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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

President Christie the Destroyer

Schizoid Governor Wants to Shoot Down Russian Planes While Disarming U.S.  Citizens


Roger Katz, Attorney at Law

Stephen L. D'Andrilli

Edited by Brian Anse Patrick 

A statement by a Republican Party candidate Chris Christie in the December 15 GOP debate was so horrifically absurd it deserves commentary, even though it was ignored by the usually hypercritical mainstream media.

We refer to a remark of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in response to a hypothetical question by Wolf Blitzer, CNN moderator, concerning how America ought to react to a Russian plane entering into a U.S. created no-fly zone in Syria.

Christie said: “Not only would we be prepared to do it [shoot down a Russian military aircraft], I would do it. A no-fly zone means a no-fly zone, Wolf, that’s what it means.”
This cowboy response might be expected from Dr. Strangelove, but not from the Governor of one of the most densely populated American states, and certainly not from a U.S. President. Did it occur to the Governor that it might be a good idea to perhaps talk with the Russians before committing to war? What if the hypothetical Russian plane were in route to a relief mission or to interdict terrorists? The Russians have every bit as much at stake as the U.S. in the matter of controlling terrorism, for their experiences include the Metrojet Charter bombing, the Dubrovka Theatre in Moscow and the murdered and raped school kids at Breslau. 
The remark also underscores what appears to be a schizoid aspect of Governor Christie, namely the abrupt inconsistency between his gunslinger attitude and actual policy of his administration. This “quick-on-the-draw” executive governs a State that ranks among the top five States with the most oppressive firearms’ laws. New Jersey treats even law-abiding non-resident handgun carry permit holders with high-handed disdain. Should non-residents inadvertently bring handguns into the State while in transit elsewhere, they are prosecuted to the full extent of New Jersey law. This man who would irresponsibly start a war with a nuclear power apparently cannot tolerate the idea of lawful carry by responsible licensed citizens.  

And should a law-abiding New Jersey resident wish to secure a handgun carry permit for self-defense, forget about it! New Jersey has issued only a handful of handgun carry permits – all of which have gone to “connected” politicians and judicial officers in the State.
If elected President of the United States, Governor Chris Christie– ostensibly a “Republican” but whose actions place him in the category of Antigun Progressive Democrat – would most likely work toward securing a disarmed American public, in the same mold as New Jersey.
For comparative purposes we might consider what would happen if Russia created a no fly-zone and shot down an American plane. Imagine the outrage. And yet the first idea that flies out of Christie’s mouth is to shoot first, with no questions asked because, “a no fly zone means a no fly zone.” 

Socrates Mr. Christie is not. 
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has a perhaps undeserved reputation as a cowboy in the Western media, appears restrained and measured in comparison to Governor Christie. We have a non-hypothetical event by which to judge Putin when a Turkish military aircraft recently shot down a Russian military craft. Turkey being a N.A.T.O. ally, this act brings guilt by association upon the U.S. Fortunately Mr. Putin appears to have a cooler head than Mr. Christie. So a Mr. Putin, Christie is not either.

As a chief executive Chris Christie apparently would see no reason not to directly engage Russia. At the debate on Tuesday, he seemed eager to do so. Why fight with Mother Russia over a group of murderous jihadists in Syria that comprise a tangible, explicit threat to both East and West? Is this Mr. Christie’s vanity speaking? His ego?

Even though Christie’s attitudes may seem schizoid on the surface, underneath there appears to be a unifying theme: a propensity toward unrestrained use of power by the few. Mr. Christie shares this trait with Ms. Hillary Clinton. Both are scourges of Americans’ Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, and would exercise power to disarm law-abiding Americans’ of their natural right of defense against criminals, lunatics, foreign- and homegrown radicalized extremists. And both seem more than willing to do as they please, consequences for others be damned.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Trump Phenomenon Part II: Establishment Attack Dogs

The following article has been obligingly submitted by Roger J. Katz, Attorney at Law, and Stephen L. D'Andrilli.  Regarding Mr. Trump, this past several days I have heard uttered numerous astounding stupidities from many sources, none of whom appear to realize that as a sovereign nation, the United States of America has certain rights and obligations to control its borders. Mr. Katz and Mr. D'Andrilli offer a useful, grounded perspective on the current attack phenomenon. See also my earlier post "Aristotle on Trump."   BAP

      Attack On Trump’s Immigration Proposal Undercuts Congressional Authority

Roger J. Katz, Attorney at Law
Stephen. L. D’Andrilli
The recent attack on Donald Trump is most curious. It is coming not only from sources that you would have every reason to expect, but from sources that you would have every good reason not to expect: Dick Cheney, former Vice President under George W. Bush; Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House of Representatives; Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader; and John Yoo, U.S Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, Department of Justice, who served in the Administration of George W. Bush. These individuals have all spoken out, vociferously, against Donald Trump’s recent remarks concerning barring Muslims from entering the Country.
The mainstream news media and leading Democrats and, oddly enough, the Republican leadership itself, finds Trump’s comments alarming. But, alarming to whom? Muslims? Alarming, we see, to those Americans who don’t like Trump’s proposal and, for that matter, those who don’t like Trump, and who seek to undermine his campaign by whatever means possible. But, Trump’s proposal should not be alarming at all to Americans who seek protection from the deadly impact of jihadism – jihadism that exists around the world and has now made its appearance in the United States. From that perspective Trump’s proposal is quite modest and reasonable.
Indeed, if there is any national security proposal that should be alarming to the American people it is The New York Times’ call for confiscation of firearms from the hands of law-abiding Americans. But, that proposal, coming from the publishers and editors of a major newspaper, receives precious little condemnation that it richly deserves. And, it is from major mainstream newspapers, both left-wing papers, namely and particularly, the New York Times, and conservative newspapers, too, namely, and particularly, the Wall Street Journal that we see scathing editorials on Trump – editorials that attack him on both a personal, visceral level, and on a public policy level. Fortunately, some news commentators go to bat for Trump.
Andrew Wilkow, whose radio program, “The Wilkow Majority,” airs on SiriusXM 125, weekdays, made the perceptive point, on Wednesday, December 9, 2015, that Trump is being blasted not for what he actually said about barring Muslims from our shores, but for what he never said. The mainstream media, with assistance from Republicans themselves, is attacking Trump and, by extension, those Americans who support him. And, it is important to take note that the attack on Trump is definitely an attack on Americans themselves.
News pundits assert that Trump’s immigration policies, barring Muslims from our Country, until such time as this Nation gets a handle on the problem of Islamic radicalism, is unconstitutional. The suggestion is that Trump’s proposal is inconsistent with the First Amendment’s bar against the establishment of religion clause and free exercise of religion clause. But, Trump never stated that American Muslims – citizens who presently reside in this Country and who have resided in this Country for some time – cannot or ought not be permitted to continue to practice their religion, freely. Trump’s proposal pertains to immigration only. And there is nothing in the Bill of Rights or anywhere in the U.S. Constitution that prohibits Congress from enacting laws or establishing immigration quotas. So, the assertion that Trump’s immigration proposal is unconstitutional is false, on its face.
In fact the U.S. has maintained immigration quotas for decades and, while Congress essentially abolished immigration quotas through enactment of the Immigration Act of 1965, Congress can certainly reintroduce a quota system, consistent with the powers conferred to it in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.
If the mainstream news media, and Government leaders, and news commentators, and, of late, foreign governments, believe that Trump’s suggestion for reinstatement of a quota system, temporarily barring Muslims from entering the U.S., is in fact unconstitutional, they are simply wrong. And, if they know that the assertion is false, then they are liars as well. There is absolutely nothing in our Constitution that legally precludes Congress from enacting a law for that very purpose and, in fact, there is explicit language in the U.S. Constitution that permits Congress to do just that.
It is therefore extremely odd to say the least that those who would bring up a legal issue, where there is none, express no reservation in denying to Americans’ their Constitutional rights, where there clearly exists one.
The Obama Administration has clearly violated American’s Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures, through creation of and implementation of massive surveillance operations and campaigns against all Americans. And they design new ones every day. That clear violation of Americans’ Fourth Amendment privacy rights is claimed to be justified on the ground of national security. It isn’t! And, on Saturday, December 5, 2015, in a rare front page editorial, the New York Times urged a national campaign to disarm Americans’ – in clear violation of Americans’ Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms – on the absurd, and disingenuous ground, that taking guns away from all Americans is the best way to protect Americans from radical Islam. It won’t!
But, in the same breath, these Government officials and Government Legislators, and mainstream news media sources have expressed no reservation in attacking Trump’s immigration proposal on the ground that his proposal, if implemented, would violate the First Amendment establishment clause and free exercise of religion clause when, in fact, there is no violation of the First Amendment at all precisely because the individuals that Trump is talking about aren’t American citizens. They do not reside in this Country and never did, and should not be allowed to do so now – especially, given the dire situation in the World today. That is Trump’s message. That is Trump’s warning. And, there is nothing in that message to suggest a violation of any American’s First Amendment Constitutional Rights.
Trump simply wishes to keep more Muslims out of the Country at the present time and until the Nation’s leaders get the matter of Islamic extremism under control. Trump said nothing more; and he said nothing less. He certainly said nothing about arresting and deporting law-abiding Americans who practice the religion of Islam. And he certainly said nothing about curtailing the practice of Islam by Americans. And nothing Trump did say implies such actions. Had he done so, then there would, of course, be reason to attack Trump’s proposal on First Amendment Constitutional grounds. That he did not do, so we gain nothing by pretending that he did. So there is nothing in Trump’s proposal, if implemented, that would amount to a violation of the First Amendment. And, the liberal intelligentsia in this Country certainly know this.
What the liberal intelligentsia do is illustrative of a classic “straw man” fallacy. They set up an argument for remarks that Trump never made and, for that matter, never implied, and they attack him on those, rather on the remarks Trump did make and on the sensible implications of those remarks. There is nothing – absolutely nothing – in Trump’s proposal that suggests that American Muslims cannot practice their religion, much less that American Muslims ought to be deported. So, to say that Trump’s immigration policy conflicts with the First Amendment is altogether unsound. He is simply addressing an immigration matter that falls squarely within the powers of Congress.
Curiously, those who excoriate Trump on his immigration proposal are actually undercutting Congressional powers and authority. They do so by tacitly asserting that Congress does not have the authority to preclude Muslims from entering this Country. That suggestion is patently false. Under Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, Congress has the authority and has sole authority to enact laws pertaining to naturalization – which includes immigration.
To assert otherwise is to say that Congress is forbidden to exercise its powers under the Constitution. It is not Trump, then, but his detractors who are asserting matters that directly and negatively impact the Constitution. Trump’s proposal, itself, does not raise a legal, statutory issue, much less a Constitutional one under any scenario.
That leaves one matter to be discussed: the matter of morality. Trump’s detractors imply that Trump is attacking American Muslims who live in this Country and those outside it because his immigration policy is offensive. That may be, but so what? While some in this Country may condemn Trump’s proposal on moral grounds, one might reasonably counter that argument by arguing that, to permit Muslims to enter this Country, at this time, given the present circumstances, is immoral, too. To allow Muslims into this Country at this time is immoral precisely because such practice would increase, exponentially, Americans’ susceptibility to acts of violence committed by jihadists. Muslims cannot be vetted. Government authorities haven’t devised the tools to do so, and they have admitted as much. So, letting Muslims into this Country, at this point in time, would definitely make this Country less safe – much less safe for ordinary Americans. That certainly would be immoral! Yet, the attack against Trump continues. Trump, though, is among the few – extremely few – candidates for U.S. President who actually expresses a desire to protect this Country from its enemies, both foreign and domestic. He is vilified when he should be praised. He is roundly denounced when he should be emulated. He is ridiculed when he should be respected.
Ultimately, Trump represents a return to sanity in this Country; a return to security for this Country; a return to the sanctity of the individual; and a return to love for Country. Those who attack him both within the Republican Party and outside it, both within this Country and now abroad, are really attacking the millions of Americans who support Trump.
The attack against Trump is, then, really an attack against Americans and against America itself. Those un-American powers and forces that control this Republic and who control the Republican Party in particular are very afraid now, because Trump’s popularity among Americans continues to wax, rather than wane. Trump is the last candidate these un- American powers and forces want to see representing the Republican Party. If, then, the majority of average American citizens, who are Republicans, do select Trump as their candidate of choice, and if the Party ignores its rank and file members and goes its own way, nominating a person who can be and will be controlled – who represents the international, globalist, neoliberal community – then the jig is most certainly up.
If the will of the American people is ignored, those that control the Government apparatus will no longer be able to work their illusions on the public. They will no longer be able to fool the American people since it will be they, not the American people, who are making the decision as to whom should lead the Nation. We will know that. And, we will know, too, beyond any doubt, that the Republic is lost and that the Republic has been very well lost for quite some time, now.
Copyright © 2015 Roger J Katz, Attorney at Law, and Stephen L. D’Andrilli. All Rights Reserved.  Article used with express permission of copyright holders.  


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Savage Model 99 Conversions: 270-308

A Brace of Savage Wildcats

Part One: A Savage Model 99 in .270/.308

Brian Anse Patrick

My father’s generation was partial to Arthur Savage’s sleek lever action rifle design, the Savage Model 1899.  Of the men depicted in my father’s old box of black-and-white hunting photographs, many display Model 99s.
These fellows, all long departed from this planet, ranged over Michigan’s woods and fields in the early to mid 20th Century, back in the days when “going up north” meant a full day’s drive on narrow high-crowned two-lane blacktops, aka “the State Road,” and a half-day’s wait for the ferry at the straits of Mackinaw.
 That they meant business was evidenced by scads of hanging deer, tongues lolling, in a series of photographs spanning four decades, men outfitted in the Elmer Fudd-style checked wool outfits, jodhpurs and knee-high lace up boots. They loved their venison, the getting of it and the camaraderie. Their faces show satisfaction, as I interpret it, for then and now, the Model 99 is a very satisfying rifle.  
The Model 99 had a lot going for it. More robust than most of the other lever actions of its time (currently, too), the 99 could handle high-pressure cartridges. Influential cartridge designs premiered commercially in the 99, such as the .250-3000 and .300 Savage. A big plus, because of its rotary magazine, the 99 could safely handle ballistically efficient pointed bullets. Other popular lever action designs required flat soft point lead truncated bullet designs in order to avoid disastrous premature ignitions caused by recoil when a sharp bullet point or jacket met the primer of the cartridge ahead of it in their tubular magazines. What’s more, the 99 handled exceptionally well for offhand shooting, especially with peep sights or even if well scoped. It was a dream for a quick shot in heavy cover. Available in all sorts of configurations from carbine to takedown to featherweight to presentation grades, a .410 shotgun barrel was available in the takedown variants for use as a single shot.
The 99 is no target rifle and was never intended as one.  It won’t even accommodate itself well to shooting off the bench because of a cross sectional profile that resembles a halibut steak. But offhand it excels for game-getting purposes. Probably the best shot I ever made on a running whitetail buck was with a scoped 99 in .243 Winchester as the deer overleaped an overgrown logging trial about 30 or 40 yards ahead of me. I fired when he reached his apogee. He came down on the other side of the trail dead, save for a bit of thrashing. I was fairly astonished and found that in the interval between shot and landing, I had unconsciously levered a new cartridge into the chamber. It was all so natural.  
 Reliability, ease of handling and ultra-cool calibers made the 99’s reputation. It carried well in the field. My guess? More deer, elk, moose and bear were taken with the .300 Savage, which was regarded as a whopping caliber upon its arrival back in 1921, than have since been taken with the bolt action magnum rifles that festoon the pages of modern sporting magazines like so many airbrushed pinup photographs. The Savage 99 delivered. Savage sold well over a million of them until production costs surpassed marketing considerations back in the 1980s. A brief resurgence in the 90s was attempted with the 99-C, a magazine loading version, but the rifle was expensive to produce and could not compete with cheaper-to-produce bolt actions that had and continue to saturate the market. Plus an endemic condition had set in of Americus Magnumitis, and while the 99 had been available in effective modern calibers such as .243 Winchester, .284 Winchester, .308 Winchester, .358 Winchester and 7mm-08 Remington, it was simply not suited for the big long belted magnum and super magnum cartridges that hunters had begun to find so seductive.  
Having my own notions of seduction, I wanted to experiment with the Savage 99, maybe a midlife crisis kind of thing. I decided to locate a couple of late-production 99s and re-barrel them to calibers that might have caused a sensation had they been released back in the era of the 99. Although it should be noted that the .300 Savage and the .250-3000 Savage were regarded as quite sensational back in the1910s and 20s, when the .250 became the first factory cartridge to reach a muzzle velocity of 3,000 fps. The .300 Savage with a 150-grain projectile approximated the well-regarded US .30 caliber service load, which was regarded in those days as a high power bruiser. The .300 shot flat as far as most men could shoot under any conditions, and still does despite all the nonsense one reads in the sporting magazines about 400 and 500 yard shots.   
For his highly publicized expeditions to Mongolia and China, American celebrity naturalist adventurer Roy Chapman Andrews conspicuously employed Savage rifles, specifically the 22 Hi-Power and the .250-3000.  Savage advertisements made much of this. (Nevertheless, based on his writings, Andrews personally seemed to prefer a 6.5 mm Mannlicher carbine for his specimen collecting on behalf of the Museum of Natural History. He also seemed to eat a lot of these “specimens.”)  Whatever the case, the Savage .250-3000 and the Savage .22 Hi-Power, both fine cartridge designs, were promoted beyond the bounds of reason.  A reverend Harry Caldwell who traveled at times with the expeditions was reported to have killed a Siberian tiger with a Savage 22 Hi-Power, even though few would choose a 70 grain bullet at maybe 2,800 feet per second as their first choice on a 500-pound animal known for its 6-inch canines and a propensity to dig up and eat bodies from graveyards. I am sure the 99 in its heyday would have been recommended for dinosaurs had dinosaurs been available. Elmer Keith, however, tried and rejected the .250-3000 for elk after having to finish a wounded elk with his six-gun.  Still, there was a basis for some of these claims. My father, a dedicated deerslayer who once killed 11 whitetail bucks in a season, regarded the .300 Savage with 180-grain bullets as a better killer than the hotter .270 Winchester that he had adopted after his World War II service. The .300 destroyed less meat, too, he reported, a matter of considerable import to him. Range, however, was another matter, and here the .270 prevailed, despite its tendency to leave huge jelled bloody areas around wound sites.  
Weighty Considerations
I sought out late model 99s for my conversions for several reasons, the first being scope-ability. Early 99s were not factory-drilled and tapped for scope mounts, and many of those later modified for scopes were done by persons of dubious skill levels. Some can be pretty crude affairs. More, the older stocks accommodated the iron sights of the era such that the addition of a scope far above the line of the bore necessitated an unnatural craning peek-a-boo motion that brought the cheek off the stock to align with the new fangled scope. This is not conducive to good shooting. Later production 99s had stock dimensions suitable for scope use with higher combs allowing for a consistent stock weld.
And then there is the mutilation aspect of drilling holes in a fine old rifle, which seems disrespectful if not outright heathenish. Plus, again, these alterations have often been done so very badly. I once acquired a 99 in .250-3000 that someone had botched such that the scope was out of parallel with the barrel by a few degrees, making proper windage adjustment impossible. Who even looks out for such things?  (Actually, I do, now that I have wised up.) I had to heliarc fill the old screw holes, then redrill and retap them in the proper locations to install a new one-piece scope base. There are many butchered 99s for sale in the gun shops and should be priced accordingly, so beware. Such modifications, whether adroitly done or not, also tend to detract value for collectors, who quite understandably, prefer original stuff with original holes, as holes can be funny things.
Sometime after World War II Savage began factory drilling and tapping for scope mounts. Factory engineers consequently moved the Savage logo unto the side of the barrel just in front of the receiver from its original location on the frame atop the barrel shank. This “tell” is a sure way to distinguish later rifles from older, the top logo position being a sure a mark of an older rifle. I learned this from Douglas P. Murrow’s useful book on the Savage, The Ninety-Nine: A History of the Savage Model 99 Rifle.  
Another factor that weighed in conversion considerations was engineering. At some point in the 1950s Savage engineers modified the 99’s frame, lengthening it slightly and modifying the rotary magazine spool to better accommodate cartridges of .308 Winchester length. I did not want to tamper with the rotary magazine if it could be avoided. Metallurgy figured in, as well. Rightly or wrongly, I believe that the metallurgy in the later rifles is superior. We might praise old time craftsmanship, but I have seen a lot of old time junk around too. Metals, alloys and production machining have steadily improved over the years. I notice for example that my same old rifles shoot better groups then they did 40 years ago. The superior performance of modern cartridges, powder and projectiles is attributable to superior manufacturing technique and materials.
Two types of safety may equip the 99s. The original type is a catch on the right side of the lever behind the trigger. Smallish and not particularly well suited to ergonomic operation, it also locks the lever closed, and must be pulled rearward to its off/fire position. Much later, by about the 1960s, Savage also offered a thumb safety on the tang, shotgun-like, a location much more convenient to the shooter, which merely had to be pushed forward to the off/fire position. Utilitarian grades of the 99, such as the 99-E, still featured the old tab lever safety right up to the end of manufacture. I have used both types without any difficulties.
Another feature peculiar to the 99 is a neat little counter that shows how many rounds remain in the magazine. This counter, visible through a small slot milled in the left side of the frame, was done away with on the later more utilitarian models. It was a nice touch, however. Especially back in the day when the magazine rotor was made of brass. The number of rounds remaining, between 1 and 5, was stamped into the brass rotor that peeked through the little window. In later models a white metal, possibly an aluminum alloy replaced the brass. The 99 also had a cocking indicator on the frame above the tang, a little post that extruded an eighth-inch or so above the frame, such that a cocked condition could be verified visually or tactilely.  This overview has by no means been a complete catalogue of Savage 99 features, and for this purpose I recommend Murrow’s book mentioned above.  
My choices in wildcat cartridges were the .270/.308 and the .338/.308, the latter which has been recently introduced in a factory loading by Federal Cartridge Co., the .338 Federal, although wildcatters have been experimenting with it for many years.  The .270/.308, also well known to wildcatters, propels a 130-grain bullet at .270 Winchester velocities, or pretty close, and seems to achieve 3,000 fps safely. I planned, hoped, on using Nosler Partitions, a bullet that I have used to good effect on a number of game animals.        
            For a platform for the first conversion, the .270/.308, I located a Model 99-E in the low 1,000,000 serial number range in caliber .308 Winchester. I passed on several guns that were too old or butchered, and also on some that were too nice, e.g., a 308 Model 99 1895 anniversary commemorative with an octagonal barrel. It seemed senseless to start with a clean and beautiful rifle for what amounted to a total overhaul.  One very nice well-priced .308 99EG I simply bought to shoot as is. It was just too nice to willfully mar and it shot well. Despite my wildcat impulse, the .308 stands as a fine all around caliber, and if you can’t hit whatever you are shooting at with a 150-grain .308 caliber bullet, then you probably can’t hit it with a 130 grain .277 either.
The conversion rifle selected was extremely ugly but sound mechanically, although looked as if someone may have been paddling a canoe with it. Gunsmith/Gunmaker Steven Durren, who works out of Johnson’s Sporting Goods in Adrian, Michigan, did the conversion.  For the .270/.308 I wanted a 24-inch barrel, not too light, of a medium configuration with no sights, as this was to be a scoped rifle. Also I acquired a new set of stocks from Brownell’s, at a very reasonable price, and they needed fitting to replace the old stocks that didn’t appear to be original anyway. Maybe a porcupine ate the originals.  God knows what happens to nice rifles in some hands. If you think I am merely carping, I once saw a fine commercial Obendorf Mauser with a stock that had apparently been used as a chew toy by a large dog or animal, contrasting with the fabulous metalwork of a barrel rib and checkering; a cousin had gotten it in swap for an old lawnmower.  And although I am not one of those fetishists who obsesses over honest indicators of use, for my stuff does tend to get used, sometimes one can only marvel at what some people do to guns.
Design Characteristics
 The Brownell replacement stocks were configured in the Schnabel forearm, a design characteristic of the old Savages and some European firearms, and a classic touch. Mr. Durren recommended a Douglas barrel in the more or less standard rate-of- twist for a .270, one-in-ten inches.  Although my plan was to shoot the reliable 130-grain Partition bullet, this twist could also reasonably be expected to handle 140-160 grain bullets if desired. Regarding the chosen barrel configuration, I do not favor a wand-like or stubby barrel. Twenty-four inches was the length decided upon—most of the older Savages were so equipped and handled well—and in a medium profile, not too heavy, but not light.  I even pondered a 26 inch barrel but decided this would be too much for a light hunting rifle.
Of course at this point in time, the .270/.308 was a still an academic exercise to me.  I had done a small bit of research, and knew the caliber existed, and also that by no means had I invented or conceived of it on my own as I had imagined briefly.  I admired the .270/.308’s  theoretical aesthetics.  And of course the cartridge was entirely a custom hand-loading proposition. To my knowledge no commercial .270/.308 ammunition or cartridge cases have ever been available. Redding Reloading Equipment provided a nicely machined set of custom reloading dies. They had several sets in stock, so obviously there is some demand for the caliber by riflemen.   
I also benefitted by an 1978 article in Rifle by Mr. Jack Huber who converted a Browning Lever Action in .308 Winchester to .270/.308 (Rifle: The Magazine for Shooters, Vol. 10, No. 5, “.270-.308 Lever Action”).  The BLR is a much different rifle than the 99, and the bolt, while worked by a lever, is of a rotary design that cams into locking lugs more or less like those on a standard bolt action.  While the Browning is a strong and well-designed rifle, my personal opinion is that it is clunky compared to the 99. Mr. Huber, however, was more than pleased with his results. It shot accurately. I hope he hunts with it to this day.  
I also learned elsewhere that wildcatters had experimented years ago with custom barreled .270/.300 Savage 99s, and even talked to an elder in a gun store who had killed a deer with one, a borrowed rifle, back in the 1950s or 60s, so I gathered.  He said it worked well, but beyond this had nothing to report on accuracy, loads or details of the conversion. Certainly some of these old rifles are still around and it would be interesting to see how they compare to the more recently developed .270/.308.  The .308 Winchester, the parent case, by the way, was based on the .300 Savage and did not appear commercially until 1956, so the development of the .270/.308 seems like it would have been a natural step at the time. It says much of the basic Arthur Savage design, that with but slight design alterations for length, Savage was able to more or less immediately offer the higher pressure .308 cartridge in the 99.   
Mr. Durren delivered an extremely well-crafted rifle in a surprisingly short time frame, less than a month. Reblued, rebarreled, restocked, it was a handsome piece of work that nowise resembled the aesthetic horror that I had provided to him as a platform. Metal and woodwork were of superior quality. I installed a Leupold 6X scope and was almost ready to go.
Completed Savage 99 Conversion in .270/.308

Care and Feeding
The next step was to form cases and load ammunition.  Following the suggested starting loads in Jack Huber’s Rifle magazine article on the .270/.308 conversion (the only credible source I had for loading data), I started with a load of 46 grains of IMR 4350 powder, a propellant that has given me very good results in other cartridges. Mr. Huber chronographed this load at slightly more than 3,000 feet per second out of his Browning.
Here I ran into my only difficulty. Never having worked at forming any wildcat cases, I was under the impression that all I needed to do was run .308 Winchester cases to the .270/.308 sizing die, check length, and load them. It was not quite so easy. I started with a batch of once-fired Federal cases, which when sized, fit perfectly into the chamber when tested before loading.  But once actually loaded with bullets, the case necks expanded a few thousandths of an inch, such that a press fit was created in the neck of the chamber. The lever was very difficult to work in order to extract a cartridge. This seemed a dangerous situation from the viewpoint of pressure, and I did not dare attempt to fire any such cases. Improvising, I sized .308 cases with a .308 Winchester die and after the neck had been compressed sufficiently to grip a .308 bullet, I reamed the inner diameter of the neck with a .312-inch (5/16) reamer (A 5/16 drill worked, too, for this purpose.) Removal of .004-inch or so of material from the inner wall of the case neck did it.  After then sizing the reamed case in the .270/.308 die and seating a bullet, the finished cartridge chambered and unchambered easily.
Trying another route to .270/.308 ammunition, I also made some cases from new Prvi Partisan 7mm/08 cases, which also worked well through the action, but not quite as effortlessly. Tinkering along these lines continues, and I will probably find someway to remove .001 inches from the wall of the Prvi Partisan cases and see what happens.
Left to right:  270 Winchester, 308 Winchester and .270/.308

The 46 grain load of IMR 4350 worked astonishingly well. After a few sighting shots to zero the scope, the 130-grain Nosler Partitions were going into the X ring of 25 yard bullseye pistol target placed at 100 yards. Wherever the crosshairs were when the trigger broke seemed to be exactly where the bullet went. Recoil was insignificant.
 I may drop the powder charge slightly to 45.5 grains or even 45 just to leave a wider pressure margin. I also plan to try out the Nosler 140-grain Partitions, although have as of yet no idea where to begin with a starting load. Usually, I tend to experiment for a time to find what seems to be an optimal load for a particular rifle, and then, once found, search no more. I suspect I am already quite close to optimal with my brand new old Savage Model 99 in .270/.308, thanks to Mr. Huber’s suggestion and Mr. Durren’s gunsmithing. I am more than satisfied with this rifle.

NOTE ADDED 25 January 2016. 
I consulted P.O. Ackley's exhaustive two-volume Handbook for Shooters and Reloaders (1962, Plaza Publishing) and found sections on the 270 Savage, which is the 300 Savage necked down to .270. and the .270/308.  Ackley lists a number of loads with 4350 powder for the 140 grain and 150 grain bullets. and describes the .270/.308 was "a fine efficient cartridge," saying, it handles the "heavier bullets at very satisfactory velocities." 
Copyright Brian Anse Patrick 

Part Two of this article will discuss the .338/.308 Model 99 conversion (aka 338 Federal), an elk rifle indeed!