I. Your new 10ML-II has been proof-tested and then completely function tested at the factory, a level of attention no other muzzleloader ever made gets. Other muzzleloaders do not see any pressure until the consumer pulls the trigger for the first time. The Savage is built and tested to a higher standard. As a result or this factory firing, your new gun needs a thorough cleaning before you first operate it. The bore should be thoroughly cleaned with Hoppe's #9 and a brass brush. (You may have your favorite solvents, such as Sweet's solvent, that do a great job as well.) The breechplug and ventliner (the ventliner is just a replaceable flash hole that assures new gun performance without having to replace a breechplug) must be thoroughly lubed with any readily available Mil-Spec 907E "Never-Seez," then reassembled. Never-Seez and similar is available from your local auto parts store. Birchwood-Casey "Choke-Tube Lube" works well, is a similar product, with "Never-Seez Blue Moly" ranking as the ultimate in my view. The breechplug is the only part of the Savage 10ML-II that requires maintenance after 100 shots using a non-corrosive propellant such as Accurate Arms 5744. When using Pyrodex, Triple 7, or blackpowder-- immediate cleaning after shooting is requisite, just like any other inline muzzleloader.

II. You'll need Winchester 209 primers. Winchesters fit the majority of breechplugs the best, Fedral 209A are a bit snug-- but hotter. If you elect to scope your 10ML-II, a pair of steel Weaver Gram Slam bases #S46 is all you need for Weaver Style rings. I like Warne medium height QR rings. The steel Burris 1" Zee rings, medium height, are a solid choice for those preferring standard steel rings-- the Burris part number is 420084. All your preference, as are scopes. I believe the Bushnell 3200 or Sightron SII offers the best value-- with the Bushnell 4200 2.5 x 10 x 40 the best that can be had for under $400. That is all in the eye of the beholder, and your choice.

III. Accurate Arms 5744 is the easiest powder to start with. It is easy to measure with the very inexpensive Lee Dipper set, the 3.4cc Lee Dipper giving a uniform load of just under 45 grains on my RCBS. The 3.4 cc dipper or the 3.1cc Dipper and Accurate Arms 5744 is all you need for most 250 or 300 gr. saboted bullets. Use the 3.1cc Dipper first, it may well be more accurate for you.

IV. Bullets are also a personal choice, but Hornady .452 XTP 250 and 300 grain bullets are the most proven in the Savage 10ML-II. They should be used only with MMP short black sabots, current formulation. Barnes 250 and 300 gr. MZ-Expanders with the supplied sabots are excellent, have up to 100% weight retention, and fly slightly flatter. Other "bullet adventures" are discussed in other areas, but this is the place to start with no hassle.

V. The Savage 10ML-II is a sealed action, and no carbon (primer energetic) can burn your scope, or even get into your bolt. Every 100 shots, the hard carbon left in the breechplug must be drilled out of your breechplug to ensure a good-flowing flame path. Remove your breechplug and ventliner, and going in from the primer size just drill it out. A 5/32" drill bit makes this a few moments task. Install a new ventliner at this time for top accuracy.

VI. Now, you are essentially good to go. You need no immediate maintenance with Accurate Arms 5744, just a breechplug cleaning after 100 shots or so, and ventliner replacement.

VII. Barrel cleaning is at your leisure, Hoppe's to clean after those 100 shots, Breakfree CLP as a preservative. If a primer sticks to your bolt after firing, just close the bolt and pull the trigger-- it knocks it right off. Use of a witness mark on your ramrod is the best thing you can do to cover safety, and ensure consistent bullet seating shot after shot.

With a locktime of 1.60 milliseconds, the Savage 10ML-II is the fastest in the industry. Savage rifling tolerance is +/- .0005, the tightest in the industry. SAAMI specs require a 6" "Drop Test" for a trigger off safe to be considered acceptable. The Accu-Trigger passes this drop test-- at twenty feet! The rest is documented in the Savage owner's manual, and in a different format on an optional Wakeman-produced Savage Muzzleloading DVD.

Congratulations, you now have a true lifetime rifle that can be passed down through generations.


© 2003, 2005 by Randy Wakeman


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