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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are in the winding down days of hunting season. So I’ll ramble on a subject Ramrod brought up.

A few states have end of the year Gun seasons, Arkansas included. This is a great time to still get a trophy!
Some states have a “shotgun only “ restrictions that have included MLers. Arkansas is such a state. Having been an avid black powder shooter using patched RBs out of Lymans, rebarreled TC Hawkins and eventually an Ozark Mtn Arms custom replica of the 1857 Hawkin Slantbreech presentation model (34 5/8” barrel, 50 cal).

I shot weekly for years in the 80s. I also benchrest shot 6PPCs. Then I helped with the preproduction Sav 10ML and later the 10ML2 working with Toby Bridges confirming and testing various loads and bullet combinations. Mixed feelings as this “wasn’t “ muzzleloading. However, I just wanted to hunt locally the most effective way possible so I hunted with the 10ML and later 10ML2. If I went muzzleloading hunting in other parts of the state that had MLing seasons, I took my true BP gun(s). Now that inlines are the norm, I’d take one of my modern versions.

In 2002, I think, I got the first 40 cal smokeless ML by using a 405 Win barrel, 26”, drilled for a Breech plug (RB from Arkansas) and shot bore sized knurled bullets. A year later I got a 45 also, the second one made on a Sav 10ML2 action, also from RB from Arkansas. Both of these guns are in the picture below. They’ve been in use since 2002 and 2003 . The next gun is a Rem 700 ML action, Jewell trigger, 26” Brux barrel, and a MB which I got used.

These guns have unbelievable capabilities but pretty well meet what the states allowing their usage in shotgun only areas want: not having a 24-30 cal bullet going for miles. This is also why some states have allowed straight walled cartridges, in addition to SGs and MLers.

My 40 is my hi performance version shooting a 225g Pittman 40 cal AccuMax @ 2945 avg ‘/sec. 2 1/4” hi at 100, 1 1/2” hi @ 200, 6” low at 300, and 20” low at 400. Sub 1/2 MOA thru 300 yds, and haven’t done serious 400 yd testing as I only am using a 2.5x10 Bushnell 4200. At 400 yards it still has 1888’-lbs of energy. The 45 Rem shoots a 275 AccuMax @ 2845 which is a fairly light load, by my choice. The 45 PacNor thumbhole stock is my very light load gun shooting a 200SST @2510 with only 37g VV110. 1 1/2” high @100 and 5 1/2” low at 200. Recoil is less than a 2 1/2” 410. The hotly loaded 40 is more like a 308/150g bullet - still light.

Why showing this? It’s been a subject of discussion on Ramrod’s post. This light 45 has numerous trophy deer , mostly shot by my son, it’s latest nice deer, on Nov 7, 2019.

These guns cost less than many are paying and continuing to spend on crossbows. Might be a good offseason project to get one and get ready for next year.
 

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[



The picture above was a 100yd shot on our opening day at 7 AM. 9 Nov 2019. I had to wait 25 minutes from getting to my blind to make this shot.
Below is a chronograph reading of my much more hotly loaded 40 cal, my long range rifle.

Now that's what I need. A 40 cal

Sent from my SM-J727VPP using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
BC s
195B 0.195
200SST 0.265.
250SST and 300SST are in the low to mid-0.25s.
XTPs <0.2
AccuMax and others 0.340-0.50+.

The 225 -275 AccuMax bullets , PARKER Bullets and others have 0.340 and above BCs. These combined with 2700,2800,2900+’/sec have some seriously flat trajectories. 40 calls are the ultimate but many states, like Virginia, require 45 cal minimum.
 

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We are in the winding down days of hunting season. So I’ll ramble on a subject Ramrod brought up.

A few states have end of the year Gun seasons, Arkansas included. This is a great time to still get a trophy!
Some states have a “shotgun only “ restrictions that have included MLers. Arkansas is such a state. Having been an avid black powder shooter using patched RBs out of Lymans, rebarreled TC Hawkins and eventually an Ozark Mtn Arms custom replica of the 1857 Hawkin Slantbreech presentation model (34 5/8” barrel, 50 cal).

I shot weekly for years in the 80s. I also benchrest shot 6PPCs. Then I helped with the preproduction Sav 10ML and later the 10ML2 working with Toby Bridges confirming and testing various loads and bullet combinations. Mixed feelings as this “wasn’t “ muzzleloading. However, I just wanted to hunt locally the most effective way possible so I hunted with the 10ML and later 10ML2. If I went muzzleloading hunting in other parts of the state that had MLing seasons, I took my true BP gun(s). Now that inlines are the norm, I’d take one of my modern versions.

In 2002, I think, I got the first 40 cal smokeless ML by using a 405 Win barrel, 26”, drilled for a Breech plug (RB from Arkansas) and shot bore sized knurled bullets. A year later I got a 45 also, the second one made on a Sav 10ML2 action, also from RB from Arkansas. Both of these guns are in the picture below. They’ve been in use since 2002 and 2003 . The next gun is a Rem 700 ML action, Jewell trigger, 26” Brux barrel, and a MB which I got used.

These guns have unbelievable capabilities but pretty well meet what the states allowing their usage in shotgun only areas want: not having a 24-30 cal bullet going for miles. This is also why some states have allowed straight walled cartridges, in addition to SGs and MLers.

My 40 is my hi performance version shooting a 225g Pittman 40 cal AccuMax @ 2945 avg ‘/sec. 2 1/4” hi at 100, 1 1/2” hi @ 200, 6” low at 300, and 20” low at 400. Sub 1/2 MOA thru 300 yds, and haven’t done serious 400 yd testing as I only am using a 2.5x10 Bushnell 4200. At 400 yards it still has 1888’-lbs of energy. The 45 Rem shoots a 275 AccuMax @ 2845 which is a fairly light load, by my choice. The 45 PacNor thumbhole stock is my very light load gun shooting a 200SST @2510 with only 37g VV110. 1 1/2” high @100 and 5 1/2” low at 200. Recoil is less than a 2 1/2” 410. The hotly loaded 40 is more like a 308/150g bullet - still light.

Why showing this? It’s been a subject of discussion on Ramrod’s post. This light 45 has numerous trophy deer , mostly shot by my son, it’s latest nice deer, on Nov 7, 2019.

These guns cost less than many are paying and continuing to spend on crossbows. Might be a good offseason project to get one and get ready for next year.
I have the blued version of the 10ML II. I'm looking at a stainless one to add to my gun safe. Do you prefer the stainless or blued version?
 

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My smokeless ML has replaced three BP guns and my Savage 220 slug gun. When you factor out the cost versus what they replace it’s a no brainer. They are more accurate than the average ML and have a longer effective range than the slug gun. Cleaner to shoot with less recoil. I’m also using a muzzle break so that helps. I don’t see myself ever going back. If the laws allow it then I’m good with it. The negative side is sizing bullets because I don’t use a sabot. The bullets I’m shooting are also hard on the wallet. I could easily switch to something else but I’m happy how it sits. I’m a rookie at this but SEW really helped put smokeless on the map. He can rattle off more powder/bullet combos than I can retain in my little brain
 

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Sew have you ever heard of Dead Center Sabots made by Precision Rifle from Canada? A guy turned me onto them 20 years ago and I never have found a more accurate BP bullet ..... Im shooting it out of a Green Mountain Barrel and STILL using Triple F BP. Its deadly out to 200.
I been interested in these new fangdangled smokeless guns y'all are shooting.
 

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If I ever stumble across a bargain on a Savage 10ML I’m afraid my wallet will be a bit lighter.
.
 
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After Savage got away from smokeless, the custom market was where you really could only find one unless you caught one used. The custom guns are $2,800-$3,500 without optics. You can also hit a flea on a flea with one and have a serious long range gun. If I lived out west it would be a no brainer for me. These CVA conversions like the one I own get you going without breaking the bank. Do some shooting and know where it’s hitting and you have a 300yd gun. I had a 320yd shot on a nice buck this year because I had personally never shot the gun that far so I didn’t take the shot. I have no issue making a long range shot if I know where the gun is hitting.
 

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I’ve been shooting smokeless powder during muzzleloader season for about 15 years. Using break open knights and, more recently, TC 45-70 Pro Hunter Contenders. 45 caliber Harvester sabots and 10mm 180 grain hollow points. I use primed 45-70 brass as the breech plugs. Deadly out to about 150 yards. I use light loads of IMR 4198 and SR 4759 powder. Also shoot them in my 45-70 handguns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I’ll try to answer a lot of these questions in one post.

1) The blued barrels have been slightly smoother and can handle slightly hotter loads. Example: when I was initially testing VV110/250-300g bullets in 2000/2001 (blued barrels in 10ML then ML2) we settled on 44g +/- 2g for both 250 and 300g bullets. This load was in the 1st ML and 1st ML2 manuals. Then when we started testing the SS ML-2 , we started shredding sabots. The interior of the SS barrel was too rough. 300 passes with patches and JB weld did nothing. What worked was boiling out a 385g Buffalo bullet , placing coarse NECO lapping compound in the serrations loading from the breech, adding about 20-25g Pyrodex RS from the breech, replacing BP, seating bullet and powder with a ramrod. Shooting and cleaning, and repeating 4-5 shots. After 3 shots went to medium grit. You do not want it super slick!! Valve lapping compound works. Keep velocity <500’/sec. This made the SS barrels even better than the blued barrels.
Still, in later versions, well after TBs and I worked on loads, Sav dropped the loads significantly. 42g VV110/250g bullet. It is very hard to beat a 250 Barnes TEZ/45g VV110 in a Harvester sabot or even a HPH12. 2450’/sec, incredible terminal performance!

2) Precision Bullets, Canada, Cecil Epps. If you believe the published BCs, I have some land for sale. It’s been widely reported that over 2200’/sec, the all lead bullets fail . Wrong. I’ve shot the 240g 40/50 and 195 357/45/50 dual sabot at w600’/sec very accurately but with larger amounts of slower burning powders for less acceleration pressure of the faster book powders. There are much better bullets available now: Arrowhead bullets, Parker , Pittman, Fury, etc..
The Precision Bullets are outstanding in non-smokeless MLers if the twist is fast enough.

3). CVA has historically been a cheap , crude company. No more! Their barrels are class acts! The conversion from 45-70 -> smokeless 45s is easy to do. One breakopen CVA comes with a MB relegating it to only bore sized shooting, thus having to size the 452 bullets to a precise fit. Easy, once you learn how. These smaller shanked barrels cannot take particularly heavy loads: generally 2600’/sec with a 275g bullet, 65g H/IMR4198. They are subMOA and require a tough scope. 300 yds is about max practical. Leave loaded throughout season. Shoot with a fouled barrel.
The other CVA has no MB which allows usage of saboted 40 cal bullets and higher velocities with higher BC but lighter bullets. A 40 cal 250g Fury or Pittman AccuMax in a 45 sabot can be shot safely out of one of the breakopens to 2700-2750 with a much flatter trajectory.

4) Sav 10ML2s converted to 40 or 45 can greatly enhance the efficiency of the 10ML2. I own no 50 calls anymore except my round ball, side locks. Where allowable, the 40 is a significant step up from the 45. My 40, which I’ve had since ~2002 shoots 2950ish with a 0.340 BC’d Pittman AccuMax (225 and 228g) . 2 1/4” hi at 100, 1 1/4” hi at 200, 6” low at 300. 1/2 MOA thru 300 yards. This a simple, 209 ignition Sav 10ML2 conversion with a 405 Win barrel/16 twist. I use a Hank’s resizing die for 402 bullets resized to 0.4004”. My very nice 45 Rem/Brux custom rifle will outperform it in extreme accuracy: it holds the 100 yard MLing record of below 0.1” for a 5 shot group, and groups below 1” at 300 yards. Incidentally, this was set NOT BY ME, but the former owner and builder, Richard D .
However, which is the flatter shooter unless shooting 325g AeroMaxes at 3100’/sec which is what set those records.
I shoot the “light” loads of 275g/72g H4198 , which while very accurate, doesn’t begin to have the flat trajectory of my simple 40 cal 10 ML2.

5) Hankins Rifle’s has the complete package below $1000 of the converted CVA/MB, smooth sizing die, the Hankins ignition system (much more advanced than the 209 system), ramrod/jag. This will meet the vast majority of hunters wants and needs.
Sabots are frowned on by many advanced shooters because of the barrel required cooling times after 2 shots so the sabots will perform well. Heat is their enemy. For hunting, I don’t see this as a limitation. The non-MB CVA breakopen is able to shoot the higher BC’d 40 cal bullets faster than the MB version which shoots the heavier, bore sized (45) bullets slower.
Where allowed, the a 40 cal let’s a person have it all: extreme speed, bore sized, lighter weight higher BC’d bullet. Energy isn’t a problem : I still have 1888’-lbs at 500 yards with my 40 shooting the lightest wt Pittman 40 cal bullet: 225-228g. They also come in 250 and 275gs with higher BCs.

6) Most of my hunting is done with the very light load of 37g VV110/200SST or 195B at ~2530’/sec. multiple large deer have fallen to this light sub-MOA load just like many deer have been killed with the wide limbed Excaliburs. It’s not the weapon, it’s the hunter.
 

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I’ll try to answer a lot of these questions in one post.

1) The blued barrels have been slightly smoother and can handle slightly hotter loads. Example: when I was initially testing VV110/250-300g bullets in 2000/2001 (blued barrels in 10ML then ML2) we settled on 44g +/- 2g for both 250 and 300g bullets. This load was in the 1st ML and 1st ML2 manuals. Then when we started testing the SS ML-2 , we started shredding sabots. The interior of the SS barrel was too rough. 300 passes with patches and JB weld did nothing. What worked was boiling out a 385g Buffalo bullet , placing coarse NECO lapping compound in the serrations loading from the breech, adding about 20-25g Pyrodex RS from the breech, replacing BP, seating bullet and powder with a ramrod. Shooting and cleaning, and repeating 4-5 shots. After 3 shots went to medium grit. You do not want it super slick!! Valve lapping compound works. Keep velocity <500’/sec. This made the SS barrels even better than the blued barrels.
Still, in later versions, well after TBs and I worked on loads, Sav dropped the loads significantly. 42g VV110/250g bullet. It is very hard to beat a 250 Barnes TEZ/45g VV110 in a Harvester sabot or even a HPH12. 2450’/sec, incredible terminal performance!

2) Precision Bullets, Canada, Cecil Epps. If you believe the published BCs, I have some land for sale. It’s been widely reported that over 2200’/sec, the all lead bullets fail . Wrong. I’ve shot the 240g 40/50 and 195 357/45/50 dual sabot at w600’/sec very accurately but with larger amounts of slower burning powders for less acceleration pressure of the faster book powders. There are much better bullets available now: Arrowhead bullets, Parker , Pittman, Fury, etc..
The Precision Bullets are outstanding in non-smokeless MLers if the twist is fast enough.

3). CVA has historically been a cheap , crude company. No more! Their barrels are class acts! The conversion from 45-70 -> smokeless 45s is easy to do. One breakopen CVA comes with a MB relegating it to only bore sized shooting, thus having to size the 452 bullets to a precise fit. Easy, once you learn how. These smaller shanked barrels cannot take particularly heavy loads: generally 2600’/sec with a 275g bullet, 65g H/IMR4198. They are subMOA and require a tough scope. 300 yds is about max practical. Leave loaded throughout season. Shoot with a fouled barrel.
The other CVA has no MB which allows usage of saboted 40 cal bullets and higher velocities with higher BC but lighter bullets. A 40 cal 250g Fury or Pittman AccuMax in a 45 sabot can be shot safely out of one of the breakopens to 2700-2750 with a much flatter trajectory.

4) Sav 10ML2s converted to 40 or 45 can greatly enhance the efficiency of the 10ML2. I own no 50 calls anymore except my round ball, side locks. Where allowable, the 40 is a significant step up from the 45. My 40, which I’ve had since ~2002 shoots 2950ish with a 0.340 BC’d Pittman AccuMax (225 and 228g) . 2 1/4” hi at 100, 1 1/4” hi at 200, 6” low at 300. 1/2 MOA thru 300 yards. This a simple, 209 ignition Sav 10ML2 conversion with a 405 Win barrel/16 twist. I use a Hank’s resizing die for 402 bullets resized to 0.4004”. My very nice 45 Rem/Brux custom rifle will outperform it in extreme accuracy: it holds the 100 yard MLing record of below 0.1” for a 5 shot group, and groups below 1” at 300 yards. Incidentally, this was set NOT BY ME, but the former owner and builder, Richard D .
However, which is the flatter shooter unless shooting 325g AeroMaxes at 3100’/sec which is what set those records.
I shoot the “light” loads of 275g/72g H4198 , which while very accurate, doesn’t begin to have the flat trajectory of my simple 40 cal 10 ML2.

5) Hankins Rifle’s has the complete package below $1000 of the converted CVA/MB, smooth sizing die, the Hankins ignition system (much more advanced than the 209 system), ramrod/jag. This will meet the vast majority of hunters wants and needs.
Sabots are frowned on by many advanced shooters because of the barrel required cooling times after 2 shots so the sabots will perform well. Heat is their enemy. For hunting, I don’t see this as a limitation. The non-MB CVA breakopen is able to shoot the higher BC’d 40 cal bullets faster than the MB version which shoots the heavier, bore sized (45) bullets slower.
Where allowed, the a 40 cal let’s a person have it all: extreme speed, bore sized, lighter weight higher BC’d bullet. Energy isn’t a problem : I still have 1888’-lbs at 500 yards with my 40 shooting the lightest wt Pittman 40 cal bullet: 225-228g. They also come in 250 and 275gs with higher BCs.

6) Most of my hunting is done with the very light load of 37g VV110/200SST or 195B at ~2530’/sec. multiple large deer have fallen to this light sub-MOA load just like many deer have been killed with the wide limbed Excaliburs. It’s not the weapon, it’s the hunter.
Now that’s coming from a guy that knows his stuff!!:)
 

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Smokeless is the only way to go. Made the switch about 15 years ago - as soon as my state (IL) made smokeless legal to use in a ML for hunting deer. Can't imagine going back to one of the black powder substitutes - which if I remember right are also classified as 'smokeless' powders.

Never thought that the argument that using smokeless was 'cheating' had any merit. Laughable, really. The disadvantage to a muzzleloader is the slow follow up shot - not what powder you pour down the muzzle.

Anyway, shot my Savage a lot at first. It was fun & interesting trying different bullets, sabots and powder charges. Finally settled on 45 grains of 4759 and a 250 Hornady FTX or XTP. MOA or less out to 200 yards with about 6 inches of drop with the FTX. Pretty sure about 2300 fps. Used no gun for deer other than the Savage for about a decade. Not even sure how many deer I've taken with it, but most have fallen as if hit by the hammer of Thor! And many have been between 120 - 200 yards - which didn't seem to matter a bit as far as how fast the deer was down.

Was fortunate to pick up a second Savage, cheap on Gunbroker, while they were still in production. It likes the same loads as my other one and it is the only gun my son will use to hunt deer.

Haven't hunted anywhere that a 'long' shot would be likely, so my Savage doesn't get as much use now. But when muzzleloader season arrives, I know I'm not at a disadvantage, as I usually only want 1 more deer by then. I suppose some day, I'll have to find a replacement for the 4759 powder, but I still have a un-opened pound left.

I have thought several times of a muzzleloader 'upgrade'. But what I have works so well. And I'm pretty sure the ML bullet has to be at least .45 cal (per state regs), which does limit options somewhat.
 

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Did they ever make a blued 10ML with a composite stock? Those wood stocks look a bit hefty.
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
A “slight” mistake in post #13. I didn’d swab the barrel with JB Weld; rather, I used JB Bore paste. I think JB Weld wouldn’t have helped at all.
 
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