistol grip, and has a light 20 inch barrel. The same caliber price differences apply. I have one in 308, but prefer the pistol grip models.

Those 99E (economy model, no round counter, plainer wood, lever safety) with a light 20 inch barrel, are very much in demand for those seeking a handy pistol grip carbine (want one), this rifle is very common in 308, kinda rare in 243. I have a 308 99C (Westfield late production), with blued lever, that groups a 1.25 inches at 100yd. Not a thing wrong with a 99C as a hunting rifle, thou purist prefer the early lever safety rotary magazine rifles. The 300 Savage is a very capable and available round, being on par with the 308MX and almost a 308.

The rifles made in Spain, where Savage's last effort to keep the 99 alive. The model made their was a version of the 99C. Many 99C were US made in the 70's and 80's, only the last few years of production were out of Spain, don't know the serial numbers or codes on those for sure, but think the serial numbers start with an L.

Guns made prior to 1956 have Savage Model 99 marked on top of receiver, and were not factory drilled and tapped. Later, the marking was moved to the receiver side, and the tops were tapped. In this way, 99 are like 336 waffle tops, undrilled is desirable, and required for a collectors piece, and prices paid should reflect this deduction. Again like the early 336, the stocks did not come equipped with factory swivels, except for the RS model.
 
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