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SAVAGE 10ML-II SAFETY !
Smokeless. It's Everywhere You Wanna Be.
Safety has never been a particularly popular topic, but-- I certainly feel that the only good shooting session is a safe shooting session, and the only good hunt is a safe hunt. The "Music of the Woods" remains the same.
Sadly, the Savage 10ML-II has come under what I feel is vindictive attack by those who have quickly seen what a tremendous threat this superior firearm is to their own company profits, and how superior the Savage 10ML-II really is compared to all other muzzleloaders on the market today in terms of strength, quality, design, and a safety track record now spanning some fourteen years via "modern smokeless muzzleloading." In the 14 years that Henry Ball, Bill Ball, and their associates Bobby Mabe and Dennis Boyd have been enthusiastically enjoying smokeless muzzleloading, not one single rifle has been damaged in any way by them, and no single barrel has been "ringed." That is fifty-six years of regular, contiguous experience due to efforts of these four gentleman alone.
Now, in the 4-1/2 year production history of the Savage 10ML and 10ML-II-- there has not been one single incident where a Savage 10ML series gun has been so much as damaged by a consumer that I, Bill Ball, or Henry Ball are aware of, when "operated properly using Savage recommended loads." Not one. That is a development history and track record very few rifles can lay claim to, and scant few muzzleloaders. For the new Savage 10ML-II owner remotely knowledgeable of firearm design and materials, there is no muzzleloader made today any safer than the Savage 10ML-II. From 416R (or 4140C) certified Gun Barrel Quality barrels, to the Accu-Trigger, to the 300% service factor design parameters, to the inherently safer, non-corrosive propellant that nitrocellulose-based powder is both to use and store-- no muzzleloader made today is available with more safety features both designed and manufactured in. That is WHY this gun was made in the first place; you can read the remarkable story of it all right here: THE SAVAGE 10ML-II STORY.
Did you know that EVERY SINGLE SAVAGE 10ML-II made today has a 100% proofed barrel? No other muzzleloader available today can lay claim to that. No Savage 10ML-II leaves the factory without a barrel that is proofed to in excess of 46,000 PSI. Not just a test sampling of barrels are so proofed, ALL OF THEM ARE. Also, every single Savage 10ML-II is also test fired prior to shipment. No other muzzleloader made today can make that claim either. The Savage 10ML-II has been destructive tested with massive charges of 4227 to bring the piezoelectric radial transducer to 129,000 PSI ! Stocks were broken, recoil lugs bent, but the barreled actions survived-- both intact and functional. For the record, the standard Savage 10ML-II service load is from approximately 33,400 to 36,000 PSI with a 250 grain saboted projectile. Always follow manufacturer's recommendations, as per the Savage Manual.
Nevertheless, ANY firearm can be abused. Whether military artillery pieces, or Coastal Artillery 6-inch guns with a "medium" range of fifteen miles-- any gun can be destroyed with neglect, misuse, bore obstructions, etc., --- and they have been. The completely idiot-proof gun, car, or plane has yet to be devised. Use of so much as "reloads" voids the warranty for most modern firearms, that much is quite standard fare. No 12 ga. shotgun made today can withstand the old "20 / 12 burst;" nor are they designed to. Yet, it still happens. The refrain from the firearms industry has been very simple, clear, concise, and consistent: "Follow ONLY manufacturers recommendations." Once you deviate from that, you are on your own. No firearm manufacturer allows otherwise. How tough is that? Of course it is a free country, and part of the experience, responsibility and satisfaction from reloading and muzzleloading is working up loads that suit you and your perceived needs. That is obviously best left up to the more experienced, knowledgeable reloaders.
For the brand new Savage 10ML-II owner, there is no safer way to muzzleload, no more maintenance-free way to muzzleload, no simpler way to muzzleload, and there is no muzzleloading rifle designed or built to a higher standard. The loads that have shown to be so tremendously effective over the last 4-1/2 years (make that 14 years) are even better, with Triple 7 inspired stronger sabots and more ballistically efficient bullets available today than ever before. As a bonus, did you know that the Savage short action has the fastest locktime in the industry, at about 1.60 milliseconds? That, combined with the award-winning Accu-Trigger, makes the Savage 10ML-II one of the easiest muzzleloaders ever made to shoot accurately, and well.
A misused 10ML-II can be damaged, so can every other firearm made today, regardless of manufacture. As it is, the Savage 10ML-II is the safest platform from which to muzzleload-- not by accident, but by design. As mentioned, that is precisely why it was built in the first place. If there is any doubt as the condition of your firearm, seek the services of a competent gunsmith immediately.
A very safety oriented company, CEO Ron Coburn adds, "Stressing a product above its design capabilities by pushing the envelope with hot loads and mixed powders will ultimately destroy any firearm. Savage Arms stresses that the owner of any muzzleloader be fully knowledgeable of the product and its components and takes full responsibility for loading and discharging the firearm."
Think once. Think twice. Think 10ML-II.
Anyone can look at the Douglas Ultra-Rifled barrels available from Brownells, found on p.46 of their Catalog #57.
.375 H & H Magnum = Contour # 4 barrel. .250" "B" dimension barrel wall.
This barrel is good for continuous service loads exceeding 60,000 PSI as found in "Modern Reloading" by Richard Lee. The Savage 10ML-II has a barrel wall thickness in the same area (peak pressure found in the area of its rear sight) of a measured .250" at the rear sight screw-- the SAME barrel wall thickness as the .375 H & H Magnum. Standard, recommended service pressure loads can run an average of only 33,400 to 36,000 PSI for the Savage 10ML-II, versus the 60,000 PSI area for the .375 H & H. Yet, they have the SAME barrel wall thickness.
The breechplug design has not changed for over five years, and has been proven generously strong and overbuilt in extensive testing by both Henry Ball and Savage Arms.
Do you really wonder why so many think the Savage 10ML-II is so well made, and so overbuilt?
That is why each and every Savage 10ML-II barrel so easily passes a much higher proof test than the 36,000 PSI service load arena, exceeding 46,000 PSI, and this gun additionally has withstood destructive testing to 129,000 PSI.
Savage Arms CEO Ron Coburn, perhaps most widely lauded for his dramatically successful management capabilities, is hardly the stereotype "paper-pushing" corporate executive. Mr. Coburn holds both engineering and business degrees, and has several innovative firearms-related patents to his substantial credits as well. He also is quite proud to shoot and hunt with the products his company produces. Mr. Coburn can obviously shoot and hunt with whatever he chooses, or not at all for that matter. However, Mr. Coburn is an avid 10ML-II shooter and hunter as well. On several occasions, though certainly many other options are available to him including his own centerfires, Ron Coburn has elected to hunt with the "one shot and make it a good one" Savage 10ML-II-- and, quite successfully.
Finally, NO load remotely approaching the barrel proof of over 46,000 PSI is recommended (or allowed) by Savage Arms.
Now you know why I feel that Savage Arms has the long term safety concerns of the hunter and shooter clearly in mind.
© 2004 by Randy Wakeman
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