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Observations concerning Sabot Problems

Posted by: 1SHOT-1KILL - 12/16/2001 (10:19 p.m.) -
I have noticed in a number of post, the problems some have been having with sabots. The sabots, any sabot, is the weak link in the 10ML. Some sabots seem to work beter than others and most high pressure sabots will perform to some degree of satisfaction, if the shooting techniques are designed to take optimum care of the sabot.

The primary way to take care of the sabots, is to not rapid fire a group. If the outdoor temps are 60+ plus degrees, allow maybe 5 minutes between shots. This allwos the barrel to return to a cool state before the next load is loaded. If the temps are higher, then more time may be needed for the barrel to cool. Only when the temps are in the 30-40 degree range can you rapid fire a shot group with any degree accuracy. Even then I take my time when loading the next load.

Also, when the temps are 60+ degrees, the barrel is only going to cool down to that temp. I have found that even with allowing the barrel to cool, I still ahve to back off the powder charge a few grains, say with XMP-5744, from 45 to 41-42 grains to keep from blowing the sabots. This is especially true when temps are in the 80 degree range.

When you ram a sabots down a warm or hot bore, the sabots heats quickly and becomes soft and pliable. When the sabots are soft and pliable, the will not withstand the high pressure and velocities created by smokeless powders. I have even blown sabots rapid firing shots with 150 grains of Pyrodex.

Another way to take care of the sabots is, if it is a warm sunny day, keep them out of the direct sun. Solar heating the black sabots also warms them up enough to become soft and pliable.

A good indication of that you are taking care of the sabots are, when they are completely intact, with no fingers or petals are missing and the fingers are all spread out like a four petal daisy, and the base not burnt thru. When this occurs the sabot will separate from the bullet very quickly and should be about 12 feet from muzzle. If the sabot does not open quickly it will ride the bullet a little further and disrupt the bullet's flight. These sabots will be 20-25" from muzzle. This is usually an indication of a mild load.

Remember take care of the sabots. Sabot evalution has yet to catch up to the 10ML capabilties. It will, I predict, within the next year. I know that Del Ramsy of MMP is working with Savage's muzzleloading R&D guru, Toby Bridges, on this matter.

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