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Thread: How happy are you with your savage muzzleloader?

  1. #1

    How happy are you with your savage muzzleloader?

    I've hunted the last two seasons with an encore 209x50. It's a decent gun and shoots well, but cleaning it is a real pain in the rear. Because cleaning it is a pain, I don't shoot it as much as I probably should. I'm thinking about buying a savage muzzleoader so I won't have nearly the cleaning that I do with the encore. Is this way of thinking correct?

    If I buy the savage what types of groups will I be able to get out to 200 yards? 200 yards is about the max shot I'll have for firearms season.

    The encore is fine for what it is, but I'm a savage guy and I'd like to be talked into a new muzzleloader.

  2. #2

    Re: How happy are you with your savage muzzleloader?

    Cleaning goes away, cost per shot drops, accuracy goes up, and you can see where you are shooting-- all good things. No hinged-pin hammer gun can compare with the fast lock-time AccuTrigger / Savage short-action, nor can hammer-gun triggers.

    1.5 in @ 100 yards is promised by Savage out of the box; 1-5/8 @ 250 yards is the best I've been able to get which is more accuracy than can really be used in the field.

    Jim Baker has shot some 1/4 in. groups @ 100 yards with his with iron sights, but he ain't right. :-\

  3. #3

    Re: How happy are you with your savage muzzleloader?

    I have both the Savage with a laminate stock and the Encore.If you shoot BH209 in the Encore clean up is the same as the Savage,but cost per shot goes up.My Encore,1"groups@100 and 2.5"@200 yards, will shoot better than my stock Savage and this is after sending it back to Savage for barrel replacement because the first barrel would not keep a 3" group at 100 yards.With the replacement barrel it would shoot 2-2.5" group just not consistantly,sometimes it would be a 1" group nest group would be 5" @100 yards.I tried N110,N120,5744,4198 and 322 powder along with 200 SST,250 SST,300BO,300 Rem,250 MZ,300MZ and 260 DC bullets with MMP short,MMP24,MMP 12 and MMP orange,Havester Red and Black Crushed Rib and Havester short black sabots.My Savage is getting it's barrel(tomato stake) replaced with a custom PacNor 45 barrel.

  4. #4

    Re: How happy are you with your savage muzzleloader?

    153, your post is confusing-- as you also posted this:

    Thanks Randy and everyone else on this forum for all the help with questions about the SavageML.Killed four deer this year with the Savage,300 XTP's and 42 gr of N110,unable to get N120 in time for hunting season.One in tracks(shoulder shot), the other three went max 30 yards,all three double-lunged behind shoulder.The shoulder shots will put deer down in there tracks as I tried with the 243 and 12 slugs these same shoulder shots when the shots where there.I think shot placement far out weights anything as far as killing a deer on the spot.I finally got the Savage dailed in where I could group three shots in 1.5" at 100 yards with the 300 XTP's,my problem had been not waiting for the barrel to cool between shots.This off-season I will try the 275 XBP with the N120 and 5744 to try and get a little more range,but if I can not get 1.5" or less I know the 300XTP's will do the job.I did recover one of the 300 XTP's from a 125 lb doe shot at 50 yards quartering away,went in about third rib and under oppisite side shoulder skin .Doe went about 30 yards with good blood trail,the 300 XTP mushroomed perfectly to .95 inch,weight 223 grains.I hunt about half the time in Virginia where it is shotgun or ML only,no centerfire rifles and the Savage is the gun over there.Shotgun with sabot slugs kicks like a mule,very expensive($3-$4 a shot) with limited range(125 Yards) and no where near the accuracy of the Savage ML.The best part about the Savage is I did not clean at anytime during the season,from Nov. 3 -Jan. 5.I would shoot a group every two weeks to make sure I still sighted in correctly and never had to touch to Scope all season,had installed Warne QR rings with Warne bases.Scope was a 3 x 9 x 40mm Kahles.I think the fit and finish on the ML10 could be better but everything else gets an A+.

    Things must have changed? ::)

  5. #5

    Re: How happy are you with your savage muzzleloader?

    That right Randy it would shoot 1.5" groups with 300XTP's just not consistently.That why it was sent back to Savage for a new barrel.When I got to a range where I could shoot 200 yards my Encore would shoot much better groups.I would still hunt with the stock Savage over a Shotgun Slug Gun and being able to see after the shot is a big plus.I have spoke with many people about the Savage and it seems to be 50/50 if you get a gun that shoot 1.5" groups at 100 yards consistently.I glad for those who got the good shooting guns.I also had my gun 3rd action screw,3 new pillars,bed pillars,receiver and 2' forward of recoil lug by Bill Ball.It shot better after Bills work but still not up to par for me.I also tried three different scopes,two Leupolds and a Busnell 4200.I am glad all your Savages shoot great but mine would not.I wish it would have shoot the 300 XTP's good at 200 yards as this is the best Muzzle Loader bullet for deer I have shot.

  6. #6

    Re: How happy are you with your savage muzzleloader?

    Quote Originally Posted by 153
    If you shoot BH209 in the Encore clean up is the same as the Savage,but cost per shot goes up.
    I've never used the blackhorn powder, but I've been hearing good things. They only make it in a loose powder don't they? I like the ease of using pellets, but if it means I don't have to clean up as much I could switch over to regular powder.

  7. #7

    Re: How happy are you with your savage muzzleloader?

    Yes, Blackhorn 209 is the best "bp sub" ever made.

  8. #8

    Re: How happy are you with your savage muzzleloader?

    A lot of people are surprised at the seemingly effortless, excellent (if not astounding) results so many people get out of their Savage 10ML-II's-- and seem to have troubles.

    Hot barrels is the #1 cause. Savage loads do produce more heat than old blackpowder loads. If you can feel heat on your barrel, the sabot you seat is going to be afflicted by a lot more on the inside of the barrel and quickly soften and weaken. A snug fitting sabot and a cool barrel-- and that takes care of it in many cases.

    It is particularly an issue in warm weather (like today - - - 87 degrees) and target shooting. Not relevant to big game hunting, if you load and shoot, load and shoot it is esy enough to put two bullets through the same hole. . . and have the third one 4, 5, 6 inches away. I've done that more times than I can count.

    A cold barrel solves most of it.

  9. #9

    Re: How happy are you with your savage muzzleloader?

    I have a HB LTD 50 cal that will shoot sub moa at 100 yds with 43 gr. of N110 and 250SST or 275gr parker BE. I also have a custom 45 cal Pacnor Savage ML-II built by Rick Bibby that will also shoot sub moa with 62 gr. of 2015 and 200gr. SST or 195gr. Barnes. I haven't shot much beyond 100yds. but feel that either would do pretty well. As for the Encore I've owned two and all I can say is..... been there done that and AIN'T goin back.

  10. #10

    Re: How happy are you with your savage muzzleloader?

    Yes, DW-- I know the feeling. Regardless of brand, you'll find plenty of people that aren't 100% happy 100% of the time if that's what you are looking for.

    Savage's track record has been outstanding, though, and their customer service continues to impress. They've always been happy to spend the time and money necessary to make things right if given the chance.

    Fundamentally, a bolt action and a one-piece stock is a great, established platform for accuracy. Maybe that's why hinge-pin hammer guns don't go to Camp Perry? I really do think that most "problems" can be traced to soft, loose-fitting, or inappropiate sabots. It takes a little more attention to the sabots with smokeless. Just human nature, we often don't reduce loads by 10 - 15% and work up-- we ask what the "MAX" is, and then go higher. Doesn't work well with handloading, which is what muzzleloading is.

    It was a Savage 10ML-II factory barrel that was used for the vast majority of load development in the process of launching Blackhorn 209. If you aren't getting good results w/ smokeless, a trip to the range using Blackhorn 209 in a 10ML-II has quickly proven to a lot of people that it sure isn't the gun, it is the load combination being used.

  11. #11

    Re: How happy are you with your savage muzzleloader?

    i just started shooting 200yd with 250xtp 46gr5744 rcr sabot 1.5 in group 3 shots and then a 4th that i picked it up and put in bull the other 3 were 2 inches low i get .75 to a 1 inch at 100 lots of encore shooters at my range ask were to get one as with buck horn you still have to clean it still will rust fairly quick. not like smokeless but a lot better then the rest still smoke. go with the savage you wont regret it just take the advice from RW and others that know plus there less money up front and to shoot. kevin

  12. #12
    EFBell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Bucks County, PA

    Re: How happy are you with your savage muzzleloader?

    I'm happy with mine. With no real load testing at all I used 2 loads recomended on Randys website and both are satisfactory and inexpensive to shoot. Both shoot to about an 1-1/2" at 100 yards with a 3x9 scope and thats all I need for my purposes.
    Ed Bell, PA Deer Hunter & NRA Life Member ~ “The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.”~

  13. #13

    Re: How happy are you with your savage muzzleloader?

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyWakeman
    Jim Baker has shot some 1/4 in. groups @ 100 yards with his with iron sights, but he ain't right. :-\
    Hey now, I resemble that remark! :D
    I've come to believe that everyone should have to pass a simple common sense and I.Q. test before they're allowed to own a gun.

  14. #14

    Re: How happy are you with your savage muzzleloader?

    The gun's boring ;D No swabbing between shots, cracking the breechplug every 5 shots or so while shooting Triple Se7en, none of that silliness. I shoot out to 300yds just to amuse myself. 2"groups @ 200yds, mostly due to shooter inadequacies. I actually had no qualms with my old customized laminate thumbhole Encore. I just couldn't afford to feed two babies. :-\

  15. #15

    Re: How happy are you with your savage muzzleloader?

    I was a blackpowder junkie for along time,and killed a few,(well OK alot) of deer with the old smokepole. I took out my new Savage 10MLSS last deer season, and smoked two deer with clean pass through shots. One on the run at 40 yards. I average 1.5 to 2 at 100yds,and I am sure she will shoot better. I am convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that the Savage 10ML is the most accurate, efficient muzzleloader on the market. And yes. I ain't never going back. Hornady 250gr XTP , 5744-45gr

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