Savage 10ML-II Loads

Above, Larry Berg (Africa 2013), used a Parker 300 grain Match/Hunter bullet on his monster muzzleloading buffalo.

The Savage 10ML-II has always been a particularly easy muzzleloader to work up loads for. A clean breechplug, a good ventliner, a cool barrel and it doesn't take long. A few things have changed recently in the powder availability department. While I have no way of knowing what every gun and reloading shop might have on their shelves, N120 as far as I know is not being imported and there are no plans to do so in the future.

I have a strong preference for 300 grain bullets. The three easiest propellants to work with are Accurate Arms 5744 and Alliant Reloder 7, with Blackhorn 209 the best of the new blackpowder replacement genre of propellants.

Accurate Arms 5744 is very easy to ignite, even under less than ideal conditions. The window, with a properly fitting 300 grain bullet and sabot, is 36 – 42 grains. 42 grains nets you right at 2000 fps with a 300 grain saboted projectile, ideal for out to 225 yards so with a streamlined bullet. Don't bother with trying to burn a lot of powder, for 5744 is not a super high velocity propellant. It is economical, reliable, low recoil, and an excellent general purpose propellant. I've used it on caribou, black bear, boar, and of course whitetail.

Don't think for a Mexican Minute that 2000 fps with a 300 grain bullet is trivia: it is anything but. The classic .45-70 load was a 405 grain slug at 1305 fps, and the standard (100 grain volumetric) organic blackpowder and Pyrodex loads pushed 300 grain projectiles at 1600 fps or so. They've taken a lot of deer, though, as has the .44 Remington Magnum out of a handgun at 1200 – 1300 fps. I like the Parker Productions 300 grain Ballistic Extreme and the Barnes 290 grain Spitfire T-EZ in combination with 5744. The same bullets do superbly well with Blackhorn 209.

If you want more velocity and range, one of the original Savage 10ML propellants, Alliant Reloder 7, nets you 2250 – 2300 fps with little trouble. The Parker Match Hunter is the most aerodynamically efficient bullet on the market, and a tough bullet as well. The Barnes Original Semi-Spitzer 300 grain .458 bullet, with the orange MMP .458 / 50 sabot, is another excellent choice. As of this writing, though the Barnes Originals ( .458" 300 GR ORIGINAL SEMI-SPITZER FB SKU# 457010) are sold out.

If you need to shoot conicals, then use Blackhorn 209. Personally, I have no plans to use conicals unless state regs require it, but there is no denying that the “Doc White” school of heavy conicals can be devastating on game. Bob Parker can help you with bore sized conicals if you need, or just want to go that route.

© Copyright 2003-2013 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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