Lawyer says gun maker long knew about explosion-prone rifle

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – A lawyer for a Franklin County hunter injured in a rifle explosion says newly disclosed records show the manufacturer knew for years about extensive problems with that model’s barrel.

Attorney Steve Crowley told a federal magistrate Wednesday that Savage Arms has produced a list of nearly 300 customers who returned stainless steel 10 ML-II muzzleloaders due to bulging or split barrels dating to 2003.

He said documents detailing the rifle’s development and the company’s handling of reports of barrels exploding and cracking show the problem “is much deeper than the company has ever acknowledged.”

Crowley represents Ronald Hansen of Hampton, Iowa, who was injured when his rifle exploded in 2014.

Savage Arms discontinued the 10 ML-II in 2010 but insists it’s safe when used properly.

Hansen is suing the company.

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