The Bottom Line
This is an awesome rifle. Savage is the one and only manufacturer making a rifle that can handle smokeless powder. That means DO NOT SHOOT SMOKELESS POWDER in any other muzzleloading rifle unless it is expressly marked as such (a few custom rifles will handle it). I love this rifle and what it's capable of, especially since the price is lower than other inlines that lack its flexibility. This rifle shoots black powder very well, and will also burn smokeless, Pyrodex, and 777. Me, I'm hooked.
- The ONLY mass-produced rifle that will safely shoot smokeless powder.
- Accutrigger is easily adjustable and extremely safe.
- Easy to load, easy to clean.
- 209 primers provide hot, reliable ignition.
- Load primer into bolt, rather than fumbling to cram it into breech.
- Requires unique breech plug wrench (included) rather than a socket wrench.
- Savage Model 10ML-II inline bolt-action muzzleloading rifle, capable of shooting smokeless powder.
- Easy to use; bolt-action with big ambidextrous thumb safety means it's familiar to most hunters.
- Bears a strong resemblance to Savage 110 centerfire rifles, of which I am a fan.
- Accutrigger is easy to adjust and is extremely safe.
- Ramrod is good and stout, not limber like others I've seen on inline rifles.
- Drilled and tapped for scope mounting; some models come with scopes.
- Fiber-optic sights are of high quality and are very easy to use.
- Barrel length is 24"; overall length 44"; rifling twist 1 in 24". 50 caliber.
- Weight without scope: 7.75 lbs with synthetic stock; 8.75 with laminated wood.
- Most models come with sling swivels (at press time, only one model out of seven lacked them).
Guide Review - Savage Model 10ML-II Smokeless-Capable Muzzleloading Rifle
As I said, this is an awesome rifle.
When I got mine, I headed to the woods for a quick test with black powder and home-cast Maxi-Hunter bullets. I was very impressed right from the start. I started low with 55 grains of FFg and worked up to 75 grains. Accuracy was excellent with each of the loads, using the nice fiber-optic sights.
At the range, I tried 2400, IMR-4198, and Accurate Arms 2015. Brief results are below. All bullets are Hornady 45-caliber XTPs in 50-cal sabots. Dry-patched bore between shots. All powder charges weighed on a scale.
2400 - Accuracy not bad; hottest load 37 gr; MV 2100 fps w/240 gr bullet; most accurate 35 gr 2400 with 300 gr bullet (MV 2000 fps).
AA2015 - Capable of good accuracy; hottest load 60 gr with 300 gr bullet (MV 1880, poor accuracy). Most accurate 57 gr 2015 with 300 grain bullet (MV 1770 fps).
IMR 4198 - Most consistent for accuracy; hottest load 51 gr with 240 & 300 gr bullet (poor accuracy with 240; MV 2000 fps). Most accurate 50 gr 2015 with 300 gr bullet (MV 1960 fps).
For hunting, I chose 50 gr IMR 4198 with a Hornady 45-300 50-cal sabot. 1960 fps with a 45-caliber 300-grain slug is fast enough for me, especially since I have taken many deer with 240-grain 44-cal bullets traveling around 1700-1800 fps.
When I zeroed the gun with this load, I fired one shot and adjusted the scope. The next two shots cut one hole about 70-caliber wide. Range was about 90-100 yards, shooting over the hood of my truck.
For more information, see the in-depth review of the Savage 10ML-II Rifle.
- Russ Chastain