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Sabots for centerfires

4418 Views 18 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  smoffett
I'm wondering about using sabots in centerfire rifles. Does anybody have any experience with this?

My main objective would be to try this in .45-70. I love the gun, but would love if it shot flatter. I wonder if there's a way to shoot, say, a 30 cal, 35 or even a 40 cal with a sabot, and thereby get higher velocities and flatter trajectories. Side benefit might be less recoil.

I can also see how it would be cool to have maybe a .224 bullet loaded in something like 270 or 308 for an ultra-flat shooting varmint round.

Are the components available for this kind of thing? Are there problems with shooting plastic down your barrel? Just wondering.
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Holy crap! I just did a ballistics chart on the .224 65-grain Sierra Gameking at 3700 fps, and the chart is incredible -- 1000 ft-lbs energy at 300 yards, and ridiculously flat-shooting. The bullet is still over 2600 fps at 300. Wow.
From my searching today, apparently you do get plastic fouling, but one site said it was easily removed with Hoppes #9 and a wire brush.
I emailed the folks at www.sabotreloadingpro.com asking about sabots for .45-70 and got the following response:

Q. Can I load a bottail bullet in the sabot? I’m thinking about trying the Sierra 65-gr Gameking spitzer boat tail.
A. Yes you can use boat tail bullet in our sabots with no problem.

Q. Do you make (or know of anyone who makes) sabots for use in .45-70?
A. We do not make a sabot in .45-70 and do not plan to make one and I know of no one that makes one.
(end of email)

Hornady has a sabot that comes with a 200-grain 40 cal flex-tip bullet, but they are for muzzleloaders. Their web site shows muzzle velocity of 2325 for it, so it seems like it would be safe in a .45-70. But I emailed them anyway. Would like to see what they think about the idea. Here's a link to that product:

savageshooter said:
i had the d**k of a time loading them, finely maybe figured it out, had to prep my cases, except for sizing, prime, powder and set sabot in place, then size the case to lock the sabot on the case. otherwise it just pealed the sabot all to pieces. anyway that worked, just was not impressed. ss109 at close range would be devistating though.
Was that 30 cal sabot with .224 bullet, or the Hornady 45 sabot with 40 cal bullet?
I got an email back from Hornady. Their 45 cal sabot with 40 cal bullets are for muzzleloader, meaning the outside diameter of the sabot is only .450 -- i.e. a bad choice for a .45-70 which should be using a .458 bullet (or sabot I guess).
Limbic said:
but if you could use your legal primitive weapon 45/70 loaded with a 30cal sabot it sure would be nice on the shoulder. Even if it was 2" groups at 100 yards. That is something I would be interested in.
Yeah it would really be nice to tame the recoil a little bit, wouldn't it? The .45-70 really kicks when I load up a 300-grain bullet to 2150 fps. (And I've got the scar to prove it ;-)

Ya gotta wonder if these sabots aren't all made by the same few companies. I mean, they all seem to be 30 cal sabots built for .224 bullets. I'd like to find out who the manufacturers are and see if they could make a run of another size. I would think a .458 sabot with a .30 cal (or maybe .358 so it would remain legal as a "primitive weapon" in MS) would be ideal. Like you said, 2" at 100 yards would be fine with me, but I think we could probably do better with some experimentation.
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