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  #1  
Old 02-24-2009, 07:58 PM
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Home-brewed Accelerators.


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For whatever reason, my Ruger 77 .308 Target Rifle shoots Remington's 55 grain "Accelerators" pretty well, and I like to use the combo on distant coyotes from time to time. Trouble is, my stockpile is nearly gone, so just tonight I ordered a "Sabot Kit" from EABCO in the hopes of being able to load my own. I'm getting a supply of sabots, a special tool to seat .224 bullets into the sabots, and a "flairing tool" to help seat the loaded sabots into the case.

I did a quick search of related threads on this forum, but came up with only 6 results (it could very well be that I don't search any better than I shoot), and while they were informative, they were from several years ago, and not as detailed as I was hoping for. So I was wondering.... has anybody got any experiences or tricks to share, either good or bad, old or new, on the subject of reloading with sabots? My .308 has a 1:12 twist, but I'll probably be playing with a couple other 30's as well, all with 1:10 twists.

Thanks much.
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  #2  
Old 02-24-2009, 09:01 PM
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You evidently have a rarity in a rifle that will shoot saboted .224 cal bullets with any thing resembling accuracy. Very fortunate, indeed. Most folks, myself included were infatuated with the velocities to be obtained with these and tried them only to find barndoor patterns.

The 1:12 twist for your Ruger 77 in .308 Win. also seems a rarity. My twist schedules show them to be 1:10. Is this the M77MkII V/T model?
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  #3  
Old 02-24-2009, 11:00 PM
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I will keep an eye on this thread as my 1917 Winchester Enfield shoots factory Remington Accelerators with surprising accuracy. I was expecting barndoor patterns and this thing is almost half as good as my Ruger M77V in .220 Swift!

I grabbed a few boxes of .30-30 to try in my Trapper, too, but I'm not expecting lightning to strike twice.
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  #4  
Old 02-25-2009, 03:51 AM
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Me Too Neither

Quite a few years ago now,I also tried sabots outta a .308(Rem Mod 788). I did not have any of the fancy tools for seating the bullet into the sabot or the sabot into the brass.

I tried a 52gr and a 55gr. Both gave me groups that were bigger than big, at ranges that were closer than close.

Although sabots would be undoubtably a "fun thang" to do,seems with all the great varmint guns out there, would not be the most most accurate. There are,to me,too many vairables in the loading process to produce the needed(desired)consistancy in grouping.

And when your .30-30,.308,.30-'06,etc,was sighted in for your deer load,would seem to be a major PITA to resight for sabots,then back and fourth.

NOW............if you owned a .50BMG and was shooting sabots(.308") outta it,so fast that it would make time stand still,.................now that would be really interesting. -----pruhdlr
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  #5  
Old 02-25-2009, 05:36 AM
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Bigger than big at closer than close is just about a perfect description of what I saw.

I was asked to do load workups so a sabot company could include data with the sabots. I had the seater tool, and an unlimited supply of sabots. My components - unfortunately. I burned a lot of primers and powder, and launched way too many bullets before I realized that success with sabots was impossible.

When I couldn't get every shot to hit a 2x4 foot target backer at 25 yards, that was it. The only thing I COULD hit with regularity was my chronograph; chunks of disintegrating sabots took several bites out of my light shield supports.

How Remington does it is beyond me, but I sure as heck could not. To be fair, I have recently heard several people report 2" groups with the dang things. So perhaps you will be lucky. All I can say is this: if you can't hit that barndoor with your initial efforts, you probably never will. Decide early when enough is enough.

Oh, and don't put your chronograph out there too soon, either!
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Last edited by Rocky Raab; 02-25-2009 at 05:39 AM. Reason: typo
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  #6  
Old 02-25-2009, 05:55 AM
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Pruhdlr, if I touched off that .50BMG and time actually DID stand still, would my little pea-brain also be standing still, thus keeping me from enjoying the moment? Such questions must be pondered from time to time, I suppose, but not today.

Kdub, you've really got me wondering about something. I just checked my .308's twist rate THREE TIMES with a tight-fitting patch, and I got 14 1/4" the first time through with a dry patch, and then about 14 1/8" the second and third time through with a little solvent on the patch. I checked my procedure against an old 30-30 H&R Topper barrel that was sitting on the bench, using from the same batch of patches with the exact same rod and jag, and got a measurement of 10 inches on the money three times in a row. So.... is it possible?!....a 14" twist? From a factory Ruger? in .30 caliber?

I bought this 77 MkII Target Model new in about 1994 I think (target gray finish, two-stage trigger, big laminated stock, etc.) , and the literature at the time specified a 1:12 twist for this model, as opposed to the standard 1:10 twist in their regular hunting rifles. Well, it definitely shoots 150's a lot better than either 165's or 180's, and believe it or not, 220's (don't ask me why I was trying them) actually keyholed. I chalked it all up to standard results with a 12" twist... it's the only I've owned.

So what's the deal here? Have I accidentally stumbled onto the reason why this gun will shoot accellerators? If anyone else out there with a 77VT in .308 from about this time would take the time to measure their twist rate, I'd love to hear the results, along with some possible tips on your measuring procedure.
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  #7  
Old 02-25-2009, 06:36 AM
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A 1:14 twist would certainly assist in the accelerators shooting better than the 165 gr and up weights. It could well be the V/T has the 1:12 twist from the factory, while the standard hunting (sporter) rifle has the 1:10. Something a call to a Ruger tech could verify.

My V/T is in .223 Rem., so that wouldn't be much help here. Purchased it in about the same time frame as you got yours, though.
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  #8  
Old 02-25-2009, 06:50 AM
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I used them in a .30-06. My experience wasn't very good, but I was trying to slow things down rather than speed them up.

I can tell you that you need to keep to 55 grain flat base bullets. Anything heavier will tumble because the sabot doesn't hold them well.
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  #9  
Old 03-01-2009, 08:02 AM
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Just an update for what it's worth. My EABCO .30 caliber sabot kit came, and I was surprised to see that the sabots measured .3065 to .3075 at the base instead of .308, which for all I know, may well be "Strike One" for this project.

I also re-re-measured the twist rate of my 77 last night with JB Bore Compound on the patch, not only to clean the bore but because I thought it would provide an excellent "grab" of the patch, and it measured 14" on the money for the umpteenth time. Weird.

Now waiting for bullets, and for good weather to test.

MAC702, what's the twist rate of your Enfield? And what else can you tell me about the rifling, such as number of grooves, depth of grooves, etc.?

Mattsbox99, do you remember any of the loads you tried in your 06? And what did the recovered sabots look like? Do you think these things get "stripped out," even with reduced loads?
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  #10  
Old 03-01-2009, 08:14 AM
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I was loading 5.0 grains of Trail boss, velocities were 1300 FPS with a 55 grain bullet, and 1050 FPS with a 69-77 grain bullet. The recovered sabots were not melted, they were a little black from the burning powder and friction of going down the bore.
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  #11  
Old 03-01-2009, 11:43 AM
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Sishoot,

I suppose it is possible the rifling process was set up incorrectly? I would just call Ruger and ask if they ever intentionally produced .308 barrels with that slow twist rate? It is just fine for the shorter .308" bullets up to 150 grains FMJ BT. Too slow for the 168 grain SMK's by just a little bit for best accuracy, and is about perfect for, you guessed it, a 50-55 grain .224" bullet going pretty fast.

I expect your sabots will bump up to fill the grooves pretty easily.
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  #12  
Old 03-01-2009, 01:41 PM
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Nick, I could be all wet on this, but wasn't Ruger set up to hammer forge their barrels when this target model first came out? If so, it would be hard to believe they had a fourteen inch mandrel laying around to be picked up by mistake. Regardless, you're right. If it bugs me bad enough, I should just ask them about it, and see what they have to say.

And hey, while I'm at it, may I be so bold as to ask you what the numbers say for Mattsbox99's reduced loads listed above, assuming a 1:10 twist? Also, in your opinion, is the less than stellar results with the majority of Accelerator users mostly a matter of this rotational stability/instability, or do you suspect other factors as well.

Thanks much, Nick... you're the man.
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  #13  
Old 03-01-2009, 01:53 PM
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They don't hammer the rifling in... its basically a cutter that pulls through the bore after its hammered down.

My loads produced tumbling and did not achieve any type of accuracy. One of the 30-06s I used for testing did squeak out a 3" group.
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  #14  
Old 03-01-2009, 03:28 PM
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Well I'll be darned, mattsbox99. I've had the wrong picture in my head for a long time. I thought they banged the blank against a mandrel that had the rifling already formed "in relief" so to speak. My bad.
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  #15  
Old 03-01-2009, 03:52 PM
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There's no way that would work, they would never achieve squared rifling. It is a hammered blank, then drilled to the land diameter, then a cutter is pulled through the resulting bore.

I've never verified rifling twist, so I don't know if any of my Ruger's are right - all I know is that they all shoot, and thats all I care about. The rest is just extraneous details.
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  #16  
Old 03-01-2009, 04:25 PM
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I'm cursed with wanting to know all about those extraneous details, while being just dull enough to not quite understand them.

It just seems weird that somebody would pay all that money for a hammering machine, and then still have to bore the blank out and rifle it besides. So is the only thing the hammer does is beat the barrel to the proper outside contour?
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  #17  
Old 03-01-2009, 06:19 PM
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I'm not a metallurgist, but it aligns the grains, relieves the stress, and creates a very good barrel. Ruger makes a lot of money making parts for other manufacturers, I'm certain there are a lot of barrels coming from Ruger that go to other notable companies that finish them and put their name on.
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  #18  
Old 03-02-2009, 06:40 PM
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I met a guy years ago who claimed to get good accuracy from Remington .22 sabots in his .30-06.
He said the secret was to have a squeaky-clean bore. Not a speck of copper or lead fouling in it, so the sabot could grip the rifling right down to the corners of the grooves.
Never saw a target he shot, so I don't know how well he did.
But I know from shooting lead bullets in my .30-06 long ago that even a small wash of copper fouling will affect accuracy with lead bullets.
So, perhaps sabots would get a better chance for accuracy if the bores were scrupulously clean and free of any lubricant.
Offered for what it's worth ...
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  #19  
Old 03-02-2009, 07:27 PM
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I think that advice is worth lots and lots, Gatofeo!

Yep, I learned early on that in order to keep the Accelerators shooting close to MOA, the bore had to be cleaner than clean, and I think the bum right shoulder I'm dealing with at the moment is due at least in part to all the JB Bore Cleaner and Rem Clean patches I've chased back and forth through this Ruger, getting deer season's copper out, and coyote/sabot readiness in. (Could also be due to the lesson I'm learning about getting my muzzleloader to shoot with sabots i.e. the very same lesson: Sabots like a CLEAN barrel!)

Thanks for the reply!

Last edited by slshoot; 03-03-2009 at 08:43 AM.
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  #20  
Old 03-02-2009, 07:57 PM
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After the First Gulf War I bought a bag of 100 Sabots with .224" 55gr SP bullets. I loaded them in 30-06 (Browning 1895 with reciever sight) and got 3-4" groups at 25yds. Don't remember the velocity or load. I'm traveling as usual and will check my notebooks when I return home (mid month). Did load some sabots in .30 US Carbine and will look those up also. Don't remember if I loaded .308 and 7.62x54R at the time, will check for those also. I still have some of those Sabots and bullets left (they did come with some load data) and will post those later.

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