Of course, the idea of an old Model 99 selling for well north of six grand is preposterous… until you see this one:
I mean, seriously?
I know, the silly price really reflects the added cost of the engraving (none of your laser-cut nonsense here), and as far as I’m concerned, transforming this lovely old rifle into a work of art is a Good Thing, akin to any similar improvement made to a decent old shotgun, for instance.
The only iffy thing about this rig is the scope, which I’d replace with something more fitting, such as this Leica.
On to practical matters. First, the chambering. I’ve owned and/or shot many Savage 99s, in the above .250 Savage (a.k.a. the .250-3000), in .243 Win, in .300 Savage and in .308 Win.
The .308 was a brute, and hurt my shoulder like hell (Savage 99s have a very slender buttstock) and ditto the .300 Savage, albeit to a lesser degree. The .243 Win was nice, but of all of them, the .250 Savage was an absolute joy to shoot, and it’s the only chambering I’d consider now. It’s also fast, deadly and wonderfully accurate.
Secondly, the full (Mannlicher) stock. Savage barrels are not heavy, to put it mildly; the Model 99 was designed as a light carry gun, to be used when there were miles of stalking involved in the hunt, or where portability was at a premium, e.g. in hilly- or densely-forested terrain. So after a few shots — maybe a magazine load or so — the “soda-straw” barrel tends to start whipping around from the heat. While the full stock would not help the barrel to cool down (the opposite, in fact), I can’t help but think that the wood could also brace the barrel as it heated up.
None of which is important, really. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Mannlicher stock on a Model 99, and I’ve certainly never seen one so beautifully engraved.