Savage 99 Project

Progress is kinda slow. Took the rifle out to shoot and figured out the holes drilled and tapped for the scope are NOT factory... A little bit off (OK, a LOT bit off...) Not enough windage and elevation adjustment with my desired scope to zero in, so needed to change rings. Burris XTR Signature rings have the adjustment range I need, but require picatinny compatible bases, so also had to mill out the weaver bases to fit these rings. Got that squared away and the scope mounted the way I think it needs to be , ...

aaaaaaand... the weather decided to snow, rain, and blow again... Decided to stay warm and dry and use my window of time set aside to shoot to play with the forearm fitup. Very pleased so far. Took some head-scratching, but carved up the piece for the barrel channel and laminated it. Barrel now floats free of the foerarm and I'm simply left with carving it up for aesthetics and comfort, as well as cutting portions out to lighten it up a bit. Will add something light weight on the end to use as a forearm cap and then attach a sling swivel.


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  • Foerarm -- a.jpg
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Man, you made up a cool rifle. Looking forward to seeing more pictures of the forend as you work it.
Chiming in with an update on this thing. Once I was able to get out and shoot this thing, I was plagued with vertical stringing in my shots, noticeable right after the cold bore shot and continuing for every shot thereafter. Some days the vertical stringing would be minimal (like bug holes in a vertical line) and some days there would be 1.5 - 2" between each shot in the line. (My range time was pretty sporadic so I was having a helluva time troubleshooting, but with everything I fiddled with the vertical stringing persisted.) This past week we had some decent weather that coincided with some of my free time, so I flung a bit more lead down the 99's tube trying to figure out what's making it string vertically. After a scope change to rule one variable out, 60+ rounds over a couple days of fairly regimented trial and error, and some long discussions with 2 really good gunsmiths, I pulled bases, rings, and scope off to inspect everything and start over. It appears that when i had the weaver bases milled out to accept picattiny rings, the new cut faces were rough enough that sliding the new rings into the grooves generated some pretty fine shavings that stayed in that groove and interfered with the base/ring fit. Once I removed those shavings, cleaned the cut faces up a bit, and re-assembled everything, I'm now getting 0.60 - 0.75 MOA groups using 2 different factory ammos (87 gr Vmax and 105 gr bthp) and with 2 different scopes. No more vertical stringing with my shots. I'm happy and relieved. I've got about 100 rounds thru the tube now and my preferred scope back on, so will try a box of 103 gr Hornady Precision Hunter ammo thru it to see if I can get this thing under 0.5 MOA before i start handloading for it.

Had I to do this thing over, the one thing I'd probably change in retrospect is leave the traditional Weaver bases off and install an EGW picatinny rail that's made for the 99. This would have saved me a lot of time and headaches. (I considered that when I first put this together but chose not to because it looked like the rail may interfere with the ejected casings. I've since learned that not to be the case.) Other than that, there's not much I'd change. My modified 99 w/scope weighs in at 9 lbs 8 oz, (14 oz heavier than my daughter's unmodified 99f w/scope) but doesn't alter the balance at all and the added weight gives me a rifle that physically fits me now and is accurate and consistent enough to do what I want it to do. (I'm pretty sure if weight was a bigger consideration for me, I could achieve the same goals and shave another 4-6 more ounces off.)

It's time to quit fiddling with this now and start chasing coyotes with it. Happy New Year to you all.