Shooting the Savage .22 Hi-Power

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,469
749
Wow - what a treat! This rifle has been "around" for my entire life. Grandpa's house, later my father's house... It's an old Savage 99, with the brass rotary magazine - and interestingly two barrels that can be changed out quickly. One is the .22 Hi-Power barrel, the other a .410 shotgun barrel. The magazine only works with the rifle ammo, the shotgun ammo won't fit and must be single-loaded.

Back in the 1970's or early 1980's Dad was going to start shooting it, and found ammo difficult to obtain. He finally bought a box of Canadian 70 grain soft point ammo. Ballistics on this cartridge are supposed to be about 3100 fps with a .228" diameter 70 grain bullet. Interesting...

Dad never got around to shooting it and a couple of years ago he decided I ought to have custody of the rifle. Eventually I obtained a set of loading dies (Thanks!) and some old .228" dia Speer soft points... And a little research revealed that people were having success with commonly avail .224" bullets as well. I still haven't handloaded this puppy, but equipped with all 40 factory loads in my possession (the Canadian "Imperial" ammo and a box of 70 grain soft-point Norma ammo I'd unearthed somewhere) I headed to the range...



Told my friend that I thought the rifle hadn't been fired in 50 years or more and was asked "How do you know it's not going to blow up in your face?" I smiled and replied that it was a good gun.

You know what? It is a good gun.

Didn't blow off my face. Did hit the target. Now we were only a few yards from the backstop, but using the rear notch sight on the barrel (there is another flip-up rear aperture sight on the tang) the first shot hit dead-center of the paper plate, and clobbered that plate! I shot it a few more times and put it back in the Jeep, with a big ol' grin on my face. Very satisfying. Sent Dad the photo, told him that I'd finally shot that rifle and he was happy as all get out too.

I'm going to do some more shooting and loading for this very cool old rifle, and believe I will be carrying it on some coyote hunts, with a cougar tag in my pocket! It's not legal for deer here in Washington, but is legal for coyotes and cougar. Typical for a Savage 99, it carries easily. I think this is going to be a fun rifle to have back in action!

Regards, Guy
 

truck driver

Ammo Smith
Mar 11, 2013
6,849
86
It sure is rewarding when you can shoot Granddad's guns and know they will still take game as he did. You have a lot of history in that rifle Guy. I've seen a few M99 take downs but never one with 2 barrels and especially a shot gun barrel. A matched 303 Savage barrel would be nice to go along with the other 2.
 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
34,843
1,025
The Hi-power was/is a cool cartridge. Glad you have some ammo on hand to permit this fine old rifle to again bark at the range. It would be cool to carry it to topple a yodel dog or two (or maybe even a cougar).
 

filmjunkie4ever

Handloader
May 4, 2011
1,442
52
Very Nice Guy!

Thanks for the update! I was also glad to see that your gourd was still properly attached after firing the .375!

That Savage will be a fun little gun for the game of which you speak. My Grandfather recently acquired an old 1909 vintage Savage 1899 in .25-35. It needs some work but like your .22 HP it will be a fun rifle to carry and shoot!

Please keep us up to date with this project!

Dale
 

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,469
749
Thanks guys!

Dale - I need to figure out how old this rifle is... I'm almost 60, and this rifle has been in the family as long as I can remember.

I suppose there's are Savage Collectors somewhere who could help me with determining the age of it...

Guy
 

truck driver

Ammo Smith
Mar 11, 2013
6,849
86
Guy Miner":x02kkxg0 said:
Thanks guys!

Dale - I need to figure out how old this rifle is... I'm almost 60, and this rifle has been in the family as long as I can remember.

I suppose there's are Savage Collectors somewhere who could help me with determining the age of it...

Guy
Over on the 24hr Campfire there is a Savage collectors forum and if you look at the lever bolster there should be a letter or letters stamped on the bottom such as EG or other that will identify when it was made and with that info and an inquiry on the Campfire it will be easy to find out. I'm thinking you have a very rare rifle since the 410 barrel is fitted for it besides being a take down model.
 

Silent Sam

Handloader
Dec 22, 2010
294
0
I've got the book... The 22 Hi-Power was introduced in the Model H featherweight take-down in 1912. The 22 Hi-Power chambering was discontinued in 1946. Muzzle velocity is listed at 2800fps so I think that 3100 number is pretty optimistic. Besides that would change history as the 250-3000 was introduced in 1914.
Yours looks like (I could be wrong) a Model D or F which would bracket the date between 1920 & 1940. If it is a D that would put it between 1922 & 1927. With the Model letter and serial number we should be able to get the production year.
Btw there is a catalog illustration from 1912 showing a large tiger taken with one shot of the Hi-Power. 8)
 

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,469
749
We've confirmed it's the 1899H, takedown, produced in 1913.

Pretty cool...

I'm such a happy guy about this old Savage, and kind of kicking myself for not making it happen earlier. Like 40 years ago... But what the heck. This is now, the rifle shoots. I'm having fun.

My youngest son is sort of intrigued with this "new" old rifle.

Guy
 

cloverleaf

Handloader
Sep 10, 2006
3,811
89
Guy- that is SO neat. I am happy for you and that you have a family "treasure" that you can use to carry on some real pleasant outings. Kinda a little jealous.... :) Don't they have chukar or something out where you are? That 410 barrel sounds like a pleasure to carry for something like that. Very cool. CL
 

RiverRider

Handloader
Dec 9, 2008
1,395
0
Guy Miner":2pah1syt said:
We've confirmed it's the 1899H, takedown, produced in 1913.

Pretty cool...

I'm such a happy guy about this old Savage, and kind of kicking myself for not making it happen earlier. Like 40 years ago... But what the heck. This is now, the rifle shoots. I'm having fun.

My youngest son is sort of intrigued with this "new" old rifle.

Guy

I know I didn't appreciate some things 40 years ago like I do now, Guy. Maybe now WAS the right time!

Nice rifle!
 

Rigbymauser

Handloader
Nov 3, 2012
496
0
Thanks for sharing Guy.

I had a similar one Model H Takedown in .22HP. However I couldn´t that rifle to do a decent shotgroup. First shot printed "OK" near aimingpoint but the 2 other shots were something like 3-9" away. For years I tried to figur out why the rifle did like that and it remained an enigma. I had a difficulty in selling the rifle because it was a neat rifle from a great period. Mine was made in 1912.
I would love to own a model 1899 Savage again with 26" oct barrel in a .303Savage, 38-55 etc. They do from time to time pop-up overhere. Often from former immigrants who returned to Denmark after a few years in the states. Thanks again!.

Oh yaa.. I remember the load. 28grain Norma 201 + 70grain Norma SP. RWS brass.
 

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,469
749
Yeah - I'm thinking it has to do with how much "slop" is built into the "H" takedown model...

It's not like the barrel is attached with awesome tightness and precision...

Just screw it on by hand...

Guy
 
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