Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Savage 99

Kim du Toit
shows off his new purchase here. Everyone should have at least one lever-action in the safe and they don't come much better than a Savage Model 99.

I began hunting in Pennsylvania over 30 years ago. Back then, a lot of hunters carried lever-actions-- usually Winchester 94s in 30-30. It was a good gun and caliber: it was fast-handling (critical given the limited visibility in the brush and bottoms we hunted), it had ample power, and the guns were economical. A lot of good hunters carried the 94.

However, when you met some one with a Savage 99, you knew for certain that they were serious hunters. The Winchester 94 was the default option. Guys who bought a 99 had thought about what they wanted in a deer rifle and were willing to pay a little extra to get it.

What they got was a gun that shouldered quick like the 94, was better-balanced (IMHO), and shot flatter. The 250 Savage and 300 Savage were faster at the muzzle than the 30-30 and because they could use spitzer bullets they increased that edge down range.

The guys who carried 99s were not the type who jumped to the next new thing either. If they were, they would have eventually moved on to the 7mm Remington Mag or the 300 Win Mag. Instead, having found the right tool, they stuck with it.