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Old July 9, 2018, 08:48 PM   #1
Grant 14
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Missfires, early Savage 99

I am trying to resurrect a Savage 99 (30-30 from 1904) that has sat in the closet with a broken stock for decades. I found a stock at a gun show and cleaned the old beast up and test fired it. I thought things were good but it missfires about every 4th or 5th round. I thought it might be my reloads (I am new to reloading) but I tried commercial ammo and it did the same. The primer marks are a little light. I suspected old hard grease around the firing pin, so I took it apart and cleaned the pin, spring and inside of the bolt. Same result. The spring does not seem weak but it is hard for me to judge. Is there any way to turn the shoulder on the firing pin to get a few thousands more travel, or any other suggestions. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks Grant.
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Old July 10, 2018, 12:12 PM   #2
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"...every 4th or 5th round..." That's the key. It happening with factory and handloads indicates it's not the ammo. Wolff Springs wants $7.49 for an "extra" power hammer spring. I'd do that before fiddling with the FP.
Might be an idea to rummage around here too. Savage collectors are pretty passionate bunch. Most of 'em know everything there is to know about 'em.
http://www.savageshooters.com/content.php
More good info here.
http://www.savage99.com/index.php
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Old July 11, 2018, 09:38 AM   #3
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Firing pin protrusion? Head space?

Jeff

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Old July 11, 2018, 10:36 AM   #4
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I'd clean the firing pin, firing pin channel, bolt and other working parts.

My brother's Rem 700 misfired on the range. We took it home and I took his bolt apart and cleaned it. Built up gunk. Next range trip and everything was as it should be.
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Old July 13, 2018, 09:02 PM   #5
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Yep. If it sat cocked all those years, the spring may have taken a set, but otherwise I'd expect it to at least fire. Strip it down again and apply something that will attack old carbon and grease, both. Gunzilla left sitting in it for a month will probably take out both. For faster work, some Slip2000 Carbon Killer followed by soaking in mineral spirits for several days should do it.

Once you are really sure it is clean, push the firing pin in and measure how far it sticks out. For most rifles 0.055"-0.065" are good numbers with modern primers, butb I say that with the caveat that I,ve never worked on a 99.
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Old July 14, 2018, 02:10 AM   #6
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Agree.......replace the striker spring. It's a cheap expense to start with.
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Old July 14, 2018, 08:34 AM   #7
Grant 14
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I just ordered a heavy striker spring from ebay. I will measure the firing pin protrusion (thanks for the measurement) and maybe put the bolt thru the sonic cleaner that I have. I used Qtips and acetone before and it seemed to get a lot out, but I had not thought of the sonic cleaner, so I will do that also. Is there a simple way to measure headspace or does it require go-no,go gauges? Thanks for the info. I will let you know how this turns out. Grant.
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Old July 14, 2018, 08:38 AM   #8
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You have to disassemble the bolt (remove the extractor) to test headspace. Are you in Colorado?
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Old July 14, 2018, 02:05 PM   #9
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Just my thoughts

I would take a drill bit and clean out the firing pin hole, not just the minor diameter, but the larger diameter, so like to clean out the shoulder of the firing pin hole.
No bear in mind that I have not had one apart, but the guys that are telling you about firing pin protrusion and new springs are right on the money, just make sure the firing pin hole recess is clean all the way to the bottom.

Please note: just turn the drill bit with your fingers only.

All the best, let us know what you find out
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Old July 14, 2018, 02:11 PM   #10
Grant 14
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I am in Calif. I have a very good gunsmith, but I try to do most of my work by myself. I enjoy it. After removing the extractor, what is the procedure for checking headspace? Grant.
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Old July 14, 2018, 02:13 PM   #11
Grant 14
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I think I took a wire bore cleaning brush to the inside of the bolt, But I might do it again when I have the pin out. Grant.
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Old July 14, 2018, 07:27 PM   #12
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If you have done all that work to the firing pin and are still having problems, I would check headspace. In a century plus, that rifle has probably seen its share of shooting, so find out if it can still hold the case tightly. If not, it's not a big deal to set a barrel back on a 99.
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Old July 14, 2018, 11:00 PM   #13
Grant 14
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What is the procedure for checking headspace? Grant.
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Old July 14, 2018, 11:02 PM   #14
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After you remove the extractor, then insert the go gauge. The action should close on it.
Open the action, insert the cleaning rod and push it the go gauge.

Insert the no-go gauge and try to close the action. If it doesn't close, that's good. If it closes, the chamber is out of SAAMI spec. Open the action, insert the cleaning rod and push out the no-go gauge. Discuss the remedy with your gunsmith.
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Old July 15, 2018, 10:23 AM   #15
Grant 14
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Thanks Gary, I was thinking that it was conventional with go and nogo gauges, but didnt know if rimmed cases (chambers) were tested in a different manner than rimless. In my Dads gunsmithing days he had a whole drawer full of gauges, but I dont think he had 30-30. I will do the heavy spring trick first and if that doesnt fix it, then I will take it to the gunsmith for proper checking. This is a lot of tinkering for a rifle that looks like it was under the seat of a ranch truck for its whole life, but I am having fun with it. I suspect that my Dad took it in as a trade back when he was an FFL in the 50s and 60s. Thanks again. Grant.
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Old August 5, 2018, 04:29 PM   #16
Grant 14
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Well, I finally got around to the new stronger spring installation and it was long enough that I could not compress it enough to get the pin retaining screw back in. The new one is a full inch longer and much stronger. I ended up stretching out the original spring and putting it back in. With evacuations for the River and Ranch fire and 300,000 acres burned, I havent been able to go out and test fire it. If it still doesnt work, I will cut the new spring a little and try again. Working on old guns is therapy while half of the county is burning. The new California State Bird is a 727 spewing red retardant out of its rear end. Grant.
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Old October 11, 2018, 07:24 PM   #17
Grant 14
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Update, I shortened the new spring by 5/8 inch and it fires fine. I just fired about 20 rounds and my reloads are all over the paper but the factory ammo seems to group well enough for short range dear hunting on my own property. Two new issues came up. The factory ammo which is hotter than my moderate reloads seems to push the primers out a little. The reloads didnt do that. I am suspecting a headspace problem and I am wondering about the reloads being all over the paper. 24 grains of IMR 4064 and 165 grain Oregon Trail hard cast bullets of .310 diameter. Nice mild report and recoil but erratic accuracy. Any suggestions other than making it a wall hanger? ____Grant.
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