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Savage designs new military rifle highly thought of by European countries? #14999815 06/26/20
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Calhoun Offline OP
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in "The War Business Of The United States", which isn't copyrighted but has a handwritten date of 1916 at the front:

Quote
The Herald reported that the Savage Arms Company, of Utica, N.Y., had introduced a new military rifle "considered effective by the European powers." This weapon, the makers claim, is capable of sending a bullet to a greater distance than the military rifle used by the army of the United States. The manufacturers assert that its velocity, which is 3,000 feet a second, is 300 feet higher than that of the new Springfield United States army rifle, and that greater accuracy of aim is possible with it. In order to manufacture this new rifle a great investment of capital was, of course, necessary. Before the much-lauded, superior, accurate aim of this rifle, manufactured by an American concern, soldiers, in defending their country, will face death, and many undoubtedly will meet death - the victims of American weapons and bullets.


Obviously sounds as though they are referring to the 250-3000 cartridge, but what "military rifle" would this be? An 1899 MHG chambered in 250-3000? An early military 1920 style bolt action? I wouldn't think a MHG style musket would be a "new military rifle".. but.. maybe?

I've heard of 1920 prototypes that were created in 30-06 with a military contract in mind, but the 3,000 feet a second rules out the 30-06.

Last edited by Calhoun; 06/26/20.
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Re: Savage designs new military rifle highly thought of by European countries? [Re: Calhoun] #14999863 06/26/20
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For years there were two auctions on GunBroker that had "experimental" military bolt guns made by Savage. Some time back I posted a link to the auctions, which I think ended a long time ago. When I have time I will look for those posts as the rifles in the GB auctions might be what the 1916 article was about.

Re: Savage designs new military rifle highly thought of by European countries? [Re: Calhoun] #14999997 06/26/20
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Calhoun Offline OP
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The North Platte semi-weekly Tribune, June 25, 1915
The Lemmon Herald of Lemmon, SD, June 30, 1915
The Herald-Advance of Milbank, SD, June 25, 1915
The Loup City Northwestern, Loup City, NE, June 24, 1915

- probably referring to the Lewis machinegun, but it says "rifle" so I'll include it here. Quite the press release, got picked up a lot of places.

Quote
An American arms manufacturing company in Connecticut has obtained a contract for 400,000 rifles for the allies, and the Savage Arms company of Utica, N.Y., has obtained large orders for a new military rifle it has perfected.

Re: Savage designs new military rifle highly thought of by European countries? [Re: Calhoun] #15001250 06/26/20
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diamondjim Online Happy
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The stripper clip cutouts on some 1920s would explain military use and the 250-3000


____________________________________________________________
God Bless America!!!!
Re: Savage designs new military rifle highly thought of by European countries? [Re: Calhoun] #15001724 06/26/20
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Go here and scroll down just a little bit:

http://www.collectiblefirearms.com/RiflesMilitary.html

Could this have anything to do with the topic?

IC-A

Re: Savage designs new military rifle highly thought of by European countries? [Re: S99VG] #15002378 06/27/20
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260Remguy Offline
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Originally Posted by S99VG
Go here and scroll down just a little bit:

http://www.collectiblefirearms.com/RiflesMilitary.html

Could this have anything to do with the topic?


Savage made a long action 1920 prototype in 30-06 for the U.S. military to consider as a supplemental rifle to the 1903 Springfield. The decision was made to go with the modified P14 Enfield which morphed into the 1917 Enfield. I have seen pictures of this rifle and it was very well done, a well finished product that suggests to me that Savage worked hard to get that contract.

Savage made as least 2 of the long action 1920 prototypes in 303 British that use the SMLE magazine. I have seen the one pictured and it was not nearly as well finished as the 30-06 prototype.

Savage made a long action 1920 prototype in 7x57 that was probably intended for sale to countries in Central America that had bought Remington Rolling Block rifles in 7x57 and were looking to upgrade to a bolt action. Most of the Central American countries chose Mausers to replace their single shot rolling blocks, but Honduras bought the 1934 Remington, basically a Remington Model 30 in a P14/1917 style stock with an upper handguard that was inletted for an open rear sight.

The rifles were all sold during the auction of the Savage R&D collection sometime in the late 1980s. All of them passed through multiple owners and at least one of the prototypes in 303 British and the 7x57 were sold by the Kittery Trading Post at some point.

There is also a long action 1920 prototype sporting rifle in 256 Newton with an "engraved", probably cast, aluminum trapdoor buttplate. Mark Benenson owned it at one point in the 1990s and it ended up in Bruce Jennings' collection Jennings' daughter sold it to settle the estate and where it is today is unknown to me.

Re: Savage designs new military rifle highly thought of by European countries? [Re: Calhoun] #15002542 06/27/20
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Interesting. As I said at one time there were two up for sale on GunBroker and I believe that this was one of them as I remember it missing the trigger guard. It does make you wonder why Savage never brought the 1920 and 20/26 out in 30-06? The ought-six had to have been an increasingly popular round throughout the the decade of the 20s and Savage did rectify the issue in 1928 with the 40/45 Super Sporter series. Though I am a fan of the Super Sporters, they are not in the same league gun as the 1920 in so many ways. In fact I find the Super Sporter so basic that in many ways it reminds me of the world's biggest 22 in design and execution.

On a related topic, I recently saw this one up for auction:

Savage 1907 Test Trials Pistol, Rework.#A-1144

Re: Savage designs new military rifle highly thought of by European countries? [Re: Calhoun] #15004352 06/27/20
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Not much I can contribute substantively to this Thread. I have several Savage Model 1920 and one quite nice 1920/26 model. They were interesting rifles. Quality in design & engineering in terms of a moderately early postwar sporting rifle. They were indeed slim, ultimately lightweight and functionally reliable. I can't speak to accuracy. The intro of the 300 Savage round would have seeming added quite a bit to marketability, moving toward mainstream popular caliber. I had also read reference to Savage experimenting with 30-06 chambering. Yet that fundamentally different than simply 'working with' the existing rifle. I know virtually nothing about the earlier Savage "experimental" referenced. What perhaps to contribute are 'external factors'. A project undertaken in 1916 and by Great War's end, still not into any apparent sort of "production". Like any military inertia lost. That and the wider problem noted, "investment". the American War Department likely not a 'nut to crack' by outside firm in that entire era! As far as foreign contracts, a new battle untested design, questions concerning the firm's "show" to "go" ratio, the fluff versus genuine capability... Retrospect is truly wonderful, but even in that European war concluding era, difficult to see nations rushing to beat down a foreign sporting manufacturer door! To many 'ifs'!

As to the 1920 model, for what it was, a quite decent rifle. Also, presumably "affordable" context. What it wasn't, likely again as above, a matter of timing! Remington, a gorilla in the marketplace with huge numbers of "surplus" govt P17 components, purchased as "scrap" . From those wartime ashes, beating out pretty decent 'battle proven' morphed sporters... Into civilian sporting plowshares! smile Remington entered production in 1921 with the market 'cornered as materials, production facilities, skilled labor force... 'market to lose'. And they managed to do so! But that another story. Just to remark the several years before Winchester Model 54 entered the scene, Remington 'ensconced firmly on laurels'.! The little Savage, both somewhat ignored internal competition with their own lever rifles, and without advertising blitz, largely ignored by American shooters. The post WWII Remington Models 721 & 722, were close cousins in more polished, sophisticated skins.
Just my take!
John

Re: Savage designs new military rifle highly thought of by European countries? [Re: Calhoun] #15004399 06/27/20
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And a good take it is!

Re: Savage designs new military rifle highly thought of by European countries? [Re: iskra] #15004732 06/28/20
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I think that they original 1920 in 250-3000 was a nearly perfect match of rifle and cartridge. When Savage began to chamber the 300 Savage in the 1920, they added 2" to the barrel length which upset the balance of the rifle and the small size of the butt-plate exacerbated the recoil, such that gun writers of the day were so negative about that aspect of the design that Savage redesigned it into the style that we refer to as the 20/26 with its heavier, more robust, stock, and heavier, larger contour, barrel. The 20/26 accomplished the goal of making the rifle more shootable in 300 Savage, but it also wrecked the svelte lines that made it a great vehicle for the 250-3000.

The 20/26 hit the market at about the same time as the Winchester 54 and despite being more alike than different, the 54 was a long action rifle that ended up selling about 50,000 units over 11 years, the great majority in 30-06 and 270. While Winchester chambered the 54 for several other cartridges, the most popular by far were the 30-06 and 270.

Why Savage didn't carry through with a long action 1920 chambered in 30-06 and, maybe, the Newton cartridges from the beginning is a mystery that no one to my knowledge has explained and found supporting documentation to support their hypothesis. Oh well, a totally moot point since anyone with any direct knowledge of the why or why not has long been dead and buried.

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Re: Savage designs new military rifle highly thought of by European countries? [Re: Calhoun] #15005036 06/28/20
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The only thing that makes sense to me is that Savage chose to target a lower price point in the late 20s when they replaced the "20/26" with the Super Sporter and chambered it in 30-06 as it is clearly a less complicated gun to make than its predecessor or the Model 54. And given the SS came out before the Great Depression hit, I would have to assume the decision to go with an "economy" rifle had to be more in line with not wanting to directly compete with the 54, or any other similar Mauser type bolt gun of the day. Given this explanation, if correct, I wonder how the SS sold in comparison to the 54 during the hard time of the 1930s? And I would have to expect that the cheaper product offered by Savage sold more units.

Re: Savage designs new military rifle highly thought of by European countries? [Re: Calhoun] #15005138 06/28/20
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260Remguy Offline
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There is probably detailed annual sales data for both the Savage and Winchester products, the challenge is to find it.

The 40/45 SS was introduced in 1928 and cataloged until Savage ended civilian production in 1941/42, so a run of 13+/- years and 29,000(?) units sold. The 54 was introduced in 1925 and superseded by the Model 70 in 1936, so a run of 11+/- years and 50,000 unit sold.

It would be interesting to see a line graph of the annual production numbers broken down by configuration and chambering.

Re: Savage designs new military rifle highly thought of by European countries? [Re: Calhoun] #15005218 06/28/20
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Given those figures it looks like the 54 was a better seller, however I still wonder who made more money. In comparison, the 54 had to cost more to make and the market could only bare so much to spend on the price of any rifle. Could the profit margin been less for Winchester? They had more guns to offer than Savage so it seems they could have absorbed the hit. However, on the other hand Winchester would have faded into obscurity in the early 1930s had it not been rescued from bankruptcy by Olin. Maybe Winchester, in comparison to Savage, was operating on the "margin" all the way around.

Re: Savage designs new military rifle highly thought of by European countries? [Re: 260Remguy] #15006107 06/28/20
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Calhoun Offline OP
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Originally Posted by 260Remguy
Savage made a long action 1920 prototype in 30-06 for the U.S. military to consider as a supplemental rifle to the 1903 Springfield. The decision was made to go with the modified P14 Enfield which morphed into the 1917 Enfield. I have seen pictures of this rifle and it was very well done, a well finished product that suggests to me that Savage worked hard to get that contract.

Savage made as least 2 of the long action 1920 prototypes in 303 British that use the SMLE magazine. I have seen the one pictured and it was not nearly as well finished as the 30-06 prototype.

Savage made a long action 1920 prototype in 7x57 that was probably intended for sale to countries in Central America that had bought Remington Rolling Block rifles in 7x57 and were looking to upgrade to a bolt action. Most of the Central American countries chose Mausers to replace their single shot rolling blocks, but Honduras bought the 1934 Remington, basically a Remington Model 30 in a P14/1917 style stock with an upper handguard that was inletted for an open rear sight.

The rifles were all sold during the auction of the Savage R&D collection sometime in the late 1980s. All of them passed through multiple owners and at least one of the prototypes in 303 British and the 7x57 were sold by the Kittery Trading Post at some point.

There is also a long action 1920 prototype sporting rifle in 256 Newton with an "engraved", probably cast, aluminum trapdoor buttplate. Mark Benenson owned it at one point in the 1990s and it ended up in Bruce Jennings' collection Jennings' daughter sold it to settle the estate and where it is today is unknown to me.

Thanks, Jeff.

Off the top of anybody's head, do any of those cartridges achieve 3000fps in 1915? I'm thinking there might be a military prototype or two out there in 250-3000 to meet that velocity?

Re: Savage designs new military rifle highly thought of by European countries? [Re: Calhoun] #15008641 06/29/20
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260Remguy Offline
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Originally Posted by Calhoun
Originally Posted by 260Remguy
Savage made a long action 1920 prototype in 30-06 for the U.S. military to consider as a supplemental rifle to the 1903 Springfield. The decision was made to go with the modified P14 Enfield which morphed into the 1917 Enfield. I have seen pictures of this rifle and it was very well done, a well finished product that suggests to me that Savage worked hard to get that contract.

Savage made as least 2 of the long action 1920 prototypes in 303 British that use the SMLE magazine. I have seen the one pictured and it was not nearly as well finished as the 30-06 prototype.

Savage made a long action 1920 prototype in 7x57 that was probably intended for sale to countries in Central America that had bought Remington Rolling Block rifles in 7x57 and were looking to upgrade to a bolt action. Most of the Central American countries chose Mausers to replace their single shot rolling blocks, but Honduras bought the 1934 Remington, basically a Remington Model 30 in a P14/1917 style stock with an upper handguard that was inletted for an open rear sight.

The rifles were all sold during the auction of the Savage R&D collection sometime in the late 1980s. All of them passed through multiple owners and at least one of the prototypes in 303 British and the 7x57 were sold by the Kittery Trading Post at some point.

There is also a long action 1920 prototype sporting rifle in 256 Newton with an "engraved", probably cast, aluminum trapdoor buttplate. Mark Benenson owned it at one point in the 1990s and it ended up in Bruce Jennings' collection Jennings' daughter sold it to settle the estate and where it is today is unknown to me.

Thanks, Jeff.

Off the top of anybody's head, do any of those cartridges achieve 3000fps in 1915? I'm thinking there might be a military prototype or two out there in 250-3000 to meet that velocity?


If there are military prototypes chambered in 250-3000 they aren't cataloged on the same page from the R&D collection log book as they others. But the R&D log book has known errors in it, so who knows for sure? Once bad data is in the system, it is almost certainly going to be there forever.


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