Bore-Sized Conicals and the Savage 10ML-II (Colorado)

Though shooting bore-sized conicals does not make sense in most quality in-lines that are designed for saboted-projectile use only, in some cases antiquated game laws are still in place that require their use. To require conicals also requires ignorance that the patch in a patch and ball front-stuffer is somehow not a sabot and that muzzleloaders are something other than rifles that load from the muzzle.

It makes no sense, like the banning of scopes that holds just as much logic as forcing folks to try to hunt without their contacts and eyeglasses. If there is such a thing as common sense, being better able to see what you are shooting at easily qualifies. Using the most lethally effective projectile possible for game animals would likewise be a matter of basic logic, logic that has escaped a few DNR departments that apparently make do without electricity, refrigeration, or motorized vehicles.

Nevertheless, game regulations need not make any sense to exist, like some DNR departments themselves. There are folks that want to participate in “conical only” hunting opportunities, though a clever six year old will notice that the projectile that is fired from a sabot is indeed a conical. Colorado is one of the few remaining states that reveres regulatory schemes over ethical hunting practices. But, there is hope.

"It's obvious to me that my choice is a long heavy bullet with hollow point, explosive on the hit, plenty of weight left to plow on through the animal. Its the best combo for lighter big game, though a big heavy wide meplat lead bullet is still best for the really big stuff." Dr. Gary B. "Doc" White, shown above with his "Katie Bear."


For the Savage 10ML-II, smokeless powder is prohibited by Savage Arms for any non-saboted projectile, or any projectile over 300 grains in weight. Blackhorn 209 is, of course. Folks like Doc White have shown that heavy conicals are appropriate for all North American game despite the loopy trajectory. There is still no substitute for proper shot placement, regardless. Of a historical note, the old .45-70 Government calvary load of a 405 grain bullet at 1305 fps is the load that drove the American Bison and the grizzly bear to extinction in a few short years.

Requiring hand-work, the premium hunting Hydra-Con (above) goes through four distinct finishing modifications.

Bob Parker, of Parker Productions, has continued to experiment with his heavy conicals that are easy loading, economical, and have been proven as devastating to all North American game. Recently, Bob has done a bit of testing with his 440 grain .50 caliber Hydra-Con in his Savage 10ML-II. His Savage results, this far, have been impressive: a five-shot group at 100 yards, measuring .725 inches. The propellant of choice is Blackhorn 209, 85 grains by VOLUME, for a surprisingly good velocity of about 1400 fps considering this heavy bullet. 80- 90 grains by volume is a reasonable window: pick what groups the best for you. Bob considers the 85 grain volumetric load comfortable in the recoil department as well, in the Savage 10ML-II. No bullet lube is needed, as Bob's Hydra-Cons are already moly-coated.

Note that 85 gr. by volume Blackhorn 209 yields a clean 100 fps better velocity compared to 110 grains Pyrodex P:

110 grain Pyrodex P 1300 fps MV (Approx. Trajectory)

25 yds: 0
50 yds: +1.5 inches
100 yds: 0
150 yds: 7 inches
200 yds: 20 inches

With Blackhorn 209: Sight in 2 inches high @ 100 yards, confirm POI @ 150 yards.

Bob has several slight variations in the precise bullet dimensions for best results in the Savage 10ML-II, Thompson, Knight Rifles, and other brands that offer you the highest probabilities for quick, satisfying results in your individual rifle, so be sure to contact Bob directly to get the most appropriate bullet for your preferred set-up.

Bob's "Traditional Hunter" flat-nosed line of bullet are more economical, ideal for the requisite preliminary working up a load work and practice as they shoot essentially identically to the high-performance Hydra-Con. Finally, the Bore-sized line is available in 440 grain .50 caliber, 530 grain for the Knight .52, and in 580 grain / .54 caliber.



© Copyright 2003-2012 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.

Please Note: Randy Wakeman, his agents, heirs and assigns, hereby disclaims all possible liability for damages including, actual, incidental and consequential, resulting from usage of the information or advice contained in these articles. Use the data and advice at your own risk, and with extreme caution.

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