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I would like to tap this braintrust to acess any and all experience/thoughts regarding the use of sabots for handloading rifles and handguns with smokeless propellants. I have a small ballistics lab in my barn and am in the process of developing 454 Casull and 45 Long Colt loads using Knight .451 cal sabots for 40 cal pistol bullets. I have selected this combination because it uses available high pressure sabots and bullet lengths that should stabilize in the 1:24 twist rate of the Ruger Super Red Hawk.

To date the loading process has been simple, and crimping into the plastic is very firm. No slippage has occurred, even with high pressure loads. Even with the reduced case capacity associated with the sabots, loaded capacity is more than sufficient, given the need to go to relatively fast burning powders.

With Blue Dot, it is easy to obtain 1750 fps without pressure problems with 180 gr speer Gold Dots, and small charges of H Univeral duplicate the 10MM auto with only 4 FP of recoil. On paper, velocities with 155 gr .40s could approach or exceed 2400 fps. No accuracy work has been done to date.

I would next like to try 100 gr 6MM bullets in 300 WSM, but have had no luck finding appropriate sabots. The thought is that my existing 3800 fps loads for 110 gr .308 bullets should work for the .308/6MM 100 gr application.

Eventually, I would like to develop a series of "thin sabot" loads for calibers and bullet lengths of appropriate twist rates. Success would lead to an investment in commercial ammunition. This ammo would be limited to saboted bullet weights for which loading data already exist (.270, 7MM and .308 caliber for the .338 Win and .338 Ultra Mag, for example).

Any advice, lessons learned or thoughts out there?
Are there any ATF issues here?
 

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Hi, loader:
Interesting idea. It seems that the Remington Accelerator sabots (.22 in .30-30, .30-06 and maybe .308, IIRC) are no longer available.

I don't know what the ATF would think of you idea, but you're OK under current Canadian regulations. As long as it's not explosive or incendiary, doesn't contain flechettes and isn't designed to penetrate body armour, it's legal. Since the turkeys at the Canadian Firearms Centre don't know which end of the gun the bullets come out of, it's body armour penetrating ability is what you say it is.

Bye
Jack
 

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I see .30 and .50 cal sabots advertised in Shotgun News. the .30 cal ones take a .22 cal bullet. I wonder if those are the same ones that were used in the SLAP ammo the gov't bought a bunch of a few years back.
Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Gentlemen -

Thanks for the fast response. The Remington "Accellerator" ammo was to my knowledge the only high velocity sabot ammo ever offered to civilians.

I will look in SN for the .30/.22 sabots, as they might be useful for some types of testing.

The problem with the Rem ammo was that the 50 gr bullet in a .308 bore imposed burn rates on the powder that can't be resolved my current commercial propellants. These loads (30-30, .308 Win and 30-06) reached at more about 30,000 CUP hence energy was a fraction of the parent round, and velocity variations were high. They really needed a powder that was both fast and insensitive to pressure on burn rate (the new XMP 5744 is a notable exception).

To get full energy potential, we need to use bullet weights at the light end of the spectrum that the parent case normally shoots. Hence my interest in the 300 WSM as a platform for the 100 gr 6MM bullets. With the sabot, these would run 107 to 110 grs for total weight, and should perfrom like the 110 gr bullets in .308 that are available.

The advantage is therefore in the increase in sectional density and BC. SD for the .308 at 110 gr is .166, while for the 6MM at 100 gr it is .242. A 100 gr 6MM at 3800 fps is a whole new ball game in terms of down rage energy and trajectory.

To push that bullet at 3800 fps in a 6MM bore, you would need over 100 grs of high density powderand a 32 inch barrel. The 300 WSM needs only 75 grs to accomplish the same thing with a 110 gr bullet - or 110 gr sabot with 100 gr 6MM bullet.

By extrapolation we could duplicate the velocities of many of the new beltless, overbore ammo offerings with older, smaller cases. A prime candidate is the .338 Win Mag, which has a 1:10 twist rate and will stabilize most .270, 7MM and .308 bullets.

The big market is probably for the .270 and .308 Win, along with the 30-06, using 100 gr 6MM bullets at 3300 - 3500 fps, due to the many rifles out there.

Don't forget that the sabots eliminate the need for a jacket, and do a great job of reaching the lands while centering the bullet in the bore. Coatings for the sabot surface hold limitless possibilities.

I do consulting work on US military ranges, and have seen first hand the M-1 main tank gun fired - it is a 120MM smooth bore with an 80MM projectile encased in a sabot. The 14 lb "dart" does 5250 fps with an accuracy of 1 meter in 4000 meters.
 
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