• What model 99 do I have?

    Well, where do I begin? I guess well start low and work our way up to the last 99 offerings.

    First off is the model 1895, this is an easy one to identify, it will have a serial number under 10.000 and the pads on the sides of the receiver will be rounded instead of pointed like the model 1899s and 1895s. The forearm is very slender and rises to the receiver very sharply. Underneath the barrel youll most likely find a J or JM signifying that it was made by John Marlin who built the first 5000 rifles for John Savage.
    Now the hard part. Well try to get through the early 1899s without you confusing to much. Ill have to explain the transitional rifles here as well. The early Savage rifles were never given a lettered model designation, they were put into this system to try to put an understanding in what you have later on in production. If you ever get a chance to go through a vintage 1900 Savage catalog youll notice there are no model designations but are discerned by barrel lengths and wood differences.

    The 1899A, the most common of all the 1899s, its 26 round barrel was accented buy a crescent butt plate (special order stocks were also available but for sanitys sake well go with the average) and pointed pads on the side of the stock, these pointed pads were common on all the 1899s and 99s except for some of the later model Hs. They were the basic package, nothing fancy or different from normal guns of the day. The common sight was a Rocky Mountain front sight which mostly all the 1899s were wearing back then, the rear sight on the 1899A was a Rocky Mountain sporting rear, some were just a notch and others had a sliding notch with a small set screw beside it.

    The 1899B and 1899C, these two rifle were the same as the 1899A only the barrel configurations were changed. Both had the 26 barrel as the A but the 1899B had an octagon barrel (full length) and the 1899C had a half octagon and half round barrel. Believe it or not, from my data, the 1899Cs were more commonly found than the 1899Bs.

    1899Ds, if your lucky enough to own one Im sure you know what you have. The D was Savages military type musket. The model 1895 was also made in this configuration and about the only 1899Ds you may find are the Montreal Home Guard that Savage made a total of 827 and shipped them to Quebec during WWII. Most will be in the 1914-1915 area of manufacture and will have a serial number in 162XXX-173XXX range. The giveaway on most of these are the full length stocks, the forearms also wrapped around the tops of the barrel and went about of the way down the barrel. They featured flip up military style rear sights and wore a carbine butt stock with its rack number stamped on top of the butt plate.

    The 1899F should not be confused with the 99F. The early 1899Fs were completely different from its later namesakes. First off the 1899F was a carbine, fitted with a carbine stock and a 20 standard weight barrel. The giveaway on these is the saddle ring on the right hand side of the receiver. Sometimes these days though a person will have one and not even know it because the ring and saddle were lost during its life and all that will be left is two holes where the staple was originally peened into the receiver.

    The 1899H, also a carbine model with a 20 barrel but the barrel was light weight and the butt stock was normally a shotgun type butt. Some had hard rubber plates and some wore the regular steel plate. This was a model that you would usually find in a take down configuration and most of the 22 H.P.s people find these days are in this model of 1899. Although a number of them were made in 303 and 30-30 without the TD feature. Now heres where we get into the transition rifles. This is going to confuse a few people about what theyve got. The 1899H and the early model 99F are almost identical, the only thing we can go by on what model it is will be the serial number, even though the two rifles overlap each other. Most of the 1899Hs will have a serial number under 200,000 except for a bunch of the 22H.P.s which went up into the 220,000s, thus puzzling us if we have an early 99F under 220,000. Also, both of the models may have been stamped with Savage 1899 on the top of the barrel. Dating your rifle will make a big difference here, if its older than 1921 your more than likely holding an early model 99F, under that would be the 1899H. Same goes for the model 1899A in T/D and the early model 99B, both identical guns but dating them or lettering the gun will be the key point in discovering what model you have. Some of the early 1899Hs came with a rear sight called the 21B, it will have a small disk on the front of the sight and is a dead giveaway that you have an 1899H, the 1899Fs also used this rear sight but the saddle ring means its an 1899F.

    Off we go now into the model 99s. The early 99 models are very hard to find except for the 99Fs and 99Gs. The early model 99Bs, Cs, Ds and Es are a very rare find.

    Well start with the model 99B, although the earlier 99Bs are twins to the 1899A T/Ds they later were made with a 24 barrel, crescent butt plate and a ramped front sight. This made it very much easier to tell a 99B from the 1899A T/D. All 99Bs were a T/D model and were only offered in 303 Savage, 30-30 and 300 Sav.

    Next is the 99C, It was only produced for 4 or 5 years and its model identifiers will be a serial number between 238,000 and 290,000. It will have a 22 barrel and looks something like an 1899A Saddle gun. These rifles were the last of the Savage rifles made with standard weight barrels. The 303 Sav and 30-30 were the only two chamberings for this rifle with a 22 barrel, the 300 Sav was available but had a 24 barrel. It was a solid frame rifle and the T/D feature was not offered. Shotgun style butt.

    The 99D is just like the model 99C only it was made in a T/D model only. Both the 99C and the D had a dovetailed front sight that fit right into the barrel, this will make a difference when we get into the early 99Es.

    The 99E (dont get these rifles confused with the post 50s Cs and Es, two totally different models) came with a light weight barrel and were solid frames. Serial range was from 238,000-344,000. It came with a better offering of calibers than the last two models. The E was supplied in 22 H.P., 30-30, and 303 Sav with a 20 barrel. The 250-3000 was also available in a 22 barrel and the 300 Sav with a 24 barrel. Around 1926 the 20 barrels were dropped and the 22 replaced them. Furnished with a shotgun type butt stock. The big difference between the 99E and the previous two rifles was that the 99E had a ramp front sight instead of it being dovetailed into the barrel.

    I should make mention that all of these pre-WWII models all wore Schnabel type forearms, whether they were solid frames or take downs.

    Onto the models F and G. The early model 99F was a straight stocked T/D model which had the same barrel configurations as the 99Es and Gs. Most were not checkered until around 1938. The checkering pattern on the 99F had a two pointed fletching sort of pattern which pointed to the rear of the receiver and then molded into a single point that ran down the side of the butt stock coming to a point at the bottom middle of the butt. This type of checkering pattern was only used on the early 99F. The front forearm checkering was the same as the model 99G.

    The model 99G was roughly the same as the early 99F only it was furnished with a pistol grip butt instead of the straight grip, checkering was always used on this model and looks very much like a model 1899 250-3000 deluxe. It was actually the predecessor of the 99G. The checkering on the 99G started at the butts grip cap and rose curving to the side pad while splitting to each side of it. An early model G will have a dovetailed front sight into the barrel and the later ones were switched to a ramp front sight.

    The model 99H, a dead giveaway on the 99H is that the early models didnt have the usual 99 cheek pads on the butt stocks up until around 1935. Also please note that their was no barrel band on the earlier Hs until around 1931. These barrel band carbines are a nice find if you come across one. They were made from 1923- 1940 and had a serial range from 220,000- 400,000. They wore a carbine type butt up until the last couple years of production when they went to the shotgun type butt. You may also find a few of these model 99Hs with a fruitwood set of stocks on it. Unsure why Savage started to use this type of wood but they were only made for the 99Hs. The wood color will be a lot lighter than the dark walnut stocks that you find on the rest of the 99s.

    Moving up, we go to the model Rs and RSs. These are a common 99 found pretty easily still today. They were the most produced model Savage put out. The 99Rs and RSs were built two different ways, the pre-1950 models had a lighter stock set and the double groove on the end of the forearm was a tell tale sign of an early R. The model RS was basically the same as the R only it came with a select barrel and one of two forms of a tang sight. The early ones came with a Lyman SA windage adjustable tang sight up until around 1940 when they started dressing it with a Redfield model 70LH receiver sight that mounted to the tang holes as well. Checkering on the early Rs and RSs was a bit different as well. Behind the double groove on the forearm was a single point which expanded out to two points on the sides and wrapped fully under the forearm. The later Rs had only a triangle type checkering that did not join underneath. Also the later R had a much more heavier stock set than the earlier Rs. The forearm was very wide and then beavertailed back into the receiver sharply at the rear of the forearm. Another note on the Rs and RSs is that most of them came with factory sling eyes and some RSs (including mine) were found with flat bottomed sling swivels much like Uncle Mike swivels, these were a factory offering as well. Later on in production when Savage started to chamber these 1950 era rifles they added the Winchester calibers (308, 358, 243) and this happened around 1956, the bolts were damascened or jeweled as some people call it. Although it is said that these gun were made past the 1,000,000 mark I have yet to come across one made after 1959. These guns were made from 1932-1960, a long run.

    The 99EG, although Savage states that the Rs were the most produced 99s the model 99EG seems to be the most common. It is basically the same receiver and 24 barrel with ramp front sight as the R and RS. The only difference between the two is that it came with a Schnabel tipped forearm much like the older rifles. From what Ive seen, the model EGs are the Winchester 94s of the Savage line. If you run into a 99 in 300 Sav its most likely going to turn out to be an EG. These guns are not at all hard to find and just punching in Savage 99 on a computer will probably bring you to countless EGs. This is one reason that I dont even own an EG, I dont like common 99s, although I did once own an EG in 308 which is hard to find in any Winchester caliber. The EG is the most used hunting gun in the bush when it comes to the 99, most deer hunters will swear to the end of their days that the 99EG in 300 is the deers worst enemy and some would go so far as to say its killed more deer than the Win 94. The EGs forearm checkering is also like the later version R with the triangular checkering on both sides. Although rare, salesmans sample have been seen in this model and came with a roll stamp on the side of the receiver and factory sling eyes.

    The 99F (later version) is not at all like the earlier version that we spoke of. The 99F late version stands for featherlight, it is a very lightweight rifle and I find it kicks like a mule but Id never leave mine at home. If you are trying to find out what model you have and its an F simply look on the right hand side of the barrel and youll find 99F stamped on it. Another basic sign of an F is the sight boss, a sight boss is kind of a hump in the barrel where the company had to beef it up so they could dovetail the barrel for the rear sight. If they didnt do this the rear sight would have cut right into the barrel itself due to its small diameter for dropping more weight from the guns total. A 99F will have a rounded tip on the forearm with checkering that runs all the way underneath it and to the other side. Later on in production the Fs were press checkered along with a lot of the other post one million serial numbered rifles. Press checkering is frowned upon by 99 owners as they arent as nice as the cut checkered rifles from the pre-mil era. Although, the press checkered rifles still make very nice hunting guns in any model.

    The 99T, doubtful that you will have one of these but I have been surprised by some of the members here at what they come up with and not even know what they have. The 99T is one of the most hardest 99s to come across, the were only made for 5 years and even then they were competing with the more common 99s on the assembly line. Not many of these were made and the most common caliber is the 300 Savage in them. I have seen them in 30-30 and 303 Sav but have never crossed paths with one in 22 H.P or a 250-3000. The giveaway on a T is that the stock and forearm are beefier than the regular models (Rs excluded) and the checkering on the forearm starts at the rear of the fore stock and runs all the way to the front on both sides which covers most of the forearm, 2 points on either end of it and wraps underneath as well.

    The model DL is mainly the same as the later version F with the sight boss. The difference here is that it will have a Monte Carlo style rear stock. Most DLs for some reason have model M stamped on them, Im guessing this means the Monte Carlo stock. It also came factory with sling studs. These were all post million serialed guns and most were press checkered although cut checkering was used on them from 1960 65.

    The 99Cs. These guns are not hard to get a model designation on at all. Just have a look at it, is it magazine fed? Yes? Then you have a model C, the C stood for clip although that was a mistake as most of you know its called a magazine not a clip. The only other mag fed model was the model CD which was the same gun only it was a deluxe version with a Monte Carlo stock and a giveaway on these would be the white line spacer between the butt plate and the butt stock.

    The model 99E, the economy version of the 99. Some came with birch stock sets which in my eyes made them very ugly guns. The gun did not come equipped with a cartridge counter like all the other models did and it had no checkering. Also the 99E was never changed over to the tang safety after the one million mark like the rest as well. It still wore its lever type safety right up to the day it was discontinued. Now most Es are in the post million serial range but a few I have seen had been made in 1959 and came with the counter on the side. Some were even seen with Schnabel forearms. These are the guns a lot of 99 lovers buy if they want to have a winter project, the y are cheap guns to find and you dont feel bad about destroying any collector value by working one over into something you want more. A lot of 99Es in 308 are bought for rechambering into 358 for instance.

    The last of the Savage 99 models are the model As and the Brush Guns. These guns came in hard to find calibers. The model As came in 243, 250, 300 Sav, 308 and the hard to find 375 Win. The 375 was only produced in this model for 2 years so finding one is a chore. It came with a straight grip butt and a Schnabel forearm, the stock and forearm were not checkered on this model and they were in the A series serial range. The brush guns were the same except the forearms were rounder and had a deep finger groove running along side of it. The Brush Guns only came in 358 and 375 Win, the 375 only being made in this model for 1 year.

    Well I could go on and on about model designations but I tried to sum it up as easiest as possible and give you a head start on what your holding. Hopefully you have found the model you have now and dont need any other assistance if that was all you were after but please, if you have any other questions or think you have something different from what I have explained, get ahold of me here at the site and Ill give you a hand and see what were dealing with, it could be a special order rifle which I did not cover because it would take way to long to get into them. Thanks and good luck.

    If you are still confused about your model or can't find it maybe some pictures will help you out more, please check out Les's site and click on the pictures section to view model 99 designations.

    Comments 10 Comments
    1. wbm's Avatar
      wbm -
      Lots of information here as well.

    1. Aardvark's Avatar
      Aardvark -
      If time permits, I would love to ask some pointed questions about the article, "What model 99 do I have". I will make myself available anytime you can spare a few minutes. I really got a lot from the article. There were some points that I was not able to confirm and would like to talk about those items. If you give me a date, time and phone number, I would be glad to make the call. George Ruhmann, aardvark@fix.net, (507) 247-3451.
      Thanks, George
    1. vtnfa's Avatar
      vtnfa -
      Just found this forum post while trying to figure out what Model 99 I just acquired. From everything I have found here, and elsewhere, as well as Murray's book, it's a 99T. It has every characteristic described here and is also a .250-3000. It has a Marbles tang sight and a folding leaf rear Marble's sight installed. But it sure sounds like a T. If I can figure out photo posting I will do so. It is in about 98+% condition.
    1. whtbridge's Avatar
      whtbridge -
      I am stumped on the model 99 I just purchased. The barrel markings are:
      Savage Model 99E
      Series A
      Westfield Mass
      300 Savage
      simple checkered stock, pistol grip, can't tell if it is walnut
      22" barrel
      Serial No. C754424
      I was wondering what the date of manufacture was. It does not seem to fit in to the serial range in the article description of the "99E's"
    1. kev107's Avatar
      kev107 -
      can anyone tell me anything about a 99M serial # 1090xxx?
    1. PetahW's Avatar
      PetahW -
      Savage 99's (and other Savage firearms), made from 1949 thru 1970, had a Letter Date Code stamped into the receiver bottom ( just ahead of the Model 99's lever), and is often seen referred to on Model 99's as the "Lever Boss Code" (LBC).

      The Letter "A" started off 1949, "B" in 1950, etc, etc, etc - all denoting the year of manufacture.

      (the letters "O" & "Q" were not used.)

    1. hitnrun's Avatar
      hitnrun -
      Hello, I have a Savage model 99 22 H.P. and already confirmed the serial number as being a 1912 manufactured gun. The serial number is 120102. There is no letter designation on the gun anywhere I can see. Can you help me identify which one I have?
    1. herzogpawn's Avatar
      herzogpawn -
      Hope someone can help me. What model do I have? I have a savage 99 303 lever action 20-inch barrel half octagon half round barrel. No saddle ring does have a load indicator, 26.xxx ser #.
    1. J.Baker's Avatar
      J.Baker -
      Guys, this thread is NOT to ask questions like this, it's to comment on the article itself. Such questions should be posted in the Vintage Centerfire Rifles board.
    1. la99nut's Avatar
      la99nut -
      This article is gold. Know I know more about my E and CD 308's. Thanks!

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