Advantages

The 1895’s mechanism was almost fully enclosed. In lock-up, its bolt abutted the steel web at the rear of the forged receiver so it protected the shooter better than did other lever guns in the event of case failure. Still, loading was easy through the ejection port. As iron sights gave way to scopes, the 1895’s side ejection became a notable asset. A coil mainspring — more durable than leaf springs then common — was first-ever on a commercial lever gun.

A through-bolt held butt-stock to receiver more securely than did wood screws in tang extensions. The receiver protected the magazine. Unlike tubes, this spool didn’t contact the barrel, so had no effect on accuracy. With cartridge weight between the hands, balance was unaffected by cartridge count, shown in a window. Savage’s magazine permitted use of pointed bullets.

Rifle sales could turn on testimonials, like the 1901 letter from Teddy Roosevelt hailing his Model 1899 as “the handsomest and best turned out rifle I have ever had.” Given T.R.’s affinity for 1886 and 1895 Winchesters, such praise got a warm reception. The company also touted the ’99’s accuracy, gracing its 1903 catalog with a 10-shot, 100-yard group 1-5/16" across.