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Old February 27, 2018, 11:31 AM   #1
rickt300
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Savage model 99 questions

I have two, a 99A in 308 and a 99E in the same caliber. The A model won't close on fired cases from factory loads fired in it. It is an accurate rifle, light and fast handling. The 99E will close on a case from a factory load fired in it but it takes a bit more force than what it takes to close on an unfired case. When you do close the action on a fired case you have to remove it with a cleaning rod. Is this unusual?

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Old February 27, 2018, 01:17 PM   #2
T. O'Heir
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Your best place for all things 99 is here.
http://www.savage99.com/index.php
"...won't close on fired cases..." Those fired out if that particular rifle? If you want to use the same cases in more than one rifle, you must FL resize every time. So unsized cases fired out of the 'A' may or may not fit in the 'E' and probably will not.
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Old February 27, 2018, 02:51 PM   #3
rickt300
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Once you eject the fired case it will not chamber again.
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Old February 27, 2018, 03:36 PM   #4
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Not particularly unusual for a 99 in 308. The action locks at the rear, allowing the action to stretch a bit when fired. Once the case is ejected, why would you want to put it back in?
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Old February 27, 2018, 03:46 PM   #5
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I just wanted to know if this is an indicator of excess headspace.
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Old February 27, 2018, 04:15 PM   #6
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there is a little spring in rear lock and tilt breech rifle actions, I have the same problem with a older rem 141 in 35 Remington. I use a small base resize die and have not had any problems after that.
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Old February 27, 2018, 05:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
I just wanted to know if this is an indicator of excess headspace.
Not necessarily. If you are concerned, talk to a gunsmith that has a set of go/no-go gauges.
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Old February 27, 2018, 05:48 PM   #8
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I also resize my 300 brass with Small Base dies. As a matter of fact I reload all my cartridge brass period with Small Base sets. Only one problem incurred with such practice. Small Base die use shortens brass life to 6 to 8 Max charge firings. There after its quite possible its shooter will experience a unexpected case separation. Which doesn't bother me one Iota. Seen/had my share of case separations and than some through-out all the years of my reloading. Although such a unwanted experience may inhibit some other from using Small Base. Be advised the benefit of using S/B dies outweighs the negatives.

I'm kind'a anal when closing my bolts and levers. I prefer absolutely no hindrance not even the slightest feel of interference from my home reloaded cartridges. None!!

As far as first fired brass functioning thru a receiver . Some guns will. Others won't. Reason for such gun behavior? Being a honest Tom. "I don't know?"
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Old February 27, 2018, 06:04 PM   #9
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My two M99s are a .308 and a .250 Sav. Using a FL sizing die I size a smidgen at a time and try them until I get them to just cycle without force.
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Old February 27, 2018, 06:09 PM   #10
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My two M99s are a .308 and a .250 Sav. Using a FL sizing die I size a smidgen at a time and try them until I get them to just cycle without force.

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Old February 27, 2018, 06:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
I just wanted to know if this is an indicator of excess headspace.
You are probably better off checking the brass with a Wilson gage or similar, or even a set of calipers. My 99F in .308 stretches the cases a bit, that's why I full-length resize. As was mentioned... case stretch is normal, and... if you think there might be a problem, you need to visit a gunsmith.
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Old February 28, 2018, 10:55 AM   #12
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When you do close the action on a fired case you have to remove it with a cleaning rod. Is this unusual?
It is normal for my 99 IF I'm firing 308 ammunition that is loaded to full pressure specs such as my PMC ammo labeled 7.62 NATO. The extractor jumps over the rim before applying enough force to pull the case out.

Now some fans of the 99 will argue that this condition is only problematic in certain individual rifles, but I have been aware of it for years (many posts like yours) and almost always in 308 Win caliber. I suspect the design is at its limit at top 308 Win pressure limits.

My solution, for my rifle, is not to shoot max pressure loads. I worked up a nice handload using 150gr. Sierra Pro Hunters at a tick under max published powder charge. Velocity and accuracy are better than adequate for anything my rifle is suited for, and ejection is perfect. it is also still faster than 300 Savage by a meaningful margin.

I suspect you could also try a few different brands of factory ammo and find something suitable for both your rifles.
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Old February 28, 2018, 07:53 PM   #13
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It sounds like everything is ok to me, my 99 in 300sav will not close on a fired case I think that's great, my headspacing must be good !!!!!
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Old March 4, 2018, 11:44 PM   #14
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This is what I figured. I'm thinking about selling the 99A and having the E model rebored to 358. I have too many 308 rifles.
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Old March 7, 2018, 10:13 AM   #15
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My FIL had a 300 Savage, Model 99. The action was as smooth as silk, just effortless. I believe it had a cartridge counter.
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Old March 7, 2018, 10:40 AM   #16
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Case Expansion and Headspace

Sounds like two different problems appearing to be the same.

All rifles and most handgun cases will expand some when fired. The extractor can usually pull them out (sometimes an overload will 'freeze' them in the chamber) but they are a bit larger than the unfired case. It is NORMAL. That's why reloading dies have a 'resizer'. It is for more than just holding the bullet in place.

Headspace, properly 'excess headspace'. Simplified, this is a condition of the combination of chamber length and bolt face being too long to properly support the case during firing. The case then expands under internal pressure to fill out the space available.

The simplest way to check for excessive (at home, without seeking professional help) is to measure the length of a fired case - from the rifle in question - with an unfired case. If the fired case is appreciably longer, that suggests (not establishes) excess headspace. Another check to examine fired cases for a 'bright ring' around the diameter of the case just above the internal web. This normally shows case stretching, a symptom of excessive headspace.

If convinced or suspicious of excessive headspace, see a gunsmith.

One notes, if the shooter fires only new, store-bought ammunition and does not reload, the condition is an annoyance more than a problem. Headspace problems act cumulatively on cases that are reloaded.

Headspace can also increase with time. With reloaded rounds or increase of headspace over time, the danger is the case will rupture near the base, with the danger of hot gases spewing over the shooter and the front half of the case stuck in the chamber.

Pay attention.
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Old March 7, 2018, 01:08 PM   #17
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Here's my opinion, take it for what it's worth, but I'd don't believe excessive headspace is the likely the problem. The Savage 99 is a pretty strong design, for a lever action, but let's be clear, it's operating on the edge of it's capability with full 308 Win pressures.

The bolt has no locking lugs at the front like most bolt action rifles do; the lever pushes the bolt forward and up to a position where the receiver holds it in place for firing. With enough pressure to cause sufficient rearward bolt thrust, you get enough "spring" to allow just enough case stretch to prevent that fired case from re-chambering. Couple that with an extractor that's just barely strong enough and you have the situation the op describes.

BTW the op mentioned two rifles with the same problem to different degrees. Entirely consistent with normal differences between two rifles with varying manufacturing tolerances as well as different amounts of wear due to use IMO.

Last edited by oldscot3; March 7, 2018 at 01:14 PM.
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