Make: Savage Arms Corporation
Model: 99R (Solid Frame) We are basing the model type by the year of manufacture and the model designation on the left side of the chamber ring vs. the top of the ring. The Model EG was about the only other model produced in 1952, and according to “The Ninety-Nine” by D.P. Murray, the model designation on the EG wasn’t moved to the left side of the chamber until 1957.
Serial Number: 632667
Year of Manufacture: 1952 (D on Lever Boss)
Caliber: .300 Savage
Action Type: Lever Action with Rotary Magazine
Markings: The lever boss is marked “20D” in an oval. The left side of the barrel is marked “.300 Savage” and with an ovalled “SP”. The left side of the receiver’s chamber ring is marked “SAVAGE / MODEL 99”. The right side of the barrel is marked “HI-PRESSURE STEEL – PROOF TESTED”. The top of the barrel is marked “SAVAGE ARMS CORPORATION / CHICOPEE FALLS, MASS. U.S.A.”. The underside of the receiver is marked “632667”.
Barrel Length: This rifle has a medium weight slightly tapered barrel that measures 24” in length, 0.686” in diameter at the front of the forend and 0.612” at the muzzle.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a long rectangular blade with a piece of brass inlet into the top rear corner. The sight is dovetailed into a serrated ramped base fixed to the barrel. The rear sight is a folding “U” notch dovetailed into the top of the barrel. The sight insert has a fine adjustment for elevation and a white triangle aiming point just below the “U” notch. The chamber ring and the front of the upper tang are drilled, tapped and filled for a scope mount, and the upper tang is also drilled, tapped and filled for a tang mounted peep sight.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The original stocks have been replaced with a two piece smooth fancy walnut stock with a lacquered finish. There is a beautiful fiddleback pattern in the buttstock, which has a pistol grip with a checkered blued steel grip cap and a shotgun style serrated buttplate. The buttplate is blued and marked with a circled “SVG” near the toe and the forend has Schnabel tip. There are two light dings in the left side of the buttstock and a light scratch in the right side, with two small scratches on the right cheek just behind the receiver. The forend shows a few very light marks and a small ding on its underside. The grip cap shows thinning. The LOP measures 13 ½” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The buttplate shows a few light scratches from aggressive polishing and a few light handling marks. The buttplate is in about Fine to Excellent condition. The stocks rate in about Excellent overall condition.
Type of Finish: The barrel is blued. The receiver and lever have been stripped of their original finish and heavily scroll engraved. There are two deer on the left side of the receiver, a grizzly bear in a mountain scene on the right side and a large moose head on the bottom of the receiver. The top of the barrel from the receiver to just in front of the rear sight is also scroll engraved. The bolt has been jeweled.
Finish Originality: We don’t see any signs that the metal surfaces on the rifle have been refinished, although the finish in the engraved areas was definitely stripped prior to engraving, and the engraving isn’t original to the rifle.
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling shows light wear. There is no erosion in the bore. Our bore gauge measures a ME of 0.8.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 94% of its current metal finish. There is a small spot of pinprick surface erosion on the top of the barrel at the word “Chicopee”. The front edge of the barrel shows thinning and there are a few spots of surface loss on the right side of the barrel at the rear sight. There are several scratches and tiny handling marks in the barrel from the muzzle to the front of the forend and a few more light marks from the front of the forend to the rear sight. There is a trace of yellow lacquer around the underside front edge of the receiver and another spot on the upper right rear of the lever boss, with a two dark spots of discoloration on the left side of the lever. The engraving appears sharp and clear. The screw heads are sharp but a few show light marks from a screwdriver. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. It has a safety on the right side of the lower tang that blocks the lever as well as the trigger. We did not fire this rifle.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: The Savage 1899/99 model rifles have quite a history. They were preceded by the Model 1895, which was the first hammerless lever-action rifle produced. A hammerless action was useful as it reduces the lock time, allows the rifle to be fired more accurately and is less likely to jam in brush or snag in clothing. The 1895 and 1899/99 models used a rotary magazine to hold the cartridges, using a spring-loaded spool with grooves. The 1899/99 models added a counter to the spool to indicate how many rounds are loaded. This design allowed the use of spitzer bullets, which could not be used in the Winchester rifles of the times because the pointed tips in the tubular magazines could cause accidental discharge. This gave Savage a lead in producing rifles that could handle high velocity smokeless powder cartridges with bullets offering flatter trajectories than other lever-action designs. The .300 Savage cartridge first came out in 1920, replacing the less powerful .303 Savage, and later became the parent to the .308 Win. , which is slightly longer. The cartridge instantly became a top deer cartridge. This Model 99R rifle has had its stock replaced and the barrel, receiver and lever have been heavily and beautifully engraved. With its new stock, it resembles the EG model more than the R model, which had a heavy stock. However, the medium weight slightly tapered barrel is characteristic of the R Model and the model designation on the left side of the chamber wasn’t moved there on the EG model until 1957, while this rifle was made in 1952. This rifle is in about Fine condition. There is a small spot of pinprick surface erosion on the top of the barrel near the markings. The front edge of the barrel shows thinning and there are spots of surface loss, several scratches and several handling marks scattered over the barrel. There are two spots of discoloration on the left side of the lever and remnants of lacquer on the lever boss and the front edge of the receiver. The wood shows a few light marks and small dings in both the forend and the buttstock. The bore is mostly bright with light wear in the rifling and no erosion. Our bore gauge measures a ME of 0.8. The bore on this rifle is in great condition for its age and certainly capable of being used for another 60+ years. The engraving and the fiddleback patterns in the wood are beautiful, so please see our pictures. If you like Savage Model 99 rifles, and want one just a little better looking than you have been able to find in your local gun store or on the internet, then you really need to take a close look at this one. We the engraving and the wood aren’t original to the rifle, but that doesn’t mean its not good looking. Take this out to the range or with your buddies on your next deer hunt and see how much time your friends spend ogling it and wishing it were theirs. If you decide to add a scope, the receiver is already drilled, tapped and filled for scope mounts.