Basic Smokeless Muzzle Loader Questions & Tips
General MZ Questions
What does it take to shoot sabotless
a link to video on fullform sizing. Youtube
Smooth sizing is very similar, but doesn't impart rifling to the
bullet. Some barrels are loose enough from the manufacturer to
shoot some bullets without sizing. However, barrel
diameters will go up and down, so there is no guarantee. If
you're serious about wanting to shoot sabotless, plan on purchasing an
adjustable sizing die. Sizing Dies available for purchase here: Sizing Dies
Q: What about sub 45 calibers
this time, I will only order sub 45cal barrels. However, I
do not provide technical support. They're not nearly as
developed as 45cal and 50cal smokeless, and you need to be willing to
do the research and educate yoursel if you want to explore that
Q: Is the Lehigh vent liner better than the Savage vent liner
A: The Lehigh vent goes through a heat treat process that does make it
longer lasting than the Savage vent. Additionally, because it is
harder, the head on the Lehigh vent is much less susceptible to
stripping than the Savage Vent.
Q: What is the Modified Bushing Plug
A: An alternate to the standard vent liners is the modified bushing
plug. The bushing plug replaces the vent liner with a pure
tungsten or tungsten/carbide bushing that will last 100's of
shots. The pure tungsten bushings have shown to barely wear
at all even with hot sabotless loads. The tungsten carbide
bushings are also very durable, but will eventually wear out although
their life is still significantly greater than vent liners.
Q: How do I care for my Modified
A: See this instruction sheet
Q: How long of ramrod do I need
A: The 3-piece
are 2.25" shorter than listed length. So the 24" rod is
actually 21.75" long. The 2.25" is taken out of the last section,
so if you use a Spin-Jag all 3 sections of the rod will be the same
length and fold uniformly for the sheath. To get minimum legnth
of ramrod required for a barrel, take barrel legnth and subsract the
length of breech plug (~1.75') and height of load. Typically, a
24" rod with a Spin-Jag installed, will easily load a 26" barrel.
Q: What is the best Bullet / Sabot combo for my 50cal
A: In my opinion, the best combination for the stock Savage is a 458cal
300gr Barnes Orignal SSP paired with a Harvester Black Crush Rib (HBCR)
Sabot. This combo will shoot very well in the majority of guns
out there. A small percentage of guns with tighter barrels will
shoot better with the MMP Orange saobt instead of the HBCR. In
general, 458cal bullets paired with the HBCR or MMP Orange have been
the most consistent.
Q: How often should I clean my
A: Every barrel is differet, but generally, these guns shoot best and
most consistently after 3-8 fouling shots. With most guns, barrel
cleaning isn't required for dozens of shot. Some factory
Savage barrels will be a little more suceptible to fouling and require
more frequent cleaning. The high quality finish on Pac-Nor and
McGowen barrels allow them to go almost indefinitely without cleaning.
Q: Barrel Heat
A: When shooting with sabots, barrel heat can be a major detriment to
accuracy. Barrel heat can kill accuracy even in regular BP muzzle
loaders and sabot slug guns, but with the higher pressures in smokeless
muzzle loaders, accuracy loss to barrel heat is very pronounced in
smokeless muzzle loaders. If the temperature is over
50-60F, barrel heat can accumlate if loading faster than 10-15 minutes
between shots. If you're seeing fliers and your barrel is even a
little warm to the touch, barrel heat is the likely culprit.
Q: 45cal vs 50cal Barrels
A: 45cal offers several advantages over the 50cal. The 45cal
allows the 200gr 40cal class bullet to be shot with sabots out to
approximately 300 yards with excellent accuracy and little
recoil. If further range is desired, the 45cal may be used
sabotless and even more velocity and range achieved when removing the
sabot from the system. Additionally, removing the sabot reduces
the heat factor that often degrades factory on warmer range days.
A quality aftermarket 50cal barrel can still provide excellent results,
and may be required by law for some western state hunts.
However, when combined with a sizing die, there's nothing a 45cal
cannot do better than a 50cal.
Q: What performance can I expect from
a 45cal barrel?
A: Typical loads with sabots and the 195GR Barnes Expander or 200GR
Hornady SST run around 2700 FPS (both 40cal bullets). If
the sabot is removed, typical velocity ranges from 2600-2850 FPS
depending on charge, barrel length, and bullet
weight. Typical bullet weghts range from 250gr to
Q: Are wads needed in sabotless loads?
A: An ASG051 (45cal 0.060" thick) veggie wad does help yield a
better seal and can help with ignitionl consistency. The
majority of our customers use them, but a handful of customers do
report better accuracy without them.
Q: Will the Arrowhead Plugs (209 and
LRMP) work with BH209
A: Yes! The best smokeless guns make the best BH209
guns! A very high level of performance can be acheived with
BH209. Check out the customer results page for a couple of
Savage 10ML-II Questions
Q: What shank size is my Savage.
A: Recent production Savages with 4.40" hole spacing are typically
large shank. The only way to know for sure is to measure your
barrel diameter right in front of the barrel nut. Small
shank will be approximately 1.040". Large shank will be
Q: Will the aftermarket barrel fit my
factory 10ML-II stock
A: Yes. Most stocks are a drop in fit, but some may require just a
little bit of sanding.
Q: Can I bed the factory 10ML-II
Factory Plastic Stock.
A: Yes, but it will still have flex out in the forend unless you fill
that with epoxy too. I would recommended getting an aftermarket
stock instead of sinking any time or money into the factory plastic