There are many rifles in production today that I wish to someday add to my collection, but ask me to part with my .300 Savage 99 and your asking for trouble. Sure the 99 series may not ever reach production again since it's fall from grace in the mid 90's, but despite the lack of new editions it still remains one of the most commonly owned rifles among most hunters.
.300 Savage specs and stuff:
First introduced in 1921, it was originally designed to replace the less powerful .303 Savage, which was intended to directly compete against the .30-06 Springfield and the infamous Winchester .30-30.
The advanced design utilized several features that are still prevalent on many modern day designed rifles today. The angled cartridge ejection system made it adaptable for a scope addition, although the earliest models were not drilled or tapered for scope mounts until the early 50's.
The barrel in most models was standard at 24", and came in either round or octagonal shape. Much later they introduced 20, 22, 24, 26 and 28" barrel lengths. The standard site was known as a dovetail peep site.
One of the unique and advanced aspects would be the side mounted loading cylinder, which utilized brass counter to alert the user to the number of remaining shells in the chamber.
What makes the .300 99 Savage a gun worth owning?
First of all it is a piece of firearm history that has done extremely well against the test of time. Even today the legendary 99 Savage has ranked in the top forty best deer rifles of all time, but in my opinion it deserves at least a spot in the top fifteen. From a technical standpoint it would average an eleven, but for simplicity and comfort I would easily consider it a four or five.
Secondly there is the accuracy factor. Any rifle can look good and can have a lot of fancy bells and whistles but performance is key to any hunters needs. Yes, there are several high performance rifles that score quite high, but the Savage still does what it is intended to do without fail. I have brought several of my rifles out to the range and in almost any session I have found very few that compare to the accuracy of my beloved 99 Savage.
The next great thing about the .300 99 Savage is the counterweight and handling. When carrying any rifle it either has a perfect balance or it has to remain shouldered during transit. Personally I don't own a single other rifle that feels as natural as the 99 Savage, and I have the wear marks around the crook of the rounded action to prove it.
Another recently discovered benefit to the 99 Savage is that it handles well for both left and right-handed shooters. I learned the ambidextrous quality while on a hunting trip when one of my pals decided to tag along whom was left-handed. He normally had no interest in guns or hunting for that matter, but after testing out my 99 Savage I discovered most of his reluctance was due to his southpaw. He was quite impressed since most other guns he handled before were cumbersome and uncomfortable when aiming.
Yes, there are a bounty of much more higher powerful rifles to be had, and undoubtedly much more advanced, but sometimes quality doesn't come from technology or gadgetry; instead it comes from craftsmanship and design. The Savage 99 series in my opinion comes up in spades.
I currently own a handed down 1946, and my own chosen 1978 model which I fitted with a custom scope and graphite stock. Normally when I go hunting I bring enough food, plenty of ammo and my trusty .300 99 Savage.