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Fast Track to Savage 10ML-II Shooting Success by Mark Anthony


The Hornady 250 grain SST is probably the easiest to tune of all the bullets available. I throw away the sabot that comes with them and add MMP HPH 12 (New Polymer) sabots, available directly from MMP.

Stay with either Winchester or Federal 209A shotshell primers.

Hornady has a starter available now that "fits" the SST bullet's nose (ogive), and makes it easy to seat properly without deformation.

You will not need a sub base with any of the recommended loads.

The 3 best suited powders for it seem to be Vihtavouri N110, IMR SR 4759, and Accurate Arms 5744.

The charge weight ranges on all three propellants are very similar. Try 40 to about 46 grs. Seems like 44 gr has been average preference of most guns. With 4759 or N110 this will produce close to 2300 fps.

Stay with the 1 hole vent liner, might as well go ahead and spend the best $22 you can for this setup and order RW's vent liners.

ONE of RWs ventliners will outlast FIVE factory vent liners.

Observe the clear diameter of the breech plug hole before shooting. It carbons up a lot faster than you would think and needs to be cleaned regularly. Soak in Hoppe's #9 solvent, and clear the carbon out with a #21 drill bit as mentioned elsewhere on this site.

Most of the problems we see with first timers is the breech plug stopping or slowing ignition causing accuracy problems and primers sticking, all due to the carbon residue produced by the 209 primers. Good breechplug maintenance eliminates that, clean it after every box of primers (100 shots) for best results.

And keep the barrel cool, sabots do not take heat, about 10 -15 minutes cooling time between shoots is normal. If any part of the barrel feels warm to touch, WAIT !

I also dry patch between shots, seems to keep loading friction more uniform and accuracy improved.

Welcome aboard!

Mark Anthony

© 2004 by Mark Anthony



I'd like to thank Mark, a "Real Savage Fan," for his contribution. All guns are different, so there is no 100% set of suggestions that can be applied universally. As Mark mentioned, the carbon residue left by the 209 shotshell primer energetic can build up quickly. The exact amount will vary based on your load combination, and your gun. However, a couple of inspections and you will quickly get a handle on what is a good cleaning cycle for your gun-- it may be half a box of primers, it may be one box, it may be every pound of powder, or even 200 shots. With 5744, Federal 209A primers, and 260 gr. sabots, I personally clean after 100 shots, but have gone well in excess of 300 shots with no misfires and the same vent-liner as well. A box of primers or 100 shots is easy to track, though, and as good a guess-timate as I have.Your mileage may vary, naturally. Grab a 5/32" drill bit, remove the ventliner, and-- going in from the primer side, drill that breech plug clean with a power drill on a regular basis. It is a couple minute job; you will be rewarded with consistent brand new accuracy.

Mark mentioned the 250 SST, however it is always best to listen to your own gun. Black MMP short sabots and 250 or 300 gr. Hornady XTPs are a great combination and give excellent terminal performance. My favorite bullet is a .40 caliber, 260 grain all-lead bullet in a .50 caliber BLUE MMP sabot @2150 fps. Pure lead has worked so well, for so long, that the unless you feel you need to go beyond 2200 fps-- it just destroys game. The Buffalo Bullet SSB .45 / 50, in 325 or 375 grain weight automatically comes with current formulation black MMP sabots-- and is a proven game getter at similar velocities. You really can't go wrong with any of these bullets, letting your gun pick what it likes best. Personally, the accuracy differences reveal themselves far more with a projectile change than they do with a powder change. Using 45 grains of Accurate Arms as a baseline, if your gun likes a bullet-- it will group with that powder charge.

Mark mentioned that dry patching between shots helps accuracy in his gun. With my 5744 loads, my test guns shoot better "dirty." Again, it is easy enough to quickly test and see what works best for you and your unique gun / load combination.





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