October 10th, 2017

The Company President’s Rifle — Fanciest Savage Ever?

Joseph Falcon Savage Model 1899 99 presentation engraved rifle

This unique Savage 99 rifle was created for Joseph V. Falcon, President of Savage Arms in the 1950s.

Joseph Falcon Savage Model 1899 99 presentation engraved riflePresentation Engraved Savage 99 Rifle
When you run the company, you get some pretty nice stuff — in this case you get what may be the most elegant Savage ever made.

This rifle was created for Joseph V. Falcon, who served as President of Savage Arms in 1956. This highly embellished Savage 99 lever-action rifle is chambered for the .300 Savage cartridge. It features deluxe checkering and gold inlays. This presentation-grade rifle boast deep relief engraving with a golden elk on one side of the receiver and a stalking cougar on the other. This rifle was given to Joseph V. Falcon from his friends at Savage in December of 1967. Falcon later donated the rifle to the NRA. This impressive model 99 is currently showcased at the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Virginia.

Savage 99 Quick History
Arthur Savage invented the first “hammerless” lever action rifle with the entire mechanism enclosed in a steel receiver. This rifle featured a rotary magazine with a unique counter that displayed the number of rounds remaining. The Model 99, as it became known, was the gun that launched a company. There is an interesting history of the company’s logo which features an Indian chief in feather head-dress. In 1919, Chief Lame Deer approached Arthur Savage to purchase lever-action rifles for his tribe’s reservation and the two men struck a deal. In return for discounted rifles and support, Savage received the tribe’s endorsement. By virtue of that association, Arthur Savage added the Indian head symbol to the company’s commercial trademark and letterhead.

Permalink Gunsmithing, News 2 Comments »
November 5th, 2016

If You Could Own Just One Long Gun — What Would It Be?

Sierra Bullets Gun list .30-06 Springfield .308 Winchester
Custom hunting rifle photo courtesy Kilimanjaro Rifles.

The folks at Sierra Bullets asked a few staff bulletsmiths a classic question about guns: “If you could own only one firearm which one would you choose?” There were many interesting answers including a “cheater” response — the drilling — which is really two guns in one. The most-often mentioned chambering was the venerable .30-06. Respondents cited its versatility, hunting prowess, and ready availability of ammo. The popular .308 Winchester, as expected, got mentions as did its cousins the .243 Win and 7mm-08. There were quite a few votes for classic lever guns, as well as 12-gauge shotguns. Two bulletsmiths cited the .22 LR, and we can certainly see the logic in that answer. The little rimfire cartridge is versatile, quiet, and inexpensive.

We ask our readers the same question — if you could only have one long gun, what type of firearm would it be? List the gun type and chambering in the comments section.

If You Could Have Just One Long-Gun — ANSWERS:

Media Relations Manager Carroll Pilant answered: “I would NEVER own only one gun. If I HAD to pick one, it would be a drilling in 12 gauge over .30-06.”

Ballistic Technician Rich Machholz answered: “The early tang safety Ruger M77s pretty much have all you could want in a bolt gun, but I do like the Winchester lever guns and the combination guns, particularly the drillings. Since I have the first two, I’m going for a Doug Turnbull 1886 or a side by side 20 gauge over .223 drilling.”

Ballistic Technician Philip Mahin answered: “More than likely it would have to be a bolt action .30-06. The reliability is legendary on a wide range of game animals and factory ammunition has still been available at my local stores even in these tough times.”

.30-06 Springfield cartridge diagram

Ballistic Technician Duane Siercks answered: “If I had to boil it all down to one gun, it would probably be a .30-06. I have a Remington 700C (custom shop gun) that has worked very well for anything and everything I have ever wanted to do with it.”

Ballistic Technician Paul Box answered: “A .22 Rimfire.”

Chief Ballistician Tommy Todd answered: “Remington 700 in .308 Winchester.”

Sierra Bullets Gun list .30-06 Springfield .308 Winchester

VP – Sales & Marketing Matt Reams answered: “A light weight Kimber in 25-06.”

Production Toolsetter Brad Vansell answered: “Savage weather warrior 7mm-08 is my rifle of choice.”

Production Toolsetter Dan Mahnken answered: “The .308 Winchester rifle — [based on the] wide range of bullets made and the wide range of things that one can hunt with it.”

Process Engineer David Palm answered: “Savage action 243 Winchester.”

Ballistic Technician Gary Prisendorf answered: “Probably a .22 LR. It may not be the best choice, but you could use it for about anything if you really had to.”

Production Manager Chris Hatfield answered: “Beretta A300 Outlander 12 gauge.”

Machine Shop Manager Craig Westermier answered: “12 gauge shotgun.”

This article original appeared in the Sierra Bullets Blog.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting 7 Comments »
August 21st, 2016

History of Firearms Covered in Online Video Series

Sturm, Ruger & Co. has created a series of 11 short videos that trace the history of firearms, from matchlocks to modern semi-autos. Ruger’s “History of the Gun” video series provides a fascinating look at firearms technology throughout the years. The host is Garry James, Senior Editor of Guns & Ammo magazine. Featured here is Segment 7 on Rifling. Other installments in the series are linked below.

Flintlock mechanism
Permalink - Videos, Gunsmithing 2 Comments »
July 6th, 2016

On Shooting USA Tonight: Cowboy Action World Championship

Cowboy Action Championship End of Trail SASS

This Wednesday, July 6th, Shooting USA features End of Trail, the Cowboy Action World Championship. Hosted annually at the SASS Founders Ranch in New Mexico, End of Trail attracts over 700 shooters, hailing from 50 states and many foreign countries. The event is part shooting competition, part family reunion, and part Wild West jubilee. SASS, the Single Action Shooting Society, is one of the most popular shooting organizations on the planet, having issued over 90,000 member badges. This special Shooting USA broadcast of the 2016 End of Trail airs at 8:00 PM, 11:30, and 2:00 am (Thursday) Central Time on the Outdoor Channel. This year’s End of Trail took place June 16-26, 2016.

Past Champions Randi Rogers (“Holy Terror”) and Spencer Hoglund (“Lead Dispencer”)
Cowboy Action Championship End of Trail SASS

If you like multi-gun competition, you’ll enjoy watching Cowboy Action Matches. The top male and female shooters are experts with three kinds of firearms: Lever Rifle, Single-Action Revolver, and Shotgun (which can be a double-barrel side-by-side, or a pump, or even an 1887 lever-action). Generally speaking the guns must be originals or reproductions of pre-1900 designs to be used in competition (however 1911-style pistols are allowed in “Wild Bunch” side matches). A typical stage will require 5 shots from each of two six guns, ten rounds from the rifle, chambered in a pistol caliber, and 6 to 8 shotgun rounds.

Cowboy Action Championship End of Trail SASS

24 Rounds from Four Guns in under 13 Seconds
To give you an idea of the action you can see on Shooting USA, here is a video of past world Champion Spencer Hogland, aka “Lead Dispencer”. In this video, Spencer fires 24 rounds, with four guns, in just 12.81 seconds (look at the timer in lower right corner). Spencer shows blazing speed with his lever gun and note how quickly he loads his shotgun. Fast loading is key to a successful stage run. Unlike modern multi-gun comps, normally Cowboy Action Shooters must start with empty shotguns.

YouTube Preview Image
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October 18th, 2014

Fun Gun for the Family? Try a Repro 1866 or 1873 Lever Gun

While devotees of this site are hard-core accuracy addicts, who normally shoot tiny groups with sophisticated Benchrest and Varmint rifles, we should not overlook the pure fun of shooting a simple rifle at reactive targets.

Uberti 1866 1873 Winchester lever gun

Nailing a nice, tight 1/4-moa group is very satisfying. But for pure unadulterated shooting fun, it’s hard to beat a slicked-up “race-ready”, Winchester-clone lever gun. In fact, this editor’s favorite rifle for “fun shooting” is my 20″ Uberti Model 1866 “Yellowboy” Lever gun. Shooting light-loaded 38 SPL rounds at steel targets from a standing position offers old-fashioned shooting satisfaction. On the “fun meter” this tops the scale. My rifle features a slicked-up action and lightened trigger. After a “CodyMatic” action job by cowboy gunsmith Cody Conagher, my Yellowboy’s lever can be cycled with just one finger. Trigger pull is about a pound and a quarter. The high-gloss, blued octagonal barrel is very accurate and the mirror-finish bore cleans up easily.

Uberti Winchester 1866 Yellowboy

Based on the Model 1866 Winchester, Uberti’s Yellowboy, and its Model 1873 “older brother”, feature a toggle-link action that is extremely smooth. The toggle action design also keeps the linkages separate from the chamber so the gun runs extremely clean. After firing a hundred rounds or more, all you need to do is wipe off the bolt and breech-face with some solvent and run a bore-snake down the bore a few times. To be honest, the Yellowboy is more fun to shoot at steel than my AR Carbine. And maintenance-wise, for every five minutes I spend maintaining the 1866, I’ll spend an hour detail-stripping and cleaning the AR. The shooting-to-cleaning ratio favors the lever gun by orders of magnitude.

Uberti Winchester 1866 Yellowboy

These Italian-made Winchester clones are very handsome, with nicely figured wood under a durable clearcoat. You can polish the brass receiver to keep it shiny, or leave it alone to develop an authentic, dulled patina. Uberti’s Model 1873 features a steel receiver with gorgeous color case-hardening.

Uberti Winchester 1873

After the fun factor, what’s the best thing about Uberti lever guns? Resale value. I can sell my 1866 for quite a bit more than I paid for it. Over the past decade, the price of Italian-made Uberti lever guns has been steadily rising. This means that older rifles fetch a premium on the used market.

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