Over at GunBlogBlackList – a very good gun-blog aggregator – they asked for our Grail Guns. Guns we dream about to top off our collections. Choices, choices, so many choices.
Despite being away for the Holidays, I thought I would take some time off from playing with the dogs (I think we broke them today. See the post above), put down the egg nog and throw my vote in the ring…. .
Savage Arms has been around forever, and that speaks volumes. But when the Model 99 came out, it was revolutionary: 99’s have been available at one time or another through an almost 100 year production run in .303 Savage, .30-30 Winchester, .25-35 Winchester, .250 Savage (also called the .250-3000 Savage, as the first American commercial round to produce a velocity of over 3,000 ft/s (910 m/s)), .22 Hi Power, .22-250 Remington, .243 Winchester, .308 Winchester, .358 Winchester, 7mm-08 Remington, .284 Winchester, .38-55 Winchester, .32-40 Ballard, .375 Winchester, and my favorite, the .300 Savage.
Not because I like that cartridge in particular. It was great in its time, and I would probably use it today if I had a chance. But because My grandpa’s Savage 99 was in .300 Savage.
This particular 99’s chambering was 1st offered soon after WW1, and later is said to have led to the 7.62 NATO some decades later. When I was young, I used to go hunting with my grandpa and dad. Grandpa would always have his .300 Savage. How awesome was it when my boyhood friends asked what I got to hunt with, and I could tell them – “300-Savage.”
“300-Savage” sounded, well, awesome. Like hunting atop a raptor, while riding a shark – Savage. At least it impressed me. Something like so:
Produced from 1899 to 1998, having one of the 1st rotary magazines with a round-counter, a tip up pin that indicated a loaded chamber, and the first rifle to use spitzer bullets in a lever-action – this gun was ahead of its time. And even has dedicated fan-websites .
The Savage 99 in any caliber remains a legacy. The good memories and history of this rifle make it my grail gun. And why I troll through gun-stores and on-line for them. Still don’t have one, but Grandpa’s remains in the family.