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Old February 12, 2013, 12:44 PM   #1
Ronbert
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What to do with worn-out rifle?

I've disassembled -except the magazine- and thoroughly cleaned my Grandfather's Savage 99 (in 300 Savage).
The barrel has minimal rifling with soft, rounded edges on the lands. It also has a pitted chamber and some dents or pits at the muzzle end in the grooves of the rifling. Near as I can tell he put 56 rounds thru it (He kept the boxes and the empty cases) but he probably bought it used. The rifle hung over the stairs to the basement of their home in rainy Washington state. (the stock bolt was really corroded)

I'm working up some handloads and giving thought to what to do if I cant get it to shoot properly.

During the 1960's there was a push for rural folks to use an engraving pencil to mark their stuff for recovery in case of theft. My Grandfather did this. He engraved his SSN on the receiver, the buttplate, and the scope.

So what does one do with a rifle that won't shoot well, and has an SSN marked on it in several places?

I guess I could engrave the SSN to all 8's. But if the rifle won't shoot it's not worth much to anyone else.

Is rebarrelling a viable option?

Take the firing pin out and make it a wall hanger?

Sell it out as a parts gun?

Looking for some ideas.
Thanks!
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Old February 12, 2013, 03:28 PM   #2
Mike Irwin
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Rebarreling should be fairly straight forward if you can find one to match the model.

Try gun parts corporation.
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Old February 12, 2013, 04:04 PM   #3
eldermike
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I am a grandpa myself and I have several very old grandpa guns from my family and wifes family, all in about the same condiditon as you describe. I just keep them in original condition because they are as much of a story as they are anything else.
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Old February 12, 2013, 04:06 PM   #4
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First off, don't plan on anything till you shoot a few different loads thru it. I've heard of more than one gun with horrid bores that still shot surprisingly well.

But don't get did of it. Yes, rebarreling is an option and IMO I'd get it done in a heart beat. Sleeving it is another option to keep the gun more original. Baring anything else it was grandpa's, hang it on the wall if you don't want to mess with it. DEFINITELY DON'T part it out. Someone will want it as is.
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Old February 12, 2013, 04:25 PM   #5
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Thanks for helpful answers so far-

I'll definitely try finding loads that work first. And I'll start load tests with the Marble's peep sight to eliminate scope & mount issues.

Unfortunately I don't have much of the rifle's history. Grandpa and Grandma are gone and my folks left town when Dad went to flight training and have never lived in the old town since. Only story I know about the rifle is that I got to shoot it exactly once as a kid when we visited for Christmas. (Could barely hold the muzzle up to shoot that darn stump!)

I have no children to pass it to as a family heirloom. My sister's family are anti-gun and she has daughters. So there's no real passdown value.

I'm just hoping to be able to make it shoot well which is value for its own sake. But I'd like to have a Plan B. Rebarrel would be nice if it comes to that.
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Old February 12, 2013, 05:15 PM   #6
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if the chamber is pitted you might have problems firing full power load s in it or even medium power if the pits are bad enough.
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Old February 12, 2013, 06:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
My sister's family are anti-gun and she has daughters.
Then expect the daughters to want to shoot. Just this past year, a niece approached me about learning to shoot. It's cool, really cool to pass along a heritage like that. Don't give up on the girls yet. Just this past year I've helped four or five family member females learn to shoot. Even the New York Times is starting to notice.

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Old February 12, 2013, 08:38 PM   #8
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+1 what PawPaw said. Mom and Dad were anti, my Brother's in-laws and my friends got me started. I think Grandpa sold all his guns. I would do anything to get that history back.
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Old February 13, 2013, 10:01 AM   #9
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#1 Wall hanger

#2 buy back bait.
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Old February 13, 2013, 11:08 AM   #10
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A Savage 99 is an excellent rifle, the 300 Savage is an excellent cartridge, and if all the thing needs is a barrel, there are people who can rebarrel it.

You can buy a 30 caliber barrel blank, give the rifle and barrel to a gunsmith, and he can turn it down to the right size, chamber it, and install it on the receiver.

You can look at barrel blanks and prices. Your Savage is not a target rifle, but most custom barrels are target grade. You can look up Douglas, or ER Shaw. http://www.ershawbarrels.com/. Call them up and tell them what you want, they will tell you the cost options.

The whole process of blank, chambering, bluing, will cost $300 to $400, but what the heck, you will have a Savage 99 with a new barrel! And it will be your Grandfather's.
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Old February 13, 2013, 12:17 PM   #11
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I saw someone made a real nice floor lamp out of an old worn out rifle. They screwed the buttstock to a wooden disk to hold vertical and ran the power cord through the bore . they mounted a lampholder and shade in the muzzle . looked really nice.
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Old February 13, 2013, 10:04 PM   #12
jackpine
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re bore to a 338 or 358 bore and shoot it some more
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Old February 13, 2013, 10:35 PM   #13
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Rebarrel. You might even find an original replacement barrel if you look hard enough.
The Savage 99 is a classic and as long as the action is good its well worth restoring.

Not sure but most spool type magazines only work with the original cartridge. If you cange chambering you may have to find a spool to fit the new cartridge.
You may be able to test to be sure the rounds you want will feed properly.

Light cast bullet loads may be best for this old barrel.
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Old February 13, 2013, 11:32 PM   #14
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Just send it to me C/O this forum.
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Old February 14, 2013, 02:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Light cast bullet loads may be best for this old barrel.
This.

And, the loads don't have to be all that light.

If your rifle absolutely won't shoot worth a darn with jacketed bullets, cast bullets, properly sized to the bore might be able to restore its accuracy. And with the right bullets, gas checked and cast of the right alloy, velocities up to about 2200fps can be done without leading. And that is .30-30 power.

An old savage that will shoot well enough for deer at .30-30 levels (or slightly less) but not full .300 Savage is better than a wall hanger, any day.

You mention some pits at the muzzle. IF the rifle don't shoot decently with the existing barrel, the first thing to do is have it recrowned, then shoot it some more. Often it wear/damage at the muzzle that makes the difference between "decent" and "worthless".

Being the kind of guy I am, I'd test with jacketed loads (assuming the chamber isn't too bad to cause trouble), then if its too poor, get it recrowned, and try again. IF still poor, then go the cast bullet route. You might just save the expense of a new barrel.
And, if not, then rebarrel it. OR have it bored out for a wildcat round, is another option. IF the chamber is not too badly pitted.
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Old February 14, 2013, 09:17 AM   #16
Ronbert
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You guys sure have lots of ideas :-)

I think 44AMP sets out a pretty good plan. Try various jacketed, then recrown and try again. I'm not into rifles very much or bullet casting (at all) so the effort to find something to work would stop with me after recrowning and jacketed load testing.


There's little sentimental value to this rifle for me. We never went hunting nor even ate venison at their house so there are few fond memories associated with the rifle. I have my Grandfather's retirement watch as a keepsake and I have the Mossberg .22 he gave me for my 11th birthday.
I'm in my 50's and not a hunter (not a philosophical issue) so getting the rifle to shoot is more of an idea that I prefer to own things that 'work' rather than things that look nice but are broken. (I don't think I could bear to turn something that's almost functional into a lamp.)

But it's too early to give up. If I could find some 150gr flat base .30 cal bullets I could work up some likely loads. Shelves were amazingly bare at Sportsman's Warehouse last night so I'll use some 180gr bullets I have on hand but that's not really the preferred weight for 300 Savage. Have to keep looking for bullets in case the 180s don't shoot right. This could take awhile!

Thanks for your inputs. It's what these kinds of forums are so good at :-)
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Old February 14, 2013, 10:27 PM   #17
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I mentioned your rifle to a friend of mine who is into model 99s, and he felt it would be important to identify the model and age if possible. It seems some specific models of 99 are rather rare, and of considerable interest to collectors, in any condition.

pics are always nice, but I know, not always possible. Shape of forend, barrel band, or not, factory drilled and tapped or not, ser# (xx for the last digits), other marking and locations and any other information would be a big help.

Certainly find out before going to a major step like rebarreling. Let us know how it does in its present condition. Worn looking bores sometimes shoot accepably well.

Good luck with your project.
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Old February 22, 2013, 12:38 AM   #18
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http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Orig...item2c6a5b126f
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Old February 22, 2013, 07:30 AM   #19
Mike Irwin
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Hum...

That's a bit more than much for a barrel with that many rust problems if you ask me...
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Old February 22, 2013, 07:53 AM   #20
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If you decide not to re-barrel, etc., do not remove the firing pin or make any other alteration. Oil it (the inside and the metal...not the wood) up, and store it for someone's future project. The world does not need any more "bubba'ed" guns that have been ruined beyond repair. Your "worn-out" gun may be someone else's treasure.
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Old February 22, 2013, 04:46 PM   #21
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Learn as much as your can about your Grandfather and the gun, then keep it in the safe and tell the stories.
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Old February 22, 2013, 05:01 PM   #22
RonR6
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Keep it and cherish the memories. I have many old guns that have stories to remember.
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Old February 22, 2013, 10:21 PM   #23
tahoe2
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I have a 1941 German model 98 mauser, with an ugly barrel but it shoots pretty darned good for a 72 year old gun, give the Savage a chance you might be surprised.
My 1951 Savage model 99 works really well with Sierra Pro Hunter 150 grn round nose bullets and 38 grns of BLC-2 or H-335 powder (1 grn below max), so work up to it.
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Old February 22, 2013, 11:11 PM   #24
Ronbert
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Some more information to set context.

My Grandfather died about 7 years ago at age 93. There aren't any of his friends left to ask about the rifle.

My parents are still alive and doing well but they have no stories about Grandfather going hunting. They don't even know when he got it though we all remember seeing it hanging from the nails in the basement in the 1960's.
The only story is him taking me out to shoot a stump once.

So there aren't any stories to be had to cherish. Wish there were.

Meantime, I've loaded up some test rounds of ammo and found some factory ammo to test the next time I have a day off and there's adequate weather to shoot in. The rush for guns and ammo has really pinched the supply of bullets to test with so the only 150 grainers I could find are round nosed ones intended for 30-30. But with some 180s, the 150s and a few 168 Matchkings I might learn something useful.
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Old February 23, 2013, 02:03 AM   #25
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Shoot it the way it is, no gun and I mean any does not deserve to be put on the wall for decoration or a safe unless it is unsafe. Or I'd sleeve it back to original caliber.
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