The Savage 99 Rifle: The People’s lever?
For nearly two centuries, the United States has had a love affair with lever-action rifles. From Tom Mix and John Wayne to Tommie Lee Jones and Robert Duvall, the lever-gun has been a staple of American culture. One of the most widely spread but often forgotten of these designs is the Savage 99.
Was Arthur Savage the most interesting man in the World?
Arthur William Savage was one of those strange renaissance men of the Steam Age. Born in Jamaica to Welsh parents he grew up around the world. Never satisfied, Savage invented a torpedo, explored the Australian Outback (where he was held captive by aborigines), and was a railroad engineer for a time as well as a rancher before designing firearms. You get the idea that while he may have not have always drank beer, when he did he preferred Dos Equis.
The design of the Savage 99
In 1889, Savage, working for the Utica Railway company, patented a rifle with a hammerless lever-action design, which featured a downward-tilting breechblock and rotary-spool magazine. This was a big departure from the lever actions of the day made by Winchester and other makers.
Read the rest in my column at GUNS.com