my girlfriend's daughter was just given a savage 303 lever action. and on the barrel it is stamped (patented feb 7 1893. july 25 1893). i have never heard of the 303cal. can any one give me any info on this gun. or what a possible price on this gun we would never sell it. it has an octagon barrel, absolutley no rust, in complete working order, and no scratches. i am really curious and would like to know more about this gun.
thanx for any info
Lineman, this is likely a Savage 1895 rifle chambered for the .303 Savage (not .303 British!). The .303 Savage is slightly more powerful than the 30/30 Winchester, and shoots a 180 gr. bullet in factory loadings. The metal in these old guns is soft compared to their modern brethren, and will not tolerate hot rod reloads without stretching the action. The guns are well made, but do have an Achilles heel, which is the disconnect lever that unlocks the bolt. Do not do a lot of unnecessary working of the lever, or dry firing. Here is a source for additional information. http://savage99.com/. I have an 1899 in 25/35 Winchester, which is another old time caliber for deer. Good luck.
Originally Posted by lineman1779
I have a Savage 1899 in .303 Savage.
Factory ammo is no longer generally available here in the US, but is a popular cartridge in Scandinavia and Europe, as well as Australia. Sometimes you can find brass for it on MidwayUSA or other such sites.
Reloading dies can sometimes be found from Redding or Lee.
Ammo can be reloaded, using data for a .30-30, best to start light, say 10% reduction, to see what your gun will take. They generally like heavier bullets, the original factory loads were 180 and 190 gr. Factory pressures were higher than for the .30-30 also. You will see some that say the bullets have to be .311, but that's not so. Some factory rounds were loaded with .311 bullets to increase chamber pressures and get more velocity. However the bore is .308 and modern .308 bullets work fine. With the rotary magazine you can even use pointed bullets, but they don't look right in those old guns.
There are several websites and forums devoted to the Savage 99 rifle, and the .303 cartridge, now more collector's items than shooters, but many still shoot them, as do I. A browser search will turn up some good places for info, and reading through posts there will provide others. Lots of fun shooting the old timers, and making ammo for them. Hope she enjoys the treasure she was given.
Savage 99 is a wonderful rifle, and the 303 is a wonderful cartridge for a kid to learn to hunt with.
I think if every new hunter had a classic rifle like the Savage 99 or Browning BLR when they started out the world would be a better place.
Dr Wayne van Zwoll had a really wonderful article in one of the last 3 or 4 issues of Fair Chase about the rifles.
I owned a model 99 in 284, for some dumb reason I sold it for a song. It was a deluxe model, and almost new in the box.
Factory octagonal barrel in 303, rare bird! Going to be expensive, $750-1750 depending on condition. Might be a rare enough animal that $5000 is closer.
Unless you really need to, I wouldn't shoot it much. It is a rare, classic that has survived in primo condition. I have a couple of guns (a Win M12 that was my Grandfathers and a Colt..39 that was my Uncles) like this in similiar condition. They are really worth too much to use them a lot. Look at them, fondle them and shoot the only occasionally. Treat them like the classis thay are!
The current Blue Book of Gun Values has a 1899B rifle (B rifle has a full octogon bbl) at $1,200 down to $500...depending on condition.
Originally Posted by Colorado Cowboy
Use it, shoot it, enjoy it. If it's not 100% new in the box it's not a premium anyway.
Guns are meant to be used, it's not like they inhereted a Purdey shotgun or a factory engraved winchester 1876.
A gun you never plan on selling might as well be a used one.
I didn't say don't shoot it!!! I said treat it like the classic it is. 100% NIB really doesn't apply to older, classic firearms. I buy, sell and collect a lot of firearms and if the condition is as described, one like this doesn't show up very often. Especially ones with the full octogon barrels, thats why they are worth more.
The Savage 99 is a real classic. It's a gun I always wanted, and my gunsmith has a nice one in .243 that I might buy for deer.
I did a fast check on the .303 ammo, and it seems to still be available. Here's one example.
I wouldn't shoot it much, myself. That is a rare find.
A 99 in .284? That is awesome. Those will go for a pretty penny as well.