Book Review: Collector’s Guide to the Savage 99 Rifle

Savage is an often under appreciated gun company, and the Savage Model 99 a rifle often not given the credit it is due. How many other firearms can claim to have been in active production by their original company for 103 years, with more than a million examples made? Well, for those who are interested in collecting the Model 99 (or its earlier iterations, the Model 1895 and Model 1899), David Royal’s “Collector’s Guide to the Savage 99 Rifle” is the sole and definitive source of information. He carefully catalogs all of Savage’s model designations, factory options, production dates, serial numbers, and other such details. It is not a book with a lot of outside context, and thus not much of a general-interest read – but for the serious Savage enthusiast it is indispensable.

Available from Schiffer direct or through Amazon:

8 Comments

  1. The 95/99 is an amazing rifle

    A friend recently bought a beautiful early 20th century, rotary mag example in .250 savage

    I’ve sent him a link to your piece.

    He gave me his .270 win dies
    I give him .22/.250 empties when I get them, and he expands the necks to .250/3000 savage.

  2. In past I had just cursory awareness of Savage brand. That has changed last year when I bought Mark II small bore rifle which I am quite happy with. Later in season I was able to shoot Winchester 94 replica chambered in 30-30 Savage; an honest old-time round.

    Now I pay regularly attention to their offer and it is not impossible I will get serious in their Model 10. I consider Savage the most innovative and attractive brand at the moment, even more so when combined with reasonable pricing of their product.

    • “Savage”
      In fact they were first to market staggered column magazine automatic pistol, namely Model 1907 advertised with Ten shots quick! slogan.

      “30-30 Savage”
      More importantly they made .300 Savage cartridge, parent of 7,62×51 NATO.

      • Yes, there is video by hickok45 who shows both the rifle mentioned here chambered in this cartridge. An outstanding innovation for the time. Hat down.
        I might start to call myself Denny Savage 🙂

  3. I gather that during one of the Savage company’s several financial restructurings, the tooling and knowhow for making the model 99’s rotary mag spindles got lost.

    They’re not simple, each variation of case length and case taper required a different spindle.

    In that respect, box magazines are far simpler to make and to get to work reliably

    But rotary mags that hold each round separately have much less friction and when they work correctly, they’re much smoother and more reliable.

    I’m guessing that there’s an opportunity out there for someoneto re create the high quality rotary mag savage 99, rather than a production engineered, more modern (or whatever the euphemism is used for a dumbed down poor value for money piece of shite) box magazine like alike.

    • To me the main value of a rotary magazine is preventing rim lock with rimmed cartridges. If you are using a rimless round then a box magazine works well. While it should be possible to reverse engineer a Savage 99 the mechanical complexity of a rotary magazine lever action and the attendant machining would make them very expensive. For what it’s worth Steyr and Ruger make rotary magazine bolt action rifles and Ruger did make the 96 series lever action rifle with rotary magazines for a while.

  4. I got this interesting book from Amazon last week. Beautiful color photos and lots of info!

    I bought my 99-A in .250Sav. in 1980. I didn’t like the factory finish on the wood, so I took it off and put a hand-rubbed oil finish on it. Looks much better. Love to shoot it!

  5. My dad had a Savage 99C in .250-3000 Savage. It’s my older brothers now. Privilege of birth order… I won a $20 bet in Jr. High because a kid didn’t believe there was such a cartridge. Back when you could bring a bullet to school to prove a person wrong.

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