An Open Letter to Ron Coburn,
CEO of Savage Arms

By Randy Wakeman

April 08, 2005

Mr. Ronald Coburn, CEO
Savage Arms Inc.
100 Springdale Road
Westfield, MA 01085

Dear Mr. Coburn,

Largely as a result of my muzzleloading videos, my articles on Guns and Shooting Online ( currently receives over 4,000,000 hits and 600,000 visitors a month--Source: Urchin5 web stats), I hear from thousands of hunters and shooter annually, from across the USA, and across the world. As hunting season draws near, the e-mail load has exceeded 200 e-mails a day, with a goodly number of phone calls to augment this.

As a result of the renewed, vibrant interest in your Savage 10ML-II, I have embarked on a great deal of independent research. This includes barrel makers such as Dan Lilja and others, bullet manufacturers such as Barnes, and most of the major powder companies for which I been testing products: Accurate Arms / Western Powders and others.

I've also discussed your product with such luminaries as Doc White, Dr. Ken Oehler, and manufacturers of custom smokeless muzzleloaders such as New Ultra Light Arms and Swing-Lock. NO reputable authority, those with far more knowledge than me, has offered anything but accolades pertaining to the tremendous strength and safety of your product. Perhaps that is why, over the last six years, the 10ML and 10ML-II has the very BEST safety record of any muzzleloader in the industry.

Further, I've heard from consumers who have made honest but foolish mistakes, such as double loading their 10ML-II, and credit the integrity of the design, and your industry-leading 100% proof-testing of barrels with saving their lives.

My 76 years young father has been astonished at the accuracy, soft recoil, and pleased with its ease of use, lack of immediate maintenance, and the crisp AccuTrigger. Dad's last three shots through your 10ML-II resulted in three quick one shot kills: a doe @ 225 yards, a javelina at 125 yards, and a nice boar at about 110 yards. I watched the look of joy on the face of younger shooters, such as 13 year old Harrison Pickett, as he bagged his first wild boar in Texas with your rifle.

I've logged some 3000 shots through ONE of your 10ML-II rifle in the last year alone, in the course of testing various powders, sabots for MMP, and bullets. A couple of these shots found their way into wild boars, caribou, and deer with fabulous results. It exhibits NO wear, despite being used with experimental propellants not yet on the market.

Though I have no reason to denigrate any other custom smokeless maker, they are all using lighter barrel contours than found in your 10ML-II. Having tested and hunted with most modern inlines today, it is apparent to me that the Savage 10ML-II is the most robust, overbuilt, lifetime quality muzzleloader on the market at an affordable price, less than half the investment of many semi-custom guns, and less than many black-powder only guns.

By any known ANSI, SAE, SAAMI, and even CIP specifications, your gun is the only one that exceeds all four. Few companies make their own barrels, none take the time to 100% proof-test that I am aware of. It is both disturbing and a bit disheartening that anyone could purposely, willfully, and vindictively disseminate bad information about your product-but that has happened to their great discredit.

However, the truth wins in the end. By offering a superior product that enables swift, humane harvesting of game-and ensuring clear visibility enhancing the recovering of that game, you have made muzzleloading a better place. Perhaps that is why you personally hunt with a Savage smokeless muzzleloader yourself?

Congratulations and best regards,

Randy Wakeman

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Copyright 2005 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.