435. The Savage Model 1899 Custom Lever Action Rifle of Col. Townsend Whelen

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serial #123811, 250-3000, 24'' AO Niedner custom barrel with a bright excellent bore. This is the last of Col. Whelen's rifles to come to market, the individual collector who amassed these historic arms is parting with his last example. This rifle is published and discussed in Mr. Rifleman ? 1965 Bowling , Angier, in the chapter ''A Rifleman's Battery'', it is the last rifle listed on pages 320-321. The rifle was given to Col. Whelen around 1915 by Pascal De Angeles, then sales manager of Savage Arms Company. The gun was originally a 303 Savage in takedown, Whelen complaining it ''would not shoot worth a hill of beans''. He sent the rifle to AO Niedner who fitted the 250-3000 barrel with a 1-in-10'' twist; according to Whelen ''screwed in solid''. He had the arm restocked by Griffin & Howe and fitted with a Belding & Mull telescopic sight. He mentions that this is the first rifle he ever shot which achieved quite a number of minute of angle groups--that is 10 shot groups--''for that was the only kind of groups we shot in those days''. The rifle retains about 98% excellent quality original and Niedner blue with about 98% original color case-hardening on the lever, still exhibiting much original clear lacquer, the bolt nicely engine turned and remaining bright. The belly of the receiver is factory engraved ''T.W. from P.De.A.''. The checkered walnut capped pistolgrip buttstock and the Griffin and Howe-style forend rate very fine to perhaps near excellent with the expected minor handling marks and dings that come from a hunted arm. There is a bone pistolgrip cap and forend tip, G&H quick detachable swivel studs and neatly checkered panels at pistolgrip with a wraparound pattern on the forend. The length of pull to the checkered trapdoor steel buttplate is 13 1/2'' to the very finely checkered trigger. The rifle features a banded 1903-style front sight with ivory bead and a Lyman No. 30 1/2 windgauge tang sight. As-mentioned the receiver was drilled and tapped for steel telescopic sight bases which currently support the Belding & Mull 3X telescopic sight Col. Whelen liked so much, with a post reticle and bright optics, the scope itself rating very good plus showing some flaking on the ocular lens and on its blued sheet-metal top cover. The buttstock does show a 1'' crack to the rear of the upper tang, a common occurrence with Savage Model 99 rifles, there was a very-well-done cross-bolt repair made during the period Col. Whelen was using the arm, it is mentioned in the description of the arm and pictured in the image of the gun in the book; the rifle is also mentioned in the November 1925 American Rifleman in an article by Whelen. Overall this is a really super rifle with very nice amenities, all the more interesting and desirable in the fact that it belonged to this icon of firearms, shooting and hunting, truly ''Mr. Rifleman'' personified, Col. Townsend Whelen. (38799-32) {C&R} (3000/5000) Sold For 7475.00

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