The Column, No. 67:
The Savage 10ML-II Returns!
Due to the overwhelming demand, Savage CEO Ron Coburn informed me today (3/10/2011) that the Savage 10ML-II has returned and is being produced on a made to order basis. To get yours, see: http://randywakeman.com/savage0.htm
Originally, due to the general slowdown in both the hunting market, generally, and the muzzleloading market, specifically, Savage had quietly dropped the 10ML-II as a catalog item from the 2011 catalog. The decision was made by Savage Arms November 1, 2010.
Overnight, the Savage 10ML-II seemingly became the World's Most Popular Muzzleloader. Three and four year old used models brought upwards of $1100 or more on Gunbroker and other venues. People called and wrote to Savage Arms expressing their disappointment. Savage listened and decided to do one "last run" accepting orders for just a couple of weeks in January, 2011. That was that, supposedly. Still, the demand was not satisfied and customers, distributors and reps alike let Savage know that they had sorely underestimated the quantities they had ordered. Individuals were ordering four, five, six muzzleloaders at a time for themselves, their wives, their kids, and for their grandkids in some cases.
Had I been clever enough to foresee this, I would have suggested that Savage Arms discontinue the 10ML-II years ago. Apparently, I'm not particularly clever. The "last run" happened within a very short window and it was over with before many people got wind of it. Of course, hunters and shooters talk and after it was all over with folks found out about it at work or at the range. They too were surprised that the 10ML-II had been dropped, reappeared for a final run, was a sell-out and was again no longer available. I suspect that many people have no idea that the 10ML-II was ever discontinued today. After all, late January and March interest in muzzleloading does not favorably compare with interest in late summer, before the hunting seasons begin.
Savage has had to balance newly revitalized demand for the 10ML-II with their other rifles, several of which are also in a position where demand exceeds supply. The 10ML-II requires several dedicated machining centers that cannot be used for other Savage rifles and changing out tooling and qualifying that tooling can be a time-consuming task, contingent on specific type of machine tools involved. It is a balancing act not always easy to undertake when you are at capacity and I would imagine that raw materials becomes an issue somewhere along the process.
Nevertheless, according to Mr. Coburn the intent is to proceed with production of the 10ML-II on a made-to-order basis until the current demand is met or at least substantially slows down. I wouldn't characterize this as an never-ending decision; production can be ended at any time as future conditions dictate. What future conditions may or may not be I have no earthly idea; I doubt anyone could.
For the present, though, it is extremely good news for Savage 10ML-II fans and those that have now finally realized they want a muzzleloader built like a real rifle, with the same metal and modern machining techniques as the best center-fires, with a real rifle-type trigger, dedicated recoil lug, dual pillar bedded stock and so forth. It is the safest muzzleloader ever offered to the consumer, when used as directed, and ends what people have always hated about muzzleloading: corrosive propellants that rot your equipment, obscure your vision, are costly, and require messy and constantly time-consuming clean-up. Over 125 years ago, shotguns began using 209 primers, specific smokeless powders in specific quantities, and wads or sabots. Today, it seems that the muzzleloading community is just catching on.
It is very good news for the modern muzzleloading enthusiast. See your local pro shop and get yours on order today, or contact me directly. Savage has put unprecedented time, money and testing into this product. They did so long before the first 10ML was ever sold. They are built with great pride in Westfield, Massachusetts, USA and that's the way you should carry them.
Copyright 2011 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.