I quess Im one of "them older gents". There are many fine knowledgable people on these forums and you will meet many through your life, however many have beliefs backed up by liitle evidence. I am just in my early stages of the Savage 99 research. I have used them sparatically over 45 years of big game hunting, but didnt study them much. I have studied them some over the years and know most changes but have never heard the tang safety models had a faster lock time. I will have to do more research. The reason they are harder to find is the fact Savage produced fewer of them. When they made the change, fewer people wanted the 99 and though they produced them for @25 years, not that many were produced.