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Savage 99 Serial Number Dates

You will find a date code stamped on every shotgun & rifle/shotgun in the Savage/Stevens brands produced between March 1949 and December 1968. Usually, it is behind the hinge pin on the barrel (s) or ahead of the trigger guard on the bottom of the frame. It will sometimes appear as a small circle containing a number and a letter. The post-1970 numbers are all mixed up with other Savage rifles, so it's not 99 specific. I'm sure you'll get lots of offers to help. Danged vultures. Re: Savage 99 serial numbers Re: Calhoun #5714597 10/15/11. Jan 24, 2019 Rough Savage 1895, 1899 and 99 serial number dating, based on the data I have collected over the years. 1895's: Serial number 3000-5000 manufactured in 1896. Serial number 5000-9999 manufactured in 1897. The one website that crossrefrenced the serial number said it was built in 1924 but everything i read says that the 99E wasnt built till the 60's! Then another said the E was built in the 30's then discontinued then brought back in the 60', but then it said that Savage didnt move to Westfield til 60 or 61.

Savage Model 99
TypeLever Action, hammerless rifle
Place of originUnited States
Production history
DesignerArthur W. Savage
ManufacturerSavage Arms Company
VariantsModel 1892, Model 1895, Model 1899
Cartridge.303 Savage, .32-40 Winchester, .300 Savage, .30-30 Winchester, .25-35 Winchester, .250 Savage, .22 Savage Hi-Power, .22-250 Remington, .243 Winchester, .308 Winchester, .358 Winchester, 7mm-08 Remington, .284 Winchester, .38-55 Winchester, .375 Winchester, .410 shotgun
ActionLever action, hammerless rifle
Feed systemRotary magazine, later models had a detachable box magazine.
SightsOpen iron sights, tang or receiver-mountedaperture sights. Later models had provisions for mounting rifle scopes

The Model 99, and its predecessor model 1895, is a series of hammerless lever action rifles created by the Savage Arms Company in Utica, New York. The Model 99 featured a unique rotary magazine.The rifle was extremely popular with big game hunters and was even issued to the Montreal Home Guard during the First World War.


The Savage 99 in Scientific American Volume 85 Number 10 (September 1901)

The immediate predecessor of the Model 1895, the Model 1892, was one of the contending rifle models offered to the U.S. Army when they were looking to replace the Springfield Model 1873 trapdoor rifle. The Krag–Jørgensen was chosen over the Savage and other models.[1] The Model 1892 was never put into production (and indeed pre-dated the actual establishment of the Savage Arms Company; the Model 1892 was a collaborative venture between Arthur Savage and Colt's Manufacturing Company), and instead it was further developed into the Model 1895. The Model 1895 musket in .30-40 Krag was the winner of an 1896 competition for a New York National Guard rifle contract, beating out the Winchester Model 1895.[2] Political controversy led to the cancellation of the contract and the New York National Guard was therefore equipped with obsolete single-shot Trapdoor Springfield rifles during the Spanish–American War.[3] Later refinements to the Model 1895 design led to the Model 1899, later simply shortened to the Model 99. In 1899, Savage offered to convert any existing Model 1895 rifle or carbine to Model 1899 configuration for a $5 fee.[4]

During World War I, the Montreal Home Guard was issued Model 99 rifles in 'musket' form, which incorporated a bayonet lug and military-style stock.[5] It is known as the Model 99D Musket. The Montreal Home Guard contract was for a total of 2,500 rifles, all of which are believed to have been delivered.[6] These rifles were chambered in .303 Savage, as altering the design for the Canadian standard .303 British Mk VII cartridge would have resulted in an unacceptable delay in delivery.[7] Guardsmen were responsible for purchasing their own rifles[5] and had the option of having their names stamped on the stock.[8] Many also chose to have their names engraved on the left side of the receiver.[9]

Savage 99 Serial Number Dates

Savage 99 Serial Numbers Year


400-pound tiger taken by Reverend H. R. Caldwell using a Savage 99 chambered for .22 Savage Hi-Power

The Model 99 was preceded by the Model 1895, which was the first hammerless lever-action rifle.[10] The 1895, as well as the later Model 1899 and early Model 99, used a rotary magazine to hold the cartridges.[11] The rotating magazine uses a spring-loaded spool with grooves to hold the cartridges. The Savage 1899 took advantage of the spool to include a counter to indicate how many shots are left. The Model 99 continued using this system for many years, until its replacement with a detachable magazine.[12]

The rotating magazine design allowed the rifle to be one of the first lever-action rifles to use spitzer bullets. Previous lever-action rifles used tubular magazines, which placed cartridges of ammunition end to end. The pointed tips of a spitzer bullet would touch the primer of the cartridge in front of it, possibly causing an accidental discharge. Another novel safety feature was that, upon cocking the rifle, a small pin would protrude above the top receiver to indicate the rifle was cocked and ready to fire.[13]


  1. ^Mercaldo, Luke; Firestone, Adam; Vanderlinden, Anthony (2011). Allied Rifle Contracts in America. Wet Dog Publications. pp. 189–190. ISBN0-9707997-7-2.
  2. ^Mercaldo, Luke; Firestone, Adam; Vanderlinden, Anthony (2011). Allied Rifle Contracts in America. Wet Dog Publications. pp. 190–193. ISBN0-9707997-7-2.
  3. ^Mercaldo, Luke; Firestone, Adam; Vanderlinden, Anthony (2011). Allied Rifle Contracts in America. Wet Dog Publications. pp. 193–194. ISBN0-9707997-7-2.
  4. ^Mercaldo, Luke; Firestone, Adam; Vanderlinden, Anthony (2011). Allied Rifle Contracts in America. Wet Dog Publications. p. 194. ISBN0-9707997-7-2.
  5. ^ abMercaldo, Luke; Firestone, Adam; Vanderlinden, Anthony (2011). Allied Rifle Contracts in America. Wet Dog Publications. p. 202. ISBN0-9707997-7-2.
  6. ^Mercaldo, Luke; Firestone, Adam; Vanderlinden, Anthony (2011). Allied Rifle Contracts in America. Wet Dog Publications. p. 205. ISBN0-9707997-7-2.
  7. ^Mercaldo, Luke; Firestone, Adam; Vanderlinden, Anthony (2011). Allied Rifle Contracts in America. Wet Dog Publications. p. 203. ISBN0-9707997-7-2.
  8. ^Mercaldo, Luke; Firestone, Adam; Vanderlinden, Anthony (2011). Allied Rifle Contracts in America. Wet Dog Publications. p. 206. ISBN0-9707997-7-2.
  9. ^Mercaldo, Luke; Firestone, Adam; Vanderlinden, Anthony (2011). Allied Rifle Contracts in America. Wet Dog Publications. p. 207. ISBN0-9707997-7-2.
  10. ^'Savage Arms > History', Savage Arms.
  11. ^U.S. Patent 502,018, Magazine-Gun, Filing date: Apr 10, 1889, Issue date: July 25, 1893, Inventor: Arthur W. Savage
  12. ^U.S. Patent 611,284, Indicator for Firearms, Filing date: Jan. 17, 1893, Issue date: Sept. 27, 1898, Inventor: Arthur W. Savage
  13. ^U.S. Patent 634,034, Firearm, Filing date: Apr. 21, 1897, Issue date: Oct. 3, 1899, Inventor: Arthur W. Savage
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The Savage Model 99

By Jon Y. Wolfe

Savage 99 Serial Number Dates Of Manufacture

I recently read an article in Field and Stream and the article was ranking the 50 best guns ever made. I immediately skipped the introduction and went directly to the list.

I have a real affection for the great Savage Model 1899 and later 99, and highly regard it as one of the jewels in the history of America firearms. To my surprise, the Savage 99 was ranked 35th. I was sure it would have at least made the top 5. In my humble opinion the great Model 99 should have ranked higher.

It was a great design that was truly ahead of its time when Arthur Savage developed it in the 1890s. He designed the 1899 in hope of winning a contract with the war department. Although he did not, his design endured and the 99 went on to become a representation of its creator's genius.

For hunting North American game the Savage 99 is still one of the finest hunting rifles of all time. In fact, it was a solid performer well into the later part of the last century, nearly one hundred years after its creation. It was manufactured for nearly a century with over a million rifles produced before the Savage 99 was discontinued due to decrepit machinery and increased cost.

Savage 99 serial number dates for smith and wesson

Before it was retired, it is purported that the company had plans to introduce the 99 with the capability to handle long action cartridges, such as the .30-06 and .270 Winchester. One such prototype is on display at the Savage factory and the other was recently sold for $6000.

The design of the 99 is superior to lever actions such as the Winchester 94 and the Marlin 336, because it can handle high intensity cartridges. It has several superior design features that make it more comparable to the Browning BLR and even modern bolt actions like the Winchester Model 70. The rotary spool magazine allows for the use of pointed bullets, which retain greater velocity downrange than the flat point bullets required by lever guns with tubular magazines. Its strong action allowed it to be chambered in many modern, short-action, high intensity cartridges. A few of the most popular calibers were the .243 Winchester .250-3000 Savage, .30-30 Winchester, .300 Savage, .303 Savage and .308 Winchester.

For a rifle designed in the last decade of the 1800's, it had many modern day features that are still prevalent on currently produced rifles. It has a cocking indicator on top of the tang and it ejected spent cartridges at an angle, which made it easily adaptable to the use of telescopic sights.

Most 99s were not drilled and tapped for scope mounts until the late 1950's. Until that time, most were only available with drilled and tapped tang mounted peep sights or standard iron sights. It has a good trigger and is reportedly a very accurate and dependable rifle.

Another characteristic of the 99 that is worth mentioning is its great looks and balanced carrying qualities. The early models were produced with a straight grip stock and slim Schnable fore end. This era of rifles was stately, and as pleasing to the eye as it was satisfying to use. Later models appeared with a pistol grip stock, and rounded fore end tip. In the 1960's impressed checkering became standard on deluxe (DL) models.

The rotary magazine caused the bottom of the action to be rounded, which fit naturally in the hand. In an 'Instructions for Use' guide that came with a rifle made in the 1950's, Savage encouraged customers to carry the rifle fully loaded, as it would balance perfectly if carried at the bottom of the rounded action. This is why so many rifles still around today, have receivers with worn bottoms. The rotary magazine would hold five cartridges, thus enabling the rifle to be fully loaded with a total of six shots. Another of its prominent aesthetic features was the color case hardened trigger guard and lever. This provided a distinguishing touch to an already attractive rifle.

The cartridges developed for and offered in the 1899 and 99 were as far ahead of their time as the rifle. The rifle was first offered with the .303 Savage. This cartridge was a ballistic twin to the .30-30.

The next offering was the .22 High Power. This cartridge was developed by Charles Newton and would push a 70-grain bullet to a muzzle velocity of 2,800 fps. It is still popular in Europe today, where it is known as the 5.6x52R.

Shortly thereafter came the first commercial cartridge to offer a muzzle velocity of 3000 fps, the .250 Savage (.250-3000). The .250 achieved this breakthrough with an 87-grain bullet. For comparison, the modern .243 Winchester will push a 90-grain bullet to 3100 fps.

The next Savage cartridge, the .300 Savage, went on to become one of the most popular short action .30-caliber deer and elk cartridges of all time. Later it was to become the basis of the experiments conducted by the U.S. military when they began developing a replacement for the .30-06 service rifle cartridge. Ultimately, the 7.62mm NATO/.308 Winchester was the result.

My favorite Model 99 is a post war 99EG made at the Utica, NY plant in 1947. I acquired it purely by luck. I walked into my local gun shop and asked if there was anything odd or unique that had come in. As it happened an older fellow had just cleaned out his safe and asked the shop to help him sell some of his guns. He had an older Savage 99EG. I picked it up, looked it over and made my offer. The rest is history.

Mine weighs just slightly over seven pounds, has a 24 inch medium taper barrel, a steel shotgun style butt plate and slim Schnable fore end. It is chambered in .300 Savage and shoots and handles as well as any rifle I've ever owned. It is not drilled or tapped for a scope, but with iron sights I consistently place shots in a 5-inch circle at 100 yards using Remington's 150 grain Core-Lokt PSP bullet at a muzzle velocity of 2630 fps.

Savage 110 Serial Numbers Date Of Manufacture

All said, the Savage 99 is a genius of a rifle that epitomizes the best in American craftsmanship, creativity and originality. Although no longer produced it remains highly revered, as it was the foundation from which Arthur Savage built one of America's great gun companies.

A few notes to those who might consider the purchase of an older 99. All older models have matching numbers on the fore end, butt plate, butt stock and bottom of the receiver. The model is stamped in front of the receiver just behind the fore end. For example EG, R, or other variations.

The web site has interesting information on the various models, their respective characteristics and a date of manufacture reference based on serial number. All of the popular Savage cartridges are covered by articles on the Rifle Cartridge Page of Guns and Shooting Online.